1. Home
  2. /
  3. Hill Road Journal
  4. /
  5. Issue 43 (Jul 2019)

Hill Road Journal

Issue 43 (Jul 2019)

Contents: Jesus the Messiah
There are 6 thematic articles, 1 miscellaneous articles and 4 book reviews
No. of Pages: 206
Price: HK$100
Thematic Articles
Francis BORCHARDT The Profile of Messianism in 2 Maccabees Abstract
Tony Sher The Messianic View of the Dead Sea Scrolls Abstract
Jonathan W. LO The Conflation of Messianic Traditions in Mark's Composite Scriptural References Abstract
Josaphat C. TAM Another Take on the Johannine Temple Cleansing Crux: A Perspective from Jewish Messianism Abstract
XUE Xiaxia Paul's Messianic Idea in the Letter to the Romans Abstract
Joyce Wai-Lan SUN The Suffering Messiahas Christian Ingroup Prototype in 1 Peter Abstract
Discussion Article(s)
CHAN Hiu Ki From Quasi-Goddess to Protestant Woman: Martin Luther's Re-imagining of the Virgin Mary Abstract
  • The Profile of Messianism in 2 Maccabees

    Francis BORCHARDT

    This article explores the possibility of finding messianic figures in 2 Maccabees, a Jewish work written in Greek during the second century BCE. It argues that Judas Maccabeus, a central character in the work, could be one such messiah. Although 2 Maccabees only uses the Greek terminology typical for denoting messiahs once throughout the work, and even in that case, merely referring to a fairly minor character, this article suggests that the search must extend beyond such narrow terminological limits. Instead, it argues that attention to the narrative arc and the characterization of Judas Maccabeus reveals a character who is divinely selected and protected as a political and moral leader of his people. The article suggests that these qualities are the central attributes of one type of messiah in Jewish tradition, and therefore give the impression that Judas is a messianic figure despite never being anointed with oil, never holding the throne or the high priesthood, and not being an eschatological figure.

  • The Messianic View of the Dead Sea Scrolls

    Tony HK SHER

    “Messiah” denotes someone who is being anointed with oil. In the Old Testament, the term is generally used to describe a person anointed and thereby installed to a certain position, mainly either as a king or a priest. But in the post-Old Testament time, it gradually developed as a special term that denoted a futuristic figure who will come at the end of time as a representative of God to eradicate all evil and deliver the people of God. The Dead Sea Scrolls, since its discovery, have long been recognized as a cache put away in the caves at the Dead Sea by a Jewish sectarian group with fervent eschatological beliefs. Do the Scrolls reflect the same view of Messianic expectation as the term gradually developed in the rabbinic and Christian times? This paper will carry out a survey on the related documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, aiming at outlining a general picture of the idea of the Messiah figured in the Scrolls. After the survey, this paper will try to integrate the relevant information andformulate the view of the Messiah( s) presented in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

  • The Conflation of Messianic Traditions in Mark's Composite Scriptural References

    Jonathan W. L.O.

    In this paper, I will examine Mark's portrayal of Jesus as Messiah from the perspective of his use of composite references to Old Testament scripture. Composite references appear in strategic locations within Mark's narrative and function as signposts to the divine significance of Mark's story. The overarching motif of Mark's composite references is that the Messiah is God's kingly representative, appointed to accomplish God's purposes on earth. With reference to Is 40/Mal 3 in 1:2-3, Mark asserts that the Messiah's appearance signifies God's own return, "the embodiment of God’s presence.” Through the use of Ps 2/Is 42 in 1:11, Mark claims that Jesus is chosen by God and has been anointed with the Holy Spirt to accomplish the work of God’s mighty deliverance. The reference to Is 56 /Jer 7 in 11:17 shows that Mark believes an important task of the Messiah is to purify and rebuild the Temple, and it implies a scathing critique and a decisive condemnation of the existing religious leadership which mainly operated out of the Temple. The reference to Ps 110/Dn 7 in 14:62 depicts the Messiah as a highly exalted figure who will be enthroned alongside God, even sharing God's authority and acting as his eschatological vizier who will have everlasting dominion over the whole world. These various messianic traditions are conflated and used to interpret Jesus' life in innovative and unexpected ways that become the building blocks of a distinctively Markan Christology.

  • Another Take on the JohannineTemple Cleansing Crux: A Perspective from Jewish Messianism

    Josaphat C. TAM

    John 2:13-22 has been an interpretive crux throughout the history of Johannine studies. There has been a long controversy as to whether there is only one temple cleansing or two, and whether it is at the beginning of Jesus' public ministry or towards the end of it. After examining scholar's viewpoints and explanations, this paper presents an alternative solution. From the perspective of Jewish messianism and via literary analysis, I suggest that John deliberately transposes the event in order to create a miniature preview of Jesus' life, thus fulfilling the messianic expectations in Jesus' time. Coupled with a thorough analysis of the literary context, this proposed interpretation is able to explain the author's strategy and purpose in the Gospel more convincingly and comprehensively.

  • Paul's Messianic Idea in the Letter to the Romans

    XUE Xiaxia

    There is no consensus about the way Paul uses the term Χριστός in the past half century. Some scholars argue that Paul uses Χριστός as a surname, which carries no significant meaning when Paul speaks of Jesus(ὁ) Χριστός. Others argue that Χριστός is a title with a particular messianic Christology implied in the term. Still others argue that the term for Paul is an honorific designation which signifies a collection of particular things according to their literary contexts. More and more Pauline scholars focus on the messianic concepts in Pauline letters, particularly the Davidic Messiahship in Galatians or some passages of Romans. However, there are not many scholarly discussions about the relationship between Paul's Messiah concept and his Gentile mission.

    This essay analyzes Rom 1:1-7, 15:7-13, passages related to the Christ event and the stories of creation (Rom 1:18-30; 3:23; 5:12-21; 8:19-30 ) with an intertextual approach. By employing some Jewish literature, including some Old Testament texts (Gn 12, 17; Ps 18; Dt 32; Ps 117 and Is 11) and Second Temple Jewish literature, particularly the messianic passage of the Psalms of Solomon 17-18, I will, on the one hand, explore how Paul's concept of Davidic Messiah is different from those of his contemporary Jews. Contrary to the Messianic idea that the Jewish Messiah will defeat the Gentiles and rule over them, Paul declares that through Jesus the Messiah, the Gentiles share the same Abrahamic blesses with Israel. On the other hand, this essay investigates the substructure of Paul's reading of the Old Testament rooting in his understanding of the creation stories. Paul indicates that through Jesus the Messiah, Gentile Christians share the Abrahamic blessings, and his concept of the Messiah is related to the stories of creation and fall in Genesis.

  • The Suffering Messiah as Christian Ingroup Prototype in 1 Peter

    Joyce Wai-Lan SUN

    This essay investigates the role and implications of emphasizing Jesus Christ as the Suffering Messiah in 1 Peter for the social identity formation of its targeted readers. It draws upon the insights of social identity theory and social memory theory to analyze particularly three passages in 1 Peter, in which Jesus Christ is underscored as the Sacrificial Lamb (1:13-21), the Rejected Stone (2:4-8), and the Suffering Servant (2:18-25).

    The essay concludes that when highlighting Jesus Christ as the Suffering Messiah, 1 Peter is positing the suffering Christ as the ingroup prototype for the Petrine Christian community, to make sense and to reframe its perception of the ongoing social dislocation and estrangements it has to face as a result of its members' conversion to the Christian faith. It is by virtue of their identification and conformity to the prototypical Suffering Messiah that the readers could find the necessary sense of privilege and belonging to stay within the Christian community and to adopt the Christian social strategies called for in the letter. This nicely explains why the socially deprived early Christian groups, such as the Petrine readers, could retain their vitality and persist in professing their faith despite all the disappointing post-conversion experiences of sufferings and ostracisms surrounding them.

  • From Quasi-Goddess to Protestant Woman: Martin Luther's Re-imagining of the Virgin Mary

    CHAN Hiu Ki

    Contrary to the reluctance of the Protestants to talk about saints and the Virgin Mary today, Martin Luther, the main initiator of the Protestant Reformation in history, talked a lot about the Mother of God, and in a surprisingly positive way. Indeed, throughout his life, Luther did not abandon his devotion to Mary completely, and he still retained a remarkable amount of Catholic teaching about Mary, which was only discarded by his successors. Luther articulated clearly the importance of Mary to Christian tradition and theology. However, as is well known, Luther castigated the multiform abuses of Marian devotion and veneration in the Catholic Church. Beginning with his rebuking the practice of idolatry, Luther eventually transformed and reevaluated the role of the Virgin Mary in his scattered writings. Although he did not intend to provide a Mariology, Luther recreated an understanding of Mary in line with his reform theology. From the medieval portrait of being the heavenly Queen and an intercessor, Mary was remodeled by Luther into a far more human and pious mother, who paradoxically remained a virgin, and who faithfully bore and raised the Son of God. Luther's re-imagining of Mary has, notably, shaped almost all the subsequent Protestant attitudes toward Mary, so it deserves a close examination. Based on the existing scholarship, and the conviction that Luther, the pioneer of the Protestant Reformation and the most influential reformer in the early years, should be considered independently of the tradition he helped to found, this essay aims to analyze Luther's view of the Virgin Mary further. In particular, it pinpoints Luther's re-imagining of Mary. Through investigating Luther's views of Mary in response to his time, my contention is that Luther turned the lay enthusiasm toward Mary into a Protestant pedagogy. Intentionally and sometimes unintentionally, he accommodated Mary within his theological framework, and created a new image of Mary as a mere human, a subordinate figure to Christ and a Protestant example. This essay consists of three parts. It first studies the shape of Marian devotion in Luther's time. Then, it gives a chronological survey on Luther's developing attitude toward the Virgin throughout his life. After that, it synthesizes Luther's doctrine arguments on Mary to show how Mary is re-imagined theologically.