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Je'sus,(4 BC-33 AD) the proper, as Christ is the official, name of our Lord. To distinguish him from others so called, he is spoken of as "Jesus of Nazareth" (Jn 18:7), and "Jesus the son of Joseph" (Jn 6:42).

This is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, meaning "יהוה, is Salvation", which was originally Hoshea (Num 13:8,16), but changed by Moses into Yehoshua (Num 13:16; 1Chr 7:27), or Joshua. After the Exile it assumed the form Yeshua, whence the Greek form Jesus. It was given to denote the object of His mission, to save (Mt 1:21).

The life of Jesus on earth may be divided into two great periods,

  1. that of his private life, till he was about thirty years of age
  2. that of his public life, which lasted about three and a half years.

In the "fulness of time" He was born at Bethlehem, in the reign of the emperor Augustus, of Mary, who was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter (Mt 1:1; Lk 3:23; comp. Jn 7:42). His birth was announced to the shepherds (Lk 2:8,20). Wise men from the east came to Bethlehem to see him who was born "King of the Jews," bringing gifts with them (Matt. 2:1-12). Herod's cruel jealousy led to Joseph's flight into Egypt with Mary and the infant Jesus, where they tarried till the death of this king (Matt. 2:13-23), when they returned and settled in Nazareth, in Lower Galilee (Mt 2:23; comp. Lk 4:16; Jn 1:46, etc.). At the age of twelve years he went up to Jerusalem to the Passover with his parents. There, in the temple, "in the midst of the doctors," all that heard him were "astonished at his understanding and answers" (Lk 2:41, etc.).

Eighteen years pass, of which we have no record beyond this, that he returned to Nazareth and "increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man" (Lk 2:52).

He entered on his public ministry when he was about thirty years of age in the fifteenth year of Tiberius, after the mission of John the Baptist (Lk 3:1ff). It is generally reckoned to have extended to about three and a half years according to the time before and including four passovers mentioned by John, primarily in Palestine. "Each of these years had peculiar features of its own.

  1. The first year may be called the year of obscurity, both because the records of it which we possess are very scanty, and because He seems during it to have been only slowly emerging into public notice. It was spent for the most part in Judea.
  2. The second year was the year of public favour, during which the country had become thoroughly aware of him; his activity was incessant, and his frame rang through the length and breadth of the land. It was almost wholly passed in Galilee.
  3. The third was the year of opposition, when the public favour ebbed away. His enemies multiplied and assailed him with more and more pertinacity, and at last he fell a victim to their hatred. The first six months of this final year were passed in Galilee, and the last six in other parts of the land.", Stalker's Life of Jesus Christ, p. 45.

After the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist (Mt 1:10f) and 40 days in the wilderness (Mt 4:1-11)), Jesus gathered the 12 disciples around him (Paul became disciple later, after the upside down crucifixion of Peter). He taught these disciples the meaning of the Kingdom of God, about the past, present and the future, of the Fatherhood of God for those who accept his as the Messiah, and of the fulfillment of the scriptures and prophecies in his life, death and resurrection. His primary way of teaching the crouds was through parables (Mt 13:[[Matthew Chapter 13, Verse |]]), of which He later explained the meaning to the disciples in private. Jesus also performed many miracles as signs of the presence and power of the kingdom of God and of his Messiahship (Mk 2:10, Jn 2:11). After his resurrection he appeared to Mary Magdalene and his disciples and commissioned them to take the gospel to the whole world in the power of the Spirit whom He would send to them.

Information about Jesus is in both the four gospels and in the letters of the New Testament. The latter tells of his life and activity now in Heaven as head of the Church, and of His intention to return to earth to conquer (leading his army) Satan and his armies, and to judge the living and the dead. He will then rule over the chosen new residents of the new Jerusalem, which will descend down from Heaven down to the earth at the place of the current Jerusalem, which will be destroyed by that time

Genealogy of Jesus

The genealogy of Jesus is mentioned in two books of the Bible, both in the New Testament. The apostle Matthew provides a paternal genealogy from Abraham to Joseph, the legal adoptive father of Jesus. Matthew is careful to say that Joseph was "the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus," and not that Joseph begat Jesus because Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus because Mary conceived Jesus apart from Joseph before their marriage but after their betrothal. The apostle Luke provides a maternal genealogy from Jesus to Adam, denoting his association with mankind, but Luke was also careful to say that Jesus was the son "as was supposed of Joseph" again because Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus.


See also

  1. Joshua, the son of Nun (Acts 7:45; Heb 4:8; R.V., "Joshua").
  2. A Jewish Christian surnamed Justus (Col 4:11).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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