We have found the Messiah : the Twelve and the historical Jesus’ Davidic messiahship
Zolondek, Michael Vicko
One of the most long-standing and controversial questions in historical Jesus research is that of whether Jesus was a Davidic messianic figure. This question is part of the broader ‘messianic question’, i.e., the question of whether Jesus thought of himself as a messiah and, if so, in what sense. Virtually every comprehensive work on the historical Jesus addresses this more focused Davidic messianic question at some point, as do numerous journal articles and essays in edited volumes. However, detailed studies devoted to this particular question are lacking. This dissertation is my attempt at such a study. I will divide this dissertation into two parts, each of which I believe offers a significant contribution to scholarship. The first, ‘Challenging the Status Quo’, will highlight three trends that I believe have dominated recent research on the Davidic messianic question with the aim being to demonstrate that the manner in which scholars have gone about answering this question is significantly problematic and that a fresh approach is therefore needed. I will then offer an approach that I believe will meet this need. The second part of this study, ‘The Making of Jesus the Davidic Messiah’, is where I will attempt to implement the fresh approach that I will have offered. More specifically, I will attempt to determine whether Jesus’ inner circle of disciples, i.e., the Twelve, viewed him as the Davidic Messiah and how Jesus behaved in response to this view. This group dynamic of which Jesus was a part will then serve as the basis on which I will offer my answer to the Davidic messianic question. In the end, examining this interplay between Jesus and the Twelve leads me to conclude that the historical Jesus was, in fact, a Davidic messianic figure. It would be ideal if I could convince others of this and perhaps move scholars closer to a consensus. However, even if I cannot accomplish this, it is my hope that this study will at least continue to move research on the Davidic messianic question forward.