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  1. Scriptures
  2. Resurrection of the Body
  3. Jesus’ last week
  4. Eschatology - Encyclopedia of The Bible - Bible Gateway
  5. Philosophy and Christian Theology


Theologians explicated what they understood to be the meaning of both the New Testament and the creeds. In so doing they played a crucial role in the formulation of the Christological creeds.

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The argument has also been put forward that the liturgy of early Christianity played an incisive role in the formulation of the creeds, including those of Christology. Reflections about Jesus dominated Christian discourse from the apostolic age onward. Most of that Christological reflection took place in the eastern Mediterranean, where it utilized the language Greek and concepts of Classical antiquity.

The Christological debate is quite unintelligible without an awareness of how it was shaped by that context. Since there seem to be echoes of Classical concepts in Scripture, it is not surprising that Christian theologians appropriated them in order to explicate the meaning of Christian affirmations. Two notions in particular played important roles: logos theology and preexistence. Logos theology, which was formulated by the Jewish philosopher Philo , sought to describe how God is active and effective through the divine will, reason, and power. Christian reflection understood Jesus as the manifestation of the divine will, reason, and power and therefore applied the concept of the logos to him—dramatically so in the opening of The Gospel According to John.

There are intimations of the concept of preexistence both in the Hebrew Scriptures and in the thought of Classical antiquity.

Resurrection of the Body

The good thus existed with God before any earthly appearance, which is merely the transition from hiding to manifestation. The concept of preexistence is related to the notion that there is nothing that God does not know, that there is neither past nor future with God, and that God is the Lord of History. In the New Testament, notions of preexistence, which Christian exegetes have found expressed in the Hebrew Bible, are applied to Jesus.

According to the apostle Paul , Jesus is voluntarily obedient in his descent from heaven , which is followed by his return there. You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security. Many different gospels have come down to us but only a group of four are accepted by Christian tradition to be inspired by God.

Jesus’ last week

The remaining gospels are known as apocryphal or non-canonical gospels and are not considered to be divinely inspired. John, however, presents a very different picture of events. Mosaic Floor from a Villa at Hinton St. The earliest of the four canonical gospels is believed to be Mark, written probably around CE. Its content is not arranged chronologically, but according to subjects such as miracle stories, parables, pronouncement stories, etc.

The only segment arranged chronologically is the Passion narrative It is widely believed that the authors of these two gospels used Mark as their main source. The material included in all four gospels developed in three different stages: 1 authentic facts and words of Jesus himself, 2 additional accounts transmitted for many decades in early Christian tradition and 3 the edition compiled by the authors which includes the shaping of oral sources according to their own views and interests.

The material in the gospel of John belongs largely to stage 3. From the standpoint of history, it is very important to identify the material belonging to stage 1 in all canonical gospels, which would reflect to some extent factual data about Jesus. Accounts related to the birth and upbringing of Jesus, such as the miraculous conception, have a late origin and belong to stages 2 and 3, clearly reflecting the theological interests of the editors of the gospels.

In fact, the virgin birth is not mentioned in Mark, the first gospel, and it is only directly stated in Matthew 1.

Eschatology - Encyclopedia of The Bible - Bible Gateway

A passage in Luke 1. No other references in the New Testament mention this event. Similarly, the birth in Bethlehem may also have a late origin. This is recorded in Matthew and Luke, but not in Mark or John and could be a story that developed due to the interest in giving Jesus' Davidic descent. Having another king like David was a persistent hope among Jews, and even the prophet Micah 5. In Matthew Although not certain, it is probable that Jesus' education included a detailed study of the Hebrew Scriptures, a very common practice among the devout poor in Israel.

His public ministry began after being baptized by John the Baptist.

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According to the gospel of Luke, this was when Jesus was about 30 years of age. According to Mark It seems that he performed baptisms parallel to John the Baptist John 3. After the arrest of John the Baptist Mark 1.

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Jesus was heavily influenced by the prophet Isaiah, who considered the coming of the reign of God a central topic Isa. Many of Jesus' teachings have allusions to Isaiah, and he also quotes him on many occasions. Jesus is presented as an eschatological prophet announcing the definitive coming of God, its salvation, and the end of time.

Jesus gradually gained popularity and thousands of followers are mentioned in the gospels. He shared some attributes with the Pharisees and the Essenes, two of the Jewish sects at that time. Like the Pharisees, his teaching methods included the expression of thoughts about the human condition in the form of aphorisms and parables, and he also shared the belief in the genuine authority of Hebrew sacred scriptures.

Unlike the Pharisaic teachers, Jesus believed that outward compliance with the law was not of utmost importance and that values such as the love for enemies were more important. The Essenes had a very simple way of life, a pacifist spirit, common ownership of property, common meals, they practised exorcisms, and they stressed the love for each other, all practices seen in the ministry of Jesus. This gap has been subject to endless discussions and interpretations in many traditions. This is, however, a matter of speculation. At some point towards the end of his career, Jesus moved to Jerusalem , Judea, reaching the climax of his public life.

Here he engaged in different disputes with his many adversaries. At the same time, some religious authorities were seeking to entrap him into self-incrimination by raising controversial topics, mostly of a theological nature. The gospels offer different reasons as to why the Sanhedrin the Jewish court was interested in executing Jesus, but only John A Roman intervention to restore order, thus breaking the fine balance between Jewish and Roman power, did not interest the Sanhedrin.

An arresting party finally took Jesus to the Sanhedrin, where he was judged, found guilty of blasphemy, and condemned to death. However, the execution order had to be issued by a Roman authority; the Jewish court did not have such power at that time. Because Jesus never denied the charges, he should have been convicted and not executed, as the Roman law required in case of confession for such a penalty. On a hill outside Jerusalem, Jesus was finally crucified and killed, which was not a Jewish form of punishment but a common Roman practice. The earliest reference for the existence of Jesus outside Christian tradition is found in Antiquities of the Jews , written around 93 CE by Josephus c.

At that time lived Jesus, a holy man, if man he may be called, for he performed wonderful works, and taught men, and joyfully received the truth. And he was followed by many Jews and many Greeks. He was the Messiah. Antiquities , Scholarship almost unanimously rejects this passage, which seems to be either an addition or an alteration of the original text. The reason for this is the doubts triggered by the high praise given to Jesus by a Jewish author who is mostly concerned throughout his work in pleasing both Romans and Jews who were in conflict with the early Christians at that time.

It may be the case that this passage is genuine in part, where it refers to Jesus' teaching, but was later edited to promote the Messianic message. Either way, as it stands, the passage raises suspicion. This document is dated around CE, and it is the earliest surviving mention of the Christian community in Pagan literature.

Philosophy and Christian Theology

The name was derived from Chrestus, who, in the reign of Tiberius, suffered under Pontius Pilate, Procurator of Judea. By that event the sect of which he was the founder received a blow which for a time checked the growth of a dangerous superstition; but it revived soon after, and spread with recruited vigour not only in Judea [ Tacitus goes on, talking about the bloody punishment ordered by Nero and suffered by the Christians.

This paragraph is part of the description of the incidents linked to the Great Fire of the city of Rome which took place on July 18th in 64 CE. The Roman historian Suetonius c. This account was written about the same time as Tacitus wrote his. Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus , he [Claudius] expelled them from Rome. Suetonius, Claudius This is consistent with what we read in the Acts of the Apostles There are no surviving historical accounts of Jesus contemporary to his life.

Except for Suetonius and Josephus, the rest of the sources do not actually refer to Jesus, but rather to the Christian community. This suggests that the Christian community was already established in Rome some years before 50 CE; otherwise, it would not have merited the attention of these writers and certainly would not have been worthy of an imperial decree.

Most Christian branches believe that Jesus is the son of God and God himself. The Resurrection of Jesus is considered the very foundation of the Christian faith, and it is also considered vital for the salvation of humankind, that through Jesus' sacrifice there is the promise of eternal life. The virgin condition of Mary during her entire life is also held by many Christian traditions. The miracle stories surrounding Jesus are also important in Christianity.


These are supernatural events believed to be the result of the divine condition of Jesus. Luke 7.

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In the gospel of John, the miracle stories have a symbolic significance, such as Jesus raising Lazarus Jesus is also present in the Islamic tradition. He is a prophet and precursor of Muhammad, but he is not considered to be God or the son of God. Muslims share the idea of a virgin birth and the performance of miracles. His mission in the Quran is described as a guide to the children of Israel. The Quran says that people were made to believe that Jesus was crucified and killed, but this actually never happened.

Quran surah 4. Instead of dying on the cross, the Quran says, God raised Jesus into the heavens: "But Allah toook him up to himself.