During the Armenian crisis the citizens of Caesarea Philippi were seeking a successor for their city’s vacant throne;

Qumran caves
Qumran caves

Philip their prince had died in 33 AD. They chose Jesus who was living in exile, the ex-governor of Galilee, whom the citizens remembered as a devoted father of his country.

So Jesus was recalled from Tyre and appointed as the designated prince of Caesarea Philippi, referred to in the language of that time as the anointed one, the Messiah. In making this choice, the citizens of Caesarea Philippi linked it to the hope of political independence from Rome alongside the Parthian great power: Mark 8:27-30 par.

In later tradition, this appointment became the declaration of Jesus as the Messiah; the announcement that Jesus was Messiah was attributed to Peter, the disciples’ speaker. But in 35 AD, the disciple Peter did not yet exist.

In the Old Testament, Jesus cannot be made Messiah, but he can be made the anointed one, the designated king of Israel. This happens in two ways:

1) Samuel is instructed by God to anoint the young David as king, after Saul’s rejection.

2) In the account of the friendship between the king’s son Jonathan and David, we read that Jonathan gave David the symbols of royal power: 1 Sam. 16:13; 18:4.


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