Edited by Jacob Neusner
Edited by William Scott Green
Edited by Ernest S. Frerichs
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:1988
Online Publication Date:January 2010
While Jews in ancient Israel had much in common, in fact there existed no such thing as an orthodox Judaism. Diverse Judaisms, each with its own way of life, world view, and definition of the social entity (or Israel) to whom it spoke, flourished. Since there was no single Judaism, there was no single Messiah-idea or Messianic doctrine. Various readings of the Messiah theme reached definition in the various unrelated religious systems or Judaisms produced by those Jews--hence "Judaisms" and "their Messiahs." In this book, distinguished specialists in late antiquity Judaisms, including Christian scholars, take up the differing place and role of the Messiah-idea. Dealing with the best-documented Judaic systems--the Essene community at Qumran, Christian Judaisms represented by Matthew and Mark, the nascent rabbinic Judaism portrayed in the Mishnah, the Judaic system implicit in the writings of Philo--each author works out how a given system treats the Messiah theme.