The Messiah of the Gospels

By Charles Augustus Briggs | Go to book overview

THE MESSIAH OF THE GOSPELS.

CHAPTER I.
THE MESSIANIC IDEA IN PRE-CHRISTIAN JUDAISM.

THE Jewish people did not cease to produce a rich and varied religious literature, consisting of history, poetry, wisdom, and prophecy, during their subjection to the Greek and Roman yoke. The various types of character and schools of thought, which are represented in the sacred writings of the Jewish canon of the Old Testament, did not cease with the prophet Malachi in the Persian period, as the uncritical traditional opinion of former times supposed. These types and schools perpetuated themselves in numerous writings deep down into the Greek period, and even into the Roman period and the times of the New Testament. After the fixing of the canon of the Pentateuch by the priestly lawyers and narrators, who were especially active during the exile and the early years of the Restoration, the priestly school produced the memorials of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Persian period, and the work of the chronicler in the Greek period. The priestly tendency passed over

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