Josephus mentions a dozen or a lot more “messiah” figures starting with Hezekiah/Ezekias c. 45 BCE whom the young Herod defeated whom he variously labels as “brigands” (ληστής) or “imposters” (γόης)—though he calls Judas the Galilean a “wise man” (σοφιστής) and credits him with the founding a the “fourth philosophy” (Jewish Antiquities18.23). A number of of these figures are mentioned to have worn the “diadem” (διάδημα)—which indicates royal or “messianic” claims and aspirations. Philo defines γόηςas a single who cloaks himself as a prophet but is an imposter (Specific Laws 1.315), evaluate two Timothy three:13. The following list could be expanded but it consists of these who are most definitely named and identified. This does not involve, of course, the Teacher of Righteousness at Qumran, John the Baptizer, Jesus, or James his brother, who represented scions of the tribes of Levi and Judah or each. And then we could add Barabbas, talked about in Mark 15:7, and the two crucified “brigands,” (ληστής), a single on the appropriate and the other on the left of Jesus (Mark 15:27).

  • Hezekiah/Ezekias, c. 45 BCE (Jewish War 204-205)
  • Judas son of Ezekias, four BCE/death of Herod (Jewish War 56)
  • Simon of Peraea, four BCE/death of Herod (Jewish War 57-59)
  • Athronges the Shepherd, four BCE/death of Herod (Jewish War two:60-65)
  • Judas the Galilean, six CE/Archaelaus removed (Jewish War 118)
  • Theudas, c. 44 CE (Jewish Antiquities97, Acts five:36).
  • James and Simon, c. 46 CE, sons of Judas the Galilean, crucified by Tiberius Alexander, nephew of Philo, who was Procurator 46-48 CE (Jewish Antiquities 20.102)
  • “The Egyptian” c. 50s CE (Jewish Antiquities 20.169-171 Jewish War two.261-263 Acts 21:38)
  • Eleazar son of Dineus/Deinaeus, c. 52 CE below Felix (Jewish War 253 Jewish Antiquities 20:161.
  • Menachem, son of Judas the Galilean, 66 CE (Jewish War two:433-448)
  • Eleazar son of Jairus (ben Yair), commander of Masada, was of the household (γένος) of Menachem (Jewish War 447)

For a a lot more full study of the texts involved in each the anticipated categories and the candidates for such messianic slots in that time see my complication titled “Two Messiahs the Evidence” and my unpublished post, “One, Two, or 3 Messiahs: Dynastic and Priestly Pedigrees from the Maccabees to Masada.”

So far as later Jewish “Messiahs,” see Ari Feldman’s fascinating profile “Six Failed Messiahs from Jewish History.” And to genuinely expand factors, Wikipedia is compiling an even a lot more in depth list of dozens of Messiahs from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim history, see “List of Messiahs.“