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I am currently studying the origin of an uncommon Christian belief that the angel Michael mentioned in the Jewish Bible (Daniel 12:1) is the same person as Jesus. It is becoming a frustrating mystery that ends at John Calvin who says only that "some think" this.

So I thought to start at the beginning. Christians think that Jesus was/is the Messiah. Judaism holds that the Messiah has not come yet, but will one day. So it's not a stretch that the idea that Michael is the messiah, whether having come or not, might have originated with a group of Jews.

Are there are any ancient Jewish sects that taught that Michael was the messiah in some way? If there are none then are there any modern Jewish sects that teach that?


I am a Christian and know very little about modern Jewish customs and preferred terms so please forgive me if I step on any toes. Also feel free to correct me and enlighten me.

Feel free to retag this if necessary.

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I doubt there's any way to prove that there was never any ancient group of Jews who believed this, but I highly doubt that such a group ever existed. The messiah must be a person, and a descendent of King David. An angel would be neither of these things. –  Daniel Aug 27 '13 at 19:35
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@SethJ I linked to my research in the OP. John Calvin's quote and link is there. I have gained the impression that this particular belief might be much older than Calvin and may have started with Gnostic Christians, but often Gnostic Christians took cues from Gnostic Jews that had been around centuries before Jesus. Further, Christianity takes much of what it believes from ancient Judaism; there is no reason to not investigate the possibility that this belief is from an obscure, ancient Jewish sect. –  fredsbend Aug 27 '13 at 20:52
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@fredsbend The concept of angels becoming incarnated in the manner that Christians say Jesus was incarnated does not exist in any stream of Judaism, AFAIK. Not to say that it doesn't exist in any stream... but it probably doesn't exist in any stream. –  Daniel Aug 27 '13 at 21:43
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@fredsbend FYI, Seth and I are not criticizing the investigation of the possibility that the belief comes from an obscure Jewish sect. We (or at least I) simply disagree that such a possibility is likely, or even particularly plausible. –  Daniel Aug 27 '13 at 21:45
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This isn't an answer, just a supposition--perhaps frb read say, Enoch 3, which has a man turning(promoted?)into an angel, and is wondering if there's any tradition anywhere of the reverse being possible...? I couldn't find anything in my limited travels on it. It couldn't be the Messiah, due to all the other posted reasons, but maybe there is a story somewhere of an angel being changed to a man..It sounds like a plot of an old TCM movie... –  Gary Aug 28 '13 at 20:59

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No, no, and no.

The Jewish messiah needs to be a flesh-and-blood paternal descendant of King David.

See the answers to this question for more details.

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There are no sects that say the messiah may have pre-existed, meaning, he existed before he will become flesh and blood? There are no sects that say he does not have to be flesh and blood? This seems like a knee-jerk reaction instead of an answer. –  fredsbend Aug 27 '13 at 18:58
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It is an answer. The Jewish messianic notion is that we wait a coming human king. A man from a particular lineage who espouses and epitomizes certain beliefs and traits. If he existed before he is to be flesh and blood, then he did as we all did -- as a soul, but he is therefore not unique in that. –  Danno Aug 27 '13 at 19:24
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@fredsbend, your idea assumes first and foremost that the Messiah will be an almost mythical entity and you want to reverse engineer it to find its source. That is fine, of course, but just know that the Jewish idea of the Messiah is very different from the Christian idea. No, we don't believe that the Messiah resides or resided in heaven first before becoming physical. We believe that a human being will lead us back to the Holy Land, rebuild the Holy Temple, and restore the Kingdom of Israel, of which he will be the king. Our idea of the Messiah is pretty down to earth, at least at its root. –  Seth J Aug 27 '13 at 21:04
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@IsaacMoses Thanks for the edit. I'm not bent on the Messiah being non-human. The idea of incarnation gets around that easily. I don't understand how this is out of scope. "With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about Judaism." I'm not proposing site policy; I just don't understand. It seems like you would say that although obscure sects (or any sect) call themselves adherents to Judaism, Mi Yodeya would not, therefore, questions about them are off topic, correct? If so, then the question is what is "Judaism" to Mi Yodeya? –  fredsbend Aug 27 '13 at 21:08
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@fredsbend This site is about Judaism. It's not necessarily about everybody who has ever called himself Jewish. We accept some questions about some quasi-Jewish groups like Karaites and Samaritans, but questions about Jews for Jesus, for example, would be off-topic here. It's simply impossible to speak for everyone who has ever called himself Jewish. We can speak for what adherants to traditional Judaism have believed, though. –  Daniel Aug 27 '13 at 21:53

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