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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 ?
(10) Rick Love, Grace and Truth: Toward Christlike Relationships with Muslims (Arvada, CO: Peace Catalyst International Publications, 2013).
First, training leaders to be godly and Christlike is the wrong way round.
Perhaps, so I would to think, there is an aspect of Christlike love in such an attitude, where the seemingly unforgivable is forgiven.
On the other, living an eremitical life was also a way of becoming Christlike. Both of these interpretations indicate that eremitism should be seen as reflecting and helping to shape wider spiritual developments in Christian society.
Why do the sporting spectacle of the Ali-Frazier fight and the self-defining spectacle of Fox's Christlike run through the Canadian wilderness seem so strangely enthralling?
Responding to the media attention this story aroused, Paul Schrag, editor of The Mennonite Weekly Review, observed that their actions seemed an example both of Christlike virtue and of an apparently unattainably high standard of obedience to the biblical command to forgive.
Street dogs and marginalized individuals sleep, loiter, and relieve themselves in public with equal abandon; inebriated teenagers crowd around a scrawny, naked friend, who is splayed out Christlike on a wooden table; a man (the artist himself) hurls his body toward the sidewalk in a staged episode of what looks like projectile vomiting, consistent with the daily spectacle of excess and deprivation.
Its central theme--that of a lost soul of the undead--has unambiguous religions implications, as do the Christlike mysterious man and the ghostly projections that pervade the film.
Two old ladies sat in front of Mr B took the interlude with almost Christlike patience.
Both Eisner and Fingeroth agree that there is nothing necessarily Jewish about the character of the Spirit--in fact Eisner admits that while his decision to have a police officer named Denny Colt brought back to life is, in hindsight, "Christlike," the religious symbolism did not occur to him at the time; it merely served his narrative agenda.
Despite being a character who is idealized to the point of being Christlike, he does not display here any hesitation or remorse about this intention, nor any Christlike compassion for the fellow human whom he plans to murder.
Bethune, of course, was the son of a Presbyterian minister, but to Lily his brand of communism, typified by a lifelong devotion to "the least of these," and his ultimate sacrifice in the cause of saving the lives of friend and foe alike seem more Christlike than the actions of many she meets here who call themselves Christian.

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