Difference between revisions of "Jesus Christ"

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[[Image:Alphaomega.jpg|thumb|200px|''"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."'' —Jesus (Rev. 22:13)]]
 
'''Jesus Christ''' is the only Son of [[God]] and prophesied [[Messiah]] who, at the appointed time, was sent by His [[God the Father|Father]] and became a man to be the payment for the penalty of sin that separated us from [[God]] and to reveal to us the loving nature of God through his human person (1 John 4:10; 2 Corinthians 5:19).  Although He was sinless, he bore the penalty for sin upon Himself for us.
 
  
Speaking to his disciples, Jesus says,
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'''Jesus''' or '''Jesus Christ''' is commonly known as the central figure of [[Christianity]]. In Christian theology Jesus is the son of [[God]], born to the Virgin Mary, and was sacrificed to atone for humanity's sins.
{{cquote|'''John 14:1-15'''<br /><u>Believers will be in his Father's house</u><br />Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. “And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”<br /><u>Jesus himself is the only way people can access his Father and his Father's house</u><br />Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.<br /><u>If you know Jesus, you know his Father</u><br />“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.}}
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By the power of the [[Holy Spirit]], Jesus was conceived in the [[womb]] of the virgin [[Virgin Mary|Mary]], and became man in an event known as the [[Incarnation]], as referred to in Isaiah 7:14. Indeed, the calendar itself reflects this truth, with the traditional calculation of Jesus’ birth marking the first century A.D., that is, "''in the year of Our Lord…''." The [[John the Apostle|apostle John]] wrote in his gospel the following regarding Jesus Christ: "''For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life''" (John 3:16).
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== Birth  ==
{{trinity}}
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{{Main|Virgin birth}}
When he was about thirty, Jesus was baptized by [[John the Baptist]], inaugurating his ministry. Jesus of [[Nazareth]] is the Christ or Messiah, prophesied in the [[Old Testament]] (Greek: Χριστός; [[Aramaic]]: 'משיחא'). Jesus proclaimed that “[t]he time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe in the Gospel.”<ref>Mark 1:14-15.</ref> As signs of these truths, Jesus performed various miracles.
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However, not all who heard the Lord believed in him, and, because he “was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God”, some sought to put him to death.<ref>John 5:18.</ref> Jesus was handed over to the Roman governor [[Pontius Pilate]] and crucified. But it was through his redemptive death, as the [[Holy Scripture|scriptures]] had foretold, that Jesus reconciled mankind with God.<ref>Romans 5:10.</ref> And so, on the third day, in a truly historical event, Jesus physically rose from the dead, making possible salvation and eternal life for those who believe in him. Indeed, his very name, ''Yeshua'' (Hebrew 'יהושע') means "[[Salvation]]" and is the concatenated form of ''Yahoshua'', ‘[[YHWH]] is salvation’. After appearing to his disciples on various occasions, Jesus ascended to Heaven, where he acts as our mediator, assuring, by his constant intercession, the permanent outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
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According to Christian [[mythology]] Jesus was born to a virgin mother—yet the [[Bible]] also claims that he was the direct male line descendant of King David through Joseph, who was ''not'' his father.
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Furthermore, because Jesus was born through parthenogenesis, a phenomenon not naturally observed in mammals (although it has been artificially induced in rabbits), his genes would have come only from Mary. Unfortunately for the Bible's claims, Mary is a female. In animals using the XY chromosome system, parthenogenesis always results in female offspring. Thus, Jesus would also have to be female, because only Mary's female genes were passed on to "him." But because it is generally agreed that Jesus is a male, it is possible to prove that Jesus was conceived naturally through Reductio Ad Absurdum.
  
== Jesus' Life ==
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==Jesus' Life==
===Incarnation of the Son of God===
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In the  Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Judea) to [[Mary (Mother of Jesus)|Mary]], who at the time was a [[virgin birth|virgin]], and the Holy Spirit. The Gospel of Luke relates that the angel Gabriel visited Mary in order to announce to her that she had been chosen to bear the Son of God (Luke 1:26–38). Alternatively his father may have been [[Joseph (Husband of Mary)|Joseph]].  There were any number of men in Judea capable of fathering a child.  His father may even been a depraved, lecherous Roman soldier called [[Pantera]] or even an [[Pantera#Alien abduction|alien]]. An order of Caesar Augustus, that a survey of the Roman Empire should be made caused Mary and Joseph to leave Nazareth and go to the home of Joseph's forebears - to the house of King David. After Jesus' birth, they were forced to use a manger for a crib because the town's inn was full. According to Luke 2:8–20, an angel spread word of Jesus' birth to several shepherds who came to visit the newborn. Matthew also tells of the "Magi", (Zoroastrian priests), who brought many gifts to the infant Jesus (among which were gold, frankincense, and myrrh; this has led to the incorrect assumption that three Magi were present, whereas the actual number is not given) after following a star which they believed was an indication that the Messiah, or King of the Jews, had been born. Despite popular belief, nowhere does the bible mention how many Magi actually came.
  
The Son of God, who was always with the Father before all creation, took upon himself flesh, that is, become a human being, taking the flesh of manhood from his mother Mary but without her being impregnated by any man. He was born of Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel of John begins,<blockquote>"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God... and the Word become flesh and dwelt among us"</blockquote>. There are two understandings of this. Though both hold that the Son of God, Divinity Himself, became a man, they understand differently the beginning of the Gospel of John.  
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Jesus' early home is stated to have been in the town of Nazareth in Galilee, and except for an escape to Egypt in early childhood, to avoid Herod's massacre of the other male infants, all other events in the Gospels take place in ancient Israel. Luke's Finding in the Temple (Luke 2:41–52), where Jesus impressed the priests by discoursing in scripture with them, is the only detailed event between Jesus' infancy and adult life mentioned in any of the canonical Gospels.
  
The first understanding sees in the Son of God being the Word ("logos" in Greek) that He is the communication of the Father and thus in some sense the purpose of His coming was to mediate the knowledge of God to man among whom He would dwell and be one with them. But as mediator He is in no way inferior to the God He communicates because He Himself is God. The Trinity is emphasized though by implication (the word "Trinity" is of later usage to describe the phenomenon as presented by the New Testament). This understanding rests upon the use of "logos" in Philo and elsewhere meaning "reason", "word", "rationale"
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The Gospel of Mark begins with the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, which appears to be the beginning of Jesus' public ministry.  Jesus came to the River Jordan, where John was preaching and baptizing people in the crowd. After Jesus had been baptized, and had risen up out of the water, Mark states Jesus 'saw the heavens torn apart and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from [[heaven]], 'You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased' (Mark 1:10–11). Luke adds the chronological anchor that John the Baptist had begun preaching in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, approximately in 28 AD (Luke 3:1) and that Jesus was thirty years old when he was baptized (Luke 3:23).
  
The second interpretation, while in no way negating His coming to be the communication of the Father to man necessitating the incarnation and explicating the Trinity, rather says that we need to look not to Philo and the "logos" philosophy but to the Aramaic Jewish thought of the time. Doing so, we can see that the Gospel of John intends to rip away a veil, and in doing so,  will show us that it was God Himself and no mediator, that leaped down to take the form of a human being, and that this is to be spoken of boldly.  
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After this baptism, according to Matthew, Jesus was brought into the desert by God, where he fasted for forty days and nights. During this period, [[Satan]] appeared before him and tried three times to tempt Jesus into demonstrating his supernatural powers as a proof of his divine status; each temptation was refused by Jesus, with a scriptural quote from the Book of Deuteronomy.
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[[Image:Angry Jesus.jpg|thumb|left|Jesus gets tough with the money-changers in the temple.]]
  
Here is how this second understanding is developed:
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Jesus then began to preach. The Gospel of John describes three different passover feasts that Jesus attended, thus implying that his ministry lasted three years.
  
The Hebrew text is very clear in visualizing the God of Israel in physical terms, even if meant to be understood metaphorically. But the Aramaic Jewish translations of the Hebrew Scriptures will not allow it to be so presented, but will rather speak around it (paraphrase) or use an intermediary word between the physical description and God. In [[Genesis]] 32, [[Jacob]] is wrestling with "a man" but after the bout, Jacob says, in the original Hebrew text, "I have seen God face to face and my life has been saved". In the Aramaic translation, however, Jacob is made to say, " I have seen the ''angel of God'' face to face and my life has been saved". At times, the intermediary word is the word "Word" - in Aramaic, Memra (the root is Aleph, Mem, Resh as in the Hebrew word 'Omer). Whereas the Hebrew text (Gen. 3:8) has it, "They ([[Adam]] and [[Eve]]) heard the sound of the LORD God walking about in the garden", the Aramaic has it, "they heard the sound of ''the Memra'' of the LORD God walking about in the garden" Apparently, walking about in the garden conjured up too much of rustling of leaves and bushes to take figuratively, and so it was the "Memra" that was heard and not the LORD God. This is the pattern in other places in Genesis. Prof. David Flusser of the Hebrew University notes that it is to this mindset that we owe our understanding of John 1:1 and not to Philo and the Alexandrian "logos" philosophy. "In the beginning was the Word (Memra) and the Word (Memra) was with God.. and the Word (Memra) was God. John 1:1 is meant to rip away the distinction between God and the Memra, so assiduously held to by contemporary Judaism, and so declare that they, the Memra and God, are in reality one, ...and this One has, indeed, come down and has become flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone. John, in his epistle would later say in wonderment, " Whom we have handled, we have touched and held Him."
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The larger part of this was directed towards his closest followers, the Apostles, although all of his followers were considered disciples. At the highest point of his ministry, Jesus attracted disciples and audiences numbering in the thousands; in particular in the area of Galilee. Many of Jesus' most well-known teachings were given during the Sermon on the Mount, such as the Beatitudes and the Lord's [[Prayer]]. Jesus often used parables in his rhetorical technique, such as the Parable of the Good Samaritan and the Parable of the Sheep and the [[Goat]]s; these teachings encouraged unconditional self-sacrificing love for [[God]] and for all people. During these sermons, he also discussed service and humility, forgiveness of sins, how faith should be applied, the [[Golden Rule]], and the necessity of following the spirit of the law as well as its wording.
  
=== Infancy ===
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Jesus also often conversed with social outcasts, such as the publican (Roman tax collectors who were unpopular for their practice of extorting money).
The [[Gospels]] tell us that Jesus was born in [[Bethlehem]] of [[Judea]] to a young virgin named [[Virgin Mary|Mary]], by the [[Holy Spirit]]. [[Gospel of Luke|Luke's account]] of the gospel relates that the angel [[Gabriel]] visited Mary in order to announce that she had been chosen to bear the Son of God (Luke 1:26–38). A survey of the [[Roman Empire]] was ordered by [[Augustus|Caesar Augustus]], which caused Mary and [[Joseph (father of Jesus)|Joseph]] to leave Nazareth and go to the home of Joseph's forebears - to the house of [[David|King David]]. After Jesus' birth, they were forced to use a [[manger]] for a crib because the town's inn was full. According to Luke 2:8–20, an [[angel]] spread word of Jesus' birth to several shepherds who came to visit the newborn. Matthew also tells of the "Magi" ([[Zoroastrianism|Zoroastrian]] priests) who brought many gifts to the infant Jesus (among which were [[gold]], [[frankincense]], and [[myrrh]])<ref>Note: This has led to the incorrect assumption that there were only three Magi, whereas the actual number is not given.</ref> after following a star which they believed was an indication that the [[Messiah]], or King of the Jews, had been born.
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Jesus' early home was the town of [[Nazareth]] in [[Galilee]], and except for an escape to [[Egypt]] in early childhood to avoid [[Herod the Great|Herod's]] massacre of the other male infants, all other events in the Gospels take place in ancient Israel.
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During the  trial of Jesus by the Sanhedrin, a court-like body made up of Pharisees and Sadducees, highly orthodox and conservative members of the Jewish community, the high priests and elders asked Jesus, "Are you the Son of God?," and when he replied, "You say that I am," they condemned Jesus for blasphemy (Luke 22:70–71).
  
=== At Twelve Years Old ===
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==Jesus' death==
The account of Jesus' parents finding him in the temple impressing the "teachers" with his knowledge of the [[Old Testament|scripture]] is the only detailed event between Jesus' infancy and adult life that is known.
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Jesus' slow and tortuous death is believed by [[Christians]] to atone humankind for the [[original sin]] committed by Adam and Eve. However, as most educated Christians believe the story of Adam and Eve to be either a parable or a myth, this rather leaves open the question of why God should cause Himself to be [[torture]]d to atone for a myth. "Jesus Christ" means "Jesus the Saviour" and refers to this idea.  
{{cquote|'''Luke 2:41–51'''<br />Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast; and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. But His parents were unaware of it, but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day’s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem looking for Him. Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.}}
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At this early age of twelve years old, there is clearly shown an inner positional or relational commitment of Jesus. Nor is there any indication that this had not been present prior to His twelfth year. His deepest belonging, that against which all other belongings were to be judged, confirmed, rejected, etc. was to the Father, the Father's House, the Father's concerns. This commitment would reverberate at later times, severing ultimate claims on Him of his closest - mother, brothers, sisters, etc. In the presence of these and to their hearing, He would ask, "Who are my mother, and brothers, and sisters? He that does the will of my Father in Heaven is ..."  This, in His own life, was the moral authority to demand the same of all others, "You cannot serve two masters..."  The memory of what had happened in the Temple when He was twelve, pondering it in her heart, would stand Mary in good stead, when she would see her son hanging on the cross. She also would be found with the disciples in the upper room, praying, and waiting for the coming of the Spirit which He had promised.
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Those who believe in the literal truth of original sin have no problem in believing that God caused all humanity to be cursed for the sin of two people and then decided to torture Himself to make up for it.
  
=== Ministry ===
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===Puzzling details about Jesus' crucifixion===
==== Baptism ====
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* The biblical account of Jesus' crucifixion states that nails were driven through his hands. In Luke 24:39, a post-resurrection Jesus invites his disciples to inspect the nail holes in his hands and his feet.  In John 24:24-27, Jesus invites Thomas to stick his finger into the nail holes in Jesus' hands. The problem: the Romans never nailed a condemned person's hands to a cross.  The bones in the hands would tear apart under the person's weight. Instead, they nailed the person's wrists to the cross.
[[Image:Jesus' Baptism.jpg|thumb|right|150px|Jesus' Baptism]]
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The [[gospel of Mark]] begins with the [[baptism]] of Jesus by [[John the Baptist]], which appears to be the beginning of Jesus' public ministry. Jesus came to the [[Jordan River|River Jordan]], where John was preaching and baptizing people in the crowd. After Jesus had been baptized, and had risen up out of the water, Mark states Jesus 'saw the heavens torn apart and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from [[heaven]], 'You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased' (Mark 1:10–11). Luke adds the chronological anchor that John the Baptist had begun preaching in the fifteenth year of [[Tiberius]] Caesar, approximately in 28 AD (Luke 3:1) and that Jesus was thirty years old when he was baptized (Luke 3:23).
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'''The meaning of Baptism for Jesus:'''
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* Another curiosity would be the very existence of the wounds from the nails and spear.  Considering that one might assume that resurrection, the healing of death if you will, might also fix those problems too.  Dedeadifying someone only to leave gaping and festering wounds doesn't seem like much of a resurrection.  Jesus' pending ascension, however, could explain this significant oversight.
  
Jesus insisted over the protests of John that He be baptized at the hands of John. John's protests are natural enough as John's baptism was for those who were sinners, and implied in baptism was the understanding that the baptizer was somehow greater than the one baptized. John believed that he needed to be baptized by Jesus and not the other way around. But Jesus' understanding of His being baptized was two-fold:"Baptism" meant suffering unto death, and it implied that His impending mission was to be in behalf and in place of the real sinners, the humanity for whom He would die. Jesus would later use "baptism" in the first sense when he said to disciples, "Can you be baptized with the baptism which I will undergo?The Spirit coming down on the Son in the form of a Dove (Yonah = "Jonah" in Hebrew), and the voice of the Father, "This is My Beloved Son" was the Divine empowerment, and authorization for Jesus' mission to come entailing His sacrificial death, three days, not in the belly of the fish, but in the bowels of the earth, and after that, resurrection. As Baptism for Jesus meant, looking forward, His joining sinful humanity to the point of bearing their sins to the death of the cross, so the later New Testament understands, looking backward, that sinners believing in Jesus are also to join Him in His death through the waters of baptism "in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" - according to the command of the Risen Christ. See [[Christianity]] for Jesus' self consciousness.
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* Crucifixion was perhaps the most drawn-out form of execution ever devised. The condemned often lingered for days.  When the condemned grew tired, they hung limp, stretching out the diaphragm and making it impossible to inhale. The condemned then pulled themselves up by the nails through their wrists. They could breathe as long as they held themselves up in this fashion.  Eventually, somebody would break their legs to put them out of their misery.  The Romans then left the body on the cross for days, allowing scavengers to pick at it as a warning to would-be insurrectionists. The problems:
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** After only a few hours on the cross, Jesus cried out, "It is finished" <ref>John 19:30</ref> and "died.Was he in such poor health that he died so quickly? Probably so. He had been pierced in the side with a spear, and had had to drag the cross to Calvary, falling three times, having been whipped across the entire journey. This isn't exactly conducive to resistance to torture.
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** According to John 19:31, the Jews asked [[Pontius Pilate]] to send a centurion to break the legs of Jesus and the two thieves crucified with him so the three of them could die and be entombed before the Sabbath began. This seems an odd request.  Pilate's granting of their request is equally odd.  Since the Romans used crucifixion to intimidate their subjects, isn't it logical that Pilate would say "no" and allow the bodies to remain on their crosses?  If this was a request normally granted to the Jews on the sabbath, why would the Romans schedule these crucifixions mere hours before the sabbath began?  Wouldn't they wait until the sabbath was over and then crucify Jesus and the two thieves?
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** Because Jesus "died" before the centurion came to break his legs,<ref>John 19:33</ref> skeptics believe that he had merely passed out and later came to in the tomb (see [[surviving crucifixion]]).
  
==== Temptation ====
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== Alternate Perceptions ==
After this baptism, according to Matthew, Jesus was brought into the desert by God where he fasted for forty days nights. During this period, the [[Satan]] appeared before him and tried three times to tempted Jesus into demonstrating his supernatural powers as a proof of his divine status; each temptation was refused by Jesus, with a scriptural quote from the Book of [[Deuteronomy]].
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Many non-canonical Gospels present Jesus from an alternative perspective, and the apostles, as well.  For example, in Matthew 10:34, Jesus claims to bring not peace, but "fire and a sword."  The same line is duplicated in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas, in which Jesus is presented as a wise teacher of neo-Platonist, Gnostic Judaism.  It is hard to reconcile this line with the popular modern perception of Jesus, leading most to believe that the real person Jesus, and his real ministry, were likely much more complicated than modern Christianity maintains, and interpreted differently by different people.
  
Jesus then began to preach. [[Gospel of John|John]] describes three different [[passover]] feasts that Jesus attended, thus implying that his ministry lasted three years.
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Similarly, the acts that Jesus inspired in his followers differ according to different tales. Christianity emerged, as a result of Pauline leadership, as a steady-state religion that could weave subtly into the fabric of the Roman Empire.  Other tales of Jesus and his followers, though, make him out to be ''much'' more of a revolutionary.  For example, a tale exists called the ''Acts of Paul & Thecla'', in which Paul treats a Roman woman as his equal and fellow in Christ, leading her to oppose the Roman way of life and seek spiritual peace in a much more Gnostic sense.  In this tale, Paul also appears as much more of a social revolutionary than we have come to know him.  ''Acts'' was a popular story in the early Roman world.  However, it has largely vanished, as a result of its lack of incorporation into the canon.
  
'''The reason behind the Temptation:'''
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It is possible that this revolutionary, original personality of the Jesus movement was deliberately abandoned by Paul in his attempt to popularize the religion.  Also abandoned by Paul were the strong Jewish roots of Christianity.
  
The Temptation occurred just as told in the Gospels. But behind the happening, another message lies revealing the identity of Jesus to a people who would understand it. At the foothill of Mt. Hermon, in between the servile Roman infatuated people of Tiberius to the south west of the Sea of Galilee, and the rabidly nationalistic, anti- Roman  Zealots of Gamla to the north east, Jesus asked His disciples who He was. The Messiah, the Son of the Living God, was the answer. And Jesus explained who He was and why he had come in terms that fit their experience - not to rule and throw out the Romans, nor to uphold their ways and laws but rather something on a different plane all together -  to give His life settling it on the cross.
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===Ideas about the nature of Jesus===
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The nature of Jesus has caused much debate over the years:
  
To a later believing people, those who were not Jewish, who He was would be understood in terms fitting to who they were - He had come the Second Adam, to give His life and to provide new life to those who were not Jewish, but also including the Jews, to all the lost and wandering children of Adam.  
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# Jesus had only one, divine nature. (Monophysitism)
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# Jesus existed as two different persons, the mortal man and the divine ''Logos'', which co-existed in one body. (Nestorianism)
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# Sort of a compromise between the two, decided at a conference called the Council of Nicaea (325 CE) and the later Council of Chalcedon (451 CE), resulting in the Chalcedonian or orthodox Christian view.
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# Jesus was a divine being, but created by and subservient to God the Father. (Arianism)
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# Jesus was a man, but Divinely inspired (Ebionitism)
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# Jesus was wholly God and his human form an illusion (Docetism).
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# Jesus had two natures in one person, a human and a divine, but only one will. (Monothelitism)
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# Jesus never existed<ref>See [http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/ Jesus never existed].</ref> --- which suggests that Jesus was more of a concept than a person and that there were numerous people called Jesus in the first century CE
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# Jesus was just this guy, you know.  This version does get a nice [[Fun:That fine-ass Mary Magdalene|consolation prize]].
  
In the Temptation, it is the those who knew the Old Testament, the physical children of Abraham primarily, who could see in the long range, and not primarily dictated to by the political passions of the moment, and who could wonder who they were and where they had gone wrong, and wonder also who would be the One to take them out. It is they, Israel, who had been in the wilderness for 40 years, and they that had succumbed to the temptations of selling out for food and drink, though they were a "Son" whom God with a strong arm and outstretched hand had taken out of the bondage of Egypt, they had turned traitor, driven by their own lust and pride. And here now, in Jesus, was One who  resisted the devil in the wilderness, also "for forty", preferring the will of God as His food rather than all the world could offer, Who was He? He was Israel! The only true one left, the faithful remnant spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, the servant true to the end. As the letter to the Hebrews saw, "Though He were a Son yet learned He obedience by the things He suffered, and being made perfect, He become the author of Eternal life...". This is the understanding of the Gospel of Matthew, in interpreting a passage from Hosea which was manifestly speaking of Israel the people and applying it to Jesus who also came out of Egypt with His parents at the death of Herod, " Out of Egypt have I called my Son". Who was Jesus? He was Israel who had ''not'' failed come to redeem Israel who had, and also out of all the peoples of the world.
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For most of the Middle Ages option 3 gained popular favor, partly due to the slight risk of being burnt alive if on the losing side of the argument.
  
==== Disciples and Apostles ====
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==Maimonides' view of Jesus==
[[Image:Jesus5.jpg‎|thumb|left|100px|Jesus Christ <small>(Artist's impression)</small>]]
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One Jewish understanding of the messiah is based on the writings of Maimonides, (also known as ''Rambam''). His views on the messiah are discussed in his Mishneh Torah, his 14 volume compendium of Jewish law. In Judaism, Jesus is not considered to be the Messiah. According to Maimonides:
The larger part of this was directed towards his closest followers, the [[apostles]], although all of his followers were considered [[disciples of Jesus|disciples]]. At the highest point of his ministry, Jesus attracted disciples and audiences numbering in the thousands; in particular in the area of Galilee. Many of Jesus' most well-known teachings were given during the [[Sermon on the Mount]], such as the [[Beatitudes]] and the [[Lord's Prayer]]. Jesus often used parables in his rhetorical technique, such as the [[Parable of the Good Samaritan]] and [[the parable of the sheep and the goats|the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats]]; these teachings encouraged unconditional self-sacrificing [[Shema|love for God]] and [[Agape|for all people]]. During these sermons, he also discussed service and humility, forgiveness of sins, how faith should be applied, the [[Golden Rule]], and the necessity of following the spirit of the law as well as its wording.
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'''Their choosing and their purpose:''' Among the many who came to Jesus, from afar and from the surrounding villages of the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, were those moved by his insight into the nature of life, or touched deeply by His seemingly knowing them from the inside, by His intimacy with the God and Father they had only known "about", or impressed by the miracles done before their very eyes, and many, by His deep compassion for the people, so evident in all that He did. Jesus would sprinkle His words upon them as seed in a path, some to take root, and some to be blown away by the wind. But to those who heard and wanted more, they would get that more, receiving explanation, and move closer to His association. Those that would not, would receive only that which was commensurate to not wanting - more parables, silence. Never the revealing of the "Secrets of the Kingdom". Yet,  there was no prohibition and no limit for getting closer to Jesus. Those that did, became His "learners" - the disciples, understanding the meanings of His word by the demonstration of His life and putting them into practice. Among these were another group, some that had been with Him from early on, possibly some from the time of His baptism at the hands of John. These He would hold in His mind for an additional and different reason.  
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<blockquote>
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"As for Jesus of Nazareth, who claimed to be the Anointed One and was condemned by the Sanhedrin. Daniel had already prophesied about him, thus: 'And the children of your people's rebels shall raise themselves to set up prophecy and will stumble.' (Ibid. 14) Can there be a bigger stumbling block than this? All the Prophets said that the Anointed One saves Israel and rescues them, gathers their strayed ones and strengthens their ''mitzvot'' whereas this one caused the loss of Israel by sword, and to scatter their remnant and humiliate them, and to change the Torah and to cause most of the world to erroneously worship a god besides the Lord. But the human mind has no power to reach the thoughts of the Creator, for his thoughts and ways are unlike ours. All these matters of Yeshu of Nazareth and of Muhammad who stood up after him are only intended to pave the way for the Anointed King, and to mend the entire world to worship God together, thus: 'For then I shall turn a clear tongue to the nations to call all in the Name of the Lord and to worship him with one shoulder.'"
 +
<br/>
 +
<br/>
 +
"How is this? The entire world had become filled with the issues of the Anointed One and of the Torah and the Laws, and these issues had spread out unto faraway islands and among many nations uncircumcised in the heart, and they discuss these issues and the Torah's laws. These say: These Laws were true but are already defunct in these days, and do not rule for the following generations; whereas the other ones say: There are secret layers in them and they are not to be treated literally, and the Messiah had come and revealed their secret meanings. But when the Anointed King will truly rise and succeed and will be raised and uplifted, they all immediately turn about and know that their fathers inherited falsehood, and their prophets and ancestors led them astray."
 +
</blockquote>
  
Then one night, he ascended a hill praying about them, and came down knowing who they were to be. 12 in number, chosen not because of their virtue, or even what He would do in them in the future, but rather solely chosen by His Father to be deputized, delegated, or commissioned by Jesus to be sent out for a mission. He gave them the name "Shaliach" (meaning all that), which was translated into Greek as "apostolos" and so our Apostles.
+
==Historical Jesus==
 +
There are no contemporary sources on Jesus' life. All surviving mentions of Jesus in ancient times are in texts written by Christians decades or more after his supposed death. No official Roman sources mention him, and the gospels contradict themselves and each other on the key events.  The New Testament is factually incorrect on many historical events, such as the reign of Herod and the Roman census.  Therefore, it is not clear whether Jesus was in fact a historical person.
  
The mission of the Apostles (see "Example 5." of [[New Testament understanding through the Jewish perspective]]) was to do all that they saw Jesus was doing, healing  the sick, raising the dead, and with all this, to tell about the fast coming Kingdom of Heaven, the rule of His Father, and urge people to repent and get ready for it. He gave them His power and authority to do all this. But it was to be 12 in number, not more and not less, that number surviving even the suicide of one of them, Judas from the village of Kyriot, requiring an "election" to bring back the number from 11 to 12. And that was because the special additional reason for their appointment was to sit on the 12 thrones of the 12 tribes of Israel (the sons of Jacob) and lead them by whatever it takes - that is the meaning of the biblical term "Judge" (Shofet)*. For the community of the "little ones"., was to be, in some sense, an Israel within Israel, or a new Israel, a sort of beachhead for the onslaught of the Kingdom of God in its invasion (or sometimes, infiltration into) into and onto the Kingdom of the unjust occupier and enemy of all Goodness, the Devil, to overthrow him and all his works. This truer and newer Israel, He called His "Called Out ones" (Eklessia=Church) against whose onslaught the Fortified city of Hell with its defensive bars to its massive gates, would not prevail. Many captives would be released. The Church, then,  was the community counterpart to what was known as the "Synagogue" (Greek),  meaning "gathered together ones" (Beit Knesset - house of the gathering, Hebrew). It was the Synagogue of Jesus the King and Messiah, and aligned with and the focal point of the Prophetically promised and hoped-for Kingdom of God and the rule of Heaven on Earth. And the disciples and apostles of Jesus all had their place in the unfolding of it all.
+
An important tactic of Conservative Christians in their attempts to dominate the world is to try to use science to prove that Jesus really did exist. Ironically, their attempts to do this are not blocked or dismissed by scholars, because many, if not most, scholars already accept the idea that Jesus was a real man who, in or around 30 CE, was acting as teacher, mystic, spiritualist, healer, political activist, or religious revolutionary. The scholarly claims <ref> as opposed to those people trying to prove Jesus existed to further either a religious agenda or a conspiracy agenda</ref> are made and backed up not by historical records, of which there are precious few, but through accepted claims on the nature of mythology and new religions<ref>Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, ISSN# ; J.D. Crossan, The Historical Jesus ISBN-10: 0060616296; </ref>.
 +
# It is traditionally accepted that myths generally do not derive from thin air, and that the characters and stories in these myths are  exaggerations, deifications , or simple mischaracterizaions of events and persons that really existed and did "something" of some kind of note.
 +
# Within 10 years of each other, 10-20 churches "pop up" throughout Jerusalem and the Aramaic world which all name the Christ character "Jesus".
  
*Note: For the significance of sitting on the seat and judging, see Example 2. of [[New Testament understanding through the Jewish perspective]].
+
But fear not, good atheists, agnostics, and all those who routinely battle Fundamental Christians or other pushy types. Just because a dude "likely existed" and was probably walking around saying loony things about mustard seeds, this in no way validates anything that is in the Biblical accounts of the mythic Christ character.  That is to say, even if we could without a doubt prove the existence of Jesus of Nazareth, that hardly proves he died.  Well he died, everyone dies. It hardly proves his Daddy brought him back to life, holes in his hands and all.
  
==== Social Outcasts ====
+
===Racism===
Jesus also often conversed with social outcasts, such as the publican ([[Rome|Roman]] tax collectors who were unpopular for their practice of extorting money).
+
Jesus was a dark skinned Jewish Arab.  Many nice white Christians look down on people with that skin color.  They wouldn't want anyone as dark as Jesus in their churches.  Christian pictures don't depict Jesus as he was.
  
Jesus showed no partiality toward outcasts, and neither did He do so to those who were in society. But being an outcast was a category beyond the reach of all others which were in society. Jesus was not for the male over against the female, the Jew over against the non Jew, townsman over against the man of the field. He was impartial and penetrating in His love for all. But all of these had a certain standing in Society, they were part of it, though all being in it, could vie for more of it as their share. But all were united, and could work in concert against what they were not - the outcast. The love of Jesus and the love of His Father through Him, could not rest lightly on any one of them, until it would reach and rest on the one beyond the fringes, the outer edges, and down below - the outcast. This demonstrated in the life of Jesus what the Cross would later show and the Apostles preach - all were outcast to the Holiness of God, and all could be loved by Him and, indeed, were.
+
*''The Last Temptation'', from greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis, later adapted to film by Martin Scorsese.
 +
*''The Passion of the Christ'', a film by (and for) Mel Gibson.  
 +
*''Jesus Christ Superstar'', rock opera about the last days of Jesus, and a wet dream for many Christians.
 +
*''The Book of Daniel'' (TV series), canceled due to low ratings.
 +
*''The [[Bible]]'', number one bestselling work of fiction ever.
  
==== Miracles ====
+
==Quotes about Jesus==
Throughout his ministry, Jesus performed many miracles including healing the sick and possessed, feeding 5000, and even raising from the dead.
+
*''"I like your Christ very much.  I don't like your Christians."'' - The Mahatma [[Mohandas Gandhi]] <ref>
 +
*''"The message of Christ is not Christianity. The message of Christ is Christ."'' -Gary Amirault
 +
*''"I would like to ask Him if He was indeed virgin born, because the answer to that question would define history."'' –Larry King
 +
*''"Jesus' major goal is to reveal his Father to those who will repent and trust in him as their only way of salvation from his Father's anger at them for their sin."'' -[[Conservapedia]]
 +
*''"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first -- rock'n'roll or Christianity. Jesus was alright, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."'' - [[John Lennon]]
 +
*''"Jesus is just alright with me, Jesus is just alright, oh yeah."'' - written by Arthur Reynolds, as performed by The Byrds, The Doobie Brothers, and Alvin and the Chipmunks, among others.
  
Miracles were an intrusion of the ordinary, but the ordinary of a different and far-superior Kingdom, into the sordid and sin sick kingdoms of this world. They showed what life was really like there in that Kingdom which was coming and how weak, unstable, subject and cringing were the powers of this corrupted world, "bent" under the heel of God. That a widow should have her dead son restored to her alive, that outcasts such as lepers should be restored to the community, and as a result of their being healed, that darkness should give way to light and sight, that a woman deserving stoning find solace and forgiveness, all of these are the way things are and ought to be in the Kingdom of God because of the way He is. They were, at one and the same time, signs of the Kingdom which was coming  and great works of compassion done here below which will never by surpassed or forgotten. And Jesus the Messiah was bringing them in!
+
==See also==
 +
*The [[True Cross]] ''The cross Jesus was crucified on'', alleged pieces of which were sold to the gullible by con men over the centuries.
 +
*[[Surviving crucifixion]]
 +
*[[Fun:Jesus]]
  
Note: See Example 5 of [[New Testament understanding through the Jewish perspective]] for the assault and infiltration of God's Kingdom on and into the Kingdom of Satan.
+
==Footnotes==
 +
<references/>
  
==== His Preaching was Offensive to the Established Authority ====
+
[[Category:Biblical figures]]
As He preached, Jesus ran afoul of the [[Sanhedrin]], the recognized Jewish religious authorities, who were allowed to have considerable religious, political and monetary influence under Roman rule. Jesus chastised them, accusing them of making laws for the people to follow that were the laws of men, not God. The Sanhedrin tried to set traps for Jesus by asking Him questions to either discredit Him with the people or get Him in trouble with the Roman authorities, but all of their efforts failed and they gave up. They lacked the means to stop Jesus until [[Judas Iscariot]] came to them and offered to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. He would tell them where Jesus would be that night so they could seize Him.
+
[[Category:New Testament]]
 
+
[[Category:Bible]]
=== Last Days of Jesus' Life ===
+
==== Lord's Supper ====
+
'''God and man at table are sat down:'''
+
 
+
It happened before - "Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu. and seventy elders of Israel. They saw the God of Israel...they gazed on God. They ate and they drank."  Exodus 24: 9-11
+
 
+
It would happen after - "Now while He was with them at table, He took the bread and said the blessing, then He broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and recognized Him. But He had vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, Did not our hearts burn within us as He talked to us on the road, and explained the Scriptures to us?"Luke 24: 30-32
+
 
+
Eating before the Lord or with the Lord, would be used as the highest form of friendship - Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any one hears My voice and opens the door I will come in to him and share my meal with him, side by side.". Rev. 3:20.
+
 
+
At the [[Passover Seder]], the last meal the Lord would eat with His followers, His presence so permeated the atmosphere, and what He said and did at that special time, and especially they having received His command to do just what He was doing before them at this time, whenever they would meet together, the Apostles of the Lord and the Gospels after them could not speak of bountiful and miraculous times of the Lord's gracious giving of food feeding the multitudes, without mentioning that which otherwise would not have been mentioned - ''He took the bread, looked up to heaven blessing the bread, He broke the bread, and He gave it to them.'' That is what the Lord did before them, and that is what Hie commanded them to do after Him, and thus provided for them, and for the Church after them, the one of two universal services - the [[Lord's Supper]], or [[Eucharist]], or [[Holy Communion]].
+
 
+
But in addition, He gave His own particular understanding to the unleavened bread of the Passover and ceremonial cup of wine, the 3rd and "Thanksgiving cup" of wine drunk immediately after the Passover meal was eaten. In slightly varying words, the Gospels and the Church after would perpetuate that understanding by repeating what the Lord Himself said at that Last Supper - "This is My Body which is given for you... This is My blood, the blood of the New Covenant which is shed for you, and for the many, for the forgiveness of sins. Do this as my own Remembrance". And so He signified to His followers that His life would be given in sacrifice for them and for their benefit. How this benefit would be effected, would be explained by Jesus by other sayings, "Do not think that I have come in order to be served. I have not come to be served but rather to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many."
+
 
+
But His presence remained with them at the continual celebration of this new Christian [[Passover]] of the Communion.  Though He had vanished from their eyes as He would return to the Father, yet through the Spirit which He had promised to be in His stead, He was there with them to remain- "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I!"..." Even so, Come Lord Jesus!"
+
 
+
Note 1: The word Maranatha, comes from the Greek word which is translating the Aramaic which comes in two forms according to the accent given. Marana tha - "O our Lord, come!", and Maran atha - "Our Lord has come". This appears in the earliest liturgies of the Eucharist, and was used either as an invocation for the Lord to come, a sort of invite, or as an exclamation that the Lord has indeed come, just as He said He would. In either case, it was a witness to the belief that the Lord was indeed with them when they participated in the Remembrance which He had commanded.
+
 
+
Note 2; What the Lord said, "This is my body... This is my blood...Do this!" (the "Words of Institution", His instituting the Holy Communion until His coming again), is absent in the Gospel of John when recounting the last time of the Lord with His disciples. This is not an oversight, as the Gospel of John, from all contextual indications, has already spoken of the matter in the 6th chapter.
+
 
+
==== Garden of Gethsemane ====
+
[[Image:Jesus in Gethsemane.jpg|thumb|right|150px|Jesus in Gethsamane]]
+
Jesus knew that His time was short and that He was about to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. He had His last supper with his disciples and went with them to the [[Garden of Gethsemane]] and prayed vehemently knowing what was about to come.
+
 
+
Decision, certainty, from a distance is clearer and easier than when the time approaches for decision's implementation. That is because the here and now, leaves no room for imagining a rescue from all that is around us and in us. Leaving us confused or uncertain, needing assurance, or a once again revelation, of what it was that brought us to decision in the first place. John knowing from the beginning that his cousin Jesus was the promised Messiah, when years later, found himself in prison, and things not going the way he had expected, understood or hoped, required assurance that Jesus was really the One he had thought Him to be. Jesus responded forcefully and completely to that so human request - Tell John what you see, the dead are raised, the sick healed, and the poor are being told of the good news of the Kingdom of God. And it was enough.
+
+
Jesus, knowing why He had come, and that He was to mount the cross, to bear the sins of the world, knowing also what that must mean, He who had never "known" sin, now to know it in a way, that man could never know, man who all the time was in it, inured to it, accustomed to it, Jesus prayed.  There was a movement in His prayer, taking on anew, the certainty and decision of old, feeling the enormity of it at close hand, and in the garden, he prayed three times, each time agonizing* dripping great drops of sweat, each time making movement in the direction from ''If there be another way, The Father knows and will show, but He would do whatever the Father wills'', towards ''being the Father's will, He would do it. There really is no other way''. And then it was done, He had settled it within Him anew, having prayed, and having received the deep silent Amen of the Father within His soul. It was enough. He was ready.
+
 
+
*note: "Agonize" of the text is from the Greek word "to struggle".
+
 
+
==== Tried before Jewish Authorities ====
+
Jesus was betrayed by Judas into the hands of the Jewish religious authorities who took Him away and secretly put Him on trial during the night, trying to find justification for their desire to have Him killed. Finally, they convicted Him of blasphemy.
+
 
+
==== Tried before Roman Authorities ====
+
As they did not have the authority to put a man to death, they took him to [[Pontius Pilate]], the Roman governor of Palestine, with their charges and demanded his execution. Pilate avoided the issue by sending him to [[Herod Antipas|King Herod]] since Jesus was a Galilean, but Herod sent him back to Pilate. Pilate at first tried to release Jesus with a flogging, and then gave the crowd a choice to either spare Jesus or a criminal called [[Barabbas]] as part of the passover tradition. The crowd chose to free Barabbas and Pilate washed his hands to signify that he bore no responsibility for Jesus' death before ultimately condemning Him to [[crucifixion]].<ref>Matthew 27: 15-44</ref>
+
 
+
==== Scourging ====
+
The penalty of crucifixion was always preceded by scourging (flogging) with the Roman ''flagellum''. a short ox-hide whip knotted with pieces of zinc, lead, and bone which removed swaths of the victims' skin with every stroke.  Although the Bible mentions the scourging of Jesus only very briefly, it must have been particularly brutal from the relatively short amount of time Jesus lingered on the cross after the punishment.  Victims who suffered less blood loss from the scourging were known to remain alive on the cross for two or three days.
+
 
+
==== Death on a Cross ====
+
[[Image:David Christ on the Cross.jpg|right|thumb|Christ on the Cross by [[Jacques Louis David]].]]
+
Jesus died after suffering and giving up his spirit.
+
 
+
Behind the Cross was the sum total of all the maladies of mankind, that the Old Testament unveiled : Pesh'a - conscious and "high handed" rebellion, for which , under the Old Covenant, there was no forgiveness provided, Khet - an unintended "missing of the mark", as in the deviation from the bull's eye of the bowman,  Shigi'a - the mistakes, some causing great harm to others, which come about by plain ignorance, and 'Avon "iniquity" or distortion - the inner twistedness, that causes failure and suffering, seemingly from the very structure of our persons regardless of our intent. These were the sins Godwards as well as towards man, and these are all, Scripture revealed, repugnant to the nature and standard of a Holy God.
+
 
+
On the Cross, in a way which is unfathomable to man, but nonetheless believable, the repugnance fell upon Jesus, the Son of God, and again in a way not fully understandable to us, but believable nonetheless, God was in Christ  reconciling the world unto Himself, not considering us the sinners but rather His own dear Son who had no taint upon Himself. A great transaction had taken place by the imposition of Himself of Christ in our place, absorbing, as if He were a blotter, all the reaction of a Holy God upon Himself, in our place, that we might go free. Unfair to Him, Mercy to us. Yet Jesus was not forced to do it. He did it both in His great love for us and in His obedience to the way that the Father had decided.  "No one takes my life from me. I have power to take it and I have power to lay it down...I lay down my life for the sheep". Peter would say, "The Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God."  Paul would say, "He was made to be sin, He who did not "know" sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him".  That was Friday.
+
 
+
On Saturday, when all were at Sabbath's rest, Jesus was not. His body dead, He passed in spirit to those that had died before, those in the period of Noah, and proclaimed, as Peter taught, what He had done. On Sunday, the first day of the week, He would rise from the dead.
+
 
+
The Cross of  Christ, and the atonement He accomplished on it, is the very grounds that anyone who will be saved can be saved. The shedding of His blood brings salvation, to anyone who will respond, according to the ability that they have, that is given them. That brings forgiveness and acceptance, even welcome, to the murderer such as Paul, the adulteress such as the "woman taken in adultery", the tax-collecting extortionist, a seeker in the night turned believer, as hopefully Nicodemus proved to be, people that just know that they are sinners without any "grave sin" to specify, and also the "fetus" whose life was cut off in the womb as a "thing", and the severely retarded child banging his head in the institution he finds himself. All, according to the light given them, and repentance and turning to God given to them, will one day know just what was the basis for their salvation - the Cross of Christ. Those who reject, will also one day know the basis by which they could have been saved if they had not rejected - the Cross of Christ
+
 
+
=== Resurrection ===
+
:''See main article: [[Resurrection of Jesus Christ]]''
+
On the third day after his death, Jesus [[resurrection of Jesus Christ|rose bodily from the dead]].
+
 
+
Jesus' resurrection from the dead was no mere reassembling the molecules of His dead and disintegrating body, but it was a new union of His Spirit and body, in a way that could only be called by the Apostle Paul, in reference to ourselves, when we, in turn, following His pattern, a ''spiritual body''. Having risen from the dead, He was physical enough to eat and drink with His disciples, and we can assume to digest, as well as ingest, and to be touched and felt, having Thomas' hand thrust into His spear riven side, and yet, strangely not held by the physical laws of before, passing through the door to the room where the disciples were assembled, "Peace be upon you!", and to physically ascend, in the sight of all, from a location on the Mount of Olives into the presence of the Father  In some way, even the disciples on the Road to Emmaeus, could not recognize Him, perhaps an aspect of the changed body, perhaps the power of the will of Jesus himself blinding them to the fact that It was He, until the breaking of the bread.
+
Jesus had risen, the stone unrolled, not to let Him out, but to let others in - to have the basis for their testimony, that He is risen indeed!
+
By the regaining of His life in the resurrection from the dead (Scripture asserts that it was by the power of the Holy Spirit that this took place) Jesus was "certified" to the Church, and to all that would come after, that He was indeed the Son of God, that the verdict of death to Him given by men, was not so much overturned, but used in a far superior way by the Father to accomplish His will for redemption, and has given Him, at the last, ''vindication''.
+
 
+
And for mankind, its individuals in the millions through the centuries who had believed in Him, there came the certainty, that death was also not to be their end, that they too will arise with Jesus, that death, the annihilation of all, or a future only to be dreaded, was not to be their end, that the Presence of Jesus who had gone before them, was a welcoming one, that He had found a way, and now they would be with Him forever and ever, and with good hope for the sight of loved ones again. Death had been conquered and fear could be too.
+
 
+
 
+
In recent history, Dr. [[Gary Habermas]] is considered the foremost [[Christian apologetics|Christian apologist]] for defending the [[Resurrection of Jesus Christ|resurrection of Jesus]].  Other notable defenders of the resurrection include: [[William Lane Craig]], [[Ben Witherington]], [[Lee Strobel]], [[Josh McDowell]], [[Edwin M. Yamauchi]], [[N.T. Wright]], and [[Michael Horner]].<ref>
+
* http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/menus/historical.html
+
* http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/josh2.html
+
* http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/yama.html
+
* http://www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Early_Traditions.htm
+
* http://www.michaelhorner.com/articles/resurrection/index.html</ref> In addition, much has been written defending the resurrection of Christ in the field of [[Christian Legal Apologetics|Christian legal apologetics]].
+
 
+
=== Ascension into Heaven ===
+
He was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him form their sight. They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, "why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky. Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen Him go there." Acts 1:9-11
+
 
+
Scripture posits two purposes related to man for the ascension of Jesus: 1. it was to the right hand of the Father (showing favorable disposition of the Father to the Son to hear His requests) from which position Jesus intercedes to the Father on our behalf, and 2. Having ascended to the Father, He received from the Father the Spirit. The Father pours out the Spirit "through the Son" upon the Church. The "first Pentecost"
+
 
+
=== Return of Jesus from heaven to earth===
+
I gazed into the visions of the night and I saw coming on the clouds of heaven, One like a son of man. He came to the One of Great Age and was led into His presence. On Him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship. And men of all peoples, nations, and languages became His servants. His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away. Nor will His empire ever be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14
+
 
+
The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout and with the voice of the Archangel and with the Horn of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are still alive remaining here will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so will we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thess. 4: 16,17
+
 
+
You were converted to God and became servants of the real, living God; and how you are now waiting for Jesus, His Son, whom He raised from the dead, to come from heaven to save us from the retribution which is coming. 1 Thess, 1:9,10
+
 
+
== Historical Analysis ==
+
=== Dating Jesus' Birth ===
+
Modern historians generally place the actual date of Jesus' birth between 7 and 4 B.C., due to problems reconciling the Roman and Jewish calendars with the [[Gregorian Calendar]] which is in use today throughout the industrialized world.
+
 
+
=== Historicity of Jesus ===
+
Occasionally, non-historians deny the [[historicity of Jesus]] (Having to do with the question of whether Jesus was in fact a real person who had a real life on earth), but few scholars take this seriously. [[Tacitus]], a Roman historian, wrote about Jesus in A.D. 115,<ref>http://www.digisys.net/users/ddalton/evidence_of_jesus_outside_the_bible.htm</ref> and [[Josephus]], a Jewish historian who did not believe in Jesus' divinity, wrote about him.<ref>http://www.christian-thinktank.com/jesusref.html</ref> Dr. [[Gary Habermas]] wrote an extensive analysis of the historicity of Jesus in his work ''The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ'', which discusses many historical sources that mention Jesus.
+
 
+
[[Lee Strobel]]'s book ''[[The Case for Christ]]'' contains a number of interviews with experts on the historical Jesus and a defense of Jesus's resurrection, and is a good resource on this subject.
+
 
+
== Jesus' Name ==
+
=== ''Jesus'' ===
+
The bible doesn't tell us much about the meaning of the name ''Jesus'', but does tell us who gave the name, when the name was given, and a reason the name was given. Luke 2:21 tells us that his name was given (1) "by the angel," (2) and it was given "before He was conceived in the womb." The reason for naming him Jesus seems to be given in Matthew 1:21, which says, "...you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."
+
 
+
==== Hebrew Origin ====
+
The Greeks derived the name from the late Hebrew or Aramaic name Yoshua, today’s version of which is “Joshua”. The earlier Aramaic form was Jehoshua (Y’hoshua) or Joshua., deriving from Hebrew Yah, short for Yahweh, and Aramaic y’shuoh meaning “salvation”. The name thus meant “Jah is salvation”. Both Joshua and Jehoshua were common names in the time of Jesus.
+
 
+
=== ''Christ'' ===
+
 
+
== Teachings of Jesus ==
+
 
+
The Teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ are found in the four [[Gospels]] and other holy documents. 
+
 
+
[http://www.lifeofchrist.com/teachings/sermons/mount/default.asp '''Sermon on the Mount'''] This is the greatest sermon Jesus ever preached. It contains the Lord's prayer, the beatitudes, the golden rule, and practical advice for Christian living.
+
 
+
 
+
'''The Lord's Prayer'''
+
 
+
Our Father who art in heaven,
+
 
+
Hallowed be Your name.
+
 
+
Your kingdom come.
+
 
+
Your will be done,
+
 
+
On earth as it is in heaven.
+
 
+
Give us this day our daily bread.
+
 
+
And forgive us our debts,
+
 
+
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
+
 
+
And do not lead us into temptation,
+
 
+
but deliver us from evil.
+
 
+
For Yours is the kingdom
+
 
+
and the power
+
 
+
and the glory forever.
+
 
+
[[Amen]].
+
 
+
 
+
See [[The Lord's Prayer]] for the Greek and the interlineal transliterated Aramaic and Hebrew versions.
+
 
+
 
+
'''The golden rule:'''
+
 
+
"Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you!"
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'''Prayer To Receive Him Now '''
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''"Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Thank you for coming to Earth and dying so that I could have eternal life. Please forgive all my sins. I am going to follow You with my life now. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and direct my steps. In Jesus' name, [[Amen]]."'' <ref> [http://www.jesus2020.com/jesus.html Prayer To Receive Him Now]</ref>
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== See also ==
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*[[Andrew the Apostle]]
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*[[Atonement]]
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*[[Byzantine Empire]]
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*[[Eucharist]]
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*[[Lazarus (brother of Mary)]]
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*[[Lazarus (Parable)]]
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*[[Judaism]]
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*[[New Testament understanding through the Jewish perspective]]
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*[[Passover Seder]]
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==References==
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{{reflist}}
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== External links ==
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* [http://www.lifeofchrist.com/life/lifescan/default.asp Summary of the Life of Jesus]
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* [http://www.lifeofchrist.com/life/lifescan/teachings.asp Teachings of Jesus]
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* [http://www.lifeofchrist.com/teachings/sermons/ Sermons of Jesus Christ]
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* [http://www.ccci.org/wij/ Who is Jesus? Is Jesus Christ God?]
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* [http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=19&sub=302&cat_name=Jesus&subcat_name=Background Jesus Background] Bible History on line.
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* [http://www.lewissociety.org/ C. S. Lewis Society of California].
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* [http://www.lewissociety.org/bodily.php The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, by William Lane Craig].
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* [http://www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Historical_Problem.htm Christian Origins and the Resurrection of Jesus: The Resurrection of Jesus as a Historical Problem, by N. T. Wright].
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* [http://www.lewissociety.org/resurrection.php Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, by William Lane Craig].
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* [http://www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Justice_Jesus.htm Doing Justice to Jesus: A Response to J.D. Crossan: "What Victory? What God?", by N. T. Wright].
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* [http://www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Historical_Jesus.htm The Historical Jesus and Christian Theology, by N. T. Wright].
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* [http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=37 The Wright Quest for the Historical Jesus, by Ben Witherington, III].
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[[Category:Jesus]]
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[[Category:Christianity]]
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[[Category:Christian History]]
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[[Category:Religion]]
 
[[Category:Religion]]
[[Category:Biblical Persons]]
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[[Category:Left-wing activists]]
[[Category:Divine Beings]]
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Revision as of 20:04, November 18, 2008

Jesus or Jesus Christ is commonly known as the central figure of Christianity. In Christian theology Jesus is the son of God, born to the Virgin Mary, and was sacrificed to atone for humanity's sins.

Birth

For a more detailed treatment, see Virgin birth.

According to Christian mythology Jesus was born to a virgin mother—yet the Bible also claims that he was the direct male line descendant of King David through Joseph, who was not his father. Furthermore, because Jesus was born through parthenogenesis, a phenomenon not naturally observed in mammals (although it has been artificially induced in rabbits), his genes would have come only from Mary. Unfortunately for the Bible's claims, Mary is a female. In animals using the XY chromosome system, parthenogenesis always results in female offspring. Thus, Jesus would also have to be female, because only Mary's female genes were passed on to "him." But because it is generally agreed that Jesus is a male, it is possible to prove that Jesus was conceived naturally through Reductio Ad Absurdum.

Jesus' Life

In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Judea) to Mary, who at the time was a virgin, and the Holy Spirit. The Gospel of Luke relates that the angel Gabriel visited Mary in order to announce to her that she had been chosen to bear the Son of God (Luke 1:26–38). Alternatively his father may have been Joseph. There were any number of men in Judea capable of fathering a child. His father may even been a depraved, lecherous Roman soldier called Pantera or even an alien. An order of Caesar Augustus, that a survey of the Roman Empire should be made caused Mary and Joseph to leave Nazareth and go to the home of Joseph's forebears - to the house of King David. After Jesus' birth, they were forced to use a manger for a crib because the town's inn was full. According to Luke 2:8–20, an angel spread word of Jesus' birth to several shepherds who came to visit the newborn. Matthew also tells of the "Magi", (Zoroastrian priests), who brought many gifts to the infant Jesus (among which were gold, frankincense, and myrrh; this has led to the incorrect assumption that three Magi were present, whereas the actual number is not given) after following a star which they believed was an indication that the Messiah, or King of the Jews, had been born. Despite popular belief, nowhere does the bible mention how many Magi actually came.

Jesus' early home is stated to have been in the town of Nazareth in Galilee, and except for an escape to Egypt in early childhood, to avoid Herod's massacre of the other male infants, all other events in the Gospels take place in ancient Israel. Luke's Finding in the Temple (Luke 2:41–52), where Jesus impressed the priests by discoursing in scripture with them, is the only detailed event between Jesus' infancy and adult life mentioned in any of the canonical Gospels.

The Gospel of Mark begins with the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, which appears to be the beginning of Jesus' public ministry. Jesus came to the River Jordan, where John was preaching and baptizing people in the crowd. After Jesus had been baptized, and had risen up out of the water, Mark states Jesus 'saw the heavens torn apart and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased' (Mark 1:10–11). Luke adds the chronological anchor that John the Baptist had begun preaching in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, approximately in 28 AD (Luke 3:1) and that Jesus was thirty years old when he was baptized (Luke 3:23).

After this baptism, according to Matthew, Jesus was brought into the desert by God, where he fasted for forty days and nights. During this period, Satan appeared before him and tried three times to tempt Jesus into demonstrating his supernatural powers as a proof of his divine status; each temptation was refused by Jesus, with a scriptural quote from the Book of Deuteronomy.

File:Angry Jesus.jpg
Jesus gets tough with the money-changers in the temple.

Jesus then began to preach. The Gospel of John describes three different passover feasts that Jesus attended, thus implying that his ministry lasted three years.

The larger part of this was directed towards his closest followers, the Apostles, although all of his followers were considered disciples. At the highest point of his ministry, Jesus attracted disciples and audiences numbering in the thousands; in particular in the area of Galilee. Many of Jesus' most well-known teachings were given during the Sermon on the Mount, such as the Beatitudes and the Lord's Prayer. Jesus often used parables in his rhetorical technique, such as the Parable of the Good Samaritan and the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats; these teachings encouraged unconditional self-sacrificing love for God and for all people. During these sermons, he also discussed service and humility, forgiveness of sins, how faith should be applied, the Golden Rule, and the necessity of following the spirit of the law as well as its wording.

Jesus also often conversed with social outcasts, such as the publican (Roman tax collectors who were unpopular for their practice of extorting money).

During the trial of Jesus by the Sanhedrin, a court-like body made up of Pharisees and Sadducees, highly orthodox and conservative members of the Jewish community, the high priests and elders asked Jesus, "Are you the Son of God?," and when he replied, "You say that I am," they condemned Jesus for blasphemy (Luke 22:70–71).

Jesus' death

Jesus' slow and tortuous death is believed by Christians to atone humankind for the original sin committed by Adam and Eve. However, as most educated Christians believe the story of Adam and Eve to be either a parable or a myth, this rather leaves open the question of why God should cause Himself to be tortured to atone for a myth. "Jesus Christ" means "Jesus the Saviour" and refers to this idea.

Those who believe in the literal truth of original sin have no problem in believing that God caused all humanity to be cursed for the sin of two people and then decided to torture Himself to make up for it.

Puzzling details about Jesus' crucifixion

  • The biblical account of Jesus' crucifixion states that nails were driven through his hands. In Luke 24:39, a post-resurrection Jesus invites his disciples to inspect the nail holes in his hands and his feet. In John 24:24-27, Jesus invites Thomas to stick his finger into the nail holes in Jesus' hands. The problem: the Romans never nailed a condemned person's hands to a cross. The bones in the hands would tear apart under the person's weight. Instead, they nailed the person's wrists to the cross.
  • Another curiosity would be the very existence of the wounds from the nails and spear. Considering that one might assume that resurrection, the healing of death if you will, might also fix those problems too. Dedeadifying someone only to leave gaping and festering wounds doesn't seem like much of a resurrection. Jesus' pending ascension, however, could explain this significant oversight.
  • Crucifixion was perhaps the most drawn-out form of execution ever devised. The condemned often lingered for days. When the condemned grew tired, they hung limp, stretching out the diaphragm and making it impossible to inhale. The condemned then pulled themselves up by the nails through their wrists. They could breathe as long as they held themselves up in this fashion. Eventually, somebody would break their legs to put them out of their misery. The Romans then left the body on the cross for days, allowing scavengers to pick at it as a warning to would-be insurrectionists. The problems:
    • After only a few hours on the cross, Jesus cried out, "It is finished" [1] and "died." Was he in such poor health that he died so quickly? Probably so. He had been pierced in the side with a spear, and had had to drag the cross to Calvary, falling three times, having been whipped across the entire journey. This isn't exactly conducive to resistance to torture.
    • According to John 19:31, the Jews asked Pontius Pilate to send a centurion to break the legs of Jesus and the two thieves crucified with him so the three of them could die and be entombed before the Sabbath began. This seems an odd request. Pilate's granting of their request is equally odd. Since the Romans used crucifixion to intimidate their subjects, isn't it logical that Pilate would say "no" and allow the bodies to remain on their crosses? If this was a request normally granted to the Jews on the sabbath, why would the Romans schedule these crucifixions mere hours before the sabbath began? Wouldn't they wait until the sabbath was over and then crucify Jesus and the two thieves?
    • Because Jesus "died" before the centurion came to break his legs,[2] skeptics believe that he had merely passed out and later came to in the tomb (see surviving crucifixion).

Alternate Perceptions

Many non-canonical Gospels present Jesus from an alternative perspective, and the apostles, as well. For example, in Matthew 10:34, Jesus claims to bring not peace, but "fire and a sword." The same line is duplicated in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas, in which Jesus is presented as a wise teacher of neo-Platonist, Gnostic Judaism. It is hard to reconcile this line with the popular modern perception of Jesus, leading most to believe that the real person Jesus, and his real ministry, were likely much more complicated than modern Christianity maintains, and interpreted differently by different people.

Similarly, the acts that Jesus inspired in his followers differ according to different tales. Christianity emerged, as a result of Pauline leadership, as a steady-state religion that could weave subtly into the fabric of the Roman Empire. Other tales of Jesus and his followers, though, make him out to be much more of a revolutionary. For example, a tale exists called the Acts of Paul & Thecla, in which Paul treats a Roman woman as his equal and fellow in Christ, leading her to oppose the Roman way of life and seek spiritual peace in a much more Gnostic sense. In this tale, Paul also appears as much more of a social revolutionary than we have come to know him. Acts was a popular story in the early Roman world. However, it has largely vanished, as a result of its lack of incorporation into the canon.

It is possible that this revolutionary, original personality of the Jesus movement was deliberately abandoned by Paul in his attempt to popularize the religion. Also abandoned by Paul were the strong Jewish roots of Christianity.

Ideas about the nature of Jesus

The nature of Jesus has caused much debate over the years:

  1. Jesus had only one, divine nature. (Monophysitism)
  2. Jesus existed as two different persons, the mortal man and the divine Logos, which co-existed in one body. (Nestorianism)
  3. Sort of a compromise between the two, decided at a conference called the Council of Nicaea (325 CE) and the later Council of Chalcedon (451 CE), resulting in the Chalcedonian or orthodox Christian view.
  4. Jesus was a divine being, but created by and subservient to God the Father. (Arianism)
  5. Jesus was a man, but Divinely inspired (Ebionitism)
  6. Jesus was wholly God and his human form an illusion (Docetism).
  7. Jesus had two natures in one person, a human and a divine, but only one will. (Monothelitism)
  8. Jesus never existed[3] --- which suggests that Jesus was more of a concept than a person and that there were numerous people called Jesus in the first century CE
  9. Jesus was just this guy, you know. This version does get a nice consolation prize.

For most of the Middle Ages option 3 gained popular favor, partly due to the slight risk of being burnt alive if on the losing side of the argument.

Maimonides' view of Jesus

One Jewish understanding of the messiah is based on the writings of Maimonides, (also known as Rambam). His views on the messiah are discussed in his Mishneh Torah, his 14 volume compendium of Jewish law. In Judaism, Jesus is not considered to be the Messiah. According to Maimonides:

"As for Jesus of Nazareth, who claimed to be the Anointed One and was condemned by the Sanhedrin. Daniel had already prophesied about him, thus: 'And the children of your people's rebels shall raise themselves to set up prophecy and will stumble.' (Ibid. 14) Can there be a bigger stumbling block than this? All the Prophets said that the Anointed One saves Israel and rescues them, gathers their strayed ones and strengthens their mitzvot whereas this one caused the loss of Israel by sword, and to scatter their remnant and humiliate them, and to change the Torah and to cause most of the world to erroneously worship a god besides the Lord. But the human mind has no power to reach the thoughts of the Creator, for his thoughts and ways are unlike ours. All these matters of Yeshu of Nazareth and of Muhammad who stood up after him are only intended to pave the way for the Anointed King, and to mend the entire world to worship God together, thus: 'For then I shall turn a clear tongue to the nations to call all in the Name of the Lord and to worship him with one shoulder.'"

"How is this? The entire world had become filled with the issues of the Anointed One and of the Torah and the Laws, and these issues had spread out unto faraway islands and among many nations uncircumcised in the heart, and they discuss these issues and the Torah's laws. These say: These Laws were true but are already defunct in these days, and do not rule for the following generations; whereas the other ones say: There are secret layers in them and they are not to be treated literally, and the Messiah had come and revealed their secret meanings. But when the Anointed King will truly rise and succeed and will be raised and uplifted, they all immediately turn about and know that their fathers inherited falsehood, and their prophets and ancestors led them astray."

Historical Jesus

There are no contemporary sources on Jesus' life. All surviving mentions of Jesus in ancient times are in texts written by Christians decades or more after his supposed death. No official Roman sources mention him, and the gospels contradict themselves and each other on the key events. The New Testament is factually incorrect on many historical events, such as the reign of Herod and the Roman census. Therefore, it is not clear whether Jesus was in fact a historical person.

An important tactic of Conservative Christians in their attempts to dominate the world is to try to use science to prove that Jesus really did exist. Ironically, their attempts to do this are not blocked or dismissed by scholars, because many, if not most, scholars already accept the idea that Jesus was a real man who, in or around 30 CE, was acting as teacher, mystic, spiritualist, healer, political activist, or religious revolutionary. The scholarly claims [4] are made and backed up not by historical records, of which there are precious few, but through accepted claims on the nature of mythology and new religions[5].

  1. It is traditionally accepted that myths generally do not derive from thin air, and that the characters and stories in these myths are exaggerations, deifications , or simple mischaracterizaions of events and persons that really existed and did "something" of some kind of note.
  2. Within 10 years of each other, 10-20 churches "pop up" throughout Jerusalem and the Aramaic world which all name the Christ character "Jesus".

But fear not, good atheists, agnostics, and all those who routinely battle Fundamental Christians or other pushy types. Just because a dude "likely existed" and was probably walking around saying loony things about mustard seeds, this in no way validates anything that is in the Biblical accounts of the mythic Christ character. That is to say, even if we could without a doubt prove the existence of Jesus of Nazareth, that hardly proves he died. Well he died, everyone dies. It hardly proves his Daddy brought him back to life, holes in his hands and all.

Racism

Jesus was a dark skinned Jewish Arab. Many nice white Christians look down on people with that skin color. They wouldn't want anyone as dark as Jesus in their churches. Christian pictures don't depict Jesus as he was.

  • The Last Temptation, from greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis, later adapted to film by Martin Scorsese.
  • The Passion of the Christ, a film by (and for) Mel Gibson.
  • Jesus Christ Superstar, rock opera about the last days of Jesus, and a wet dream for many Christians.
  • The Book of Daniel (TV series), canceled due to low ratings.
  • The Bible, number one bestselling work of fiction ever.

Quotes about Jesus

  • "I like your Christ very much. I don't like your Christians." - The Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi [6]
  • John 19:30
  • John 19:33
  • See Jesus never existed.
  • as opposed to those people trying to prove Jesus existed to further either a religious agenda or a conspiracy agenda
  • Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, ISSN# ; J.D. Crossan, The Historical Jesus ISBN-10: 0060616296;
    • "The message of Christ is not Christianity. The message of Christ is Christ." -Gary Amirault
    • "I would like to ask Him if He was indeed virgin born, because the answer to that question would define history." –Larry King
    • "Jesus' major goal is to reveal his Father to those who will repent and trust in him as their only way of salvation from his Father's anger at them for their sin." -Conservapedia
    • "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first -- rock'n'roll or Christianity. Jesus was alright, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me." - John Lennon
    • "Jesus is just alright with me, Jesus is just alright, oh yeah." - written by Arthur Reynolds, as performed by The Byrds, The Doobie Brothers, and Alvin and the Chipmunks, among others.

    See also

    Footnotes

    1. John 19:30
    2. John 19:33
    3. See Jesus never existed.
    4. as opposed to those people trying to prove Jesus existed to further either a religious agenda or a conspiracy agenda
    5. Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, ISSN# ; J.D. Crossan, The Historical Jesus ISBN-10: 0060616296;
      • "The message of Christ is not Christianity. The message of Christ is Christ." -Gary Amirault
      • "I would like to ask Him if He was indeed virgin born, because the answer to that question would define history." –Larry King
      • "Jesus' major goal is to reveal his Father to those who will repent and trust in him as their only way of salvation from his Father's anger at them for their sin." -Conservapedia
      • "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first -- rock'n'roll or Christianity. Jesus was alright, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me." - John Lennon
      • "Jesus is just alright with me, Jesus is just alright, oh yeah." - written by Arthur Reynolds, as performed by The Byrds, The Doobie Brothers, and Alvin and the Chipmunks, among others.

      See also

      Footnotes

      <references/>