Jesus Christ has been considered by Christians to be the son of God, though this is never mentioned in the Bible. The word ‘Christ’ comes from the Greek for messiah or anointed one and is a translation of Jesus’s Hebrew name, Yeshua , which means “Yahweh saves.”
Jesus was born during Roman rule over Judea, now part of Israel. Jewish tradition places his birth between 6-4 BC, but some modern scholars put it as late as 10 BC. He grew up in Galilee (northern Israel) and is believed to have studied with religious leaders before beginning his preaching career at about age 30. His teachings became famous throughout the area, attracting devoted followers who included and social outcasts; prominent members of the religious establishment criticized his approach. He was eventually arrested and executed by crucifixion under Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea (26-36 AD).
Pilate ordered Jesus to be flogged before condemning him to death on a cross. Two others were also crucified at about the same time. The gospels state that Jesus forgave those who had disrespected or betrayed him, asked God for patience when he felt abandoned by his disciples, and cried out to God in prayer before dying. Those who witnessed the crucifixion believed they saw him afterwards alive but very few people came to believe in his resurrection until after the ascension , when he supposedly left his earthly body behind and to heaven as an angel.
As he grew in favor, Pilate initially wanted to release him but was pressured into having Jesus condemned. This led later Christians to view Pilate as a willing tool of the corrupt Judean religious authorities , which helped fuel anti-Semitism.
Jesus’s death had astounded his followers and sent shock waves through early Christianity. It is possible that his brother James took over leadership roles after this time. The gospels state that no one claimed responsibility for Jesus’s tomb and many pious Jews who refused to believe in resurrection started their own religions; some were absorbed into Islam after Mohammed began preaching in 622 AD .
The gospel accounts say that women discovered his empty tomb three days after the crucifixion and informed male disciples who appear to have doubted their story. Eleven of them later said they saw him alive and many others claimed to have received his revelations through the Holy Spirit . Although Christianity started as a sect within Judaism, it eventually became its own religion, with some believers claiming that Jesus was indeed God’s son reincarnated into human form (a heresy called Arianism).
Overall, most Christians now view Jesus as their savior. They believe that his death took away humanity’s sin and he will return to earth before the final judgement , where everyone who has ever lived will be either rewarded or punished by God. Many also see him as a righteous peacemaker whose life can serve as an example for ethical behavior; this doctrine is known as Christology .
Early uses of the name Christ are found in the synoptic Gospels of Mark and Matthew, with possible references in Luke’s writings as well. The gospels say that Jesus lived around 3-2 BC but some modern scholars think he may have been adopted by Joseph between 10 and 6 BC.
No historical evidence survives to confirm this theory but such an early date is supported by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder who said that “Jesus Christ.. was brought into existence by a spontaneous power when certain stars met together in his horoscope” i.e., 9-8 BC . This would mean that Jesus was born when Herod the Great was still alive, perhaps even before he became king of Judea in 37 BC.
Although debates continue among historians , most consider Herod to be the most likely candidate for the ruler of Judea at this time.
The gospel accounts say that Jesus was born to Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem, a small town about 5 miles south of Jerusalem (modern Beit Lahia). The census ordered by Quirinius (called “Cyrenius” in the Bible), governor of Syria, took place between 10 and 6 BC but some modern scholars think Jesus may have been born earlier because Greek astronomers were aware of a bright new star (“nova”) appearing in March 2BC or around October 20-25 3BC . It is also possible that he was born after Herod’s death on 4 BC, as shepherds would not be out with their flocks without a king to protect them from thieves and bandits.
The traditional myth of the three kings, or magi , is derived from the Gospel of Matthew which says that they saw his star rise in the east and came to worship him after following it to Bethlehem. However, many modern scholars have argued that this myth was contrived by early Christians who wanted to link Jesus with earlier Semitic savior-gods like Tammuz . Some think this story was invented during the time when Rome introduced taxation after annexing Judea in 6 AD; any new tax census would have caused unrest among locals. Others also believe that these “Wise Men” were actually Zoroastrian priests who interpreted a comet as Jupiter-Zeus coming back to life after 12 years [late 3BC!?].
Palestine is a dry desert country and strong easterly winds often cause hot dust-laden weather; this may explain the “star” that led them to Bethlehem. The famous Star of Bethlehem appears in Matthew’s gospel as an astronomical event announcing Jesus’s birth but other accounts suggest it was only seen by the magi (astrologers who interpreted omens from stars) after they had already arrived in Jerusalem .
The Wise Men mentioned by Matthew are also described as paying homage to Jesus at his birth in Luke’s gospel but there is no mention of their coming to worship him much later, probably because Luke wrote for mostly non-Jewish audiences (Gentiles). Supporting this idea, most Christian churches around Christmas time celebrate Jesus’ birth at the same time as the pagan “Saturnalia” celebration, which included human sacrifice and drunken orgies. The Wise Men in Luke’s account may have been Zoroastrian priests visiting Jerusalem to celebrate their own festival of light (or “Hanukkah”).
The gospels say that Herod killed all new-born boys after Jesus was born but he died in 4 BC, too early to assassinate a child who according to some scholars would have only been less than 2 years old at the time. However, it is possible that his son Herod Antipas ordered this massacre since he had already executed several of Jesus’ disciples during the period when John the Baptist was preaching.
It also says that Emperor Augustus ordered a census before Quirinius became governor of Syria but this is unlikely since the census only took place between 8 and 6 BC. There was also no need for an empire-wide census because Palestine had already been annexed by Rome in 6 AD.
Other sources say that there were several censuses during Augustus’ reign, although it is not known exactly when they occurred or whether or not Josephus’s history “Antiquities of the Jews” which mentions them is accurate.
An alternative theory is that Luke mixed up Jesus’ birth with a census mentioned by Greek historian Dio Cassius , who wrote about events taking place 15 years later. These possible mistakes are considered some of the most difficult to solve among historical problems associated with Jesus’ life . It has also been suggested that Luke’s census was a symbolic one, conducted among the early Christian communities to find the Messiah.
The gospels indicate that Jesus spent his childhood in Nazareth but there is no mention of this town in any rabbinic literature or secular sources during 1 AD, except for two references by Roman geographer Pausanius . He may have used “Nazareth” as an allegory because it means “nazirite”, someone who has chosen to take vows before God. Others speculate that he only moved there afterwards and confusion arose because of its similarity with ancient “Nazoraeans”.
How did Jesus Christ Died?
Christians believe that Jesus died on a cross, but how did he actually die?
Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem from the years 26 to 36 AD. Crucifixion was a common form of execution back then because it was an incredibly slow and painful way to die.
There have been many different theories about what happened when Jesus died (for example: did the guards check his pulse?), but there are only three facts we know for certain: 1) He died 2) His body was stolen (by his disciples) 3) Roman guards were killed.
1. He died: John 19:33-35, Mark 15:23-25, Matthew 27:45-50 – Jesus’s last words on the cross were “My God, My God! Why have you forsaken me?” Crying out in a loud voice, Jesus breathed his last. Jesus was stabbed in the heart with a spear and blood and water came out. There is no doubt that when Jesus cried out he was very much alive because crucifixion causes death through suffocation so it would be impossible to speak after being speared in the heart.
2. His body was stolen: Matthew 28:11-15 – Here we find that three women visit the tomb to anoint Jesus’s body with spices. They notice that the stone has been rolled away. There are Roman guards on duty, but they have all fallen asleep. The women find that Jesus’s body is gone and the only thing left behind is his grave cloths neatly folded inside the tomb.
3. Roman guards were killed: Matthew 28:4-6 – Here we find that Pilate sends out some guards to secure the tomb because he knows there will be rumors of a resurrection if Jesus isn’t put in a tomb. This fact reveals two things about these guards: 1) they are Romans hired by Pilate 2) their lives are worth more than protecting a tomb so it doesn’t make sense for them to kill themselves unless they saw a reason to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead.
We can conclude from these three facts that Jesus Christ died on the cross and his disciples took his body. The disciples were able to convince Pilate’s guards that Jesus had actually come back to life after being crucified, so they committed suicide out of fear.
The purpose of this article is entirely educational and I do not intend for it to be used as a source in any kind of debate or argument.