Christian views of Jesus

Christian views of Jesus

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Christian views of Jesus'
Start a new discussion about 'Christian views of Jesus'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia

Christian views of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 are based on the teachings and beliefs outlined in the Canonical gospels, New Testament letters
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, and the Christian creeds. These outline the key beliefs held by Christian about Jesus, including his divinity, humanity, and earthly life. Generally speaking, adhering to the Christian faith requires a belief that Jesus is the Son of God
Son of God
"Son of God" is a phrase which according to most Christian denominations, Trinitarian in belief, refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son"...

 and the Messiah
Messiah
A messiah is a redeemer figure expected or foretold in one form or another by a religion. Slightly more widely, a messiah is any redeemer figure. Messianic beliefs or theories generally relate to eschatological improvement of the state of humanity or the world, in other words the World to...

or Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

. Jesus refers to himself as the Son of God in the New Testament.

Christians consider Jesus the Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

 and believe that through his death and resurrection
Resurrection of Jesus
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

, humans can be reconciled to God and thereby are offered salvation and the promise of eternal life
Eternal life (Christianity)
In Christianity the term eternal life traditionally refers to continued life after death, rather than immortality. While scholars such as John H. Leith assert that...

. These teachings emphasize that as the willing Lamb of God
Lamb of God
The title Lamb of God appears in the Gospel of John, with the exclamation of John the Baptist: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" in John 1:29 when he sees Jesus....

, Jesus chose to suffer in Calvary
Calvary
Calvary or Golgotha was the site, outside of ancient Jerusalem’s early first century walls, at which the crucifixion of Jesus is said to have occurred. Calvary and Golgotha are the English names for the site used in Western Christianity...

 as a sign of his full obedience to the will of the Eternal Father
God the Father
God the Father is a gendered title given to God in many monotheistic religions, particularly patriarchal, Abrahamic ones. In Judaism, God is called Father because he is the creator, life-giver, law-giver, and protector...

, as an "agent and servant of God". The choice Jesus made thus counter-positions him as a new man of morality and obedience, in contrast to Adam
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were, according to the Genesis creation narratives, the first human couple to inhabit Earth, created by YHWH, the God of the ancient Hebrews...

's disobedience.

Most Christians believe that Jesus was both human and the Son of God. While there have been theological debate over the nature of Jesus, Trinitarian
Trinitarian Order
The Order of the Holy Trinity is a Catholic religious order that was founded in the area of Cerfroid, some 80 km northeast of Paris, at the end of the twelfth century. The founder was St. John de Matha, whose feast day is celebrated on 17 December...

 Christians generally believe that Jesus is the Logos, God incarnate
Incarnation (Christianity)
The Incarnation in traditional Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ the second person of the Trinity, also known as God the Son or the Logos , "became flesh" by being conceived in the womb of a woman, the Virgin Mary, also known as the Theotokos .The Incarnation is a fundamental theological...

, God the Son
God the Son
God the Son is the second person of the Trinity in Christian theology. The doctrine of the Trinity identifies Jesus of Nazareth as God the Son, united in essence but distinct in person with regard to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit...

, and "true God and true man
Hypostatic union
Hypostatic union is a technical term in Christian theology employed in mainstream Christology to describe the union of Christ's humanity and divinity in one hypostasis.The First Council of Ephesus recognised this doctrine and affirmed its importance, stating that the...

" (or both fully divine and fully human). Jesus, having become fully human
Incarnation (Christianity)
The Incarnation in traditional Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ the second person of the Trinity, also known as God the Son or the Logos , "became flesh" by being conceived in the womb of a woman, the Virgin Mary, also known as the Theotokos .The Incarnation is a fundamental theological...

 in all respects, suffered the pains and temptations of a mortal man, yet he did not sin. As fully God, he defeated death and rose to life again. According to the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, God raised him from the dead. He ascended to heaven, to sit
Session of Christ
The Christian doctrine of the Session of Christ or heavenly session says that Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven—the word "session" is an archaic noun meaning "sitting." Although the word formerly meant "the act of sitting down," it no longer has that meaning in...

 at the "Right Hand of God
Right Hand of God
The Right Hand of God or God's Right Hand may refer to the Hand of God often referred to in the Bible and common speech as a metaphor for the omnipotence of God and as a motif in art...

," and he will return to earth again
Second Coming
In Christian doctrine, the Second Coming of Christ, the Second Advent, or the Parousia, is the anticipated return of Jesus Christ from Heaven, where he sits at the Right Hand of God, to Earth. This prophecy is found in the canonical gospels and in most Christian and Islamic eschatologies...

 for the Last Judgment
Last Judgment
The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord in Christian theology, is the final and eternal judgment by God of every nation. The concept is found in all the Canonical gospels, particularly the Gospel of Matthew. It will purportedly take place after the...

 and the establishment of the Kingdom of God
Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven is a foundational concept in the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.The term "Kingdom of God" is found in all four canonical gospels and in the Pauline epistles...

 in the World to Come
World to Come
The World to Come is an eschatological phrase reflecting the belief that the "current world" is flawed or cursed and will be replaced in the future by a better world or a paradise. The concept is similar to the concepts of Heaven and the afterlife, but Heaven is another place generally seen as...

.

Overview


Christian views of Jesus are derived from various sources, but especially from the canonical Gospels, and New Testament letters, such as the Pauline Epistles
Pauline epistles
The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen New Testament books which have the name Paul as the first word, hence claiming authorship by Paul the Apostle. Among these letters are some of the earliest extant Christian documents...

. Christians predominantly hold that these works are historically true.

The five major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus are his Baptism
Baptism of Jesus
The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of Jesus Christ's public ministry. This event is recorded in the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In John 1:29-33 rather than a direct narrative, the Baptist bears witness to the episode...

, Transfiguration
Transfiguration of Jesus
The Transfiguration of Jesus is an event reported in the New Testament in which Jesus is transfigured and becomes radiant upon a mountain. The Synoptic Gospels describe it, and 2 Peter 1:16-18 refers to it....

, Crucifixion
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally executed on a cross...

, Resurrection
Resurrection of Jesus
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

 and Ascension. These are usually bracketed by two other episodes: his Nativity
Nativity of Jesus
The Nativity of Jesus, or simply The Nativity, refers to the accounts of the birth of Jesus in two of the Canonical gospels and in various apocryphal texts....

 at the beginning and the sending of the Paraclete
Paraclete
Paraclete means advocate or helper. In Christianity, the term most commonly refers to the Holy Spirit.-Etymology:...

 at the end. The gospel accounts of the teachings of Jesus are often presented in terms of specific categories involving his "works and words", e.g. his ministry
Ministry of Jesus
In the Christian gospels, the Ministry of Jesus begins with his Baptism in the countryside of Judea, near the River Jordan and ends in Jerusalem, following the Last Supper with his disciples. The Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was "about 30 years of age" at the start of his ministry...

, parables
Parables of Jesus
The parables of Jesus can be found in all the Canonical gospels as well as in some of the non-canonical gospels but are located mainly within the three synoptic gospels. They represent a key part of the teachings of Jesus, forming approximately one third of his recorded teachings...

 and miracles
Miracles of Jesus
The miracles of Jesus are the supernatural deeds of Jesus, as recorded in Gospels, in the course of his ministry. According to the Gospel of John, only some of these were recorded. states that "Jesus did many other things as well...

.

Christians not only attach theological significance to the works of Jesus, but also to his name. Devotions to the Holy Name of Jesus
Holy Name of Jesus
In Christianity, the Holy Name of Jesus refers to the theological and devotional use of the name of Jesus. The reverence and affection with which Christians have regarded the Holy Name of Jesus goes back to the earliest days of Christianity....

 go back to the earliest days of Christianity
Early Christianity
Early Christianity is generally considered as Christianity before 325. The New Testament's Book of Acts and Epistle to the Galatians records that the first Christian community was centered in Jerusalem and its leaders included James, Peter and John....

. These devotions and feasts exist both in Eastern
Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to...

 and Western Christianity.

Christians predominantly profess that through his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus restored man's communion with God in the blood of the New Covenant
New Covenant
The New Covenant is a concept originally derived from the Hebrew Bible. The term "New Covenant" is used in the Bible to refer to an epochal relationship of restoration and peace following a period of trial and judgment...

. His death on a cross is understood as a redemptive sacrifice: the source of humanity's salvation
Salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

 and the atonement for sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

, which had entered human history through the sin of Adam
Original sin
Original sin is, according to a Christian theological doctrine, humanity's state of sin resulting from the Fall of Man. This condition has been characterized in many ways, ranging from something as insignificant as a slight deficiency, or a tendency toward sin yet without collective guilt, referred...

. However, not all Christian denominations agree on all doctrines, and both major and minor differences on teachings and beliefs persist throughout Christianity.

Christ, Logos and Son of God




Christians generally consider Jesus to be the Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

, the long awaited Messiah
Messiah
A messiah is a redeemer figure expected or foretold in one form or another by a religion. Slightly more widely, a messiah is any redeemer figure. Messianic beliefs or theories generally relate to eschatological improvement of the state of humanity or the world, in other words the World to...

, as well as the one and only Son of God
Son of God
"Son of God" is a phrase which according to most Christian denominations, Trinitarian in belief, refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son"...

. The opening words in the Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Mark
The Gospel According to Mark , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Mark or simply Mark, is the second book of the New Testament. This canonical account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth is one of the three synoptic gospels. It was thought to be an epitome, which accounts for its place as the second...

 (1:1), namely "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God" provide Jesus with the two distinct attributions of Christ and the Son of God. The divinity being again re-affirmed in Mark 1:11. Matthew 1:1 also starts by calling Jesus Christ and Matthew 1:16 explains it again with: "Jesus, who is called Christ".

In the Letters of Saint Paul
Pauline epistles
The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen New Testament books which have the name Paul as the first word, hence claiming authorship by Paul the Apostle. Among these letters are some of the earliest extant Christian documents...

 the word Christ is so closely associated with Jesus that it is apparent that for the early Christians there is no need to claim that Jesus is Christ, for that is considered widely accepted among them. Hence Paul can use the term Christos with no confusion as to who it refers to, and as in
and he can use expressions such as "in Christ" to refer to the followers of Jesus.

In the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, the title "Son of God" is applied to Jesus on many occasions. It is often used to refer to his divinity, from the beginning in the Annunciation
Annunciation
The Annunciation, also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary or Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Virgin Mary, that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus the Son of God. Gabriel told Mary to name her...

 up to the Crucifixion
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally executed on a cross...

. The declaration that Jesus is the Son of God is made by many individuals in the New Testament, and on two separate occasions by God the Father
God the Father
God the Father is a gendered title given to God in many monotheistic religions, particularly patriarchal, Abrahamic ones. In Judaism, God is called Father because he is the creator, life-giver, law-giver, and protector...

 as a voice from Heaven, and is asserted by Jesus himself.

In Christology
Christology
Christology is the field of study within Christian theology which is primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Primary considerations include the relationship of Jesus' nature and person with the nature...

, the conception that the Christ is the Logos (i.e. The Word) has been important in establishing the doctrine of the divinity
Divinity
Divinity and divine are broadly applied but loosely defined terms, used variously within different faiths and belief systems — and even by different individuals within a given faith — to refer to some transcendent or transcendental power or deity, or its attributes or manifestations in...

 of Christ and his position as God the Son
God the Son
God the Son is the second person of the Trinity in Christian theology. The doctrine of the Trinity identifies Jesus of Nazareth as God the Son, united in essence but distinct in person with regard to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit...

 in the Trinity
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

 as set forth in the Chalcedonian Creed
Chalcedonian Creed
The Confession of Chalcedon , also known as the Doctrine of the Hypostatic Union or the Two-Nature Doctrine, was adopted at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 in Asia Minor. That Council of Chalcedon is one of the first seven Ecumenical Councils accepted by Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, and many...

. The conception derives from the opening of the Gospel of John
John 1:1
' is the first verse in the Gospel of John. The King James Version of the verse reads, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". The phrase "the Word" is widely interpreted as referring to Jesus, as indicated in other verses later in the same chapter...

, commonly translated into English as: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." In the original Greek, Logos
Logos
' is an important term in philosophy, psychology, rhetoric and religion. Originally a word meaning "a ground", "a plea", "an opinion", "an expectation", "word," "speech," "account," "reason," it became a technical term in philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus ' is an important term in...

(λόγος) is used for "Word," and in theological discourse, this is often left untranslated.

The pre-existence of Christ
Pre-existence of Christ
The pre-existence of Christ refers to the doctrine of the ontological or personal existence of Christ before his conception. One of the relevant Bible passages is where, in the Trinitarian view, Christ is identified with a pre-existent divine hypostasis called the Logos or Word...

refers to the doctrine of the personal
Person of Christ
In Christology, the Person of Christ refers to the study of the human and divine natures of Jesus Christ as they co-exist within one person.There are no direct discussion in the New Testament regarding the dual nature of the Person of Christ as both divine and human...

 existence of Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

 before his conception. One of the relevant Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 passages is where, in the Trinitarian
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

 view, Christ is identified with a pre-existent divine hypostasis called the Logos
Logos
' is an important term in philosophy, psychology, rhetoric and religion. Originally a word meaning "a ground", "a plea", "an opinion", "an expectation", "word," "speech," "account," "reason," it became a technical term in philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus ' is an important term in...

 or Word. However, other non-Trinitarian
Nontrinitarianism
Nontrinitarianism includes all Christian belief systems that disagree with the doctrine of the Trinity, namely, the teaching that God is three distinct hypostases and yet co-eternal, co-equal, and indivisibly united in one essence or ousia...

 views question the aspect of personal pre-existence or question the aspect of divinity, or both. This doctrine is reiterated in John 17:5 when Jesus refers to the glory which he had with the Father "before the world was" during the Farewell discourse
Farewell discourse
In the New Testament, Chapters 14-17 of the Gospel of John are known as the Farewell Discourse given by Jesus to eleven of his disciples at the conclusion of the Last Supper in Jerusalem, the night before his crucifixion....

. John 17:24 also refers to the Father loving Jesus "before the foundation of the world".

Following the Apostolic Age
Apostolic Age
The Apostolic Age of the history of Christianity is traditionally the period of the Twelve Apostles, dating from the Crucifixion of Jesus and the Great Commission in Jerusalem until the death of John the Apostle in Anatolia...

, from the 2nd century onwards, a number of controversies developed about how the human and divine are related within the person of Jesus. Eventually in 451 the Hypostatic union
Hypostatic union
Hypostatic union is a technical term in Christian theology employed in mainstream Christology to describe the union of Christ's humanity and divinity in one hypostasis.The First Council of Ephesus recognised this doctrine and affirmed its importance, stating that the...

was decreed, namely that Jesus is both fully divine and fully human. However, differences among Christian denominations continued thereafter - see the article on Christology
Christology
Christology is the field of study within Christian theology which is primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Primary considerations include the relationship of Jesus' nature and person with the nature...

 for details.

Incarnation, Nativity and Second Adam




Apostle Paul viewed the birth of Jesus as an event of cosmic significance which brought forth a "new man" who undid the damage caused by the fall of the first man, Adam
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were, according to the Genesis creation narratives, the first human couple to inhabit Earth, created by YHWH, the God of the ancient Hebrews...

. Just as the Johannine
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

 view of Jesus as the incarnate Logos
Logos
' is an important term in philosophy, psychology, rhetoric and religion. Originally a word meaning "a ground", "a plea", "an opinion", "an expectation", "word," "speech," "account," "reason," it became a technical term in philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus ' is an important term in...

 proclaims the universal relevance of his birth, the Pauline perspective emphasizes the birth of a new man and a new world in the birth of Jesus. Paul's eschatological
Eschatology
Eschatology is a part of theology, philosophy, and futurology concerned with what are believed to be the final events in history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end of the world or the World to Come...

 view of Jesus counter-positions him as a new man of morality and obedience, in contrast to Adam
Adam
Adam is a figure in the Book of Genesis. According to the creation myth of Abrahamic religions, he is the first human. In the Genesis creation narratives, he was created by Yahweh-Elohim , and the first woman, Eve was formed from his rib...

. Unlike Adam, the new man born in Jesus obeys God and ushers in a world of morality and salvation.

In the Pauline view, Adam is positioned as the first man and Jesus as the second: Adam, having corrupted himself by his disobedience, also infected humanity and left it with a curse as inheritance. The birth of Jesus, on the other hand, counter-balanced the fall of Adam, bringing forth redemption and repairing the damage done by Adam.

In the 2nd century Church Father Irenaeus
Irenaeus
Saint Irenaeus , was Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, then a part of the Roman Empire . He was an early church father and apologist, and his writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology...

 writes:


"When He became incarnate and was made man, He commenced afresh the long line of human beings, and furnished us, in a brief, comprehensive manner, with salvation; so that what we had lost in Adam - namely to be according to the image and likeness of God- that we might recover in Christ Jesus."


In patristic theology, Paul's contrasting of Jesus as the new man versus Adam provided a framework for discussing the uniqueness of the birth of Jesus and the ensuing events of his life. The Nativity of Jesus thus began to serve as the starting point for "cosmic Christology" in which the birth, life and Resurrection of Jesus have universal implications. The concept of Jesus as the "new man" repeats in the cycle of birth and re-birth of Jesus from his Nativity to his Resurrection
Resurrection of Jesus
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

: following his birth, through his morality and obedience to the Father, Jesus began a new harmony in the relationship between God the Father and man. The Nativity and Resurrection of Jesus thus created the author and exemplar of a new humanity. In this view, the birth, death and Resurrection of Jesus brought about salvation, undoing the damage of Adam.

Ministry


In the Canonical gospels, the Ministry of Jesus
Ministry of Jesus
In the Christian gospels, the Ministry of Jesus begins with his Baptism in the countryside of Judea, near the River Jordan and ends in Jerusalem, following the Last Supper with his disciples. The Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was "about 30 years of age" at the start of his ministry...

 begins with his Baptism
Baptism of Jesus
The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of Jesus Christ's public ministry. This event is recorded in the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In John 1:29-33 rather than a direct narrative, the Baptist bears witness to the episode...

 in the countryside of Judea
Judea
Judea or Judæa was the name of the mountainous southern part of the historic Land of Israel from the 8th century BCE to the 2nd century CE, when Roman Judea was renamed Syria Palaestina following the Jewish Bar Kokhba revolt.-Etymology:The...

, near the River Jordan and ends in Jerusalem
Jerusalem in Christianity
For Christians, Jerusalem's place in the ministry of Jesus and the Apostolic Age gives it great importance, in addition to its place in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible.-Jerusalem in the New Testament and early Christianity:...

, following the Last Supper
Last Supper
The Last Supper is the final meal that, according to Christian belief, Jesus shared with his Twelve Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The Last Supper provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist, also known as "communion" or "the Lord's Supper".The First Epistle to the Corinthians is...

. The Gospel of Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

 (3:23) states that Jesus was "about 30 years of age" at the start of his ministry. The date of the start of his ministry has been estimated at around 27-29 AD/CE and the end in the range 30-36 AD/CE.

Jesus' Early Galilean ministry begins when after his Baptism, he goes back to Galilee
Return of Jesus to Galilee
The Return of Jesus to Galilee is an episode in the life of Jesus that appears in three of the Canonical Gospels: , and . It relates the return of Jesus to Galillee upon the imprisonment of John the Baptist.According to the Gospel of John:...

 from his time in the Judean desert. In this early period he preaches around Galilee and recruits his first disciples
First disciples of Jesus
The call of the First disciples of Jesus is a key episode in the life of Jesus in the New Testament. It appears in , and on the Sea of Galilee. reports the first encounter with two of the disciples a little earlier in the presence of John the Baptist...

 who begin to travel with him and eventually form the core of the early Church
Early Christianity
Early Christianity is generally considered as Christianity before 325. The New Testament's Book of Acts and Epistle to the Galatians records that the first Christian community was centered in Jerusalem and its leaders included James, Peter and John....

. The Major Galilean ministry which begins in Matthew 8 includes the Commissioning the twelve Apostles
Commissioning the twelve Apostles
Commissioning the twelve Apostles is an episode in the life of Jesus that appears in all three Synoptic Gospels: , and but not in the Canonical Gospel of John. It relates the initial selection of the twelve Apostles among the disciples of Jesus....

, and covers most of the ministry of Jesus in Galilee. The Final Galilean ministry begins after the death of John the Baptist as Jesus prepares to go to Jerusalem.

In the Later Judean ministry Jesus starts his final journey to Jerusalem through Judea. As Jesus travels towards Jerusalem, in the Later Perean ministry, about one third the way down from the Sea of Galilee along the River Jordan, he returns to the area where he was baptized.

The Final ministry in Jerusalem is sometimes called the Passion Week and begins with the Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem
Triumphal entry into Jerusalem
In the accounts of the four canonical Gospels, Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem takes place in the days before the Last Supper, marking the beginning of his Passion....

. The gospels provide more details about the final ministry than the other periods, devoting about one third of their text to the last week of the life of Jesus in Jerusalem
Holy Week
Holy Week in Christianity is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter...

.

Teachings, parables and miracles


In the New Testament the teachings of Jesus are presented in terms of his "words and works". The words of Jesus include a number of sermons, as well as parables
Parables of Jesus
The parables of Jesus can be found in all the Canonical gospels as well as in some of the non-canonical gospels but are located mainly within the three synoptic gospels. They represent a key part of the teachings of Jesus, forming approximately one third of his recorded teachings...

 that appear throughout the narrative of the Synoptic Gospels (the gospel of John includes no parables). The works include the miracles
Miracles of Jesus
The miracles of Jesus are the supernatural deeds of Jesus, as recorded in Gospels, in the course of his ministry. According to the Gospel of John, only some of these were recorded. states that "Jesus did many other things as well...

 and other acts performed during his ministry.

Although the Canonical Gospels are the major source of the teachings of Jesus, the Pauline Epistles
Pauline epistles
The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen New Testament books which have the name Paul as the first word, hence claiming authorship by Paul the Apostle. Among these letters are some of the earliest extant Christian documents...

, which were likely written decades before the gospels, provide some of the earliest written accounts of the teachings of Jesus.

The New Testament does not present the teachings of Jesus as merely his own preachings, but equates the words of Jesus with divine revelation, with John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

 stating in John 3:34: "he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God" and Jesus stating in John 7:16: "My teaching is not mine, but his that sent me". In Matthew 11:27 Jesus claims divine knowledge, stating: "No one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son", asserting the mutual knowledge he has with the Father.

Discourses


The gospels include a number of discourses by Jesus on specific occasions, such as the Farewell discourse
Farewell discourse
In the New Testament, Chapters 14-17 of the Gospel of John are known as the Farewell Discourse given by Jesus to eleven of his disciples at the conclusion of the Last Supper in Jerusalem, the night before his crucifixion....

 delivered after the Last Supper
Last Supper
The Last Supper is the final meal that, according to Christian belief, Jesus shared with his Twelve Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The Last Supper provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist, also known as "communion" or "the Lord's Supper".The First Epistle to the Corinthians is...

, the night before his crucifixion. Although some of the teachings of Jesus are reported as taking place within the formal atmosphere of a synagogue (e.g. in Matthew 4:23) many of the discourses are more like conversations than formal lectures.

The Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 has a structured set of sermons, often grouped as the Five Discourses of Matthew
Five Discourses of Matthew
In Christianity, the term Five Discourses of Matthew refers to five specific discourses by Jesus within the Gospel of Matthew.The five discourses are: the Sermon on the Mount, the Missionary Discourse, the Parabolic Discourse, the Discourse on the Church and the Discourse on End Times.Each of the...

 which present many of the key teachings of Jesus. Each of the five discourses has some parallel passages in the Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Mark
The Gospel According to Mark , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Mark or simply Mark, is the second book of the New Testament. This canonical account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth is one of the three synoptic gospels. It was thought to be an epitome, which accounts for its place as the second...

 or the Gospel of Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

. The five discourses in Matthew begin with the Sermon on the Mount
Sermon on the Mount
The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus, which emphasizes his moral teaching found in the Gospel of Matthew...

, which encapsulates many of the moral teaching of Jesus and which is one of the best known and most quoted elements of the New Testament. The Sermon on the Mount includes the Beatitudes
Beatitudes
In Christianity, the Beatitudes are a set of teachings by Jesus that appear in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The term Beatitude comes from the Latin adjective beatus which means happy, fortunate, or blissful....

which describe the character of the people of the Kingdom of God
Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven is a foundational concept in the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.The term "Kingdom of God" is found in all four canonical gospels and in the Pauline epistles...

, expressed as "blessings". The Beatitudes focus on love and humility rather than force and exaction and echo the key ideals of Jesus' teachings on spirituality and compassion. The other discourses in Matthew include the Missionary Discourse in Matthew 10
Matthew 10
Matthew 10 is the tenth chapter in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament section of the Christian Bible. Matthew 10 comes after Jesus had called some of his disciples and before the meeting with the disciples of John the Baptist. This section is also known as the Mission Discourse or the...

 and the Discourse on the Church in Matthew 18, providing instructions to the disciples and laying the foundation of the codes of conduct for the anticipated community of followers.

Parables


The parables of Jesus
Parables of Jesus
The parables of Jesus can be found in all the Canonical gospels as well as in some of the non-canonical gospels but are located mainly within the three synoptic gospels. They represent a key part of the teachings of Jesus, forming approximately one third of his recorded teachings...

 represent a major component of his teachings in the gospels, the approximately thirty parables forming about one third of his recorded teachings. The parables may appear within longer sermons, as well as other places within the narrative. Jesus' parables are seemingly simple and memorable stories, often with imagery, and each conveys a teaching which usually relates the physical world to the spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

 world.

In the 19th century, Lisco and Fairbairn
Patrick Fairbairn
Patrick Fairbairn was a Scottish minister and theologian. He was born in Greenlaw, Berwickshire, and began studying at the University of Edinburgh at the age of 13. He graduated in 1826 and commenced work as a tutor in Orkney. Fairbairn was granted the living of North Ronaldshay in 1830 and...

 stated that in the parables of Jesus, "the image borrowed from the visible world is accompanied by a truth from the invisible (spiritual) world" and that the parables of Jesus are not "mere similitudes which serve the purpose of illustration, but are internal analogies where nature becomes a witness for the spiritual world". Similarly, in the 20th century, calling a parable "an earthly story with a heavenly meaning", William Barclay states that the parables of Jesus use familiar examples to lead men's minds towards heavenly concepts. He suggests that Jesus did not form his parables merely as analogies but based on an "inward affinity between the natural and the spiritual order."

Miracles


In Christian teachings, the miracles of Jesus
Miracles of Jesus
The miracles of Jesus are the supernatural deeds of Jesus, as recorded in Gospels, in the course of his ministry. According to the Gospel of John, only some of these were recorded. states that "Jesus did many other things as well...

 were as much a vehicle for his message as were his words. Many of the miracles emphasize the importance of faith, for instance in Cleansing ten lepers
Cleansing ten lepers
Christ cleansing ten lepers is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels .According to the Gospel, on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him...

, Jesus did not say: "My power has saved you" but says "Rise and go; your faith has saved you." Similarly, in the Walking on Water miracle, Apostle Peter learns an important lesson about faith in that as his faith wavers, he begins to sink.

One characteristic shared among all miracles of Jesus in the Gospel accounts is that he delivered benefits freely and never requested or accepted any form of payment for his healing miracles, unlike some high priests of his time who charged those who were healed. In Matthew 10:8 he advised his disciples to heal the sick without payment and stated: "freely ye received, freely give."

Christians in general believe that Jesus' miracles were actual historical events and that his miraculous works were an important part of his life, attesting to his divinity and the Hypostatic union
Hypostatic union
Hypostatic union is a technical term in Christian theology employed in mainstream Christology to describe the union of Christ's humanity and divinity in one hypostasis.The First Council of Ephesus recognised this doctrine and affirmed its importance, stating that the...

, i.e., the dual natures of Jesus as God and Man. Christians believe that while Jesus' experiences of hunger, weariness, and death were evidences of his humanity, the miracles were evidences of his deity.

Christian authors also view the miracles of Jesus not merely as acts of power and omnipotence, but as works of love and mercy: they were performed not with a view to awe men by the feeling of omnipotence, but to show compassion for sinful and suffering humanity. And each miracle involves specific teachings.

Since according to the Gospel of John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

it was impossible to narrate all of the miracles performed by Jesus, the Catholic Encyclopedia
Catholic Encyclopedia
The Catholic Encyclopedia, also referred to as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia and the Original Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language encyclopedia published in the United States. The first volume appeared in March 1907 and the last three volumes appeared in 1912, followed by a master index...

 states that the miracles presented in the Gospels were selected for a twofold reason: first for the manifestation of God's glory, and then for their evidential value. Jesus referred to his "works" as evidences of his mission and his divinity, and in he declared that his miracles have greater evidential value than the testimony of John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

.

Crucifixion and atonement


The accounts of the crucifixion
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally executed on a cross...

 and subsequent resurrection of Jesus
Resurrection of Jesus
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

 provide a rich background for Christological
Christology
Christology is the field of study within Christian theology which is primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Primary considerations include the relationship of Jesus' nature and person with the nature...

 analysis, from the Canonical Gospels to the Pauline Epistles
Pauline epistles
The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen New Testament books which have the name Paul as the first word, hence claiming authorship by Paul the Apostle. Among these letters are some of the earliest extant Christian documents...

.

In Johannine "agent Christology" the submission of Jesus to crucifixion is a sacrifice made as an agent of God or servant of God, for the sake of eventual victory. This builds on the salvific theme of the Gospel of John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

 which begins in John 1:36 with John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

's proclamation: "The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world". Further reinforcement of the concept is provided in Revelation 21:14 where the "lamb slain but standing
Lamb of God
The title Lamb of God appears in the Gospel of John, with the exclamation of John the Baptist: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" in John 1:29 when he sees Jesus....

" is the only one worthy of handling the scroll (i.e. the book) containing the names of those who are to be saved.

A central element in the Christology presented in the Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

 is the affirmation of the belief that the death of Jesus by crucifixion happened "with the foreknowledge of God, according to a definite plan". In this view, as in Acts 2:23, the cross is not viewed as a scandal, for the crucifixion of Jesus "at the hands of the lawless" is viewed as the fulfilment of the plan of God.

Paul's Christology has a specific focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus. For Paul, the crucifixion of Jesus is directly related to his resurrection and the term "the cross of Christ" used in Galatians 6:12 may be viewed as his abbreviation of the message of the gospels. For Paul, the crucifixion of Jesus was not an isolated event in history, but a cosmic event with significant eschatological consequences, as in 1 Corinthians 2:8. In the Pauline view, Jesus, obedient to the point of death (Philippians 2:8) died "at the right time" (Romans 4:25) based on the plan of God. For Paul the "power of the cross" is not separable from the Resurrection of Jesus.

John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

 supported the "agent of God" Christology and argued that in his trial in Pilate's Court
Pilate's Court
In the Canonical gospels, Pilate's Court refers to the trial of Jesus in praetorium before Pontius Pilate, preceded by the Sanhedrin preliminary hearing. Finding that Jesus, being from Galilee, belonged to Herod Antipas' jurisdiction, Pilate decides to send Jesus to Herod. After questioning Jesus...

 Jesus could have successfully argued for his innocence, but instead submitted to crucifixion in obedience to the Father. This Christological theme continued into the 20th century, both in the Eastern and Western Churches. In the Eastern Church Sergei Bulgakov
Sergei Bulgakov
Fr. Sergei Nikolaevich Bulgakov was a Russian Orthodox Christian theologian, philosopher and economist. Until 1922 he worked in Russia; afterwards in Paris.-Early life:...

 argued that the crucifixion of Jesus was "pre-eternally
Pre-existence of Christ
The pre-existence of Christ refers to the doctrine of the ontological or personal existence of Christ before his conception. One of the relevant Bible passages is where, in the Trinitarian view, Christ is identified with a pre-existent divine hypostasis called the Logos or Word...

" determined by the Father before the creation of the world, to redeem humanity from the disgrace caused by the fall of Adam. In the Western Church, Karl Rahner
Karl Rahner
Karl Rahner, SJ was a German Jesuit and theologian who, alongside Bernard Lonergan and Hans Urs von Balthasar, is considered one of the most influential Roman Catholic theologians of the 20th century...

 elaborated on the analogy that the blood of the Lamb of God
Lamb of God
The title Lamb of God appears in the Gospel of John, with the exclamation of John the Baptist: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" in John 1:29 when he sees Jesus....

 (and the water from the side of Jesus) shed at the crucifixion had a cleansing nature, similar to baptismal water.

Resurrection, Ascension and Second Coming


The New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 teaches that the resurrection of Jesus is a foundation of the Christian faith. Christians, through faith in the working of God are spiritually resurrected with Jesus, and are redeemed
Redemption (theology)
Redemption is a concept common to several theologies. It is generally associated with the efforts of people within a faith to overcome their shortcomings and achieve the moral positions exemplified in their faith.- In Buddhism :...

 so that they may walk in a new way of life.


In the teachings of the apostolic Church
Apostolic Age
The Apostolic Age of the history of Christianity is traditionally the period of the Twelve Apostles, dating from the Crucifixion of Jesus and the Great Commission in Jerusalem until the death of John the Apostle in Anatolia...

, the resurrection was seen as heralding a new era
World to Come
The World to Come is an eschatological phrase reflecting the belief that the "current world" is flawed or cursed and will be replaced in the future by a better world or a paradise. The concept is similar to the concepts of Heaven and the afterlife, but Heaven is another place generally seen as...

. Forming a theology of the resurrection fell to Apostle Paul. It was not enough for Paul to simply repeat elementary teachings, but as states, "go beyond the initial teachings about Christ and advance to maturity". Fundamental to Pauline theology is the connection between Christ's Resurrection and redemption
Redemption (theology)
Redemption is a concept common to several theologies. It is generally associated with the efforts of people within a faith to overcome their shortcomings and achieve the moral positions exemplified in their faith.- In Buddhism :...

. Paul explained the importance of the resurrection of Jesus as the cause and basis of the hope of Christians to share a similar experience in :


But Christ really has been raised from the dead. He is the first of all those who will rise. Death came because of what a man did. Rising from the dead also comes because of what a man did. Because of Adam, all people die. So because of Christ, all will be made alive.


If the cross stands at the center of Paul's theology, so does the Resurrection: unless the one died the death of all, the all would have little to celebrate in the resurrection of the one. Paul taught that, just as Christians share in Jesus' death in baptism, so they will share in his resurrection for Jesus was designated the Son of God
Son of God
"Son of God" is a phrase which according to most Christian denominations, Trinitarian in belief, refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son"...

 by his resurrection. Paul's views went against the thoughts of the Greek philosophers to whom a bodily resurrection meant a new imprisonment in a corporeal body, which was what they wanted to avoid; given that for them the corporeal and the material fettered the spirit. At the same time, Paul believed that the newly resurrected body would be a heavenly body; immortal, glorified, powerful and pneumatic in contrast to an earthly body, which is mortal, dishonored, weak and psychic. According to theologian Peter Carnley
Peter Carnley
Peter Frederick Carnley AC is a retired Australian Anglican bishop. Carnley was the Archbishop of Perth from 1981 to 2005 and was Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia from 2000 until July 2005...

, the resurrection of Jesus was different from the Resurrection of Lazarus as: "In the case of Lazarus, the stone was rolled away so that he could walk out.... the raised Christ didn't have to have the stone rolled away, because he is transformed and can appear anywhere, at any time."

The Apostolic Fathers
Apostolic Fathers
The Apostolic Fathers are a small number of Early Christian authors who lived and wrote in the second half of the first century and the first half of the second century. They are acknowledged as leaders in the early church, although their writings were not included in the New Testament...

, discussed the death and resurrection of Jesus, including Ignatius
Ignatius of Antioch
Ignatius of Antioch was among the Apostolic Fathers, was the third Bishop of Antioch, and was a student of John the Apostle. En route to his martyrdom in Rome, Ignatius wrote a series of letters which have been preserved as an example of very early Christian theology...

 (50−115), Polycarp
Polycarp
Saint Polycarp was a 2nd century Christian bishop of Smyrna. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp, he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to touch him...

 (69−155), and Justin Martyr
Justin Martyr
Justin Martyr, also known as just Saint Justin , was an early Christian apologist. Most of his works are lost, but two apologies and a dialogue survive. He is considered a saint by the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church....

 (100−165). Following the conversion of Constantine
Constantine I and Christianity
During the reign of the Emperor Constantine the Great, Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. Constantine, also known as Constantine I, had a significant religious experience following his victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312...

 and the liberating Edict of Milan
Edict of Milan
The Edict of Milan was a letter signed by emperors Constantine I and Licinius that proclaimed religious toleration in the Roman Empire...

 in 313, the ecumenical councils
First seven Ecumenical Councils
In the history of Christianity, the first seven Ecumenical Councils, from the First Council of Nicaea to the Second Council of Nicaea , represent an attempt to reach an orthodox consensus and to establish a unified Christendom as the State church of the Roman Empire...

 of the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries, that focused on Christology
Christology
Christology is the field of study within Christian theology which is primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Primary considerations include the relationship of Jesus' nature and person with the nature...

 helped shape the Christian understanding of the redemptive nature of Resurrection, and influenced both the development of its iconography, and its use within Liturgy.

See also

  • Chronology of Jesus
    Chronology of Jesus
    The chronology of Jesus aims to establish a historical order for some of the events of the life of Jesus in the four canonical gospels. The Christian gospels were primarily written as theological documents rather than historical chronicles and their authors showed little interest in an absolute...

  • Gospel harmony
    Gospel harmony
    A Gospel harmony is an attempt to merge or harmonize the canonical gospels of the Four Evangelists into a single gospel account, the earliest known example being the Diatesseron by Tatian in the 2nd century. A gospel harmony may also establish a chronology for the events of the life of Jesus...

  • Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament
    Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament
    Two names and a variety of titles are used to refer to Jesus in the New Testament.In Christianity, the two names Jesus and Emmanuel that refer to Jesus in the New Testament have salvific attributes...

  • Religious perspectives on Jesus
    Religious perspectives on Jesus
    The religious perspectives on Jesus vary among major world religions. Jesus' teachings and the retelling of his lifestory have significantly influenced the course of human history, and have directly or indirectly affected the lives of billions of people, even non-Christians.Christian consider Jesus...