Jesus is the central figure of Christianity, the world's largest religion.
120 Facts About Jesus
Accounts of Jesus' life are contained in the Gospels, especially the four canonical Gospels in the New Testament.
Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was circumcised, was baptized by John the Baptist, began his own ministry, and was often referred to as "rabbi".
Jesus debated with fellow Jews on how to best follow God, engaged in healings, taught in parables, and gathered followers.
Jesus was arrested in Jerusalem and tried by the Jewish authorities, turned over to the Roman government, and crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect of Judea.
Christian theology includes the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Christian Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven, from where he will return.
Commonly, Christians believe Jesus enables people to be reconciled to God.
Jesus's crucifixion is honored on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Jesus is revered in the Baha'i faith, the Druze faith, Islam and Manichaeism.
In Islam, Jesus is considered the penultimate prophet of God and the messiah, who will return before the Day of Judgement.
Muslims believe Jesus was born of the virgin Mary but was neither God nor a son of God.
In contrast, Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited messiah, arguing that he did not fulfill messianic prophecies, was not lawfully anointed and was neither divine nor resurrected.
The English name Jesus, from Greek Iesous, is a rendering of Joshua, and was not uncommon in Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus.
In Mark, Jesus is the Son of God whose mighty works demonstrate the presence of God's Kingdom.
Jesus is a tireless wonder worker, the servant of both God and man.
The Gospel of Matthew emphasizes that Jesus is the fulfillment of God's will as revealed in the Old Testament, and the Lord of the Church.
Jesus is the "Son of David", a "king", and the messiah.
Jesus is the friend of sinners and outcasts, come to seek and save the lost.
Jesus is not only greater than any past human prophet but greater than any prophet could be.
Matthew and Luke each describe Jesus' birth, especially that Jesus was born to a virgin named Mary in Bethlehem in fulfillment of prophecy.
Matthew focuses on an event after the Luke Nativity where Jesus was an infant.
The Gospel of Mark reports that at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus comes into conflict with his neighbors and family.
The Gospels indicate that Jesus could read, paraphrase, and debate scripture, but this does not necessarily mean that he received formal scribal training.
The accounts of Jesus' baptism are all preceded by information about John the Baptist.
Jesus then begins his ministry in Galilee after John's arrest.
The first takes place north of Judea, in Galilee, where Jesus conducts a successful ministry, and the second shows Jesus rejected and killed when he travels to Jerusalem.
Notably, Jesus forbids those who recognize him as the messiah to speak of it, including people he heals and demons he exorcises.
The Baptist sees Jesus and calls him the Lamb of God; the two hear this and follow Jesus.
Jesus calls people to repent their sins and to devote themselves completely to God.
Jesus tells his followers to adhere to Jewish law, although he is perceived by some to have broken the law himself, for example regarding the Sabbath.
In John, Jesus' miracles are described as "signs", performed to prove his mission and divinity.
In John's Gospel, Jesus is presented as unpressured by the crowds, who often respond to his miracles with trust and faith.
The gospel episodes that include descriptions of the miracles of Jesus often include teachings, and the miracles themselves involve an element of teaching.
The description of the last week of the life of Jesus occupies about one-third of the narrative in the canonical gospels, starting with Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem and ending with his Crucifixion.
Jesus next expels the money changers from the Second Temple, accusing them of turning it into a den of thieves through their commercial activities.
Jesus warns that these wonders will occur in the lifetimes of the hearers.
Jesus comes into conflict with the Jewish elders, such as when they question his authority and when he criticizes them and calls them hypocrites.
The Gospel of John recounts of two other feasts in which Jesus taught in Jerusalem before the Passion Week.
In Bethany, a village near Jerusalem, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.
In John, Jesus has already cleansed the Second Temple during an earlier Passover visit to Jerusalem.
Jesus then has them all drink from a cup, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood," The Christian sacrament or ordinance of the Eucharist is based on these events.
In Matthew and Mark, the prediction is made after the Supper; Jesus predicts that all his disciples will desert him.
The Gospel of John provides the only account of Jesus washing his disciples' feet after the meal.
John includes a long sermon by Jesus, preparing his disciples for his departure.
In Matthew 26:57, Mark 14:53 and Luke 22:54, Jesus is taken to the house of the high priest, Caiaphas, where he is mocked and beaten that night.
In Matthew and Luke, Jesus' answer is more ambiguous: in Matthew 26:64 he responds, "You have said so", and in Luke 22:70 he says, "You say that I am".
Herod and his soldiers mock Jesus, put an expensive robe on him to make him look like a king, and return him to Pilate, who then calls together the Jewish elders and announces that he has "not found this man guilty".
Jesus gives the people a choice between Jesus and a murderer called Barabbas.
At Calvary, Jesus is offered a sponge soaked in a concoction usually offered as a painkiller.
The soldiers then crucify Jesus and cast lots for his clothes.
In John, Jesus sees his mother Mary and the beloved disciple and tells him to take care of her.
In Matthew and Mark, terrified by the events, a Roman centurion states that Jesus was the Son of God.
Jesus then reveals himself to the eleven disciples, in Jerusalem or in Galilee.
The Book of Revelation includes a revelation from Jesus concerning the last days of Earth.
Since the 18th century, three separate scholarly quests for the historical Jesus have taken place, each with distinct characteristics and based on different research criteria, which were often developed during the quest that applied them.
Approaches to the historical reconstruction of the life of Jesus have varied from the "maximalist" approaches of the 19th century, in which the gospel accounts were accepted as reliable evidence wherever it is possible, to the "minimalist" approaches of the early 20th century, where hardly anything about Jesus was accepted as historical.
For example, Thomas confirms that Jesus blessed the poor and that this saying circulated independently before being combined with similar sayings in the Q source.
Early non-Christian sources that attest to the historical existence of Jesus include the works of the historians Josephus and Tacitus.
Scholars generally consider Tacitus's reference to the execution of Jesus to be both authentic and of historical value as an independent Roman source.
Second, they present a rough picture of Jesus that is compatible with that found in the Christian sources: that Jesus was a teacher, had a reputation as a miracle worker, had a brother James, and died a violent death.
Recent archaeological work, for example, indicates that Capernaum, a city important in Jesus' ministry, was poor and small, without even a forum or an agora.
Jesus was a Galilean Jew, born around the beginning of the 1st century, who died in 30 or 33 AD in Judea.
The general scholarly consensus is that Jesus was a contemporary of John the Baptist and was crucified as ordered by the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, who held office from 26 to 36 AD.
The date range for Jesus' ministry has been estimated using several different approaches.
Many scholars agree that Joseph, Jesus' father, died before Jesus began his ministry.
Joseph's death would explain why in Mark 6:3, Jesus' neighbors refer to Jesus as the "son of Mary".
In Mark, Jesus' family comes to get him, fearing that he is mad, and this account is thought to be historical because early Christians would likely not have invented it.
Geza Vermes says that the doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus arose from theological development rather than from historical events.
Sanders says that the genealogies of Jesus are based not on historical information but on the authors' desire to show that Jesus was the universal Jewish savior.
The Gospel of Luke reports that Jesus was a blood relative of John the Baptist, but scholars generally consider this connection to be invented.
Scholars adduce the criterion of embarrassment, saying that early Christians would not have invented a baptism that might imply that Jesus committed sins and wanted to repent.
Jesus taught about the Jewish Law, seeking its true meaning, sometimes in opposition to other traditions.
Jesus put love at the center of the Law, and following that Law was an apocalyptic necessity.
Funk and Hoover note that typical of Jesus were paradoxical or surprising turns of phrase, such as advising one, when struck on the cheek, to offer the other cheek to be struck as well.
The Gospels portray Jesus teaching in well-defined sessions, such as the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew or the parallel Sermon on the Plain in Luke.
Jesus chose twelve disciples, evidently as an apocalyptic message.
In Ehrman's view, no Christians would have invented a line from Jesus, promising rulership to the disciple who betrayed him.
Sanders says that Jesus' mission was not about repentance, although he acknowledges that this opinion is unpopular.
Jesus argues that repentance appears as a strong theme only in Luke, that repentance was John the Baptist's message, and that Jesus' ministry would not have been scandalous if the sinners he ate with had been repentant.
Jesus taught that an apocalyptic figure, the "Son of Man", would soon come on clouds of glory to gather the elect, or chosen ones.
The tradition is ambiguous enough to leave room for debate as to whether Jesus defined his eschatological role as that of the messiah.
Bart Ehrman argues that Jesus did consider himself to be the messiah, albeit in the sense that he would be the king of the new political order that God would usher in, not in the sense that most people today think of the term.
Jesus caused a disturbance in the Second Temple, which was the center of Jewish religious and civil authority.
Jesus held a last meal with his disciples, which is the origin of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
The Gospels say that Jesus was betrayed to the authorities by a disciple, and many scholars consider this report to be highly reliable.
Jesus was executed on the orders of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect of Judaea.
The Sadducean high-priestly leaders of the Temple more plausibly had Jesus executed for political reasons than for his teaching.
The followers of Jesus formed a community to wait for his return and the founding of his kingdom.
The portraits of Jesus constructed in these quests often differ from each other, and from the image portrayed in the Gospels.
Jesus is seen as the founder of, in the words of Sanders, a "renewal movement within Judaism".
Since the 18th century, scholars have occasionally put forth that Jesus was a political national messiah, but the evidence for this portrait is negligible.
Likewise, the proposal that Jesus was a Zealot does not fit with the earliest strata of the Synoptic tradition.
Jesus grew up in Galilee and much of his ministry took place there.
Jesus likely had a beard that was not particularly long or heavy.
Stories of Jesus' birth, along with other key events, have so many mythic elements that some scholars have suggested that Jesus himself was a myth.
Christian views of Jesus are derived from the texts of the New Testament, including the canonical gospels and letters such as the Pauline epistles and the Johannine writings.
The New Testament states that the resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of the Christian faith.
Jesus is thus seen as the new and last Adam, whose obedience contrasts with Adam's disobedience.
At present, most Christians believe that Jesus is both human and the Son of God.
Devotions to the Holy Name of Jesus go back to the earliest days of Christianity.
Judaism rejects the idea of Jesus being God, or a mediator to God, or part of a Trinity.
Jews argue that Jesus did not fulfill prophesies to build the Third Temple, gather Jews back to Israel, bring world peace, and unite humanity under the God of Israel.
Judaic criticism of Jesus is long-standing, and includes a range of stories in the Talmud, written and compiled from the 3rd to the 5th century AD.
The Mishneh Torah, a late 12th-century work of Jewish law written by Moses Maimonides, states that Jesus is a "stumbling block" who makes "the majority of the world to err and serve a god other than the Lord".
Jesus is considered one of the four prophets, along with Zoroaster, Gautama Buddha and Mani.
Belief in Jesus is a requirement for being a Muslim.
The Quran describes the annunciation to Mary by the Holy Spirit that she is to give birth to Jesus while remaining a virgin.
Jesus is called a "spirit from God" because he was born through the action of the Spirit, but that belief does not imply his pre-existence.
However, Jesus is a central figure in Islamic eschatology: Muslims believe that he will return to Earth at the end of time and defeat the Antichrist by killing him.
In Christian Gnosticism, Jesus was sent from the divine realm and provided the secret knowledge necessary for salvation.
Some Gnostics were docetics, believed that Jesus did not have a physical body, but only appeared to possess one.
Some Hindus consider Jesus to be an avatar or a sadhu.
Paramahansa Yogananda, an Indian guru, taught that Jesus was the reincarnation of Elisha and a student of John the Baptist, the reincarnation of Elijah.
The Urantia Book teaches Jesus is one of more than 700,000 heavenly sons of God.
Antony Theodore in the book Jesus Christ in Love writes that there is an underlying oneness of Jesus' teachings with the messages contained in Quran, Vedas, Upanishads, Talmud and Avesta.
Thereafter, despite the lack of biblical references or historical records, a wide range of depictions of Jesus appeared during the last two millennia, often influenced by cultural settings, political circumstances and theological contexts.
The use of depictions of Jesus is advocated by the leaders of denominations such as Anglicans and Catholics and is a key element of the Eastern Orthodox tradition.
However, throughout the history of Christianity, a number of relics attributed to Jesus have been claimed, although doubt has been cast on them.
Similarly, while experts debate whether Jesus was crucified with three nails or with four, at least thirty holy nails continue to be venerated as relics across Europe.
Some relics, such as purported remnants of the crown of thorns placed on the head of Jesus, receive only a modest number of pilgrims, while the Shroud of Turin, has received millions, including popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.