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orion blurb for "The First Messiah" by M. Wise

Here's the ad description for a book by Michael O. Wise, The First Messiah:
Investigating the Messiah Before Jesus (HarperSanFrancisco, 1999). To me,
so far, the ad does sound indeed rather over-hyped, over-playing parallels,
and too presuming. We may be in for some reruns and variations on 1950s
controversy. That could be good news as well as bad news. On the good side,
some 1950s folks saw Judah the Essene as the best candidate for the Qumran
manuscript teacher of righteousness, and more may notice that again, if not
distracted by other, sensationalistic assertions.
	"In this revelatory book, renowned biblical scholar Michael Wise
reconstructs the life of Judah--the first messianic figure known to
history--who came to Jerusalem a century before Jesus, and whose life bore
astonishing parallels to that of Jesus. Wise challenges the notion that the
role of Jesus was unique, meticulously showing how Judah, a central figure
in the Scrolls, anticipated Jesus in almost every particular--from specific
prophecies and teachings to the movement his followers organized after his
death. The First Messiah sheds new light o the ancient--and modern--need
for a messiah and provides us with a portrait of a man whose influence
shaped Jesus and, in turn, the whole of Christianity."
best wishes,
Stephen Goranson