chapter  II
27 Pages

The Christian Idea of the Messiah

The early Christian conception of the Messiah coincided so completely with the Jewish conception at that time that the Gospels still lay the greatest stress on making Jesus appear as the descendant of David. The Hellenistic and Roman mode of thought was much inclined to take the Fatherhood of God seriously, while to the Jews it had been merely a symbol of royal descent. Although the Christians of later days could not bear to relinquish entirely the royal ancestry of their Messiah, in spite of his divine origin, they took all the greater pains to eliminate another characteristic of his Jewish birth, namely, his rebellious spirit. According to the primitive Christian conception it was the miracle of the resurrection of Christ on the third day after his crucifixion which proved his divine character and caused expectations to be formed of his return from heaven.