Messiah

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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

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. Messiahs were not exclusively Jewish, as the Hebrew Bible refers to Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, as a messiah for his decree to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple. 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 building of the Third Temple in Jerusalem, the ushering in of a Messianic Age of world peace, and the annunciation of the World to Come.

Quotes[edit]

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. ~ Richard Bach
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
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… ~ James Branch Cabell
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. ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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)

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