Who Was Jesus? What Does the Bible Say About Him?

Who Was Jesus? What Does the Bible Say About Him?

What was Jesus like as a kid?

There is only one story in the Gospels about Jesus’ childhood. At age 12 he lagged behind on a trip to the Temple, talking with the religious teachers there. Many legends have developed over the centuries about Jesus as a boy, but the Bible merely says, “Jesus grew both in body and in wisdom, gaining favor with God and people” (Luke 2:52 GNT).

Was his last name “Christ?” What does that actually mean?

“Christ” is a title. The Greek Christos is a translation of the Hebrew for “Messiah.” Both terms mean “anointed one.” In Jewish tradition, kings, priests and prophets were anointed with oil as a sign of their appointment by God. Jesus did not use the title himself, but his disciples and others applied it to him.

Why are there four different accounts of Jesus’ life?

It’s like getting important news from four different trusted websites. Jesus was big news, and different people wanted to tell the story from their unique perspective. Matthew, Mark and Luke share a lot of material, but each seems to be writing for different audiences: Matthew for Jewish Christians, Luke for non-Jews. John’s Gospel was apparently written later, adding a number of unique stories and teachings.

Why did Jesus choose twelve disciples, and no women?

It was standard at the time for a teacher to gather around him a group of young men, who would be called “learners” or “disciples.” However, Jesus also went out of his way—and against his culture—to include women: Mary of Bethany, the Samaritan at the well and others, even a group of women who supported him financially. He actually had a much larger group of followers—at one point he sent seventy on a mission trip—but he regularly traveled with “the Twelve.”

Was Jesus a real person or just a myth?

Most scholars agree that Jesus existed. The Gospel writers include key details of the times and places in which he lived, and there are several mentions of Jesus by Roman and Jewish historians.

Why did Jesus have to die?

Including everything written on this subject would practically break the Internet! Jesus lived in an explosive political climate. His teaching and popularity with the crowds became a threat to religious leaders, local rulers and Roman occupiers. The Bible is also clear that Jesus knew he was going to be killed and that he was giving his life freely as a loving sacrifice for humanity.

Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

All four accounts of his life describe it, with a parade of witnesses describing bits and pieces of the event. The apostles proclaimed it, even when their lives were threatened. Many have tripped over this hard-to-believe miracle, but the New Testament leaves no doubt of its importance.

American Bible Society
American Bible Society

After almost 200 years of ongoing ministry, American Bible Society invites people to experience the life-changing message of the Bible. Offering an increasing range of innovative ministries to address core life questions and struggles, the Bible Society partners with Christian churches and national Bible societies to share God’s Word both in the United States and around the globe.