Some of the finest scholarship and commentary on the life and teachings of Christ is found in Alfred Edersheim’s marvelous work, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Edersheim was an educated Jew raised in Vienna who became converted to Christianity. His knowledge of Jewish lore and Rabbinical teachings allowed him to provide numerous insights into the New Testament that will enlighten and fascinate its students. And since the work was published in 1883 (the copyright has expired), it can be made available on the Internet at no cost. In today’s Gospel Doctrine class on John 7 and 8, I used portions of Book IV from Edersheim, specifically Chapter 4, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, and Chapter 8. Understanding what happened at the Feast of the Tabernacles allows us to visualize the dramatic impact of Christ proclaiming that He was the source of living waters moments after the power ceremony of pouring the waters of Siloam at the sacrificial altar, symbolic of the pouring of the spirit upon the House of Israel. It also brings new understanding to the drama of Christ declaring that He is the Light of the World, as the gigantic menorahs around the Temple were lit during the festival.
2 thoughts on “Edersheim’s The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Available Online”
I seem to recall there being seven different Jewish traditions related to the Messiah, and that he fulfilled five or six of them (or took up their symbolism) in his life. I know of the one from today (The Feast of the Tabernacles) and Passover (with his crucifixion taking on the symbol of the sacrificial lamb). Do you know of the others? I seem to recall the last one to be fulfilled is that of the Jubilees which should happen with the Second Coming, but I’m not sure if I’m right on that one. I just remember finding that connection to symbols pretty interesting when I was in the Holy Land, but I don’t remember just which traditions Christ took up in his mortal ministry.
Hi, did you know that a new book just came out from Cedar Fort on this very subject. It is called “Alfred Edersheim: Jewish Scholar to the Mormon Prophets.” In addition to covering a concise overview of his work, it also catalogues his use by Mormon authors. My sister wrote it.