6.1 Three distinct
In the Bible we read of the test that the Jews applied to
Jesus (pbuh) in order to ascertain his truthfulness. The
Jews had a prophecy that required Elias to come before Jesus
"Elias verily cometh first"
(also John 3:28). They had not seen Elias yet so they
doubted the claim of Jesus (pbuh). Jesus, however, responded
to them that Elias had already come but that they did not
recognize him. In Matthew we read:
"But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and
they knew him not ... Then the disciples understood that he
spake unto them of John the Baptist."
John, however refutes the claims of Jesus (pbuh). This is
one of the Christian's "dark sayings of Jesus" that their
scholars have tried to reconcile for centuries. We will
leave this matter for them to work out among themselves
(This matter is resolved in the Gospel of Barnabas. Please
see chapter 7 for more).
Now, in John we read
"And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent
priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not
the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou
Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that
prophet? And he answered, No."
We notice that there are three distinct prophecies here:
1) Elias, 2) Jesus, 3) That prophet. The Jews were not
waiting for two prophecies, but three. This can be
further clarified by reading John:
"And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest
thou then, if thou be:
a) not that Christ,
b) nor Elias,
c) neither that prophet?"
If "that prophet" were Jesus (pbuh) wouldn't the third
question in both verses be redundant? Further, we must
remember that "That prophet" can not apply to any prophet
before the time of Jesus (pbuh) because at the time of Jesus
(pbuh) the Jews were still waiting for all three.
Notice how when we let the Bible speak for itself, without
forcing the holy spirit or other supernatural meanings on it
in the commentary, or forcing three questions to be only
two, how clear these verses become. For much more evidence
in this regard, please read chapter 7 regarding the Dead Sea
Scroll prophesies of "two messiahs" and how the Jews
who wrote the scrolls and who were waiting for the coming of
Jesus (pbuh) clearly state in these scrolls that they were
waiting for not one, but TWO messiahs, the first of
which would be announced by an eschatological prophet.