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Jesus of Nazareth

6th-century mosaic of Jesus at Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna. Though depictions of Jesus are culturally important, no undisputed record of Jesus' appearance is known to exist.
Born 7–2 BC/BCE
Bethlehem, Judea, Roman Empire (traditional); Nazareth, Galilee (according to some historians)
Died 26–36 AD/CE
Calvary, Judea, Roman Empire (According to the New Testament, he rose on the third day after his death.)
Cause of death Crucifixion
Resting place Traditionally and temporarily, a garden tomb located in what is now the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.[1]
Ethnicity Jewish
Occupation itinerant preacher, healer
Home town Nazareth, Galilee, current Israel

Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC/BCE – 26–36 AD/CE),[2][3] also known as Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity and is revered by most Christian churches as the Son of God and the incarnation of God. Islam considers Jesus a prophet, and he is an important figure in several other religions. Judaism rejects the claim that Jesus is the Messiah foretold in the Hebrew Bible.

The principal sources of information regarding Jesus' life and teachings are the four canonical gospels, especially the Synoptic Gospels,[4] though some scholars argue that other texts (such as the Gospel of Thomas) are as relevant as the canonical gospels to the historical Jesus.[5] Most critical scholars in the fields of history and biblical studies believe that some parts of the ancient texts on Jesus are useful for reconstructing his life,[6][7][8][9] agreeing that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was regarded as a teacher and healer. They also generally accept that he was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman Prefect of Judaea Pontius Pilate, on the charge of sedition against the Roman Empire.[10][11] Aside from these few conclusions, academic studies remain inconclusive about the chronology, the central message of Jesus' preaching, his social class, cultural environment, and religious orientation.[12] Scholars offer competing descriptions of Jesus as the awaited Messiah,[13] as a self-described Messiah, as the leader of an apocalyptic movement, as an itinerant sage, as a charismatic healer, and as the founder of an independent religious movement.

Christian views of Jesus (see also Christology) center on the belief that Jesus is divine, is the Messiah whose coming was prophesied in the Old Testament, and that he was resurrected after his crucifixion. Christians predominantly believe that Jesus is the "Son of God" (generally meaning that he is God the Son, the second person in the Trinity), who came to provide salvation and reconciliation with God by his death for their sins. Other Christian beliefs include Jesus' virgin birth, performance of miracles, ascension into Heaven, and a future Second Coming. While the doctrine of the Trinity is widely accepted by Christians, a small minority instead hold various nontrinitarian beliefs concerning the divinity of Jesus.[14]

In Islam, Jesus (Arabic: عيسى‎, commonly transliterated as Isa) is considered one of God's important prophets,[15][16] a bringer of scripture, and a worker of miracles. Jesus is also called "Messiah", but Islam does not teach that he was divine. Islam denies the death and resurrection of Jesus, believing instead that he ascended bodily to heaven.[17]


“Jesus” (IPA: /ˈdʒizʊs/) is a transliteration, occurring in a number of languages and based on the Latin Iesus, of the Greek Ἰησοῦς (Iēsoûs), itself a Hellenisation of the Hebrew יהושע (Yehoshua) or Hebrew-Aramaic ישוע (Yeshua ), (Joshua), meaning "the Lord saves".[18]

Christ” (IPA: /ˈkraɪst/) is a title derived from the Greek Χριστός (Christós), meaning the “Anointed One”, a translation of the Hebrew-derived “Messiah” (Hebrew: מֹשִׁיַּח, Standard Mošíaḥ Tiberian Māšîªḥ).[19] A "Messiah" is a king anointed at God's direction or with God's approval, and Christians identify Jesus as the one foretold by Hebrew prophets.


Scholars do not know the exact year or date of Jesus' birth or death. The Gospel of Matthew places Jesus' birth under the reign of Herod the Great, who died in 4 BC/BCE,[20] and the Gospel of Luke describes the birth as taking place during the first census of the Roman provinces of Syria and Iudaea in 6 AD/CE.[21] Scholars generally assume a date of birth between 6 and 4 BC/BCE.[22]

During the fourth century the birth of Jesus came to be celebrated on December 25, the same day ascribed to the birth of Mithras. Mithras, from Persian god Mithra thousands of years prior,[23] when a calendar very different from the Roman calendar was in use, was adopted by Roman soldiers in the first century CE, Latinized as "Mithras".[24][25] Since the thirteenth century, the celebration of Christmas ("Christ's Mass") has become an important Christian tradition.[26] The common Western standard for numbering years, in which the current year is 2009, is based on an early medieval attempt to count the years from Jesus' birth.

Jesus' ministry followed that of John the Baptist.[27] The Gospels, Josephus,[28] and Tacitus name Pontius Pilate as the Roman prefect who had Jesus crucified, and Pilate was prefect of Judea between 26 and 36 AD/CE.[29] Most Christians commemorate Jesus' crucifixion on Good Friday and celebrate his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Life and teachings, as told in the Gospels

The four canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are the principal sources for the Christian biography of Jesus' life as the miraculous Son of God. Critical scholars find valuable historical information about Jesus' life and ministry in the synoptic gospels but more or less discount much of the miraculous and theological content. The Gospels (especially Matthew) present Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection as fulfillments of prophecies found in the Hebrew Bible. See, for example, the virgin birth, the flight into Egypt, Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14), and the suffering servant.[30]

Similarities and differences between the gospels

Three of the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are known as the synoptic gospels because they display a high degree of similarity in content, narrative arrangement, language, and sentence and paragraph structures. These gospels are also considered to share the same point of view.[31] The fourth canonical Gospel, John, differs greatly from these three, as do the Apocryphal gospels.

According to the two-source hypothesis, Mark defined the sequence of events from Jesus' baptism to the empty tomb and included parables of the Kingdom of God. Separately, Matthew and Luke combined Mark's plot with Jesus' teachings from the hypothetical Q source. Finally, according to the two-source hypothesis, John represents a later tradition from Asia Minor (Anatolia), followed at last by Mark's traditional ending.

Character of Jesus

Each gospel portrays Jesus' life and its meaning differently.[32][33] The gospel of John is not a biography of Jesus but a theological presentation of him as the divine Logos.[34] To combine these four stories into one story is tantamount to creating a fifth story, one different from each original.[33]

Mark presents Jesus as a heroic, charismatic man of action and mighty deeds.[32] Matthew portrays him especially as the fulfillment of Hebrew prophecy and as a greater Moses.[32] Luke emphasizes Jesus' miraculous powers and his support for the poor and for women.[32] John views Jesus' earthly life as a manifestation of the eternal Word.[32]


The Gospel of John opens with a hymn identifying Jesus as the divine Logos, or Word, that formed the universe (John 1:1–5; 9–14).[35] Jesus' earthly life was the Logos incarnate (John 1:14).[35]

Genealogy and family

Of the four gospels, only Matthew[36] and Luke[37] give accounts of Jesus' genealogy. The accounts in the two gospels are substantially different,[38] and contemporary scholars generally view the genealogies as theological constructs.[39] More specifically, some have suggested that Matthew wants to underscore birth of a messianic child of royal lineage (mentioning Solomon) whereas Luke's genealogy is priestly (mentioning Levi).[40] Both accounts trace his line back to King David and from there to Abraham. These lists are identical between Abraham and David, but they differ between David and Joseph. Matthew starts with Solomon and proceeds through the kings of Judah to the last king, Jeconiah. After Jeconiah, the line of kings terminated when Babylon conquered Judah. Thus, Matthew shows Jesus as a descendant of the kings of Israel. Luke's genealogy is longer than Matthew's; it goes back to Adam and provides more names between David and Jesus.

Joseph, husband of Mary, appears in descriptions of Jesus' childhood. No mention, however, is made of Joseph during the ministry of Jesus.

The New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, and Galatians tell of Jesus' relatives, including words sometimes translated as "brothers" and "sisters".[41][42] Luke also mentions that Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, was a "cousin" or "relative" of Mary (Luke 1:36), which would make John a distant cousin of Jesus.

Nativity and early life

Adoration of the Shepherds, Gerard van Honthorst, 17th century

According to Matthew and Luke, Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea to Mary, a virgin, by a miracle of the Holy Spirit.

In Luke, the angel Gabriel visits Mary to tell her that she was chosen to bear the Son of God (Luke 1:26–38). An order of Caesar Augustus had forced Mary and Joseph to leave their homes in Nazareth and come to the home of Joseph's ancestors, the house of David, for the Census of Quirinius. After Jesus' birth, the couple was forced to use a manger in place of a crib because of a shortage of accommodation (Luke 2:1–7). An angel announced Jesus' birth to shepherds who left their flocks to see the newborn child and who subsequently publicized what they had witnessed throughout the area (see The First Noël).

In Matthew, the "Wise Men" or "Magi" bring gifts to the infant Jesus after following a star which they believe was a sign that the King of the Jews had been born (Matthew 2:1–12). King Herod hears of Jesus' birth from the Wise Men and tries to kill him by massacring all the male children in Bethlehem under the age of two (the "massacre of the innocents").[43] The family flees to Egypt and remains there until Herod's death, whereupon they settle in Nazareth to avoid living under the authority of Herod's son and successor Archelaus (Matthew 2:19–23).

Jesus' childhood home is identified as the town of Nazareth in Galilee. Except for Matthew's "flight into Egypt", and a short trip to Tyre and Sidon (in what is now Lebanon), the Gospels place all other events in Jesus' life in ancient Israel.[44]

Baptism of Christ (orthodox icon)

Only Luke tells that Jesus was found teaching in the temple by his parents after being lost. The Finding in the Temple (Luke 2:41–52) is the only event between Jesus' infancy and baptism mentioned in any of the canonical Gospels, however infancy gospels were popular in antiquity. According to Luke, Jesus was "about thirty years of age" when he was baptized (Luke 3:23). In Mark, Jesus is called a carpenter. Matthew says he was a carpenter's son, however, the Greek word used in the Gospel is "tekton" meaning "builder", which suggests he could have been an artisan of some type as well.(Mark 6:3, Matthew 13:55).

Baptism and Temptation

All three synoptic Gospels describe the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, an event which Biblical scholars describe as the beginning of Jesus' public ministry. According to these accounts, Jesus came to the Jordan River where John the Baptist had been preaching and baptizing people in the crowd. After Jesus was baptized and rose from the water, Mark states Jesus "saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven saying: 'You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'" (Mark 1:10–11).

Mark starts his narration with Jesus' baptism, specifying that it is a token of repentance and for forgiveness of sins.[32] Matthew omits this reference, emphasizing Jesus' superiority to John.[32][45] Matthew describes John as initially hesitant to comply with Jesus' request for John to baptize him, stating that it was Jesus who should baptize him. Jesus persisted, "It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15). In Matthew, God's public dedication informs the reader that Jesus has become God's anointed ("Christ").[32]

Following his baptism, Jesus was led into the desert by God where he fasted for forty days and forty nights (Matthew 4:1–2). During this time, the devil appeared to him and tempted Jesus three times. Each time, Jesus refused temptation with a quotation of scripture from the Book of Deuteronomy. The devil departed and angels came and brought nourishment to Jesus (Matthew 4:1–11, Mark 1:12–13, Luke 4:1–13).

The Gospel of John does not describe Jesus' baptism,[4][46] or the subsequent Temptation, but it does attest that Jesus is the very one about whom John had been preaching—the Son of God. The Baptist twice declares Jesus to be the Lamb of God, a term found nowhere else in the Gospels. John also emphasizes Jesus' superiority over John.[32] In John, Jesus leads a program of baptism in Judea, and his disciples baptize more people than John (John 3:22–23, John 4:1–3).


In the synoptics as well as in John, Jesus has a ministry of teaching and miracles, at least part of which is in Galilee.[47] In the synoptics, Jesus speaks in parables and aphorisms, exorcises demons, champions the poor and oppressed, and teaches mainly about the Kingdom of God.[6] In John, Jesus speaks in long discourses, with himself as the theme of his teaching.[6]

Jesus' purpose

Mark says that Jesus came to "give his life as a ransom for many";[48] Luke, that he was sent to "preach the good news of the Kingdom of God",[49] and John, that he came so that "those who believed in him would have eternal life".[50]

Duration and location

John describes three different passover feasts over the course of Jesus' ministry, implying that Jesus preached for at least "two years plus a month or two".[51] The Synoptic Gospels suggest a span of only one year.[52][53] In the synoptics, Jesus' ministry takes place mainly in Galilee, until he travels to Jerusalem, where he cleanses the Temple and is executed.[54] In John, Jesus spends most of his ministry in and around Jerusalem, cleansing the temple at his ministry's beginning.[54]


In all four Gospels, Jesus calls some Jewish men to be his Twelve Apostles. None of them seems to have been a peasant (an agricultural worker). At least four are described as fishermen and another as a tax collector. Three of them are presented as being chosen to accompany Jesus on certain special occasions, such as the transfiguration of Jesus, the raising of the daughter of Jairus, and the Agony in the Garden. Jesus speaks of the demands of discipleship, telling a rich man to sell his possessions and give the money to the poor. He states that his message divides family members against each other.[55]

In Mark, the disciples are strangely obtuse, failing to understand Jesus' deeds and parables.[56] In Matthew, Jesus directs the apostles' mission only to those of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24, Matthew 10:1–6). Also in Matthew, Jesus confers authority on Peter in particular and on the apostles in general, founding the Christian church. Luke places a special emphasis on the women who followed Jesus, such as Mary Magdalene.[57]

Teachings and preachings

In the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus speaks primarily about the Kingdom of God (or Heaven).[52] In Matthew and Luke, he speaks further about morality and prayer. In John, he speaks at length about himself and his divine role.[52]

At the height of his ministry, Jesus is said to have attracted huge crowds numbering in the thousands, primarily in the areas of Galilee and Perea (in modern-day Israel and Jordan respectively).[58]

Some of Jesus' most famous teachings come from the Sermon on the Mount, which contains the Beatitudes and the Lord's Prayer. It is one of five collections of teachings in Matthew.[43]

In the Synoptics, Jesus often employs parables, such as the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke) and the Parable of the Sower (all Synoptics).

His moral teachings in Matthew and Luke encourage unconditional self-sacrificing God-like love for God and for all people.(1 Corinthians 13:1–8)(1 John 4:8)(Luke 10:26-28 KJV)(Matthew 22:37-40) During his sermons, he preached about service and humility, the forgiveness of sin, faith, turning the other cheek, love for one's enemies as well as friends, and the need to follow the spirit of the law in addition to the letter.[59]

In the Synoptics, Jesus leads an apocalyptic movement. He preaches that the end of the current world will come unexpectedly, and that he will return to judge the world, especially according to how they treated the vulnerable. He calls on his followers to be ever alert and faithful. In Mark, the Kingdom of God is a divine government that will forcibly appear within the lifetimes of his original followers.[56] Matthew describes false Messiahs, disasters, tribulations, and signs in the heavens that will portend Jesus' return, which is also described as unexpected.[43]

Outreach to outsiders

Table fellowship is central to Jesus' ministry in the Gospels.[8] He and his disciples eat with sinners (who neglect purity rules)[54] and tax collectors (imperial publicani, despised as extortionists). The apostle Matthew is a tax collector. When the Pharisees object to Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors, Jesus replies that it is the sick who need a physician, not the healthy.[54][60] Jesus also defends his disciples against charges that they do not follow purity laws when eating. Jesus himself is also accused of being a drunk and a glutton.[54] Jesus' miracles and teachings often involve food and feasting.[8] He instructs his missionaries to eat with the people that they preach to and heal.[8] In the synoptics, Jesus institutes a new covenant with a ritual meal before he is crucified.

Jesus' outreach to outsiders includes the Samaritans, who followed a different form of the Israelite religion, as reflected in his preaching to the Samaritans of Sychar (John 4:1–42) and in the Good Samaritan.

At various times, Jesus makes a point of welcoming sinners, children, women, the poor, Samaritans, foreigners, and possibly eunuchs.

Transfiguration and Jesus' divine role

In the synoptic gospels, Jesus leads three select disciples—Peter, John, and James—to the top of a mountain.[56] While there, he is transfigured before them, his face shining like the sun and his clothes brilliant white; Elijah and Moses appear adjacent to him. A bright cloud overshadows them, and a voice from the sky says, "This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased".[61] The Transfiguration is a turning point in Jesus ministry.[62] Just before it and thereafter, Jesus warns that he is to suffer, die and rise again.[62]

In Mark, Jesus' identity as the Messiah is obscured (see Messianic secret).[63] Mark states that "this generation" will be given no sign, while Matthew and Luke say they will be given no sign but the sign of Jonah.[64] In John, and not in the synoptics, Jesus is outspoken about his divine identity and mission.[65] Here he punctuates his ministry with several miraculous signs of his authority.

In John, Jesus declares that belief in the Son brings eternal life, that the Father has committed powers of judgment and forgiveness to the Son, and that He is the bread of life, the light of the world, the door of the sheep, the good shepherd, the resurrection and the life, the way, the truth, and the life, and the real vine.[35] Here Jesus uses the phrase "I am" in talking of himself John 8:58 in ways that designate God in the Hebrew Bible Exodus 3:14, a statement taken by some writers as claiming identity with God.[66]

Arrest, trial, and death

In Jerusalem

According to the Synoptics, Jesus came with his followers to Jerusalem during the Passover festival where a large crowd came to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!"[67] Following his triumphal entry,[68] Jesus created a disturbance at Herod's Temple by overturning the tables of the moneychangers who set up shop there, and claiming that they had made the Temple a "den of robbers".(Mark 11:17) Later that week, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples — an event subsequently known as the Last Supper — in which he prophesied that he would be betrayed by one of his disciples, and would then be executed. In this ritual he took bread and wine in hand, saying: "this is my body which is given for you" and "this cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood", and instructed them to "do this in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:7–20). Following the supper, Jesus and his disciples went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane.

In Mark and Matthew, Jesus is anguished in the face of his fate.[62][69] He prays and accepts God's will, but his chosen disciples repeatedly fall asleep on the watch.[62][69] In Luke, Jesus prays briefly at the Mount of Olives, and his disciples fall asleep out of grief.[70]

In John, Jesus has already cleansed the temple a few years before and has been preaching in Jerusalem. He raises Lazarus on the Sabbath, the act that finally gets Jewish leaders to plan his death.[35] At the Last Supper, Jesus washes the disciples' feet and there is no new covenant of bread and wine.[35] Jesus gives the farewell discourses, discussing the Paraclete, persecution of his followers, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and more.[35] He says a long, final prayer with his disciples before heading to a garden where he knows Judas will show up.[71]


While in the Garden, Jesus was arrested by temple guards on the orders of the Sanhedrin and the high priest, Caiaphas (Luke 22:47–52, Matthew 26:47–56). The arrest took place clandestinely at night to avoid a riot, as Jesus was popular with the people at large (Mark 14:2). Judas Iscariot, one of his apostles, betrayed Jesus by identifying him to the guards with a kiss. Simon Peter, another one of Jesus' apostles, used a sword to attack one of Jesus' captors, cutting off his ear, which, according to Luke, Jesus immediately healed miraculously.[72] Jesus rebuked the apostle, stating "all they that take the sword shall perish by the sword" (Matthew 26:52). After his arrest, Jesus' apostles went into hiding.

Trials before the Sanhedrin and Pilate

Ecce Homo (Behold the Man!), Antonio Ciseri, 19th c.: Pontius Pilate presents a scourged Jesus of Nazareth to onlookers.

In Mark, Jesus affirms that he is the Messiah before the Sanhedrin, the only time in the Gospel that he makes such a claim.[56] The Jewish leaders turn him over to Pilate for execution, but Pilate is reluctant to execute Jesus.[56] In an attempt to spare Jesus' life, Pilate offers the mob a chance to free him, but they choose Barabbas instead, so that the responsibility for Jesus' execution falls on the Jews rather than on the Romans,[56] as expressed in the Gospel of Matthew by the Jewish crowd's proclamation, “His blood be upon us and on our children.”[73] Matthew adds the details that Pilate's wife, tormented by a dream, urges Pilate not to have anything to do with Jesus, and Pilate washes his hands of responsibility.[43][74] Luke adds the detail that Pilate sends Jesus to Herod, who has authority over Galileans, but that Herod, like Pilate, finds him guilty of nothing treasonous.[57] In John, Jesus makes no claim to be the Son of God or the Messiah to the Sanhedrin or to Pilate, even though this gospel proclaims Jesus' divinity from the beginning.[35]


In Mark, Jesus is stripped, flogged, mocked, and crowned with thorns.[56] He is crucified between two thieves, and his cross states that he is being executed for aspiring to be the king of the Jews.[56] He begins to recite Psalm 22, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me."[56] He utters a loud cry and dies.[56] According to all four Gospels, Jesus died before late afternoon at Calvary, which was also called Golgotha. In Luke, Jesus faces his crucifixion stolidly.[33] He asks God to forgive those who are crucifying him, possibly the Romans and possibly the Jews.[57] One of the thieves states that Jesus has done nothing wrong and asks Jesus to remember him in the Kingdom, and Jesus replies that the thief will be with him in Paradise.[57] The Synoptic Gospels tell of the darkening of the sky from twelve until three that afternoon; Matthew also mentions an earthquake (Matthew 27:51), the earth breaking open and a number of righteous dead people rising out of the grave and going into Jerusalem. John omits the natural phenomena accompanying Jesus' death.[35] The tearing of the temple parokhet, upon the death of Jesus, is referenced by Matthew, Mark and Luke.[75]

Resurrection and Ascension

Christ en majesté, Matthias Grünewald, 16th c.: Resurrection of Jesus

The Gospels state that Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday.[76] All the Gospels portray Jesus' empty tomb. In Matthew, an angel appears near the tomb of Jesus and announces his resurrection to Mary Magdalene and "another Mary" who had arrived to anoint the body (Matthew 28:1–10). Jewish elders bribe the soldiers who had guarded the tomb to spread the rumor that Jesus' disciples took his body.[77] In Luke, there are two angels (Luke 24:4), and in Mark the angel appears as a youth dressed in white (Mark 16:5). The "longer ending" to Mark states that on the morning of his resurrection, Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9). John states that when Mary looked into the tomb, two angels asked her why she was crying; and as she turned round she initially failed to recognize Jesus until he spoke her name (John 20:11–18).

The Gospels all record appearances by Jesus, including an appearance to the eleven.[78] In Mark, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene, to two disciples in the country, and to the eleven, at which point Jesus commissions them to announce the gospel, baptize, and work miracles.[77] In Matthew, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene and to the eleven on a mountain, at which points he commissions them to enlist followers, baptize, and teach what Jesus taught.[77] Although his own mission and his disciples' missions had been to the Jews,[79] here he sends the eleven to the whole world (see Great Commission). In Luke, he appears to two disciples in the country and to the eleven.[77] He proves to them that he has a body, opens their minds to understand the scripture about the Messiah, and directs them to wait in Jerusalem until they are invested with power.[77] In John, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene and to the eleven. He demonstrates his physical reality to doubting Thomas.[32][77] Later he appears to seven disciples who are fishing, and finally talks with Peter, foretelling Peter's death[77] and assigning him the principal role as shepherd of the new community.[77][80]

In Mark and Luke, Jesus ascends to the heavens[81] after these appearances. In Luke, Jesus ascends on Easter Sunday evening when he is with his disciples.[77] In Mark, Jesus' Ascension to heaven, where he sits at God's right hand, is said to have taken place but not described as a visible event.[77] John implies the Ascension[82] without describing it.[77]

Historical views

Scholars have used the historical method to develop probable reconstructions of Jesus' life. Over the past two hundred years, the image of Jesus among historical scholars has come to be very different from the common image of Jesus that was based on the gospels.[83] Scholars of historical Jesus distinguish their subject from the "Jesus Christ" of Christianity.[6] Other scholars hold that Jesus as presented in the gospels is the real Jesus and that his life and influence only make sense if the gospel stories are accurate.[84][85][86] The principal sources of information regarding Jesus' life and teachings are the Gospels, especially the Synoptic Gospels: Mark, Matthew, and Luke. Including the Gospels, there are no surviving historical accounts of Jesus written during his life or within three decades of his death.[87] A great majority of biblical scholars and historians accept the historical existence of Jesus.[88][89][90][91][92]

The English title of Albert Schweitzer's 1906 book, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, is a label for the post-Enlightenment effort to describe Jesus using critical historical methods.[93] Since the end of the 18th century, scholars have examined the gospels and tried to formulate historical biographies of Jesus. Contemporary efforts benefit from a better understanding of 1st-century Judaism, renewed Roman Catholic biblical scholarship, broad acceptance of critical historical methods, sociological insights, and literary analysis of Jesus' sayings.[93]

Constructing a historical view

Historians analyze the gospels to try to discern the historical man on whom these stories are based. They compare what the gospels say to historical events relevant to the times and places where the gospels were written. They try to answer historical questions about Jesus, such as why he was crucified.

Most scholars agree the Gospel of Mark was written about the time of the destruction of the Jewish Temple by the Romans under Titus in the year 70, and that the other gospels were written between 70–100.[94] The historical outlook on Jesus relies on critical analysis of the Bible, especially the gospels. Many scholars have sought to reconstruct Jesus' life in terms of the political, cultural, and religious crises and movements in late Second Temple Judaism and in Roman-occupied Palestine, including differences between Galilee and Judea, and between different sects such as the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and Zealots,[95][96] and in terms of conflicts among Jews in the context of Roman occupation.


Historians generally describe Jesus as a healer who preached the restoration of God's kingdom.[97] Most historians agree he was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified by the Romans. Jewish and Roman authorities in Jerusalem were wary of Galilean patriots, many of whom advocated or launched violent resistance to Roman rule.[7] The gospels demonstrate that Jesus, a charismatic leader regarded as a potential troublemaker, was executed on political charges.[7]

John the Baptist led a large apocalyptic movement. He demanded repentance and baptism. Jesus was baptized and later began his ministry. After John was executed, some of his followers apparently took Jesus as their new leader.[98] Historians are nearly unanimous in accepting Jesus' baptism as a historical event.[98]

According to Robert Funk, Jesus taught in pithy parables and with striking images.[99] He likened the Kingdom of Heaven to small and lowly things, such as yeast or a mustard seed,[99] that have great effects. He used his sayings to elicit responses from the audience, engaging them in discussion.[8]

Jesus placed a special emphasis on God as one's heavenly father.[99]

Names and titles

A series of articles on

Jesus Christ and Christianity
ChronologyVirgin Birth
Second ComingChristology
Names and titlesRelicsActive obedience

Cultural and historical background
Language spokenRace

Perspectives on Jesus
Jesus and history
Biblical JesusReligious
HistoricityIn myth
Historical JesusResearch

Jesus in culture

Jesus lived in Galilee for most of his life and spoke Aramaic and possibly Hebrew and some Greek.[100] The name "Jesus" comes from an alternate spelling of the Latin (Iēsus) which in turn comes from the Greek name Iesous (Ιησους). In the Septuagint Ιησους is used as the Greek version of the Hebrew name Yehoshua (יהושוע, "God delivers" from YehoYahweh [is] shua` — deliverance/rescue) in the Biblical book of the same name, usually Romanized as Joshua. Some scholars believe that one of these was likely the name that Jesus was known by during his lifetime by his peers.[101] Thus, the name has been translated into English as "Joshua".[102]

Christ (which was a title before becoming a name for Jesus) is an Anglicization of the Greek term χριστός. In the Septuagint, this term is used as the translation of the Hebrew: מֹשִׁיַּח, Standard Mošíaḥ Tiberian Māšîªḥ, "Anointed One" in reference to priests (e.g. Leviticus 4:3-5) and kings (e.g. King David (2 Samuel 23:1) and King Cyrus (Isaiah 45:1). In Isaiah and Jeremiah the word began to be applied to a future ideal king. The New Testament has some 500 uses of the word χριστός applied to Jesus, used either generically or in an absolute sense, namely as the Anointed One (the Messiah, the Christ). The Gospel of Mark has as its central point of its narrative Peter's confession of Jesus as the Messiah (Mark 8:29). 1 Corinthians 15:3 indicates that the conviction that Jesus was the Messiah dates back to before the letters of Paul the Apostle. These letters also show that the title was already beginning to be used as a name.[103]

Some have suggested that other titles applied to Jesus in the New Testament had meanings in the first century quite different from those meanings ascribed today.[104]

The titles "Divine", "Son of God", "God", "God from God", "Lord", "Redeemer", "Liberator", "The Prince of Peace", "The Wonder Counsellor", and "Saviour of the World" were each applied to the Roman emperors. John Dominic Crossan considers that the application of them to Jesus by the early Christians would have been regarded as denying them to the emperor(s). "They were taking the identity of the Roman emperor and giving it to a Jewish peasant. Either that was a peculiar joke and a very low lampoon, or it was what the Romans called majestas and we call high treason."[105]

Geza Vermes has argued that "Son of man" was not a title but rather the polite way in which people referred to themselves, i.e. a pronominal phrase.[106]

"Son of David" is found elsewhere in Jewish tradition to refer to the heir to the throne.[107]

"Son of God" was often used to designate a person as especially righteous.[108]

"Emmanuel" or "Immanuel" derives from the Hebrew name Immanu-El, which translates as "God (is) with us" and is based on a Messianic interpretation of a verse in the Hebrew Bible, Isaiah 7:14, "They shall call his name Immanuel".

Many New Testament scholars argue that Jesus himself made no claims to being God.[109][110][111][112][113][114][115] Most Christians identified Jesus as divine from a very early period, although holding a variety of views as to what exactly this implied.[116]

Religious groups

Scholars refer to the religious background of the early 1st century to better reconstruct Jesus' life. Some scholars identify him with one or another group.


Pharisees were a powerful force in 1st-century Judea. Early Christians shared several beliefs of the Pharisees, such as resurrection, retribution in the next world, angels, human freedom, and Divine Providence.[117] After the fall of the Temple, the Pharisee outlook was established in Rabbinic Judaism. Some scholars speculate that Jesus was himself a Pharisee.[118] In Jesus' day, the two main schools of thought among the Pharisees were the House of Hillel, which had been founded by the eminent Tanna, Hillel the Elder, and the House of Shammai. Jesus' assertion of hypocrisy may have been directed against the stricter members of the House of Shammai, although he also agreed with their teachings on divorce (Mark 10:1–12).[119] Jesus also commented on the House of Hillel's teachings (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a) concerning the greatest commandment (Mark 12:28–34) and the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12). Historians do not know whether there were Pharisees in Galilee during Jesus' life, or what they would be like if there were.[54]


The Sadducee sect was particularly powerful in Jerusalem. They accepted the written Law only, rejecting the traditional interpretations accepted by the Pharisees, such as belief in retribution in an afterlife, resurrection of the body, angels, and spirits. After Jesus caused a disturbance at the Temple, it seems[weasel words] to have been the Sadducees who had him arrested and turned over to the Romans for execution. After the fall of Jerusalem, they disappeared from history.[120]


Essenes were apocalyptic ascetics, one of the three (or four) major Jewish schools of the time, though they were not mentioned in the New Testament.[121] Some scholars theorize that Jesus was an Essene, or close to them. Among these scholars is Pope Benedict XVI, who supposes in his book on Jesus that "it appears that not only John the Baptist, but possibly Jesus and his family as well, were close to the Qumran community."[122]

Apocalyptic sect

Most scholars hold that the movement Jesus led was apocalyptic, expecting God to intervene imminently to restore Israel. John the Baptist's movement was apocalyptic, and Jesus began his public career as one of his followers.[123] Scholars commonly surmise that Jesus' eschatology was apocalyptic, like John's.[124]


The Gospels record that Jesus was a Nazarene, a term commonly taken to refer to his place of birth, but sometimes as a religious affiliation.[96]


The Zealots were a revolutionary party opposed to Roman rule, one of those parties that, according to Josephus inspired the fanatical stand in Jerusalem that led to its destruction in the year 70.[125] Luke identifies Simon, a disciple, as a "zealot", which might mean a member of the Zealot party (which would therefore have been already in existence in the lifetime of Jesus) or a zealous person.[125] The notion that Jesus himself was a Zealot does not do justice to the earliest Synoptic material describing him.[126]

Christian scripture as historical texts

Historians examine Christian scripture for important clues about the historical Jesus. They sort out sayings and events that are more likely to be genuine and use those to construct their portraits of Jesus. The Gospel tradition has certainly preserved several authentic fragments of Jesus' teaching.

The New Testament was at least substantially complete by AD 100, making its books, especially the synoptic gospels, historically relevant.[127] The Gospel tradition certainly preserves several fragments of Jesus' teaching.[128] The Gospel of Mark is believed to have been written c. 70 AD/CE.[129][130][131] Matthew is placed at being sometime after this date and Luke is thought by some scholars to have been written as early as 60 AD/CE, although others argue for a later date ranging from 70 to 100 AD/CE.[132][133]

Biblical scholars hold that the works describing Jesus were initially communicated by oral tradition, and were not committed to writing until several decades after Jesus' crucifixion. After the original oral stories were written down in Greek, they were transcribed, and later translated into other languages. Contemporary textual critic Bart D. Ehrman cites numerous places where the gospels, and other New Testament books, were apparently altered by Christian scribes.[33]

Critical scholars consider scriptural accounts more likely when they are attested in multiple texts, plausible in Jesus' historical environment, and potentially embarrassing to the author's Christian community. The "criterion of embarrassment" holds that stories about events with aspects embarrassing to Christians (such as the denial of Jesus by Peter, or the fleeing of Jesus' followers after his arrest) would likely not have been included if those accounts were fictional.[134] Sayings attributed to Jesus are deemed more likely to reflect his character when they are distinctive, vivid, paradoxical, surprising, and contrary to social and religious expectations, such as "Blessed are the poor."[135] Short, memorable parables and aphorisms capable of being transmitted orally are also thought more likely to be authentic.[135]

The earliest extant texts which refer to Jesus are Paul's letters (mid-1st century), which affirm Jesus' crucifixion. Some scholars hold that the Gospel of Thomas, a collection of 114 sayings of Jesus, predates the four orthodox gospels, and was composed around mid-first century.[136][137]

Mythical view

A few scholars have questioned the existence of Jesus as an actual historical figure. Among the proponents of non-historicity was Bruno Bauer in the 19th century. Non-historicity was somewhat influential in biblical studies during the early 20th century. (The views of scholars who entirely rejected Jesus' historicity then were summarized in the chapter on Jesus in Will Durant's Caesar and Christ (in 1944); they were based on a suggested lack of eyewitness, a lack of direct archaeological evidence, the failure of certain ancient works to mention Jesus, and similarities early Christianity shares with then-contemporary religion and mythology.[138])

More recently, arguments for non-historicity have been discussed by authors such as George Albert Wells and Robert M. Price. Additionally, The Jesus Puzzle and The Jesus Mysteries are examples of popular works promoting the non-historical hypothesis.

Nevertheless, non-historicity has been rejected by almost all Biblical scholars and historians.[139][140][141] In Jesus Outside the New Testament (2000), Robert E. Van Voorst a Professor of New Testament Studies at Western Theological Seminary wrote, "The theory of Jesus' nonexistence is now effectively dead as a scholarly question... Biblical scholars and classical historians now regard it as effectively refuted."[142] Author Michael Grant stated that standard historical criteria prevent one from rejecting Jesus' existence.[143]

Religious perspectives

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By and large, the Jews of Jesus' day rejected his claim to be the Messiah, as do Jews today. For their part, Christian Church Fathers, Ecumenical Councils, Reformers, and others have written extensively about Jesus over the centuries. Christian sects and schisms have often been defined or characterized by competing descriptions of Jesus. Meanwhile Gnostics, Mandaeans, Manichaeans, Muslims, Baha'is, and others have found prominent places for Jesus in their own religious accounts.

Christian views

Though Christian views of Jesus vary, it is possible to describe a general majority Christian view by examining the similarities between specific Western Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and many Protestant doctrines found in their catechetical or confessional texts.[144] This section covers common Christian beliefs, with alternative views in the following section.

Savior and Redeemer

Christians profess that Jesus is the Messiah (Greek: Christos; English: Christ) prophesied in the Old Testament,[145] who, through his life, death, and resurrection, restored humanity's communion with God in the blood of the New Covenant. His death on a cross is understood as the redemptive sacrifice: the source of humanity's salvation and the atonement for sin[146] which had entered human history through the sin of Adam.[147]

The satisfaction view of atonement for sin, first articulated by Anselm of Canterbury, is that humanity owes God a debt of honor. This debt creates essentially an imbalance in the moral universe; it could not be satisfied by God's simply ignoring it. In this view, the only possible way of repaying the debt was for a being of infinite greatness, acting as a man on behalf of men, to repay the debt of honor owed to God. Therefore, when Jesus died, he paid a debt to God, his father. Thomas Aquinas considered atonement and articulated that rather than seeing the debt as one of honor, he sees the debt as a moral injustice to be righted. Aquinas concludes that punishment is a morally good response to sin, "Christ bore a satisfactory punishment, not for His, but for our sins", and substitution for another's sin is entirely possible.[148]

Christians also profess that Jesus suffered death by crucifixion,[149] and rose bodily from the dead in the definitive miracle that foreshadows the resurrection of humanity at the end of time,[150] when Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead,[151] resulting in either entrance into heaven or damnation.[152] The resurrection is perhaps the most controversial aspect of the life of Jesus. Christianity hinges on this point of Christology, both as a response to a particular history and as a confessional response.[153] Christians believe that Jesus' resurrection brings reconciliation with God (II Corinthians 5:18), the destruction of death (I Corinthians 15:26), and forgiveness of sins for followers of Jesus.

Fully man and fully God

Christians profess Jesus to be the only Son of God, the Lord,[154] and the eternal Word (which is a translation of the Greek Logos),[155] who became man in the incarnation,[156] so that those who believe in him might have eternal life.[157] They further hold that he was born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit in an event described as the miraculous virgin birth or Incarnation.[158]

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke suggest the virgin birth of Jesus. Barth speaks of the virgin birth as the divine sign "which accompanies and indicates the mystery of the incarnation of the Son".[159] Donald MacLeod[160] gives several Christological implications of a virgin birth: it highlights salvation as a supernatural act of God rather than an act of human initiative, avoids adoptionism (which is virtually required if a normal birth), and reinforces the sinlessness of Christ, especially as it relates to Christ being outside the sin of Adam (original sin).

Comparison of Christological positions

Between 325 and 681, Christians theologically articulated and refined their view of the nature of Jesus by a series of seven ecumenical councils (see Christology). These councils described Jesus as one of the three divine hypostases or persons of the Holy Trinity: the Son is defined as constituting, together with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, the single substance of the One God (see Communicatio idiomatum).[161] Furthermore, Jesus is defined to be one person with a fully human and a fully divine nature, a doctrine known as the Hypostatic union.[162]


In his life Jesus proclaimed the "good news" (Middle English: gospel; Greek: euangelion) that the coming Kingdom of Heaven was at hand.[163] He established the Christian Church, which is the seed of the kingdom, into which Jesus calls the poor in spirit.[164] Jesus established Peter as the leader of the Church.[165]

Jesus' actions at the Last Supper, where he instituted the Eucharist, are central to communion with God and remembrance of Jesus' sacrifice.[166] Sacraments such as the Eucharist and baptism, allow believers to partake in the mystery of Christ.[165]

Prophet, priest, and king

Jesus Christ, the Mediator of humankind, fulfills the three offices of Prophet, Priest, and King. Eusebius of the early church worked out this threefold classification, which John Calvin developed[167] and John Wesley discussed.[168]

Nontrinitarian views

Current religious groups that do not accept the doctrine of the Trinity include the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Jehovah's Witnesses and the Christadelphians.

A statue of Jesus at a Latter-day Saint temple visitor center

Latter-day Saint theology maintains that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct beings, though all eternal and equally divine, who together constitute the Godhead. Though described as "one God"[169] and "one in purpose",[170] each plays a distinct role: the Holy Ghost is a spirit without a physical body, the Father and Son possess distinct and perfected bodies of flesh and bone.[171] The Book of Mormon records that the resurrected Jesus visited and taught some of the inhabitants of the early Americas after he had appeared to his apostles in Jerusalem.[172] Mormons also believe that an apostasy occurred after the deaths of Christ's apostles. They believe that Christ and Heavenly Father appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820 as part of a series of heavenly visits to restore the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They believe Jesus (not the Father) is the same as Jehovah or Yahweh of the Old Testament, acting under the direction of the Father. See Jesus in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Based on a claimed divine revelation of Smith, they state that Jesus was born on April 6.[173]

Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus to be God's (or Jehovah's) son, rather than being God himself. Jehovah's Witnesses believe he was the same divine created being as Michael the Archangel,[174][175] and that God made him a perfect human by transferring his life to the womb of Mary.[176] During the time Jesus was on earth he was simply a man, not a god-man.[177] They also believe that he is "the word" of John 1:1. This is understood to mean that he is God's spokesman, likely the one speaking in God's name to Adam, and to the Israelites in the wilderness.[178] In line with this, they point out that the Bible presents him as the only way humans can approach God. They include words like "in Jesus' name" in every prayer.[179] They view the term "Son of God" as an indication of Jesus' importance to the creator and his status as God's "only-begotten (unique) Son",[180] the "firstborn of all creation",[181] the one "of whom, and through whom, and to whom, are all things."[182] They believe that Jesus died on a single-piece torture stake, not a cross.[183] They believe that he is currently ruling in heaven as king of God's heavenly Kingdom, and will soon extend his rule to earth for a reign of peace.[184] They also believe he is now immortal[185] and can never die again.[186]

The Unity Church considers Jesus the master teacher and "way show-er", citing Jesus' frequent calls to emulate him rather than worship him, and the ability of others to be like him, such as in John 10:34 and John 14:12. Jesus is not worshiped as God, but regarded as someone who had achieved a complete connection with God the Father.

Christadelphians believe that Jesus is literally God's son, hence the Biblical title son of God,[187] not God the Son. They believe that Jesus was in God's plan right from the beginning of creation,[188] but that he came into existence at his birth.[189] Quoting Biblical passages such as Hebrews 2:10–14 and 17–18, they maintain that Jesus was fully human, and that Jesus' total humanity was vital in saving people from their sins.[190][191] They believe that Jesus is now in heaven, at God's right hand, waiting to return to the Earth to establish God's kingdom here forever.[192]

Others believe that the one God, who revealed himself in the Old Testament as Jehovah, came to earth, taking on the human form of Jesus Christ. They believe Jesus is Jehovah, is the Holy Spirit, and is the one Person who is God. Examples of such churches today are Oneness Pentecostals and the New Church.

Other early views

Jesus Carrying the Cross, El Greco, 1580

Various early Christian groups and theologians held differing views of Jesus. The Ebionites, an early Jewish Christian community, believed that Jesus was the last of the prophets and the Messiah. They believed that Jesus was the natural-born son of Mary and Joseph, and thus they rejected the Virgin Birth. The Ebionites were adoptionists, believing that Jesus was not divine, but became the son of God at his baptism. They rejected the Epistles of Paul, believing that Jesus kept the Mosaic Law perfectly and wanted his followers to do the same. However, they felt that Jesus' crucifixion was the ultimate sacrifice, and thus animal sacrifices were no longer necessary. Therefore, some Ebionites were vegetarian and considered both Jesus and John the Baptist to have been vegetarians.[193]

The Apologists of the 2nd century, such as Justin Martyr, saw Jesus as the Logos or Word of God united with a human being. They viewed the Logos, in line with Middle Platonism, as the source of order and rationality, but distinct from God.[194]

In Gnosticism, Jesus is said to have brought the secret knowledge (gnosis) of the spiritual world necessary for salvation.[195] Their secret teachings were paths to gnosis, and not gnosis itself. While some Gnostics were docetics, other Gnostics believed that Jesus was a human who became possessed by the spirit of Christ during his baptism.[196] Many Gnostics believed that Christ was an Aeon sent by a higher deity than the evil demiurge who created the material world. Some Gnostics believed that Christ had a syzygy named Sophia. The Gnostics tended to interpret the books that were included in the New Testament as allegory, and some Gnostics interpreted Jesus himself as an allegory. The Gnostics also used a number of other texts that did not become part of the New Testament canon.

Marcionites were 2nd century Gentile followers of the Christian theologian Marcion of Sinope. They believed that Jesus rejected the Jewish Scriptures, or at least the parts that were incompatible with his teachings.[197] Seeing a stark contrast between the vengeful God of the Old Testament and the loving God of Jesus, Marcionites, like some Gnostics, came to the conclusion that the Jewish God was the evil creator of the world and Jesus was the savior from the material world. They also believed Jesus was not human, but instead a completely divine spiritual being whose material body, and thus his crucifixion and death, were divine illusions.[198] Marcionism was declared a heresy by proto-orthodox Christianity.

Sabellius in the 3rd century taught that the Trinity represented not three persons but a single person in three "modes". Jerome reported that the Montanists of his day shared this view.

Islamic views

Majority view

Sermon on the Mount in Islamic art

Islam holds Jesus to be a prophet, or messenger of God, along with Muhammad, Moses, Abraham, Noah, and others. In particular, Jesus (Arabic: عيسى`Īsā) is described as the Messiah, sent to guide the Children of Israel (banī isrā'īl) with a new scripture, the Injīl (gospel).[199] According to the Qur'an, believed by Muslims to be God's final revelation, Jesus was born to Mary (Arabic: Maryam) as the result of virginal conception, a miraculous event which occurred by the decree of God (Arabic: Allah). To aid him in his quest, Jesus was given the ability to perform miracles. These included speaking from the cradle, curing the blind and the lepers, as well as raising the dead; all by the permission of God. Furthermore, Jesus was helped by a band of disciples (the ḥawāriyūn). Islam rejects historians assertions that Jesus was crucified by the Romans, instead claiming that he had been raised alive up to heaven. Islamic traditions narrate that he will return to earth near the day of judgement to restore justice and defeat al-Masīḥ ad-Dajjāl (lit. "the false messiah", also known as the Antichrist) and the enemies of Islam. As a just ruler, Jesus will then die.[200]

Like all prophets in Islam, Jesus is considered to have been a Muslim, as he preached for people to adopt the straight path in submission to God's will. Islam denies that Jesus was God or the son of God, stating that he was an ordinary man who, like other prophets, had been divinely chosen to spread God's message. Islamic texts forbid the association of partners with God (shirk), emphasizing the notion of God's divine oneness (tawhīd). As such, Jesus is referred to in the Qur'an frequently as the "son of Mary" ("Ibn Maryam").[200][201] Numerous titles are given to Jesus in the Qur'an, such as mubārak (blessed) and `abd-Allāh (servant of God). Another title is al-Masīḥ ("the messiah; the anointed one" i.e. by means of blessings), although it does not correspond with the meaning accrued in Christian belief. Jesus is seen in Islam as a precursor to Muhammad, and is believed by Muslims to have foretold the latter's coming.[200]

Ahmadiyya views

According to the early 20th century teachings of the Ahmadi Muslims, Jesus did not die on the cross, but after his apparent death and resurrection (or resuscitation from his tomb) he journeyed east to Kashmir to further teach the gospel until his natural death[202] (The general notion of Jesus in Kashmir is older than the Ahmadi tradition,[203] and is discussed at length by Grönbold[204] and Klatt[205]).

Following Jesus' death of natural causes (so the Ahmadi tradition) "at a ripe old age of roughly 120 years",[206] Jesus according to Ahmadi doctrine was then laid to rest in Srinagar, and that the tomb of a sage known locally as Yuz Asaf (which in Kashmiri means "Leader of the Healed"[207]) is really the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth.[208]

Further, according to this movement, the second coming predicted in the Muslim tradition is not actually that of Jesus, but that of a person "similar to Jesus" (mathīl-i ʿIsā), i.e. the founder of the movement himself and his teachings were representative of Jesus.[203]

According to the Encyclopedia of Islam, Ahmadi Christological beliefs are one of the three primary characteristics that distinguish Ahmadi teachings from general Islamic ones, and that it had provoked a fatwa against the founder of the sect, "purporting that this doctrine disagreed with the Koran and therefore had to be looked upon as a heresy".[209]

Judaism's view

Judaism holds the idea of Jesus being God, or a person of a Trinity, or a mediator to God, to be heresy.[210] Judaism also holds that Jesus is not the Messiah, arguing that he had not fulfilled the Messianic prophecies in the Tanakh nor embodied the personal qualifications of the Messiah. According to Jewish tradition, there were no more prophets after Malachi, who lived centuries before Jesus and delivered his prophesies about 420 BC/BCE. Judaism states that Jesus did not fulfill the requirements set by the Torah to prove that he was a prophet. Even if Jesus had produced such a sign that Judaism recognized, Judaism states that no prophet or dreamer can contradict the laws already stated in the Torah, which Jesus did.[211]

The Mishneh Torah (an authoritative work of Jewish law) states in Hilkhot Melakhim 11:10–12 that Jesus is a "stumbling block" who makes "the majority of the world err to serve a divinity besides God".[212] According to Conservative Judaism, Jews who believe Jesus is the Messiah have "crossed the line out of the Jewish community".[213] Reform Judaism, the modern progressive movement, states "For us in the Jewish community anyone who claims that Jesus is their savior is no longer a Jew and is an apostate."[214]

Bahá'í views

The Bahá'í Faith, founded in 19th-century Persia, considers Jesus, along with Muhammad, the Buddha, Krishna, and Zoroaster, and other messengers of the great religions of the world to be Manifestations of God (or prophets), with both human and divine stations.[215]

Hindu views

The Hindu beliefs about Jesus vary. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) considers Jesus to be a shaktyavesha Avatar, the beloved son of Krishna who came down to Earth to preach God consciousness. Contemporary Sant Mat movements regard Jesus as a Satguru. Ramakrishna believed that Jesus was an Incarnation of God.[216] Swami Vivekananda has praised Jesus and cited him as a source of strength and the epitome of perfection.[217] Paramahansa Yogananda taught that Jesus was the reincarnation of Elisha and a student of John the Baptist, the reincarnation of Elijah.[218]

Buddhist views

Buddhists' views of Jesus differ. Some Buddhists, including Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama[219] regard Jesus as a bodhisattva who dedicated his life to the welfare of human beings. The 14th century Zen master Gasan Jōseki indicated that the Gospels were written by an enlightened being.[220]

Other views

Mandaeanism, a very small Mideastern, Gnostic sect that reveres John the Baptist as God's greatest prophet, regards Jesus as a false prophet of the false Jewish god of the Old Testament, Adonai,[221] and likewise rejects Abraham, Moses, and Muhammad. Manichaeism accepted Jesus as a prophet, along with Gautama Buddha and Zoroaster.[222]

The New Age movement entertains a wide variety of views on Jesus. The creators of A Course In Miracles claim to trance-channel his spirit. However, the New Age movement generally teaches that Christhood is something that all may attain. Theosophists, from whom many New Age teachings originated (a Theosophist named Alice A. Bailey invented the term New Age), refer to Jesus of Nazareth as the Master Jesus and believe he had previous incarnations.

Many writers emphasize Jesus' moral teachings. Garry Wills argues that Jesus' ethics are distinct from those usually taught by Christianity.[223] The Jesus Seminar portrays Jesus as an itinerant preacher who taught peace and love, rights for women and respect for children, and who spoke out against the hypocrisy of religious leaders and the rich.[224] Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a deist, created the Jefferson Bible entitled "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth" that included only Jesus' ethical teachings because he did not believe in Jesus' divinity or any of the other supernatural aspects of the Bible.


Pietà, Michelangelo, 16th c.: Jesus' mother Mary holds the body of her dead son

According to most Christian interpretations of the Bible, the theme of Jesus' teachings was that of repentance, unconditional love,[225] forgiveness of sin, grace, and the coming of the Kingdom of God.[226] Starting as a small Jewish sect,[227] it developed into a religion clearly distinct from Judaism several decades after Jesus death. Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire under a version known as Nicene Christianity and became the state religion under Theodosius I. Over the centuries, it spread to most of Europe, and around the world.

Jesus has been a popular subject in drawing, painting, and sculpture. He is popularly depicted as having long brown hair and a full beard, wearing robes. He is often crucified and wearing a crown of thorns, such as on a crucifix. The resurrected Jesus has the wounds he suffered on the cross (see stigmata). He appears as the Christ Child in Christmas nativity scenes. He has been portrayed on stage and in films in many different ways, both serious and humorous. The figure of Jesus features prominently in art and literature. A number of popular novels, such as The Da Vinci Code, have also portrayed various ideas about Jesus, and a number of films, such as The Passion of the Christ, have portrayed his life, death, and resurrection. Many of the sayings attributed to Jesus have become part of the culture of Western civilization. There are many items purported to be relics of Jesus, of which the most famous are the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo.

Other legacies include a view of God as more lovingly parental, merciful, and more forgiving, and the growth of a belief in a blissful afterlife and in the resurrection of the dead. His teaching promoted the value of those who had commonly been regarded as inferior: women, the poor, ethnic outsiders, children, prostitutes, the sick, prisoners, etc. For over a thousand years, countless hospitals, orphanages, and schools have been founded explicitly in Jesus' name. Thomas Jefferson considered Jesus' teaching to be "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man".[228]

Jesus and his message have been interpreted, explained and understood by many people. In his influential epistles, the earliest writing of the New Testament, Paul of Tarsus founded salvation on Jesus alone, making the Torah unnecessary.[229] The Church Fathers of the early centuries further defined Jesus' identity as fully God.[230] Ancient and medieval thinkers, such as Augustine of Hippo, further defined Jesus' divine and human natures.[231] Enlightenment and Reformation theologians concerned themselves less with defining Jesus' identity as with understanding his work in redemption.[232] In the 1800s, German scholars questioned Jesus' miracles and some, such as David Strauss portrayed him as a mortal man.[233] C. S. Lewis and Pope John Paul II have defended the Jesus of faith against historical critics.

For some Jews, the legacy of Jesus has been a history of Christian antisemitism,[234] although in the wake of the Holocaust many Christian groups have gone to considerable lengths to reconcile with Jews and to promote interfaith dialog and mutual respect. For others, Christianity has often been linked to European colonialism.[235] Conversely, some have argued that through Bartolomé de las Casas' defense of the indigenous inhabitants of Spain's New World empire, one of the legacies of Jesus has been the notion of universal human rights.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Eusebius, Life of Constantine
  2. ^ Some of the historians and Biblical scholars who place the birth and death of Jesus within this range include D. A. Carson, Douglas J. Moo and Leon Morris. An Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992, 54, 56
  3. ^ Michael Grant, Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels, Scribner's, 1977, p. 71; John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew, Doubleday, 1991–, vol. 1:214; E. P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus, Penguin Books, 1993, pp. 10–11, and Ben Witherington III, "Primary Sources," Christian History 17 (1998) No. 3:12–20.
  4. ^ a b Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. Introduction, pp. 1–40
  5. ^ Amy-Jill Levine, The Oxford History of the Biblical World, New York, Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 371, Chapter 10: Visions of Kingdoms: From Pompey to the First Jewish Revolt (63 BCE – 70 CE), M. Coogan et al. (eds.)
  6. ^ a b c d Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. "Introduction," p. 1–30.
  7. ^ a b c Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. "The Historical Jesus" pp. 255–260
  8. ^ a b c d e Crossan, John Dominic. The essential Jesus. Edison: Castle Books. 1998.
  9. ^ Examples of authors who argue the Jesus myth hypothesis: Thomas L. Thompson The Messiah Myth: The Near Eastern Roots of Jesus and David (Jonathan Cape, Publisher, 2006); Michael Martin, The Case Against Christianity (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991), 36–72; John Mackinnon Robertson
  10. ^ Raymond E. Brown, The Death of the Messiah: From Gethsemane to the Grave (New York: Doubleday, Anchor Bible Reference Library 1994), p. 964; D. A. Carson, et al., pp. 50–56; Shaye J.D. Cohen, From the Maccabees to the Mishnah, Westminster Press, 1987, pp. 78, 93, 105, 108; John Dominic Crossan, The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant, HarperCollins, 1991, pp. xi – xiii; Michael Grant, pp. 34–35, 78, 166, 200; Paula Fredriksen, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, Alfred B. Knopf, 1999, pp. 6–7, 105–110, 232–234, 266; John P. Meier, vol. 1:68, 146, 199, 278, 386, 2:726; E.P. Sanders, pp. 12–13; Geza Vermes, Jesus the Jew (Philadelphia: Fortress Press 1973), p. 37.; Paul L. Maier, In the Fullness of Time, Kregel, 1991, pp. 1, 99, 121, 171; N. T. Wright, The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions, HarperCollins, 1998, pp. 32, 83, 100–102, 222; Ben Witherington III, pp. 12–20.
  11. ^ Though many historians may have certain reservations about the use of the Gospels for writing history, "even the most hesitant, however, will concede that we are probably on safe historical footing" concerning certain basic facts about the life of Jesus; Jo Ann H. Moran Cruz and Richard Gerberding, Medieval Worlds: An Introduction to European History Houghton Mifflin Company 2004, pp. 44–45.
  12. ^ Irving, Amy-Jill (1999). "The Oxford History of the Biblical World". written at New York. Oxford University Press. 370–371; Chapter 10: Visions of Kingdoms: From Pompey to the First Jewish Revolt (63 BCE – 70 CE).,M1. 
  13. ^ For instance Raymond E. Brown in The Birth of the Messiah (ISBN 0-385-05405-X), p. 9
  14. ^ Friedmann, Robert (1953). "Antitrinitarianism". Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved on 2008-06-08. 
  15. ^ James Leslie Houlden, "Jesus: The Complete Guide", Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005, ISBN 082648011X
  16. ^ Prof. Dr. Şaban Ali Düzgün, "Uncovering Islam: Questions and Answers about Islamic Beliefs and Teachings", Ankara: The Presidency of Religious Affairs Publishing, 2004
  17. ^ Compendium of Muslim Texts
  18. ^ Notes to the New International Version Study Bible 2008, p. 288. ISBN 9780310939184
  19. ^ per The Catholic Encyclopedia[1]
  20. ^ Edwin D. Freed, Stories of Jesus' Birth, (Continuum International, 2004), page 119.
  21. ^ Geza Vermes, The Nativity: History and Legend, London, Penguin, 2006, page 22.
  22. ^ James D. G. Dunn, Jesus Remembered, Eerdmans Publishing (2003), page 324.
  23. ^ Cumont, Franz, The Mysteries of Mithra (1956) pp. 1-2
  24. ^ Martin A. Larson, The Story of Christian Origins (1977), p. 186-9.
  25. ^ Cumont, Franz, The Mysteries of Mithra (1956) p. 167
  26. ^ Howard Clarke, The Gospel of Matthew and its readers, Indiana University Press, p. 13
  27. ^ Luke states that John's ministry began in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas.
  28. ^ Theissen, Gerd; Merz, Annette (1998), The historical Jesus : a comprehensive guide, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, pp. 64–72, ISBN 0800631226,,M1 
  29. ^ Green, Joel B. (1997), The Gospel of Luke : new international commentary on the New Testament, Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., pp. 168, ISBN 0802823157,,+The+Gospel+of+Luke,+(Eerdmans,+1997),+page+168&ei=pd98Sa_HA5HEMf7HnaQF&client=firefox-a#PPA168,M1 
  30. ^ ""What the Old Testament Prophesied About the Messiah"". Retrieved on 2007-10-11. 
  31. ^ "synoptic". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 2nd ed. 1989.
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.
  33. ^ a b c d Ehrman, Bart D. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 978-0-06-073817-4
  34. ^ Durant, Will. Caesar and Christ. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1972
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. "John" pp. 302–310
  36. ^ Matthew 1:1–17
  37. ^ Luke 3:23–38
  38. ^ Joseph A. Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke I–IX. Anchor Bible. Garden City: Doubleday, 1981, pp. 499–500; I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke (The New International Greek Testament Commentary). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978, p. 158;
  39. ^ Bienert, Wolfgang E. (2003). [9780664227210 "The Relatives of Jesus"]. in Wilhelm Schneemelcher, Robert McLachlan Wilson. New Testament Apocrypha: Gospels and Related Writings. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 487. 9780664227210. 
  40. ^ Howard W. Clarke, The Gospel of Matthew and Its Readers, Indiana University Press, 2003, p. 1
  41. ^ Matthew 13:55–56, Mark 6:3, and Galatians 1:19
  42. ^ The Greek word adelphos in these verses, often translated as brother, can refer to any familial relation, and most Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians translate the word as kinsman, brethren, or cousin in this context (see Perpetual virginity of Mary).
  43. ^ a b c d Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. "Matthew" pp. 272–285
  44. ^ For Egypt: Matthew 2:13–23; For Tyre and sometimes Sidon:Matthew 15:21–28 and Mark 7:24–3
  45. ^ Early Christian accounts reflect some perplexity at Jesus being baptized, especially by a subordinate figure. See "Baptism of Christ". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  46. ^ "John, Gospel of." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  47. ^ "John, Gospel of St." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  48. ^ Mark 10:45
  49. ^ Luke 4:43
  50. ^ John 20:31.
  51. ^ Meier 1991 vol. 1:405
  52. ^ a b c Introduction. Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993.
  53. ^ "The Thompson Chain-Reference Study Bible NIV", published December 1999, B.B. Kirkbride Bible Co., Inc.; William Adler & Paul Tuffin, "The Chronography of George Synkellos: A Byzantine Chronicle of Universal History from the Creation", Oxford University Press (2002), p. 466
  54. ^ a b c d e f Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998.
  55. ^ Luke 14:26, Matthew 10:37. Luke contains a harsher version than the saying in Matthew, as does Thomas. Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. p. 353
  56. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. "Mark" pp. 285–296
  57. ^ a b c d Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. "Luke" pp. 297–301
  58. ^ In John, Jesus' ministry takes place in and around Jerusalem.
  59. ^ Sermon on the Mount: Matthew 5–7; Prodigal Son: Luke 15:11–32; Parable of the Sower: Matthew 13:1–9; Agape: Matthew 22:34–40.
  60. ^ Matthew 9:9–13)
  61. ^ Matthew 17:1–6, Mark 9:1–8, Luke 9:28–36
  62. ^ a b c d Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "Mark" pp. 51–161
  63. ^ "Messianic Secret", Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  64. ^ Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. pages 72–73.
  65. ^ "John, Gospel of St." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  66. ^ "Jesus was claiming for himself the title "I AM" by which God designates himself... he was claiming to be God." – Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, page 546, Zondervan.
  67. ^ The crowd was quoting Psalms 118:26; found in John 12:13–16.
  68. ^ John puts the cleansing of the temple at the start of Jesus' ministry.
  69. ^ a b Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "Matthew" pp. 129–270
  70. ^ Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "Luke" pp. 267–364
  71. ^ Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "John" pp. 365–440
  72. ^ The apostle is identified as Simon Peter in John 18:10; the healing of the ear is found in Luke 22:51.
  73. ^ (Matthew 27:24–25)
  74. ^ (Matthew 27:11–26)
  75. ^ (Matt 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45)
  76. ^ Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1
  77. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "Empty Tomb, Appearances & Ascension" pp. 449–495.
  78. ^ Jesus' appearances in Mark were not part of the original text. See Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "Empty Tomb, Appearances & Ascension" pp. 449–495.
  79. ^ Matthew 15:24
  80. ^ Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. p. 491
  81. ^ Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51
  82. ^ John 20:17
  83. ^ Borg, Marcus J. in Borg, Marcus J. and N. T. Wright. The Meaning of Jesus: Two visions. New York: HarperCollins. 2007.
  84. ^ "Pope's Book: A Lifetime of Learning". Newsweek. 21 May 2007. Retrieved on 2009-01-14. 
  85. ^ Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth. Doubleday, 2007. ISBN 978-0-385-52341-7
  86. ^ Chesterton, G. K. The everlasting man. 1925, Part II, chapter II, also says that "the merely human Christ is a made-up figure, a piece of artificial selection".
  87. ^ "Extrabiblical references to Jesus". Extra-biblical references to Jesus and Christianity. Rational Christianity. 17 January 2006. Retrieved on 2008-12-04. 
  88. ^ "The nonhistoricity thesis has always been controversial, and it has consistently failed to convince scholars of many disciplines and religious creeds. ... Biblical scholars and classical historians now regard it as effectively refuted." – Van Voorst, Robert E. Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000), p. 16.
  89. ^ "The denial of Jesus' historicity has never convinced any large number of people, in or out of technical circles, nor did it in the first part of the century." Walter P. Weaver, The Historical Jesus in the Twentieth Century, 1900-1950, (Continuum International, 1999), page 71.
  90. ^ "about once every generation someone reruns the thesis that Jesus never existed and that the Jesus tradition is a wholesale invention", J. G. Dunn, Jesus Remembered, (Eerdmans, 2003), page 142.
  91. ^ "There is almost universal agreement that Jesus lived." Bernard L. Ramm, An Evangelical Christology: Ecumenic and Historic, (Regent College Publishing, 1993), page 19.
  92. ^ "some judgements are so probable as to be certain; for example, Jesus really existed", Marcus Borg, 'A Vision of the Christian Life', in Marcus J. Borg and N T Wright, The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions, (HarperCollins, 1999), page 236.
  93. ^ a b Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005 – article "Historical Jesus, Quest of the"
  94. ^ Meier (1991), pp. 43–4
  95. ^ For a comparison of the Jesus movement to the Zealots, see S. G. F. Brandon, Jesus and the Zealots: a study of the political factor in primitive Christianity, Manchester University Press (1967) ISBN 0–684–31010–4
  96. ^ a b For a general comparison of Jesus' teachings to other schools of first century Judaism, see John P. Meier, Companions and Competitors (A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Volume 3) Anchor Bible, 2001. ISBN 0–385–46993–4.
  97. ^ Shaye J.D. Cohen, From the Maccabees to the Mishnah, Westminster Press, 1987, pp. 78, 93, 105, 108; John Dominic Crossan, The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant, HarperCollins, 1991, pp. xi – xiii; Michael Grant, pp. 34–35, 78, 166, 200; Paula Fredriksen, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, Alfred B. Knopf, 1999, pp. 6–7, 105–110, 232–234, 266; John P. Meier, vol. 1:68, 146, 199, 278, 386, 2:726; E.P. Sanders, pp. 12–13; Geza Vermes, Jesus the Jew (Philadelphia: Fortress Press 1973), p. 37.;
  98. ^ a b Sanders, E.P. Jesus and Judaism. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1987; Vermes, Geza. Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Reading of the Gospels. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1981; Fredriksen, Paula. From Jesus to Christ. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000.
  99. ^ a b c Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993.
  100. ^ Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, I. Howard Marshall, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (InterVarsity Press, 1992), page 442
  101. ^ Durant, Will. Caesar and Christ. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1944. p. 558; John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew. New York: Doubleday, 1991 vol. 1:205–7;
  102. ^ "Origin of the Name of Jesus Christ". Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 14, 2007.
  103. ^ Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article Messiah
  104. ^ Vermes, "Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Reading of the Gospels"
  105. ^ Crossan, John Dominic, God and Empire, 2007, p. 28
  106. ^ Vermes, "Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Reading of the Gospels"
  107. ^ Vermes, "Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Reading of the Gospels"
  108. ^ Vermes, "Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Reading of the Gospels"
  109. ^ "A further point of broad agreement among New Testament scholars is ... that the historical Jesus did not make the claim to deity that later Christian thought was to make for him: he did not understand himself to be God, or God the Son, incarnate." – John Hick, The Metaphor of God Incarnate: Christology in a Pluralistic Age, Westminster John Knox Press, page 27.
  110. ^ Michael Ramsey, Jesus and the Living Past (Oxford University Press, 1980), page 39: 'Jesus did not claim deity for himself'
  111. ^ C. F. D. Moule, The Origin of Christology: 'Any case for a "high" Christology that depended on the authenticity of the alleged claims of Jesus about himself, especially in the Fourth Gospel, would indeed be precarious'
  112. ^ James Dunn (theologian), Christology in the Making, (SCM Press 1980), page 254: 'We cannot claim that Jesus believed himself to be the incarnate Son of God' and 'There is no question in my mind that the doctrine of incarnation comes to clear expression within the NT…John 1.14 ranks as a classic formulation of the Christian belief in Jesus as incarnate God.' Page xiii.
  113. ^ Brian Hebblethwaite, The Incarnation (Cambridge University Press, 1987), page 74: 'it is no longer possible to defend the divinity of Jesus by reference to the claims of Jesus'.
  114. ^ John A. T. Robinson, Honest to God, Westminster Press (1963), Page 47: 'It is, indeed, an open question whether Jesus ever claimed to be the Son of God, let alone God.'
  115. ^ Larry Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity, page 5, describes the view that Jesus made 'both his messiahship and his divinity clear to his disciples during his ministry' as 'naive and ahistorical'.
  116. ^ Larry Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity, (Eerdmans, 2005), page 650.
  117. ^ "Pharisees", Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  118. ^ Based on a comparison of the Gospels with the Talmud and other Jewish literature. Maccoby, Hyam Jesus the Pharisee, Scm Press, 2003. ISBN 0–334–02914–7; Falk, Harvey Jesus the Pharisee: A New Look at the Jewishness of Jesus, Wipf & Stock Publishers (2003). ISBN 1–59244–313–3.
  119. ^ Neusner, Jacob A Rabbi Talks With Jesus, McGill-Queen's University Press, 2000. ISBN 0–7735–2046–5. Rabbi Neusner contends that Jesus' teachings were closer to the House of Shammai than the House of Hillel.
  120. ^ "Sadducees". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  121. ^ Based on a comparison of the Gospels with the Dead Sea Scrolls, especially the Teacher of Righteousness and Pierced Messiah. Eisenman, Robert James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Penguin (Non-Classics), 1998. ISBN 0–14–025773-X; Stegemann, Hartmut The Library of Qumran: On the Essenes, Qumran, John the Baptist, and Jesus. Grand Rapids MI, 1998. See also Broshi, Magen, "What Jesus Learned from the Essenes", Biblical Archaeology Review, 30:1, pg. 32–37, 64. Magen notes similarities between Jesus' teachings on the virtue of poverty and divorce, and Essene teachings as related in Josephus' The Jewish Wars and in the Damascus Document of the Dead Sea Scrolls, respectively. See also Akers, Keith The Lost Religion of Jesus. Lantern, 2000. ISBN 1-930051-26-3.
  122. ^ Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, p. 14
  123. ^ Crossan, John Dominic. The essential Jesus. Edison: Castle Books. 1998. p. 146
  124. ^ See Schwietzer, Albert The Quest of the Historical Jesus: A Critical Study of its Progress from Reimarus to Wrede, pp. 370–371, 402. Scribner (1968), ISBN 0–02–089240–3; Ehrman, Bart Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium, Oxford University Press USA, 1999. ISBN 0–19–512474-X. Crossan, however, makes a distinction between John's apocalyptic ministry and Jesus' ethical ministry. See Crossan, John Dominic, The Birth of Christianity: Discovering What Happened in the Years Immediately After the Execution of Jesus, pp. 305–344. Harper Collins, 1998. ISBN 0–06–061659–8.
  125. ^ a b "Zealots". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  126. ^ "Jesus Christ". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  127. ^ "The New Testament was complete, or substantially complete, about AD 100, the majority of the writings being in existence twenty to forty years before this...the situation is encouraging from the historian's point of view, for the first three Gospels were written at a time when many were alive who could remember the things that Jesus said and did... At any rate, the time elapsing between the evangelic events and the writing of most of the New Testament books was, from the standpoint of historical research, satisfactorily short." Bruce, F. F.: The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?, pp. 12–14, InterVarsity Press, USA, 1997.
  128. ^ "There is no reason to doubt that we have in the Gospel tradition several authentic fragments of His [Jesus Christ's] teaching (albeit in Greek translation)." "Jesus Christ". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  129. ^ Peter, Kirby (2001–2007). "Early Christian Writings: Gospel of Mark". Retrieved on 2008-01-15. 
  130. ^ Achtemeier, Paul J. (1991–). "The Gospel of Mark". The Anchor Bible Dictonary. 4. New York, New York: Doubleday. p. 545. ISBN 0385193629. 
  131. ^ Meier, John P. (1991). A Marginal Jew. New York, New York: Doubleday. pp. v.2 955–6. ISBN 0385469934. 
  132. ^ A. Harnack, The Date of Acts and the Synoptic Gospels (1911), p. 90; J. A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament, pp. 86–92; I. H. Marshall, Luke, p. 35; A. J. Mattill Jr., ‘The Date and Purpose of Luke-Acts: Rackham reconsidered, in Catholic Biblical Quarterly 40 (1978), pp. 335–350.
  133. ^ "Matthew, Gospel acc. to St." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  134. ^ Meier, John P., A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Doubleday: 1991. vol 1: pp. 168–171.
  135. ^ a b Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. Introduction, pp. 1–38
  136. ^ Kenneth Keulman, Critical Moments in Religious History, Mercer University Press, p. 56
  137. ^ Andrew F. Gregory, Christopher Mark Tuckett, The Reception of the New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers, Oxford University Press, p. 178
  138. ^ Durant 1944:553–7
  139. ^ Bruce, FF (1982). New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? InterVarsity Press, ISBN 087784691X
  140. ^ Herzog II, WR (2005). Prophet and Teacher. WJK, ISBN 0664225284
  141. ^ Komoszewski, JE; Sawyer, MJ & Wallace, DB (2006). Reinventing Jesus. Kregel Publications. p. 195f. ISBN 978-0825429828. 
  142. ^ Robert E. Van Voorst (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. quotation pp. 9–16. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9. 
  143. ^ "…if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus' existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned. ... To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ myth theory. It has 'again and again been answered and annihilated by first rank scholars.' In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." M. Grant, Jesus: An Historian's Review, pp. 199–200. 1977
  144. ^ This section draws on a number of sources to determine the doctrines of these groups, especially the early Creeds, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, certain theological works, and various Confessions drafted during the Reformation including the Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England, works contained in the Book of Concord, and others.
  145. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church §436–40; Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England, article 2; Irenaeus Adversus Haereses in Patrologia Graeca ed. J. P. Migne (Paris, 1857–1866) 7/1, 93; Luke 2:11; Matthew 16:16
  146. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church §606–618; Council of Trent (1547) in Denzinger-Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum (1965) §1529;John 14:2–3
  147. ^ Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England, article 9; Augsburg Confession, article 2; Second Helvetic Confession, chapter 8; Rom 5:12–21; 1 Cor 15:21–22.
  148. ^ Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, First Part of the Second Part, Question 87, Article 7, Reply to Objection 3, available here
  149. ^ Apostles' Creed; Nicene Creed;Luther's Small Catechism commentary on Apostles' Creed; Second Helvetic Confession, chapter 9
  150. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church §638–655; Byzantine Liturgy, Troparion of Easter; Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England, article 4 and 17; Augsburg Confession, article 3; Second Helvetic Confession, chapter 9.
  151. ^ Apostles' Creed; Nicene Creed; Catechism of the Catholic Church §668–675, 678–679; Luther's Small Catechism commentary on Apostles' Creed; Mt 25:32–46
  152. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church §1021–1022
  153. ^ Fuller 1965, p. 15
  154. ^ Apostles' Creed; Nicene Creed; Catechism of the Catholic Church §441–451; Augsburg Confession, article 3; Luther's Small Catechism, commentary on Apostles' Creed; Matthew 16:16–17; 1 Corinthians 2:8
  155. ^ Augsburg Confession, article 3; John 1:1
  156. ^ Apostles' Creed; Nicene Creed; Catechism of the Catholic Church §461–463;Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England, article 2; Luther's Small Catechism commentary on Apostles' Creed; John 1:14, 16; Hebrews 10:5–7
  157. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church §456–460; Gregory of Nyssa, Orat. catech. 15 in Patrologia Graeca ed. J. P. Migne (Paris, 1857–1866) 45, 48B; St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 3.19.1 in ibid. 7/1, 939; St. Athanasius, De inc., 54.3 in ibid. 25, 192B. St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. in ibid. 57: 1–4; Galatians 4:4–5
  158. ^ Apostles' Creed; Nicene Creed; Catechism of the Catholic Church §484–489, 494–507; Luther's Small Catechism commentary on Apostles' Creed
  159. ^ Barth 1956, p. 207
  160. ^ MacLeod 1998, pp. 37–41
  161. ^ Nicene Creed; Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England, article 1; Augsburg Confession, article 1; Second Helvetic Confession, chapter 3; Council of Nicaea I (325) in Denzinger-Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum (1965) §126; Council of Constantinople II (553) in ibid. §424 and 424; Council of Ephesus in ibid. §255; John 1:1; 8:58; 10:30
  162. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church §464–469; Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England, article 2 and 3 Second Helvetic Confession, chapter 9; Council of Ephesus (431) in Denzinger-Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum (1965) §250; Council of Ephesus in ibid. §251; Council of Chalcedon (451) in ibid. §301 and 302; Hebrews 4:15.
  163. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church §541–546
  164. ^ Apostles' Creed; Catechism of the Catholic Church §551–553; Augsburg Confession, article 8; Luther's Small Catechism commentary on Apostles' Creed; Second Helvetic Confession, chapter 9; Leo the Great, Sermo 4.3 in Patrologia Latina ed. J. P. Migne (Paris, 1841–1855); Matthew 16:18
  165. ^ a b "Peter, St." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  166. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church"§1322–1419; Martin Luther, Augsburg Confession, article 10; Luther's Small Catechism: the Sacrament of the Altar
  167. ^ John Calvin, Calvin's Calvinism BOOK II Chapter 15 Centers for Reformed Theology and Apologetics [resource online] (1996–2002, accessed June 03, 2006); available here
  168. ^ H. Orton Wiley, Christian Theology Chapter 22 [resource online] (Nampa, Idah: 1993–2005, accessed June 03, 2006); available here
  169. ^ "Doctrine and Covenants 20". 
  170. ^ "Aaronic Priesthood Manual: The Godhead". 
  171. ^ "Doctrine and Covenants 130". 
  172. ^ 3 Nephi 11:8
  173. ^ "Doctrine and Covenants 20". 
  174. ^ "Revelation—Its Grand Climax at Hand!" –1988| chap. 27 pp. 180–181 par. 15 "God's Kingdom Is Born!"|. © Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania| "But who is Michael? The name "Michael" means "Who Is Like God?" So Michael must be interested in vindicating Jehovah's sovereignty by proving that no one is to be compared to Him. In Jude verse 9, he is called "Michael the archangel". Interestingly, the title "archangel" is used elsewhere in the Bible with reference to only one person: Jesus Christ. Paul says of him: "The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel's voice"
  175. ^ "Insight On The Scriptures 2" –1988| p. 393 "Michael"|. © Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania| "Scriptural evidence indicates that the name Michael applied to God's Son before he left heaven to become Jesus Christ and also after his return. Michael is the only one said to be "the archangel", meaning "chief angel", or "principal angel". The term occurs in the Bible only in the singular. This seems to imply that there is but one whom God has designated chief, or head, of the angelic host. At 1 Thessalonians 4:16 the voice of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is described as being that of an archangel, suggesting that he is, in fact, himself the archangel"
  176. ^ "Jesus The Ruler Whose Origin Is From Early Times", The Watchtower (June 15, 1998) p. 22.| "Some centuries later came Jesus' greatest assignment up to that time. Jehovah transferred the life force of his beloved Son from heaven into the womb of Mary. Nine months later she gave birth to a baby boy, Jesus. (Luke 2:1–7, 21)"
  177. ^ "Reasoning From The Scriptures" –1985 © Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania| p. 257 par. 1 Mary (Jesus' Mother) "Heb. 2:14, 17, JB: "Since all the children share the same blood and flesh, he Jesus too shared equally in it . . . It was essential that he should in this way become completely like his brothers." (But would he have been "completely like his brothers" if he had been a God-man?)"
  178. ^ "Insight On The Scriptures" –1988| p. 53 "Jesus Christ"|. © Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania| "Doubtless on many occasions during his prehuman existence as the Word, Jesus acted as Jehovah's Spokesman to persons on earth. While certain texts refer to Jehovah as though directly speaking to humans, other texts make clear that he did so through an angelic representative. (Compare Ex 3:2–4 with Ac 7:30, 35; also Ge 16:7–11, 13; 22:1, 11, 12, 15–18.) Reasonably, in the majority of such cases God spoke through the Word. He likely did so in Eden, for on two of the three occasions where mention is made of God's speaking there, the record specifically shows someone was with Him, undoubtedly his Son. (Ge 1:26–30; 2:16, 17; 3:8–19, 22) The angel who guided Israel through the wilderness and whose voice the Israelites were strictly to obey because 'Jehovah's name was within him,' may therefore have been God's Son, the Word.—Ex 23:20–23; compare Jos 5:13–15."
  179. ^ Watchtower 9/1/06 1 p. 28 par. 5 "Let Your Petitions Be Made Known to God" © Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania| "5 Jehovah does not lay down a lot of rigid rules on how to pray. Nevertheless, we need to learn the proper approach to God, which is explained in the Bible. For instance, Jesus taught his followers: "If you ask the Father for anything he will give it to you in my name." (John 16:23) Hence, we are required to pray in Jesus' name, recognizing Jesus as the sole channel through which God's blessings are extended to all mankind."
  180. ^ John 3:16
  181. ^ Col 1:15
  182. ^ Rom 11:36
  183. ^ "What Do They Believe?", Watchtower Bible and Tract Society c.f., Retrieved April 14, 2007
  184. ^ "Who is Jesus Christ?", The Watchtower, September 15, 2005, Retrieved December 3, 2007.
  185. ^ "Insight On The Scriptures" –1988 © Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania| it-1 p. 1197 Incorruption "Raised to Immortality and Incorruption. Christ Jesus entered into immortality upon his resurrection from the dead, thereafter possessing "an indestructible life." (1Ti 6:15, 16; Heb 7:15–17)"
  186. ^ The Watchtower © Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania| 10/1/06 p. 5 You Can Live Forever|"the apostle Paul explains: "Christ, now that he has been raised up from the dead, dies no more; death is master over him no more." (Romans 6:9)"|
  187. ^ Flint, James; Deb Flint. One God or a Trinity?. Hyderabad: Printland Publishers. p. 3. ISBN 81-87409-61-4. 
  188. ^ Flint, James; Deb Flint. One God or a Trinity?. Hyderabad: Printland Publishers. p. 10. ISBN 81-87409-61-4. 
  189. ^ Pearce, Fred. Jesus: God the Son or Son of God? Does the Bible Teach the Trinity?. Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association Ltd (UK). p. 7. 
  190. ^ Burke, Jonathan (2003). The Salvic Efficacy of Christ's Sacrifice - refuting all Trinitarians. Retrieved on 2008-12-29. 
  191. ^ Pearce, Fred. Jesus: God the Son or Son of God? Does the Bible Teach the Trinity?. Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association Ltd (UK). p. 8. 
  192. ^ Morgan, Tecwyn. Christ is Coming! Bible Teaching About His Return. Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association Ltd (UK). p. 1. 
  193. ^ Ehrman, Bart D. Lost Christianities, Oxford, 2003, p. 102.
  194. ^ "Christology". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  195. ^ McManners, John, ed., The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990, pp. 26–31.
  196. ^ Ehrman, Bart D. Lost Christianities, Oxford, 2003, pp. 124–125.
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  198. ^ Ehrman, Bart D. Lost Christianities, Oxford, 2003, p. 103, pp. 104–105, p. 108
  199. ^ The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, p. 158
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  201. ^ Fasching, deChant (2001) p. 241
  202. ^ Rice, Edward (1978), Eastern Definitions: A Short Encyclopedia of Religions of the Orient, New York, p. 7, ISBN 0-385-08563-X .
  203. ^ a b Schäfer, Peter; Cohen, Mark R. (1998), Toward the Millennium: Messianic Expectations from the Bible to Waco, Leiden/Princeton: Brill/Princeton UP, p. 306, ISBN 90-04-11037-2 .
  204. ^ Günter Grönbold, Jesus In Indien, München: Kösel 1985, ISBN 3466202701.
  205. ^ Norbert Klatt, Lebte Jesus in Indien?, Göttingen: Wallstein 1988.
  206. ^ Faruqi, Nisar Ahmed (1983), "The Promised Messiah", Ahmadiyyat in the Service of Islam, Lahore: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat, p. 98, ISBN 0-913321-00-1 .
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  209. ^ Houtsma 1913, p. 260.
  210. ^ Emunoth ve-Deoth, II:5
  211. ^ Simmons, Shraga, "Why Jews Do not Believe in Jesus", Retrieved April 15, 2007; "Why Jews Do not Believe in Jesus", Ohr SamayachAsk the Rabbi, Retrieved April 15, 2007; "Why do not Jews believe that Jesus was the messiah?",, Retrieved April 15, 2007
  212. ^ "Even Jesus the Nazarene who imagined that he would be Messiah and was killed by the court, was already prophesied by Daniel. So that it was said, "And the members of the outlaws of your nation would be carried to make a (prophetic) vision stand. And they stumbled." (Daniel 11.14) Because, is there a greater stumbling-block than this one? So that all of the prophets spoke that the Messiah redeems Israel, and saves them, and gathers their banished ones, and strengthens their commandments. And this one caused (nations) to destroy Israel by sword, and to scatter their remnant, and to humiliate them, and to exchange the Torah, and to make the majority of the world err to serve a divinity besides God. However, the thoughts of the Creator of the world — there is no force in a human to attain them because our ways are not God's ways, and our thoughts not God's thoughts. And all these things of Jesus the Nazarene, and of (Muhammad) the Ishmaelite who stood after him — there is no (purpose) but to straighten out the way for the King Messiah, and to restore all the world to serve God together. So that it is said, "Because then I will turn toward the nations (giving them) a clear lip, to call all of them in the name of God and to serve God (shoulder to shoulder as) one shoulder."(Zephaniah 3.9) Look how all the world already becomes full of the things of the Messiah, and the things of the Torah, and the things of the commandments! And these things spread among the far islands and among the many nations uncircumcised of heart. "Hilchot Malachim (laws concerning kings) (Hebrew)",, Retrieved April 15, 2007
  213. ^ Waxman, Jonathan (2006). "Messianic Jews Are Not Jews". United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Retrieved on 2008-01-15. "Judaism has held that the Mashiach will come and usher in a new era; not that he will proclaim his arrival, die and wait centuries to finish his task. To continue to assert that Jesus was the Mashiach goes against the belief that the Mashiach will transform the world when he does come, not merely hint at a future transformation at some undefined time to come... Judaism rejects the claim that a new covenant was created with Jesus and asserts instead that the chain of Tradition reaching back to Moshe continues to make valid claims on our lives, and serve as more than mere window dressing." 
  214. ^ Contemporary American Reform Responsa, #68, "Question 18.3.4: Reform's Position On...What is unacceptable practice?", Retrieved April 15, 2007.
  215. ^ Stockman, Robert (1992). "Jesus Christ in the Baha'i Writings". Bahá'í Studies Review (1). 
  216. ^ The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Introduction by Swami Nikhilananda, p. 34.
  217. ^ "Christ the Messenger". Retrieved on April 15 2007. 
  218. ^ Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi, 2nd ed., Crystal Clarity Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1–56589–212–7.
  219. ^ Beverley, James A., Hollywood's Idol, Christianity Today, "Jesus Christ also lived previous lives", he said. "So, you see, he reached a high state, either as a Bodhisattva, or an enlightened person, through Buddhist practice or something like that", Retrieved April 20, 2007
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  225. ^ John 13:34–35
  226. ^ Sniegocki, John. "Review of Joseph GRASSI, Peace on Earth: Roots and Practices from Luke's Gospel," Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2004 (repentance, forgiveness); Bock, Darrell L. "Major Themes of Jesus' life", (coming of the Kingdom of God); Brussat, Frederic and Mary Ann. "Review of If Grace Is So Amazing, Why Do not We Like It?," (grace); Hughes, F. A. "Grace and Truth", Stem Publishing 1972 (grace)
  227. ^ Duhaime, Jean; Blasi, Anthony J.; Turcotte, Paul-André (2002). Handbook of early Christianity: social science approaches. Walnut Creek, Calif: AltaMira Press. p. 434. ISBN 0-7591-0015-2. 
  228. ^ "The Jefferson Bible". Retrieved on April 20 2007. 
  229. ^ "Paul, St." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
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  234. ^ "Christian Antisemitism: A History of Hate" by William Nicholls, 1993. Published by Jason Aronson Inc., 1995; "Mature Christianity: The Recognition and Repudiation of the Anti-Jewish Polemic in the New Testament" Norman A. Beck, Susquehanna Univ. Press, 1985; "The Satanizing of the Jews: Origin and development of mystical anti-Semitism" Joel Carmichael, Fromm, 1993; "The Origins of Anti-Semitism: Attitudes Toward Judaism in Pagan and Christian Antiquity" John G. Gager, Oxford Univ. Press, 1983; "What Did They Think of the Jews?" Edited by Allan Gould, Jason Aronson Inc., 1991; "The New Testament's Anti-Jewish Slander and Conventions of Ancient Polemic", Luke Johnson, Journal of Biblical Literature, Volume 3, 1989; "Three Popes and the Jews" Pinchas E. Lapide, Hawthorne Books, 1967; "National Socialism and the Roman Catholic Church" Nathaniel Micklem, Oxford Univ. Press, 1939; Theological Anti-Semitism in the New Testament", Rosemary Radford Ruether, Christian Century, Feb. 1968, Vol. 85; "John Chrysostom and the Jews" Robert L. Wilken, Univ. of California Press, Berkeley, 1983
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  • Allison, Dale. Jesus of Nazareth: Millenarian Prophet. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1999. ISBN 0–8006–3144–7
  • Brown, Raymond E. An Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Doubleday, 1997. ISBN 0–385–24767–2
  • Cohen, Shaye J.D. From the Maccabees to the Mishnah. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1988. ISBN 0–664–25017–3
  • Cohen, Shaye J.D. The Beginnings of Jewishness: Boundaries, Varieties, Uncertainties. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001. ISBN 0–520–22693–3
  • Crossan, John Dominic.
    • The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993. ISBN 0–06–061629–6
    • Who Killed Jesus?", 1995. ISBN 0–06–061480–3
  • Guy Davenport and Benjamin Urrutia. The Logia of Yeshua; The Sayings of Jesus. Washington, DC: 1996. ISBN 1–887178–70–8
  • De La Potterie, Ignace. "The Hour of Jesus". New York: Alba House, 1989.
  • Durant, Will. Caesar and Christ. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1944. ISBN 0–671–11500–6
  • Ehrman, Bart. The Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. ISBN 0–19–514183–0
  • Ehrman, Bart. The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. ISBN 0–19–515462–2
  • Fredriksen, Paula. Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews: A Jewish Life and the Emergence of Christianity. New York: Vintage, 2000. ISBN 0–679–76746–0
  • Fredriksen, Paula. From Jesus to Christ. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. ISBN 0–300–04864–5
  • Finegan, Jack. Handbook of Biblical Chronology, revised ed. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1998. ISBN 1–56563–143–9.
  • Fuller, Reginald H., The Foundations of New Testament Christology. New York: Scribners, 1965. ISBN 022717075X
  • Meier, John P., A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, New York: Anchor Doubleday,
v. 1, The Roots of the Problem and the Person, 1991. ISBN 0–385–26425–9
v. 2, Mentor, Message, and Miracles, 1994. ISBN 0–385–46992–6
v. 3, Companions and Competitors, 2001. ISBN 0–385–46993–4
  • O'Collins, Gerald. Interpreting Jesus. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1983.
  • Pelikan, Jaroslav. Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999. ISBN 0–300–07987–7
  • Robinson, John A. T. Redating the New Testament. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2001 (original 1977). ISBN 1–57910–527–0.
  • Sanders, E.P. The Historical Figure of Jesus. New York: Penguin, 1996. ISBN 0–14–014499–4
  • Sanders, E.P. Jesus and Judaism. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1987. ISBN 0–8006–2061–5
  • Vermes, Geza. Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Reading of the Gospels. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1981. ISBN 0–8006–1443–7
  • Fredriksen, Paula. From Jesus to Christ. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000.
  • Vermes, Geza. The Religion of Jesus the Jew. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1993. ISBN 0–8006–2797–0
  • Vermes, Geza. Jesus in his Jewish Context. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2003. ISBN 0–8006–3623–6
  • Wilson, A.N. Jesus. London: Pimlico, 2003. ISBN 0–7126–0697–1
  • Wright, N.T. Jesus and the Victory of God. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1997. ISBN 0–8006–2682–6
  • Wright, N.T. The Resurrection of the Son of God: Christian Origins and the Question of God. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2003. ISBN 0–8006–2679–6

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NAME Jesus
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Jesus Christ (honorific); Jesus of Nazareth (traditional); יֵשׁ֣וּעַ (Hebrew); Yeshua (transliteration); Isa (Islam)
SHORT DESCRIPTION Religious figure, founded Christianity
PLACE OF BIRTH Bethlehem, Iudaea Province (traditionally)
PLACE OF DEATH Jerusalem, Iudaea Province

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