List of messiah claimants

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of notable people who have been said to be a messiah, either by themselves or by their followers. The list is divided into categories, which are sorted according to date of birth (where known).

Jewish messiah claimants[edit]

In Judaism, "messiah" originally meant a divinely appointed king, such as David, Cyrus the Great[1] or Alexander the Great.[2] Later, especially after the failure of the Hasmonean Kingdom (37 BC) and the Jewish–Roman wars (AD 66–135), the figure of the Jewish messiah was one who would deliver the Jews from oppression and usher in an Olam Haba ("world to come") or Messianic Age. However the term "false messiah" was largely absent from rabbinic literature. The first mention is in the Sefer Zerubbabel, from the mid-seventh century, which uses the term, mashiah sheker, ("false messiah").[3]

See also Combination messiah claimants below.

Christian messiah claimants[edit]

The Christian Bible states that Jesus will come again in some fashion; various people have claimed to, in fact, be the second coming of Jesus. Others have styled themselves new messiahs under the umbrella of Christianity. The Synoptic gospels (Matthew 24:4, 6, 24; Mark 13:5, 21-22; and Luke 21:3) all use the term pseudochristos for messianic pretenders.[23]

See also Combination messiah claimants below.

Muslim messiah claimants[edit]

Islamic tradition has a prophecy of the Mahdi, who will come alongside the return of Isa (Jesus).

See also Combination messiah claimants below.

Zoroastrian Messiah claimants[edit]

  • Bahram Chobin, after he usurped the throne of the Sassanian Empire, declared himself to be the Messiah in the midst of the eschatological times of the late 6th century AD[51]

Combination messiah claimants[edit]

This list features people who are said, either by themselves or their followers, to be the messianic fulfillment of two or more religious traditions.

  • Baháʼu'lláh, Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri, (1817–1892), born Shiite, adopting Bábism in 1844 (see "Bab" in Muslim messiah claimants section above). In 1863, he claimed to be the promised one of all religions, and founded the Baháʼí Faith.[52] He claimed to be the fulfillment of the prophecies of the coming of a promised figure found in all 6 of the major prophetic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism and Buddhism) as noted in the authoritative history of the Baha'i Faith.[53] He also claimed to be the prophet predicted by the Bab (see Muslim messiah claimants section above) as "He Whom God shall make manifest"[54] His followers have also claimed that his coming fulfilled prophecies of various smaller (often native) religions.
  • Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986) in 1909 renounced the status of Messiah and Maitreya incarnation given him by the Theosophical Society.
  • Peter Deunov Bulgarian white brotherhood sect leader
  • Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi (born 25 November 1941) is a spiritual leader and the founder of the spiritual movements Messiah Foundation International (MFI) and Anjuman Serfaroshan-e-Islam.[55][56] He is controversial for being declared the Mehdi, Messiah, and Kalki Avatar by the MFI.[57][58][59]
  • Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda (1946–2013), a Puerto Rican preacher who had claimed to be both "the Man Jesus Christ" and the Antichrist at the same time. He claimed he was indwelled with the same spirit that dwelled in Jesus; however, Miranda also contradicted his claims of being Christ incarnate by also claiming he was the Antichrist, even going as far as tattooing the number of the beast (666) on his forearm, a behavior his followers also adopted. Founder of the "Growing in Grace" ministries, Miranda died on August 14, 2013, due to liver cancer.
  • Ryuho Okawa (1956–2023), was the founder of Happy Science in Japan. Okawa claimed to channel the spirits of Muhammad, Christ, Buddha and Confucius and to be the incarnation of the supreme spiritual being called El Cantare.

Other messiah claimants[edit]

This list features people who have been said, either by themselves or their followers, to be some form of a messiah that do not easily fit into only Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

  • Cyrus Teed (1839–1908), proponent of the Hollow Earth theory who created a distinct model in which the world is an inverted sphere that the rest of universe can be seen from by looking inward and claimed to be the incarnation of Jesus Christ after being electrocuted when attempting to practice alchemy with doses of magnetism during 1869.[60]
Haile Selassie

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia: Messiah: "In Isa. xlv. 1 Cyrus is called "God's anointed one," ...:
  2. ^ "Messiah: Alexander as Messiah". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  3. ^ William Horbury, Markus Bockmuehl, James Carleton Paget: Redemption and resistance: the messianic hopes of Jews and Christians in antiquity Page 294 : (2007) ISBN 978-0567030443
  4. ^ Segal, Alan F. (1997). Davis, Stephen T.; Kendall, Daniel; O'Collins, Gerald (eds.). The Resurrection: An Interdisciplinary Symposium on the Resurrection of Jesus. OUP Oxford. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-19-815091-6. marginal Jewish apocalyptic cult
  5. ^ Gray, John (2011). Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia. Penguin Books Limited. p. PT19. ISBN 978-0-241-95917-6.
  6. ^ Ehrman, Bart D. (31 January 2013), "How Jesus Became God: The *Original* Idea",
  7. ^ Nel, Marius; Balia, Daryl (2018). An African Pentecostal Hermeneutics: A Distinctive Contribution to Hermeneutics. Wipf & Stock Publishers. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-5326-6086-3.
  8. ^ Professor Bart D. Ehrman, The Historical Jesus, Part I, p. 2, The Teaching Company, 2000.
  9. ^ Freedman, David Noel; Myers, Allen C., eds. (31 December 2000). Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Amsterdam University Press. p. 709. ISBN 978-90-5356-503-2.
  10. ^ The Ministry of Christ Retrieved 30 August 2021.
  11. ^ Jesus Christ in the Bahá'í Writings Retrieved 30 August 2021.
  12. ^ "People of the Book". Islam: Empire of Faith. PBS. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  13. ^ "Quran 3:46-158". Archived from the original on 2015-05-01.
  14. ^ Christianity at a glance BBC. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  15. ^ Cohn-Sherbok, Dan (2000). "Messianic Jewish theology". Messianic Judaism. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-8264-5458-4. OCLC 42719687. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  16. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia: Dositheans]: "Origen states that "Dositheus the Samaritan, after the time of Jesus, wished to persuade the Samaritans that he himself was the Messias prophesied by Moses" (Contra Celsum, VI, ii); He also wrote that Dositheus applied Deuteronomy 18:15 to himself, and compares him with Theudas and Judas the Galilean.
  17. ^ See "Contra Celsum," i. 57, vi. 11; in Matth. Comm. ser. xxxiii.; "Homil." xxv. in Lucam; De Principiis, iv. 17.
  18. ^ "The False Prophet and the Pope – The Story of Shlomo Molcho". Museum of the Jewish People. 2018-05-13. Retrieved 2022-03-27.
  19. ^ "And May the Messiah Come Soon - Judaic Treasures". Retrieved 2022-03-27.
  20. ^ Scholem, Sabbatai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah: 1626–1676, pp. 103–106 has a whole discussion of the historical probabilities that he was really born on the 9th of Av, which according to Jewish tradition is the date of the destruction of both Temples and is also the date 'prescribed' in some traditions for the birth of the Messiah.
  21. ^ Rifa N. Bali (2008), pp. 91-92
  22. ^ Gershom Scholem, Sabbatai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah: 1626-1676, Routledge Kegan Paul, London, 1973 ISBN 0-7100-7703-3, American Edition, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1973 ISBN 0-691-09916-2 (hardcover edn.); Gershom Scholem, "Shabbetai Zevi," in Encyclopaedia Judaica, Second Edition, Farmington Hills, Michigan, 2007, vol. 18, pp. 340–359. ISBN 978-0-02-865946-6.
  23. ^ Harris Lenowitz The Jewish Messiahs: From the Galilee to Crown Heights age 31 (2001) ISBN 978-0195148374
  24. ^ Campion, Nardi Reeder (1976), Ann the Word: The Life of Mother Ann Lee, Founder of the Shakers, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, ISBN 978-0-316-12767-7
  25. ^ "Mother Ann Lee (section Britannica Concise Encyclopedia: Ann Lee)". 2017-04-19. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  26. ^ Rogers, P. G. (1961), Battle in Bossenden Wood, Oxford University Press
  27. ^ a b Wilson, Bryan R. (1975). The Noble Savages: The Primitive Origins of Charisma and Its Contemporary Survival. University of California Press. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-520-02815-9. ... but their prominence and relative success when compared with such figures as Louwrens van Voorthuizen (Lou) in Holland, Georges Roux in France, and Oskar Ernst Bernhardt in Germany and Austria, all of whom claimed to be the messiah—is striking.
  28. ^ "Samael Aun Weor". Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  29. ^ "World Mission Society Church of God". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  30. ^ a b Moon At Twilight: Amid scandal, the Unification Church has a strange new mission, Peter Maass New Yorker Magazine, September 14, 1998. "Moon sees the essence of his own mission as completing the one given to Jesus--establishing a "true family" untouched by Satan while teaching all people to lead a God-centered life under his spiritual leadership."..."Although Moon often predicts in his sermons that a breakthrough is near, Moffitt realizes that Moon may not come to be seen as the messiah in his lifetime."
  31. ^ "Sect Leader Who Allegedly Sought Virgins Found Guilty on Sex Charge - Local News - News Articles - National News - US News". TAOS, N.M. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  32. ^ Luca, Nathalie (March 2002). "After the Moon sect: South Korea and indoctrination through the sacred game of football". CNRS. Archived from the original on 2005-10-19. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
  33. ^ "Guru said to have raped prospective brides before mass weddings". Asahi Shimbun. 3 August 2006. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  34. ^ "Concerns raised about cult led by fugitive". Asahi Shimbun. 28 July 2006. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  35. ^ "Claims sect using social groups to recruit members". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2001-03-10. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
  36. ^ "Suspect of Corrupt Cult Founder Arrested in China". The Korea Times. 2007-05-13. Archived from the original on 2007-09-13. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
  37. ^ "Cult Leader Extradited to Korea". The Korea Times. 2008-02-21. Archived from the original on 2008-04-01. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
  38. ^ Raël, Intelligent Design.
  39. ^ Raël, Intelligent Design; 290-1.
  40. ^ "Summary of INRI CRISTO's life". Archived from the original on June 6, 2008.
  41. ^ "Kingdom of Jesus Christ | Kingdom Doctrines | Holy One". Archived from the original on September 10, 2009.
  42. ^ Duffy, John-Charles (October 15, 2003). "The Making of Immanuel: Brian David Mitchell and the Mormon Fringe". Sunstone magazine. Archived from the original on December 11, 2013.
  43. ^ Manson, Pamela; Neugebauer, Cimaron (December 3, 2010). "Mitchell defense rests in Smart kidnap case". Salt Lake Tribune. p. 6.
  44. ^ "Umro samoprozvani kiropraktičar Ante Pavlović". (in Croatian). Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  45. ^ Reid, Poppy (2020). "Australian Cults: The Grim, The Bad And The Ugly - Pt. Two, Divine Truth". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  46. ^ Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1944, pgs 57-58
  47. ^ a b Andrea Lathan (2008) ‘The Relativity of Categorizing in the Context of the Aḥmadiyya’ Die Welt des Islams, 48 (3/4): 376
  48. ^ Gualtieri, Antonio R. (1989). Conscience and Coercion: Ahmadi Muslims and Orthodoxy in Pakistan. Guernica Editions. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-920717-41-7.
  49. ^ "Who are the Ahmadi?". BBC News. 28 May 2010. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  50. ^ Burhani, Ahmad Najib (2013). When Muslims are not Muslims: the Ahmadiyya community and the discourse on heresy in Indonesia. Santa Barbara, California: University of California. ISBN 9781303424861.
  51. ^ Stephen Shoemaker, Imperial Eschatology in Late Antiquity and Early Islam, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018, pp. 108-110
  52. ^ Balyuzi, H.M. (1963). Baháʼu'lláh (1973 ed.). Oxford: George Ronald. pp. 11–12, 33–34. ISBN 0-85398-014-4.
  53. ^ Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1944, pgs 94-97
  54. ^ Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1944, pg 97
  55. ^ "Messiah Foundation International Site about Shahi". Messiah Foundation International. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
  56. ^ "Website from Pakistan Sector". Archived from the original on October 22, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
  57. ^ "Structure and objective of the Mehdi Foundation and the perception of this movement in Pakistan" (PDF). 5 December 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  58. ^ "Jail upon burning the Pakistani Passports". British Broadcasting Cooperation (Urdu). 25 April 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  59. ^ "Jail upon burning the Pakistani Passports page 2". British Broadcasting Cooperation (Urdu). 25 April 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  60. ^ Simon, Matt (Jul 2, 2014). "Fantastically Wrong: The Legendary Scientist Who Swore Our Planet Is Hollow". WIRED. Retrieved 2021-09-17.
  61. ^ Judith Coney, Sahaja Yoga: Socializing Processes in a South Asian New Religious Movement (1999) p27 "She began her mission of salvation in earnest, establishing a reputation as a faith healer ... Then, on December 2nd, 1979, in London, she unequivocally declared her divinity to her followers: '[Today] is the day I declare that I am the One who has to save the humanity. I declare, I am the one who is Adi Shakti, who is the Mother of all the mothers, who is the Primordial Mother, the Shakti, the purest desire of God, who has incarnated on this Earth to give meaning to itself...' Since then, she is most often understood by her followers to be the Devi, the Goddess of Indian mythology, returned to save the world."
  62. ^ "Share International on the Reappearance of Maitreya the World Teacher". Archived from the original on November 2, 2014.
  63. ^ "Share International magazine July / August 2009 issue". Archived from the original on April 9, 2014.
  64. ^ Niebuhr, Gustav. "New Millennium, Great Expectations." The New York Times, July 20, 1996
  65. ^ Robertson, David (September 2013). "David Icke's Reptilian Thesis and the Development of New Age Theodicy". Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  66. ^ "The Day David Icke Told Terry Wogan 'I'm the Son of God'". The Telegraph. Apr 29, 2016. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  67. ^ Miller, Julie (September 18, 2022). "Ezra Miller's "Messiah" Delusions: Inside The Flash Star's Dark Spiral". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on September 18, 2022. Retrieved September 18, 2022.

Other sources[edit]