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Who Should Be King in Israel?

A Study on Roman Imperial Politics, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Fourth Gospel


Travis Trost

Who Should Be King in Israel? attempts to link common messianic issues found in some Dead Sea Scrolls with the Gospel of John. These messianic issues are studied in relation to the political situation facing the Johannine community in dealing with the Roman empire. The readers/hearers of the Fourth Gospel had to deal with different challenges from the Roman government and the non-Christian Jewish community in the era between the Jewish Revolt and the Bar-Kochba Revolt. Jesus is presented as the new David, the Son of God, who is the solution to all of humanity’s problems. The fall of the Temple in 70 CE had created a political and religious situation that meant early Christians of the post-70 CE socio-political environment had to deal with Roman suspicion and Jewish disappointment. The Fourth Gospel uses vocabulary and imagery designed to communicate the message that Jesus is the Christ without inflaming either Roman or Jewish sensibilities. This book is written in a manner designed to deal intelligently with that difficult era in Christian history.