Friday 11 October 2013


It is often claimed by counter-missionaries such as Michael Skobak and Eli Cohen that Christians have conflated the term anointed one with the Hebrew Moshia which means savour. Cohen even tried to use Judges to say the saviours never saved people from sins.

I am aware of the context of Judges and Christians don't use those saviour texts to prove the Messiah. Furthermore, Only ignorant Christians would say Messiah means saviour. In our culture we equate Messiah with a saving function, though not always to do with sin.

What is a Messiah in general?, Messiah or Maschiach? means anointed one. The late Dr Immanuel Schochet has stated that "anointed can mean a high priest or a gentile king", which of course is the case.

An ordinary Messiah has a specific function. He is anointed to carry out a task by God. The high priest was anointed for the function of making atonement for the people of Israel and of course Cyrus was anointed for tasks that God had planned, like releasing the Jews and other nations back to their respective homelands.

Nebuchadnezzar and Sennacherib, though not called Moshiach, certainly have that function, considering they have being given a task by God, though they themselves were not aware of it.
David would also be considered a Messiah because of his anointing by God to be the King of Israel.
Now can someone be anointed as a saviour, yes. That's why Christ is called Moshiach, because his task was to save us from our sins. I do believe he is THE Messiah, not merely a one, don't get me wrong, My point is that Christians have not confused the terms, although you could say the connotation of the Messiah being a deliverer is embedded into our minds.

Even Rabbinic Judaism admits that the Messiah has a salvific function, to save Israel from their enemies around them and usher in universal peace. Though it's not the same as saving from sins, It is nevertheless a form of salvation. In fact most Rabbinic Jews complain that Jesus didn't save them from the Romans, thus he can't be the Messiah, that's one of their arguments, because the Jews in Jesus day honestly believed he would deliver them from the Romans.

I wonder if Skobac and Cohen have taken this into consideration.

No comments:

Post a Comment