Stories of Jesus

What does Josephus say about Jesus?

Most scholars agree that Josephus wrote about Jesus Christ in his book, Jewish Antiquities (see Antiquities 18.3.3). However, because Christians preserved his writings they argue that Christian scribes to support their claims about Jesus tampered with the original...

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Who is Josephus?

Joseph ben Matthias ha-Cohen, commonly known as Josephus, was a Jew, born in A.D. 37 to an aristocratic priestly family. His native language was Aramaic, although he would have known Hebrew well, and all of his surviving writings are in Greek. At different times, his...

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What is a Targum?

A Targum (plural Targumim) is an Aramaic translation and/or paraphrase of the Hebrew Bible. They are known from the Medieval period, but with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the twentieth century which included some Targumim (4QtgLev, 4QtgJob, 11QtgJob, and...

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Who are the Magi?

The account of the Magi, or Wise Men, is a well-known and loved part of the Christmas story. Nevertheless, Matthew's account simply states that when Jesus Christ was born, "there came wise men from the east," without specifying how many there were, exactly who they...

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Who was John the Baptist?

John the Baptist was born to righteous and devout parents of priestly descent in a small village in Judea, traditionally identified as Ein Karem, a modern suburb of Jerusalem. He played a singular role at the beginning of Jesus Christ's ministry. Each gospel provides...

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What is crucifixion?

Crucifixion was an ancient method of execution the Romans adopted almost exclusively to deter criminal acts by non-roman citizens in the empire. Crucifixions were carried out on busy streets, particularly on roads that led into and out of city centers. The Romans...

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What scriptures did Jesus know?

The Jewish scriptures (the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament) were not finalized in its current form until the end of the New Testament period, about A.D. 90. Before this time, various Jewish groups or sects held differing views about which of the Jewish writings were...

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What is the Via Dolorosa?

Many visitors to the Old City in Jerusalem take the opportunity to walk along a crowded pedestrian way that is marked in Arabic, English, and Hebrew as "Via Dolorosa." The Latin name means "the Way of Sorrow," "the Way of Grief," or "the Way of Pain." According to a...

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What is the shroud of Turin?

The pressing question for those who dismiss the Shroud of Turin as a fake and those who profess its authenticity is what elements of its existence can reasonably be proven. Although surprising to some, the fact is that very little about the shroud can be proven. The...

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What is the Sermon on the Mount?

The Sermon on the Mount is Jesus Christ's most famous discourse. Many Christians and non-Christians have been deeply impressed and motivated by its teachings. Some people refer to it as the revelation of the higher law at a time when God's people were still under the...

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Was Pilate a Christian?

The Gospel of Matthew reports that Pilate's wife said to him, "Have thou nothing to do with that just man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him" (Matthew 27:19). This report may have found its way into the Gospels from a variety of...

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What are the names of Jesus’ parables?

Surprisingly, only two of Jesus Christ's parables are given names in the text or manuscripts of the New Testament: the "parable of the Sower" (Matthew 13:18) and the "parable of the tares of the field" (Matthew 13:36). The other parables bear names that are the result...

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When is Easter?

The observance of the feast of Passover extends back to the time when the children of Israel were commanded to obey it as part of their delivery from Egyptian captivity. The festival, beginning on Nisan 14 (modern March-April) with the sacrifice of the lambs, lasted...

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Who is Joseph Caiaphas?

Joseph Caiaphas (AD 18-36) was a Jewish leader in the first century. All four Gospel accounts place Caiaphas at the center of Jesus Christ's interrogation by Jewish authorities and his delivery to Pilate. What is surprising about the way in which Caiaphas' story is...

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