A prophet of the first century (circa 8 BC - 29 AD); to Christians he was both God and man--the Messiah sent to save the human race from the sin it inherited through the Fall of Man.
(c. 4 BC-AD 29 or 30) Hebrew preacher on whose teachings Christianity was founded. According to the accounts of his life in the four Gospels, he was born in Bethlehem, Palestine, son of God and the Virgin Mary, and brought up by Mary and her husband Joseph as a carpenter in Nazareth. After adult baptism, he gathered 12 disciples, but his preaching antagonized the Roman authorities and he was executed by crucifixion. Three days later there came reports of his resurrection and, later, his ascension to heaven.
Through his legal father Joseph, Jesus belonged to the tribe of Judah and the family of David, the second king of Israel, a heritage needed by the Messiah for whom the Hebrew people were waiting. In AD 26 or 27 his cousin John the Baptist proclaimed the coming of the promised Messiah and baptized Jesus, who then made two missionary journeys through the district of Galilee. His teaching, summarized in the Sermon on the Mount, aroused both religious opposition from the Pharisees and secular opposition from the party supporting the Roman governor Herod Antipas. When Jesus returned to Jerusalem (probably in AD 29), a week before the Passover festival, he was greeted by the people as the Messiah, and the Hebrew authorities (aided by the apostle Judas) had him arrested and condemned to death, after a hurried trial by the Sanhedrin (supreme Jewish court). The Roman procurator, Pontius Pilate, confirmed the sentence, stressing the threat posed to imperial authority by Jesus' teaching.
Jesus urged his followers to love others as themselves, and to worship and love God. Moreover, they should live life with purity of heart, sensitivity to others, and without pride or anxiety. These teachings soon became complicated by various interpretations, and both individual Christians and Christian institutions have departed from the high standard he set.
Grčki oblik jevrejskog imena Jehoshua, tj. onaj čija je pomoć Jahveh (Jehova); up. Hristos.