Matthew 16:20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ [KJV]
Did Jesus expect His Disciples to lie for Him? Or is this a claim that He was not “the messiah”?
Is it only Pharisees who claim Jesus was "the messiah"?
The word "messiah" appears twice in the KJV version of the New Testament:
John 1:41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
John 4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
Total KJV Occurrences: 2
The CEV version above translated “christos” as “Messiah” 67 times, which no other translator agreed with, and which is not a valid representation of the Word of God:
Total KJV Occurrences: 569
From G5548; anointed, that is, the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus: - Christ.
Where did they learn about "the messiah", since it's not even discussed in the Old Testament? From the Pharisees, who Jesus issued the following warning to us about:
Matthew 16:6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
In the Old Testament, of 39 occurrences of the Hebrew word "mashiyach", it's translated as "anointed" 37 times, once in reference to the king of Babylon who took the Israelites captive, and "Messiah" only twice:
Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
This is the same word that appears as "anointed" in Leviticus 4:16, 1 Samuels 2:10, and 2 Chronicles 6:42:
Lev 4:16 And the priest that is anointed shall bring of the bullock's blood to the tabernacle of the congregation:
1Sa 2:10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.
2Ch 6:42 O LORD God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant.
Who are the "anointed"? The priests are anointed of the LORD. David refers to Saul and to himself as "anointed of the LORD". Even the Persian King Cyrus is referred to as "his anointed", proof that it's a translation "error" at least to presume it means "messiah" when Daniel used this word, twice. If the LORD views both His priests and Cyrus as His anointed, then clearly it's a reference to someone who does His bidding, either good or bad, not just a "savior":
Isa 45:1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
Isa 45:2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:
Since John is the only one who used this term in the New Testament, twice, and since he interpreted it as "the Christ" and not simply "Christ", we now must suspect that "the anointed" is a reference to more than just Jesus. Here is Arnold Kennedy on this vital issue:
As xristos [christos] is in the genitive case, it means ‘of’ or ‘belonging to’ an anointed. There is no sound reason why the AV should alter this to ‘with Christ’. Surely He cannot be regarded as a joint-heir to these promises.
Consequently, verse 17 is better translated:
"If we are children then we are heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs belonging to an anointed people."