JESUS Summary and Overview
JESUS in Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1.) Joshua, the son of Nun (Acts 7:45; Heb. 4:8; R.V., "Joshua"). (2.) A Jewish Christian surnamed Justus (Col. 4:11). Je'sus, the proper, as Christ is the official, name of our Lord. To distinguish him from others so called, he is spoken of as "Jesus of Nazareth" (John 18:7), and "Jesus the son of Joseph" (John 6:42). This is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, which was originally Hoshea (Num. 13:8, 16), but changed by Moses into Jehoshua (Num. 13:16; 1 Chr. 7:27), or Joshua. After the Exile it assumed the form Jeshua, whence the Greek form Jesus. It was given to our Lord to denote the object of his mission, to save (Matt. 1:21). The life of Jesus on earth may be divided into two great periods, (1) that of his private life, till he was about thirty years of age; and (2) that of his public life, which lasted about three years. In the "fulness of time" he was born at Bethlehem, in the reign of the emperor Augustus, of Mary, who was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter (Matt. 1:1; Luke 3:23; compare John 7:42). His birth was announced to the shepherds (Luke 2:8-20). Wise men from the east came to Bethlehem to see him who was born "King of the Jews," bringing gifts with them (Matt. 2:1-12). Herod's cruel jealousy led to Joseph's flight into Egypt with Mary and the infant Jesus, where they tarried till the death of this king (Matt. 2:13-23), when they returned and settled in Nazareth, in Lower Galilee (2:23; compare Luke 4:16; John 1:46, etc.). At the age of twelve years he went up to Jerusalem to the Passover with his parents. There, in the temple, "in the midst of the doctors," all that heard him were "astonished at his understanding and answers" (Luke 2:41, etc.). Eighteen years pass, of which we have no record beyond this, that he returned to Nazareth and "increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man" (Luke 2:52). He entered on his public ministry when he was about thirty years of age. It is generally reckoned to have extended to about three years. "Each of these years had peculiar features of its own. (1.) The first year may be called the year of obscurity, both because the records of it which we possess are very scanty, and because he seems during it to have been only slowly emerging into public notice. It was spent for the most part in Judea. (2.) The second year was the year of public favour, during which the country had become thoroughly aware of him; his activity was incessant, and his frame rang through the length and breadth of the land. It was almost wholly passed in Galilee. (3.) The third was the year of opposition, when the public favour ebbed away. His enemies multiplied and assailed him with more and more pertinacity, and at last he fell a victim to their hatred. The first six months of this final year were passed in Galilee, and the last six in other parts of the land.", Stalker's Life of Jesus Christ, p. 45. The only reliable sources of information regarding the life of Christ on earth are the Gospels, which present in historical detail the words and the work of Christ in so many different aspects. (See CHIRST T0000818.)
JESUS in Smith's Bible Dictionary
"The life and character of Jesus Christ," says Dr. Schaff, "is the holy of holies in the history of the world." 1. NAME. --The name Jesus signifies saviour. It is the Greek form of JEHOSHUA (Joshua). The name Christ signifies anointed. Jesus was both priest and king. Among the Jews priests were anointed, as their inauguration to their office. #1Ch 16:22| In the New Testament the name Christ is used as equivalent to the Hebrew Messiah (anointed), #Joh 1:41| the name given to the long-promised Prophet and King whom the Jews had been taught by their prophets to expect. #Mt 11:3; Ac 19:4| The use of this name, as applied to the Lord, has always a reference to the promises of the prophets. The name of Jesus is the proper name of our Lord, and that of Christ is added to identify him with the promised Messiah. Other names are sometimes added to the names Jesus Christ, thus, "Lord," "a king," "King of Israel," "Emmanuel," "Son of David," "chosen of God." II. BIRTH. --Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, God being his father, at Bethlehem of Judea, six miles south of Jerusalem. The date of his birth was most probably in December, B.C. 5, four years before the era from which we count our years. That era was not used till several hundred years after Christ. The calculations were made by a learned monk, Dionysius Exiguus, in the sixth century, who made an error of four years; so that to get the exact date from the birth of Christ we must add four years to our usual dates; i.e. A.D. 1882 is really 1886 years since the birth of Christ. It is also more than likely that our usual date for Christmas, December 25, is not far from the real date of Christ's birth. Since the 25th of December comes when the longest night gives way to the returning sun on his triumphant march, it makes an appropriate anniversary to make the birth of him who appeared in the darkest night of error and sin as the true Light of the world. At the time of Christ's birth Augustus Caesar was emperor of Rome, and Herod the Great king of Judea, but subject of Rome. God's providence had prepared the world for the coming of Christ, and this was the fittest time in all its history. 1. All the world was subject to one government, so that the apostles could travel everywhere: the door of every land was open for the gospel. 2. The world was at peace, so that the gospel could have free course. 3. The Greek language was spoken everywhere with their other languages. 4. The Jews were scattered everywhere with synagogues and Bibles. III. EARLY LIFE. --Jesus, having a manger at Bethlehem for his cradle, received a visit of adoration from the three wise men of the East. At forty days old he was taken to the temple at Jerusalem; and returning to Bethlehem, was soon taken to Egypt to escape Herod's massacre of the infants there. After a few months stay there, Herod having died in April, B.C. 4, the family returned to their Nazareth home, where Jesus lived till he was about thirty years old, subject to his parent, and increasing "in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." The only incident recorded of his early life is his going up to Jerusalem to attend the passover when he was twelve years old, and his conversation with the learned men in the temple. But we can understand the childhood and youth of Jesus better when we remember the surrounding influences amid which he grew. 1. The natural scenery was rugged and mountainous, but full of beauty. He breathed the pure air. He lived in a village, not in a city. 2. The Roman dominion was irksome and galling. The people of God were subject to a foreign yoke. The taxes were heavy. Roman soldiers, laws, money, every reminded them of their subjection, when they ought to be free and themselves the rulers of the world. When Jesus was ten years old, there was a great insurrection, #Ac 5:37| in Galilee. He who was to be King of the Jews heard and felt all this. 3. The Jewish hopes of a Redeemer, of throwing off their bondage, of becoming the glorious nation promised in the prophet, were in the very air he breathed. The conversation at home and in the streets was full of them. 4. Within his view, and his boyish excursions, were many remarkable historic places, --rivers, hills, cities, plains, --that would keep in mind the history of his people and God's dealings with them. 5. His school training. Mr. Deutsch, in the Quarterly Review, says, "Eighty years before Christ, schools flourished throughout the length and the breadth of the land: education had been made compulsory. While there is not a single term for 'school' to be found before the captivity, there were by that time about a dozen in common usage. Here are a few of the innumerable popular sayings of the period: 'Jerusalem was destroyed because the instruction of the young was neglected.' 'The world is only saved by the breath of the school-children.' 'Even for the rebuilding of the temple the schools must not be interrupted.'" 6. His home training. According to Ellicott, the stages of Jewish childhood were marked as follows: "At three the boy was weaned, and word for the first time the fringed or tasselled garment prescribed by #Nu 15:38-41| and Deut 22:12 His education began at first under the mother's care. At five he was to learn the law, at first by extracts written on scrolls of the more important passages, the Shema or creed of #De 2:4| the Hallel or festival psalms, Psal 114, 118, 136, and by catechetical teaching in school. At twelve he became more directly responsible for his obedience of the law; and on the day when he attained the age of thirteen, put on for the first time the phylacteries which were worn at the recital of his daily prayer." In addition to this, Jesus no doubt learned the carpenter's trade of his reputed father Joseph, and, as Joseph probably died before Jesus began his public ministry, he may have contributed to the support of his mother. (IV. PUBLIC MINISTRY. --All the leading events recorded of Jesus' life are given at the end of this volume in the Chronological Chart and in the Chronological Table of the life of Christ; so that here will be given only a general survey. Jesus began to enter upon his ministry when he was "about thirty years old;" that is, he was not very far from thirty, older or younger. He is regarded as nearly thirty-one by Andrews (in the tables of chronology referred to above) and by most others. Having been baptized by John early in the winter of 26-27, he spent the larger portion of his year in Judea and about the lower Jordan, till in December he went northward to Galilee through Samaria. The next year and a half, from December, A.D. 27, to October or November, A.D. 29, was spent in Galilee and norther Israel, chiefly in the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee. In November, 29, Jesus made his final departure from Galilee, and the rest of his ministry was in Judea and Perea, beyond Jordan, till his crucifixion, April 7, A.D. 30. After three days he proved his divinity by rising from the dead; and after appearing on eleven different occasions to his disciples during forty days, he finally ascended to heaven, where he is the living, ever present, all-powerful Saviour of his people. Jesus Christ, being both human and divine, is fitted to be the true Saviour of men. In this, as in every action and character, he is shown to be "the wisdom and power of God unto salvation." As human, he reaches down to our natures, sympathizes with us, shows us that God knows all our feelings and weaknesses and sorrows and sins, brings God near to us, who otherwise could not realize the Infinite and Eternal as a father and friend. He is divine, in order that he may be an all-powerful, all-loving Saviour, able and willing to defend us from every enemy, to subdue all temptations, to deliver from all sin, and to bring each of his people, and the whole Church, into complete and final victory. Jesus Christ is the centre of the world's history, as he is the centre of the Bible. --ED.)
JESUS in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
JE'SUS the Greek form for Hebrew "Jehoshua," contracted to "Joshua." This term means "Saviour." Matt 1:21. It occurs only in the N.T.; and though it is not exclusively applied to Christ, it should be, for in Acts 7:45, Col 4:11, and Heb 4:8, "Joshua," and not "Jesus," is the proper rendering, although the two names have originally the same meaning. In the evangelical history our Saviour is designated by the name of "Christ" alone in nearly 300 passages; by the name of "Jesus Christ," or "Christ Jesus," less than 100 times; and by the name of the "Lord Jesus Christ" less than 50. See Christ Jesus.
JESUS in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
1. Greek of Joshua, Jeshua, or Jehoshua (salvation of Jehovah): Acts 7:45; Hebrews 4:8. 2. Called Justus: with Paul, at Rome, saluted the Colossians (Colossians 4:11): "of the circumcision, a fellow worker unto the kingdom of God," and so "a comfort" to the apostle.