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Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus of Nazareth (ca. 4 B.C.-A.D. 29), also known as Jesus Christ, was the central personality and founder of the Christian faith.

It is likely that Jesus was born not later than 4 B.C., the year of King Herod's death. Jesus' crucifixion was probably in A.D. 29 or 30. (The term Christ is actually a title, not a proper name; it comes from the Greek Christos, meaning the anointed one; in the Bible it is the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word Messiah.) Information about Jesus is in some ways scant, in other ways plentiful. Although such ancient historians as Tacitus and Suetonius mention him, as does the Jewish Talmud, the only detailed information comes from the New Testament. There are a few other ancient accounts of Jesus' life, called Apocryphal Gospels because of their poor historical reliability; and in 1946 a Gospel of Thomas, actually a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus, was discovered in Upper Egypt. But none of these sources adds significantly to the New Testament. The letters of Paul are the earliest biblical records that tell about Jesus. But the four Gospels by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, although written later, used sources that in some cases go back very close to the time of Jesus.

Early Years

Jesus first came to general attention at the time of his baptism, just prior to his public ministry. He was known to those around him as a carpenter of Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and as the son of Joseph (John 6:42). Matthew and Luke report that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a town near Jerusalem, famous in Jewish history as the city of David. They further report that he was miraculously born to the Virgin Mary, although they both curiously trace his Davidic ancestry through Joseph, to whom Mary was betrothed.

Little is known of Jesus' childhood and youth. But about the year A.D. 28 or 29 his life interacted with the career of John the Baptist, a stormy prophet-preacher who emerged from the wilderness and called on the people to repent and be baptized. A controversial character, he was soon jailed and killed by Herod Antipas, the puppet ruler of Galilee under the Roman Empire. Jesus heard John's preaching and joined the crowds for baptism in the Jordan River. Following his baptism Jesus went into the desert for prayer and meditation.

It is clear that Jesus had some consciousness of a divine calling, and in the desert he thought through its meaning. The Gospels report that he was tempted there by Satan as to what kind of leader Jesus would choose to be—a miracle worker, a benefactor who would bring people what they wanted, a king wielding great power. Jesus accepted a harder and less popular mission, that of the herald of the kingdom of God.

Galilean Ministry

Returning from the desert, Jesus began preaching and teaching in Galilee. His initial proclamation was similar to John's: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1:15; Revised Standard Version). This message was both frightening and hopeful. It told people not to cling to the past, that God would overthrow old institutions and ways of life for a wonderful new future. This future would be especially welcomed by the poor, the powerless, the peacemakers. It would be threatening to the rich, the powerful, the cruel, and the unjust.

Jesus attracted 12 disciples to follow him. They were mainly fishermen and common workers. Of the 12 it seems that Peter, James, and John were closest to Jesus. Peter's home in Capernaum, a city on the Sea of Galilee, became a headquarters from which Jesus and the disciples moved out into the countryside. Sometimes he talked to large crowds. Then he might withdraw with the 12 to teach only them. Or he might go off by himself for long periods of prayer. On one occasion he sent out the disciples, two by two, to spread the message of God's kingdom.

The Miracles

The records concerning Jesus report many miracles. Through the years there have been great disagreements about these reports. For centuries most people in civilizations influenced by the Bible not only believed literally in the miracles but took them as proofs that Jesus had a supernatural power. Then, in an age of rationalism and skepticism, men often doubted the miracles and denounced the reports as fraudulent.

Today, partly because of psychosomatic medicine and therapy, people are more likely to believe in the possibilities of faith healing. The Bible candidly reports that on some occasions, when people had no faith, Jesus could do no mighty works. People were especially skeptical in his home-town, where they had known him as a boy (Mark 6:1-6). However, usually the Gospels report the healings as signs of the power of God and His coming kingdom.

Teachings of Jesus

Jesus taught people in small groups or large gatherings; his sayings are reported in friendly conversations or in arguments with those who challenged him. At times he made a particularly vivid comment in the midst of a dramatic incident.

The starting point of his message, as already noted, was the announcement of the coming of the kingdom of God. Since this kingdom was neither a geographical area nor a system of government, it might be better to translate the phrase as "God's reign."

The rest of Jesus' teaching followed from this message about the reign of God. At times he taught in stories or parables that described the kingdom or the behavior of people who acknowledged God's reign. Perhaps the most famous of his many parables are those of the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan. At times he pronounced ethical commandments detailing the demands upon men of a loving and righteous God. At times Jesus taught his disciples to pray: the words that he gave them in the Lord's Prayer are often used today.

Jesus' teaching was a subtle teaching, and often it was directed to the needs of a particular person in a specific time and place. Therefore almost any summary can be challenged by statements of Jesus that point in an opposite direction. One way to explore the dynamics of his teachings is to investigate some of its paradoxes. Five are worth mentioning here.

First, Jesus combined an utter trust in God with a brute realism about the world. On the one hand, he told men not to be anxious about life's problems, because God knows their needs and will look out for them. So if men trust God and seek His kingdom, God will look out for the rest of their needs. Yet, on the other hand, Jesus knew well that life can be tough and painful. He asked men to give up families and fortunes, to accept persecution out of faithfulness to him, thus promising them a hard life.

Second, Jesus taught both ethical rigor and forgiveness. He demanded of men more than any other prophet or teacher had asked. He criticized the sentimentalists who call him "Lord, Lord" but do not obey him, and he told men that, if they are to enter God's kingdom, their righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, who made exceedingly conscientious efforts to obey God's laws. He told men not to be angry or contemptuous with others, not to lust after women, and not to seek revenge but to love their enemies. Yet this same Jesus understood human weakness. He was known as a friend of sinners who warned men not to make judgments of others whom they consider sinful. He forgave men their sins and told about a God who seeks to save sinners.

Third, Jesus represented a kind of practicality that offends the overly spiritual-minded; but he also espoused an expectation of a future world (God's reign) that will make the attractions of this world unimportant. As a worldly man, he wanted to relieve hunger and sickness. He wanted no escape from responsibility into worship. He taught that sometimes a man would better leave church and go to undo the wrongs he has done.

But with this attention to the world was coupled the recognition that men are foolish to seek security and happiness in wealth or possessions. They would do better to give away their riches and to accept persecution. Jesus promised—or warned—that God's reign will reverse many of the values of this world.

Fourth, Jesus paradoxically combined love and peace with conflict. His followers called him the Prince of Peace, because he sought to reconcile men to God and each other. He summed up all the commandments in two: love for God and love for men. He refused to retaliate against those who had harmed him but urged his followers to forgive endlessly—not simply seven times but seventy times seven. Yet he was not, as some have called him, "gentle Jesus, meek and mild" he attacked evil fearlessly, even in the highest places.

Fifth, Jesus promised joy, freedom, and exuberant life; yet he expected sacrifice and self-denial. He warned men not to follow him unless they were ready to suffer. But he told people to rejoice in the wonders of God's reign, to celebrate the abundant life that he brings.

Views of His Contemporaries

To some people Jesus was a teacher or rabbi. The healing ministry did not necessarily change that conception of him, because other rabbis were known as healers. But Jesus was a teacher of peculiar power, and he was sometimes thought to be a prophet.

Jesus certainly was a herald of the kingdom of God. But then a question arises: was he simply talking about God and his reign, or did he have some special relationship to that kingdom? Those who heard Jesus were frequently perplexed. In some ways he was a modest, even humble man. Instead of making claims for himself or accepting admiration, he turned people's thoughts from himself to God. But at other times he asked immense loyalty of his disciples. And he astonished people by challenging time-honored authority—even the authority of the Bible—with his new teachings. He was so audacious as to forgive sins, although men said that only God could do that.

There was also the question whether it was possible that Jesus was the Messiah. For generations some of the Jewish people had hoped that God would send a king, an heir of the great King David of past history, who would undo the oppression that the Jews suffered, would reestablish the glorious old kingdom, and would bring justice. Some expected even more—that a divine savior would come and inaugurate a radical transformation of life.

Various reports in the New Testament lead to various possible conclusions. Today some scholars think that Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah. Others feel that he clearly did. But there was one occurrence that is especially interesting. Once, in the neighborhood of Caesarea Philippi, a city north of the Sea of Galilee (Mark 8:27-30), Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do men say that I am?" They gave various answers: John the Baptist, Elijah, or another of the prophets. Then Jesus asked, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered, "You are the Christ [Messiah]." Jesus' answer was curious, for "He charged them to tell no one about him."

Why, if he accepted the designation, did he want it kept a secret? One persuasive answer often given is that Jesus was radically revising the traditional idea of the Messiah. If the people thought he was the promised Messiah, they would demand that he live up to their expectations. He had no intention of becoming a conquering king who would overthrow Rome.

Jesus, who knew the Old Testament well, had read the Messianic prophecies. He had also read the poems of the suffering servant in Second Isaiah, the unknown prophet whose writings are now in Isaiah, chapters 40-55. These tell of a servant of God and man, someone despised and rejected, who would bear the cost of the sins of others and bring healing to them. It may be that Jesus combined in his own mind the roles of the Messiah and the suffering servant. The undeniable fact is that his life and character were of such a sort that they convinced his followers he was the Messiah who, through his suffering love, could bring men a new experience of foregiveness and new possibilities for human and social life.

Passion Week

Soon after Peter's confession Jesus led his disciples to Jerusalem in an atmosphere of gathering crisis. On the day now known as Palm Sunday he entered the city, while his disciples and the crowds hailed him as the Son of David, who came in the name of the Lord. The next day Jesus went to the Temple and drove out the money changers and those who sold pigeons for sacrifices, accusing them of turning "a house of prayer" into a "den of robbers." This act was a direct challenge to the small group of priests who were in charge of the Temple, and they clearly resented it. During the following days he entered into controversies with the priests and authoritative teachers of religion. Their anger led them to plot to get rid of him, but they hesitated to do anything in the daytime, since many people were gathered for the feast of Passover.

On Thursday night Jesus had a meal with his disciples. This meal is now reenacted by Christians in the Lord's Supper, the Mass, or the Holy Communion. After the meal Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where he prayed alone. His prayer shows that he expected a conflict, that he still hoped that he might avoid suffering, but that he expected to do God's will. There into the garden one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, led the priests and the temple soldiers, who seized Jesus.

That same night Jesus' captors took him to a trial before the temple court, the Sanhedrin. Several evidences indicate that this was an illegal trial, but the Sanhedrin declared that Jesus was a blasphemer deserving death. Since at that time only the Roman overlords could carry out a death sentence, the priests took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea.

Pilate apparently was reluctant to condemn Jesus, since it was doubtful that Jesus had disobeyed any Roman laws. But as the ruler of a conquered province, Pilate was suspicious of any mass movements that might become rebellions. And he also preferred to keep the religious leaders of the subjugated people as friendly as possible. Jesus, as a radical intruder into the conventional system, and believing that obedience to God sometimes required defiance of human authority, represented a threat to both the Sanhedrin and the Romans. Pilate thus ordered the crucifixion of Jesus. Roman soldiers beat him, put a crown of thorns on his head, and mocked him as a fraudulent king. Then they took him to the hill Golgotha ("the Skull"), or Calvary, and killed him as an insurrectionist. Pilate ordered a sign placed above his head: "King of the Jews." Among the "seven last words," or sayings, from the cross are two quotations from Jewish psalms, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Psalms 22:1) and "Into thy hands I commit my spirit" (Psalms 31:5); and the especially memorable "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). That same day (now known as Good Friday) Jesus was buried in a cavelike tomb.

The Resurrection

On Sunday morning (now celebrated as Easter), the Gospels report, Jesus rose from the dead and met his disciples. Others immediately rejected the claim of the resurrection, and the controversy has continued through the centuries.

The New Testament states very clearly that the risen Christ did not appear to everybody. "God … made him manifest; not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead" (Acts 10:40-41). Among those who saw Jesus were Cephas (Peter), the 12 disciples, "more than five hundred brethren at one time," James, "all the apostles," and finally Paul. Other records tell of appearances to Mary Magdalene and other women and of a variety of meetings with the disciples both in the Jerusalem area and in Galilee. The four Gospels all say that the tomb of Jesus was empty on Easter morning, but Paul never mentions the empty tomb. None of the records ever tells of an appearance of the risen Christ to anyone who had not been a follower of Jesus or (like Paul) had not been deeply disturbed by him.

The evidence is very clear that the followers of Jesus were absolutely convinced of his resurrection. The experience of the risen Jesus was so overwhelming that it turned their despair into courage. Even though it might have been easier, and certainly would have been safer, to regard Jesus as dead, the disciples spread the conviction that he had risen, and they persisted in telling their story at the cost of persecution and death. Furthermore they were sure that their experiences of Jesus were not private visions; rather, as in the statement quoted above, they "ate and drank with him." The faith in the resurrection (and later the ascension) of Jesus, despite differences in interpretation and detail, is a major reason for the rise and propagation of the Christian faith.

Further Reading

There are thousands of books about Jesus, written for many purposes and from many points of view. Those mentioned here are only a few of the most reputable works using the methods of modern historical scholarship. Although many scholars doubt, on the basis of the sources, that an objective biography of Jesus can be written, several noteworthy attempts should be mentioned. Vincent Taylor, The Life and Ministry of Jesus (1955), is a direct, narrative account. Two longer books that give more space to the analysis of sources are Maurice Goguel, The Life of Jesus, translated by Olive Wyon (1933), and Charles Guignebert, Jesus, translated by S. H. Hooke (1935). A very readable biography by a distinguished American scholar is Edgar J. Goodspeed, A Life of Jesus (1950).

More frequent than biographies among contemporary scholars are efforts to interpret the sources in their meaning for modern man's belief in Jesus. Probably the most notable such Protestant effort is Gunther Bornkamm, Jesus of Nazareth, translated by Irene and Fraser McLuskey with James M. Robinson (1960). A distinguished Roman Catholic work is Yves Congar, Jesus Christ, translated by Luke O'Neill (1966). Joseph Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth: His Life, Times, and Teaching, translated by Herbert Danby (1925), is a scholarly study written by a Jewish historian. Sholem Asch, an American Jew, in The Nazarene, translated by Maurice Samuel (1939), wrote a novel about Jesus that is both imaginative and scholarly.

The most important sources for all these works are the letters of Paul and the Gospels of the New Testament. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as Synoptic Gospels because they parallel each other in many respects, although each has its own point of view. The fourth Gospel, John, has a different structure and a more highly articulated theological position. □

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Jesus

Jesus

Jesus is the historical figure identified by the many forms of Christian tradition as its point of historical origin and the means of Christian believers' eternal destiny. Jesus of Nazareth was a popular Jewish teacher who reflected the tradition of his dayoften associated with the Pharisee group of Jewsadhering to a belief in a future resurrection of the dead associated with a day of judgment and a new form of the kingdom of God. After his death his disciples claimed that he had risen from the dead, a resurrection belief characterizing his disciple group that soon broke away from traditional Judaism to become the earliest Christian Church. This means that the person of Jesus became inextricably bound up with the idea of the conquest of death. Indeed, the novelty of the New Testament does not lie in a general belief in resurrection but in a commitment to the specific belief that it had already taken place in Jesus and, because of that, all who believe in him and are his followers will also be granted a resurrection to eternal life.

Christian Theologies

The significance of Jesus as far as death is concerned does not simply lie in the belief that he was resurrected, but that his death, in and of itself, achieved specific purposes. Here death becomes a symbolic vehicle for a number of ideas, largely grounded in the notions of sacrifice and salvation and traditionally spoken of as theories of atonement explaining how his death beneficially changed the relationship between God and humanity from hostility to reconciliation.

Sacrificial Death

The prime meaning given to the death of Jesus both in the New Testament and in subsequent theologies is that it was an act of atonement expressed as a sacrifice. It is important to appreciate the fullness of the extent of this symbolism and the way it has entered into many of the cultures of the world. The death of Jesus could not have been interpreted as a sacrifice without the long historical tradition of the pre-existing Hebrew Bible and the Jewish ritual practices conducted at Jerusalem's temple, especially animal sacrifices for Jerusalem was then a center for animal sacrifice in which the shed blood was the means of removing personal sin. This was a religion in which morality and sacrifice were closely bound together as a means of forgiving the sin engendered by the breaking of divine commandments. The life of the beast was reckoned to be in its blood and it was the ending of that life that made possible the forgiveness of sins.

Another important strand of this tradition regarded suffering as the means of atoning for sin as in the image of the suffering servant of God who would be an agent for the deliverance of God's chosen people, Israel. This perspective was developed by some of the rabbis in the early Christian period to argue that death was the most extreme form of suffering, one that was actually experienced by dying individuals who might thereby atone for their sins in and through their own death. The earliest Christian traditions tended to foster these ideas, emphasizing them to varying degree, but seeing in Jesus both the sacrificial lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and the suffering servant.

Much has been made of the fact that Jesus did not die a natural death but died as a criminal by the appointed method of crucifixion. This raises an interesting issue over blood as a medium of sacrifice. Crucifixion as practiced by the Romans, and it was on Roman authority that he was crucified, did not necessarily involve the use of nails and the shedding of blood. Criminals could be tied to crosses and die of asphyxiation when they could no longer bear the weight of their body on their legs. (Indeed, their legs might be broken to ensure this took place.) It was a slow form of punishing death. None of the Gospel stories tell of Jesus being nailed to the cross and John's Gospel has to add the specific, and unusual, comment that a soldier standing by pierced his side with a spear out of which came "blood and water" (John 19:34). This is because John's Gospel has a specific interest in blood as a medium of salvation from sin. In various letters of the New Testament, especially the Letter to the Hebrews, great stress is placed upon Jesus as the High Priest who offers his own blood in a sacrificial ritual (Heb. 9:12); it also echoes the idea of being made perfect through suffering (Heb. 5:89). The overall Christian idea is that Jesus and his sacrificial death form the basis for the New Covenant between God and humanity.

Christ and Self

One aspect of Christ's sacrificial death is reflected in the idea that he was either a representative of or a substitute for believers with the result that his death is related to their ongoing life and, as significant, that their death is no longer just a personal and private event. This is because the language of death, that of Jesus and of the believer, comes to be the means of interpreting one's life and is given fullest formal expression in the language of worship and ethics. Many Christian hymns reflect upon these matters and have ensured that the death of Christ has always remained at the forefront of Christian thought. The piety that sometimes arises in connection with this focus upon Christ's suffering and death has often been profound and is one means of eliciting the responsive love of individuals to God for the love shown to them.

Death into Resurrection

For St. Paul, the combined death and resurrection of Jesus takes place at and as the turning point in history between the Jewish religion focused on a single nation and governed by the divine lawIsrael's Torahand the new international community of believers in Christ inspired by the divine revelation of the gospel. This "good news" was that God forgave the sins of all through this sacrificial death and, in the new unified community, created and led by the Spirit of God, there was a new kind of "body" of Christthe churchexisting in the world. The promises and pre-existing history of Israel had now come to fulfillment in this new community of love through God's action against humanity's sin to demonstrate the divine righteousness and to create a righteous world as expressed in different theories of atonement.

Legal Idioms

Early fathers of the church offered variations on the theme of the life and sacrificial death of Jesus within a legal framework, one that viewed relationships in terms of rights, duties, ownership, and obligations. These are sometimes called legal or juridical theories of the atonement. Origen, writing in the third century, saw Christ's death as a form of ransom paid to the devil who had gained certain rights over fallen humanity. At the close of the eleventh century, Anselm, in his famous book Why Did God Become Man?, argued that the death of Jesus was a kind of satisfaction of God's outraged sense of honor caused by human disobedience. Human sin was a kind of debt resulting from the fact that people did not render the honor due to God. Not only ought humanity to return into obedience to God but some satisfaction should also be provided for the outrage perpetrated against the divine. And this was what the voluntary death of Jesus accomplished. His death becomes a satisfaction for the sins of humanity. This view contradicted that earlier theological suggestion that Christ's death was a payment to the devil.

The Exemplary Death

One element of Anselm's thought speaks of the death of Jesus as an example of how ordinary humans ought to live by giving voluntary offerings to God. Abelard, a younger contemporary, developed his exemplary theory further arguing that the suffering death of Jesus should so stir the lives of believers that they would respond anew to God. Something of this exemplarist view also stirred the imagination of early-twentieth-century theologians as when Hastings Rashdall (18581924) saw God's love revealed in the life and death of Jesus in ways that evoked a human response to a life of service, as published in The Idea of Atonement in Christian Theology (1915).

Drama of Conquest

Another style of interpretation of Christ's death, echoing the earlier ideas that the devil was involved, was prompted by the sixteenth-century German religious reformer Martin Luther and reinforced by the early-twentieth-century Swede Gustav Aulén. Sometimes referred to as the "dramatic theory of atonement," its stress falls on Christ as one who does battle with the devil and emerges triumphant, as caught in the Latin title Christus Victor, used for the English translation of Aulén's book. This broad tradition expresses the positive accomplishment of Jesus and the sense of confident benefit received by believers through it. In more recent and popular forms this doctrine of the power of Christ over the devil has been used in Pentecostal and Charismatic forms of Christianity in relation to exorcism and gaining power over evil spirits reckoned to be afflicting the sick.

Christian Worship

The death of Jesus did not, however, simply forge the first Christian groups or give opportunity for abstract theology but became central to three ritual practices: baptism, the Eucharist, and funerals. These ensured that the image of death would be kept firmly before Christian consciousness for the next 2,000 years. Baptism is a rite in which water becomes a symbol expressing several meanings, including (1) the normal function of water to cleanse the body, in this case the cleansing of sin viewed as an impurity or stain to be removed; (2) the biological "waters" associated with birth, in this case symbolizing spiritual birth so that a baptized person can be spoken of as being "born again"; and (3) the image of death, specifically the death of Jesus, for when someone becomes a Christian through baptism he or she is said to "die with Christ." The death and life of Jesus come to be intimately linked in a ritually symbolic way with the death and life of the believer. In this way the historical death of Jesus has come to be invested with deep theological significance and forms the basis for individual believers to reflect upon the meaning of their own lives. In religious terms not only are they said to have died to their old nature and to have been born again with a new nature on the single occasion of their baptism, but they are also called to "die daily" in a spiritual commitment to live a "new life."

This emphasis on the transformation from death to life, both in the death of Jesus and in the experience of Christians, is reinforced and developed in a special way in the rite called by a variety of names including the Eucharist, the Mass, the Holy Communion, or the Lord's Supper. In major Christian traditions such as Greek and Russian Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Lutheranism, and Anglicanism, both baptism and the Lord's Supper are regarded as sacramentsspecial ritual activities in which the outward signs of water, bread, and wine reflect spiritual depths and foster the whole life in the process of salvation. The Eucharist enacts an account of the Last Supper, itself probably a traditional Jewish Passover meal that expressed God's covenant with Israel, held by Jesus with his disciples just before he undergoes the agony of commitment to God's purposes in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he is finally betrayed, arrested, and executed. The Eucharist tells how it was on that night of betrayal that he took a cup of wine and told his disciples that it was his own blood that is shed for them and that they should repeat the act of drinking it as a way of remembering him. And so too with bread that they should eat in memory of his body given for them. Different traditions have developed these themes, some stressing aspects of remembrance as a mental act and talking about wine and bread as simply wine and bread, some even use nonalcoholic wine or even water. Others, especially in the Catholic traditions, speak of the Mass as a "transubstantiation" rite in which the bread and wine "become" the body and blood of Christ through the priest's authority and the proper conducting of the ritual. A major train of thought interprets the Mass as a rite in which the death of Jesus is not simply represented but is also represented.

Modern believers enter into the foundational and epoch-making moments in the life and death of Jesus. The familiarity of these rites possibly tend to cloud the significance of what they express and yet when believers take the communion bread and wine they are engaging with symbols of death and life and bring the death and life of Jesus into intimate association with their own lives and death. Not only that, the rite also mentions the death and eternal life of various ancient saints of the church as well as of the more recently dead. Not only do many Christians pray for the dead but also invoke the saints to pray for the living. In other words, the eucharistic rite activates an entire network in which the living and the dead are caught up together within the Kingdom of God.

Finally, it is in funeral rites that the death of Jesus has come to play a significant part and these rites have become a major feature of the impact of Christian churches upon many societies. Once more, the death of individual believers is associated with the death of Jesus, their grave is symbolically linked to his and, in turn, his resurrection is proclaimed to be the basis for their future life. Christian burial has come to contain two paradoxical elements reflected in the well-known phrases, "earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust" and "in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection." These are usually said together, one following immediately after the other, and jointly assert the obvious fact of human decay and the "fact of faith" lodging its hope for the future in the resurrection of Christ.

Hope

The very existence of baptism, the Eucharist, and funerals reflected and stimulated Christian theological explorations of the death of Jesus as a creative source of life, fostering the view that death may not be a futile end but, in some way, beneficial as in the twentieth century's world wars whose millions of dead have been depicted as not dying in vain but as valiant warriors fighting for the truth. Many war memorials rehearse the saying accorded to Jesus in St. John's Gospel: "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend." Such memorials often incorporate or take the form of a cross so that part of the conquest of death comes by aligning the death of soldiers with the death of Christ.

In many contexts of disaster and catastrophe relatives of the dead often seek some explanation of why the loss occurred and express the hope that something good may come out of it or that some lesson may be learned in order that, as the expression holds, "this may never happen again." To speak of disasters in terms of beneficial death is, in some ways, wrong and might appear insensitive to the bereaved and yet this is how some such events are framed.

Resurrection

After Jesus died, the cave-tomb where he had been placed was found to be empty and the body unfound. Disciples say he appeared to them and believed that he had been raised from the dead. The contemporary popular Jewish belief in resurrection came to sharp focus: Resurrection had become personalized in Jesus. The early disciples also reckoned that a spiritual power had transformed them into a strong community, exemplifying the new message of God's love for all, irrespective of social or ethnic background. Identity within the new community of the church involved belief in the triumph over death conferred by this spiritual power coming to believers.

Historical Jesus and Christ of Faith

From the eighteenth century on scholars used historical analysis of biblical texts to interpret Jesus's life, cutting through centuries of developed dogma. Albert Schweitzer's important works, including The Quest for the Historical Jesus (1906), argue that Jesus believed the world and history were coming to an end and that he was the Messiah whose own suffering would prompt it and help deliver people from the anguish involved. Rudolph Bultmann wanted to demythologize biblical stories so that the Christ of faith could be clearly heard, calling people to decision and faith. In the 1930s Charles Dodd argued for a "realised eschatology," the idea that a degree of divine fulfillment of the Kingdom of God had already occurred in the ministry of Jesus. In the 1950s Reginald Fuller opted for a belief that fulfillment would only come after Jesus's earthly work was completed. Despite detailed research on biblical descriptions of Jesus's suffering and death, much remains open as to whether he felt abandoned by God or not. Similarly, the theme of the resurrection remains contested as an arena in which ideas of the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith remain open-ended as Edward Sanders has indicated. From a psychological viewpoint, some argue that the resurrection is grounded in grief-induced hallucinations. Whatever the case, the death of Jesus has been the major focus by which millions have reflected upon their own death and sought relief when bereaved of those they love.

See also: Catholicism; Christian Death Rites, History of; Lazarus; Osiris; Sacrifice; Socrates

Bibliography

Brown, Raymond E. The Death of the Messiah: From Gethsemane to the Grave: A Commentary on the Passion Narratives in the Four Gospels. New York: Doubleday, 1994.

Bultmann, Rudolph. Jesus and the Word. London: Nicholson and Watson, 1935.

Dodd, Charles H. The Parables of the Kingdom. London: Nisbet and Co., 1935.

Fuller, Reginald H. The Mission and Achievement of Jesus: An Examination of the Presuppositions of New Testament Theology. London: SCM Press, 1954.

Kent, Jack A. The Psychological Origins of the Resurrection Myth. London: Open Gate Press, 1999.

Sanders, Edward P. The Historical Figure of Jesus. London: Penguin Books, 1993.

Schweitzer, Albert. The Quest of the Historical Jesus, edited by John Bowden. 1906. Reprint, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001.

DOUGLAS J. DAVIES

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Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

THE GOSPEL ACCOUNTS OF JESUS

THE REFLECTION OF JESUS IN THE LETTERS OF PAUL

THE SPREAD OF WITNESS TO JESUS

JESUS ON JUSTICE AND LOVE

JESUS IN PRAYER AND DOCTRINE

JESUS IN SOCIETY AND POLITICS

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Jesus of Nazareth, one of the most influential humans in history, lives on as Jesus Christ. One-third of the human race, almost 2 billion people, identify with his name, calling themselves Christians. He is influential and believers identify with him because most of them see him as not merely human but as divine, whether as Son of God or in some other way uniquely bearing divine nature. Beyond the circle of believers as well as within it, many admire him, cite him, and seek to apply his teachingsespecially about lovein human affairs apart from what most Christians claim about his divine character or his deity.

This fame and acclaim are astonishing, given the humbleness of his circumstances, the obscurity of origins and details about his life, and the arguments from the beginning about the meaning of his ministry and his character as being both human and divine. As for the circumstances, he was born to Mary, a young woman of Nazareth in Galilee, probably from four to six years before Christ. That confusing calendar reference results from adjustments in chronology made in more modern times. The period found Israel, which was conceivedalso by Jesusto be Gods special people, under the rule of Romans, to whom they grudgingly paid taxes and against whom there were occasional revolts. Jesus himself came to be regarded as suspicious both by Jewish authorities in religion and in their relations to the Roman rulers as well as to the Romans themselves. In the mixture of loyalties and disloyalties, Jesus was executed by crucifixion. His dispersed followers regathered instantly, convinced that he was risen from the dead and that many among them had seen the Lord after his death. Forty days later they witnessed his Ascension and adored him as one who, in the words of the best-known Christian creed, sits at the right-hand of his Father in heaven and as invisible ruler of the world.

THE GOSPEL ACCOUNTS OF JESUS

Historians know this information not because a single Roman or Jewish historian left a record of any sort before Jesus death, but because stories cherished by Jesus immediate followers, quotations of his sayings and parables, and ponderings of the meaning of his divine and human character inspired his followers, or disciples, to produce four documents called gospels, which were transmissions of good news about him. Three of them, called Matthew, Mark, and Luke, were edited into the forms contained in the modern Bible, probably a generation after his death. The authors or editors of these had slightly different intentions, depending upon whether they wanted to attract Jewish or Gentile readers, or for some other purpose. Yet, for all their variations and despite some conflicts in their accounts, overall they present a coherent portrait. The Fourth Gospel, called John, may have come around the end of the first century of the Common Era, and includes more reflection on the meaning of Jesus words and works. In the centuries that followed, numbers of other gospels appeared. While some of them have advocates in the twenty-first century, none of them were accepted into the canon, the authorized collection called the New Testament that was approved by church leaders in the second and third centuries.

THE REFLECTION OF JESUS IN THE LETTERS OF PAUL

Before the gospels appeared, however, reflection on Jesus, now called the Christ, which meant the anointed one of God who had been foreseen and promised in the Hebrew Scripturesthe Messiah whom devout Jews still awaitwas developed and spread most notably by Saul of Tarsus, called Paul the Apostle after his own conversion. In his letters collected in the New Testament and in stories within the book of Acts, which can be seen as Volume Two after Lukes Gospel as Volume One, Paul describes himself as a persecutor of Christian believers until he had an ecstatic experience of Jesus, who called him to a new vocation. Pauls letters make very few references to the life of Jesus as it is described in the Gospels, but they concentrate on the meaning of his death and resurrection. In such writings Jesus is no longer the rabbi, healer, and wonder-worker of Nazareth so much as the risen and exalted Lord of all creation. Through faith in the divine grace God gave to believers in Jesus the crucified and self-sacrificial Savior from sin and divine condemnation, these believers are gathered as a kind of mystical Body of Christ and are to be raised from the dead as he was.

The understandings of who Jesus was were vastly diverse. President Thomas Jefferson, almost eighteen hundred years after Jesus death, despised the assertions and beliefs about Jesus the miracle-maker and exalted divine Lord. Like so many other advocates of the Enlightenment in his century and many admirers of Jesus in the twenty-first century, he wanted to rescue Jesus from the priests and to see him as the greatest exemplar of love and teacher of justice. At the opposite extreme there have been through all of Christian history movements that can be classified as docetic, for in their vision Jesus only appeared to be a mortal. Attempts to reconcile the extremes, represented already in the first Christian centuries by those who stressed his human nature versus those who overstressed the divine nature, became the preoccupying agenda item for a series of church councils, whose influence extended from the fourth century into modern times and into Christian discourse and teaching on all continents.

THE SPREAD OF WITNESS TO JESUS

As for these councils: According to the book of Acts and the New Testament letters of Paul, Jewish religious authorities in Jerusalem and Roman rulers there and elsewhere began to persecute followers of Jesus. Some saw them as subversive of Jewish temple practices and others as threats to Roman rule throughout the Empire. Very soon after Jesus death and resurrection, according to the book of Acts, a witness named Stephen was stoned to death in Jerusalem. According to tradition, in 64 CE both Paul and a leading disciple named Peter were executed in Rome. While many followers of Jesus in these times were basically nonpolitical, they refused to engage in simple acts of what to them looked like betrayals of Jesus, such as offering a pinch of incense on the emperors shrine, the emperors then being conceived themselves as somehow divine.

The boldness of the apostles, as early articulators and witnesses were called, and then the readiness of their followers to face whatever the authorities threatened because of their faith in Jesus, only added luster to his reputation and served to attract ever more followers. By the second century followers of Jesus, called not Jesusians or Jesusists but Christians, were spreading north and east beyond Antioch into present-day Syria and through Asia Minor, present-day Turkey. Early strongholds of belief in Jesus were in northern Africa, where notable church fathers held sway. In both Asia and Africa some followers took the call of Jesus to mean denial of the pleasures of the world, and went to the desert and other remote places, there in isolation of community to become monks. They pioneered in a practice that through the twenty centuries had led to special devotion to Jesus and self-sacrifice in his honor and following his commands.

Those commands, however, took their impetus from Gospel records that embody and impart some apparently contradictory impulses and commands. On one hand, the Gospel writers remember Jesus calling for drastic self-renunciation. Followers were to deny themselves, take up their crossa reference to the mode of his death by crucifixionand even to desert their families and familial obligations.

On the other hand, and just as emphatically, the Gospel writers depict Jesus as enjoying life and teaching others to do the same. His special form of discourse was in parables, short stories that usually included a kind of overturning of conventional ways of looking at reality. It has been said that one will not understand these preserved parables without recognizing that they turn everything topsy-turvy. The proud and powerful and respectable will be dumped and debased, while the humble and weak and outcast will be privileged in what Jesus announced as the Kingdom of God. Kingdom of God did not mean an early reign, since the Gospels have him saying that his kingdom was not of this world, but instead focused on the sovereign saving activity of God manifested in Jesus who was in their midst. So the last will be first and the first last; no one could enter the kingdom, he had said, unless they changed and became like a little child; the lost sheep matters more than those at home in the flock. More shockingly, Jesus favored the company at table of prostitutes, the hated tax collectors, and others seen as marginal or outcast by respectable people.

JESUS ON JUSTICE AND LOVE

The Gospel portraits show Jesus as both an announcer of Gods justice and imparter of Gods love. As for justice, a series of sayings preserved as the Sermon on the Mount or, in another gospel, the Sermon on the Plain, called for radical adherence to the call of God to effect justice in the world. The discourse combines such stern language with words of blessing and comfort, sayings followers have cherished through the centuries. These announce that blessed are the peacemakers and those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.

It is not likely that Jesus would have remained such a powerful and attractive force to all conditions and sorts of people, from those in royal courts to those falsely imprisoned or abandoned by others, were it not for the Gospels portraits and preserved sayings about love. Jesus in these accounts showed extreme devotion to the law of God, also as it was believed to be condensed in the Ten Commandments and in many other laws preserved in the Hebrew Scriptures and declared as applicable in Jesus own time. He was even more extreme in declaring that this Law of God had its limits in the face of human need. He saw the value of the Sabbath, the divinely commanded day of rest, yet when his disciples were desperately hungry he allowed them to prepare grain for food, and when someone needed healing, he healed, scorning those who invoked the Law of God over the call to love. He was particularly confrontational when he faced religious authorities that overlooked human need in the name of their interpretations of divine commands. When asked to summarize all the commandments he drew them down to two: the love of God and the love of neighbors, or others. Every serious return to the teachings of Jesus focuses on both the seriousness of his demands for justice and the abundance of his calls to love, the love that followers saw in his giving of himself to death.

JESUS IN PRAYER AND DOCTRINE

To believing Christians in all cultures, Jesus is not merely an historical figure, written about and admired after twenty centuries. Most of them regard him as a living presence. The Gospels hear him saying that when two or three followers are gathered in his name, he is there among them, so they regularly worship in his name. Some pray to him, but the main interest for Christians is to pray through him, following his word that they are to approach God, the one he called Abba, an endearing word for Father, in his name. Catholic Christianity in many denominational forms is sacramental, and its adherents believe that Jesus is especially present among them in the sacred meal described in the Gospels as occurring first the night before he was killed and which he commanded that they should repeat.

Second, Jesus has been present in visual representations. No one knows what he looked like, and in all societies and cultures artists portray him as an ideal figure in their own. In the Eastern Orthodox churches he appears in very formal guise in icons. In Latin (in Europe, in Spanish cultures; in the Western Hemisphere, in Latin American cultures), he is usually portrayed as a whipped, bleeding sufferer on the cross. In other cultures he is domesticated and portrayed as a kind of bourgeois comforter of children and quiet teacher.

Third, Jesus lives on in doctrine or dogma. While the gospels show him uninterested in abstractions and distant from formulations, it was natural that as Hebrew-speaking Jewish followers of Jesus moved into the larger culture today called Greco-Romanthe Gospels about Jesus and other speakers of Aramaic and Hebrew were themselves written in common Greekteachers found it important to define how Jesus differed from others for whom divine claims were made. They had to show how he related to his divine Father and, since the New Testament writings made much of this, to the Holy Spirit. In the early church councils leaders combined Hebrew biblical testimony and simple stories with Greek philosophical themes. They had to show how to make sense in their world of their belief that the human Jesus was also the exalted Lord. They were pressed to show to Jews and others that and how they were monotheists, believers in one God, and not in two or, with the Holy Spirit, in three. Out of this grew the doctrine of the divine Trinity, in which Jesus is of one being with the Father and is also a true human.

JESUS IN SOCIETY AND POLITICS

Those interested in the social scienceshistory, sociology, and political sciencemay be aware of the other three modes but they also study how devotion to Jesus inspires ethical response among those who want to be numbered as his followers. They pay attention to the movements and church bodies that exist because of the desire by believers to respond to his calls and promises. In his name leaders helped guide the persecuted believers to situations of power. After Constantine in the fourth century, both in the Roman West and the Constatinopolitan East, Jesus, as represented by bishops and other church leaders, shared earthly power with emperors and magistrates. The name of Jesus was invoked by his followers against their and, they believed, his enemies. His cross appeared on the banners of Crusaders who more than a thousand years after Jesus carried on campaigns against those who occupied lands in which he lived or sites devoted to worship of him and to his memory. In both the Christian West and East, both sides invoked his blessing on their troops and, when victorious, credited him, however all these military doings seemed to have departed from the humble portrait of one who called them to be peacemakers.

No portrait of Jesus and invocation of his memory would be fair, however, did one not notice that more than the warrior, Jesus remains the peacemaker and bears the image of the healer. He called disciples to treat the homeless, the hungry, the imprisoned, and the ill, as if they were treating himor even because they were treating him, as he lived in people of need. In prayers and hymns his name lives on as someone to be relied on and invoked by those who are troubled, ill, or dying. If these invocations seem far removed from those that see him as a ruler through representatives on Earth, as the leader of Christian soldiers, marching as to war, the anticipations of both are present in the writings of Paul, the portraits of the Gospel, and the many efforts through the ages by believers to come to terms with someone they believe is obviously human and, in faith, adored and often followed as divine.

SEE ALSO Christianity; Fundamentalism, Christian; Liberation Theology; Religion

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Pelikan, Jaroslav. 1985. Jesus through the Centuries. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Martin E. Marty

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Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus of Nazareth

Born: 4 b.c.e.
Bethlehem, Judea
Died: c. 29 c.e.
Jerusalem, Judea

Judean religious leader

Jesus of Nazareth, also known as Jesus Christ, was the central personality and founder of the Christian faith.

Early years

Jesus first came to general attention at the time of his baptism (religious ritual performed shortly after a child's birth), just prior to his public ministry. He was known to those around him as a carpenter of Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and as the son of Joseph (John 6:42). Matthew and Luke report that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, famous in Jewish history as the city of David. They further report that he was miraculously (something that occurs that cannot be explained by nature's laws) born to the Virgin Mary, although they both curiously trace his kinship to David through Joseph, to whom Mary was engaged. It is likely that Jesus was born not later than 4 b.c.e., the year of King Herod's death. (The term Christ is actually a title, not a proper name; it comes from the Greek Christos, meaning the anointed, or the one chosen by God; in the Bible it is the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word Messiah.)

Little is known of Jesus' childhood and youth. The letters of Paul are the earliest biblical records that tell about Jesus. But the four biblical Gospels by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, although written later, used sources that in some cases go back very close to the time of Jesus. But about the year 28 or 29 c.e. his life interacted with the career of John the Baptist. Jesus heard John's preaching and joined the crowds for baptism in the Jordan River. Following his baptism Jesus went into the desert for prayer and reflection.

Galilean ministry

Returning from the desert, Jesus began preaching and teaching in Galilee. His initial declaration was both frightening and hopeful. It told people not to cling to the past, that God would overthrow old institutions and ways of life for a wonderful new future. This future would be especially welcomed by the poor, the powerless, and the peacemakers.

Jesus attracted twelve disciples to follow him. They were mainly fishermen and common workers. Of the twelve it seems that Peter, James, and John were closest to Jesus. Peter's home in Capernaum, a city on the Sea of Galilee, became a headquarters from which Jesus and the disciples moved out into the countryside. Sometimes he talked to large crowds, with the twelve to teach only them, or he might go off by himself for long periods of prayer.

The miracles

The records concerning Jesus report many miracles (an event that goes against the laws of nature and has suggested divine influence). For centuries most people in civilizations influenced by the Bible not only believed literally in the miracles but took them as proof that Jesus had supernatural (something that is not normal, possibly with a spiritual influence) power. Then, in an age of reason and distrust, men often doubted the miracles and exposed the reports as dishonest. However, usually the Gospels report the healings as signs of the power of God and His coming kingdom.

Teachings of Jesus

Jesus taught people in small groups or large gatherings; his lessons are reported in friendly conversations or in arguments with those who challenged him. At times he made a particularly vivid comment in the midst of a dramatic incident.

The starting point of Jesus' message, as already noted, was the announcement of the coming of the kingdom of God. Since this kingdom was neither a geographical area nor a system of government, a better translation may be "God's reign" (God being in existence everywhere).

The rest of Jesus' teaching followed from this message about the reign of God. At times he taught in stories or parables that described the kingdom or the behavior of people who acknowledged God's reign. At times he pronounced moral commandments detailing the demands upon men of a loving and righteous God. At times Jesus taught his disciples to pray: the words that he gave them in the Lord's Prayer are often used today.

To some people Jesus was a teacher, or rabbi. The healing ministry did not necessarily change that impression of him because other rabbis were known as healers. But Jesus was a teacher of peculiar power, and he was sometimes thought to be a prophet (a person who tells of things that have been made known to him or her by a divine power).

Passion week

On the day now known as Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem, while his disciples and the crowds hailed him as the Son of David, who came in the name of the Lord. The next day Jesus went to the Temple and drove out the money-changers and those who sold pigeons for sacrifices, accusing them of turning "a house of prayer" into a "den of robbers." This act was a direct challenge to the small group of priests who were in charge of the Temple, and they clearly took offense to it. During the following days he entered into disagreements with the priests and teachers of religion. Their anger led them to plot to get rid of him, but they hesitated to do anything in the daytime, since many people were gathered for the feast of Passover (a Jewish religious holiday).

On Thursday night Jesus had a meal with his disciples. This meal is now re-enacted by Christians in the Lord's Supper, the Mass, or the Holy Communion. After the meal Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where he prayed alone. His prayer shows that he expected a conflict, that he still hoped he might avoid suffering, but he expected to do God's will. There into the garden one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, led the priests and the temple soldiers, who seized Jesus.

That same night Jesus' captors took him to a trial before the temple court, the Sanhedrin. Much evidence indicates that this was an illegal trial, but the Sanhedrin declared that Jesus was a blasphemer (a person who claims to be God or godlike) deserving death. Since at that time only the Roman overlords (supreme lords) could carry out a death sentence, the priests took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea.

Pilate apparently was reluctant to convict Jesus, since it was doubtful Jesus had disobeyed any Roman laws. Jesus, however, represented a threat to both the Sanhedrin and the Romans. Pilate thus ordered the crucifixion of Jesus. Roman soldiers beat him, put a crown of thorns on his head, and mocked him as a false king. Then they took him to the hill Golgotha ("the Skull"), or Calvary, and killed him. Pilate ordered a sign placed above his head: "King of the Jews." Jesus died and that same day (now known as Good Friday) was buried in a cave-like tomb.

The Resurrection

On Sunday morning (now celebrated as Easter), the Gospels report, Jesus rose from the dead and met his disciples. Others immediately rejected the claim of the resurrection, and the debate has continued through the centuries.

The New Testament states very clearly that the risen Christ did not appear to everybody. Among those who saw Jesus were Cephas (Peter), the twelve disciples, "more than five hundred brethren at one time," James, and finally Paul. Other records tell of appearances to Mary Magdalene and other women and of a variety of meetings with the disciples. The four Gospels all say that the tomb of Jesus was empty on Easter morning. None of the records ever tells of an appearance of the risen Christ to anyone who had not been a follower of Jesus or (like Paul) had not been deeply disturbed by him.

The evidence is very clear that the followers of Jesus were absolutely convinced of his resurrection. The experience of the risen Jesus was so overwhelming that it turned their despair into courage. The disciples spread the conviction that he had risen, and they continued to tell their story at the cost of persecution and death. The faith in the resurrection (and later the rising up to the kingdom of God) of Jesus, despite differences in interpretation and detail, is a major reason for the rise and spread of the Christian faith.

For More Information

Crossan, John Dominic. Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography. San Francisco: HarperSan-Francisco, 1994.

Grimbol, William R. The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Life of Christ. Indianapolis: Alpha Books, 2001.

Guardini, Romano. The Lord. Chicago: Regnery, 1954. Reprint, Washington, DC: Regnery, 1996.

Harik, Ramsay M. Jesus of Nazareth: Teacher and Prophet. New York: Franklin Watts, 2001.

Oursler, Fulton. The Greatest Story Ever Told; a Tale of the Greatest Life Ever Lived. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1949. Reprint, Boston: G. K. Hall, 1979.

Pastva, Loretta. Jesus of Nazareth: The Mystery Revealed. Mission Hills, CA: Benziger, 1992.

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Jesus

Jesus (d. 30 or 33 CE). Jewish religious teacher, and in traditional Christian belief the unique incarnation of God. (For the name ‘Jesus Christ’ see CHRIST.)

Jesus was born before the death of King Herod (4 BCE), of pious parents Joseph and Mary, of Nazareth in Galilee. According to Matthew and Luke, Mary conceived Jesus by the operation of the Holy Spirit while remaining a virgin: see VIRGIN BIRTH. Jesus is once called a ‘carpenter’ (Mark 6. 3, unless the alternative reading referring to his believed father is preferred), but nothing is known of his life (apart from the fact that he had brothers and sisters) until he began to preach publicly. Probably his first work was alongside John the Baptist in the Jordan valley (John 3. 22 ff.), Jesus himself having been baptized by John (Mark 1. 9). The gospels, however, place most of his career in Galilee and N. Palestine generally. Probably this career lasted only two or three years, before he was arrested and executed, having made a deliberate journey to Jerusalem for Passover.

Jesus preached about the kingdom of God, and specifically of its imminent approach. Jesus, however, speaks of it sometimes as future (Matthew 6. 10), sometimes as already present (Matthew 12. 28, Luke 11. 20), and at other times as something which cannot be described except indirectly through parables (Mark 4. 30). Jesus taught and acted (especially in healing) in a way which manifested the ‘power’ (dunamis) and ‘authority’ (exousia), not of himself but of God, whom he characterized as both king and father, addressing him as Abba. This provoked the fundamental question of Mark 6. 2 which is the beginning of Christology.

How Jesus thought of himself in relation to this coming kingdom is uncertain. Clearly he mediated through himself an effect of God which transfigured his own life and transformed the lives of others. From the wellattested fact that Jesus addressed God as Abba (Aramaic, ‘father’), it could be inferred that he was Son of God; but Jesus did not use this expression as an exclusive title for himself. His most significant reference to himself seems to have been as ‘the son of man’.

Jesus selected an intimate band of twelve disciples (Mark 3. 14), but there are many sayings about the challenge of following him (e.g. Mark 8. 34) which seem to be addressed to his adherents generally. It is striking that there is no clear evidence that Jesus formed any kind of institution for his followers.

In his teaching, he often challenged the teaching of others, while remaining within the Jewish religion of the Torah (e.g. in attending synagogue, Matthew 4. 23, 9. 35; Luke 4. 16 ff.; John 6. 59). Often where he appears to criticize the biblical commandments themselves (e.g. Matthew 5. 21–48) his own dictates are more rather than less exacting, or even on a different plane altogether. His summary of Torah (kelal) was in effect a context-independent command (see ETHICS, CHRISTIAN).

The gospels record that Jesus was executed by crucifixion by the Roman authorities in Judaea. Jesus clearly made his way deliberately to Jerusalem (the Gk. uses strong words of necessity concerning his determination to leave the relative security of Galilee and to go to Jerusalem), because it was only in Jerusalem that the issue could be resolved, whether his teaching was ‘from God or men’. It is equally clear that the initial offence of Jesus had to do with his threat to the authority of the Temple in deciding the true interpretation of Torah (the same issue which was raised by Stephen, Acts 7. 11 f.). This (as an offence) goes back to Deuteronomy 17. 8–13, which states that an obstinate teacher (see REBELLIOUS ELDER), who insists on his own opinion against the majority, must be brought before ‘the judge who shall be in those days’ (i.e. the highest authority), and if he rejects the decision on his teaching, he must be executed—because two interpretations of Torah must necessarily destroy Israel. The so-called ‘trial’ of Jesus was initially an investigation to see whether he came into the category of an obstinate teacher who insisted on his own opinion. Whether it was necessary or simply convenient to hand Jesus over to the Romans for the punishment which Deuteronomy requires is uncertain; the charge then would have involved Jesus’ threat to the Roman administration by his threat to the religious establishment which co-operated with the Romans.

There is good reason, therefore, to believe that Jesus anticipated his own death (the necessity of the journey to Jerusalem carries that implication, since Jesus knew that his teaching and actions came, not from himself, but from God, and that they were not subject to human authority). If the connection with Daniel 7 is correct, then he saw his death as the fulfilment of Israel's true destiny; and he saw it also as a lutron (ransom, in terms of a current dispute between Pharisees and Sadducees) for the sins of ‘many’ (Mark 10. 45). Such an interpretation is inherent above all in the eucharistic words at the Last Supper.

Jesus was executed and laid in a tomb on Friday; according to the gospels on Sunday morning his tomb was found to be empty. Beyond this point the three gospels Matthew, Luke, and John offer various and differing accounts of appearances of Jesus to his followers. These appearances are also mentioned by Paul (1 Corinthians 15. 5–8) as among the earliest traditions he knew, and (more than the empty tomb) lie at the basis of the Christian belief that Jesus had risen from the dead (see RESURRECTION OF CHRIST).

In Islam Jesus is generally called Īsā ibn Maryam (Jesus, son of Mary) in the Qurān. He is one of the Prophets, a line which began with Adam and ended with Muḥammad. He is mentioned, together with Zakariyā, John, and Elias, as one of the ‘Righteous’ (6. 85). Like Adam, he was created from dust (3. 59). The Qurān concentrates on the beginning and the end of Īsā's earthly life; his actual teachings are not reported. He is conceived through the power of Allah, the message being conveyed to the virgin Maryam by ‘Our Spirit’ (19. 17–22), later identified with the angel Jibrīl Gabriel (cf. 3. 45–7). He speaks in the cradle, to vindicate his mother's reputation (19. 30).

His miracles are said to include making birds out of clay, healing the sick, blind, and lepers, and raising the dead, (3. 49, 5. 113). The strange story of his making a ‘table prepared’ appear from heaven is thought by some to be an echo of the miracle of the loaves and fishes, or of the Last Supper (5. 115–18; sūra 5 is named ‘the Table’). This is to be a ‘solemn festival and a sign’ (5. 117).

The crucifixion is apparently denied in the Qurān: ‘They killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them’ (4. 157); but the Arabic can be taken to mean that the resurrection contradicted what they thought had happened.

Īsā has several titles: ‘Word’ from Allāh, and a ‘Spirit’ from him, though neither term corresponds to the Christian concept; ‘Servant’, ‘Prophet’, ‘Messiah’, ‘Messenger’, and ‘only a messenger’ (4. 171, 5. 78). He is ‘strengthened by the Spirit of holiness’ (rūḥ al-qudus; 5. 113, 2. 253). His humanity is emphasized, and the Christians are severely rebuked for ascribing divine status to him. The Qurān, however, objects to ideas which are not orthodox Christian teaching. There is within Arabic a distinction between ibn, ‘son’, which can be used metaphorically or to denote a spiritual relationship, and walad, ‘son’ or ‘offspring’, in a more literal sense. It is this latter term which the Qurān employs in the verses just quoted, and the point is appreciated by some Muslim commentators.

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Jesus ( (Jesus Christ))

Jesus or Jesus Christ (jē´zəs krīst, jē´zəz), 1st-century Jewish teacher and prophet in whom Christians have traditionally seen the Messiah [Heb.,=annointed one, whence Christ from the Greek] and whom they have characterized as Son of God and as Word or Wisdom of God incarnate. Muslims acknowledge him as a prophet, and Hindus as an avatar (see avatara). He was born just before the death of King Herod the Great (37 BC–4 BC) and was crucified after a brief public ministry during Pontius Pilate's term as prefect of Judaea (AD 26–36).

Primary Sources of Information on Jesus

The primary sources for Jesus' life and teaching are the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (see articles on the individual books, e.g., Matthew, Gospel according to), though these are not biographies but theologically framed accounts of the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus, i.e., of the basic subject matter of Christian preaching and teaching. Other books of the New Testament add few further details. Among non-Christian writers of antiquity, Tacitus, Suetonius, and Pliny the Younger refer to Jesus, as does Josephus (Joseph ben Matthias) in at least one passage. The 2d-century Gospel of Thomas sheds light on the development of the tradition of Jesus' sayings.

Jesus' Life and Teaching

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke contain narratives of Jesus' birth and infancy, which disagree in many points but concur in asserting that he was the miraculously conceived son of Mary, the wife of Joseph, and that he was born at Bethlehem in Judaea. All four Gospels agree in dating his call to public ministry from the time of his baptism at the hands of John "the baptizer," after which he took up the life of an itinerant preacher, teacher, and healer, accompanied by a small band of disciples (see apostle). The central theme of Jesus' teaching, often conveyed in the form of a parable, was the near advent of God's Reign or Kingdom, attested not merely by his words but by the "wonders" or "signs" that he performed. The chronology of this period in Jesus' life is entirely uncertain; what seems clear is that his activities evoked skepticism and hostility in high quarters, Roman as well as Jewish. After perhaps three years in Galilee, he went to Jerusalem to observe Passover. There he was received enthusiastically by the populace, but was eventually arrested and, with the cooperation of the Jewish authorities, executed under Roman law as a dangerous messianic pretender. The Gospels give relatively detailed and lengthy accounts of his last days, suggesting that the story of Jesus' Passion was a central element in early Christian oral tradition. They close with accounts of his empty tomb, discovered on the "third day," and of his later appearances to Mary and Mary Magdalene and to the circle of his disciples as risen from the dead.

The Christian calendar revolves around the life of Jesus; important feasts include (in the Western Church) the Annunciation (Mar. 25); Christmas (Dec. 25), with its preparatory season of Advent; the Circumcision (Jan. 1); the Epiphany (Jan. 6); Candlemas (Feb. 2); and the Transfiguration (Aug. 6). The Easter cycle of movable feasts and fasts begins with Lent, which ends in Holy Week; after Easter comes the Ascension. Sunday, the Christian sabbath, is the weekly memorial of Jesus' resurrection.

Jesus in Islamic Tradition

Jesus is highly regarded in Islamic tradition as born of the Virgin Mary and as a prophet restating divine religion. His miracles and institution of the Eucharist are attested in the Qur'an. Muslims do not believe that Jesus died on the cross. Unable to accept that crucifixion could serve the purposes of God, Islamic tradition holds that someone else died in his place, while Jesus was taken by God to return at the end of time to judge all people.

Modern Portrayals of Jesus

Starting with the advent of historical criticism in the late 18th cent. (see higher criticism), scholars increasingly recognized that the Gospels were written from the point of view of the original Christian believers, who were more likely than moderns to accept supernatural occurrences and explanations. Thus in the 19th cent. many attempts were made to reconstruct by historical and critical methods a picture of Jesus that corresponded more closely to modern ideas of reality. The most famous of these lives of Jesus is that of Ernest Renan (1863). Albert Schweitzer's Quest of the Historical Jesus (1906, tr. 1910) is in large part a survey of this literature and its shortcomings. Schweitzer's work brought an end to a series of historical reconstructions of the life of Jesus and demonstrated that the eschatological focus of the Gospels was not something to be discarded in the attempt to encounter the historical Jesus.

Many scholars in the first half of the 20th cent. argued that the Gospels were narrative proclamations imbued with faith and not in any sense objective presentations of the life and teaching of Jesus. Two leading figures of this attitude were Rudolf Bultmann and his student Ernst Käsemann; in the early 1950s they sought to link the historical Jesus and the Jesus confessed by the church.

In the 1970s research into the historical Jesus took a new turn. Geza Vermes published Jesus the Jew (1973), in which he attempted to place Jesus squarely in the Jewish milieu of the 1st cent. The Jewishness of Jesus has increasingly been the focus of Jewish and Christian scholarship. This approach takes a much more optimistic view of the historicity of the Gospel traditions. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has allowed comparison of the Gospels with the brand of Judaism represented in the scrolls. Still other contemporary scholars have sought to portray Jesus as a charismatic teacher of subversive wisdom.

Bibliography

See G. Vermes, Jesus the Jew (1973); M. Grant, Jesus: An Historian's View of the Gospels (1977); J. P. Mackey, Jesus, the Man and the Myth (1979); J. D. G. Dunn, The Evidence for Jesus (1985); E. P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism (1985); J. D. Crossan, The Historical Jesus (1991); M. Casey, From Jewish Prophet to Gentile God (1991); D. Flusser, Jesus (2d ed. 1997); T. Cahill, Desire of the Everlasting Hills (1999); J. P. Meier, A Marginal Jew (3 vol., 1991–2001). For a survey of Jesus in art and literature, see J. Pelikan, Jesus through the Centuries (1985).

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Christ

79. Christ

See also 80. CHRISTIANITY ; 205. HERESY ; 349. RELIGION ; 392. THEOLOGY .

adoptionism
the 8th-century heretical doctrine that Christ in His human nature was the son of God only by adoption; that in His spiritual nature, however, He was truly Gods son. Also adoptianism . adoptionist , n., adj.
Arianism
a 4th-century doctrine, considered heretical by orthodox Christian-ity, that Christ was merely the noblest of men and, being of a different sub-stance, was not the son of God. Cf. heteroousianism , psilanthropism . Arian , n., adj. Arianistic, Arianistical , adj.
Athanasianism
the teachings of Athanasius, 4th-century bishop of Alexandria, asserting that Christ is of the same substance as God; adopted by the Council of Nicea as orthodox doctrine. Also called homoousianism, homoiousianism . Athanasian , n., adj.
autotheism
the Calvinist doctrine of the separate existence of God the Son, derived from Calvins assertion that Christ took His person from God, but not His substance. autotheist , n. autotheistic , adj.
chiliasm
the doctrine that Christ will return to the world in a visible form and set up a kingdom to last 1000 years, after which the world will come to an end. chiliast , n. chiliastic , adj.
Christology
the branch of theology that studies the personality, attitudes, and life of Christ. Christological , adj.
Christophany
one or all of Christs appearances to men after the resurrection, as recorded in the Gospels.
Docetism
the teaching of an early heretical sect asserting that Christs body was not human or material, but celestial in substance. Docetic , adj.
Dyophysitism
a 5th-century doctrine that Christ had a dual nature, the divine and the human, united perfectly in Him, but not inextricably blended. Cf. Monophysitism . Dyophysite , n. Dyophysitic , adj.
Dyothelitism, Dyotheletism
the doctrine that Christ had two wills, the human and the divine. Cf. Monothelitism . Also Dyothetism . Dyothelite, Dyothelete , n.
Eutychianism
Monophysitism. Eutychian , n.
heteroousianism
a position in the 4th-century controversy over Christs nature, asserting that He and God were of different natures; Arianism. Also spelled heterousianism . heteroousian , n., adj.
homoiousianism
a position in the 4th-century controversy over Christs nature, asserting that He and God were of similar, but not the same, natures; semi-Arianism. Also homoeanism . homoiousian , n., adj.
homoousianism
a position in the 4th-century controversy over Christs nature, asserting that He and God are of the same nature; Athanasianism. homoousian , n., adj.
impanation
the theological doctrine that the body and blood of Christ are present in the bread and wine after they are consecrated.
Julianism
the heretical theory of Julian, 6th-century bishop of Halicarnassus, who took the extreme Monophysite position that Christs human nature had been subsumed in and altered by the divine. Julianist , n.
kenoticism
the theological concept that, through His incarnation, Christ humbled or emptied Himself and became a servant for mans sake. kenosis, kenoticist , n. kenotic , adj.
logia
sayings or maxims attributed to Christ but of which there is no written record or mention in the Gospels. See also 422. WISDOM .
millenarianism
1. the doctrine of Christs 1000-year kingdom.
2. a belief in the millennium; chiliasm. millenarian , n., adj. millenarist , n.
millennialism
a doctrine that Christ will make a second Advent and that the prophecy in the book of Revelation will be fulfilled with an earthly millennium of peace and righteousness. Also called millenarianism, chiliasm . millennialist , n.
Monophysitism
a 5th-century heresy concerning the nature of Christ, asserting that He had only a divine nature or that the human and divine made one composite nature. Cf. Dyophysitism . Monophysite , n., adj. Monophysitic, Monophysitical , adj.
Monothelitism, Monotheletism
a heretical position of the 7th century that Christs human will had been superseded by the divine. Also Monothelism . Monothelite, Monothelete , n. Monothelitic, Monotheletic , adj.
Nestorianism
a 5th-century heresy concerning Christs nature, asserting that the human and divine were in harmony but separate and that Mary should be considered the Mother of Christ, not of God. Nestorian , n., adj.
Patripassianism
a heretical, monophysitic concept of the 2nd and 3rd centuries that held that, in the Crucifixion, the Father suffered equally with the Son. Patripassian, Patripassianist , n.
Paulianism
a 3rd-century heresy concerning the nature of Christ, denying the divine by asserting that Christ was inspired by God and was not a person in the Trinity. Paulian, Paulianist , n.
Phantasiast
a member of an early Christian sect that denied the reality of Christs body.
psilanthropism
the doctrine that Christ was merely a human being. Cf. Arianism . psilanthropist , n. psilanthropic , adj.
sindonology
the study of fabric artifacts, especially the supposed burial shroud of Christ. sindonologist , n.
soteriology
the doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ. soteriologic, soteriological , adj.
theanthropism
the condition of being, simultaneously, both god and man. Also theanthropology . theanthropist , n. theanthropic , adj.
trinitarianism
the orthodox Christian belief that God exists as the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Cf. unitarianism . trinitarian , n., adj.
unitarianism
the doctrines of those, including the Unitarian denomination, who hold that God exists only in one person. Cf. trinitarianism . unitarian , n.,adj.

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Christ

109. Christ (See also Passion of Christ.)

  1. Agnus Dei lamb of god. [Christian Tradition: Brewer Dictionary, 17]
  2. bread symbol of Christs body in Eucharist. [Christian Tradition: Luke 22:19]
  3. chi rho monogram of first two letters of Christs name in Greek. [Christian Symbolism: Appleton, 111]
  4. Emmanuel Jesus, especially as the Messiah. [N.T.: Matthew 1:23]
  5. fish Greek acronym for Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour. [Christian Symbolism: Child, 210]
  6. Galilee Jesuss area of activity. [Christianity: Wigoder, 203]
  7. Good Shepherd [N.T.: John 10:1114]
  8. ichthys Greek for fish; early Christian symbol and mystical charm. See fish. [Christian Symbolism: Brewer Dictionary, 478]
  9. I.N.R.I. acronym of Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, inscription affixed to Christs cross as a mockery. [Christianity: Brewer Note-Book, 450]
  10. IHS (I.H.S. ) first three letters of Greek spelling of Jesus ; also taken as acronym of Iesus Hominum Salvator Jesus, Savior of Mankind. [Christian Symbolism: Brewer Dictionary, 480]
  11. King of Kings appellation for Jesus Christ. [N.T.: Revelation 17:14]
  12. lamb the Lord as the sacrificial animal. [Christian Symbolism: O.T.: Isaiah 53:7; N.T.: John 1:29]
  13. lion symbol expressing power and courage of Jesus. [Christian Symbolism: N.T.: Revelation 5:5]
  14. Lord of the Dance At Bethlehem I had my birth. [Br. Folk Music: Carter, Lord of the Dance in Taylor, 128]
  15. Lords Anointed, the designation for Christ or the Messiah. [Christian Tradition: O.T.: I Samuel 26:9]
  16. Man of Sorrows epithet for the prophesied Messiah. [O.T.: Isaiah 53:3]
  17. Messiah expected leader who will deliver the Jews from their enemies; applied by Christians to Jesus. [O.T., N.T.: Brewer Dictionary, 602]
  18. Piers the Plowman English plowman who becomes allegorical figure of Christ incarnate. [Br. Lit.: The Vision of William, Concerning Piers the Plowman, Magill III, 11051107]
  19. star token of the Lord and his coming. [Christian Symbolism: O.T.: Numbers, 24:17; N.T.: Revelation 22:16]
  20. vine gives nourishment to branches or followers. [Christian Symbolism: Appleton, 107; N.T.: John 15:5]
  21. wine symbol of Christs blood in Eucharist. [Christian Tradition: Eucharist in Cross, 468469]

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Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ According to Christian belief, a Hebrew preacher (believed active 1st century ad) who founded the religion of Christianity, hailed and worshipped by his followers as the Son of God. Knowledge of Jesus' life is based mostly on the biblical gospels of St Matthew, St Mark, and St Luke. Mary gave birth (c.4 bc) to Jesus near the end of the reign of Herod the Great in Bethlehem, Judaea. Some Christians believe in the Virgin Birth and the appearance of a bright star and other portents. Jesus grew up in Nazareth, and may have followed his father, Joseph, in becoming a carpenter. In c.ad 26, John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the River Jordan. Thereafter, Jesus began his own ministry, preaching to large numbers as he wandered throughout the country. He also taught a special group of 12 of his closest disciples, who were later sent out as his Apostles to bring his teachings to the Jews. Jesus' basic teaching, summarized in the Sermon on the Mount, was to “love God and love one's neighbour”. He also taught that salvation depended on doing God's will rather than adhering to the letter and the contemporary interpretation of the Jewish Law. Such a precept angered the hierarchy of the Jewish religion. In c.ad 29, Jesus and his disciples went to Jerusalem. His reputation as preacher and miracle-worker went before him, and he was acclaimed by the people as the Messiah. A few days later, Jesus gathered his disciples to partake in the Last Supper. At this meal, he instituted the Eucharist. Before dawn the next day, Jesus was arrested by agents of the Hebrew authorities accompanied by Judas Iscariot, a disaffected disciple, and summarily tried for sedition by the Sanhedrin, who handed him over to the Roman procurator, Pontius Pilate. Roman soldiers crucified Jesus at Golgotha. After his death, his body was buried in a sealed rock tomb. Two days later, according to the gospel, he rose from the dead. Forty days after his resurrection, he is said to have ascended into heaven.

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Christ

Christ the title, also treated as a name, given to Jesus of Nazareth; the Messiah as prophesied in the Hebrew scriptures. The name is recorded in Old English (in form Crīst), from Latin Christus, from Greek Khristos, noun use of an adjective meaning ‘anointed’, from khriein ‘anoint’, translating Hebrew māšīaḥ ‘Messiah’.
Christ's cross me speed a formula said before repeating the alphabet; the figure of a cross preceded the alphabet in horn-books (See also criss-cross).
Christ's thorn a thorny shrub popularly supposed to have formed Christ's crown of thorns, in particular either of two shrubs related to the buckthorn.

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Christ

Christ the Lord's Anointed, title of Jesus of Nazareth. OE. (= OS., OHG.) Crīst — L. Chrīstus — Gr. Khrīstós, sb. use of khrīstós anointed, pp. of khrī́ein anoint; tr. Heb. māšīa MESSIAH.
So christen †make Christian OE.; baptize XII. OE. crīstnian, f. crīsten Christian (see -EN 5), whence Christendom †Christianity OE.; Christians collectively XII; †baptism XIII. OE. crīstendōm. So Christian adj. and sb. XVI. — L. chrīstiānus; superseding †christen, OE. crīsten. Christianity †Christendom; the Christian religion. XIV.

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Jesus

Jesus the central figure of the Christian religion. He conducted a mission of preaching and healing (with reported miracles) in Palestine in about ad 28–30, which is described in the Gospels, as are his arrest, death by crucifixion, and Resurrection from the dead. His followers considered him to be the Christ or Messiah and the Son of God, and belief in his Resurrection became a central tenet of Christianity.

The name comes from Christian Latin Iesus, from Greek Iēsous, from a late Hebrew or Aramaic analogous formation based on Yĕhōšûă῾ ‘Joshua’.

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Jesus

Jesus, Jesu the Founder of Christianity. Not used in OE., in which it was rendered by Hǣlend Saviour; in ME. (XII) not usu. written in full, but almost always in the abbreviated Gr. forms ihu(s), ihs, etc.; repr. ChrL. Iēsūs, obl. cases Iēsū — Gr. Iēsoûs, Iēsoû — late Heb. or Aramaic yēŝūa', for earlier y'hōŝua' Joshua, which is explained as ‘Jah (or Jahveh) is salvation’.

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Christ

Christ / krīst/ • n. the title, also treated as a name, given to Jesus of Nazareth (see Jesus). • interj. an oath used to express irritation, dismay, or surprise. PHRASES: before Christfull form of BC.DERIVATIVES: Christ·hood / -ˌhoŏd/ n. Christ·like / -ˌlīk/ adj. Christ·ly adj.

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Christ

Christ (christos, ‘anointed one’). The Gk. translation of Heb., māshiach: Messiah. Applied to Jesus it was originally a title (John 7. 41, Acts 3. 20), but the forms ‘Christ Jesus’, ‘Jesus Christ’, and ‘Christ’ very soon became used indifferently by Christians as proper names.

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"Christ." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Christ

Christ (Gk. christos, ‘anointed one’) Epithet for the Messiah in Old Testament prophecies. Later applied to Jesus Christ, in recognition that he was the expected Messiah.

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Jesus (persons in the Bible)

Jesus, in the Bible. 1Jesus Christ, see Jesus. 2 Son of Sirach, author of Ecclesiasticus. 3Jesus Justus, converted Jew in Rome. 4 Hero of the book of Joshua.

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jésus

jésus French, Swiss; sausage made from pig's liver.

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Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ: see Jesus.

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Christ

Christ: see Jesus.

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Jesus

Jesus •Malthus •acanthus, agapanthus, clianthus, dianthus, helianthus, polyanthus •Hyacinthus • Aegisthus • traverse •canvas, canvass •Selvas • grievous • mischievous •redivivus • fulvous • nervous •Peleus, rebellious •Kansas • Jesus

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"Jesus." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Jesus." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/jesus-0

"Jesus." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/jesus-0

Christ

ChristChrist, heist, underpriced, unsliced •Zeitgeist • poltergeist • Antichrist

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"Christ." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Christ." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/christ-0

"Christ." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/christ-0