Jesus of Nazareth

Christianity was founded on the life and teachings of a Jew named Jesus. According to the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth asked his disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" And as the Christian faith have spread around the world, millions of individuals and religious groups have also asked themselves this question.

Jesus is the central figure of Christianity, of course, but is also important in new religious movements that grew out of Christianity and even in some non-Christian religions such as Islam, the Baha'i Faith, and Cao Dai. Jesus is also respected as a wise teacher by many Buddhists, Hindus, some Jews, and even many non-religious people.

The English word "Jesus" comes from the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, a common name which means "savior." "Christ" is a title and it comes from the Greek form of the Hebrew Messiah, meaning "anointed one." Since the time of the earliest Christians, "Christ" has been used both as a surname and as a stand-alone to refer to Jesus.

Christians believe, and most modern scholars agree, that Jesus was an actual historical figure. The "historical Jesus" is a term used to distinguish the academic study of Jesus from religious beliefs about his life and significance.

  • Pictures of Jesus

  • The Life of Jesus in the Gospels

    Jesus' Birth and Early Life The Christian calendar, in use throughout most of the Western world, centers around the birth of Jesus. The abbreviation "AD" stands for the Latin anno domini, "in the year of our Lord...