Christians believe that Jesus was an actual, historical, real human being. The humanity of Jesus is now one of the least controversial areas of Christology, but this was not always so.
In the early years after Christ, some taught that Jesus' body, suffering, and death were merely appearances. Scholars call this view "docetism," from the Greek word meaning "to seem." Docetism arose from the Gnostic view that all matter is evil, and concluded that God could not have been actually associated with it.