Baptism of Christ by Rogier van der Weyden (12th Century)
Baptism of Christ by Ottavio Vannini c. 1640
Baptism of Christ byFra Angelico c. 1425
John the Baptist by Leonardo Da Vinci
Earliest Depiction of Jesus Christ in Israel Discovered Live Science - November 27, 2018
The iconography of Christ with short hair was common throughout the east of the Byzantine Empire, Maayan-Fanar explained, especially in Egypt and the Syria-Palestine region. But it was eventually displaced by Byzantine images of Christ with long hair, which remains a common portrayal today. Christ was also shown as a very young man, she said, because his baptism in the Jordan symbolized a "new birth." For the same reason, the painting shows a larger figure of John the Baptist, who is said to have presided at Christ's baptism, according to the Christian Gospels.
Unsealing of Christ's Reputed Tomb Turns Up New Revelations National Geographic - October 31, 2016
For just 60 hours, researchers had the opportunity to examine the holiest site in Christianity. Here's what they found. The most venerated site in the Christian world, the tomb today consists of a limestone shelf or burial bed that was hewn from the wall of a cave. Since at least 1555, and most likely centuries earlier, the burial bed has been covered in marble cladding, allegedly to prevent eager pilgrims from removing bits of the original rock as souvenirs. While it is archaeologically impossible to say that the tomb recently uncovered in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the burial site of an individual Jew known as Jesus of Nazareth, there is indirect evidence to suggest that the identification of the site by representatives of the Roman emperor Constantine some 300 years later may be a reasonable one.
Walls of "Jesus' Tomb" Exposed for the First Time in Centuries Smithsonian - November 3, 2016
During repair work, archaeologists removed the marble slabs that covered the walls of the limestone cave where Jesus was purportedly laid after crucifixion.
What did Jesus really look like? BBC - December 24, 2015
Jesus is so familiar that he can be recognized on pancakes or pieces of toast. But did he really look like this? Probably not. In fact this familiar image of Jesus actually comes from the Byzantine era, from the 4th Century onwards, and Byzantine representations of Jesus were symbolic - they were all about meaning, not historical accuracy. They were based on the image of an enthroned emperor, as we see in the altar mosaic of the Santa Pudenziana church in Rome. What about Jesus's facial features? They were Jewish. That Jesus was a Jew (or Judaean) is certain in that it is found repeated in diverse literature, including in the letters of Paul. And, as the Letter to the Hebrews states: "It is clear that our Lord was descended from Judah." So how do we imagine a Jew at this time, a man "about 30 years of age when he began," according to Luke chapter 3?
Lost Gospel Revealed; Says Jesus Asked Judas to Betray Him National Geographic - April 6, 2006
Some biblical scholars are calling the Gospel of Judas the most significant archaeological discovery in 60 years. The only known surviving copy of the gospel was found in a codex, or ancient book, that dates back to the third or fourth century A.D. The newly revealed gospel document, written in Coptic script, is believed to be a translation of the original, a Greek text written by an early Christian sect sometime before A.D. 180.
Gospel of Judas Pages Endured Long, Strange Journey National Geographic - April 6, 2006
After 1,700 years, the Gospel of Judas is lost no more. And the twisting tale of the document itself is nearly as surprising as the story it tells. "We can consider it a real miracle that such an ancient literary work - especially one threatened by the hatred of the great majority of its contemporary readers, who saw it as a shame and a scandal, destined to be lost - would suddenly appear and be brought to light," said scholar Rodolphe Kasser.
Jesus Walked on Ice, Study Says PhysOrg - April 4, 2006
The New Testament story describes Jesus walking on water in the Sea of Galilee but according to a study led by Florida State University Professor of Oceanography Doron Nof, it's more likely that he walked on an isolated patch of floating ice.
Tests Suggest 'Gospel of Jesus' Wife' Is Authentic Live Science - April 10, 2014
A small scrap of brown papyrus paper, about the size of a business card, has ignited a red-hot argument that spans all of Christendom. The papyrus document, known as the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife," was unveiled in 2012 and instantly set off a debate over its authenticity. Perhaps its most controversial elements are lines that suggest Jesus had a wife. But a recent announcement from the Harvard Divinity School that the document is probably genuine has rekindled the disagreement over its provenance and meaning.
Suggestion of a married Jesus - Ancient papyrus shows some early Christians believed he wed PhysOrg - September 19, 2012
Four words on a previously unknown papyrus fragment provide the first evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus had been married, Harvard Professor Karen King told the 10th International Congress of Coptic Studies today.
Based on Ancient Alien and other theories, Jesus was an alien, not human. His conception, life, and death, allowed him to come here to seed consciousness for the next 2,000 in which humanity would no longer believe in the Gods of ancient Pantheons (Egypt, Sumer, Greece, Rome, Mesoamerica, other) but in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. They would guide the life and times of souls in this reality as it became more enlightened to a final end happening today. They are all just stories in the Consciousness Hologram that creates Realities in the alchemy of time.
Crucifixion of Jesus
The most frequently suggested date is Friday, April 3, AD 33.
These are Masonic Numbers.
Possible phenomena: Eclipse, Earthquakes, Darkness
Temple Veil - Earthquake
The synoptic gospels state that the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom.
Shroud of Turin
Shroud of Turin
Resurrection of Jesus
Were the Magi aliens?
A disk shaped object is shining beams of light down on John the Baptist and Jesus - Fitzwilliam Musuem, Cambridge, England - Painted in 1710 by Flemish artist Aert De Gelder. It depicts a classic, hovering, silvery, saucer shaped UFO shining beams of light down on John the Baptist and Jesus. What could have inspired the artist to combine these two subjects?
17th century fresco of the crucifixion
Svetishoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, Georgia
Note the two saucer shaped craft on either side of Christ.
Frescos throughout Europe reveal the appearance of space ships. This 1350 painting seems to depict a small human looking man looking over his shoulder at another flying vehicle. His vehicle is decorated with two twinkling stars, one reminiscent of national insignia on modern aircraft. This painting hangs above the altar at the Visoki Decani Monestary in Kosovo, Yugoslavia.
"Glorification of the Eucharist" was painted by Bonaventura Salimbeni in 1600.
Today it hangs in the church of San Lorenzo in San Pietro, Montalcino, Italy.
What does the 'Sputnik satellite-like device' represent?
A fourteenth century fresco of the Madonna and Child depict on the top right side the image of a UFO hovering in the distance. A blow up of this fresco reveals tremendous details about this UFO including port holes. It seems to indicate a religious involvement between UFO's and the appearance of the Christ Child.
This painting is called "The Madonna with Saint Giovannino". It was painted in the 15th century by Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494) and hangs as part of the Loeser collection in the Palazzo Vecchio. Above Mary's right shoulder is a disk shaped object. Below is a blow up of this section and a man and his dog can clearly be seen looking up at the object.
Saucer shaped "clouds" intrigue modern ufologists. Could so many have appeared in the sky at one time? Or, are the hat shaped UFOs depicted so numerous here to -punctuate- certain events as being particularly holy?
'The Magnificent' - Notre-Dame in Beaune, Burgandy
The painting above was done by Carlo Crivelli (1430-1495) and is called "The Annunciation with Saint Emidius" (1486) and hangs in the National Gallery, London. A disk shaped object is shining a pencil beam of light down into Mary's crown chakra. A blow up of the object is next to the painting.
The picture above depicts Jesus and Mary and either UFOs or lenticular clouds. The painting is entitled "The Miracle of the Snow" and was painted by Masolino Da Panicale (1383-1440) and hangs at the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Florence, Italy. The bible references flying objects that were perhaps UFOs many go back to Flood Stories.
The return of Jesus Christ or any other god/creational figure - is the return to higher frequency consciousness often called the Christ Grid.
Jesus, also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity, in which context he is known as Jesus Christ with "Christ" not being a name but rather a title meaning "Anointed". He is also considered a very important prophet in Islam and a manifestation of God in the Bahai Faith.
Many noted critical historians, such as Shaye Cohen, John Dominic Crossan, Paula Fredriksen, John Meiers, E.P. Sanders, and Geza Vermes argue that Jesus lived from about 8-4 BC/BCE to 29-36 AD/CE. The main sources regarding his life and teachings are the four canonical Gospels from the New Testament, which took written form some decades after his death. They depict him - among many other things - as a Jewish Galilean preacher and healer who was at odds with the Jewish religious authorities , and who was crucified outside of Jerusalem during the rule of the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate. After his death numerous followers spread his teachings, and within a few decades Christianity emerged as a religion distinct from Judaism.
Beyond the historical information accepted by most secular scholars, the gospels make various additional claims about Jesus: that Jesus was the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible); that he was the son of God; that his birth by Mary was virginal; and that after his crucifixion he rose from the dead, and then ascended into heaven. Most Christians hold that the Gospels also attribute divinity to Jesus; however, others hold that the Gospels are equivocal on the subject. Many Christians and some scholars believe that the accounts in the New Testament are historical facts, though others maintain that different parts have different degrees of accuracy, and a few hold Jesus did not exist at all.
In Islam, Jesus (called Isa) is considered one of God's most beloved and important prophets, a bringer of divine scripture, and also the messiah; although Muslims attach a different meaning to this term than Christians as they do not share the Christian belief in the divinity of Jesus.
The Qur'an, Islam's holy book, states that the crucifixion was a divinely-created illusion; that Jesus was not killed, is alive in heaven and will return to the earth in the company of the Mahdi once it has become full of sin and injustice.
Other religions also have different perspectives on Jesus, but do not place significant importance on his life and teachings.
The most detailed accounts of Jesus' birth are contained in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke. There is considerable debate about the details of Jesus' birth even among Christian scholars, and few scholars claim to know either the year or the date of his birth or of his death.
Based on the accounts in the gospels of the shepherds' activities, the time of year depicted for Jesus' birth could be spring or summer. However, as early as 354, Roman Christians celebrated it following the December solstice in an attempt to replace the Roman festival of Saturnalia. Before then, Jesus' birth was generally celebrated on January 6 as part of the feast of Theophany, also known as Epiphany, which commemorated not only Jesus' birth but also his baptism by John in the Jordan River and possibly additional events in Jesus' life.
In the 248th year of the Diocletian Era (based on Diocletian's ascension to the Roman throne), Dionysius Exiguus attempted to pinpoint the number of years since Jesus' birth, arriving at a figure of 753 years after the founding of Rome. Dionysius then set Jesus' birth as being December 25 1 ACN (for "Ante Christum Natum", or "before the birth of Christ"), and assigned AD 1 to the following year - thereby establishing the system of numbering years from the birth of Jesus: Anno Domini (which translates as "in the year of the Lord"). This system made the then current year 532, and almost two centuries later it won acceptance and became the established calendar in Western civilization due to its championing by the Venerable Bede.
In the 248th year of the Diocletian Era (based on Diocletian's ascension to the Roman throne), Dionysius Exiguus attempted to pinpoint the number of years since Jesus' birth, arriving at a figure of 753 years after the founding of Rome. Dionysius then set Jesus' birth as being December 25 1 ACN (for "Ante Christum Natum", or "before the birth of Christ"), and assigned AD 1 to the following year - thereby establishing the system of numbering years from the birth of Jesus: Anno Domini (which translates as "in the year of the Lord").
This system made the then current year 532, and almost two centuries later it won acceptance and became the established calendar in Western civilization due to its championing by the Venerable Bede well known as an author and scholar, whose best-known work, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History of the English People) gained him the title "The father of English History". Bede wrote on many other topics, from music and metrics to Scripture commentaries.
However, based on a lunar eclipse that Josephus reports shortly before the death of Herod the Great, the birth of Christ would have been some time before the year 4 BC/BCE. This estimate itself relies on the historicity of the story in the Gospel of Matthew of the A HREF="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_the_Innocents">Massacre of the Innocents under the orders of Herod - an event mentioned nowhere else in contemporaneous accounts. Having fewer sources and being further removed in time from the authors of the New Testament, establishing a reliable birth date now is particularly difficult.
The exact date of Jesus' death is also unclear. The Gospel of John depicts the crucifixion just before the Passover festival on Friday 14 Nisan, called the Quartodeciman, whereas the synoptic gospels describe the Last Supper, immediately before Jesus' arrest, as the Passover meal on Friday 15 Nisan. Further, the Jews followed a lunisolar calendar with phases of the moon as dates, complicating calculations of any exact date in a solar calendar. According to John P. Meier's A Marginal Jew, allowing for the time of the procuratorship of Pontius Pilate and the dates of the Passover in those years, his death can be placed most probably on April 7, 30 or April 3, 33.
According to the Gospels, Jesus was born in Bethlehem to Mary, a virgin, by the Holy Spirit. The Gospel of Luke gives an account of the angel Gabriel visiting Mary to tell her that she was chosen to bear the son of God (Luke 1:26-28). Catholics call this the Annunciation. Joseph, Mary's betrothed husband, appears only in stories of Jesus' childhood; this is generally taken to mean that he had died by the time of Jesus' ministry.
Mark 6:3 (and analogous passages in Matthew and Luke) reports that Jesus was "Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon," and also states that Jesus had sisters. The 1st-century Jewish historian Josephus and the Christian historian Eusebius (who wrote in the 4th century but quoted much earlier sources that are now lost) refer to James the Just as Jesus' brother.
However, Jerome argued that they were Jesus' cousins, which the Greek word for "brother" used in the gospels would allow. This was based on the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox tradition that Mary remained a perpetual virgin, thus having no biological children before or after Jesus. Luke's gospel records that Mary was a relative of Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1:36). The Bible, however, does not reveal exactly how Mary and Elizabeth were related.
Jesus' childhood home is represented as Nazareth in Galilee. Aside from a flight to Egypt in infancy to escape Herod's Massacre of the Innocents and a short trip to Tyre and Sidon, all other events in the Gospels are set in ancient Israel. Only one incident between his infancy and his adult life, the Finding in the Temple, is mentioned in the canonical gospels, although New Testament apocrypha go into these details, some quite extensively.
This "original nuclear family" symbolized the Holy Trinity to many early Christian believers and solidified the family unit with such deep spiritual significance that it eventually became an integral part of the Catholic religious dogma, which has a tenet belief in the Holy Family.
The Scriptures and other apocryphal works were passed down either by word of mouth and through song, and much later in works of art that did much to instruct the believer. The symbolism of the Child Jesus in art reached its apex during the Renaissance where the holy family were a central theme in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci and many other masters.
From the 4th century up to the renaissance many stories were passed down concerning this "secret time" of Jesus' early childhood, where even as a baby Jesus possessed and used his messianic powers to protect his parents during their journey to and from Egypt, up to the time where as a child of twelve he left his parents fretting for three days while he held court with the doctors of the temple.
The majority of these stories were derived from forbidden or unapproved apocryphal books based on Latin or Greek translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and as the majority of Christians at the time were illiterate, the stories acquired a dark or morbid feel similar to the Brothers Grimm tales, as concern for approval from the Roman Curia began to wane in the later centuries.
A common theme of the medieval stories attribute Jesus as a fearless and carefree child who innocently gets into mischief that inexorably led to his playmates' demise. The most common story is the cloud story. The child Jesus, wanting to play in the clouds, crawled into the sky on a sunbeam, but all of the playmates who followed him soon lost their faith and fell to their deaths.
Another story reveals the tale of a child (sometimes referred to as the "Judas Child" - as though Jesus and the disciples had run-ins with each other throughout their lives), dammed the channel that supplied water to pools which the Child Jesus bathed in until a tidal wave swept the boy away and cleared the channel in one pass.
These events naturally made other parents panic and forbid their children to play with him, so when the child Jesus arrived in the town plaza to play the parents quickly hid their children in a large kiln-oven for shelter.
The child Jesus, naturally well aware of this, inquired about his playmates' whereabouts and was told all the children had left. When he asked what the noise coming from the large oven was he was told that pigs were being cooked.
Jesus left and when the parents opened the oven doors, they found (according to which version of the story one heard) either uncooked squealing piglets or roasted chops.
The stories created about the activities of the child Jesus were not all gruesome, and detail that even as a baby or child Jesus set out to do the Divine Will of his Father. Other stories chronicle how even as an infant his smile could make the rain or storms end and the sun shine, or could heal the sick. Another story tells of how a baby that was dying was placed in a tub of his bathwater and was brought back to life, and that any child in his presence would not cry or fret.
Although the importance of the religious symbolism of the Child Jesus waned after the Middle Ages, during the Spanish Conquest of the Philippines, when the Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed in Cebu on April 7, 1521, the island ruler King Humabon and Queen Juana were converted to Christianity along with four hundred of their subjects a few weeks after Magellan's arrival.
Magellan planted a large wooden cross and gave Queen Juana a wooden doll of the Santo Nino (the Child Saint) to commemorate the event. While the original doll and cross are still on public display in Cebu, the symbolism of the Child Jesus and reproductions of the original can be seen throughout the Philippine archipelago as the venerated Santo Ni–o de Cebu, in either the Child-King pose wearing a gold crown, holding a sceptre, and draped in a flowing gilded red cape, or as a representation of the common man wearing black pajama pants and a straw hat, symbolizing that all men are children and that Salvation is obtainable if one approaches it like a child does.
For most Christians, only the virgin birth and the Incarnation itself are major articles of faith for this period of time before the beginning of Jesus' ministry. The Muslim religion also espouses a virgin birth through Mary.
According to Christian belief, just after he was baptized by his kinsman John the Baptist Jesus began his public ministry. According to the Luke, he was about thirty years old at the time. Jesus used a variety of methods in his teaching, in particular parables and metaphors.
He frequently taught, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand." Some of his most famous teachings are to be found in the Sermon on the Mount, which also contains the beatitudes and the Golden Rule.
His most famous parables (or stories with a deep or metaphorical meaning) include the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. Jesus had a number of disciples. His closest followers were the twelve apostles.
According to the New Testament, Jesus also performed various miracles in the course of his ministry, including healings, exorcisms, turning water into wine and the raising Lazarus from the dead.
Jesus frequently put himself in opposition to the Jewish religious hierachy of the Pharisees and Sadducees. His teaching castigated the Pharisees primarily for their legalism and hypocrisy, although he also had followers among the religious leaders such as Nicodemus. Jesus was also known as a social reformer, and the controversial view that he was the Jewish Messiah.
Jesus' preachings included the forgiveness of sin, life after death, and resurrection of the body. Jesus also preached the imminent end of the current era of history, or even the literal end of the world and in this sense he was an apocalyptic preacher. Some interpretations of the Gospels, particularly amongst Protestants, suggest that Jesus opposed stringent interpretations of Jewish law, supporting the spirit more than the letter of the law.
It is commonly thought that Jesus preached for a period of three years, but this is never mentioned explicitly in any of the four gospels, and some interpretations of the Synoptic Gospels suggest a span of only one year. The consensus view remains three years however.
Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem at the end of his ministry is usually associated with the Passover Feast, but some scholars (such as Hyam Maccoby and Eliezer Segal) point out that details of the entry, such as the Hosanna shout, the waving of palm fronds, and the proclamation of a king, are more consistent with the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkoth, than with Passover.
Christian belief holds that Jesus came with his followers to Jerusalem during the Passover festival, and created a disturbance at the Temple by overturning the tables of the moneychangers there. He was subsequently arrested on the orders of the Sanhedrin and the high priest, Joseph Caiaphas for blasphemy, because he claimed to be "God's son". He was identified to the guards by one of his apostles, Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus by a kiss in the Garden of Gethsemane, after which another apostle, Peter, used a sword to attack one of the captors. After his arrest, Jesus' apostles went into hiding.
Jesus was condemned for blasphemy by the Sanhedrin and turned over to the Romans for execution, on the charge of sedition for claiming to be King of the Jews. The usual penalty for sedition was a humiliating death by crucifixion, but according to the gospels, the Roman governor Pontius Pilate ruled that Jesus was not guilty of any such civil crime. The gospel accounts say it was a custom at Passover for the Roman governor to free a prisoner, and that Pilate offered the crowd a choice between Jesus of Nazareth and an insurrectionist named Jesus Barabbas.
According to the gospels, the crowd chose to free Barabbas, and Pilate washed his hands to display that he himself was innocent of the injustice of the decision. All four gospels say Pilate then ordered Jesus to be crucified with a charge placed atop the cross (called the titulus crucis) which read "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews". (The titulus crucis is often written as INRI, the Latin acronym.)
The gospels further state that after Jesus died on the cross, his followers were allowed to take his body down and place it in a tomb.
In accordance with the four canonical gospel accounts Christians believe that Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. This article of faith is referred to in Christian terminology as the Resurrection of Jesus Christ; and each year at Easter (on a Sunday) it is commemorated and celebrated by most Christians groups apart from a few groups such as the Jehovah's Witnesses.
No one was a witness to the resurrection. However, the women who had witnessed the entombment and the closure of the tomb with a great stone, found it empty when they arrived on the third day to anoint the body. The synoptic gospel accounts further state that an angel was waiting at the tomb to explain to them that Jesus had been resurrected, though the Gospel according to John makes no mention of this encounter.
The sight of the same angel had apparently left the guards unconscious (cf. Matt 28:2-4) that, according to Matthew 27:62-66, the high priests and Pharisees, with Pilate's permission, had posted in front of the tomb to prevent the body from being stolen by Jesus' disciples.
Mark 16:9 says that Mary Magdalene was the first to whom Jesus appeared very early that morning. John 20:11-18 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 - even by his voice - until he called her by her name.
The Gospel accounts and the Acts of the Apostles tell of several appearances of Jesus to various people in various places over a period of forty days before he ascended into heaven. Just hours after his resurrection he appeared to two travelers on the road to Emmaus.
To his assembled disciples he showed himself on the evening after his resurrection, but Thomas was absent, though he was present when Jesus repeated his visit to them a week later. Thereafter he went to Galilee and showed himself to several of his disciples by the lake and on the mountain; and they were present when he returned to Bethany and was lifted up to heaven and a cloud concealed him from their sight.
Most Christians - even those who do not hold to the literal truth of everything in the canonical gospel accounts - accept the New Testament presentation of the Resurrection as a historical account of an actual event central to faith.
Belief in the resurrection is one of the most distinctive elements of Christian faith; and defending the historicity of the resurrection is usually a central issue of Christian apologetics. Some liberal Christians do not accept that Jesus was raised bodily from the dead, or that he still lives physically.
According to most Christian interpretations of the Bible, the theme of Jesus' preaching was that of repentance, forgiveness of sin, grace, and the coming of the kingdom of God.
During his public ministry Jesus extensively trained twelve disciples to continue after his departure his leadership of the many who had begun to follow him mainly in the towns and villages throughout Galilee, Samaria, and the Decapolis. Most Christians hold that the apostles also gained the power to perform miracles and healings after they had been empowered by the Holy Spirit of Truth that Jesus had promised the Father would send them after his departure a promise that according to Acts 2:4 was fulfilled at Pentecost. From the works of Jesus' followers came the foundation of Christianity and its churches.
For some the legacy of Jesus was a long history of Christian anti-Semitism (of course, always with exceptions), although in the wake of the Holocaust many Christian groups have gone to considerable lengths to reconcile with Jews and to promote inter-faith dialogue and mutual respect.
Other legacies include the adoption of the cross as a symbol, the doctrine of the Trinity, growth of belief in an afterlife and in the resurrection of the dead, the Anno Domini method of reckoning years, and celebrations at Christmas and Easter.
Jesus has an important role in the two largest world religions, Christianity and Islam. Most other religions, however, do not consider Jesus to have been a supernatural or holy being. Some of these religions, like Buddhism, do not take any official stance on Jesus' life. The religion Jesus himself practiced his whole life, Judaism, rejects claims of his divinity and him being the Jewish Messiah.
Christians believe in and follow what they believe to be the teachings of Jesus. However, Christianity quite naturally has a more specific and involved meaning, as most Christians hold similar beliefs regarding Jesus and his life that are largely rejected by non-Christians.
Generally speaking, most Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, part of a trinity of three persons of God, and the Messiah, who came to earth to save mankind from sin and death through his proxy sacrifice. Most believe Jesus lived a perfect life and that his death on a cross, called the crucifixion, was the ultimate sacrifice.
According to Christian tradition the disobeying of God's command by the first man Adam caused all mankind to suffer the consequences of sin entering the world. Scriptures often refer to death as "separation from God", and to sin as being something that God the Father cannot tolerate.
In this view those who believe in Jesus are saved and may have eternal life. Most Christians also believe that after Jesus's death, he rose from the grave on the third day and forty days after that ascended to Heaven. There are many differing views within Christian groups as to whether or not Jesus ever claimed divinity.
The majority of Christian laypeople, theologians, and clergy hold that the Bible clearly states Jesus both to be divine and to claim divinity in many passages. Most also believe that Jesus's resurrection is additional proof that he is God. However Jehovah's Witnesses maintain that there are passages in the New Testament that clearly have Jesus stating that he was not equal with God, and that other passages are ambiguous about such claims.
They view the term "son of God" as more symbolic of Jesus' importance to the creator rather then as a literal "son".
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints maintains that Jesus is the very same as Jehovah or Yahweh of the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible but is distinct from God the Father.
In Islam, Jesus (known as Isa), is considered one of God's most-beloved and important prophets. Like Christian writings, the Qur'an holds that Jesus was born without a biological father by the will of God and for this reason is consistently termed "Isa ibn Maryam", a matronymic (since he had no biological father).
Similarly Islamic belief also holds that he could perform miracles, and that he will one day return to the world to rid it of evil. However, unlike Christians, Muslims do not consider Jesus to have been the son of God, and do not believe that he died on the cross.
Instead, the Qur'an states that his death was only an illusion (done by God) to deceive his enemies, and that Jesus ascended bodily to heaven. Muslims believe he will return to the world in the flesh following Imam Mahdi to defeat the Dajjal (Antichrist-like figure, translated as "Deceiver") once the world has become filled with sin, deception and injustice, and then live out the rest of his natural life.
Muslims also believe that Jesus received a gospel from God (called the Injil) that corresponds to the Christian New Testament, but that it and the Old Testament have both been changed by mankind over time as such that they no longer accurately represent God's original message to mankind.
In Muslim traditions, Jesus lived a perfect life of nonviolence, showing kindness to humans and animals (similar to the other Islamic prophets), without material possessions and abstaining totally from alcohol and from the flesh of animals.
The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam believes that Jesus survived the crucifixion and later travelled to India, where he lived and died as a prophet under the name of Yuz Asaf.
Followers of Judaism reject both the Christian belief that Jesus was the Messiah and the Muslim belief that he was a prophet. Judaism states that there were no prophets after the prophet Malachi, and still awaits the coming of the Messiah. Jewish belief does not completely reject all of the historical information contained in Gospels, but does reject all of the confessions by early Christian adherents, especially Paul.
Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon) writes why Jews believe that Jesus was wrong to create Christianity (and why they believe that Muhammad was wrong to create Islam;) he laments the pains that Jews felt as a result of these new faiths that attempted to supplant Judaism. However, Maimonides then goes on to say that both faiths help God redeem the world.
Some Jews doubt the historical existence of Jesus, but most believe that he was a real person.
Following the lead of many modern historians, some Jews believe that Jesus was a preacher with an apocalyptic message, that Jesus never claimed to be God or part of a trinity, and that he was a liberal reformer, in many ways more similar to the Pharisees than to Jews of the other movements at the time. In this view, Christianity as we know it today had nothing to do with Jesus' actual teachings, but rather was the outgrowth of the beliefs of Jesus' later non-Jewish converts, and the preaching of Paul of Tarsus.
To most Jews, Jesus is simply irrelevant, a non-important figure in a different religion (much as Muhammad might seem to many Christians), known due to their being immersed in a Christian-oriented society rather than through religious significance.
Jews also do not believe anyone can "die" as a "repentance" for anyone else, nor that God would have a "son", nor has the concept of "original sin" ever been part of Judaic belief or philosophy. As a religion, Judaism is far more focused on the practicalities of understanding how one may live a sacred life in this world according to God's will, rather than hope of spiritual salvation in a future one.
Jews do not believe in the Christian concept of Hell, nor that only those following one specific faith can be "saved". Jews as a whole do not evangelise, and view their divine purpose as being ideally a "role model to the nations" and a "holy people" (ie, a people who live their lives fully in accordance with Divine will), rather than "the one path to God".
Jews do not celebrate Christmas or any other Christian festivals per se as these have no religious significance to their beliefs.
There is some limited reference to "Yeshu" in the Talmud, a book of Jewish law, and these references are considered to be in reference to Jesus. The references to Yeshu are extremely negative and contradict the Gospels in quite a few places.
For example, the Talmud states that Jesus was a troublemaker, he used black magic, and that he was hung and not crucified. The parts of the Talmud that make reference to Yeshu, however, were largely removed from the published Talmud, and today are available in a small addendum to the Talmud.
Over the centuries some Jews have converted to Christianity in order to avoid persecution or discrimination, particularly in historically strongly Catholic countries such as Spain, France and Italy; some were also forcibly converted at threat of death or torture. In the last few decades these conversions have often taken place via the Messianic Judaism movement.
Hindu beliefs in Jesus vary from those who consider him to have been just a normal man, or even purely a fable, to those who believe that he was an avatar of God. A large number of Hindus consider Jesus to have been a wise guru or yogi, some even suggesting that he spent his "lost years" learning various Hindu beliefs in India.
The Hindutva historian P.N. Oak has even claimed that Jesus was in fact Krishna, and that Christianity originated as a form of his worship. Many in the Surat Shabd Yoga tradition regard Jesus as a Satguru. Mahatma Gandhi considered Jesus one of his main teachers and inspirations for Nonviolent Resistance.
Although Buddhism in general attributes no spiritual significance to Jesus, some Buddhists believe that Jesus may have been a Bodhisattva, one who has dedicated his or her future to the happiness of all beings.
Some Buddhists also interpret Jesus through Zen Buddhism, sometimes basing their perspective on the Gospel of Thomas.
The Bahai Faith considers Jesus to be one of many "Manifestations" (or prophets) of God, with both human and divine stations.
Some religions consider Jesus to be a false prophet. Mandaeanism regards Jesus as a deceiving prophet of the false Jewish god, who they call Adunay (possibly a corruption of Adonai,) or Yurba. They believed that Jesus was an opponent of the good prophet John the Baptist - whom they nonetheless believe to have baptized Jesus. Some Satanists consider Jesus to have been the son or a follower of Satan, or Satan himself, but most do not hold any spiritual beliefs regarding Jesus.
The Ebionites believed that Jesus was a great prophet and the Messiah, but not divine. They rejected the Epistles of Paul, and asserted that Jesus did not consider the Biblical laws to be abrogated, but instead wanted his followers to abide by them, except for animal sacrifices, for which they believe he proclaimed an end. The Ebionites claimed the leadership of Saint James, often referred to as the brother of Jesus, but no historical connection between James and the sect has been substantiated. The real name of "James" was Yaakob, and he was the leader of all Jewish Christians, whether called Ebionites or not, who did not follow Paul.
The New Age movement entertains a wide variety of views on Jesus. with some representatives (such as A Course In Miracles) going so far as to trance-channel him. Many recognize him as a "great teacher" (or "Ascended Master") similar to Buddha, and teach that Christhood is something that all may attain. At the same time, many New Age teachings, such as reincarnation, appear to reflect a certain discomfort with traditional Christianity. Numerous New Age subgroups claim Jesus as a supporter, often incorporating contrasts with or protests against the Christian mainstream. Thus, for example, Theosophy and its offshoots have Jesus studying esotericism in the Himalayas or Egypt during his "lost years".
Many Humanists, Atheists and Agnostics, whilst rejecting the concept of God, and therefore of the divinity of Christ, nevertheless respect and admire the humanity of Christ's teachings and have empathy with the moral principles articulated in (for example) the Sermon on the mount.
Most modern 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. The earliest extant texts which refer to Jesus are Paul's letters, which are usually dated from the mid-1st century. Paul saw Jesus only in visions, but he claimed that they were divine revelations and hence authoritative (1 Galatians 11-12). The earliest extant texts describing Jesus in any detail were the four New Testament Gospels. These texts, being part of the Biblical canon, have received much more analysis and acceptance from Christian sources than other possible sources for information on Jesus.
Many apocryphal texts have also surfaced detailing events in Jesus' life and teachings, chief among them the Gospel of Thomas, a "sayings gospel" or logia consisting primarily of phrases attributed to Jesus. Other New Testament apocrypha, generally considered less important, include the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, the Infancy Gospels, the Gospel of Peter, the Unknown Berlin Gospel, the Naassene Fragment, the Secret Gospel of Mark, the Egerton Gospel, the Oxyrhynchus Gospels and the Fayyum Fragment. A number of Christian traditions (such as Veronica's veil and the Assumption of Mary) are found not in the canonical gospels, but in these and other apocryphal works, such as the Acts of Pilate.
Some texts with even earlier historical or mythological information on Jesus are speculated to have existed prior to the Gospels, though none are extant. Based on the unusual similarities and differences (see synoptic problem) between the Synoptic Gospels - Matthew, Mark and Luke, the first three canonical gospels - many Biblical scholars have suggested that oral tradition and logia (such as the Gospel of Thomas and the theoretical Q document) probably played a strong role in initially passing down stories of Jesus, and may have inspired some of the Synoptic Gospels.
Specifically, many scholars believe that the Q document and the Gospel of Mark were the two sources used for the gospels of Matthew and Luke; however, other theories, such as the older Augustinian hypothesis, continue to hold sway with some Biblical scholars. Another theoretical document is the Signs Gospel, believed to have been a source for the Gospel of John. There is little consensus concerning how and when any of these documents were circulated, if they were at all.
The ecumenical council meetings in the 4th century that discussed which works should and should not be included in the canon were largely unconcerned with modern historical sensibilities, utilizing few techniques of objective textual analysis. Instead, their discussions generally tended to center upon theology, rather than upon historicity. However, noted scholars F.F. Bruce, Bruce Metzger and others argue that some historical details were taken into consideration regarding the New Testament canon. It may be surmised that the early church leaders took for granted that historicity was not an issue to be debated, any more than debating the historicity of the Articles of Confederation or the Constitution would be major issues today. In addition, Bible scholar Bruce Metzger wrote regarding the formation of the canonical New Testament.
As a result of the many-decade time gap between the writing of the Gospels and the events they describe the accuracy of all early texts claiming the existence of Jesus or details of Jesus' life have been disputed by various parties. The authors of the gospels are traditionally thought to have been witnesses to the events included. After the original oral stories were written down, they were transcribed, and later translated into other languages. However, several Biblical historians have responded to claims of the unreliability of the gospel accounts by pointing out that historical documentation is often biased and second-hand, and frequently dates from several decades after the events described.
Even among those who believe that Jesus existed, however, there are still numerous divisions over the historical accuracy of the canonical gospels. Some say that the Gospel accounts are neither objective nor accurate, since they were written or compiled by his followers and seem to exclusively portray a positive, idealized view of Jesus. Those who have a naturalistic view of history, as a general rule, do not believe in divine intervention or miracles, such as the resurrection of Jesus mentioned by the Gospels. One method used to estimate the factual accuracy of stories in the gospels is known as the "criterion of embarrassment", which holds that stories about events with embarrassing aspects (such as the denial of Jesus by Peter) would likely not have been included if not true.
A minority of scholars believe that the gospel accounts of Jesus have little or no historical basis. At least in part, this is because there are many similarities between stories about Jesus and contemporary myths of pagan godmen such as Mithras, Apollo, Attis, Horus and Osiris-Dionysus, leading to conjectures that the pagan myths were adopted by some authors of early accounts of Jesus to form a syncretism with Christianity. Some Christian authors, such as C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, believed that such myths were created by ancient pagans with vague and imprecise foreknowledge of the Gospels. While these connections are disputed by many, it is nevertheless true that many elements of Jesus' story as told in the Gospels have parallels in pagan mythology, where miracles such as virgin birth were well-known.
Scholars such as A. N. Sherwin-White, FF Bruce, John Wenham, Gary Habermas and others argue for a high degree of historical reliability of the key New Testament events or the New Testament as a whole.
Prominent liberal scholar John A.T. Robinson argued for early dates of the entire New Testament and ascribed many of the key New Testament texts to their traditional authors.
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