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Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=
Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-surviving descendants, ...
/
Aramaic Aramaic ( syc, ܐܪܡܝܐ, Arāmāyā; oar, 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; arc, 𐡀𐡓𐡌𐡉𐡀; tmr, אֲרָמִית) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic languages, Semitic language that originated in the ancient Syria (regio ...
( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other names and titles), was a first-century
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or ...
preacher A preacher is a person who delivers sermons or homilies on religious topics to an assembly of people. Less common are preachers who Open-air preaching, preach on the street, or those whose message is not necessarily religious, but who preach co ...
and
religious leader Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's doctrines and practices. Some of the ter ...
; he is the central figure of
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...
, the world's largest religion. Most
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...
believe he is the
incarnation Incarnation literally means ''embodied in flesh'' or ''taking on flesh''. It refers to the conception and the embodiment of a deity or spirit in some earthly form or the appearance of a god as a human. If capitalized, it is the union of divinit ...
of
God the Son God the Son ( el, Θεὸς ὁ υἱός, la, Deus Filius) is the second person of the Trinity in Christian theology. The doctrine of the Trinity identifies Jesus in Christianity, Jesus as the Incarnation (Christianity), incarnation of God in ...
and the awaited
Messiah In Abrahamic religions, a messiah or messias (; , ; , ; ) is a salvation, saviour or liberator of a group of people. The concepts of ''Messiah in Judaism, mashiach'', Messianism#Judaism, messianism, and of a Messianic Age#Judaism, Messianic Age ...
(the
Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...
) prophesied in the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
Hebrew: ''Tān ...
. Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed historically. Research into the historical Jesus has yielded some uncertainty on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how closely the Jesus portrayed in the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...
reflects the historical Jesus, as the only detailed records of Jesus' life are contained in the
Gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message (" the gospel"), but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out. In this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrative of the words a ...
s. Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was circumcised, was
baptized Baptism (from grc-x-koine, βάπτισμα, váptisma) is a form of ritual purification—a characteristic of many religions throughout time and geography. In Christianity, it is a Christians, Christian sacrament of initiation and Adoption ...
by
John the Baptist John the Baptist or , , or , ;Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history''. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 1994. syc, ܝܘܿܚܲܢܵܢ ܡܲܥܡܕ݂ܵܢܵܐ, Yoḥanān Maʿmḏānā; he, יוחנן המטביל, Yohanān HaMatbil; la, Ioannes Bapti ...
, began his own ministry and was often referred to as "
rabbi A rabbi () is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism. One becomes a rabbi by being ordained by another rabbi – known as ''semikha'' – following a course of study of Jewish history and texts such as the Talmud. The basic form of ...
". Jesus debated with fellow Jews on how to best follow
God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typicall ...
, engaged in healings, taught in parables and gathered followers. He was arrested and tried by the Jewish authorities, turned over to the Roman government, and crucified on the order of
Pontius Pilate Pontius Pilate (; grc-gre, Πόντιος Πιλᾶτος, ) was the fifth governor of the Roman province of Judaea, serving under Emperor Tiberius Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus (; 16 November 42 BC – 16 March AD 37) was the second Rom ...
, the Roman prefect of Jerusalem. After his death, his followers believed he rose from the dead, and the community they formed eventually became the
early Christian Church Early Christianity (up to the First Council of Nicaea in 325) Spread of Christianity, spread from the Levant, across the Roman Empire, and beyond. Originally, this progression was closely connected to History of the Jews in the Roman Empire, alre ...
. Accounts of his teachings and life were initially conserved by oral transmission, which was the source of the written Gospels.
Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. Such study concentrates primarily upon the texts of the Old Testament and of the New Testament, as well as on Christian tradition. Christian theology, theologian ...
includes the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the
Holy Spirit In Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. I ...
, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Christian Church, died by
crucifixion Crucifixion is a method of capital punishment in which the victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross or beam and left to hang until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation. It was used as a punishment by the Achaemenid Empire, ...
as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, and ascended into
Heaven Heaven or the heavens, is a common Religious cosmology, religious cosmological or transcendence (religion), transcendent supernatural place where beings such as deity, deities, angels, souls, saints, or Veneration of the dead, venerated ancest ...
, from where he will return. Commonly, Christians believe Jesus enables people to be reconciled to God. The
Nicene Creed The original Nicene Creed (; grc-gre, Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας; la, Symbolum Nicaenum) was first adopted at the First Council of Nicaea in 325. In 381, it was amended at the First Council of Constantinople. The amended form is a ...
asserts that Jesus will judge the living and the dead either before or after their bodily resurrection, an event tied to the
Second Coming The Second Coming (sometimes called the Second Advent or the Parousia) is a Christianity, Christian (as well as Islam, Islamic and Baha'i) belief that Jesus will return again after his Ascension of Jesus, ascension to Heaven (Christianity), hea ...
of Jesus in
Christian eschatology Christian eschatology, a major branch of study within Christian theology, deals with "last things". Such eschatology – the word derives from two Greek roots meaning "last" () and "study" (-) – involves the study of "end things", whether of ...
. The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three
persons A person (plural, : people) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established form of social relations such as kinship, ownership of pr ...
of the
Trinity The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (, from 'threefold') is the central dogma concerning the nature of God in most Christian churches, which defines one God existing in three coequal, coeternal, consubstantial divine persons: God t ...
. However, there is a small minority of
Christian denomination A Christian denomination is a distinct religious body within Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, tea ...
s that reject trinitarianism, wholly or partly, as non-scriptural. The
birth of Jesus The nativity of Jesus, nativity of Christ, birth of Jesus or birth of Christ is described in the biblical gospels of Gospel of Luke, Luke and Gospel of Matthew, Matthew. The two accounts agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judaea (Roman ...
is celebrated annually on 25 December as
Christmas Christmas is an annual festival commemorating Nativity of Jesus, the birth of Jesus, Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people Observance of Christmas by country, around t ...
. His crucifixion is honored on
Good Friday Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Great and Holy Friday (also Holy ...
and his resurrection on
Easter Sunday Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer''; "Easter Sunday", used by James Ussher''The Whole Works of the Most Rev. James Ussher, Volume 4'') and Samuel Pepys''The Diary of Samuel P ...
. The world's most widely used
calendar era A calendar era is the period of time elapsed since one ''epoch'' of a calendar and, if it exists, before the next one. For example, it is the year as per the Gregorian calendar, which numbers its years in the Western Christian era (the Coptic Or ...
—in which the current year is AD (or CE)—is based on the approximate birthdate of Jesus. Jesus is also revered in other religions.
In Islam IN, In or in may refer to: Places * India (country code IN) * Indiana, United States (postal code IN) * Ingolstadt, Germany (license plate code IN) * In, Russia, a town in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast Businesses and organizations * Independ ...
, Jesus (often referred to by his Quranic name ) is considered the penultimate
prophet In religion, a prophet or prophetess is an individual who is regarded as being in contact with a divinity, divine being and is said to speak on behalf of that being, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering messages or teachings f ...
of
God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typicall ...
and the
messiah In Abrahamic religions, a messiah or messias (; , ; , ; ) is a salvation, saviour or liberator of a group of people. The concepts of ''Messiah in Judaism, mashiach'', Messianism#Judaism, messianism, and of a Messianic Age#Judaism, Messianic Age ...
, who will return before the Day of Judgement.
Muslims Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the ...
believe Jesus was born of the virgin Mary (another figure revered in Islam), but was neither God nor a son of God; the
Quran The Quran (, ; Standard Arabic: , Classical Arabic, Quranic Arabic: , , 'the recitation'), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation in Islam, revelation from God in Islam, ...
states that Jesus never claimed to be divine. Most Muslims do not believe that he was killed or crucified, but that God raised him into Heaven while he was still alive. In contrast, Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited messiah, arguing that he did not fulfill messianic prophecies, and was neither divine nor resurrected. See ''Avodah Zarah 17a:1'', ''Sanhedrin 43a:20'', ''Gittin 57a:3-4'', and ''Sotah 47a:6''.


Name


Naming convention, various names

A typical Jew in Jesus' time had only one name, sometimes followed by the phrase "son of ather's name, or the individual's hometown. Thus, in the New Testament, Jesus is commonly referred to as "Jesus of
Nazareth Nazareth ( ; ar, النَّاصِرَة, ''an-Nāṣira''; he, נָצְרַת, ''Nāṣəraṯ''; arc, ܢܨܪܬ, ''Naṣrath'') is the largest Cities in Israel, city in the Northern District (Israel), Northern District of Israel. Nazareth i ...
". Jesus' neighbors in Nazareth refer to him as "the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon", "the carpenter's son", or " Joseph's son". In the Gospel of John, the disciple
Philip Philip, also Phillip, is a male given name, derived from the Greek language, Greek (''Philippos'', lit. "horse-loving" or "fond of horses"), from a compound of (''philos'', "dear", "loved", "loving") and (''hippos'', "horse"). Prominent Philip ...
refers to him as "Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth". The name ''Yeshua'' appears to have been in use in Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus. The 1st-century works of historian
Flavius Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century Romano-Jewish historian A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with t ...
, who wrote in
Koine Greek Koine Greek (; Koine el, ἡ κοινὴ διάλεκτος, hē koinè diálektos, the common dialect; ), also known as Hellenistic Greek, common Attic, the Alexandrian dialect, Biblical Greek or New Testament Greek, was the common supra-reg ...
, the same language as that of the New Testament, refer to at least twenty different people with the name Jesus (i.e. Ἰησοῦς). The
Gospel of Matthew The Gospel of Matthew), or simply Matthew. It is most commonly abbreviated as "Matt." is the first book of the New Testament of the Bible and one of the three synoptic Gospels. It tells how Israel's Messiah, Jesus, comes to his people and form ...
states that an
angel In various theistic religious traditions an angel is a supernatural spiritual being who serves God. Abrahamic religions often depict angels as wikt:benevolent, benevolent celestial intermediaries between God (or Heaven) and humanity. Oth ...
appeared to Jesus' adoptive father, Joseph, to tell Joseph about his future son and to name him Jesus because "he will save his people from their sins":
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."


Etymology


Modern linguistic analysis

The English name ''Jesus'' is derived from the Latin ''Iesus'', itself a
transliteration Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one writing system, script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt:littera#Latin, liter-'') in predictable ways, such as ...
of the Greek ('). The Greek form is probably a rendering of the
Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-surviving descendants, ...
and
Aramaic Aramaic ( syc, ܐܪܡܝܐ, Arāmāyā; oar, 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; arc, 𐡀𐡓𐡌𐡉𐡀; tmr, אֲרָמִית) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic languages, Semitic language that originated in the ancient Syria (regio ...
name ('' Yēšūaʿ''), a shorter variant of the earlier Hebrew name ('' Yəhōšūaʿ'', English: "Joshua"). The modern linguistic analysis of the name ''Yehoshua'' is "
Yahweh Yahweh *''Yahwe'', was the national god of ancient Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel and Kingdom of Judah, Judah. The origins of his worship reach at least to the early Iron Age, and likely to the Late Bronze Age if not somewhat earlier, ...
is lordly". Joshua (''Yehoshua'') was also the name of Moses's successor and of a Jewish high priest in the Hebrew Bible, both of whom are represented in the
Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals, LXX), is the earliest extant Greek language, Greek translation of books from the Hebrew Bible. It includes several ...
(a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) as '.


Traditional Christian analysis

The name ''Yəhōšūaʿ'' likely means " Yah saves". The etymology of Jesus' name in the context of the New Testament is generally given as "
Yahweh Yahweh *''Yahwe'', was the national god of ancient Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel and Kingdom of Judah, Judah. The origins of his worship reach at least to the early Iron Age, and likely to the Late Bronze Age if not somewhat earlier, ...
is salvation".


Jesus as the Christ

Since the early period of
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...
, Christians have commonly referred to Jesus as "Jesus Christ". "Jesus Christ" is the name that the author of the
Gospel of John The Gospel of John ( grc, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Euangélion katà Iōánnēn) is the fourth of the four canonical gospels. It contains a highly schematic account of the ministry of Jesus, with seven "sig ...
claims Jesus gave to himself during his high priestly prayer. The word ''
Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...
'' was a title or office ("the Christ"), not a given name. It derives from the Greek (''Christos''), a translation of the Hebrew '' mashiakh'' () meaning " anointed", and is usually transliterated into English as "
messiah In Abrahamic religions, a messiah or messias (; , ; , ; ) is a salvation, saviour or liberator of a group of people. The concepts of ''Messiah in Judaism, mashiach'', Messianism#Judaism, messianism, and of a Messianic Age#Judaism, Messianic Age ...
". In biblical Judaism, sacred oil was used to anoint certain exceptionally holy people and objects as part of their religious investiture. Christians of the time designated Jesus as "the Christ" because they believed him to be the messiah, whose arrival is prophesied in the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
Hebrew: ''Tān ...
and Old Testament. In postbiblical usage, ''Christ'' became viewed as a name — one part of "Jesus Christ". Etymons of the term ''
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...
'' (meaning a follower of Christ) have been in use since the 1st century.


Life and teachings in the New Testament


Canonical gospels

The four
canonical gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel"), but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out. In this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrative of the words an ...
s ( Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are the foremost sources for the life and message of Jesus. But other parts of the New Testament also include references to key episodes in his life, such as the
Last Supper Image:The Last Supper - Leonardo Da Vinci - High Resolution 32x16.jpg, 400px, alt=''The Last Supper'' by Leonardo da Vinci - Clickable Image, Depictions of the Last Supper in Christian art have been undertaken by artistic masters for centuries, ...
in
1 Corinthians The First Epistle to the Corinthians ( grc, Α΄ ᾽Επιστολὴ πρὸς Κορινθίους) is one of the Pauline epistles, part of the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The epistle is attributed to Paul the Apostle and a co-author ...
11:23–26.
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum) is the fifth book of the New Testament; it tells of the founding of the Christian Church and the spread of The gospel, ...
refers to Jesus' early ministry and its anticipation by
John the Baptist John the Baptist or , , or , ;Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history''. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 1994. syc, ܝܘܿܚܲܢܵܢ ܡܲܥܡܕ݂ܵܢܵܐ, Yoḥanān Maʿmḏānā; he, יוחנן המטביל, Yohanān HaMatbil; la, Ioannes Bapti ...
. Acts 1:1–11 says more about the Ascension of Jesus than the canonical gospels do. In the undisputed Pauline letters, which were written earlier than the Gospels, Jesus' words or instructions are cited several times. Some
early Christian Early Christianity (up to the First Council of Nicaea in 325) Spread of Christianity, spread from the Levant, across the Roman Empire, and beyond. Originally, this progression was closely connected to History of the Jews in the Roman Empire, alre ...
groups had separate descriptions of Jesus' life and teachings that are not in the New Testament. These include the
Gospel of Thomas The Gospel of Thomas (also known as the Coptic Gospel of Thomas) is an extra-canonical Logia, sayings gospel. It was discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in December 1945 among a group of books known as the Nag Hammadi library. Scholars specu ...
,
Gospel of Peter The Gospel of Peter ( grc, κατά Πέτρον ευαγγέλιον, kata Petron euangelion), or the Gospel according to Peter, is an ancient text concerning Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=He ...
, and
Gospel of Judas The Gospel of Judas is a non-canonical Gnostic gospel. The content consists of conversations between Jesus and Judas Iscariot. Given that it includes late 2nd-century theology, it is widely thought to have been composed in the 2nd century (prior ...
, the Apocryphon of James, and many other apocryphal writings. Most scholars conclude that these were written much later and are less reliable accounts than the canonical gospels. The canonical gospels are four accounts, each by a different author. The authors of the Gospels are all anonymous, attributed by tradition to the four evangelists, each with close ties to Jesus: Mark by John Mark, an associate of Peter; Matthew by one of Jesus' disciples; Luke by a companion of
Paul Paul may refer to: *Paul (given name) Paul () is a common masculine given name in countries and ethnicities with a Christian heritage (Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Protestantism) and, beyond Europe, ...
mentioned in a few epistles; and John by another of Jesus' disciples, the "
beloved disciple The phrase "the disciple whom Jesus loved" ( grc, ὁ μαθητὴς ὃν ἠγάπα ὁ Ἰησοῦς, ho mathētēs hon ēgapā ho Iēsous, label=none) or, in John 20:2; "the other disciple whom Jesus loved" ( grc, τὸν ἄλλον μαθ ...
". One important aspect of the study of the Gospels is the
literary genre A literary genre is a category of literature. Genres may be determined by literary technique, setting tone, tone, Content (media), content, or length (especially for fiction). They generally move from more abstract, encompassing classes, which a ...
under which they fall. Genre "is a key convention guiding both the composition and the interpretation of writings". Whether the gospel authors set out to write novels, myths, histories, or biographies has a tremendous impact on how they ought to be interpreted. Some recent studies suggest that the genre of the Gospels ought to be situated within the realm of ancient
biography A biography, or simply bio, is a detailed description of a person's life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person's experience of these life events. Unlike a profile or c ...
. Although not without critics, the position that the Gospels are a type of ancient biography is the consensus among scholars today. Concerning the accuracy of the accounts, viewpoints run the gamut from considering them inerrant descriptions of Jesus' life, to doubting whether they are historically reliable on a number of points, to considering them to provide very little historical information about his life beyond the basics. According to a broad scholarly consensus, the
Synoptic Gospels The gospels of Gospel of Matthew, Matthew, Gospel of Mark, Mark, and Gospel of Luke, Luke are referred to as the synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in a similar sequence and in similar or sometimes identical ...
(the first three—Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are the most reliable sources of information about Jesus. According to the
Marcan priority Marcan priority is the hypothesis that the Gospel of Mark was the first of the three synoptic gospels to be written, and was used as a source by the other two (Gospel of Matthew, Matthew and Gospel of Luke, Luke). It is a central element in discus ...
, the first to be written was the Gospel of Mark (written AD 60–75), followed by the Gospel of Matthew (AD 65–85), the Gospel of Luke (AD 65–95), and the Gospel of John (AD 75–100). Most scholars agree that the authors of Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source for their gospels. Since Matthew and Luke also share some content not found in Mark, many scholars assume that they used another source (commonly called the "
Q source The Q source (also called Q document(s), Q Gospel, or Q; from german: Quelle, meaning "source") is a Hypothesis, hypothetical written collection of primarily Jesus' sayings (λόγια : ). Q is part of the common material found in the Gospel o ...
") in addition to Mark. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as the Synoptic Gospels, from the Greek σύν (''syn'' "together") and ὄψις (''opsis'' "view"), because they are similar in content, narrative arrangement, language and paragraph structure, and one can easily set them next to each other and synoptically compare what is in them. Scholars generally agree that it is impossible to find any direct literary relationship between the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John. While the flow of some events (such as Jesus' baptism, transfiguration, crucifixion and interactions with his apostles) are shared among the Synoptic Gospels, incidents such as the transfiguration do not appear in John, which also differs on other matters, such as the
Cleansing of the Temple The cleansing of the Temple narrative tells of Jesus expelling the merchants and the money changers from the Second Temple, Temple, and is recounted in all four canonical gospels of the New Testament. The scene is a common motif in Christian art ...
. The Synoptics emphasize different aspects of Jesus. In Mark, Jesus is the Son of God whose mighty works demonstrate the presence of God's Kingdom. He is a tireless wonder worker, the servant of both God and man.Thompson, Frank Charles. The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible. Kirk bride Bible Co & Zondervan Bible Publishers. 1983. pp. 1563–64. This short gospel records few of Jesus' words or teachings. The Gospel of Matthew emphasizes that Jesus is the fulfillment of God's will as revealed in the Old Testament, and the Lord of the Church.May, Herbert G. and Bruce M. Metzger. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha. 1977. "Matthew" pp. 1171–1212. He is the " Son of David", a "king", and the messiah. Luke presents Jesus as the divine-human savior who shows compassion to the needy.May, Herbert G. and Bruce M. Metzger. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha. 1977. "Luke" pp. 1240–85. He is the friend of sinners and outcasts, come to seek and save the lost. This gospel includes well-known parables, such as the
Good Samaritan In most contexts, the concept of good denotes the conduct that should be preferred when posed with a choice between possible actions. Good is generally considered to be the opposite of evil and is of interest in the study of ethics, morality, p ...
and the
Prodigal Son The Parable of the Prodigal Son (also known as the parable of the Two Brothers, Lost Son, Loving Father, or of the Forgiving Father) is one of the parables of Jesus Christ in Bible, the Bible, appearing in Luke 15:11–32. Jesus shares the parab ...
. The prologue to the Gospel of John identifies Jesus as an incarnation of the divine Word (
Logos ''Logos'' (, ; grc, wikt:λόγος, λόγος, lógos, lit=word, discourse, or reason) is a term used in Western philosophy, psychology and rhetoric and refers to the appeal to reason that relies on logic or reason, inductive and deductive ...
).May, Herbert G. and Bruce M. Metzger. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha. 1977. "John" pp. 1286–318. As the Word, Jesus was eternally present with God, active in all creation, and the source of humanity's moral and spiritual nature. Jesus is not only greater than any past human prophet but greater than any prophet could be. He not only speaks God's Word; he is God's Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus reveals his divine role publicly. Here he is the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the True Vine and more. In general, the authors of the New Testament showed little interest in an absolute
chronology of Jesus A chronology of Jesus aims to establish a timeline for the events of the life of Jesus. Scholars have correlated Jewish and Greco-Roman documents and astronomical calendars with the New Testament accounts to estimate dates for the major events in ...
or in synchronizing the episodes of his life with the secular history of the age. As stated in John 21:25, the Gospels do not claim to provide an exhaustive list of the events in Jesus' life. The accounts were primarily written as theological documents in the context of
early Christianity Early Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major reli ...
, with timelines as a secondary consideration. In this respect, it is noteworthy that the Gospels devote about one third of their text to the last week of Jesus' life in
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
, referred to as the Passion. The Gospels do not provide enough details to satisfy the demands of modern historians regarding exact dates, but it is possible to draw from them a general picture of Jesus' life story.


Genealogy and nativity

Jesus was Jewish, born to Mary, wife of Joseph. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke offer two accounts of his
genealogy Genealogy () is the study of families, family history, and the tracing of their Lineage (anthropology), lineages. Genealogists use oral interviews, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family a ...
. Matthew traces Jesus' ancestry to
Abraham Abraham, ; ar, , , name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common Hebrews, Hebrew patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the Covenant (biblical), special ...
through
David David (; , "beloved one") (traditional spelling), , ''Dāwūd''; grc-koi, Δαυΐδ, Dauíd; la, Davidus, David; gez , ዳዊት, ''Dawit''; xcl, Դաւիթ, ''Dawitʿ''; cu, Давíдъ, ''Davidŭ''; possibly meaning "beloved one". w ...
. Luke traces Jesus' ancestry through
Adam Adam; el, Ἀδάμ, Adám; la, Adam is the name given in Book of Genesis, Genesis 1-5 to the first human. Beyond its use as the name of the first man, ''adam'' is also used in the Bible as a pronoun, individually as "a human" and in a coll ...
to God. The lists are identical between Abraham and David, but differ radically from that point. Matthew has 27 generations from David to Joseph, whereas Luke has 42, with almost no overlap between the names on the two lists. Various theories have been put forward to explain why the two genealogies are so different. Matthew and Luke each describe Jesus' birth, especially that Jesus was born to a virgin named Mary in
Bethlehem Bethlehem (; ar, بيت لحم ; he, בֵּית לֶחֶם '' '') is a city in the central West Bank, Palestine, about south of Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical ...
in fulfillment of prophecy. Luke's account emphasizes events before the
birth of Jesus The nativity of Jesus, nativity of Christ, birth of Jesus or birth of Christ is described in the biblical gospels of Gospel of Luke, Luke and Gospel of Matthew, Matthew. The two accounts agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judaea (Roman ...
and centers on Mary, while Matthew's mostly covers those after the birth and centers on Joseph. Both accounts state that Jesus was born to Joseph and Mary, his
betrothed An engagement or betrothal is the period of time between the declaration of acceptance of a marriage proposal and the marriage itself (which is typically but not always commenced with a wedding). During this period, a couple is said to be ''fi ...
, in Bethlehem, and both support the doctrine of the
virgin birth of Jesus The virgin birth of Jesus is the Christian doctrine that Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Na ...
, according to which Jesus was miraculously conceived by the
Holy Spirit In Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. I ...
in Mary's womb when she was still a virgin. At the same time, there is evidence, at least in the Lukan
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum) is the fifth book of the New Testament; it tells of the founding of the Christian Church and the spread of The gospel, ...
, that Jesus was thought to have had, like many figures in antiquity, a dual paternity, since there it is stated he descended from the seed or loins of David. By taking him as his own, Joseph will give him the necessary Davidic descent. In Matthew, Joseph is troubled because Mary, his betrothed, is pregnant, but in the first of Joseph's four dreams an angel assures him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife, because her child was conceived by the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 2:112, wise men or
Magi Magi (; singular magus ; from Latin ''wikt:magus#Noun 2, magus'', cf. fa, مغ ) were priests in Zoroastrianism and the earlier religions of the Western Iranian languages, western Iranians. The earliest known use of the word ''magi'' is in the ...
from the East bring gifts to the young Jesus as the King of the Jews. They find him in a house in Bethlehem. Jesus is now a child and not an infant. Matthew focuses on an event after the Luke Nativity where Jesus was an infant. In Matthew
Herod the Great Herod I (; ; grc-gre, ; c. 72 – 4 or 1 BCE), also known as Herod the Great, was a History of the Jews in the Roman Empire, Roman Jewish client state, client king of Judea, referred to as the Herodian Kingdom of Judea, Herodian kingdom. He ...
hears of Jesus' birth and, wanting him killed, orders the murders of male infants in Bethlehem under age of 2. But an angel warns Joseph in his second dream, and the family flees to Egypt—later to return and settle in
Nazareth Nazareth ( ; ar, النَّاصِرَة, ''an-Nāṣira''; he, נָצְרַת, ''Nāṣəraṯ''; arc, ܢܨܪܬ, ''Naṣrath'') is the largest Cities in Israel, city in the Northern District (Israel), Northern District of Israel. Nazareth i ...
. In Luke 1:31–38, Mary learns from the angel
Gabriel In Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), Gabriel (); Greek language, Greek: grc, Γαβριήλ, translit=Gabriḗl, label=none; Latin language, Latin: ''Gabriel''; Coptic language, Coptic: cop, Ⲅⲁⲃⲣⲓⲏⲗ, transli ...
that she will conceive and bear a child called Jesus through the action of the Holy Spirit. When Mary is due to give birth, she and Joseph travel from Nazareth to Joseph's ancestral home in Bethlehem to register in the census ordered by
Caesar Augustus Caesar Augustus (born Gaius Octavius; 23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14), also known as Octavian, was the first Roman emperor; he reigned from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. He is known for being the founder of the Roman Pr ...
. While there Mary gives birth to Jesus, and as they have found no room in the inn, she places the newborn in a manger. An angel announces the birth to a group of shepherds, who go to Bethlehem to see Jesus, and subsequently spread the news abroad. Luke 2:21 tells how Joseph and Mary have their baby circumcised on the eighth day after birth, and name him Jesus, as Gabriel had commanded Mary. After the
presentation of Jesus at the Temple The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (or ''in the temple'') is an early episode in the life of Jesus Christ, describing his presentation at the Temple in Jerusalem, that is celebrated by many churches 40 days after Christmas on Candlemas, o ...
, Joseph, Mary and Jesus return to Nazareth.


Early life, family, and profession

Jesus' childhood home is identified in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew as the town of Nazareth in
Galilee Galilee (; he, הַגָּלִיל, hagGālīl; ar, الجليل, al-jalīl) is a region located in northern Israel and southern Lebanon. Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous part, divided into Upper Galilee (, ; , ) and Lower Galile ...
, where he lived with his family. Although Joseph appears in descriptions of Jesus' childhood, no mention is made of him thereafter. His other family members—his mother, Mary, his brothers James, Joses (or Joseph), Judas and Simon and his unnamed sisters—are mentioned in the Gospels and other sources. The Gospel of Mark reports that Jesus comes into conflict with his neighbors and family. Jesus' mother and brothers come to get him because people are saying that he is crazy. Jesus responds that his followers are his true family. In John, Mary follows Jesus to his crucifixion, and he expresses concern over her well-being. Jesus is called a τέκτων ('' tektōn'') in Mark 6:3, traditionally understood as
carpenter Carpentry is a skilled trade and a craft in which the primary work performed is the cutting, shaping and installation of building materials during the construction of buildings, Shipbuilding, ships, timber bridges, concrete formwork, etc. ...
but it could cover makers of objects in various materials, including builders. The Gospels indicate that Jesus could read, paraphrase, and debate scripture, but this does not necessarily mean that he received formal scribal training. When Jesus is presented as a baby in the temple per Jewish Law, a man named Simeon says to Mary and Joseph that Jesus "shall stand as a sign of contradiction, while a sword will pierce your own soul. Then the secret thoughts of many will come to light." Several years later, when Jesus goes missing on a visit to
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
, his parents find him in the temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions, and the people are amazed at his understanding and answers; Mary scolds Jesus for going missing, to which Jesus replies that he must "be in his father's house".


Baptism and temptation

The Synoptic accounts of Jesus' baptism are all preceded by information about
John the Baptist John the Baptist or , , or , ;Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history''. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 1994. syc, ܝܘܿܚܲܢܵܢ ܡܲܥܡܕ݂ܵܢܵܐ, Yoḥanān Maʿmḏānā; he, יוחנן המטביל, Yohanān HaMatbil; la, Ioannes Bapti ...
. They show John preaching penance and repentance for the remission of sins and encouraging the giving of
alms Alms (, ) are money, food, or other material goods donated to people living in poverty. Providing alms is often considered an act of virtue or Charity (practice), charity. The act of providing alms is called almsgiving, and it is a widespread p ...
to the poor as he baptizes people in the area of the
Jordan River The Jordan River or River Jordan ( ar, نَهْر الْأُرْدُنّ, ''Nahr al-ʾUrdunn'', he, נְהַר הַיַּרְדֵּן, ''Nəhar hayYardēn''; syc, ܢܗܪܐ ܕܝܘܪܕܢܢ ''Nahrāʾ Yurdnan''), also known as ''Nahr Al-Shariea ...
around
Perea Perea or Peraea (Greek language, Greek: Περαία, "peraia, the country beyond") was the portion of the kingdom of Herod the Great occupying the eastern side of the Jordan Rift Valley, Jordan River valley, from about one third the way down t ...
and foretells the arrival of someone "more powerful" than he. Later, Jesus identifies John as "the Elijah who was to come", the prophet who was expected to arrive before the "great and terrible day of the Lord". Likewise, Luke says that John had the spirit and power of
Elijah Elijah ( ; he, אֵלִיָּהוּ, ʾĒlīyyāhū, meaning "My God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxfo ...
. In the
Gospel of Mark The Gospel of Mark), or simply Mark (which is also its most common form of abbreviation). is the second of the four Gospel#Canonical gospels, canonical gospels and of the three synoptic Gospels. It tells of the ministry of Jesus from his baptis ...
, John the Baptist baptizes Jesus, and as he comes out of the water he sees the
Holy Spirit In Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. I ...
descending to him like a dove and he hears a voice from heaven declaring him to be God's Son. This is one of two events described in the Gospels where a voice from Heaven calls Jesus "Son", the other being the Transfiguration. The spirit then drives him into the wilderness where he is tempted by
Satan Satan,, ; grc, ὁ σατανᾶς or , ; ar, شيطانالخَنَّاس , also known as Devil in Christianity, the Devil, and sometimes also called Lucifer in Christianity, is an non-physical entity, entity in the Abrahamic religions ...
. Jesus then begins his ministry after John's arrest. Jesus' baptism in the
Gospel of Matthew The Gospel of Matthew), or simply Matthew. It is most commonly abbreviated as "Matt." is the first book of the New Testament of the Bible and one of the three synoptic Gospels. It tells how Israel's Messiah, Jesus, comes to his people and form ...
is similar. Here, before Jesus' baptism, John protests, saying, "I need to be baptized by you." Jesus instructs him to carry on with the baptism "to fulfill all righteousness". Matthew also details the three temptations that Satan offers Jesus in the wilderness. In the
Gospel of Luke The Gospel of Luke), or simply Luke (which is also its most common form of abbreviation). tells of the origins, Nativity of Jesus, birth, Ministry of Jesus, ministry, Crucifixion of Jesus, death, Resurrection of Jesus, resurrection, and Ascensi ...
, the Holy Spirit descends as a dove after everyone has been baptized and Jesus is praying. John implicitly recognizes Jesus from prison after sending his followers to ask about him. Jesus' baptism and temptation serve as preparation for his public ministry. The Gospel of John leaves out Jesus' baptism and temptation. Here, John the Baptist testifies that he saw the Spirit descend on Jesus. John publicly proclaims Jesus as the sacrificial
Lamb of God Lamb of God ( el, Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, Amnòs toû Theoû; la, Agnus Dei, ) is a Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, title for Jesus that appears in the Gospel of John. It appears at wikisource:Bible (American Standard)/Jo ...
, and some of John's followers become disciples of Jesus. In this Gospel, John denies that he is Elijah. Before John is imprisoned, Jesus leads his followers to baptize disciples as well, and they baptize more people than John.


Public ministry

The Synoptics depict two distinct geographical settings in Jesus' ministry. The first takes place north of
Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Standard ''Yəhūda'', Tiberian vocalization, Tiberian ''Yehūḏā''; el, Ἰουδαία, ; la, Iūdaea) is an ancient, historic, Biblical Hebrew, contemporaneous L ...
, in
Galilee Galilee (; he, הַגָּלִיל, hagGālīl; ar, الجليل, al-jalīl) is a region located in northern Israel and southern Lebanon. Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous part, divided into Upper Galilee (, ; , ) and Lower Galile ...
, where Jesus conducts a successful ministry, and the second shows Jesus rejected and killed when he travels to
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
. Often referred to as "
rabbi A rabbi () is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism. One becomes a rabbi by being ordained by another rabbi – known as ''semikha'' – following a course of study of Jewish history and texts such as the Talmud. The basic form of ...
", Jesus preaches his message orally. Notably, Jesus forbids those who recognize him as the messiah to speak of it, including people he heals and demons he exorcises (see
Messianic Secret The Messianic Secret is a motif in the Gospel of Mark, in which Jesus is portrayed as commanding his followers to maintain silence about his Messianic mission. Attention was first drawn to this motif in 1901 by William Wrede. Part of Wrede's theo ...
). John depicts Jesus' ministry as largely taking place in and around Jerusalem, rather than in Galilee; and Jesus' divine identity is openly proclaimed and immediately recognized. Scholars divide the ministry of Jesus into several stages. The Galilean ministry begins when Jesus returns to Galilee from the
Judaean Desert The Judaean Desert or Judean Desert ( he, מִדְבַּר יְהוּדָה, Midbar Yehuda}, both ''Desert of Judah'' or ''Judaean Desert''; ar, صحراء يهودا, Sahraa' Yahuda) is a desert in State of Palestine, Palestine and Israel that ...
after rebuffing the temptation of
Satan Satan,, ; grc, ὁ σατανᾶς or , ; ar, شيطانالخَنَّاس , also known as Devil in Christianity, the Devil, and sometimes also called Lucifer in Christianity, is an non-physical entity, entity in the Abrahamic religions ...
. Jesus preaches around Galilee, and in Matthew 4:18–20, his first disciples, who will eventually form the core of the early Church, encounter him and begin to travel with him. This period includes the
Sermon on the Mount The Sermon on the Mount (anglicized from the Matthean Vulgate Latin section title: ) is a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth found in the Gospel of Matthew (chapters Matthew 5, 5, Matthew 6, 6, and Matthew 7, 7). ...
, one of Jesus' major discourses, as well as the calming of the storm, the feeding of the 5,000, walking on water and a number of other miracles and parables. It ends with the Confession of Peter and the Transfiguration. As Jesus travels towards Jerusalem, in the
Perea Perea or Peraea (Greek language, Greek: Περαία, "peraia, the country beyond") was the portion of the kingdom of Herod the Great occupying the eastern side of the Jordan Rift Valley, Jordan River valley, from about one third the way down t ...
n ministry, he returns to the area where he was baptized, about a third of the way down from the
Sea of Galilee The Sea of Galilee ( he, יָם כִּנֶּרֶת, Judeo-Aramaic language, Judeo-Aramaic: יַמּא דטבריא, גִּנֵּיסַר, ar, بحيرة طبريا), also called Lake Tiberias, Kinneret or Kinnereth, is a freshwater lake in Is ...
along the
Jordan River The Jordan River or River Jordan ( ar, نَهْر الْأُرْدُنّ, ''Nahr al-ʾUrdunn'', he, נְהַר הַיַּרְדֵּן, ''Nəhar hayYardēn''; syc, ܢܗܪܐ ܕܝܘܪܕܢܢ ''Nahrāʾ Yurdnan''), also known as ''Nahr Al-Shariea ...
. The final ministry in Jerusalem begins with Jesus' triumphal entry into the city on
Palm Sunday Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in each of the four canonical Gospels. Palm Sunday marks the first day of Holy ...
. In the Synoptic Gospels, during that week Jesus drives the money changers from the
Second Temple The Second Temple (, , ), later known as Herod's Temple, was the reconstructed Temple in Jerusalem between and 70 CE. It replaced Solomon's Temple, which had been built at the same location in the Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy), United Kin ...
and Judas bargains to betray him. This period culminates in the
Last Supper Image:The Last Supper - Leonardo Da Vinci - High Resolution 32x16.jpg, 400px, alt=''The Last Supper'' by Leonardo da Vinci - Clickable Image, Depictions of the Last Supper in Christian art have been undertaken by artistic masters for centuries, ...
and the
Farewell Discourse In the New Testament, wikisource:Bible (American Standard)/John#14:1, chapters 14–17 of the Gospel of John are known as the Farewell Discourse given by Jesus to eleven of his Disciple (Christianity), disciples immediately after the conclusion o ...
.


Disciples and followers

Near the beginning of his ministry, Jesus appoints twelve apostles. In Matthew and Mark, despite Jesus only briefly requesting that they join him, Jesus' first four apostles, who were fishermen, are described as immediately consenting, and abandoning their nets and boats to do so. In John, Jesus' first two apostles were disciples of John the Baptist. The Baptist sees Jesus and calls him the
Lamb of God Lamb of God ( el, Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, Amnòs toû Theoû; la, Agnus Dei, ) is a Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, title for Jesus that appears in the Gospel of John. It appears at wikisource:Bible (American Standard)/Jo ...
; the two hear this and follow Jesus. In addition to the Twelve Apostles, the opening of the passage of the Sermon on the Plain identifies a much larger group of people as disciples. Also, in Luke 10:1–16 Jesus sends 70 or 72 of his followers in pairs to prepare towns for his prospective visit. They are instructed to accept hospitality, heal the sick, and spread the word that the
Kingdom of God The concept of the kingship of God appears in all Abrahamic religions, where in some cases the terms Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven are also used. The notion of God's kingship goes back to the Hebrew Bible, which refers to "his kingdom" b ...
is coming. In Mark, the disciples are notably obtuse. They fail to understand Jesus' miracles, his parables, or what "rising from the dead" means. When Jesus is later arrested, they desert him.


Teachings and miracles

In the Synoptics, Jesus teaches extensively, often in
parable A parable is a succinct, Didacticism, didactic story, in prose or Verse (poetry), verse, that illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles. It differs from a fable in that fables employ animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces ...
s, about the Kingdom of God (or, in Matthew, the Kingdom of Heaven). The Kingdom is described as both imminent and already present in the ministry of Jesus. Jesus promises inclusion in the Kingdom for those who accept his message. He talks of the " Son of Man", an apocalyptic figure who will come to gather the chosen. Jesus calls people to repent their sins and to devote themselves completely to God. He tells his followers to adhere to
Jewish law ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated as ''halacha'', ''halakhah'', and ''halocho'' ( ), is the collective body of Judaism, Jewish religious laws which is derived from the Torah, written and Oral Tora ...
, although he is perceived by some to have broken the law himself, for example regarding the
Sabbath In Abrahamic religions, the Sabbath () or Shabbat (from Hebrew ) is a day set aside for rest and worship. According to the Book of Exodus, the Sabbath is a day of rest on the seventh day, Ten Commandments, commanded by God to be kept as a Holida ...
. When asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus replies: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind ... And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Other ethical teachings of Jesus include loving your enemies, refraining from hatred and lust, turning the other cheek, and forgiving people who have sinned against you. John's Gospel presents the teachings of Jesus not merely as his own preaching, but as divine
revelation In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing of some form of Religious views on truth, truth or Knowledge#Religious meaning of knowledge, knowledge through communication with a deity or other supernatural entity or entiti ...
. John the Baptist, for example, states in John 3:34: "He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure." In John 7:16 Jesus says, "My teaching is not mine but his who sent me." He asserts the same thing in John 14:10: "Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works." Approximately 30 parables form about one-third of Jesus' recorded teachings. The parables appear within longer sermons and at other places in the narrative. They often contain symbolism, and usually relate the physical world to the spiritual. Common themes in these tales include the kindness and generosity of God and the perils of transgression. Some of his parables, such as the
Prodigal Son The Parable of the Prodigal Son (also known as the parable of the Two Brothers, Lost Son, Loving Father, or of the Forgiving Father) is one of the parables of Jesus Christ in Bible, the Bible, appearing in Luke 15:11–32. Jesus shares the parab ...
, are relatively simple, while others, such as the Growing Seed, are sophisticated, profound and abstruse. When asked by his disciples why he speaks in parables to the people, Jesus replies that the chosen disciples have been given to "know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven", unlike the rest of their people, "For the one who has will be given more and he will have in abundance. But the one who does not have will be deprived even more", going on to say that the majority of their generation have grown "dull hearts" and thus are unable to understand. In the gospel accounts, Jesus devotes a large portion of his ministry by performing
miracle A miracle is an event that is inexplicable by physical laws, natural or scientific lawsOne dictionary define"Miracle"as: "A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the ...
s, especially healings. The miracles can be classified into two main categories: healing miracles and nature miracles. The healing miracles include cures for physical ailments,
exorcism Exorcism () is the religious or spiritual practice of evicting demons, jinns, or other malevolent spiritual entities from a person, or an area, that is believed to be demonic possession, possessed. Depending on the spiritual beliefs of the exor ...
s, and resurrections of the dead. The nature miracles show Jesus' power over nature, and include turning water into wine, walking on water, and calming a storm, among others. Jesus states that his miracles are from a divine source. When his opponents suddenly accuse him of performing exorcisms by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, Jesus counters that he performs them by the "Spirit of God" ( Matthew 12:28) or "finger of God", arguing that all logic suggests that Satan would not let his demons assist the Children of God because it would divide Satan's house and bring his kingdom to desolation; furthermore, he asks his opponents that if he exorcises by Beel'zebub, "by whom do your sons cast them out?" In Matthew 12:31–32, he goes on to say that while all manner of sin, "even insults against God" or "insults against the son of man", shall be forgiven, whoever insults goodness (or "The
Holy Spirit In Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. I ...
") shall never be forgiven; they carry the guilt of their sin forever. In John, Jesus' miracles are described as "signs", performed to prove his mission and divinity. In the Synoptics, when asked by some teachers of the Law and some Pharisees to give miraculous signs to prove his authority, Jesus refuses, saying that no sign shall come to corrupt and evil people except the sign of the prophet
Jonah Jonah or Jonas, ''Yōnā'', "dove"; gr, Ἰωνᾶς ''Iōnâs''; ar, يونس ' or '; Latin: ''Ionas'' Ben (Hebrew), son of Amittai, is a prophet in the Hebrew Bible and the Quran, from Gath-hepher of the northern Kingdom of Israel (Samaria ...
. Also, in the Synoptic Gospels, the crowds regularly respond to Jesus' miracles with awe and press on him to heal their sick. In John's Gospel, Jesus is presented as unpressured by the crowds, who often respond to his miracles with trust and faith. One characteristic shared among all miracles of Jesus in the gospel accounts is that he performed them freely and never requested or accepted any form of payment. The gospel episodes that include descriptions of the miracles of Jesus also often include teachings, and the miracles themselves involve an element of teaching. Many of the miracles teach the importance of faith. In the cleansing of ten lepers and the raising of Jairus's daughter, for instance, the beneficiaries are told that their healing was due to their faith.


Proclamation as Christ and Transfiguration

At about the middle of each of the three Synoptic Gospels are two significant events: the Confession of Peter and the Transfiguration of Jesus. These two events are not mentioned in the Gospel of John. In his Confession, Peter tells Jesus, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus affirms that Peter's confession is divinely revealed truth. After the confession, Jesus tells his disciples about his upcoming death and resurrection. In the Transfiguration, Jesus takes Peter and two other apostles up an unnamed mountain, where "he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white." A bright cloud appears around them, and a voice from the cloud says, "This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him."


Passion Week

The description of the last week of the life of Jesus (often called Passion Week) occupies about one-third of the narrative in the canonical gospels, starting with Jesus'
triumphal entry into Jerusalem In the accounts of the four canonical Gospels, Jesus Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem took place in the days before the Last Supper, marking the beginning of his Passion (Christianity), Passion, his time of suffering, death, and Resurrect ...
and ending with his Crucifixion.


Activities in Jerusalem

In the Synoptics, the last week in Jerusalem is the conclusion of the journey through Perea and
Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Standard ''Yəhūda'', Tiberian vocalization, Tiberian ''Yehūḏā''; el, Ἰουδαία, ; la, Iūdaea) is an ancient, historic, Biblical Hebrew, contemporaneous L ...
that Jesus began in Galilee. Jesus rides a young donkey into Jerusalem, reflecting the tale of the Messiah's Donkey, an oracle from the
Book of Zechariah The Book of Zechariah, attributed to the Hebrew prophet Zechariah, is included in the Twelve Minor Prophets in the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;ith_Rashi's_commentaryat_ ith_Rashi's_commentary.html"_;"title="Rashi.html"_;"t ...
in which the Jews' humble king enters Jerusalem this way. People along the way lay cloaks and small branches of trees (known as palm fronds) in front of him and sing part of Psalms 118:25-26. Jesus next expels the money changers from the
Second Temple The Second Temple (, , ), later known as Herod's Temple, was the reconstructed Temple in Jerusalem between and 70 CE. It replaced Solomon's Temple, which had been built at the same location in the Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy), United Kin ...
, accusing them of turning it into a den of thieves through their commercial activities. He then prophecies about the coming destruction, including false prophets, wars, earthquakes, celestial disorders, persecution of the faithful, the appearance of an "abomination of desolation", and unendurable tribulations. The mysterious "Son of Man", he says, will dispatch angels to gather the faithful from all parts of the earth. Jesus warns that these wonders will occur in the lifetimes of the hearers. In John, the Cleansing of the Temple occurs at the beginning of Jesus' ministry instead of at the end. Jesus comes into conflict with the Jewish elders, such as when they question his authority and when he criticizes them and calls them hypocrites.
Judas Iscariot Judas Iscariot (; grc-x-biblical, Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριώτης; syc, ܝܗܘܕܐ ܣܟܪܝܘܛܐ; died AD) was a Disciple (Christianity), disciple and one of the original Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ (title), Christ. According to a ...
, one of the
twelve apostles In Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. Such study concentrates primarily upon the texts of the Old Testament and of the New Testament, as well as on Christian tradition. C ...
, secretly strikes a bargain with the Jewish elders, agreeing to betray Jesus to them for 30 silver coins. The Gospel of John recounts of two other feasts in which Jesus taught in Jerusalem before the Passion Week. In
Bethany Bethany ( grc-gre, Βηθανία,Murphy-O'Connor, 2008, p152/ref> Syriac language, Syriac: ܒܝܬ ܥܢܝܐ ''Bēṯ ʿAnyā'') or what is locally known as Al-Eizariya or al-Azariya ( ar, العيزرية, "Arabic nouns and adjectives#Nisba, raises_Lazarus_from_the_dead._This_potent_sign_increases_the_tension_with_authorities,_who_conspire_to_kill_him._Mary_of_Bethany.html" ;"title="Raising of Lazarus">raises Lazarus from the dead. This potent sign increases the tension with authorities, who conspire to kill him. Mary of Bethany">Raising of Lazarus">raises Lazarus from the dead. This potent sign increases the tension with authorities, who conspire to kill him. Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus' feet, foreshadowing his entombment. Jesus then makes his Messianic entry into Jerusalem. The cheering crowds greeting Jesus as he enters Jerusalem add to the animosity between him and the establishment. In John, Jesus has already cleansed the Second Temple during an earlier Passover visit to Jerusalem. John next recounts Jesus' Last Supper with his disciples.


Last Supper

The Last Supper is the final meal that Jesus shares with his twelve apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The Last Supper is mentioned in all four canonical gospels; Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians also refers to it. During the meal, Jesus predicts his betrayal, Jesus predicts that one of his apostles will betray him. Despite each Apostle's assertion that he would not betray him, Jesus reiterates that the betrayer would be one of those present. Matthew 26:23–25 and John 13:26–27 specifically identify Judas as the traitor. In the Synoptics, Jesus takes bread, breaks it, and gives it to the disciples, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you". He then has them all drink from a cup, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood," The Christian
sacrament A sacrament is a Christianity, Christian Rite (Christianity), rite that is recognized as being particularly important and significant. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites. Many Christians consider the sacraments ...
or ordinance of the
Eucharist The Eucharist (; from Greek , , ), also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper, is a Christianity, Christian Rite (Christianity), rite that is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an Ordinance (Christianity), ordinance in ot ...
is based on these events. Although the Gospel of John does not include a description of the bread-and-wine ritual during the Last Supper, most scholars agree that John 6:22–59 (the Bread of Life Discourse) has a eucharistic character and resonates with the institution narratives in the Synoptic Gospels and in the Pauline writings on the Last Supper. In all four gospels, Jesus predicts that Peter will deny knowledge of him three times before the
rooster The chicken (''Gallus gallus domesticus'') is a domestication, domesticated junglefowl species, with attributes of wild species such as the grey junglefowl, grey and the Ceylon junglefowl that are originally from Southeastern Asia. Rooster ...
crows the next morning. In Luke and John, the prediction is made during the Supper. In Matthew and Mark, the prediction is made after the Supper; Jesus also predicts that all his disciples will desert him. The Gospel of John provides the only account of Jesus washing his disciples' feet after the meal. John also includes a long sermon by Jesus, preparing his disciples (now without Judas) for his departure. Chapters 14–17 of the Gospel of John are known as the
Farewell Discourse In the New Testament, wikisource:Bible (American Standard)/John#14:1, chapters 14–17 of the Gospel of John are known as the Farewell Discourse given by Jesus to eleven of his Disciple (Christianity), disciples immediately after the conclusion o ...
and are a significant source of
Christological In Christianity, Christology (from the Ancient Greek, Greek grc, Χριστός, Khristós, label=none and grc, wiktionary:-λογία, -λογία, wiktionary:-logia, -logia, label=none), translated literally from Greek as "the study of Chr ...
content.


Agony in the Garden, betrayal, and arrest

In the Synoptics, Jesus and his disciples go to the garden
Gethsemane Gethsemane () is a garden A garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the cultivation, display, and enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature. The single feature identifying even the wildest wild garden is ''control''. ...
, where Jesus prays to be spared his coming ordeal. Then Judas comes with an armed mob, sent by the chief priests,
scribe A scribe is a person who serves as a professional copyist, especially one who made copies of manuscripts before the invention of Printing press, automatic printing. The profession of the scribe, previously widespread across cultures, lost mos ...
s and elders. He kisses Jesus to identify him to the crowd, which then arrests Jesus. In an attempt to stop them, an unnamed disciple of Jesus uses a sword to cut off the ear of a man in the crowd. After Jesus' arrest, his disciples go into hiding, and Peter, when questioned, thrice denies knowing Jesus. After the third denial, Peter hears the rooster crow and recalls Jesus' prediction about his denial. Peter then weeps bitterly. In John 18:1–11, Jesus does not pray to be spared his crucifixion, as the gospel portrays him as scarcely touched by such human weakness. The people who arrest him are Roman soldiers and Temple guards. Instead of being betrayed by a kiss, Jesus proclaims his identity, and when he does, the soldiers and officers fall to the ground. The gospel identifies Peter as the disciple who used the sword, and Jesus rebukes him for it.


Trials by the Sanhedrin, Herod, and Pilate

After his arrest, Jesus is taken late at night to the private residence of the high priest, Caiaphas, who had been installed by Pilate's predecessor, the Roman procurator Valerius Gratus. The
Sanhedrin The Sanhedrin (Hebrew language, Hebrew and Aramaic: סַנְהֶדְרִין; Greek language, Greek: , ''synedrion'', 'sitting together,' hence 'Deliberative assembly, assembly' or 'council') was an assembly of either 23 or 71 elders (known as ...
was a Jewish judicial body, The gospel accounts differ on the details of the trials. In Matthew 26:57, Mark 14:53 and Luke 22:54, Jesus is taken to the house of the high priest, Caiaphas, where he is mocked and beaten that night. Early the next morning, the chief priests and scribes lead Jesus away into their council. John 18:12–14 states that Jesus is first taken to Annas, Caiaphas's father-in-law, and then to the high priest. During the trials Jesus speaks very little, mounts no defense, and gives very infrequent and indirect answers to the priests' questions, prompting an officer to slap him. In Matthew 26:62, Jesus' unresponsiveness leads Caiaphas to ask him, "Have you no answer?" In Mark 14:61 the high priest then asks Jesus, "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?" Jesus replies, "I am", and then predicts the coming of the Son of Man. This provokes Caiaphas to tear his own robe in anger and to accuse Jesus of blasphemy. In Matthew and Luke, Jesus' answer is more ambiguous: in Matthew 26:64 he responds, "You have said so", and in Luke 22:70 he says, "You say that I am". The Jewish elders take Jesus to
Pilate's Court In the canonical gospels, Pilate's court refers to the trial of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus in praetorium before Pontius Pilate, preceded by the Sanhedrin Trial of Jesus, Sanhedrin Trial. In the Gospel of Luke, Pilate finds that Jesus, being fro ...
and ask the Roman governor,
Pontius Pilate Pontius Pilate (; grc-gre, Πόντιος Πιλᾶτος, ) was the fifth governor of the Roman province of Judaea, serving under Emperor Tiberius Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus (; 16 November 42 BC – 16 March AD 37) was the second Rom ...
, to judge and condemn Jesus for various allegations: subverting the nation, opposing the payment of tribute, claiming to be Christ, a King, and claiming to be the son of God. The use of the word "king" is central to the discussion between Jesus and Pilate. In John 18:36 Jesus states, "My kingdom is not from this world", but he does not unequivocally deny being the King of the Jews. In Luke 23:7–15, Pilate realizes that Jesus is a Galilean, and thus comes under the jurisdiction of
Herod Antipas Herod Antipas ( el, Ἡρῴδης Ἀντίπας, ''Hērǭdēs Antipas''; born before 20 BC – died after 39 AD), was a 1st-century ruler of Galilee and Perea (region) , Perea, who bore the title of Herodian Tetrarchy, tetrarch ("ruler of a qu ...
, the Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea. Pilate sends Jesus to Herod to be tried, but Jesus says almost nothing in response to Herod's questions. Herod and his soldiers mock Jesus, put an expensive robe on him to make him look like a king, and return him to Pilate, who then calls together the Jewish elders and announces that he has "not found this man guilty". Observing a
Passover Passover, also called Pesach (; ), is a major Jewish holidays, Jewish holiday that celebrates the The Exodus, Biblical story of the Israelites escape from slavery in Ancient Egypt, Egypt, which occurs on the 15th day of the Hebrew calendar, He ...
custom of the time, Pilate allows one prisoner chosen by the crowd to be released. He gives the people a choice between Jesus and a murderer called Barabbas ( or ''Bar-abbâ'', "son of the father", from the common given name '' Abba'': 'father'). Persuaded by the elders, the mob chooses to release Barabbas and crucify Jesus. Pilate writes a sign in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek that reads "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" (abbreviated as INRI in depictions) to be affixed to Jesus' cross, then scourges Jesus and sends him to be crucified. The soldiers place a
crown of thorns According to the New Testament, a woven crown of thorns ( or grc, wikt:ἀκάνθινος, ἀκάνθινος στέφανος, akanthinos stephanos, label=none) was placed on the head of Jesus during the Passion of Jesus, events leading up t ...
on Jesus' head and ridicule him as the King of the Jews. They beat and taunt him before taking him to
Calvary Calvary ( la, Calvariae or ) or Golgotha ( grc-gre, Γολγοθᾶ, ''Golgothâ'') was a site immediately outside Jerusalem in Christianity, Jerusalem's walls where Jesus in Christianity, Jesus was said to have been crucifixion of Jesus, cruci ...
, also called Golgotha, for crucifixion.


Crucifixion and entombment

Jesus' crucifixion is described in all four canonical gospels. After the trials, Jesus is led to
Calvary Calvary ( la, Calvariae or ) or Golgotha ( grc-gre, Γολγοθᾶ, ''Golgothâ'') was a site immediately outside Jerusalem in Christianity, Jerusalem's walls where Jesus in Christianity, Jesus was said to have been crucifixion of Jesus, cruci ...
carrying his cross; the route traditionally thought to have been taken is known as the
Via Dolorosa The ''Via Dolorosa'' (Latin, 'Sorrowful Way', often translated 'Way of Suffering'; ar, طريق الآلام; Hebrew: ויה דולורוזה) is a processional route in the Old City of Jerusalem. It represents the path that Jesus would have t ...
. The three Synoptic Gospels indicate that
Simon of Cyrene Simon of Cyrene (, Standard Hebrew ''Šimʿon'', Tiberian Hebrew ''Šimʿôn''; , ''Simōn Kyrēnaios''; ) was the man compelled by the Roman Empire, Romans to carry the Christian cross, cross of Jesus of Nazareth as Jesus was taken to his Crucif ...
assists him, having been compelled by the Romans to do so. In Luke 23:27–28, Jesus tells the women in the multitude of people following him not to weep for him but for themselves and their children. At Calvary, Jesus is offered a sponge soaked in a concoction usually offered as a painkiller. According to Matthew and Mark, he refuses it. The soldiers then crucify Jesus and cast lots for his clothes. Above Jesus' head on the cross is Pilate's inscription, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews". Soldiers and passersby mock him about it. Two convicted thieves are crucified along with Jesus. In Matthew and Mark, both thieves mock Jesus. In Luke, one of them rebukes Jesus, while the other defends him. Jesus tells the latter: "today you will be with me in Paradise." In John, Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the
beloved disciple The phrase "the disciple whom Jesus loved" ( grc, ὁ μαθητὴς ὃν ἠγάπα ὁ Ἰησοῦς, ho mathētēs hon ēgapā ho Iēsous, label=none) or, in John 20:2; "the other disciple whom Jesus loved" ( grc, τὸν ἄλλον μαθ ...
were at the crucifixion. Jesus tells the beloved disciple to take care of his mother. The Roman soldiers break the two thieves' legs (a procedure designed to hasten death in a crucifixion), but they do not break those of Jesus, as he is already dead (John 19:33). In John 19:34, one soldier pierces Jesus' side with a
lance A lance is a spear designed to be used by a mounted warrior or cavalry soldier (lancer). In Ancient warfare, ancient and medieval warfare, it evolved into the leading weapon in cavalry charges, and was unsuited for throwing or for repeated thru ...
, and blood and water flow out. In the Synoptics, when Jesus dies, the heavy curtain at the Temple is torn. In Matthew 27:51–54, an earthquake breaks open tombs. In Matthew and Mark, terrified by the events, a Roman
centurion A centurion (; la, centurio , . la, centuriones, label=none; grc-gre, κεντυρίων, kentyríōn, or ) was a position in the Roman army during classical antiquity, nominally the commander of a centuria, century (), a military unit of ar ...
states that Jesus was the Son of God. On the same day,
Joseph of Arimathea Joseph of Arimathea was, according to all four Gospel#Canonical gospels, canonical gospels, the man who assumed responsibility for the burial of Jesus after Crucifixion of Jesus, his crucifixion. The historical location of Arimathea is uncertain, ...
, with Pilate's permission and with
Nicodemus Nicodemus (; grc-gre, Νικόδημος, Nikódēmos) was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin mentioned in three places in the Gospel of John: * He first visits Jesus one night to discuss Jesus' teachings (). * The second time Nicodemu ...
's help, removes Jesus' body from the cross, wraps him in a clean cloth, and buries him in his new rock-hewn tomb. In Matthew 27:62–66, on the following day the chief Jewish priests ask Pilate for the tomb to be secured, and with Pilate's permission the priests place seals on the large stone covering the entrance.


Resurrection and ascension

Mary Magdalene Mary Magdalene (sometimes called Mary of Magdala, or simply the Magdalene or the Madeleine) was a woman who, according to the four canonical gospels, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers and was a witness to crucifixion of Jesus, his cru ...
(alone in the Gospel of John, but accompanied by other women in the Synoptics) goes to Jesus' tomb on Sunday morning and is surprised to find it empty. Despite Jesus' teaching, the disciples had not understood that Jesus would rise again. *In
Matthew 28 Matthew 28 is the twenty-eighth and final chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. This chapter records that resurrection of Jesus, Jesus is risen, describes the actions of the first witnesses to this event, and ends with the Great ...
, there are guards at the tomb. An angel descends from Heaven, and opens the tomb. The guards faint from fear. Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary" after they visited the tomb. Jesus then appears to the eleven remaining disciples in Galilee and commissions them to
baptize Baptism (from grc-x-koine, βάπτισμα, váptisma) is a form of ritual purification—a characteristic of many religions throughout time and geography. In Christianity, it is a Christians, Christian sacrament of initiation and Adoption ...
all nations in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, ''"teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you."'' *In
Mark 16 Mark 16 is the final chapter of the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It begins after the sabbath, with Mary Magdalene, Mary (mother of James the Less), Mary the mother of James, and Salome (disciple), Salome bringing ...
, Salome and Mary, mother of James are with Mary Magdalene. In the tomb, a young man in a white robe (an angel) tells them that Jesus will meet his disciples in Galilee, as he had told them (referring to Mark 14:28).May, Herbert G. and Bruce M. Metzger. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha. 1977. "Mark" pp. 1213–39 *In Luke, Mary and various other women meet two angels at the tomb, but the eleven disciples do not believe their story. Jesus appears to two of his followers in Emmaus. He also makes an appearance to Peter. Jesus then appears that same day to his disciples in Jerusalem. Although he appears and vanishes mysteriously, he also eats and lets them touch him to prove that he is not a spirit. He repeats his command to bring his teaching to all nations. *In John, Mary is alone at first, but Peter and the beloved disciple come and see the tomb as well. Jesus then appears to Mary at the tomb. He later appears to the disciples, breathes on them, and gives them the power to forgive and retain sins. In a second visit to disciples, he proves to a doubting disciple ("
Doubting Thomas A doubting Thomas is a skeptic who refuses to believe without direct personal experience — a reference to the Gospel of John's depiction of the Thomas the Apostle, Apostle Thomas, who, in John's account, refused to believe the resurrected Jesu ...
") that he is flesh and blood. The disciples return to Galilee, where Jesus makes another appearance. He performs a miracle known as the catch of 153 fish at the
Sea of Galilee The Sea of Galilee ( he, יָם כִּנֶּרֶת, Judeo-Aramaic language, Judeo-Aramaic: יַמּא דטבריא, גִּנֵּיסַר, ar, بحيرة طبريا), also called Lake Tiberias, Kinneret or Kinnereth, is a freshwater lake in Is ...
, after which Jesus encourages Peter to serve his followers. Jesus' ascension into Heaven is described in Luke 24:50–53, Acts 1:1–11 and mentioned in 1 Timothy 3:16. In the
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum) is the fifth book of the New Testament; it tells of the founding of the Christian Church and the spread of The gospel, ...
, forty days after the Resurrection, as the disciples look on, "he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight". 1 Peter 3:22 states that Jesus has "gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God". The Acts of the Apostles describes several appearances of Jesus after his Ascension. In Acts 7:55, Stephen gazes into heaven and sees "Jesus standing at the right hand of God" just before his death. On the road to
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , map_caption = , ...
, the Apostle Paul is converted to Christianity after seeing a blinding light and hearing a voice saying, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting." In Acts 9:10–18, Jesus instructs
Ananias of Damascus Ananias ( ; grc, Ἀνανίας from Hebrew language, Hebrew חנניה, ''Hananiah (disambiguation), Hananiah'', "favoured of the ") was a disciple (Christianity), disciple of Jesus at early centers of Christianity#Damascus, Damascus mentione ...
in a vision to heal Paul. The
Book of Revelation The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament (and consequently the final book of the Bible#Christian Bible, Christian Bible). Its title is derived from the Incipit, first word of the Koine Greek text: , meaning "unveiling" ...
includes a revelation from Jesus concerning the last days of Earth.


Early Christianity

After Jesus' life, his followers, as described in the first chapters of the
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum) is the fifth book of the New Testament; it tells of the founding of the Christian Church and the spread of The gospel, ...
, were all
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ...
either by birth or conversion, for which the biblical term " proselyte" is used, and referred to by historians as
Jewish Christian Jewish Christians ( he, יהודים נוצרים, yehudim notzrim) were the followers of a Jewish religious movements, Jewish religious sect that emerged in Roman Judea, Judea during the late Second Temple period (first century AD). The #Nazare ...
s. The early Gospel message was spread orally, probably in
Aramaic Aramaic ( syc, ܐܪܡܝܐ, Arāmāyā; oar, 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; arc, 𐡀𐡓𐡌𐡉𐡀; tmr, אֲרָמִית) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic languages, Semitic language that originated in the ancient Syria (regio ...
, but almost immediately also in
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
. The
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...
's Acts of the Apostles and
Epistle to the Galatians The Epistle to the Galatians is the ninth book of the New Testament. It is a letter from Paul the Apostle to a number of Early Christian communities in Galatia. Scholars have suggested that this is either the Galatia (Roman province), Roman prov ...
record that the first Christian community was centered in Jerusalem and its leaders included Peter, James, the brother of Jesus, and
John the Apostle John the Apostle ( grc, Ἰωάννης; la, Ioannes ; Geʽez, Ge'ez: ዮሐንስ;) or Saint John the Beloved was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. Generally listed as the youngest apostle, he was the son of Ze ...
. After the
conversion of Paul the Apostle The conversion of Paul the Apostle (also the Pauline conversion, Damascene conversion, Damascus Christophany and the "road to Damascus" event) was, according to the New Testament, an event in the life of Saul/Paul the Apostle that led him to cea ...
, he claimed the title of "Apostle to the Gentiles". Paul's influence on Christian thinking is said to be more significant than that of any other New Testament author. By the end of the
1st century The 1st century was the century A century is a period of 100 years. Centuries are numbered names of numbers in English#Ordinal numbers, ordinally in English and many other languages. The word ''century'' comes from the Latin ''centum'', meaning ...
, Christianity began to be recognized internally and externally as a separate religion from Judaism which itself was refined and developed further in the centuries after the destruction of the
Second Temple The Second Temple (, , ), later known as Herod's Temple, was the reconstructed Temple in Jerusalem between and 70 CE. It replaced Solomon's Temple, which had been built at the same location in the Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy), United Kin ...
. Numerous quotations in the New Testament and other Christian writings of the first centuries, indicate that early Christians generally used and revered the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
Hebrew: ''Tān ...
(the
Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
'' religious text Religious texts, including scripture, are Text (literary theory), texts which various religions consider to be of central importance to their religious tradition. They differ from literature by being a compilation or discussion of beliefs, m ...
, mostly in the Greek (
Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals, LXX), is the earliest extant Greek language, Greek translation of books from the Hebrew Bible. It includes several ...
) or Aramaic (
Targum A targum ( arc, תרגום 'interpretation, translation, version') was an originally spoken translation of the Hebrew Bible (also called the ''Tanakh'') that a professional translator ( ''mǝturgǝmān'') would give in the common language of the ...
) translations. Early Christians wrote many religious works, including the ones included in the
canon of the New Testament A biblical canon is a set of texts (also called "books") which a particular Jewish or Christian religious community regards as part of the Bible. The English word ''canon'' comes from the Ancient Greek, Greek , meaning "ruler, rule" or "measu ...
. The canonical texts, which have become the main sources used by historians to try to understand the historical Jesus and sacred texts within Christianity, were probably written between 50 and 120 AD.


Historical views

Prior to the Enlightenment, the Gospels were usually regarded as accurate historical accounts, but since then scholars have emerged who question the reliability of the Gospels and draw a distinction between the Jesus described in the Gospels and the Jesus of history. Since the 18th century, three separate scholarly quests for the historical Jesus have taken place, each with distinct characteristics and based on different research criteria, which were often developed during the quest that applied them. While there is widespread scholarly agreement on the existence of Jesus, and a basic consensus on the general outline of his life, the portraits of Jesus constructed by various scholars often differ from each other, and from the image portrayed in the gospel accounts. Approaches to the historical reconstruction of the life of Jesus have varied from the "maximalist" approaches of the 19th century, in which the gospel accounts were accepted as reliable evidence wherever it is possible, to the "minimalist" approaches of the early 20th century, where hardly anything about Jesus was accepted as historical. In the 1950s, as the second quest for the historical Jesus gathered pace, the minimalist approaches faded away, and in the 21st century, minimalists such as
Price A price is the (usually not negative) quantity of payment or Financial compensation, compensation given by one Party (law), party to another in return for Good (economics), goods or Service (economics), services. In some situations, the pr ...
are a very small minority. Although a belief in the inerrancy of the Gospels cannot be supported historically, many scholars since the 1980s have held that, beyond the few facts considered to be historically certain, certain other elements of Jesus' life are "historically probable". Modern scholarly research on the historical Jesus thus focuses on identifying the most probable elements.


Judea and Galilee in the 1st century

In AD 6,
Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Standard ''Yəhūda'', Tiberian vocalization, Tiberian ''Yehūḏā''; el, Ἰουδαία, ; la, Iūdaea) is an ancient, historic, Biblical Hebrew, contemporaneous L ...
,
Idumea Edom (; Edomite language, Edomite: ; he, Wiktionary:אדום, אֱדוֹם , lit.: "red"; Akkadian language, Akkadian: , ; Egyptian language, Ancient Egyptian: ) was an ancient kingdom in Transjordan (region), Transjordan, located between ...
, and
Samaria Samaria (; he, שֹׁמְרוֹן, translit=Šōmrōn, ar, السامرة, translit=as-Sāmirah) is the historic and Hebrew Bible, biblical name used for the central region of Palestine (region), Palestine, bordered by Judea to the south and ...
were transformed from a
Herodian Herodian or Herodianus ( el, Ἡρωδιανός) of Roman Syria, Syria, sometimes referred to as "Herodian of Antioch" (c. 170 – c. 240), was a minor Roman civil servant who wrote a colourful history in Greek titled ''History of the Empire fro ...
client kingdom A client state, in international relations International relations (IR), sometimes referred to as international studies and international affairs, is the Scientific method, scientific study of interactions between sovereign states. In a b ...
of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings aro ...
into an imperial province, also called
Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Standard ''Yəhūda'', Tiberian vocalization, Tiberian ''Yehūḏā''; el, Ἰουδαία, ; la, Iūdaea) is an ancient, historic, Biblical Hebrew, contemporaneous L ...
. A Roman
prefect Prefect (from the Latin ''praefectus'', substantive adjectival form of ''praeficere'': "put in front", meaning in charge) is a Magistrate, magisterial title of varying definition, but essentially refers to the leader of an administrative area. ...
, rather than a client king, ruled the land. The prefect ruled from
Caesarea Maritima Caesarea Maritima (; Greek: ''Parálios Kaisáreia''), formerly Strato's Tower, also known as Caesarea Palestinae, was an ancient city in the Sharon plain on the coast of the Mediterranean, now in ruins and included in an Israeli national pa ...
, leaving
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
to be run by the
High Priest of Israel High Priest ( he, כהן גדול, translit=Kohen Gadol or ; ) was the title of the chief religious official of Judaism from the early post-Babylonian captivity, Exilic times until Siege of Jerusalem (70 CE), the destruction of the Second Temple ...
. As an exception, the prefect came to Jerusalem during religious festivals, when religious and patriotic enthusiasm sometimes inspired unrest or uprisings. Gentile lands surrounded the Jewish territories of Judea and
Galilee Galilee (; he, הַגָּלִיל, hagGālīl; ar, الجليل, al-jalīl) is a region located in northern Israel and southern Lebanon. Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous part, divided into Upper Galilee (, ; , ) and Lower Galile ...
, but Roman law and practice allowed Jews to remain separate legally and culturally. Galilee was evidently prosperous, and poverty was limited enough that it did not threaten the social order. This was the era of
Hellenistic Judaism Hellenistic Judaism was a form of Judaism in classical antiquity that combined Jewish religious tradition with elements of Greek culture. Until the early Muslim conquests of the eastern Mediterranean, the main centers of Hellenistic Judaism were A ...
, which combined Jewish religious tradition with elements of
Hellenistic In Classical antiquity, the Hellenistic period covers the time in History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history after Classical Greece, between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as sig ...
Greek culture. Until the
fall of the Western Roman Empire The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of Ancient Rome, Rome) was the loss of central political control in the Western Roman Empire, a process in which the Empire failed to enforce its rul ...
and the
Muslim conquests The early Muslim conquests or early Islamic conquests ( ar, الْفُتُوحَاتُ الإسْلَامِيَّة, ), also referred to as the Arab conquests, were initiated in the 7th century by Muhammad, the Muhammad in Islam, main Islamic ...
of the Eastern Mediterranean, the main centers of Hellenistic Judaism were
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, ٱلْإِسْكَنْدَرِيَّةُ ; grc-gre, Αλεξάνδρεια, Alexándria) is the second largest city in Egypt, and the largest city on the Mediterranean coast. Founded in by Alexander the Great, Alexandria ...
(Egypt) and
Antioch Antioch on the Orontes (; grc-gre, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου, ''Antiókheia hē epì Oróntou'', Koine Greek phonology#Learned pronunciation, 4th century BC until early Roman period, Learned ; also Syrian Antioch) grc-koi ...
(now Southern Turkey), the two main Greek urban settlements of the Middle East and North Africa area, both founded at the end of the 4th century BCE in the wake of the conquests of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc, wikt:Ἀλέξανδρος, Ἀλέξανδρος, Alexandros; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greece, ancient Greek kingdom of Maced ...
. Hellenistic Judaism also existed in
Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period Jerusalem during the Second Temple period describes the history of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period, from the return to Zion under Cyrus the Great (c. 538 BC) to the Siege of Jerusalem (70 CE), siege and destruction the city by Titus du ...
, where there was conflict between Hellenizers and traditionalists (sometimes called
Judaizers The Judaizers were a faction of the Jewish Christians, both of Jews, Jewish and Gentile, non-Jewish origins, who regarded the Book of Leviticus, Levitical laws of the Old Testament as still binding on all Christians. They tried to enforce Religio ...
). The
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
Hebrew: ''Tān ...
was translated from
Biblical Hebrew Biblical Hebrew (, or , ), also called Classical Hebrew, is an wikt:archaic, archaic form of the Hebrew language, a language in the Canaanite languages, Canaanite branch of Semitic languages spoken by the Israelites in the area known as the ...
and
Biblical Aramaic Biblical Aramaic is the form of Aramaic that is used in the books of Book of Daniel, Daniel and Book of Ezra, Ezra in the Hebrew Bible. It should not be confused with the Targum, Targums – Aramaic paraphrases, explanations and expansions of t ...
into Jewish Koine Greek; the
Targum A targum ( arc, תרגום 'interpretation, translation, version') was an originally spoken translation of the Hebrew Bible (also called the ''Tanakh'') that a professional translator ( ''mǝturgǝmān'') would give in the common language of the ...
translations into Aramaic were also generated during this era, both due to the decline of knowledge of Hebrew. Jews based their faith and religious practice on the
Torah The Torah (; hbo, ''Tōrā'', "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") is the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of Book of Genesis, Genesis, Book of Exodus, Exodus, Leviticus, Book of Numbers, Numbers a ...
, five books said to have been given by God to
Moses Moses hbo, מֹשֶׁה, Mōše; also known as Moshe or Moshe Rabbeinu (Mishnaic Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ, ); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, Mūše; ar, موسى, Mūsā; grc, Mωϋσῆς, Mōÿsēs () is considered the most important Prop ...
. The three prominent religious parties were the
Pharisees The Pharisees (; he, פְּרוּשִׁים, Pərūšīm) were a Jews, Jewish social movement and a school of thought in the Levant during the time of Second Temple Judaism. After the Siege of Jerusalem (AD 70), destruction of the Second Temp ...
, the Essenes, and the
Sadducees The Sadducees (; he, צְדוּקִים, Ṣədūqīm) were a socio-religious sect of Jewish people who were active in Judea during the Second Temple period, from the second century BCE through the destruction of the Second Temple , Temple in ...
. Together these parties represented only a small fraction of the population. Most Jews looked forward to a time that God would deliver them from their pagan rulers, possibly through war against the Romans.


Sources

New Testament scholars face a formidable challenge when they analyze the canonical Gospels. The Gospels are not biographies in the modern sense, and the authors explain Jesus' theological significance and recount his public ministry while omitting many details of his life. The reports of supernatural events associated with Jesus' death and resurrection make the challenge even more difficult. Scholars regard the Gospels as compromised sources of information because the writers were trying to glorify Jesus. Even so, the sources for Jesus' life are better than sources scholars have for the life of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc, wikt:Ἀλέξανδρος, Ἀλέξανδρος, Alexandros; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greece, ancient Greek kingdom of Maced ...
. Scholars use a number of criteria, such as the criterion of independent attestation, the criterion of coherence, and the criterion of discontinuity to judge the historicity of events. The historicity of an event also depends on the reliability of the source; indeed, the Gospels are not independent nor consistent records of Jesus' life. Mark, which is most likely the earliest written gospel, has been considered for many decades the most historically accurate. John, the latest written gospel, differs considerably from the Synoptic Gospels, and thus is generally considered less reliable, although more and more scholars now also recognize that it may contain a core of older material as historically valuable as the Synoptic tradition or even more so. Some scholars (most notably the
Jesus Seminar The Jesus Seminar was a group of about 50 biblical criticism, critical biblical scholars and 100 layman, laymen founded in 1985 by Robert W. Funk, Robert Funk that originated under the auspices of the Westar Institute.''Making Sense of the New Te ...
) believe that the non-canonical
Gospel of Thomas The Gospel of Thomas (also known as the Coptic Gospel of Thomas) is an extra-canonical Logia, sayings gospel. It was discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in December 1945 among a group of books known as the Nag Hammadi library. Scholars specu ...
might be an independent witness to many of Jesus' parables and aphorisms. For example, Thomas confirms that Jesus blessed the poor and that this saying circulated independently before being combined with similar sayings in the
Q source The Q source (also called Q document(s), Q Gospel, or Q; from german: Quelle, meaning "source") is a Hypothesis, hypothetical written collection of primarily Jesus' sayings (λόγια : ). Q is part of the common material found in the Gospel o ...
. However, the majority of scholars are skeptical about this text and believe it should be dated to the 2nd century CE instead. Other select non-canonical Christian texts may also have value for historical Jesus research. Early non-Christian sources that attest to the historical existence of Jesus include the works of the historians
Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century Roman Jews, Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for ''The Jewish War'', who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Judea (Roman province), Roman ...
and
Tacitus Publius Cornelius Tacitus, known simply as Tacitus ( , ; – ), was a Roman historian and politician. Tacitus is widely regarded as one of the greatest Roman historiography, Roman historians by modern scholars. The surviving portions of his t ...
. Josephus scholar
Louis Feldman Louis Harry Feldman (October 29, 1926 – March 25, 2017) was an American professor of classics Classics or classical studies is the study of classical antiquity. In the Western world, classics traditionally refers to the study of Cla ...
has stated that "few have doubted the genuineness" of Josephus's reference to Jesus in book 20 of the ''
Antiquities of the Jews ''Antiquities of the Jews'' ( la, Antiquitates Iudaicae; el, Ἰουδαϊκὴ ἀρχαιολογία, ''Ioudaikē archaiologia'') is a 20-volume Historiography, historiographical work, written in Greek language, Greek, by historian Josephus, F ...
'', and it is disputed only by a small number of scholars. Tacitus referred to Christ and his execution by Pilate in book 15 of his work ''
Annals Annals ( la, wikt:annales, annāles, from , "year") are a concise history, historical record in which events are arranged chronology, chronologically, year by year, although the term is also used loosely for any historical record. Scope The natur ...
''. Scholars generally consider Tacitus's reference to the execution of Jesus to be both authentic and of historical value as an independent Roman source. Non-Christian sources are valuable in two ways. First, they show that even neutral or hostile parties never show any doubt that Jesus actually existed. Second, they present a rough picture of Jesus that is compatible with that found in the Christian sources: that Jesus was a teacher, had a reputation as a miracle worker, had a brother James, and died a violent death. Archaeology helps scholars better understand Jesus' social world. Recent archaeological work, for example, indicates that
Capernaum Capernaum ( ; he, כְּפַר נַחוּם, Kfar Naḥum, Nahum's village; ar, كفر ناحوم, Kafr Nāḥūm) was a fishing village established during the time of the Hasmonean dynasty, Hasmoneans, located on the northern shore of the S ...
, a city important in Jesus' ministry, was poor and small, without even a
forum Forum or The Forum (plural forums or fora) may refer to: Common uses *Forum (legal), designated space for public expression in the United States *Forum (Roman), open public space within a Roman city **Roman Forum, most famous example *Internet ...
or an
agora The agora (; grc, ἀγορά, romanized: ', meaning "market" in Modern Greek) was a central public space in ancient Ancient Greece, Greek polis, city-states. It is the best representation of a city-state's response to accommodate the social a ...
. This archaeological discovery resonates well with the scholarly view that Jesus advocated reciprocal sharing among the destitute in that area of Galilee.


Chronology

Jesus was a Galilean Jew, born around the beginning of the 1st century, who died in 30 or 33 AD in
Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Standard ''Yəhūda'', Tiberian vocalization, Tiberian ''Yehūḏā''; el, Ἰουδαία, ; la, Iūdaea) is an ancient, historic, Biblical Hebrew, contemporaneous L ...
. The general scholarly consensus is that Jesus was a contemporary of
John the Baptist John the Baptist or , , or , ;Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history''. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 1994. syc, ܝܘܿܚܲܢܵܢ ܡܲܥܡܕ݂ܵܢܵܐ, Yoḥanān Maʿmḏānā; he, יוחנן המטביל, Yohanān HaMatbil; la, Ioannes Bapti ...
and was crucified as ordered by the Roman governor
Pontius Pilate Pontius Pilate (; grc-gre, Πόντιος Πιλᾶτος, ) was the fifth governor of the Roman province of Judaea, serving under Emperor Tiberius Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus (; 16 November 42 BC – 16 March AD 37) was the second Rom ...
, who held office from 26 to 36 AD. The Gospels offer several indications concerning the year of Jesus' birth. Matthew 2:1 associates the birth of Jesus with the reign of
Herod the Great Herod I (; ; grc-gre, ; c. 72 – 4 or 1 BCE), also known as Herod the Great, was a History of the Jews in the Roman Empire, Roman Jewish client state, client king of Judea, referred to as the Herodian Kingdom of Judea, Herodian kingdom. He ...
, who died around 4 BC, and Luke 1:5 mentions that Herod was on the throne shortly before the birth of Jesus, although this gospel also associates the birth with the Census of Quirinius which took place ten years later. Luke 3:23 states that Jesus was "about thirty years old" at the start of his ministry, which according to Acts 10:37–38 was preceded by John the Baptist's ministry, which was recorded in Luke 3:1–2 to have begun in the 15th year of
Tiberius Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus (; 16 November 42 BC – 16 March AD 37) was the second Roman emperor. He reigned from AD 14 until 37, succeeding his stepfather, the first Roman emperor Augustus. Tiberius was born in Rome in 42 BC. His father ...
's reign (28 or 29 AD). By collating the gospel accounts with historical data and using various other methods, most scholars arrive at a date of birth for Jesus between 6 and 4 BC, but some propose estimates that include a wider range. The date range for Jesus' ministry has been estimated using several different approaches. One of these applies the reference in Luke 3:1–2, Acts 10:37–38, and the dates of Tiberius's reign, which are well known, to give a date of around 28–29 AD for the start of Jesus' ministry. Another approach estimates a date around 27–29 AD by using the statement about the temple in John 2:13–20, which asserts that the
temple in Jerusalem The Temple in Jerusalem, or alternatively the Holy Temple (; , ), refers to the two now-destroyed religious structures that served as the central places of worship for Israelites and Jews on the modern-day Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusa ...
was in its 46th year of construction at the start of Jesus' ministry, together with Josephus's statement that the temple's reconstruction was started by Herod the Great in the 18th year of his reign. A further method uses the date of the death of John the Baptist and the marriage of
Herod Antipas Herod Antipas ( el, Ἡρῴδης Ἀντίπας, ''Hērǭdēs Antipas''; born before 20 BC – died after 39 AD), was a 1st-century ruler of Galilee and Perea (region) , Perea, who bore the title of Herodian Tetrarchy, tetrarch ("ruler of a qu ...
to
Herodias Herodias ( el, Ἡρῳδιάς, ''Hērǭdiás''; ''c.'' 15 BC – after AD 39) was a princess of the Herodian dynasty of Judaea during the time of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία ...
, based on the writings of Josephus, and correlates it with Matthew 14:4 and Mark 6:18. Given that most scholars date the marriage of Herod and Herodias as AD 28–35, this yields a date about 28–29 AD. A number of approaches have been used to estimate the year of the crucifixion of Jesus. Most scholars agree that he died in 30 or 33 AD. The Gospels state that the event occurred during the prefecture of Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea from 26 to 36 AD. The date for the
conversion of Paul Conversion or convert may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Conversion (Doctor Who audio), "Conversion" (''Doctor Who'' audio), an episode of the audio drama ''Cyberman'' * Conversion (Stargate Atlantis), "Conversion" (''Stargate Atlanti ...
(estimated to be 33–36 AD) acts as an upper bound for the date of Crucifixion. The dates for Paul's conversion and ministry can be determined by analyzing the
Pauline epistles The Pauline epistles, also known as Epistles of Paul or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen books of the New Testament attributed to Paul the Apostle, although the authorship of some is in dispute. Among these epistles are some of the earliest extan ...
and the
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum) is the fifth book of the New Testament; it tells of the founding of the Christian Church and the spread of The gospel, ...
. Astronomers have tried to estimate the precise date of the Crucifixion by analyzing lunar motion and calculating historic dates of
Passover Passover, also called Pesach (; ), is a major Jewish holidays, Jewish holiday that celebrates the The Exodus, Biblical story of the Israelites escape from slavery in Ancient Egypt, Egypt, which occurs on the 15th day of the Hebrew calendar, He ...
, a festival based on the Lunisolar calendar, lunisolar Hebrew calendar. The most widely accepted dates derived from this method are 7 April 30 AD, and 3 April 33 AD (both Julian calendar, Julian).


Historicity of events

Nearly all historical scholars agree that Jesus was a real person who historically existed. Scholars have reached a limited consensus on the basics of Jesus' life.


Family

Many scholars agree that Joseph, Jesus' father, died before Jesus began his ministry. Joseph is not mentioned at all in the Gospels during Jesus' ministry. Joseph's death would explain why in Mark 6:3, Jesus' neighbors refer to Jesus as the "son of Mary" (sons were usually identified by their fathers). According to Theissen and Merz, it is common for extraordinary Charismatic authority, charismatic leaders, such as Jesus, to come into conflict with their ordinary families. In Mark, Jesus' family comes to get him, fearing that he is mad (Mark 3:20–34), and this account is thought to be historical because early Christians would likely not have invented it. After Jesus' death, many members of his family joined the Christian movement. Jesus' brother James became a leader of the Jerusalem Church. Géza Vermes says that the doctrine of the
virgin birth of Jesus The virgin birth of Jesus is the Christian doctrine that Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Na ...
arose from theological development rather than from historical events. Despite the widely held view that the authors of the Synoptic Gospels drew upon each other (the so-called synoptic problem), other scholars take it as significant that the virgin birth is criterion of multiple attestation, attested by two separate gospels, Matthew and Luke. According to E. P. Sanders, the Nativity of Jesus, birth narratives in the
Gospel of Matthew The Gospel of Matthew), or simply Matthew. It is most commonly abbreviated as "Matt." is the first book of the New Testament of the Bible and one of the three synoptic Gospels. It tells how Israel's Messiah, Jesus, comes to his people and form ...
and the
Gospel of Luke The Gospel of Luke), or simply Luke (which is also its most common form of abbreviation). tells of the origins, Nativity of Jesus, birth, Ministry of Jesus, ministry, Crucifixion of Jesus, death, Resurrection of Jesus, resurrection, and Ascensi ...
are the clearest case of invention in the Gospel narratives of Jesus' life. Both accounts have Jesus born in
Bethlehem Bethlehem (; ar, بيت لحم ; he, בֵּית לֶחֶם '' '') is a city in the central West Bank, Palestine, about south of Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical ...
, in accordance with Jewish salvation history, and both have him growing up in Nazareth. But Sanders points that the two Gospels report completely different and irreconcilable explanations for how that happened. Luke's account of a census in which everyone returned to their ancestral cities is not plausible. Matthew's account is more plausible, but the story reads as though it was invented to identify Jesus as like a new
Moses Moses hbo, מֹשֶׁה, Mōše; also known as Moshe or Moshe Rabbeinu (Mishnaic Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ, ); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, Mūše; ar, موسى, Mūsā; grc, Mωϋσῆς, Mōÿsēs () is considered the most important Prop ...
, and the historian
Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century Roman Jews, Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for ''The Jewish War'', who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Judea (Roman province), Roman ...
reports Herod the Great's brutality without ever mentioning that Massacre of the Innocents, he massacred little boys. The contradictions between the two Gospels was probably apparent to the early Christians already, since attempts to harmonize the two narratives are already present in the earlier apochryphal infancy gospels (the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of James), which are dated to the 2nd century CE. Sanders says that the genealogies of Jesus are based not on historical information but on the authors' desire to show that Jesus was the universal Jewish savior. In any event, once the doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus became established, that tradition superseded the earlier tradition that he was descended from
David David (; , "beloved one") (traditional spelling), , ''Dāwūd''; grc-koi, Δαυΐδ, Dauíd; la, Davidus, David; gez , ዳዊት, ''Dawit''; xcl, Դաւիթ, ''Dawitʿ''; cu, Давíдъ, ''Davidŭ''; possibly meaning "beloved one". w ...
through Joseph. The
Gospel of Luke The Gospel of Luke), or simply Luke (which is also its most common form of abbreviation). tells of the origins, Nativity of Jesus, birth, Ministry of Jesus, ministry, Crucifixion of Jesus, death, Resurrection of Jesus, resurrection, and Ascensi ...
reports that Jesus was a Consanguinity, blood relative of
John the Baptist John the Baptist or , , or , ;Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history''. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 1994. syc, ܝܘܿܚܲܢܵܢ ܡܲܥܡܕ݂ܵܢܵܐ, Yoḥanān Maʿmḏānā; he, יוחנן המטביל, Yohanān HaMatbil; la, Ioannes Bapti ...
, but scholars generally consider this connection to be invented.


Baptism

Most modern scholars consider Jesus' baptism to be a definite historical fact, along with his crucifixion. Theologian James Dunn (theologian), James D. G. Dunn states that they "command almost universal assent" and "rank so high on the 'almost impossible to doubt or deny' scale of historical facts" that they are often the starting points for the study of the historical Jesus. Scholars adduce the criterion of embarrassment, saying that early Christians would not have invented a baptism that might imply that Jesus committed sins and wanted to Repentance, repent. According to Theissen and Merz, Jesus was inspired by
John the Baptist John the Baptist or , , or , ;Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history''. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 1994. syc, ܝܘܿܚܲܢܵܢ ܡܲܥܡܕ݂ܵܢܵܐ, Yoḥanān Maʿmḏānā; he, יוחנן המטביל, Yohanān HaMatbil; la, Ioannes Bapti ...
and took over from him many elements of his teaching.


Ministry in Galilee

Most scholars hold that Jesus lived in
Galilee Galilee (; he, הַגָּלִיל, hagGālīl; ar, الجليل, al-jalīl) is a region located in northern Israel and southern Lebanon. Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous part, divided into Upper Galilee (, ; , ) and Lower Galile ...
and
Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Standard ''Yəhūda'', Tiberian vocalization, Tiberian ''Yehūḏā''; el, Ἰουδαία, ; la, Iūdaea) is an ancient, historic, Biblical Hebrew, contemporaneous L ...
and did not preach or study elsewhere. They agree that Jesus debated with Jewish authorities on the subject of God, performed some healings, taught in
parable A parable is a succinct, Didacticism, didactic story, in prose or Verse (poetry), verse, that illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles. It differs from a fable in that fables employ animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces ...
s and gathered followers. Jesus' Jewish critics considered his ministry to be scandalous because he feasted with sinners, fraternized with women, and allowed his followers to pluck grain on the Sabbath. According to Sanders, it is not plausible that disagreements over how to interpret the Law of Moses and the Sabbath would have led Jewish authorities to want Jesus killed. According to Ehrman, Jesus taught that a coming kingdom was everyone's proper focus, not anything in this life. He taught about the Jewish Law, seeking its true meaning, sometimes in opposition to other traditions. Jesus put love at the center of the Law, and following that Law was an apocalyptic necessity. His ethical teachings called for forgiveness, not judging others, loving enemies, and caring for the poor. Funk and Hoover note that typical of Jesus were paradoxical or surprising turns of phrase, such as advising one, when struck on the cheek, Turning the other cheek, to offer the other cheek to be struck as well. The Gospels portray Jesus teaching in well-defined sessions, such as the
Sermon on the Mount The Sermon on the Mount (anglicized from the Matthean Vulgate Latin section title: ) is a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth found in the Gospel of Matthew (chapters Matthew 5, 5, Matthew 6, 6, and Matthew 7, 7). ...
in the Gospel of Matthew or the parallel Sermon on the Plain in Luke. According to Gerd Theissen and Annette Merz, these teaching sessions include authentic teachings of Jesus, but the scenes were invented by the respective evangelists to frame these teachings, which had originally been recorded without context. While Jesus'
miracle A miracle is an event that is inexplicable by physical laws, natural or scientific lawsOne dictionary define"Miracle"as: "A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the ...
s fit within the social context of Ancient history, antiquity, he defined them differently. First, he attributed them to the faith of those healed. Second, he connected them to Eschatology, end times prophecy. Jesus chose Apostles in the New Testament, twelve disciples (the "Twelve"), evidently as an Apocalypticism, apocalyptic message. All three Synoptics mention the Twelve, although the names on Luke's list vary from those in Mark and Matthew, suggesting that Christians were not certain who all the disciples were. The twelve disciples might have represented the twelve original Twelve Tribes of Israel, tribes of Israel, which would be restored once God's rule was instituted. The disciples were reportedly meant to be the rulers of the tribes in the coming Kingdom. According to Bart Ehrman, Jesus' promise that the Twelve would rule is historical, because the Twelve included
Judas Iscariot Judas Iscariot (; grc-x-biblical, Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριώτης; syc, ܝܗܘܕܐ ܣܟܪܝܘܛܐ; died AD) was a Disciple (Christianity), disciple and one of the original Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ (title), Christ. According to a ...
. In Ehrman's view, no Christians would have invented a line from Jesus, promising rulership to the disciple who betrayed him. In Mark, the disciples play hardly any role other than a negative one. While others sometimes respond to Jesus with complete faith, his disciples are puzzled and doubtful. They serve as a Foil (literature), foil to Jesus and to other characters. The failings of the disciples are probably exaggerated in Mark, and the disciples make a better showing in Matthew and Luke. Sanders says that Jesus' mission was not about repentance, although he acknowledges that this opinion is unpopular. He argues that repentance appears as a strong theme only in Luke, that repentance was
John the Baptist John the Baptist or , , or , ;Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history''. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 1994. syc, ܝܘܿܚܲܢܵܢ ܡܲܥܡܕ݂ܵܢܵܐ, Yoḥanān Maʿmḏānā; he, יוחנן המטביל, Yohanān HaMatbil; la, Ioannes Bapti ...
's message, and that Jesus' ministry would not have been scandalous if the sinners he ate with had been repentant. According to Theissen and Merz, Jesus taught that God was generously giving people an opportunity to repent.


Role

Jesus taught that an apocalyptic figure, the " Son of Man", would soon come on clouds of glory to gather the elect, or chosen ones. He referred to himself as a "son of man" in the colloquial sense of "a person", but scholars do not know whether he also meant himself when he referred to the heavenly "Son of Man". Paul the Apostle and other early Christians interpreted the "Son of Man" as the risen Jesus. The Gospels refer to Jesus not only as a messiah but in the absolute form as "the Messiah" or, equivalently, "the Christ". In early Judaism, this absolute form of the title is not found, but only phrases such as "his messiah". The tradition is ambiguous enough to leave room for debate as to whether Jesus defined his Eschatology, eschatological role as that of the messiah. The Jewish messianic tradition included many different forms, some of them focused on a messiah figure and others not. Based on the Christian tradition, Gerd Theissen advances the hypothesis that Jesus saw himself in messianic terms but did not claim the title "Messiah". Bart Ehrman argues that Jesus did consider himself to be the messiah, albeit in the sense that he would be the king of the new political order that God would usher in, not in the sense that most people today think of the term.


Passover and crucifixion in Jerusalem

Around AD 30, Jesus and his followers traveled from
Galilee Galilee (; he, הַגָּלִיל, hagGālīl; ar, الجليل, al-jalīl) is a region located in northern Israel and southern Lebanon. Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous part, divided into Upper Galilee (, ; , ) and Lower Galile ...
to
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
to observe
Passover Passover, also called Pesach (; ), is a major Jewish holidays, Jewish holiday that celebrates the The Exodus, Biblical story of the Israelites escape from slavery in Ancient Egypt, Egypt, which occurs on the 15th day of the Hebrew calendar, He ...
. Jesus caused a disturbance in the
Second Temple The Second Temple (, , ), later known as Herod's Temple, was the reconstructed Temple in Jerusalem between and 70 CE. It replaced Solomon's Temple, which had been built at the same location in the Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy), United Kin ...
, which was the center of Jewish religious and civil authority. Sanders associates it with Jesus' prophecy that the Temple would be totally demolished. Jesus held a last meal with his disciples, which is the origin of the Christian sacrament of bread and wine. His words as recorded in the Synoptic gospels and Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, First Letter to the Corinthians do not entirely agree, but this symbolic meal appears to have pointed to Jesus' place in the coming Kingdom of God when very probably Jesus knew he was about to be killed, although he may have still hoped that God might yet intervene. The Gospels say that Jesus was betrayed to the authorities by a disciple, and many scholars consider this report to be highly reliable. He was executed on the orders of
Pontius Pilate Pontius Pilate (; grc-gre, Πόντιος Πιλᾶτος, ) was the fifth governor of the Roman province of Judaea, serving under Emperor Tiberius Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus (; 16 November 42 BC – 16 March AD 37) was the second Rom ...
, the Roman
prefect Prefect (from the Latin ''praefectus'', substantive adjectival form of ''praeficere'': "put in front", meaning in charge) is a Magistrate, magisterial title of varying definition, but essentially refers to the leader of an administrative area. ...
of Judea (Roman province), Judaea. Pilate most likely saw Jesus' reference to the Kingdom of God as a threat to Roman authority and worked with the Temple elites to have Jesus executed. The Sadducean high-priestly leaders of the Temple more plausibly had Jesus executed for political reasons than for his teaching. They may have regarded him as a threat to stability, especially after he caused a disturbance at the Second Temple. Other factors, such as Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, may have contributed to this decision. Most scholars consider Jesus' crucifixion to be factual, because early Christians would not have invented the painful death of their leader.


After crucifixion

After Jesus' death, his followers said he was restored to life, although exact details of their experiences are unclear. The gospel reports contradict each other, possibly suggesting competition among those claiming to have seen him first rather than deliberate fraud. On the other hand, L. Michael White suggests that inconsistencies in the Gospels reflect differences in the agendas of their unknown authors. The followers of Jesus formed a community to wait for his return and the founding of his kingdom.


Portraits of Jesus

Modern research on the historical Jesus has not led to a unified picture of the historical figure, partly because of the variety of academic traditions represented by the scholars. Given the scarcity of historical sources, it is generally difficult for any scholar to construct a portrait of Jesus that can be considered historically valid beyond the basic elements of his life. The portraits of Jesus constructed in these quests often differ from each other, and from the image portrayed in the Gospels. Jesus is seen as the founder of, in the words of Sanders, a "renewal movement within Judaism". One of the criteria used to discern historical details in the "third quest" is the criterion of plausibility, relative to Jesus' Jewish context and to his influence on Christianity. A disagreement in contemporary research is whether Jesus was Apocalypticism, apocalyptic. Most scholars conclude that he was an apocalyptic preacher, like
John the Baptist John the Baptist or , , or , ;Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history''. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 1994. syc, ܝܘܿܚܲܢܵܢ ܡܲܥܡܕ݂ܵܢܵܐ, Yoḥanān Maʿmḏānā; he, יוחנן המטביל, Yohanān HaMatbil; la, Ioannes Bapti ...
and Paul the Apostle. In contrast, certain prominent North American scholars, such as Burton Mack and John Dominic Crossan, advocate for a non-Eschatology, eschatological Jesus, one who is more of a Cynicism (philosophy), Cynic Sage (philosophy), sage than an apocalyptic preacher. In addition to portraying Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet, a charismatic healer or a Cynicism (philosophy), cynic philosopher, some scholars portray him as the true messiah or an Egalitarianism, egalitarian prophet of social change. However, the attributes described in the portraits sometimes overlap, and scholars who differ on some attributes sometimes agree on others. Since the 18th century, scholars have occasionally put forth that Jesus was a political national messiah, but the evidence for this portrait is negligible. Likewise, the proposal that Jesus was a Zealots (Judea), Zealot does not fit with the earliest strata of the Synoptic tradition.


Titles and other names for Jesus

In addition to "Christ", Jesus is affectionately called by various other names or titles throughout the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...
. Some of them include: * Almighty (Revelation 1:8) * Alpha and Omega (Revelation 22:13) * Advocate (1 John 2:1) * Author and Perfecter of Our Faith (Hebrews 12:2) * Authority (Matthew 28:18) * Bread of Life (John 6:35) * Beloved Son of God (Matthew 3:17) * Counsellor (Isaiah 9:6) * Creator (John 1:3) * Chief Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:4) * The Bridegroom (Matthew 9:15) * The Bread of Life (John 6:35) * Deliverer (1 Thessalonians 1:10) * The Door (John 10:9) * Eternal (John 8:58) * Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11) * God (John 20:28, 2 Peter 1:1) * Good Shepherd (John 10:11) * Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14) * Head of the Church (Ephesians 1:22) * Holy Servant (Acts 4:29-30) * I am (biblical term), I am (John 8:58) * Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14) * Indescribable Gift (2 Corinthians 9:15) * Judge (Acts 10:42) * King of Kings (Revelation 17:14) * Lamb of God (John 1:29) * The Life (John 11:25, 14:6) * Light of the World (John 8:12) * Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5) * Lord of All (Philippians 2:9-11) * Mediator (I Timothy 2:5) * The Messiah (John 1:41) * One Who Sets Free (John 8:36) * Our Hope (1 Timothy 1:1) * Peace (Ephesians 2:14) * Prophet (Mark 6:4) * The Resurrection (John 11:25) * Risen Lord (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) * The Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4) * Sacrifice for Our Sins (1 John 4:10) * Savior (Luke 2:11) * Son of Man (Luke 19:10) * Son of the Most High (Luke 1:32) * Supreme Creator Over All (Colossians 1:16-17) * True Vine (John 15:1) * The Truth (John 8:32, 14:6) * Victorious One (Revelation 3:21) * The Way (John 14:6) * The Word (John 1:1)


Language, ethnicity, and appearance

Jesus grew up in Galilee and much of his ministry took place there. The languages spoken in Galilee and Judea during the 1st century AD include Jewish Palestinian Aramaic,
Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-surviving descendants, ...
, and
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
, with Aramaic being predominant. There is substantial consensus that Jesus gave most of his teachings in Aramaic in the Galilean dialect. Modern scholars agree that Jesus was a Jew of 1st-century Palestine (region), Palestine. ''Ioudaios'' in New Testament Greek is a term which in the contemporary context may refer to religion (Second Temple Judaism), ethnicity (of Judea), or both. In a review of the state of modern scholarship, Amy-Jill Levine writes that the entire question of ethnicity is "fraught with difficulty", and that "beyond recognizing that 'Jesus was Jewish', rarely does the scholarship address what being 'Jewish' means". The New Testament gives no description of the physical appearance of Jesus before his death—it is generally indifferent to racial appearances and does not refer to the features of the people it mentions. Jesus probably looked like a typical Jewish man of his time and place; standing around tall with a thin but fit build, Olive skin, olive-brown skin, brown eyes and short, dark hair. He also likely had a beard that was not particularly long or heavy. His clothing may have suggested poverty consisting of a mantle (shawl) with tassels, a knee-length basic tunic and sandals.


Christ myth theory

The Christ myth theory is the hypothesis that Jesus of Nazareth never existed; or if he did, that he had virtually nothing to do with the founding of Christianity and the accounts in the gospels. Stories of Jesus' birth, along with other key events, have so many mythic elements that some scholars have suggested that Jesus himself was a myth. Bruno Bauer (1809–1882) taught that the first Gospel was a work of literature that produced history rather than described it. According to Albert Kalthoff (1850–1906), a social movement produced Jesus when it encountered Jewish messianic expectations. Arthur Drews (1865–1935) saw Jesus as the concrete form of a myth that predated Christianity. Despite arguments put forward by authors who have questioned the existence of a historical Jesus, there remains a strong consensus in Historical criticism, historical-critical biblical scholarship that a historical Jesus did live in that area and in that time period.James D.G. Dunn "Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus" in ''Sacrifice and Redemption'' edited by S.W. Sykes (3 December 2007) Cambridge University Press pp. 35–36''Jesus Now and Then'' by Richard A. Burridge and Graham Gould (1 April 2004) p. 34''Jesus'' by Michael Grant 2004 p. 200''The Gospels and Jesus'' by Graham Stanton, 1989 Oxford University Press, p. 145Robert E. Van Voorst ''Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence'' Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. p. 16


Perspectives

Apart from his own disciples and followers, the Jews of Jesus' day generally rejected him as the messiah, as do the great majority of Jews today. Christian theologians, ecumenical councils, reformers and others have written extensively about Jesus over the centuries. Christian sects and Christian schisms, schisms have often been defined or characterized by their descriptions of Jesus. Meanwhile, Manichaeism, Manichaeans, Gnosticism, Gnostics, Muslims, Druzes, the Baháʼí Faith, and others, have found prominent places for Jesus in their religions.


Christian

Jesus is the central figure of Christianity. Although Christian views of Jesus vary, it is possible to summarize the key beliefs shared among major Christian denomination, denominations, as stated in their catechism, catechetical or Confessionalism (religion), confessional texts. Christian views of Jesus are derived from various sources, including the canonical gospels and New Testament letters such as the Pauline epistles and the Johannine writings. These documents outline the key beliefs held by Christians about Jesus, including his divinity, humanity, and earthly life, and that he is the Christ and the Son of God. Despite their many shared beliefs, not all Christian denominations agree on all doctrines, and both East–West Schism, major and minor differences on teachings and beliefs have persisted throughout Christianity for centuries. The New Testament states that the resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of the Christian faith. Christians believe that through his sacrifice#Christinity, sacrificial death and resurrection, humans can be reconciliation (theology), reconciled with God and are thereby offered Salvation (Christianity), salvation and the promise of Eternal life (Christianity), eternal life. Recalling the words of John the Baptist on the day after Jesus' baptism, these doctrines sometimes refer to Jesus as the Lamb of God, who was crucified to fulfill his role as the servant of God. Jesus is thus seen as the new Adam, new and last Adam, whose obedience contrasts with Fall of man, Adam's disobedience. Christians view Jesus as a role model, whose God-focused life believers are encouraged to imitate. At present, most Christians believe that Jesus is both human and the Son of God. While there has been Christological controversies, theological debate over his nature, Trinitarian Christians generally believe that Jesus is the Logos, God's incarnation and
God the Son God the Son ( el, Θεὸς ὁ υἱός, la, Deus Filius) is the second person of the Trinity in Christian theology. The doctrine of the Trinity identifies Jesus in Christianity, Jesus as the Incarnation (Christianity), incarnation of God in ...
, both fully divine and fully human. However, the doctrine of the Trinity is not universally accepted among Christians. With the Reformation, Christians such as Michael Servetus and the Socinians started questioning the ancient creeds that had established Jesus' two natures. Nontrinitarian Christian groups include the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Unitarianism, Unitarians and Jehovah's Witnesses. Christians revere not only Jesus himself, but also Name of Jesus, his name. Devotions to the Holy Name of Jesus go back to the earliest days of Christianity. These devotions and feasts exist in both Eastern Christianity, Eastern and Western Church, Western Christianity.


Jewish

Judaism rejects the idea of Jesus (or any future Jewish messiah) being God, or a mediator to God, or part of a Trinity. It holds that Jesus is not the messiah, arguing that he neither fulfilled the Messianic prophecies in the
Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
'' Shraga Simmons, Simmons, Rabbi Shraga
"Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus"
. Accessed 22 December 2011.
Furthermore, according to Jewish tradition, there were no prophets after Malachi, who delivered his prophesies in the 5th century BC. Judaic criticism of Jesus is long-standing, and includes a Jesus in the Talmud, range of stories in the Talmud, written and compiled from the 3rd to the 5th century AD. In one such story, ''Yeshu HaNozri'' ("Jesus the Nazarene"), a lewd apostate, is executed by the Jewish high court for spreading idolatry and practicing magic. According to some, the form Yeshu is an acronym which in Hebrew reads: "may his name and memory be blotted out." The majority of contemporary scholars consider that this material provides no information on the historical Jesus. The ''Mishneh Torah'', a late 12th-century work of Halakha, Jewish law written by Moses Maimonides, states that Jesus is a "stumbling block" who makes "the majority of the world to err and serve a god other than the Lord". Medieval Hebrew literature contains the anecdotal "Episode of Jesus" (known also as ''Toledot Yeshu''), in which Jesus is described as being the son of Joseph, the son of Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera, Pandera (see: s:Translation:Story of Jesus, ''Episode of Jesus''). The account portrays Jesus as an impostor.


Manichaeism

Manichaeism was the first organised religion outside of Christianity to venerate Jesus. He is considered one of the four prophets, along with Zoroaster, Gautama Buddha and Mani (prophet), Mani.


Islamic

A major figure in Islam, Jesus (often referred to by his Quranic name ) is considered to be a Prophets and messengers in Islam, messenger of
God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typicall ...
() and the messiah (Masih (title), ) who was sent to guide the Israelites, Children of Israel () with a new scripture, the Gospel (referred to in Islam as Gospel in Islam, ). Muslims regard the gospels accounts in the New Testament as partially authentic, and believe that Jesus' original message was altered (tahrif, ) and that Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad came later to revive it. Belief in Jesus (and all other Prophets in Islam, messengers of God) is a requirement for being a Muslim. The Quran mentions Jesus by name 25 times—more often than Muhammad—and emphasizes that Jesus was a mortal human who, like all other prophets, had been divinely chosen to spread God's message. While the Quran affirms the Virgin birth of Jesus, he is considered to be neither an incarnation nor a Son of God (Christianity), son of God. Islamic texts emphasize a strict notion of monotheism () and forbid the association of partners with God, which would be Shirk (Islam), idolatry. The Quran describes the annunciation to Mary (Mary in Islam, ) by the Holy Spirit that she is to give birth to Jesus while remaining a virgin. It calls the virgin birth a miracle that occurred by the will of God. The Quran (Q21:91 and Q66:12) states that God breathed Holy Spirit (Islam), his spirit into Mary while she was chaste. Jesus is called a "spirit from God" because he was born through the action of the Spirit, but that belief does not imply Pre-existence of Christ, his pre-existence. To aid in his ministry to the Jewish people, Jesus was given the ability to perform
miracle A miracle is an event that is inexplicable by physical laws, natural or scientific lawsOne dictionary define"Miracle"as: "A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the ...
s, by permission of God rather than by his own power. Through his ministry, Jesus is seen as a precursor (religion), precursor to Muhammad. In the Quran (An-Nisa, Q4:157–159) it is said that Jesus was not killed but was merely made to appear that way to unbelievers, and that he was raised into the heavens while still alive by God.: "''And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger — They slew him not nor crucified, but it appeared so unto them''"
4:157
by Marmaduke Pickthall.
According to most classic Sunni and Twelver Shi'ite interpretations of these verses, the likeness of Jesus was cast upon a Substitution hypothesis, substitute (most often one of the apostles), who was crucified in Jesus' stead. However, some medieval Muslims (among others, the ghulat, writing under the name of al-Mufaddal ibn Umar al-Ju'fi, the Brethren of Purity, various Isma'ili philosophers, and the Sunni mystic al-Ghazali) affirmed the historicity of Jesus' crucifixion. These thinkers held the docetic view that, although Jesus' human form (his body) had died on the cross, his true divine nature (his spirit) had survived and ascended into heaven, so that his death was only an appearance. Nevertheless, to Muslims it is the ''Ascension of Jesus, ascension'' rather than the ''Crucifixion of Jesus, crucifixion'' that constitutes a major event in the life of Jesus. There is no mention of his resurrection on the third day, and his death plays no special role in Soteriology#Islam, Islamic theories of salvation. However, Jesus is a central figure in Islamic eschatology: Muslims believe that Second Coming#Islam, he will return to Earth at the Eschatology, end of time and defeat the Antichrist (''Masih ad-Dajjal, ad-Dajjal'') by killing him. According to the Quran, the coming of Muhammad was predicted by Jesus: "And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: ‘O children of Israel! I am God’s messenger to you, confirming the law (which came) before me, and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad'" (Quran 61:6). Through this verse, early Arab Muslims claimed legitimacy for their new faith in the existing religious traditions and the alleged predictions of Jesus.


Isma'ili faith

According to Al-Qadi al-Nu'man, Qadi al-Nu'man, a famous Muslim jurist of the Fatimid Caliphate, Fatimid period, Jesus is referred to as the messiah () in the
Quran The Quran (, ; Standard Arabic: , Classical Arabic, Quranic Arabic: , , 'the recitation'), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation in Islam, revelation from God in Islam, ...
because he was sent to the people who responded to him in order to remove (''masaḥa'') their impurities, the ailments of their faith; whether apparent (''Zahir (Islam), '') or hidden (''Batin (Islam), ''). Al-Qadi al-Nu'man, Qadi al-Nu'man, in his work ''Foundation of Symbolic Interpretation'' (), talks about the spiritual birth () of Jesus, as an interpretation of his story of physical birth () mentioned in the
Quran The Quran (, ; Standard Arabic: , Classical Arabic, Quranic Arabic: , , 'the recitation'), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation in Islam, revelation from God in Islam, ...
. He says that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a metaphor for someone who nurtured and instructed Jesus (), rather than physically giving birth to him. Al-Qadi al-Nu'man, Qadi al-Nu'man explains that Jesus was from the pure progeny of Abraham in Islam, Abraham, just as Ali and his sons were from the pure progeny of Muhammad, through Fatimah, Fatima.


Ahmadiyya Islam

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has several Jesus in Ahmadiyya Islam, distinct teachings about Jesus. Ahmadis believe that he was a mortal man who survived his crucifixion and died a natural death at the age of 120 in Kashmir, India, and is buried at Roza Bal.


Druze faith

In the Druze faith, Jesus is considered the Messiah and one of God's important prophets, being among the seven prophets who appeared in different periods of history. The Druze venerate Jesus "the son of Joseph and Mary" and his Four Evangelists, four disciples, who wrote the Gospels. In the Druze tradition, Jesus is known under three titles: the True Messiah (''al-Masih al-Haq''), the Messiah of all Nations (''Masih al-Umam''), and the Messiah of Sinners. This is due, respectively, to the belief that Jesus delivered the true Gospel message, the belief that he was the Saviour of all nations, and the belief that he offers forgiveness. According to the Druze manuscripts Jesus is the Greatest Imam and the incarnation of Ultimate Reason (''Akl'') on earth and the first cosmic principle (''Hadd''), and regards Jesus and Hamza ibn Ali as the incarnations of one of the five great celestial powers, who form part of their system. Druze believe that Hamza ibn Ali was a reincarnation of Jesus, and that Hamza ibn Ali is the true Messiah, who directed the deeds of the messiah Jesus "the son of Joseph and Mary", but when Jesus "the son of Joseph and Mary" strayed from the path of the true Messiah, Hamza filled the hearts of the Jews with hatred for him - and for that reason, they crucified him, according to the Druze manuscripts. Despite this, Hamza ibn Ali took him down from the cross and allowed him to return to his family, in order to prepare men for the preaching of his religion. In an epistle ascribed to one of the founders of Druzism, Baha al-Din al-Muqtana, probably written sometime between AD 1027 and AD 1042, accused the Jews of crucifixion of Jesus, crucifying Jesus.


Baháʼí faith

The teaching of the Baháʼí Faith consider Jesus to be a Manifestation of God (Baháʼí Faith), manifestation of God, a Baháʼí concept for prophets—intermediaries between God and humanity, serving as messengers and reflecting God's qualities and attributes. The Bahá'í concept emphasizes the simultaneous qualities of humanity and divinity; thus, it is similar to the Christian concept of incarnation. Bahá'í thought accepts Jesus as the Son of God. In Baháʼí thought, Jesus was a perfect incarnation of God's attributes, but Baháʼí literature, Baháʼí teachings reject the idea that "ineffable essence" of the Divinity was contained within a single human body because of their beliefs regarding "omnipresence and Transcendence (religion)#Baháʼí Faith, transcendence of the essence of God". Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Baháʼí Faith, wrote that since each manifestation of God has the same divine attributes, they can be seen as the spiritual "return" of all previous manifestations of God, and the appearance of each new manifestation of God inaugurates a religion that supersedes the former ones, a concept known as Progressive revelation (Baháʼí), progressive revelation. Baháʼís believe that God's plan unfolds gradually through this process as mankind matures, and that some of the manifestations arrive in specific fulfillment of the missions of previous ones. Thus, Baháʼís believe that Bahá'u'lláh is the promised return of Christ. Baháʼí teachings confirm many, but not all, aspects of Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels. Baháʼís believe in the virgin birth and in the Crucifixion, but see the Resurrection and the miracles of Jesus as symbolic.


Other

In Christian Gnosticism (now a largely extinct religious movement), Jesus was sent from the divine realm and provided the secret knowledge (gnosis) necessary for salvation. Most Gnostics believed that Jesus was a human who became possessed by the spirit of "the Christ" at his baptism. This spirit left Jesus' body during the crucifixion, but was rejoined to him when he was raised from the dead. Some Gnostics, however, were docetism, docetics, believed that Jesus did not have a physical body, but only appeared to possess one. Some Hinduism, Hindus consider Jesus to be an avatar or a sadhu. Paramahansa Yogananda, an Indian people, Indian guru, taught that Jesus was the reincarnation of Elisha and a student of
John the Baptist John the Baptist or , , or , ;Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history''. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 1994. syc, ܝܘܿܚܲܢܵܢ ܡܲܥܡܕ݂ܵܢܵܐ, Yoḥanān Maʿmḏānā; he, יוחנן המטביל, Yohanān HaMatbil; la, Ioannes Bapti ...
, the reincarnation of
Elijah Elijah ( ; he, אֵלִיָּהוּ, ʾĒlīyyāhū, meaning "My God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxfo ...
. Some Buddhists, including Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, regard Jesus as a bodhisattva who dedicated his life to the welfare of people. The New Age movement entertains a wide variety of views on Jesus. Theosophy (Blavatskian), Theosophists, from whom many New Age teachings originated, refer to Jesus as the Master Jesus, a spiritual reformer, and they believe that Christ, after reincarnation, various incarnations, occupied the body of Jesus. ''The Urantia Book'' teaches Jesus is one of more than 700,000 heavenly sons of God. Jesus in Scientology, Scientologists recognize Jesus (along with other religious figures such as Zoroaster, Muhammad, and Buddha) as part of their "religious heritage". Antony Theodore in the book ''Jesus Christ in Love'' writes that there is an underlying oneness of Jesus' teachings with the messages contained in
Quran The Quran (, ; Standard Arabic: , Classical Arabic, Quranic Arabic: , , 'the recitation'), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation in Islam, revelation from God in Islam, ...
, Vedas, Upanishads, Talmud and Avesta. Atheists reject Jesus' divinity, but have different views about him – from challenging Mental health of Jesus, his mental health to emphasizing his "moral superiority" (Richard Dawkins).


Artistic depictions

Some of the earliest depictions of Jesus at the Dura-Europos church are firmly dated to before 256. Thereafter, despite the lack of biblical references or historical records, a wide range of depictions of Jesus appeared during the last two millennia, often influenced by cultural settings, political circumstances and theological contexts. As in other Early Christian art, the earliest depictions date to the late 2nd or early 3rd century, and surviving images are found especially in the Catacombs of Rome. The depiction of Christ in pictorial form was highly Aniconism in Christianity, controversial in the early Church.Synod of Elvira, 'Pictures are not to be placed in churches, so that they do not become objects of worship and adoration', AD 306, Canon 36 From the 5th century onward, flat painted icons became popular in the Eastern Church. The Byzantine Iconoclasm acted as a barrier to developments in the East, but by the 9th century, art was permitted again. The Protestant Reformation brought renewed aniconism in Christianity, resistance to imagery, but total prohibition was atypical, and Protestant objections to images have tended to reduce since the 16th century. Although large images are generally avoided, few Protestants now object to book illustrations depicting Jesus. The use of depictions of Jesus is advocated by the leaders of denominations such as Anglicans and Catholics and is a key element of the Eastern Orthodox tradition. The Transfiguration of Jesus in Christian art, Transfiguration was a major theme in Eastern Christian art, and every Eastern Orthodox monk who had trained in icon painting had to prove his craft by painting an icon depicting it. Icons receive the external marks of veneration, such as kisses and prostration, and they are thought to be powerful channels of divine grace. The Renaissance brought forth a number of artists who focused on depictions of Jesus; Fra Angelico and others followed Giotto in the systematic development of uncluttered images. Before the Protestant Reformation, the crucifix was common in Western Christianity. It is a model of the cross with Jesus crucified on it. The crucifix became the central ornament of the altar in the 13th century, a use that has been nearly universal in Roman Catholic churches since then. Jesus appears as an infant in a manger (feed trough) in Christmas creches, which depict the Nativity scene. He is typically joined by Mary, Joseph, animals, shepherds, angels, and the Biblical Magi, Magi. Francis of Assisi (1181/82–1226) is credited with popularizing the creche, although he probably did not initiate it. The creche reached its height of popularity in the 17th and 18th centuries in southern Europe."Creche". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 16 March 2015.


Associated relics

The total destruction that ensued with the Siege of Jerusalem (70), siege of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70 made the survival of items from 1st-century Judea very rare and almost no direct records survive about the history of Judaism from the last part of the 1st century through the 2nd century.Helmut Koester ''Introduction to the New Testament'', Vol. 1: History, Culture, and Religion of the Hellenistic Age. Berlin: de Gruyter Press, 1995 p. 382 Margaret M. Mitchell writes that although Eusebius reports (''Church History (Eusebius), Ecclesiastical History'' III 5.3) that the early Christians left Jerusalem for Pella, Jordan, Pella just before Jerusalem was subjected to the final lockdown, we must accept that no first-hand Christian items from the early Jerusalem Church have reached us. Joe Nickell writes, "as investigation after investigation has shown, not a single, reliably authenticated relic of Jesus exists." However, throughout the history of Christianity, a number of relics attributed to Jesus have been claimed, although doubt has been cast on them. The 16th-century Catholic theologian Erasmus wrote sarcastically about the proliferation of relics and the number of buildings that could have been constructed from the wood claimed to be from the True Cross, cross used in the Crucifixion. Similarly, while experts debate whether Jesus was crucified with three nails or with four, at least thirty holy nails continue to be venerated as relics across Europe. Some relics, such as purported remnants of the
crown of thorns According to the New Testament, a woven crown of thorns ( or grc, wikt:ἀκάνθινος, ἀκάνθινος στέφανος, akanthinos stephanos, label=none) was placed on the head of Jesus during the Passion of Jesus, events leading up t ...
placed on the head of Jesus, receive only a modest number of Christian pilgrimage, pilgrims, while the Shroud of Turin (which is associated with an approved Catholic devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus), has received millions, including popes John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, Benedict XVI.


See also


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

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External links


Complete Sayings of Jesus Christ
in parallel Latin and English *Lists of Christians {{Authority control 0s BC births 30s deaths 1st-century apocalypticists 1st-century BCE Jews 1st-century BC Romans 1st-century executions 1st-century rabbis 1st-century Romans Angelic visionaries Carpenters Creator gods Deified people Exorcists Faith healers Founders of religions God in Christianity Jesus, Jewish messiah claimants Judean people Life-death-rebirth gods Names of God People considered avatars by their followers People executed by crucifixion People executed by the Roman Empire People from Bethlehem People from Nazareth People whose existence is disputed Prophets of the New Testament Prophets in the Druze faith Publicly executed people Rabbis of the Land of Israel Savior gods Simple living advocates Torture victims Miracle workers Year of birth uncertain Year of death uncertain