In John 1:19-22, John the Baptist is questioned about his identity. The priests and Levites ask him in verse 21 if he was the Prophet. They ask this after he denies being the Messiah and Elijah. So obviously in their minds there was an expected prophet who was neither Elijah nor Messiah.

I can agree that Moses was probably predicting Jesus in Deut. 18, but those questioning John obviously did not believe that. I presume they were aware of Moses's prediction, yet did not think Moses was predicting Messiah (nor any of the already-come prophets, priests, & kings).

What, then, were they expecting of the Prophet if they were expecting someone other than Elijah or Messiah and other than the prophets of old?

  • Christians are an incredibly diverse group of people, so I don't know that you will get a unified "Christian view". Would you consider narrowing it down, perhaps to Catholics (the largest group of Christians)? I think that's the only way you would keep this from being either too broad or primarily opinion based. Jan 5, 2017 at 4:52
  • This question was too broad as the C.SE site covers more than one major theological traditions. You could in fact ask your original question there if you worded it a bit more specifically as either a comparison of a couple traditions or specifically target a single one. In the mean time a question actually analyzing the original text in context for what it means and what people at the time understood it to mean is a better fit for this site. I've adapted it to that end here but if you are interested asking a new more targeted CSE question is also an option.
    – Caleb
    Jan 5, 2017 at 7:04
  • 2
    I can see @SteveTaylor 's point on duplicate, but to avoid duplication - would not "Who would 1st Century Jews have believed "the prophet" to be?" be a better question?
    – r m
    Jan 5, 2017 at 10:48


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