The messianic phenomenon
Catalin Negru | Published: December 13, 2016 | 12:34
The Messiah. Every person has a different image in mind when hearing this word. Some see a shinning man dressed in white gloriously descending from heaven surrounded by angels; others see a great human being leading a group of people to victory in a great war, while others might imagine him as a king sitting on a throne. But who or what is the Messiah? Is he a man? A half-god? God himself? What is his purpose? Will he bring the end of the world? Will he fight against the Antichrist or another evil character at the end of times? The answer to all these questions is surprisingly simple and human.
There is a distinction between the concept of “messiah” and the word “messiah.”
First and foremost we must understand that there is a distinction between the concept of “messiah” and the word “messiah.” The word “Messiah” (often written with capital “M”) is a sort of name and it designates a single entity. Nowadays, the word “Messiah” designates the concept of “messiah” because of the spread of the Abrahamic religions and Judaism was the first in line. According to the Jewish scriptures, the word “Messiah” (Romanized Hebrew: mashiah) initially described kings and priests that were anointed with oil (Exodus 30:22-25). So, when did the word “messiah” come to be one and the same with the concept of “messiah” (or the messianic concept) as it is understood today? When did it come to signify a savior, a liberator or an end-time entity?
The messianic concept appeared in Judaism during the Egyptian captivity of the Israelites and the rise of the prophet Moses. Moses prophesied about the coming of the Messiah (Deuteronomy 18:15-21), but, by freeing and leading the Israelites in Canaan (Book of Exodus), he was perceived by his people as a raw model