Messiah (literally, "anointed one") is a term for a savior or liberator of a group of people, which originated in Judaism, and is prominent in all the Abrahamic religions, but is also now used in reference to figures of many diverse ethnic, religious and social groups. In the Hebrew Bible, a messiah (Hebrew: מָשִׁיחַ, Modern mashiaẖ, Tiberian māšîăḥ) is a king or High Priest traditionally anointed with holy oil. Jesus of Nazareth, who is accepted as the Christ (Messiah) of Christianity, is not accepted as a Messiah in Judaism. Islam accepts Jesus as both a prophet and Messiah, but notions of him as either God or the equal of God are rejected by both Jews and Muslims as idolatry. In Jewish traditions, the Messiah to come is thought to be a human leader, physically descended from the paternal Davidic line through King David and King Solomon, who will be involved in predestined accomplishments, including the unification of Israelites, the gathering in of Jews to the Land of Israel, the ushering in of a Messianic Age of world peace and the annunciation of the World to Come.
- I am no more messiah than you The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure. Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is... the mark of a fake messiah.
- Our Christian conviction is that Christ is also the messiah of Israel. Certainly it is in the hands of God how and when the unification of Jews and Christians into the people of God will take place.
- Pope Benedict XVI, "God and the World", as reported by National Catholic Reporter (October 2000)
- The yearning for a messiah is almost as old as written records, writes Wilson D. Wallis in his study regarding messianism within world religions. Stronger still, the idea of a coming "messiah", a bringer of light and helper of humanity, has fascinated people since the beginning of time. This applies not only to the major religions where the expectancy of an elder brother such as a Krishna, Christ, Imam Mahdi and Buddha has gained ground, but in smaller traditional communities a similar figure in the form of a cultural hero, an enlightener and healer is also known. It seems to be a universal idea and hope found in almost every culture, whether occidental or oriental, in industrial nations or developing countries.
- Andrea Bistrich Humanity's longing for cultural heroes, enlighteners and saviours, Share International, April 1999
A survey of some cultural images of the Savior, showing the universality of hope for renewal.
- Everywhere in the world people were expecting the latter coming of one or another kickshaw messiah who would remove the discomforts which they themselves were either too lazy or too incompetent to deal with; and nobody had anything whatever to gain with electing for peculiarity among one's fellow creatures and a gloomier outlook.
- James Branch Cabell, in The Silver Stallion : A Comedy of Redemption (1926), Book Five : "Mundus Vult Decepi", Ch. XXVII : Fond Motto of a Patriot
- Whether it be a lamb having its throat cut ritually, or a Messiah nailed to a cross and "dying for your sins". Somebody should tell all of Yahweh's followers, Jews and Christians, that there is no such thing as a free lunch.
- Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the [a]Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ).
- John 1:35-41, New King James Version
- The real crazies who are looking for a messiah... after an hour or so they realize I'm not it and go off and look somewhere else.
- Ken Kesey, as quoted in "Trip of a Lifetime" (1999) in The Sun Times (29 August 1999)
- I forgot to tell you — the spice exists on only one planet in the entire universe. A desolate, dry planet with vast deserts. Hidden away within the rocks of these deserts are a people known as the Fremen, who have long held a prophecy that a man would come, a messiah who would lead them to true freedom. The planet is Arrakis, also known as Dune.
- Even on important issues, like Moon's claiming to be the messiah, there are church members whom I met, including a close aide to Moon, who demur. A religious leader whom they respect and whose theology they believe, yes; the messiah, perhaps not.
- Peter Maass, "Moon at Twilight", in The New Yorker (14 September 1998)
- I fancy that this moment Shakspeare in heaven ranks with Gabriel, Raphael and Michael. And if another Messiah ever comes twill be in Shakesper's person.
- Having lived all my life in a country swarming with messiahs, I have been mistaken, perhaps quite naturally, for one myself, especially by the others. It would be hard to imagine anything more preposterous. I am, in fact, the complete anti-Messiah, and detest converts almost as much as I detest missionaries. My writings, such as they are, have had only one purpose: to attain for H. L. Mencken that feeling of tension relieved and function achieved which a cow enjoys on giving milk. Further than that, I have had no interest in the matter whatsoever.
- H. L. Mencken, in "For the Defense Written for the Associated Press, for use in my obituary" (20 November 1940)
- Now, you listen here: 'e's not the Messiah, 'e's a very naughty boy! Now, go away!... Brian: I'm not the Messiah!
Arthur: I say you are, lord, and I should know, I've followed a few! ...Brian: ...Will you please listen? I'm not the Messiah! Do you understand? Honestly!
Woman: Only the true Messiah denies his divinity!
Brian: What? Well, what sort of chance does that give me? All right, I am the Messiah!
Crowd: He is! He is the Messiah!
Brian: Now, F.O.
- Looking for Maitreya under titles, even the title of 'the Messiah', can lead to illusion: 'Messiah' is a word coined by the human race, and to say "I am the Messiah," can create opposition." And although some may find the qualities of Jesus in Him, Maitreya says, "Those who look for Me as a Teacher are nearer the mark, for that is what I am". The true quality of the Teacher will be seen in the teaching – which is that the Master is within you. In Maitreya's words, "I seek to express that which I am through you; for this I come".
- Maitreya Buddha
- Maitreya (Theosophy)
- Second Coming
- The World Teacher for All Humanity
- Self-declared messiahs
- The Reappearance of the Christ, by Alice A Bailey
- The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom, by Benjamin Creme