I would like to know what the man who believed himself to be the Jewish Messiah, sent to the Jews to become their king, meant when he said "believe in me", as in Matthew 18:6.

Christians interpret him as being the supernatural savior, and as far as I can tell, "believe in me" means something like "accept me as your personal lord and savior". I'm guessing that the Jewish Messiah didn't mean that.

I'm guessing Christianity.SE isn't what I'm looking for. Can anyone recommend a good place to ask such questions?

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    Another group of self-identifying Christians that avoids supernatural explanations are "liberals," but many of them (most?) would challenge your premise – that Jesus actually said this. They'd ask why did the author of Matthew (not necessarily "Matthew") put these words in the mouth of Jesus. Jul 23, 2018 at 21:23
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    This may be a shameless advertisement, but over at reddit there's the r/AcademicBiblical sub. The people there seem pretty diverse in terms of persuasion, and all of them act under pretty constructive and scholastic standards.
    – matheno
    Aug 10, 2018 at 14:05
  • @matheno Shameless or not, it's useful, thanks! Aug 10, 2018 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


This site requires questions come from a specific framework, believe it or not, this is a well known quashed heresy within Christian history known as Arianism. So you could ask about that here and say "how would an Arian priest respond to..." you might get crickets for a bit, but at least it's a legit question

However, if you want to talk only about the meaning of the text as it would be interpreted by 1st century Jews, you can ask on Biblical Hermeneutics.

I think you'll find that church Arius wanted to build and the beliefs of those who knew Jesus were wildly different, but it's an interesting journey for us all, good luck.

  • As far as I can tell, I'd consider anything along these lines as Adoptionism. Arianism did not deny the pre-existence of Jesus, but insisted that he (the Logos) and the Father were of similar but not the same substance. The views of Adoptionists would deny Jesus' pre-existence and instead view him as a man who was 'adopted' as God's son (through his baptism). Just a nitpick though.
    – matheno
    Aug 10, 2018 at 13:46

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