Although many past scholars affirmed that the idea of Elijah as the forerunner of the messiah is an authentic Jewish expectation, recent scholars have questioned this notion. Morris M. Faierstein, in particular, evaluates the primary evidence and concludes that there is little support for this assertion. Moreover, he suggests that Christians may have originated this concept. In this article, I reevaluate the relevant evidence and point out methodological errors committed by those on both sides of the issue. I conclude that, although no direct pre-Christian textual evidence exists, there is abundant circumstantial evidence that indicates that the concept originated among Jews.
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