According to the New-Testament authors, the life of Jesus, as Christ, should be seen in light of the Old-Testament texts. It seems that all the messianic texts in the Old Testament had been fulfilled in Jesus. The Messiah, who had been expected for a long time, was born in Bethlehem. This interpretation by the New-Testament authors has caused the church and Christians throughout
the centuries to read the Old Testament as a prophecy, which is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. This
interpretation has caused impatience with Jews, who did not accept Jesus of Nazareth as the
Messiah. This article addresses the question: How did ancient Israel understand the concept
‘messiah’? It seems that the term is much more complex than a single meaning would allow the
reader to believe. This article thus focuses on the theological functioning of the term within the
Hebrew Bible as well as in other Jewish writings.