Taking a Deeper Look Into the Life and History of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is a biblical figure and religious leader. Believed to be the son of God and a primary character of Christianity, Jesus’ life story is the basis of the Bible’s New Testament.
Many religions in addition to Christianity also acknowledge the existence of Jesus Christ. From Islam to Judaism and beyond, Jesus is viewed as the savior of humanity or a historical figure, depending on which religion you follow.
Historians On a Mission to Uncover More About Jesus
Jesus Christ is said to have walked the Earth between 4 BCE and 30 CE and his legacy is what millions of Christians structure their entire belief systems on.
Because Jesus lived so long ago, it’s somewhat challenging to piece together exact historical facts and events. Historians aim to discover as much information as they can about Jesus Christ beyond biblical scriptures. Many theories and revelations about Jesus have been made over time.
Few Facts Are Known Beyond Biblical References
While most of the information we know about Jesus comes from the Bible, historian André Chevitarese has researched other sources that contain details about his life.
A Jewish scholar from the 1st century CE named Flavius Josephus is an often-cited source when it comes to Jesus Christ. The scholar’s written accounts of Jesus offer an interesting bit of insight into biblical times. Josphus references Jesus twice in Antiquities of the Jews.
Questions Towards What Jesus Looked Like
Historians, scientists, and the general public have all been fascinated by how Jesus may have looked when he walked the Earth. Based on written narratives from centuries ago, many believe he was a bearded man with fair skin—but that image has shifted throughout time.
British researcher Richard Neave used modern-day technology to create an image of an adult man from the time in which Jesus lived. Neave’s creation had dark skin and short hair, which is a vastly different appearance than what many of us have seen depicted throughout history.
Some Common Myths About Jesus Christ
The Bible says that Jesus came to Earth as God’s messenger. A divine being in human form, the Gospel of Luke explained that Jesus was knowledgeable even from a young age.
There have been many misconceptions about Jesus Christ and Christianity as a whole, but historians have tried to shed some light on such myths. For example, many believe that Jesus condemned homosexuality and thought it a sin. However, the Bible offers no record of Jesus ever looking down on homosexuality. Not only did Jesus not have a written opinion on the matter, but he also never even mentioned it as far as historians can tell.
The Birth of Jesus
While the commercial version of Christmas consists of Santa Claus, presents, and holiday cheer, the tradition is meant to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christians celebrate Jesus’ birthday on December 25, but there has been considerable confusion over when he was actually born. While there have been differing theories on Jesus’ real birth date in the early fourth century, the church made the official date December 25.
Historians Verify the Three Wise Men
The story of the Three Wise Men is told in the Gospel of Matthew. They embarked on a long journey to Bethlehem after noticing a guiding star that signified Jesus Christ’s birth.
Researchers have retraced their probable steps and discovered that it would have taken the Three Wise Men two years to reach Bethlehem while traveling on camels. This would mean that the odds of them visiting a newborn Jesus shortly after his birth are highly unlikely.
Jesus Christ’s Origins in Nazareth
Jesus Christ was also commonly referred to as Jesus of Nazareth. Despite Jesus’ impressive lineage, he did not hail from a remarkable hometown when he lived thousands of years ago.
The town of Nazareth was quite small and was considered a ‘poor’ village. The Gospel of John even pokes fun at Nazareth. In one passage, Philip the Apostle informs Nathanael that Jesus the Messiah has been born in Nazareth. Unimpressed with baby Jesus’ humble beginnings, Nathanael replies, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
What Kind of Work Did Jesus Do?
According to history, Jesus worked as a carpenter during the fourth century.
Scholars have elaborated on the true meaning of the term “carpenter” from Jesus’ era, explaining that the title consisted of all craftsmen and builders. Many historians believe that Jesus was more likely to be a mason than a carpenter. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is referred to as “the carpenter’s son,” referring to Joseph as the true tradesman of his time.
Did Jesus Come From Money?
There are conflicting reports on whether or not Jesus came from wealth. Historians have traced the lineage of Jesus back to King David, indicating that his family may have been affluent members of society.
King David was known for his vast wealth in biblical history and other aspects of Jesus’ life allude to being relatively wealthy. Interestingly, this conflicts with the belief that Jesus hailed from Nazareth, which was known to be somewhat underprivileged.
Being Born in a Stable
Jesus was born in a stable, which would certainly give the impression that his family was impoverished. But the birth of Jesus is said to have occurred during a unique set of circumstances.
According to history, a census was taking place in Bethlehem as Mary was going into labor, causing people to travel there from neighboring towns. With every local inn already occupied, Mary had no choice but to deliver baby Jesus in the best place available they could find.
The Garments Jesus Wore Were a Sign of Affluence
Jesus was charged with treason for referring to himself as the King of all Jews, and was crucified for claiming to be the son of God. It has been well-documented that Jesus donned a very specific tunic during his crucifixion.
Historians believe that this type of garment was typically worn by wealthier men of that time. The Bible also indicated that soldiers fought with one another over who got to keep Jesus’ clothing after his death.
Comparing Beliefs About Jesus in Different Religions
There are varying beliefs about Jesus Christ depending on each religion’s specific teachings.
Christian atheists believe that Jesus is a philosopher and humanitarian rather than the offspring of an ominous God. In the religion of Islam, Jesus is referenced in the Quran more times than the Prophet Muhammad—Jesus is mentioned a total of 25 times while Muhammad is mentioned on four occasions.
Paying Respect to Jesus Christ
There are many intriguing references to Jesus throughout history. In the religion of Islam, Jesus is said to be a prophet and not considered to be the son of God.
Despite the different sets of beliefs between Christians and those of the Islamic faith, they both hold Jesus in high regard as a religious figure. There is a tomb for Jesus Christ next to Muhammad’s tomb in Medina, Saudi Arabia.
Is Jesus Sending Us Signs From Above?
Multiple instances of divine intervention allegedly took place while filming the 2004 blockbuster movie, The Passion of the Christ. The odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 15,300. Astoundingly, two people were struck on the set of the film.
One of the individuals hit by lightning was Him Caviezel, the actor who played Jesus in the movie. In a separate incident, a 65-foot statue of Jesus outside of a church in Ohio was struck. The statue burst into flames and was completely eviscerated.