What? I saw this book in a local Christian bookstore the other day and I am actually really tempted to buy it. If there is anything I think that the Bible tries to make a case for it is Jesus’s Messianic claim. I would interested to see how exactly Hagee argues for this. Without having read the book, this ad seems to say that Jesus himself never claimed to be the Messiah, was not therefore the Messiah, and therefore all of our Jewish hatred in Christian history has been unfounded and we should support Israel because Scripture clearly says we should do that.
Even if Jesus never claimed to be Messiah, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t. At least, that’s what Peter and Paul think. If Jesus didn’t intend to be the Messiah, we have some major doctrine of Scripture issues to work out because apparently none of the disciples got the memo.
Just doing a 5 second “biblegateway” search of the term “Christ” got me 467 times in the NT in which that term is used. Does Hagee think that was Jesus’s last name or something? Any Greek-speaking Jew during the 1st century would have known “christos” to be the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew משיח or “anointed one,” transliterated as Mashiach or Messiah. For more proof that this was how Paul took the term “Christ” see N.T. Wright’s great book The Climax of the Covenant
All 467 times aside though, is it true that Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah?
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
Without the myriad of other texts in which Jesus implicitly (as well as explicitly) shows himself to be Messiah, I think this one should be given a second thought.
But, to be fair to Hagee, I have not yet read his book. He may have some good answers to these questions, but my guess is, if he wanted to overturn all of Church History’s understanding of Scripture, his book might want to be a little longer.
Oh yeah, and if I can apply Ockham’s Razor to this situation, we probably shouldn’t hate Jews because Jesus says we shouldn’t hate anyone and should love everyone, even our enemy. Something tells me Hagee made it more complicated than it needed to be.