The Trajectory of the "Warrior Messiah" Motif in Scripture and Intertestamental Writings

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Kim, Sook-Young
Biblical Studies; Christianity; Jewish Studies; Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
thesis / dissertation description
The purpose of this study was to investigate the continuity/discontinuity between the Testaments with the Warrior Messiah motif as a test. The intertestamental writings (IW) were also included with their interpretive role to assess the continuity. The approach of "canonical biblical theology" was adopted as the methodology.The findings of chapter 2 on the OT show: the core messianic ideas already existed from the beginning, rather than gradual developments; earlier biblical material forms the background of the later ones, and not the surrounding ANE texts; the nature of the warfare is universal and cosmic; the divine Warrior fights the antagonistic power represented in some passages as the serpentine sea-dragon; the method of his fight is through humiliation and sacrificial death; the way of dating the OT books has an effect on the messianic concepts and also on the notion of continuity.The findings of chapter 3 on the IW show: the conflict is universal and cosmic, rather than simply nationalistic or political; the figure utilizes the wisdom or the Word from his mouth as weapons and not the military ones; in the context of the whole IW, the Davidic Prince, Prince of Light, Michael, Melchizedek, Son of Man, and Son of God are different titles of the same messianic figure.Chapter 4 presents Jesus as the messianic Warrior depicted in the NT: he came as the predicted Messiah and won the victory over the cosmic evil, also called Satan, the sea-dragon, or the principalities and powers; his victory was manifested by casting out demons and walking on the water; the warfare is not in a political, earthly dimension, though human history is the battleground by human agents; his ultimate victory was through his humiliated death on the cross, and it will be consummated by his coming; the NT books, including Revelation, find their background in the OT.Strong continuity of the motif was detected between the OT and the NT, and the IW support it. The already-and- not-yet aspect is shown in both Testaments.