Jesus Christ Biography
Jesus Christ, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, was the founder of Christianity. He is described as the ‘Son of God’ in the teachings of most Christian denominations. Most of what is known today about Jesus’ life has been derived from the four Gospels of the New Testament Bible, known as the Canonical gospels, written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It is estimated that these were written over 70–200 years after the death of Christ and are not biographies in the modern sense. Due to the lack of accurate historical records, there is some dispute over the exact details of his life, and teachings. Jesus was a Galilean from Nazareth, a village near Sepphoris, though he was born in Bethlehem. Not much is known about his childhood except for the fact that he was an intelligent and precocious child. His father, Joseph, was a carpenter and it is believed that Jesus too followed in the footsteps of his father. As a young man he was baptized by the prophet John the Baptist and embarked on a career as a preacher and healer. He went on to become a very popular preacher and the religion Christianity is based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as presented in the New Testament
- Jesus was born somewhere between 7–2 BC in Bethlehem, to Joseph and Mary. Most Christians celebrate December 25 as the birthday of Jesus Christ. Although born in Bethlehem, Jesus was a Galilean from Nazareth, a village near Sepphoris. Joseph, though his legal father was not his biological one. Jesus’ conception is believed to have been miraculous—it is claimed that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived and that she “was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit”.
- Joseph and Mary went on to have several children after the birth of Jesus. His siblings include brothers James, Jude, Simon and Joses, and many unnamed sisters.
- Not much is known about his early life, though certain sources mention that he was very intelligent and gifted even as a child. As a 12-year-old, Jesus had accompanied his parents on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and became separated. He was found days later, discussing significant matters with some elders in a temple.
- Joseph was a carpenter, and on growing up, Jesus too followed in his footsteps to become one. He was baptized by the prophet John the Baptist and became a preacher and healer.
- Following his baptism which symbolically marked the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he went into the Judean desert to fast and meditate for 40 days and nights. During this time, the Devil appeared thrice and tried to tempt Jesus. He rejected the Devil’s temptation all three times and sent him away.
- Jesus then returned to Galilee and started preaching. He also started performing a number of miracles which included calming of a storm, the feeding of the 5,000, walking on water and a number of other miracles and parables.
- Over a period of time several people became his disciples. One of his most famous followers was Mary Magdalene who is considered to have been involved in Jesus' ministry from the beginning to his death and after.
- As word spread about his healing powers and his teachings, more people became his followers. In his teachings he emphasized on forgiveness and unconditional love, and advised the people to love everyone, even their enemies.
- His popularity began to grow with time, and as he continued to preach about the kingdom of God, the crowds began to proclaim him as the son of David and the Messiah.
- During one of his interactions with his disciples near the city of Caesarea Philippi, he asked them "Who do you say that I am?". Most of the disciples were confused, but one man, Peter, responded saying, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God". Jesus accepted the titles of “Christ” and “Son of God”, and declared the proclamation was a divine revelation from the God himself.
- Jesus along with his disciples went to Jerusalem the week before the holiday of Passover. He was given a warm and enthusiastic welcome by the citizens who greeted him at the city’s entrance. The masses hailed him as the Son of David and as the Son of God. During his stay in Jerusalem, he expelled unscrupulous money lenders from the temple and raised Lazarus from the dead.
- The increasing popularity of Jesus brought him into conflict with the Jewish elders who questioned his authority. The elders then connived with the priests and hatched a plan to kill Jesus. One of Jesus’ followers, Judas Iscariot, made a bargain with the elders and agreed to betray Jesus for 30 silver coins.
- After the final meal that Jesus shared with his 12 apostles in Jerusalem (later known as the Last Supper), Jesus was betrayed by Judas who kissed him on the cheek to identify him. Following this, Jesus was promptly arrested by the soldiers and officials and taken to the high priest and interrogated.
- Jesus was tortured and condemned for claiming to be the Son of God. He was brought before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor. The priests accused Jesus of claiming to be the King of the Jews and requested Pilate that he judge and condemn Jesus.
- Jesus Christ is a central figure in Christianity, one of the world’s major organized religions. Believed to be the ‘Son of God’ by most of the Christians, he is regarded as the awaited Messiah who enabled humans to be reconciled to God. The Christianity is based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as presented in the New Testament.
- Pontius Pilate sentenced Jesus to be scourged and finally crucified. Jesus' crucifixion is described in the four canonical gospels referred to in the New Testament Epistles and is established as a historical event confirmed by non-Christian sources.
- While there is no consensus regarding the exact date of the crucifixion of Jesus, it is generally agreed by biblical scholars that it was on a Friday on or near Passover. Many modern scholars believe the date of his crucifixion was either April 7, 30 AD or Friday, April 3, 33 AD.
- Jesus was crucified with two thieves, one at his left and the other at his right. He died on the cross and a soldier confirmed his death by puncturing his side with a spear. Immediately upon his death, an earthquake erupted and broke open the tombs. His body was then taken down from the cross and buried in a tomb.
- Jesus’ tomb was found empty three days after his death. He had risen from the dead and appeared to Mary Magdalene, one of his followers, and then to his mother Mary. He then met his disciples and advised them to travel all over the world and preach the gospel to all humanity. After 40 days, Jesus led his disciples to Mount Olivet from where he ascended into heaven.
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