Jesus, also known as Jesus Christ, is the central figure in Christianity. Most Christian groups believe that Jesus is God, and Muslims believe he was one of God’s prophets. Because of his significance in these religions, many consider him the one of the most influential historical figures of all time.
The primary sources about Jesus and his teachings are the four Gospels, which depict him as a Jewish preacher and healer often at odds with Jewish authorities at that time. These Gospels focus primarily on his last one to three years, especially the last week before a death by crucifixion, which, based on some historical data mentioned, would have been anywhere from the years 29 to 33. Both the Anno Domini system and the more recent Common Era system of reckoning years have their origin in a faulty 6th Century attempt to calculate the year of his birth, which most now estimate would have been from 8 BC/BCE to 4 BC/BCE.
“Jesus” transliterates the Greek [Iēsoûs] found in the Greek text of the Gospels, and is assumed to be itself a transliteration from Aramaic or Hebrew (Yehoshua or Yeshua). Aramaic forms of the name include Yeshu, Ishu, and Eshu. The Arabic form of the name is Isa or Issa. “Christ” is a theological title, transliterating the Greek(Christos), in turn a translation of the Hebrew Mashiach, meaning “the anointed one”. This refers to the belief that Jesus was the Messiah.
The historicity, teachings, and nature of Jesus are subject to debate and controversy among Christians and outside Christian communities. There are very few known textual references to Jesus from the first century, other than Christian texts. The historical significance of mentions of Jesus in works significantly post-dating the first century is disputable. While most historians and scholars have either assumed or concluded that Jesus probably lived, a number have seriously questioned this – and many have found the issue undecidable by historical means alone.
The acts and words attributed to Jesus by the gospels constitute Christianity’s basic teachings. Most groups that identify themselves as Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah promised by God to bring salvation to humanity, and that he was one of the persons in the Godhead of the Trinity. Most Christians honorifically capitalize pronouns which refer to Jesus (as they also do for God) based upon their belief that Jesus was God incarnate.