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Jesus

Jesus Christ—Click to read more about him. (illustration copyrighted—God's Story).
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Hebrew: יֵשׁוּעַ / Armaic: Yeshua / Greek: IESVS or Iēsous (a transliteration)

Meaning: Salvation, or “the Lord is salvation,” “the Lord Saves.”

“Jesus” is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua which was originally Hoshea (Oshea) (Num. 13:8, 16—the King James Version of the Bible spells it “Oshea”), but changed by Moses into Jehoshua (Num. 13:16; 1 Chr. 7:27), or Joshua. After the Exile it assumed the form Jeshua, from which came the Greek form Jesus. It was given to our Lord to denote the object of his mission, to save. An angel told Joseph (his foster-father), “You are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).

JESUS CHRIST—Je'sus, the proper, as Christ is the official, name of our Lord. To distinguish him from others with the same name, he is spoken of as “Jesus of Nazareth” (John 18:7), and “Jesus the son of Joseph” (John 6:42).

The life of Jesus on Earth may be divided into two great periods, (1) his private life, till he was about thirty years of age; and (2) his public life, which lasted about three years.

Jesus Christ as a baby—click to learn more. (illustration copyrighted—God's Story).
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In the “fulness of time” he was born at Bethlehem, in the reign of the emperor Augustus, of Mary, who was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter (Matt. 1:1; Luke 3:23; compare John 7:42). His birth was announced to shepherds (Luke 2:8-20). Wise men from the east came to Bethlehem to see him who was born “King of the Jews,” bringing gifts with them (Matt. 2:1-12). Herod's cruel jealousy led to Joseph's flight into Egypt with Mary and the infant Jesus, where they waited till the death of this king (Matt. 2:13-23), when they returned and settled in Nazareth, in Lower Galilee (2:23; compare Luke 4:16; John 1:46, etc.). At the age of twelve years he went up to Jerusalem to the Passover with his parents. There, in the temple, “in the midst of the doctors,” all that heard him were “astonished at his understanding and answers” (Luke 2:41, etc.).

Eighteen years pass during which we have no record, except that he returned to Nazareth and “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). [Some have claimed that during this period, Jesus went to India and learned from Hindu Gurus? Is this true?]

He entered his public ministry when he was about thirty years of age. It is generally believed to have lasted about three years. Each of these years had particular features of its own.

Jesus Christ—artist's conception. Illustration copyrighted. Visit our special home page devoted to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and learn much more! Go… (Discover answers to many questions about Jesus Christ)

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The years of Jesus Christ's ministry

  1. The first year may be called the year of obscurity, both because the records of it which we possess are very scanty, and because he seems during it to have been only slowly emerging into public notice. It was spent for the most part in Judea.

  2. The second year was the year of public favor, during which the country had become thoroughly aware of him; his activity was constant, and his reputation was known through the length and breadth of the land. It was almost wholly passed in Galilee.

  3. The third was the year of opposition, when the public favor ebbed away. His enemies multiplied and assailed him with more and more persistence, and at last he fell victim to their hatred. The first six months of this final year were passed in Galilee, and the last six in other parts of the land (Stalker's Life of Jesus Christ, p. 45).

The Gospels are eyewitnesses accounts of the words and work of Jesus Christ in many different aspects. (See CHRIST.)

Jesus was also the name of four other men in the Bible…

  1. Joshua, the son of Nun (the King James Version says “Jesus” in Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8; all new translations avoid confusion by using the name “Joshua”)

  2. A Jewish Christian surnamed Justus (Col. 4:11)

  3. Jesus bar-Abbas (sometimes just called Barabbas)—a prisoner released by Pontius Pilate (Matt. 27:16-17)

  4. An ancestor of Jesus Christ (Luke 3:29). Translated as Jose in the King James Version and NJKV, Joshua in the NIV, NASB, and NRSV.

Author: Matthew G. Easton and Paul S. Taylor.

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