MembersJesus in the Context of Jewish Messianism – Introduction

Join us as we explore the ideas of messianism in order to gain a deeper appreciation of what Messiah means

By Solomon Kirsch | | Topics: Judaism, Messiah, Jewish Messianism
What does Messiah really mean in Judaism?
Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

For Christians, messianism might sound odd, but it simply refers to whatever has to do with the Messiah Jesus and is literally what the word Christianity means. Studying the Messianic idea in Judaism will help give us a deeper understanding of Jesus and the Messianic Hope.

What is messianism, and how can the idea of messiah be an -ism?

The term refers to Jewish thinking throughout history on the idea of a messiah. This includes ancient texts, movements, sages and sometimes even psychological dispositions. Our look at messianism extends far beyond the classic idea of the messiah from the Second Temple period and early Christianity, through the early rabbinic period and into medieval and early modern times where the concept diverges from the classic thinking and texts.

During the middle ages there were several famous historical debates between Judaism and Christianity over the concept of a messiah – who he is, when he will come, what he must do, and how he will accomplish his calling. In these debates, the Jewish position was still...

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