Who was the historical Jesus? What was his message?

Apart of theological theory there are various historical investigations done for identification of personality of historical Jesus, who is the central figure of Christianity. He also got the name Jesus “Christ”, which means, that he was the anointed one. There are a lot of gaps in the information about the personality of Jesus, like for example nothing is known for sure about his life before 30.Using various historical methods, scientists studied gospel texts as well as other non-biblical sources in order to study the biography of Jesus. As a result the following basic points were concluded by them: “Jesus was a Jewish teacher, who attracted a small following of Galileans and, after a period of ministry, was crucified by the Romans in the Iudaea Province during the governorship of Pontius Pilate” (Grant, 1997).

At the begging of the first century Jesus took up his activities on the territories of Galilee and Judea, which are at the moment Israel, Jordan and Palestine. Although the territories were under the control of the Roman Empire, they still developed hopes for sovereignty. The Roman’s Prefect was responsible for the order in Rome, but still there was a possibility of rebellion and resistance. Forty years after the death of Jesus the first Jewish-Roman war took place.

Based on the historical evidence, as presented in the Gospel, historians could not come to a single conclusion as for the role of Jesus in the first century Judaism. Some historians, like for example Sanders, are sure, that Jesus didn’t belong to any of the parties or movements. His originality was in the combination of various elements. Other researchers state, that Jesus was known for healing people and performing miracles, “while preaching God’s desire for justice and righteousness in the prophetic tradition of Judea” (Crossan, 1994).

Often Jesus is considered to be the reflection of the cultural tradition of the Qumran community. Jesus was speaking about the kingdom of God, which corresponded to the hopes of most Jews during the times after the failure of the Maccabean rebellion, that only God would help to restore the kingdom, not the Jewish movement. The fours Gospels had different variations in presenting the life of Jesus, however they were all unified in describing his messages.

Mostly the messages of Jesus were not spoken directly, but in the forms of parables and allegories, thus they couldn’t be always simply and clearly interpreted and understood. Jesus had his twelve disciples, which was already a symbol of twelve tribes of Israel, thus meaning “all Israel” (Grant, 1997). The Seventy Disciples, which are described in the Gospel of Luke, can be also interpreted as seventy nations of all humanity.

His disciples helped him to spread his teachings and messages, the major of which included “forgiveness of others, loving one’s neighbor and enemies; don’t idolize objects, treats people the same way you would want to be treated, and such” (Grant, 1997). Also Jesus stated, that he would rise after his death again and would judge the actions of dead and living people. Due to the fact, that he really seemed to threaten the social order of the Roman domination he was indeed sentenced to death and was crucified. Whether he was reborn after his death again is a matter of faith, as historically there were enough contradictions, related to his death as well as to his whole life.

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