MESSIANIC FIGURES IN EARLY JUDAISM
The first words of Mark's gospel (1:1) show that the author acknowledges that the appellation, 'Christ', is correcdy applied to Jesus.1 6, 'the anointed one', is used generally in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew which in most passages (as for example Psalm 2:2) refers to an 'anointed' king.2
In our chapter on the Psalms, we saw that the kingship of Yahweh was closely related to Davidic (or messianic) kingship. In our last chap-
1 Cf. E. Best, The Temptation and the Passion (1965), pp. 165f. In the light of theas a personal name; e.g., V. Taylor,
Pauline usage, some scholars take
The Gospel According to Mark (1952; 2nd. ed., 1966), p. 152; R. Pesch, Das Markusevangeli-
um (1976-77), I, p. 76; J. Gnilka, Das Evangelium nach Markus (1978-79), I, p. 43. Contra,
e.g., C.E.B. Cranfield, The Gospel According to Saint Mark (1959), pp. 37-38, and W.L.
Lane, Commentary on the Gospel of Mark (1974), p. 44, note 22, take as a titular
designation. The latter view is based on the fact that is used in a titular sense
in Mark 8:29; 12:35; 13:21; 14:61 and 15:32. (The only other use of in Mark
occurs at 9:41, where it appears to function as a proper name. However there are
some doubts as to whether the word was present in the original text; see note 131 (ch.
4).) As R.A. Guelich, Mark 1-8:26(1989) comments (at pp. 9-10), if in Mark 1:1, -
is taken to be part of a proper name, it has not lost its messianic significance.
2 For a full list of occurrences in the Psalms, see p. 50. The plural ofoccurs at
Ps. 105:15 (= 1 Chron. 16:22), referring to the patriarchs, who are described in the
same verse as 'prophets' (cf. 1 Kings 19:16; Is. 61:1, for prophetic anointing), is
used four times of the high priest in Lev. 4:3, 5, 16; 6:22 (MT, v. 15), though in each
case the term is used attributively, rather than as a noun or title. Similarly, the LXX
has at Lev. 4:5, 16; 6:22 (15), and at Lev.
4:3. The point or points of reference of the word in Dan. 9:25, 26, are uncertain
(but see R.D. Rowe, 'Is Daniel's “son of man” messianic?', in Christ the Lord, ed. H.H.
Rowdon (1982), pp. 71-96, at p. 93). The LXX does not have the relevant words in
Dan. 9:25 (though Theodotion has for MT, ), while
in Dan. 9:26, both LXX and Theodotion have for . The absolute use of
is only found in Dan. 9:25, 26, the most common expressions being (e.g.,
1 Sam. 24:6, etc.), together with the many instances of with a suffix referring to
Yahweh (e.g., 1 Sam. 2:10, etc.); see F. Hesse, TDNT IX, pp 496-509, esp. p. 502.
This is reflected in the use of in the LXX, where, in the view of A.S. van
der Woude, TDNT IX, p. 510, the absolute use (i.e., without a pos-
sessive suffix) is not very securely attested. Cf. C.F.D. Moule, The Origin of Christology
(1977), pp. 31-32, who notes that when the LXX uses not for ointment (as in
secular Greek), but for an anointed person or thing, this is a new usage; cf. W. Grund-
mann, TDNT IX, p. 495.