Jesus of Nazareth
Half-length portrait of younger man with shoulder-length hair and beard, with right hand raised over what appears to be a red flame. The upper background is gold. Around his head is a golden halo containing an equal-armed cross with three arms visible; the arms are decorated with ovals and squares.
6th-century mosaic of Jesus at Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna. Though depictions of Jesus are culturally important, no undisputed record of what Jesus looked like is known to exist.
Born c. 4 BC/BCE[1]
Bethlehem, Judea, Roman Empire (traditional); Nazareth, Galilee (historical Jesus)[2]
Died c. 30 AD/CE[1]
Calvary, Judea, Roman Empire (According to the New Testament, he rose on the third day after his death.)
Cause of death Crucifixion
Resting place Traditionally and temporarily, a garden tomb located in what is now the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem.[3]
Ethnicity Jewish

Jesus of Nazareth (c. 4 BC/BCE – c. 30 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, which views him as the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament, with most Christian denominations believing him to be the Son of God and God incarnate. Islam considers Jesus a prophet and also the Messiah,[4] whereas Judaism rejects these claims. Several other religions revere him in some way.

The principal sources of information regarding Jesus' life and teachings are the four canonical gospels, especially the Synoptic Gospels,[5][6] though some scholars argue that other texts (such as the Gospel of Thomas) are as relevant as the canonical gospels to the historical Jesus.[7] Most critical scholars in biblical studies believe that some parts of the New Testament are useful for reconstructing Jesus' life,[8][9][10][11] agreeing that he was a Jew who was regarded as a teacher and healer, that he was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman Prefect of Judaea, Pontius Pilate, on the charge of sedition against the Roman Empire.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23] Aside from these few conclusions, academic studies remain inconclusive about the chronology, the central message of Jesus' preaching, his social class, cultural environment, and religious orientation.[7] Scholars offer competing descriptions of Jesus as the awaited Messiah,[24] as a self-described Messiah, as the leader of an apocalyptic movement, as an itinerant sage, as a charismatic healer, and as the founder of an independent religious movement.

Christian views of Jesus (see also Christology) center on the belief that Jesus is divine, is the Messiah whose coming was prophesied in the Old Testament, and that he was resurrected after his crucifixion. Theologian and bishop Lesslie Newbigin says "the whole of Christian teaching would fall to the ground if it were the case that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus were not events in real history but stories told to illustrate truths which are valid apart from these happenings."[25] Christians predominantly believe that Jesus is the "Son of God" (generally meaning that he is God the Son, the second person in the Trinity) who came to provide salvation and reconciliation with God by his death for their sins.[26]:568-603 Other Christian beliefs include Jesus' virgin birth,[26]:529-532 performance of miracles,[26]:358-359 ascension into Heaven,[26]:616-620 and a future Second Coming.[26]:1091-1109 While the doctrine of the Trinity is accepted by most Christians, a few groups reject the doctrine of the Trinity, wholly or partly, as non-scriptural.[27]

In Islam, Jesus (Arabic: عيسى‎, commonly transliterated as Isa) is considered one of God's important prophets, a bringer of scripture, and a worker of miracles. Jesus is also called "Messiah", but Islam does not teach that he was divine. Islam teaches that Jesus ascended bodily to heaven without experiencing the crucifixion and resurrection,[30] rather than the traditional Christian belief of the death and resurrection of Jesus.


"Jesus" (pronounced /ˈdʒiːzəs/) is a transliteration, occurring in a number of languages and based on the Latin Iesus, of the Greek Ἰησοῦς (Iēsoûs), itself a Hellenisation of the Hebrew יֵשׁוּעַ (Yēšûă‘) or Hebrew-Aramaic יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Yĕhōšuă‘, Joshua), meaning "Yahweh delivers (or rescues)".[4] "Christ" (pronounced /ˈkraɪst/) is a title derived from the Greek Χριστός (Christós), meaning the "Anointed One", a translation of the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ (Messiah).[5][6]:274-275 A "Messiah" is a king anointed at God's direction or with God's approval, and Christians identify Jesus as the one foretold by Hebrew prophets.


Scholars conclude that Jesus was born 7–2 BC/BCE and died 26–36 AD/CE.[7][8]

There is no contemporary evidence of the exact date of Jesus' birth. The common Western standard for numbering years, in which the current year is 2018, is based on an early medieval attempt to count the years from his birth. The Gospel of Matthew places his birth under the reign of Herod the Great, who died in 4 BC/BCE,[9] and indications in the Gospel of Luke point to the same period, though Luke also describes the birth as taking place during the first census of the Roman provinces of Syria and Iudaea, which is generally believed to have occurred in 6 AD/CE.[10] Most scholars generally assume a date of birth between 6 and 4 BC/BCE.[11]

The earliest evidence of celebration on 25 December of the birth of Jesus is of the year 354 in Rome, and it was only later that the 25 December celebration was adopted in the East, with the exception of Armenia, where his birth is celebrated on 6 January.[12] Indeed there is no month of the year to which respectable authorities have not assigned his birth.[12]

Jesus' ministry, which according to the Gospel of Luke he began at about 30 years of age,[13] followed that of John the Baptist,[14] whose ministry is said to have begun "in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar",[Lk. 3:1–2] which would be about 28 or 29 AD/CE.[15] Jesus' ministry lasted around one year, according to the Synoptic Gospels, or three years according to the Gospel of John.[16] Thus, the earliest generally-accepted date for the crucifixion is 29 AD/CE, and the latest is 36 AD/CE.

According to the Gospels, the death of Jesus took place during the time that Pontius Pilate was the Roman procurator of Judea. Josephus[17] and Tacitus[18] also say that procurator Pontius Pilate executed Jesus. Procurator[19] was a civilian title introduced during the rule of Claudius, 41-54 CE. The historical Pontius Pilate had the military title prefect[19] between 26 and 36 CE.[20].

Most Christians commemorate Jesus' crucifixion on Good Friday and celebrate his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Life and teachings, as told in the Gospels

Dark half-length portrait of a woman carrying a baby in her left arm. Each head is surrounded by a solid gold circular halo, and each face is serious. Her right hand is at her breast; his right hand is raised and his left holds a small box in his lap. She wears an almost black dress and head covering and he wears red; both sets of clothes are trimmed in gold.

Jesus and Mary: Black Madonna of Częstochowa, anonymous illustration

The four canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are the main sources for the Christian biography of Jesus' life as the miraculous Son of God. Critical scholars find valuable historical information about Jesus' life and ministry in the synoptic gospels and interpret the miraculous and theological content in light if what is known of Jewish beliefs at the time.[21] The Gospels (especially Matthew) present Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection as fulfillments of prophecies found in the Hebrew Bible. See, for example, the virgin birth, the flight into Egypt, Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14), and the suffering servant.[22]

Similarities and differences among the Gospels

Three of the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are known as the synoptic Gospels because they display a high degree of similarity in content, narrative arrangement, language, and sentence and paragraph structures. These Gospels are also considered to share the same point of view.[23] The fourth canonical Gospel, John, differs greatly from these three, as do the Apocryphal gospels.

According to the two-source hypothesis, Mark was a source for Matthew and Luke, both of whom also independently used a now lost sayings source called the Q Gospel. Mark defined the sequence of events from Jesus' baptism to the empty tomb and included parables of the Kingdom of God.[24]

Character of Jesus

Each gospel portrays Jesus' life and its meaning differently.[25][26] The gospel of John is not a biography of Jesus but a theological presentation of him as the divine Logos.[27] One modern scholar writes that to combine these four stories into one story is tantamount to creating a fifth story, one different from each original.[26]

Mark presents Jesus as a heroic, charismatic man of action and mighty deeds. Matthew portrays him especially as the fulfillment of Hebrew prophecy and as a greater Moses. Luke emphasizes Jesus' miraculous powers and his support for the poor, women, and Gentiles. John views Jesus' earthly life as a manifestation of the eternal Word.[25]


The Gospel of John opens with a hymn identifying Jesus as the divine Logos, or Word, that formed the universe.[Jn. 1:1–5] [1:9–14] [28] The author describes the Logos in relation to God and the created order, declares that he "became flesh", and identifies him as Jesus Christ.[Jn. 1:17] According to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus Christ is God active in creation, in revelation (Light), and in redemption (Life).[29] Jesus' earthly life was the Logos incarnate.[Jn. 1:14] [28]

Genealogy and family

Of the four gospels, only Matthew and Luke give accounts of Jesus' genealogy.[30][31] The accounts in the two gospels are substantially different,[32] and contemporary scholars generally view the genealogies as theological constructs.[33] More specifically, some have suggested that Matthew wants to underscore the birth of a Messianic child of royal lineage (mentioning Solomon) whereas Luke's genealogy is priestly (mentioning Levi).[34] Both accounts trace Jesus line though his human father Joseph back to King David and from there to Abraham. These lists are identical between Abraham and David, but they differ almost completely between David and Joseph (having only Zerubbabel and Shealtiel in common).

Joseph, husband of Mary, appears in descriptions of Jesus' childhood. No mention, however, is made of Joseph during the ministry of Jesus. The New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, and Galatians tell of Jesus' relatives, including words sometimes translated as "brothers" and "sisters".[35][36][37] Luke also mentions that Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, was a "cousin" or "relative" of Mary,[Lk. 1:36] which would make John a distant cousin of Jesus.

Nativity and early life

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

In Luke: The angel Gabriel visits Mary to tell her that she was chosen to bear the Son of God.[Lk. 1:26–38] An order of Caesar Augustus had forced Mary and Joseph to leave their homes in Nazareth and come to the home of Joseph's ancestors, the house of David, for the Census of Quirinius.[Lk. 2:1-5] After Jesus' birth, the couple was forced to use a manger in place of a crib because of a shortage of accommodation.[Lk. 2:1–7] An angel announced Jesus' birth to shepherds who left their flocks to see the newborn child and who subsequently publicized what they had witnessed throughout the area (see The First Noël).[Lk. 2:8-18]

In Matthew: The "Wise Men" or "Magi" bring gifts to the young Jesus after following a star which they believe was a sign that the King of the Jews had been born.[Mt. 2:1–12] King Herod hears of Jesus' birth from the Wise Men and tries to kill him by massacring all the male children in Bethlehem under the age of two (the "massacre of the innocents").[38][Mt. 2:16-17] The family flees to Egypt and remains there until Herod's death, whereupon they settle in Nazareth to avoid living under the authority of Herod's son and successor Archelaus.[Mt. 2:19–23]

Jesus' childhood home is identified as the town of Nazareth in Galilee.[Mt. 2:23] Except for Matthew's "flight into Egypt", and a short trip to Tyre and Sidon (in what is now Lebanon), the Gospels place all other events in Jesus' life in ancient Israel.[39] However, infancy gospels were popular in antiquity. According to Luke, Jesus was "about thirty years of age" when he was baptized.[Lk. 3:23] In Mark, Jesus is called a tekton, usually understood to mean carpenter. Matthew says he was the son of a tekton. However, the Greek word used in the Gospels means "builder", which could refer to a stonemason or some other type of artisan as well.[Mk. 6:3] [Mt. 13:55][6]:170

Baptism and Temptation


Illustration of baptism of Christ (orthodox icon)

Ary Scheffer - The Temptation of Christ (1854)

Temptation of Christ, illustration by Ary Scheffer, 19th c.

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

Mark starts his narration with Jesus' baptism, specifying that it is a token of repentance and for forgiveness of sins.[25] Matthew omits this reference, emphasizing Jesus' superiority to John.[25][40] Matthew describes John as initially hesitant to comply with Jesus' request for John to baptize him, stating that it was Jesus who should baptize him. Jesus persisted, "It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness".[Mt. 3:15] In Matthew, God's public dedication informs the reader that Jesus has become God's anointed ("Christ").[25]

Following his baptism, Jesus was led into the desert by God where he fasted for forty days and forty nights.[Mt. 4:1–2] During this time, the Devil appeared to him and tempted Jesus three times. Each time, Jesus refused temptation with a quotation of scripture from the Book of Deuteronomy. The Devil departed and angels came and brought nourishment to Jesus.[41]

The Gospel of John does not describe Jesus' baptism,[42][43] or the subsequent Temptation, but it does attest that Jesus is the very one about whom John had been preaching—the Son of God. The Baptist twice declares Jesus to be the Lamb of God, a term found nowhere else in the Gospels. John also emphasizes Jesus' superiority over John.[25] In John, Jesus leads a program of baptism in Judea, and his disciples baptize more people than John.[Jn. 3:22–23] [4:1–3]


In the synoptics as well as in John, Jesus has a ministry of teaching and miracles, at least part of which is in Galilee.[44] In the synoptics, Jesus speaks in parables and aphorisms, exorcises demons, champions the poor and oppressed, and teaches mainly about the Kingdom of God.[45] In John, Jesus speaks in long discourses, with himself as the theme of his teaching.[45]

Jesus' purpose

Jesus said of his purpose, "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."[Jn. 10:10]

Mark says that Jesus came to "give his life as a ransom for many";[Mk. 10:45] Luke, that he was sent to "preach the good news of the Kingdom of God";[Lk. 4:43] and John, that he came so that "those who believed in him would have eternal life".[Jn. 3:16]

Duration and location

John describes three different Passover feasts over the course of Jesus' ministry, implying that Jesus preached for at least "two years plus a month or two".[46] The Synoptic Gospels suggest a span of only one year.[47][48] In the synoptics, Jesus' ministry takes place mainly in Galilee, until he travels to Jerusalem, where he cleanses the Temple and is executed.[49] In John, Jesus spends most of his ministry in and around Jerusalem, cleansing the temple at his ministry's beginning.[49]


In the synoptic Gospels, Jesus calls some Jewish men to be his Twelve Apostles. None of them seems to have been a peasant (an agricultural worker). At least four are described as fishermen and another as a tax collector. Three of them are presented as being chosen to accompany Jesus on certain special occasions, such as the transfiguration of Jesus, the raising of the daughter of Jairus, and the Agony in the Garden. Jesus speaks of the demands of discipleship, telling a rich man to sell his possessions and give the money to the poor. He states that his message divides family members against each other.[50]

In Mark, the disciples are strangely obtuse, failing to understand Jesus' deeds and parables.[51] In Matthew, Jesus directs the apostles' mission only to those of the house of Israel,[Mt. 15:24] [10:1–6] Luke places a special emphasis on the women who followed Jesus, such as Mary Magdalene.[52]

Teachings and preachings


Sermon on the Mount,
illustration by Carl Heinrich Bloch, 19th c.

In the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus speaks primarily about the Kingdom of God (or Heaven).[47] In Matthew and Luke, he speaks further about morality and prayer. In John, he speaks at length about himself and his divine role.[47]

At the height of his ministry, Jesus is said to have attracted huge crowds numbering in the thousands, primarily in the areas of Galilee and Perea (in modern-day Israel and Jordan respectively).[53]

Some of Jesus' most famous teachings come from the Sermon on the Mount, which contains the Beatitudes and the Lord's Prayer. It is one of five collections of teachings in Matthew.[38]

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

His moral teachings in Matthew and Luke encourage unconditional self-sacrificing God-like love for God and for all people.[54] During his sermons, he preached about service and humility, the forgiveness of sin, faith, turning the other cheek, love for one's enemies as well as friends, and the need to follow the spirit of the law in addition to the letter.[55]

In the Synoptics, Jesus relays an apocalyptic vision of the end of days. He preaches that the end of the current world will come unexpectedly, and that he will return to judge the world, especially according to how they treated the vulnerable. He calls on his followers to be ever alert and faithful. In Mark, the Kingdom of God is a divine government that will appear by force within the lifetimes of his followers.[51] Matthew describes false Messiahs, disasters, tribulations, and signs in the heavens that will portend Jesus' return, which is also described as unexpected.[38]

Outreach to outsiders

Table fellowship is central to Jesus' ministry in the Gospels.[56] He and his disciples eat with sinners (who neglect purity rules)[49] and tax collectors (imperial publicani, despised as extortionists). The apostle Matthew is a tax collector. When the Pharisees object to Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors, Jesus replies that it is the sick who need a physician, not the healthy.[Mt. 9:9–13] [49] Jesus also defends his disciples against charges that they do not follow purity laws when eating. The Pharisees accused Jesus himself of being a drunk and a glutton.[49] Jesus' miracles and teachings often involve food and feasting.[56] He instructs his missionaries to eat with the people that they preach to and heal.[56] In the Synoptics, Jesus institutes a new covenant with a ritual meal before he is crucified.

Jesus' outreach to outsiders includes the Samaritans, who followed a different form of the Israelite religion, as reflected in his preaching to the Samaritans of Sychar[Jn. 4:1–42] and in the Parable of the Good Samaritan.[Lk. 10:25-37]

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

Transfiguration and Jesus' divine role

In the synoptic gospels, Jesus leads three select disciples—Peter, John, and James—to the top of a mountain.[51] While there, he is transfigured before them, his face shining like the sun and his clothes brilliant white; Elijah and Moses appear adjacent to him. A bright cloud overshadows them, and a voice from the sky says, "This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased".[57] The Transfiguration is a turning point in Jesus ministry.[58] Just before it and thereafter, Jesus warns that he is to suffer, die and rise again.[58]

In Mark, Jesus' identity as the Messiah is obscured (see Messianic secret).[59] Mark states that "this generation" will be given no sign, while Matthew and Luke say they will be given no sign but the sign of Jonah.[60] In John, and not in the synoptics, Jesus is outspoken about his divine identity and mission.[44] Here he punctuates his ministry with several miraculous signs of his authority.

In John, Jesus declares that belief in the Son brings eternal life, that the Father has committed powers of judgment and forgiveness to the Son, and that He is the bread of life, the light of the world, the door of the sheep, the good shepherd, the resurrection and the life, the way, the truth, and the life, and the real vine.[28] Here Jesus uses the phrase "I am" in talking of himself[Jn. 8:58] in ways that designate God in the Hebrew Bible,[Ex. 3:14] a statement taken by some writers as claiming identity with God.[61]

Arrest, trial, and death

In Jerusalem

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 024

Christ Driving the Moneychangers from the Temple, illustration by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1626.

According to the Synoptics, Jesus came with his followers to Jerusalem during the Passover festival where a large crowd came to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!"[62] Following his triumphal entry,[63] Jesus created a disturbance at Herod's Temple by overturning the tables of the moneychangers who set up shop there, and claiming that they had made the Temple a "den of robbers".[Mk. 11:17] Later that week, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples—an event subsequently known as the Last Supper — in which he prophesied that he would be betrayed by one of his disciples, and would then be executed. In this ritual he took bread and wine in hand, saying: "this is my body which is given for you" and "this cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood", and instructed them to "do this in remembrance of me."[Lk. 22:7–20] Following the supper, Jesus and his disciples went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane.

In Mark and Matthew, Jesus is anguished in the face of his fate.[58][64] He prays and accepts God's will, but his chosen disciples repeatedly fall asleep on the watch.[58][64] In Luke, Jesus prays briefly at the Mount of Olives, and his disciples fall asleep out of grief.[65]

In John, Jesus has already cleansed the temple a few years before and has been preaching in Jerusalem. He raises Lazarus on the Sabbath, the act that finally gets Jewish leaders to plan his death.[28] At the Last Supper, Jesus washes the disciples' feet and there is no new covenant of bread and wine.[28] Jesus gives the farewell discourses, discussing the persecution of his followers, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and more.[28] He says a long final prayer with his disciples before heading to a garden where he knows Judas will show up.[66]

Betrayal and Arrest


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

While in the Garden, Jesus is arrested by temple guards on the orders of the Sanhedrin and the high priest, Caiaphas.[67] The arrest takes place clandestinely at night to avoid a riot, as Jesus is popular with the people at large.[Mk. 14:2] Judas Iscariot, one of his apostles, betrays Jesus by identifying him to the guards with a kiss.[Mt. 26:49-50] Simon Peter, another one of Jesus' apostles, uses a sword to attack one of Jesus' captors, cutting off his ear, which, according to Luke, Jesus immediately heals miraculously.[68] Jesus rebukes the apostle, stating "all they that take the sword shall perish by the sword".[Mt. 26:52] After his arrest, Jesus' apostles go into hiding; Judas, distraught by his betrayal of Jesus, commits suicide shortly after.[Mt. 27:5]

Trials before the Sanhedrin and Pilate

[improper synthesis?]

Jesus affirms that he is the Messiah before the Sanhedrin,[Mk. 14:53–65] the only time in the Gospel that he makes such a claim.[51] The Jewish leaders turn him over to Pilate for execution, but Pilate is reluctant to execute Jesus.[51] In an attempt to spare Jesus' life, Pilate offers the mob a chance to free him, but they choose Barabbas instead, so that the responsibility for Jesus' execution falls on the Jews rather than on the Romans,[51] as expressed in the Gospel of Matthew by the Jewish crowd's proclamation, “His blood be upon us and on our children.”[Mt. 27:24–25] Matthew adds the details that Pilate's wife, tormented by a dream, urges Pilate not to have anything to do with Jesus, and Pilate washes his hands of responsibility.[Mt. 27:11–26] [38] Luke adds the detail that Pilate sends Jesus to Herod Antipas, who has authority over Galileans, but that Herod, like Pilate, finds him guilty of nothing treasonous.[52][Luke 23:6-16] In John, Jesus makes no claim to be the Son of God or the Messiah to the Sanhedrin or to Pilate, even though this gospel proclaims Jesus' divinity from the beginning.[28]


Cristo crucificado

Crucifixion, illustration by D. Velázque, 17th c.

Grunewald - christ

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

In Mark, Jesus is stripped, flogged, mocked, and crowned with thorns.[51] He is crucified between two thieves, and his cross states that he is being executed for aspiring to be the king of the Jews.[51] He begins to recite Psalm 22, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me."[51] He utters a loud cry and dies.[51] According to all four Gospels, Jesus died before late afternoon at Calvary, which was also called Golgotha. In Luke, Jesus faces his crucifixion stolidly.[26] He asks God to forgive those who are crucifying him, possibly the Romans and possibly the Jews.[52] One of the thieves states that Jesus has done nothing wrong and asks Jesus to remember him in the Kingdom, and Jesus replies that the thief will be with him in Paradise.[52] The Synoptic Gospels tell of the darkening of the sky from twelve until three that afternoon; Matthew also mentions an earthquake,[Mt. 27:51] the earth breaking open and a number of righteous dead people rising out of the grave and going into Jerusalem. John omits the phenomena accompanying Jesus' death.[28] The tearing of the temple parokhet, upon the death of Jesus, is referenced by Matthew, Mark and Luke.[69]

Resurrection and Ascension

The Gospels state that Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday.[70] All the Gospels portray Jesus' empty tomb. In Matthew, an angel appears near the tomb of Jesus and announces his resurrection to Mary Magdalene and "another Mary" who had arrived to anoint the body.[Mt. 28:1–10] Jewish elders bribe the soldiers who had guarded the tomb to spread the rumor that Jesus' disciples took his body.[71] In Luke, there are two angels[Lk. 24:4] and in Mark the angel appears as a youth dressed in white.[Mk. 16:5] The "longer ending" to Mark, which is known as the Markan Appendix and which did not form part of the original manuscripts,[71][72] states that on the morning of his resurrection, Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene.[Mk. 16:9] John states that when Mary looked into the tomb, two angels asked her why she was crying; and as she turned round she initially failed to recognize Jesus until he spoke her name.[Jn. 20:11–18]

The Gospels all record appearances by Jesus, including an appearance to the eleven apostles.[73] In Mark, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene, to two disciples in the country, and to the eleven, at which point Jesus commissions them to announce the gospel, baptize, and work miracles.[71] In Matthew, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene and to the eleven on a mountain, at which point he commissions them to enlist followers, baptize, and teach what Jesus taught.[71] Although his own mission and his disciples' missions had been to the Jews,[Mt. 15:24] here he sends the eleven to the whole world (see Great Commission). In Luke, he appears to two disciples in the country and to the eleven.[71] He proves to them that he has a body, opens their minds to understand the scripture about the Messiah, and directs them to wait in Jerusalem until they are invested with power.[71] In John, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene and to the eleven. He demonstrates his physical reality to doubting Thomas.[25][71] Later he appears to seven disciples who are fishing, and finally talks with Peter, foretelling Peter's death[71] and assigning him the principal role as shepherd of the new community.[71][74]

In Mark and Luke, Jesus ascends to the heavens;[Mk. 16:19] [Lk. 24:5] after these appearances. In Luke, Jesus ascends on Easter Sunday evening when he is with his disciples.[71] In Mark, Jesus' Ascension to heaven, where he sits at God's right hand, is said to have taken place but not described as a visible event.[71] John implies that Jesus will return to his Father[Jn. 20:17] but doesn't describe an Ascension.[71]

Historical views

A series of articles on

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

Cultural and historical background
Language spokenRace

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

Jesus in culture

Biblical scholars have used the historical method to develop probable reconstructions of Jesus' life.[75] Over the past two hundred years, their image of Jesus has thus come to be very different from the common one based on the gospels.[76] Scholars of historical Jesus distinguish their subject from the "Jesus Christ" of Christianity[45] while others hold that the figure presented in the gospels is the real Jesus and that his life and influence only make sense if the gospel stories are accurate.[77][78][79] The principal sources of information regarding Jesus' life and teachings are the Gospels, especially the Synoptic Gospels: Mark, Matthew, and Luke. Including the Gospels, there are no surviving historical accounts of Jesus written during his life or within three decades of his death.[80] A great majority of biblical scholars accept the historical existence of Jesus.[81][82][83][84][85]

The English title of Albert Schweitzer's 1906 book, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, is a label for the post-Enlightenment effort to describe Jesus using critical historical methods.[86] Since the end of the 18th century, scholars have examined the gospels and tried to formulate historical biographies of Jesus.[75] Contemporary efforts benefit from a better understanding of 1st-century Judaism, renewed Roman Catholic biblical scholarship, broad acceptance of critical historical methods, sociological insights, and literary analysis of Jesus' sayings.[86]

Constructing a historical view

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

Most Biblical scholars agree the Gospel of Mark was written about the time of the destruction of the Jewish Temple by the Romans under Titus in the year 70 AD/CE, and that the other gospels were written between 70 and 100 AD/CE.[87] The historical outlook on Jesus relies on critical analysis of the Bible, especially the gospels. Many Biblical scholars have sought to reconstruct Jesus' life in terms of the political, cultural, and religious crises and movements in late Second Temple Judaism and in Roman-occupied Palestine, including differences between Galilee and Judea, and between different sects such as the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and Zealots,[88][89] and in terms of conflicts among Jews in the context of Roman occupation.


Historians of Christianity generally describe Jesus as a healer who preached the restoration of God's kingdom[90] and agree he was baptized by John the Baptist and crucified by the Romans. Jewish and Roman authorities in Jerusalem were wary of Galilean patriots, many of whom advocated or launched violent resistance to Roman rule.[91] The gospels demonstrate that Jesus, a charismatic leader regarded as a potential troublemaker, was executed on political charges.[91]

John the Baptist led a large apocalyptic movement. He demanded repentance and baptism. Jesus was baptized and later began his ministry. After John was executed, some of his followers apparently took Jesus as their new leader.[92] Historians are nearly unanimous in accepting Jesus' baptism as a historical event.[92]

According to Robert Funk, Jesus taught in pithy parables and with striking images.[93] He likened the Kingdom of Heaven to small and lowly things, such as yeast or a mustard seed,[93] that have great effects. He used his sayings to elicit responses from the audience, engaging them in discussion.[56]

Jesus placed a special emphasis on God as one's heavenly father.[93]

Names and titles in the New Testament

Jesus lived in Galilee for most of his life and spoke Aramaic and possibly Hebrew and some Greek.[94] The name "Jesus" comes from an alternate spelling of the Latin (Iēsus) which in turn comes from the Greek name Iesous (Ιησους). In the Septuagint Ιησους is used as the Greek version of the Hebrew name Yehoshua (יהושוע, "God delivers" from YehoYahweh [is] shua` — deliverance/rescue) in the Biblical book of the same name, usually Romanized as Joshua. Some scholars believe that one of these was likely the name that Jesus was known by during his lifetime by his peers.[95] Thus, the name has been translated into English as "Joshua".[96]

Christ (which started as a title, and has often been used as a name for Jesus) is an Anglicization of the Greek term χριστός, christos. In the Septuagint, this term is used as the translation of the Hebrew: מָשִׁיחַ, Modern Mašíaḥ Tiberian Māšîªḥ, "Anointed One" in reference to priests,[97] and kings[98] and King Cyrus.[Isaiah 45:1] In Isaiah and Jeremiah the word began to be applied to a future ideal king. The New Testament has some 500 uses of the word χριστός applied to Jesus, used either generically or in an absolute sense, namely as the Anointed One (the Messiah, the Christ). The Gospel of Mark has as its central point of its narrative Peter's confession of Jesus as the Messiah.[Mk. 8:29] 1 Corinthians 15:3 indicates that the strong belief that Jesus was the Messiah predates the letters of Paul the Apostle. These letters also show that the Messiah title was already beginning to be used as a name.[99]

Some have suggested that other titles applied to Jesus in the New Testament had meanings in the first century quite different from those meanings ascribed today.[100] Géza Vermes has argued that "Son of man" was not a title but rather the polite way in which people referred to themselves, i.e. a pronominal phrase.[100]

Many New Testament scholars state that Jesus claimed to be God through his frequent use of "I am" (e.g. Before Abraham was, I am),[Jn. 8:58] his act of forgiving sins which gave Jews an impression of blasphemy,[Lk. 5:20–21] and his statement that "I and the Father are one."[Jn. 10:30][101] However, a number of New Testament scholars argue that Jesus himself made no claims to being God.[102] Most Christians identified Jesus as divine from a very early period, although holding a variety of views as to what exactly this implied.[103]

Other names and titles

"Son of David" is found elsewhere in Jewish tradition to refer to the heir to the throne.[100] "Son of God" was often used to designate a person as especially righteous.[100]

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

Religious groups

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


Pharisees were a powerful force in 1st-century Judea. Early Christians shared several beliefs of the Pharisees, such as resurrection, retribution in the next world, angels, human freedom, and Divine Providence.[104] After the fall of the Temple, the Pharisee outlook was established in Rabbinic Judaism. Some scholars speculate that Jesus was himself a Pharisee.[105] In Jesus' day, the two main schools of thought among the Pharisees were the House of Hillel, which had been founded by the eminent Tanna, Hillel the Elder, and the House of Shammai. Jesus' assertion of hypocrisy may have been directed against the stricter members of the House of Shammai, although he also agreed with their teachings on divorce.[Mk. 10:1–12] [106] Jesus also commented on the House of Hillel's teachings (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a) concerning the greatest commandment[Mk. 12:28–34] and the Golden Rule.[Mt. 7:12] Historians do not know whether there were Pharisees in Galilee during Jesus' life, or what they would have been like.[49]


The Sadducee sect was particularly powerful in Jerusalem. They accepted the written Law only, rejecting the traditional interpretations accepted by the Pharisees, such as belief in retribution in an afterlife, resurrection of the body, angels, and spirits. After Jesus caused a disturbance at the Temple, it was to have been the Sadducees who had him arrested and turned over to the Romans for execution. After the fall of Jerusalem, they disappeared from history.[107]


Essenes were apocalyptic ascetics, one of the three (or four) major Jewish schools of the time, though they were not mentioned in the New Testament.[108] Some scholars theorize that Jesus was an Essene, or close to them. Among these scholars is Pope Benedict XVI, who supposes in his book on Jesus that "it appears that not only John the Baptist, but possibly Jesus and his family as well, were close to the Qumran community."[109]

Apocalyptic sect

Most scholars hold that the movement Jesus led was apocalyptic, expecting God to intervene imminently to restore Israel. John the Baptist's movement was apocalyptic, and Jesus began his public career as one of his followers.[110] Scholars commonly surmise that Jesus' eschatology was apocalyptic, like John's.[111]


The Gospels record that Jesus was a Nazarene, a term commonly taken to refer to Nazareth, his boyhood home, but sometimes understood as a religious title.[89]


The Zealots were a revolutionary party opposed to Roman rule, one of those parties that, according to Josephus inspired the fanatical stand in Jerusalem that led to its destruction in the year 70 AD/CE.[112] Luke identifies Simon, a disciple, as a "zealot", which might mean a member of the Zealot party (which would therefore have been already in existence in the lifetime of Jesus) or a zealous person.[112] The notion that Jesus himself was a Zealot does not do justice to the earliest Synoptic material describing him.[113]

Christian scripture as historical texts

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

The New Testament was at least substantially complete by 100 AD/CE, making its books, especially the synoptic gospels, historically relevant.[114] The Gospel tradition certainly preserves several fragments of Jesus' teaching.[115] The Gospel of Mark is believed to have been written c. 70 AD/CE.[116][117][118] Matthew is placed at being sometime after this date and Luke is thought to have been written between 70 and 100 AD/CE.[119][120]

Biblical scholars hold that the works describing Jesus were initially communicated by oral tradition, and were not committed to writing until several decades after Jesus' crucifixion. After the original oral stories were written down in Greek, they were transcribed, and later translated into other languages. Contemporary textual critic Bart D. Ehrman cites numerous places where the gospels, and other New Testament books, were apparently altered by Christian scribes.[26]

Critical scholars consider scriptural accounts more likely when they are attested in multiple texts, plausible in Jesus' historical environment, and potentially embarrassing to the author's Christian community. The "criterion of embarrassment" holds that stories about events with aspects embarrassing to Christians (such as the denial of Jesus by Peter, or the fleeing of Jesus' followers after his arrest) would likely not have been included if those accounts were fictional.[121] Sayings attributed to Jesus are deemed more likely to reflect his character when they are distinctive, vivid, paradoxical, surprising, and contrary to social and religious expectations, such as "Blessed are the poor."[122] Short, memorable parables and aphorisms capable of being transmitted orally are also thought more likely to be authentic.[122]

The earliest extant texts which refer to Jesus are Paul's letters (mid-1st century), which affirm Jesus' crucifixion. Some scholars hold that the Gospel of Thomas, a collection of 114 sayings of Jesus, predates the four orthodox gospels, and was composed around mid-first century.[123][124]

Mythical view

A few scholars have questioned the existence of Jesus as an actual historical figure. Among the proponents of non-historicity was Bruno Bauer in the 19th century. Non-historicity was somewhat influential in biblical studies during the early 20th century. (The views of scholars who entirely rejected Jesus' historicity then were summarized in the chapter on Jesus in Will Durant's Caesar and Christ (in 1944); they were based on a suggested lack of eyewitness, a lack of direct archaeological evidence, the failure of certain ancient works to mention Jesus, and similarities early Christianity shares with then-contemporary religion and mythology.)[125]

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

Classicist Michael Grant stated that standard historical criteria prevent one from rejecting the existence of an historical Jesus.[126] Indeed, the historicity of Jesus is accepted by almost all Biblical scholars and classical historians.[127][128][129] The New Testament scholar,[130][131] James Dunn describes the mythical Jesus theory as a 'thoroughly dead thesis'.[132][133][134]


According to most Christian interpretations of the Bible, the theme of Jesus' teachings was that of repentance, unconditional love[Jn. 13:34–35] forgiveness of sin, grace, and the coming of the Kingdom of God.[135] Starting as a small Jewish sect,[136] it developed into a religion clearly distinct from Judaism several decades after Jesus death. Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire under a version known as Nicene Christianity and became the state religion under Theodosius I. Over the centuries, it spread to most of Europe, and around the world.

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

Other legacies include a view of God as more lovingly parental, merciful, and more forgiving, and the growth of a belief in a blissful afterlife and in the resurrection of the dead. His teaching promoted the value of those who had commonly been regarded as inferior: women, the poor, ethnic outsiders, children, prostitutes, the sick, prisoners, etc. For over a thousand years, countless hospitals, orphanages, and schools have been founded explicitly in Jesus' name. Thomas Jefferson considered Jesus' teaching to be "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man".[137]

Jesus and his message have been interpreted, explained and understood by many people. In his influential epistles, the earliest writing of the New Testament, Paul of Tarsus founded salvation on Jesus alone, making the Torah unnecessary.[138] The Church Fathers of the early centuries further defined Jesus' identity as fully God.[139] Ancient and medieval thinkers, such as Augustine of Hippo, further defined Jesus' divine and human natures.[139] Enlightenment and Reformation theologians concerned themselves less with defining Jesus' identity as with understanding his work in redemption.[139] In the 1800s, German scholars questioned Jesus' miracles and some, such as David Strauss, portrayed him as merely a man.[140] C. S. Lewis and Pope John Paul II have defended the Jesus of faith against historical critics.

For some Jews, the legacy of Jesus has been a history of Christian antisemitism,[141] although in the wake of the Holocaust many Christian groups have gone to considerable lengths to reconcile with Jews and to promote interfaith dialogue and mutual respect. Christianity has often been linked to European colonialism.[142] But others have argued that through Bartolomé de las Casas's defense of the indigenous inhabitants of Spain's New World empire, one of the legacies of Jesus has been the notion of Universal human rights.[143]

See also


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Sanders
  2. "Our conclusion must be that Jesus came from Nazareth." Theissen, Gerd; and Merz, Annette. The historical Jesus: A comprehensive guide. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. 1998. Tr from German (1996 edition). p. 165. ISBN 978-0-8006-3123-9
  3. Eusebius, (trans. Cameron, Averil; Hall, Stuart G.). Life of Constantine. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York : Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN 978-0-19-814917-0
  4. Brown Driver Brigges Hebrew and English Lexicon; Hendrickson Publishers 1996 ISBN 1565632060.
  5. per The Catholic Encyclopedia
  6. 6.0 6.1 Vine, W.E. (1940). Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company. ISBN None. 
  7. Some of the historians and Biblical scholars who place the birth and death of Jesus within this range include D. A. Carson, Douglas J. Moo and Leon Morris. An Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992, 54, 56
  8. Michael Grant, Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels, Scribner's, 1977, p. 71; John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew, Doubleday, 1991–, vol. 1:214; Sanders (1993), pp. 10–11; and Ben Witherington III, "Primary Sources," Christian History 17 (1998) No. 3:12–20.
  9. Edwin D. Freed, Stories of Jesus' Birth, (Continuum International, 2004), page 119.
  10. Géza Vermes, The Nativity: History and Legend, London, Penguin, 2006, page 22.
  11. James D. G. Dunn, Jesus Remembered, Eerdmans Publishing (2003), page 324.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Catholic Encyclopedia, Christmas
  13. Luke 3:23
  14. Luke states that John's ministry began in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas.
  15. Hoehner, Harold W. (1978). Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ. Zondervan. p. 29–37. ISBN 0310262119. 
  16. Carol A. Newsom, Sharon H. Ringe, The Women's Bible Commentary, (Westminster John Knox Press, 1998) page 381. Google Book Search preview
  17. Theissen 1998, pp. 64–72
  18. Theissen 1998, pp. 81-83
  19. 19.0 19.1 Pontius Pilate in history and interpretation, Helen Katharine Bond p. 12
  20. Green, Joel B. (1997). The Gospel of Luke : new international commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.. p. 168. ISBN 0802823157.,+The+Gospel+of+Luke,+(Eerdmans,+1997),+page+168&ei=pd98Sa_HA5HEMf7HnaQF&client=firefox-a#PPA168,M1. 
  21. Sanders 1993 132-143
  22. ""What the Old Testament Prophesied About the Messiah"". Retrieved October 11, 2007. 
  23. "synoptic". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 2nd ed. 1989.
  24. Carlson, Stephen C. "The Two Source Hypothesis." Aug. 20, 2009. <>
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 25.6 Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 Ehrman, Bart D. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 978-0-06-073817-4
  27. Durant, Will. Caesar and Christ. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1972
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 28.6 28.7 Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. "John" pp. 302–310
  29. Stagg, Frank (1962). New Testament Theology. Broadman Press. p. 78. ISBN 978-0805416138. 
  30. [Mt. 1:1–17]
  31. [Lk. 3:23–38]
  32. Joseph A. Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke I–IX. Anchor Bible. Garden City: Doubleday, 1981, pp. 499–500; I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke (The New International Greek Testament Commentary). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978, p. 158;
  33. Bienert, Wolfgang E. (2003). [9780664227210 "The Relatives of Jesus"]. in Wilhelm Schneemelcher, Robert McLachlan Wilson. New Testament Apocrypha: Gospels and Related Writings. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 487. 9780664227210. 
  34. Howard W. Clarke, The Gospel of Matthew and Its Readers, Indiana University Press, 2003, p. 1
  35. Matthew 13:55–56, Mark 6:3 and Galatians 1:19
  36. The Greek word adelphos in these verses, often translated as brother, can refer to any familial relation, and most Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians translate the word as kinsman, brethren, or cousin in this context (see Perpetual virginity of Mary).
  37. The members of the church also addressed each other as "Brethren".
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. "Matthew" pp. 272–285
  39. For Egypt: Matthew 2:13–23; For Tyre and sometimes Sidon:Matthew 15:21–28 and Mark 7:24–30 Only Luke tells that Jesus was found teaching in the temple by his parents after being lost. The Finding in the Temple is the sole event between Jesus' infancy and baptism mentioned in any of the canonical Gospels.[Lk. 2:41–52]
  40. Early Christian accounts reflect some perplexity at Jesus being baptized, especially by a subordinate figure. See "Baptism of Christ". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  41. Matthew 4:1–11, Mark 1:12–13, Luke 4:1–13
  42. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ActJIntro
  43. "John, Gospel of." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  44. 44.0 44.1 "John, Gospel of St." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. "Introduction", pp. 1–30.
  46. Meier 1991 vol. 1:405
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 Introduction. Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993.
  48. "The Thompson Chain-Reference Study Bible", published December 1999, B.B. Kirkbride Bible Co., Inc.; William Adler & Paul Tuffin, "The Chronography of George Synkellos: A Byzantine Chronicle of Universal History from the Creation", Oxford University Press (2002), p. 466
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 49.4 49.5 Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998.
  50. Luke 14:26, Matthew 10:37. Luke contains a harsher version than the saying in Matthew, as does Thomas. Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. p. 353
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 51.3 51.4 51.5 51.6 51.7 51.8 51.9 Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. "Mark" pp. 285–296
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 52.3 Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. "Luke" pp. 297–301
  53. In John, Jesus' ministry takes place in and around Jerusalem.
  54. 1 Corinthians 13:1–8, 1 John 4:8, Luke 10:26–28, and Matthew 22:37–40
  55. Sermon on the Mount;[Mt. 5–7] Prodigal Son;[Lk. 15:11–32] Parable of the Sower;[Mt. 13:1–9] Agape[Mt. 22:34–40]
  56. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named EJ
  57. Matthew 17:1–6, Mark 9:1–8, Luke 9:28–36
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 58.3 Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "Mark" pp. 51–161
  59. "Messianic Secret", Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  60. Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. pages 72–73.
  61. "Jesus was claiming for himself the title "I AM" by which God designates himself... he was claiming to be God."—Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, page 546, Zondervan.
  62. The crowd was quoting Psalms 118:26; found in John 12:13–16.
  63. John puts the cleansing of the temple at the start of Jesus' ministry.
  64. 64.0 64.1 Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "Matthew" pp. 129–270
  65. Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "Luke" pp. 267–364
  66. Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "John" pp. 365–440
  67. Luke 22:47–52, Matthew 26:47–56
  68. The apostle is identified as Simon Peter in John 18:10; the healing of the ear is found in Luke 22:51.
  69. [Mt. 27:51]; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45
  70. Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1
  71. 71.00 71.01 71.02 71.03 71.04 71.05 71.06 71.07 71.08 71.09 71.10 71.11 Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "Empty Tomb, Appearances & Ascension" pp. 449–495.
  72. May, Herbert G. and Bruce M. Metzger. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha. 1977.
  73. Jesus' appearances in Mark were not part of the original text. See Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "Empty Tomb, Appearances & Ascension" pp. 449–495.
  74. Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. p. 491
  75. 75.0 75.1 Schaeffer, Francis (1968). The God Who is There. Downers Grove, Il.: InterVarsity Press. p. 72–73. ISBN 0-8308-1947-9. 
  76. Borg, Marcus J. in Borg, Marcus J. and N. T. Wright. The Meaning of Jesus: Two visions. New York: HarperCollins. 2007.
  77. "Pope's Book: A Lifetime of Learning". Newsweek. 21 May 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2009. 
  78. Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth. Doubleday, 2007. ISBN 978-0-385-52341-7
  79. Chesterton, G. K. The everlasting man. 1925, Part II, chapter II, also says that "the merely human Christ is a made-up figure, a piece of artificial selection".
  80. "Extrabiblical references to Jesus". Extra-biblical references to Jesus and Christianity. Rational Christianity. 17 January 2006. Retrieved December 4, 2008. 
  81. "The nonhistoricity thesis has always been controversial, and it has consistently failed to convince scholars of many disciplines and religious creeds. ... Biblical scholars and classical historians now regard it as effectively refuted."—Van Voorst, Robert E. Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000), p. 16.
  82. "The denial of Jesus' historicity has never convinced any large number of people, in or out of technical circles, nor did it in the first part of the century." Walter P. Weaver, The Historical Jesus in the Twentieth Century, 1900–1950, (Continuum International, 1999), page 71.
  83. "about once every generation someone reruns the thesis that Jesus never existed and that the Jesus tradition is a wholesale invention", J. G. Dunn, Jesus Remembered, (Eerdmans, 2003), page 142.
  84. "There is almost Universal agreement that Jesus lived." Bernard L. Ramm, An Evangelical Christology: Ecumenic and Historic, (Regent College Publishing, 1993), page 19.
  85. "some judgements are so probable as to be certain; for example, Jesus really existed", Marcus Borg, 'A Vision of the Christian Life', in Marcus J. Borg and N T Wright, The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions, (HarperCollins, 1999), page 236.
  86. 86.0 86.1 Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005—article "Historical Jesus, Quest of the"
  87. Meier (1991), pp. 43–4
  88. For a comparison of the Jesus movement to the Zealots, see S. G. F. Brandon, Jesus and the Zealots: a study of the political factor in primitive Christianity, Manchester University Press (1967) ISBN 0684310104
  89. 89.0 89.1 For a general comparison of Jesus' teachings to other schools of first century Judaism, see John P. Meier, Companions and Competitors (A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Volume 3) Anchor Bible, 2001. ISBN 0–385–46993–4.
  90. Shaye J.D. Cohen, From the Maccabees to the Mishnah, Westminster Press, 1987, pp. 78, 93, 105, 108; Crossan, The Historical Jesus', pp. xi—xiii; Michael Grant, pp. 34–35, 78, 166, 200; Paula Fredriksen, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, Alfred B. Knopf, 1999, pp. 6–7, 105–110, 232–234, 266; John P. Meier, vol. 1:68, 146, 199, 278, 386, 2:726; Sanders (1993), pp. 12–13; Géza Vermes, Jesus the Jew (Philadelphia: Fortress Press 1973), p. 37.;
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  92. 92.0 92.1 Sanders, E.P. Jesus and Judaism. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1987; Vermes, Géza. Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Reading of the Gospels. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1981; Fredriksen, Paula. From Jesus to Christ. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000.
  93. 93.0 93.1 93.2 Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993.
  94. Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, I. Howard Marshall, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (InterVarsity Press, 1992), page 442
  95. Durant, Will. Caesar and Christ. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1944. p. 558; John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew. New York: Doubleday, 1991 vol. 1:205–7;
  96. "Origin of the Name of Jesus Christ". Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 14, 2007.
  97. e.g. Leviticus 4:3–5
  98. e.g., King David 2 Samuel 23:1
  99. Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article Messiah
  100. 100.0 100.1 100.2 100.3 Vermes (1981).
  101. Martin Hengel, The Son of God: The Origin of Christology and the History of Jewish-Hellenistic Religion (Wipf & Stock Publishers 2007); Robert M. Bowman, Jr., Ed Komoszewski, Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ (Kregel 2007); Jacob Neusner, Rabbi talks with Jesus (Image 1994); Joseph Ratzinger, Jesus of Nazareth, (Ignatius Press 2008); Fernando Ocariz, Luis Mateo Seco, Alfonso Riestra, Mystery of Jesus Christ, (Four Courts Press 1994); Gerald O'Collins S.J., Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus Christ (Oxford University Press 1995)
  102. "A further point of broad agreement among New Testament scholars is…that the historical Jesus did not make the claim to deity that later Christian thought was to make for him: he did not understand himself to be God, or God the Son, incarnate."—John Hick, The Metaphor of God Incarnate: Christology in a Pluralistic Age, Westminster John Knox Press, page 27; Michael Ramsey, Jesus and the Living Past (Oxford University Press, 1980), page 39: 'Jesus did not claim deity for himself'; C. F. D. Moule, The Origin of Christology: 'Any case for a "high" Christology that depended on the authenticity of the alleged claims of Jesus about himself, especially in the Fourth Gospel, would indeed be precarious'; James Dunn, Christology in the Making, (SCM Press 1980), page 254: 'We cannot claim that Jesus believed himself to be the incarnate Son of God' and 'There is no question in my mind that the doctrine of incarnation comes to clear expression within the NT…John 1:14 ranks as a classic formulation of the Christian belief in Jesus as incarnate God.' Page xiii; Brian Hebblethwaite, The Incarnation (Cambridge University Press, 1987), page 74: 'it is no longer possible to defend the divinity of Jesus by reference to the claims of Jesus'; John A. T. Robinson, Honest to God, Westminster Press (1963), p. 47: 'It is, indeed, an open question whether Jesus ever claimed to be the Son of God, let alone God.'; Larry Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity, page 5, describes the view that Jesus made 'both his Messiahship and his divinity clear to his disciples during his ministry' as 'naive and ahistorical'.
  103. Larry Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity, (Eerdmans, 2005), page 650.
  104. "Pharisees", Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  105. Based on a comparison of the Gospels with the Talmud and other Jewish literature. Maccoby, Hyam Jesus the Pharisee, Scm Press, 2003. ISBN 0334029147; Falk, Harvey Jesus the Pharisee: A New Look at the Jewishness of Jesus, Wipf & Stock Publishers (2003). ISBN 1592443133.
  106. Neusner, Jacob (2000). A Rabbi Talks With Jesus. Montreal; Ithaca: McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 978-0-7735-2046-2. Rabbi Neusner contends that Jesus' teachings were closer to the House of Shammai than the House of Hillel.
  107. "Sadducees". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  108. Based on a comparison of the Gospels with the Dead Sea Scrolls, especially the Teacher of Righteousness and Pierced Messiah. Eisenman, Robert James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Penguin (Non-Classics), 1998. ISBN 014025773X; Stegemann, Hartmut The Library of Qumran: On the Essenes, Qumran, John the Baptist, and Jesus. Grand Rapids MI, 1998. See also Broshi, Magen, "What Jesus Learned from the Essenes", Biblical Archaeology Review, 30:1, pg. 32–37, 64. Magen notes similarities between Jesus' teachings on the virtue of poverty and divorce, and Essene teachings as related in Josephus' The Jewish Wars and in the Damascus Document of the Dead Sea Scrolls, respectively. See also Akers, Keith The Lost Religion of Jesus. Lantern, 2000. ISBN 1930051263
  109. Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, p. 14
  110. Crossan, John Dominic. The essential Jesus. Edison: Castle Books. 1998. p. 146
  111. See Schwietzer, Albert The Quest of the Historical Jesus: A Critical Study of its Progress from Reimarus to Wrede, pp. 370–371, 402. Scribner (1968), ISBN 0020892403; Ehrman, Bart Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium, Oxford University Press USA, 1999. ISBN 019–512474-X. Crossan, however, makes a distinction between John's apocalyptic ministry and Jesus' ethical ministry. See Crossan, John Dominic, The Birth of Christianity: Discovering What Happened in the Years Immediately After the Execution of Jesus, pp. 305–344. Harper Collins, 1998. ISBN 0060616598
  112. 112.0 112.1 "Zealots". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  113. "Jesus Christ". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  114. "The New Testament was complete, or substantially complete, about AD 100, the majority of the writings being in existence twenty to forty years before this...the situation is encouraging from the historian's point of view, for the first three Gospels were written at a time when many were alive who could remember the things that Jesus said and did... At any rate, the time elapsing between the evangelic events and the writing of most of the New Testament books was, from the standpoint of historical research, satisfactorily short." Bruce, F. F.: The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?, pp. 12–14, InterVarsity Press, USA, 1997.
  115. "There is no reason to doubt that we have in the Gospel tradition several authentic fragments of His [Jesus Christ's] teaching (albeit in Greek translation)." "Jesus Christ". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  116. Peter, Kirby (2001–2007). "Early Christian Writings: Gospel of Mark". Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  117. Achtemeier, Paul J. (1991–). "The Gospel of Mark". The Anchor Bible Dictonary. 4. New York, New York: Doubleday. p. 545. ISBN 0385193629. 
  118. Meier, John P. (1991). A Marginal Jew. New York, New York: Doubleday. pp. v.2 955–6. ISBN 0385469934. 
  119. A. Harnack, The Date of Acts and the Synoptic Gospels (1911), p. 90; J. A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament, pp. 86–92; I. H. Marshall, Luke, p. 35; A. J. Mattill Jr., ‘The Date and Purpose of Luke-Acts: Rackham reconsidered, in Catholic Biblical Quarterly 40 (1978), pp. 335–350.
  120. "Matthew, Gospel acc. to St." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  121. Meier, John P., A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Doubleday: 1991. vol 1: pp. 168–171.
  122. 122.0 122.1 Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. Introduction, pp. 1–38
  123. Kenneth Keulman, Critical Moments in Religious History, Mercer University Press, p. 56
  124. Andrew F. Gregory, Christopher Mark Tuckett, The Reception of the New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers, Oxford University Press, p. 178
  125. Durant 1944:553–7
  126. "…if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus' existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned. ... To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ myth theory. It has 'again and again been answered and annihilated by first rank scholars.' In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." M. Grant, Jesus: An Historian's Review, pp. 199–200. 1977
  127. Powell, Mark Allan (1998). Jesus as a figure in history: how modern historians view the man from Galilee. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-0-664-25703-3. 
  128. Weaver, Walter P. (1999). The historical Jesus in the twentieth century. Harrisburg, Pa.: Trinity Press International. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-56338-280-2. 
  129. Voorst, Robert E., Van (2000). Jesus outside the New Testament: an introduction to the ancient evidence. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-8028-4368-5. 
  133. J. G. D. Dunn, The Christ and the Spirit, Volume I: Christology, (Eerdmans / T & T Clark, 1998), page 191. see also Bruce, FF (1982). New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? InterVarsity Press, ISBN 087784691X
  134. Herzog II, WR (2005). Prophet and Teacher. WJK, ISBN 0664225284
  135. Sniegocki, John. "Review of Joseph GRASSI, Peace on Earth: Roots and Practices from Luke's Gospel," Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2004 (repentance, forgiveness); Bock, Darrell L. "Major Themes of Jesus' life", (coming of the Kingdom of God); Brussat, Frederic and Mary Ann. "Review of If Grace Is So Amazing, Why Do not We Like It?," (grace); Hughes, F. A. "Grace and Truth", Stem Publishing 1972 (grace)
  136. Duhaime, Jean; Blasi, Anthony J.; Turcotte, Paul-André (2002). Handbook of early Christianity: social science approaches. Walnut Creek, Calif: AltaMira Press. p. 434. ISBN 0759100152. 
  137. "The Jefferson Bible". Retrieved April 20, 2007. 
  138. "Paul, St" Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  139. 139.0 139.1 139.2 "Christology." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  140. Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article "Strauss, David Frederick"
  141. "Christian Antisemitism: A History of Hate" by William Nicholls, 1993. Published by Jason Aronson Inc., 1995; "Mature Christianity: The Recognition and Repudiation of the Anti-Jewish Polemic in the New Testament" Norman A. Beck, Susquehanna University Press, 1985; "The Satanizing of the Jews: Origin and development of mystical anti-Semitism" Joel Carmichael, Fromm, 1993; "The Origins of Anti-Semitism: Attitudes Toward Judaism in Pagan and Christian Antiquity" John G. Gager, Oxford Univ. Press, 1983; "What Did They Think of the Jews?" Edited by Allan Gould, Jason Aronson Inc., 1991; "The New Testament's Anti-Jewish Slander and Conventions of Ancient Polemic", Luke Johnson, Journal of Biblical Literature, Volume 3, 1989; "Three Popes and the Jews" Pinchas E. Lapide, Hawthorne Books, 1967; "National Socialism and the Roman Catholic Church" Nathaniel Micklem, Oxford Univ. Press, 1939; Theological Anti-Semitism in the New Testament", Rosemary Radford Ruether, Christian Century, Feb. 1968, Vol. 85; "John Chrysostom and the Jews" Robert L. Wilken, Univ. of California Press, Berkeley, 1983
  142. Of Revelation and Revolution, Volume 1: Christianity, Colonialism, and Consciousness in South Africa by Jean Comaroff, John L. Comaroff 1991 University of Chicago Press; A Violent Evangelism: The Political and Religious Conquest of the Americas by Luis Rivera Pagan 1992 Westminster Press; The Americas in the Spanish World Order: The Justification for Conquest in the 17th century by James Muldoon 1994 University of Pennsylvania Press; An Empire Divided: Religion, Republicanism, and the Making of French Colonialism, 1880–1914 by J.P. Daughton 2006 Oxford University Press; Contracting Colonialism: Translations and Christian Conversion in Tagalog Society Under Early Spanish Rule by Vicente L. Rafael 1988 Cornell University Press; Christians and Missionaries in India: Cross-Cultural Communication Since 1500; With Special Reference to Caste, Conversion, and Colonialism (Studies in the History of Christian Missions) edited by Robert Eric Frykenberg and Alaine Low 2003 Wm. B. Eerdmans
  143. Conor Gearty, Doing Human Rights: Social Justice in a Post-Socialist Age; Iván A. Castro, 100 Hispanics You Should Know, p. 49-51: Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, Missionary, Human Rights Activist; Central and South American Chronology; Prospect High School Library Technology Center


V. 1, The Roots of the Problem and the Person, 1991. ISBN 0385264259
V. 2, Mentor, Message, and Miracles, 1994. ISBN 0385469926
V. 3, Companions and Competitors, 2001. ISBN 0385469934

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