Christ and History
Jesus (c. 4 BC – c. AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity. Most Christians believe him to be the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah (Christ) prophesied in the Old Testament.
Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed historically, although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how closely the Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus. Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was baptized by John the Baptist and subsequently began his own ministry, preaching his message orally and often being referred to as “rabbi”. Jesus debated with fellow Jews on how to best follow God, engaged in healings, taught in parables and gathered followers. He was arrested and tried by the Jewish authorities, and turned over to the Roman government, and was subsequently crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect. After his death, his followers believed he rose from the dead, and the community they formed eventually became the Christian Church.
His birth is celebrated annually on December 25 (or various dates in January for some eastern churches) as a holiday known as Christmas, his crucifixion is honored on Good Friday, and his resurrection is celebrated on Easter. The widely used calendar era”AD”, from the Latin anno Domini (“in the year of the Lord”), and the alternative “CE”, are based on the approximate birth date of Jesus.