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see JesusJesus
or Jesus Christ
, 1st-century Jewish teacher and prophet in whom Christians have traditionally seen the Messiah [Heb.,=annointed one, whence Christ from the Greek] and whom they have characterized as Son of God and as Word or Wisdom of God incarnate.
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(Greek Christós, “anointed one”), also called Jesus Christ, in Christian church teaching, the founder of Christianity. According to Gospel mythology, Christ was begotten by the “Holy Spirit” and was born of Mary, the wife of Joseph, in Bethlehem. As an infant Christ was taken to Egypt to escape from Herod I. He returned to Palestine and was baptized by John the Baptist. Gathering around him 12 disciples, among them Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Judas, he traveled throughout Palestine, preaching and working miracles. After being betrayed in Jerusalem by Judas for 30 pieces of silver, Christ was condemned to death during Passover week by the Roman governor Pontius Pilate along with two thieves. He was crucified, died, and was buried, but “after the Sabbath was over” he rose from the dead. An “antilegend” about Christ has also come down to us through the second-century Roman writer Celsus and in the Talmud and other sources according to which Christ was the son of Mary and the Roman soldier Panthera (Pandira) and was stoned to death for sorcery. Christian theology of the second, third, and fourth centuries developed the idea, alluded to in the New Testament, that Christ was the son of god, and he came to be regarded as the second person of the trinity. Orthodox Christianity conceived of Christ as god-man, in whom the human and the divine were united.

The question of the historical existence of Christ has provoked sharp controversy among specialists in religion. There are two basic schools of thought, the mythological and the historical. The first perceives Christ as a mythical figure, created out of totem beliefs or agricultural cults similar to those of Osiris and Tammuz. Some scholars regard the myth of Christ as a variant of the Buddha legend or the product of astrological speculation. The second school maintains that Christ is a historical person, citing as evidence the references to Christ contained in the works of Josephus Flavius and Tacitus, the second-century antilegends about Christ (which deny not his existence but his supposed divinity), and the early origin of the Gospels (papyrus fragments of the Gospel of St. John dating from the early second century). Among the arguments put forward by adherents of the mythological school are the discrepancies in the New Testament stories about Christ, the abundance of miracles ascribed to him, the errors in the description of the life and natural environment of Palestine, and the absence of information about Christ in the works of Greco-Roman writers of the first century. (The school disputes the authenticity of the references to Christ in the writings of Josephus Flavius and Tacitus.) Some historians of the mythological school contend that the Gospels were written at the end of the second century, that is, much later than the life of Christ that they describe, and that the image of Christ in the Gospels emerged under the influence of Plutarch.

Occupying an important place in medieval literature and art, Christ remained at the center of attention of the Renaissance artists. In modern times, Christ was perceived as a moral ideal (L. Tolstoy), as a revolutionary rebel (K. Kautsky), and as a hero-martyr (E. Renan).


Drews, A. Otritsanie istorichnosti lisusa v proshlom i nastoiashchem. Moscow, 1930. (Translated from German.)
Couchoud, P. Zagadka lisusa. Moscow, 1930. (Translated from French.)
Kublanov, M. M. lisus Khristosbog, chelovek, mif? Moscow, 1964.
Kazhdan, A. “Istoricheskoe zerno predaniia ob Iisuse.” Nauka i religiia, 1966, no. 2.
Kryvelev, I. A. Chto znaet istoriia ob Iisuse Khriste? Moscow, 1969.
Kryvelev, I. A. Istoriia religii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1975. Pages 145–155.


forgives man for his sins. [Christianity: Misc.]


Agnus Dei
lamb of god. [Christian Tradition: Brewer Dictionary, 17]
symbol of Christ’s body in Eucharist. [Christian Tradition: Luke 22:19]
chi rho
monogram of first two letters of Christ’s name in Greek. [Christian Symbolism: Appleton, 111]
Jesus, especially as the Messiah. [N.T.: Matthew 1:23]
Greek acronym for Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour. [Christian Symbolism: Child, 210]
Jesus’s area of activity. [Christianity: Wigoder, 203]
Good Shepherd
[N.T.: John 10:11–14]
Greek for ‘fish’; early Christian symbol and mystical charm. See fish. [Christian Symbolism: Brewer Dictionary, 478]
acronym of Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews,’ inscription affixed to Christ’s cross as a mockery. [Christianity: Brewer Note-Book, 450]
(I.H.S.) first three letters of Greek spelling of Jesus; also taken as acronym of Iesus Hominum Salvator ‘Jesus, Savior of Mankind.’ [Christian Symbolism: Brewer Dictionary, 480]
King of Kings
appellation for Jesus Christ. [N.T.: Revelation 17:14]
the Lord as the sacrificial animal. [Christian Symbolism: O.T.: Isaiah 53:7; N.T.: John 1:29]
symbol expressing power and courage of Jesus. [Christian Symbolism: N.T.: Revelation 5:5]
Lord of the Dance
“At Bethlehem I had my birth.” [Br. Folk Music: Carter, “Lord of the Dance” in Taylor, 128]
Lord’s Anointed, the
designation for Christ or the Messiah. [Christian Tradition: O.T.: I Samuel 26:9]
Man of Sorrows
epithet for the prophesied Messiah. [O.T.: Isaiah 53:3]
expected leader who will deliver the Jews from their enemies; applied by Christians to Jesus. [O.T., N.T.: Brewer Dictionary, 602]
Piers the Plowman
English plowman who becomes allegorical figure of Christ incarnate. [Br. Lit.: The Vision of William, Concerning Piers the Plowman, Magill III, 1105–1107]
token of the Lord and his coming. [Christian Symbolism: O.T.: Numbers, 24:17; N.T.: Revelation 22:16]
gives nourishment to branches or followers. [Christian Symbolism: Appleton, 107; N.T.: John 15:5]
symbol of Christ’s blood in Eucharist. [Christian Tradition: “Eucharist” in Cross, 468–469]


1. Jesus of Nazareth (Jesus Christ), regarded by Christians as fulfilling Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah
2. the Messiah or anointed one of God as the subject of Old Testament prophecies
3. an image or picture of Christ
References in periodicals archive ?
Rather, the likelihood that human dominion will have positive results increases to the degree that dominion is wielded by increasingly virtuous, increasingly Christlike individuals, and by communities shaped by the Christian vision of service and stewardship.
The domestic role of women in the nineteenth century placed them in the Christlike position of literally feeding the "flock" that is, their (extended) family.
Unlike Joe Christmas, young Sam McPherson is not portrayed in mythic or archetypic terms as a Christ-figure; but Sam's early visionary mentor, Mike McCarthy, a mentally disturbed but often lyrically inspired prisoner whose ravings are overheard from his cell in the village jail, is indeed presented, though grotesquely and half-parodically, as Christlike -- loving but martyred.
Won Sang Lee, SEED International and Korean Central Presbyterian Church, Centreville, Virginia, points participants toward spiritually fervent, Christlike service of God and others.
In the same way that Jesus the compassionate High Priest is always deeply moved by those in need, so, too, directs his followers especially to clothe themselves with the Christlike virtue of compassion ([Matt.
The monk believes he is created in God's image and that he has a free will with which to choose to act Christlike - or not.
Luther also attributes this faith (manifested as Christlike obedience) to Isaac.
A Christlike Christian is wonderful, no matter what she looks like.
Harry Berger makes a larger claim, arguing that Edgar gives himself a Christlike role (62).
His accommodation of sacred truth to Vincent and to the reader is Christlike; his accommodatio also makes him akin to the Erasmian Sileni, and in that way as well Christlike.
Corpus Christi adds new twists to Terrence McNally's passion play and promises Allen as the Christlike lead By Wenzel Jones
But, neither the one nor the other makes us Divine, nor Christlike in the sense in which Christ is present in the tabernacle, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.

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