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The Messiah Texts

Jewish Legends of Three Thousand Years

by Raphael Patai

Folklore, Jewish Studies, Jewish Thought, Religion

Paperback
Published: December 1988
ISBN: 9780814318508
Pages: 432 Size: 5.5x8
eBOOK
Published: December 1988
ISBN: 9780814341919
Review

Valuable and provocative.

— Midstream

Following a detailed introduction to the world of messianic ideology and its significance in Jewish history, The Messiah Texts traces the progress of the messianic legend from its biblical beginnings to contemporary expressions.

Renowned scholar Raphael Patai has skillfully selected passages from a voluminous literature spanning three millennia. Using his own translations from Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Latin, and other original texts, Patai excerpts delightful folk tales, apocalyptic fantasies, and parables of prophetic power. All are central to the understanding of a magnificent heritage. patai also investigates the false messiahs who have appeared throughout Jewish history, the modern Messiah-influenced movements such as reform Judaism and Zionism, and the numerous reasons put forth by the various branches of Judaism as to why the Messiah has not yet appeared.

Raphael Patai (1911-1996) was a prominent cultural anthropologist, historian, and biblical scholar of international reputation. He was the author of more than three dozen books on Jewish and Arab culture, history, politics, psychology, and folklore.

For anyone who is curious about Jewish Messianism, Raphael Patai's The Messiah Texts is absolutely indispensable. . . Valuable and provocative.

– Midstream

A haunting, seductive, and excellent book . . . An accessible documentation of one people's ancient and ongoing millenarian quest.

– Journal of American Folklore