Are You the One Who is to Come?: The Historical Jesus and the Messianic Question

Are You the One Who is to Come?: The Historical Jesus and the Messianic Question

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By (author) Michael F. Bird

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  • Publisher: Baker Academic, Div of Baker Publishing Group
  • Format: Paperback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 228mm x 16mm | 259g
  • Publication date: 18 September 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Ada, MI
  • ISBN 10: 0801036380
  • ISBN 13: 9780801036385
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 386,167

Product description

Did Jesus claim to be the long-awaited "messiah"? Going against much contemporary scholarship, Australian scholar Michael Bird argues that he did. He begins by exploring the messianic expectations in the Old Testament and Second Temple Jewish literature. Next, Bird points out weaknesses in current arguments that "Messiah," or "Christ," was a title given to Jesus by the early church but not used by Jesus himself. Bird then examines the Gospels and related literature, finding in Jesus's words and actions evidence that he saw himself as the messiah described in the Scriptures of Israel and believed that Israel's restoration hinged on the outcome of his ministry.

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Author information

Michael F. Bird (PhD, University of Queensland) is lecturer in theology at Ridley Melbourne Mission and Ministry College in Australia. He is the author of "Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission" and "The Saving Righteousness of God," and is a co-contributor to the biblical studies blog "Euangelion."

Back cover copy

"Michael Bird tackles a question central to historical Jesus research and to understanding the development of the Christian confession: Who did Jesus say that he was? Thoroughly conversant with the extensive history of scholarship, Bird applies a rigorous critique to the dominant arguments used against attributing a messianic self-understanding to Jesus. He builds a substantial case for Jesus's messianic self-understanding by analyzing the words explicitly spoken on this topic by or about Jesus during his earthly ministry and by examining the deeds Jesus chose to enact and the roles he would have been understood--and would have understood himself--to embody by these deeds. Bird brings a fresh perspective and keen mind to this debate, painting a historically plausible picture of a Judean well versed in current messianic paradigms who crafted a ministry that reflected both an awareness of acting as God's end-time agent and a particular understanding of what that agent was to accomplish."--David A. deSilva, Ashland Theological Seminary "Michael Bird has written one of the clearest and most compelling treatments of Jesus and the messianic question that I have read. Ancient literature and modern literature are alike handled with great expertise and excellent judgment. Readers will find no long-winded, specious theories propounded here. On the contrary, this book lays out the evidence fairly and with economy and then consistently reaches sensible conclusions. In the end, Bird goes where the evidence takes him, concluding that Jesus understood himself as Israel's Messiah, which explains the nature of the name of the movement that arose in the aftermath of Easter. I recommend this book highly."--Craig A. Evans, Acadia Divinity College "Bird offers a robust defense of what might be called a 'neo-conservative' position on Jesus's self-understanding. This book will appeal to scholars from a range of perspectives due to the vast amount of ancient source material covered in detail along with an array of important modern sources. Students and scholars wanting a detailed but accessible entry into this key topic in historical Jesus studies would do well to start with "Are You the One Who Is to Come?""--James Crossley, University of Sheffield