According to Christian theology, specified in the
course of the first four ecumenical councils, the son of God, the
Incarnate Word, true God and true man, second person of the
Trinity, was embodied for a free act of love in order to redeem
mankind from sin and to free it from death.
Jesus means in Hebrew “God is salvation”, Christ means “The Anointment of the Lord”, “Messiah”. The life, work and message of Jesus of Nazareth are attested by the New Testament (that comprises the four Gospels of Matthew, Luke, Mark and John), besides some other apocryphal gospels; indirect hints to his person are made by Roman historiographers (Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger).
The date of the birth of Jesus, with which the Vulgar Era begins, cannot be established with precision: according to historians, Jesus would have been born between the 9 and 5 before the Vulgar Era.
He was born of the Virgin Mary in a hut in Bethlehem, he was worshipped by shepherds, honoured with the gifts of the Magi ( the Three Kings ), circumcised according to Hebrew customs and presented at the Temple; with Mary and Joseph, his putative father, he to had to flee Egypt in order to escape the massacre of the innocents ordered by Herod and as such returned to Nazareth, where his family resided. At the age of twelve, after going to Jerusalem for Easter, he was found again by his mother in the temple while he was arguing with the doctors.
When he was an adult, perhaps at the age of thirty, he went to John the Baptist, the Precursor, in order to receive the Baptism, and began therefore his preaching.
Among the disciples, he chose twelve apostles, who followed him during his preachings.
The historical critic is uncertain if the preaching of Jesus, carried out in great part in Galilee, around the lake of Tiberias (or Sea of Galilee), lasted one or three years. During this period Jesus preached the Gospel or “good news”, based on the announcement of the Kingdom (“the time is come and the Kingdom of God is near; convert yourselves and believe in the Gospel”, Mk 1,15), the fulfilment of the messianic expectation of Israel and he performed miracles.
Jesus announced his message, sometimes through parables, other times through a more strict form of teaching: he proclaimed blessings on the poor, the persecuted, the outcasts while condemning every form of wealth and power.
A central ethic rule is that of the love for God and those around us, that has its foundation in the love with which God the Father encircles every creature, as indicated in the prayer taught by Jesus, “Our Father”.
At the age of 33, he went once again to Jerusalem, celebrated Easter instituting, during the Last Supper, the Eucharist; betrayed by one of his apostles, Judas, he was arrested, judged and condemned by the high priest Caiaphas and then brought before the roman governor Pontius Pilate. Insulted and wounded, he was condemned to crucifixion and died on the cross. On the third day, he rose again; for 40 days he appeared in vision to several disciples and to the Apostles, he ascended to Heaven to sit on the right hand of God the Father.
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