5 occurrences in 5 dictionaries

Reference: Jesus Christ


The Son of God, the Messiah and Savior of the World, the first and principal object of the prophecies; who was prefigured and promised in the Old Testament; was expected and desired by the patriarchs; the hope and salvation of the Gentiles; the glory, happiness, and consolation of Christians. The name JESUS, in Hebrew JEHOSHUAH or Joshua, signifies Savior, or Jehovah saves. No one ever bore this name with so much justice, nor so perfectly fulfilled the signification of it, as Jesus Christ, who saves from sin and hell, and has merited heaven for us by the price of his blood. It was given to him by divine appointment, Mt 1:21, as the proper name for the Savior so long desired, and whom all the myriads of the redeemed in heaven will for ever adore as their only and all-glorious Redeemer.

JESUS was the common name of the Savior; while the name CHRIST, meaning the Anointed One, The Messiah, was his official name. Both names are used separately, in the gospels and also in the epistles; but JESUS generally stands by itself in the gospels, which are narratives of his life; while in the epistles, which treat of his divine nature and of his redeeming work, he is called CHRIST, CHRIST JESUS, or THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. See CHRIST.

Here, under the Redeemer's human name, belong the facts relating to his human nature and the history of his life upon earth. His true and complete humanity, having the soul as well as the body of man, is everywhere seen in the gospel history. He who is "God over all, blessed forever," was an Israelite "as concerning the flesh," Ro 9:5, and took upon him our whole nature, in order to be a perfect Savior. As a man, Jesus was the King of men. No words can describe that character in which such firmness and gentleness, such dignity and humility, such enthusiasm and calmness, such wisdom and simplicity, such holiness and charity, such justice and mercy, such sympathy with heaven and with earth, such love to God and love to man blended in perfect harmony. Nothing in it was redundant, and nothing was wanting. The world had never produced, nor even conceived of such a character, and its portraiture in the gospels is a proof of their divine origin, which the infidel cannot gainsay. Could the whole human race, of all ages, kindreds, and tongues, be assembled to see the crucified Redeemer as he is, and compare earth's noblest benefactors with Him, there would be but one voice among them. Every crown of glory and every meed of praise would be given to Him who alone is worthy-for perfection of character, for love to mankind, for sacrifices endured, and for benefits bestowed. His glory will forever be celebrated as the Friend of man; the Lamb sacrificed for us.

The visit of JESUS CHRIST to the earth has made it forever glorious above less favored worlds, and forms the most signal event in its annals. The time of his birth is commemorated by the Christian era, the first year of which corresponds to about the year 753 from the building of Rome. It is generally conceded, however, that the Savior was born at least four years before A. D. 1, and four thousand years after the creation of Adam. His public ministry commenced when he was thirty years of age; and continued, according to the received opinion, three and a half years. Respecting his ancestors, see GENEALOGY.

The life of the Redeemer must be studied in the four gospels, where it was recorded under the guidance of supreme wisdom. Many efforts have been made, with valuable results, to arrange the narrations of the evangelists in the true order of time. But as neither of the gospels follows the exact course of events, many incidents are very indeterminate, and are variously arranged by different harmonists. No one, however, has been more successful than Dr. Robinson in his valuable "Harmony of the Gospels".

The divine wisdom is conspicuous not only in what is taught us respecting the life of Jesus, but in what is withheld. Curiosity, and the higher motives of warm affection, raise numerous questions to which the gospels give no reply; and in proportion as men resort to dubious traditions, they lose the power of a pure and spiritual gospel. See further, concerning Christ, MESSIAH, REDEEMER, etc.

Jesus was not an uncommon name among the Jews. It was the name of the father of Elymas the sorcerer, Ac 13:6; and of Justus, a fellow-laborer and friend of Paul, Col 4:11. It is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, or Jeshua, borne by the high priest in Ezra's time, and by the well-known leader of the Jews in to the Promised Land. See also 1Sa 6:14; 2Ki 23:8. The Greek form of the word, Jesus, is twice used in the New Testament when Joshua the son of Nun is intended, Ac 7:45; Heb 4:8.

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(See JESUS.) ("Jehovah salvation"); for "He Himself (autos, not merely like Joshua He is God's instrument to save) saves His people from their sins" (Mt 1:21). CHRIST, Greek; MESSIAH, Hebrew, "anointed" (1Sa 2:10; Ps 2:2,6 margin; Da 9:25-26). Prophets, priests, and kings (Ex 30:30; 1Ki 19:15-16) were anointed, being types of Him who combines all three in Himself (De 18:18; Zec 6:13). "By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are being sanctified" (Heb 10:5,7,14; 7:25). "Christ," or the Messiah, was looked for by all Jews as "He who should come" (Mt 11:3) according to the Old Testament prophets. Immanuel "God with us" declares His Godhead; also Joh 1:1-18. (See IMMANUEL.) The New Testament shows that Jesus is the Christ (Mt 22:42-45).

Jesus is His personal name, "Christ" is His title. Appropriately, in undesigned confirmation of the Gospels, Acts, and epistles, the question throughout the Gospels is, whether Jesus is "The" (the article is always in the Greek) Christ (Mt 16:16; Joh 6:69), so in the first ministry of the word in Acts (Ac 2:36; 9:22; 10:38; 17:3). When His Messiahship became recognized "Christ" was used as His personal designation; so in the epistles.

Christ implies His consecration and qualification for the work He undertook, namely, by His unction with the Holy Spirit, of which the Old Testament oil anointings were the type; in the womb (Lu 1:35), and especially at His baptism, when the Holy Spirit (as a dove) abode on Him (Mt 3:16; Joh 1:32-33). Transl. Ps 45:7; "O God (the Son), Thy God (the Father) hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows." Full of this unction without measure (Joh 3:34) He preached at Nazareth as the Fulfiller of the scripture He read (Isa 61:1-3), giving "the oil of joy for mourning," "good tidings unto the meek" (Lu 4:17-21). Jesus' claim to be Messiah or "the Christ of God" (Lu 9:20), i.e. the anointed of the Father to be king of the earth (Ps 2:6-12; Re 11:15; 12:10), rests:

(1) On His fulfilling all the prophecies concerning Messiah, so far as His work has been completed, the earnest of the full completion; take as instances Isaiah 53; Psalm 22; Micah 5; Ho 6:2-3; Ge 49:10, compare Luke 2; "the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy" (Re 19:10; Lu 24:26,44-46; Ac 3:22-25).

(2) On His miracles (Joh 7:31; 5:36; 10:25,38). Miracles alleged in opposition, or addition, to Scripture cannot prove a divine mission (2Th 2:9; De 13:1-3; Mt 24:24), but when confirmed by Scripture they prove it indisputably.

Son of David expresses His title to David's throne over Israel and Judah yet to be (Lu 1:32-33). "King of Israel" (Joh 1:49), "King of the Jews" (Mt 2:2; 21:5), "King of Zion." As son of David He is David's "offspring"; as "root of David" (in His divine nature) He is David's "lord" (Re 22:16, compare Mt 22:42-45). His claim to the kingship was the charge against Him before Pilate (Joh 18:37; 19:3,12). The elect of God (Lu 23:35, compare Isa 42:1). The inspired summary of His life is, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him" (Ac 10:38). To be "in Christ," which occurs upward of 70 times in Paul's epistles, is not merely to copy but to be in living union with Him (1Co 15:18; 2Co 12:2), drawn from Christ's own image (Joh 15:1-10). In Christ God is manifested as He is, and man as he ought to be. Our fallen race lost the knowledge of man as utterly as they lost the knowledge of God.

Humanity in Christ is generic (1Co 15:45,47), as the second "man" or "last Adam," "the Son of man" (a title used in New Testament only by Himself of Himself, except in Stephen's dying speech, Ac 7:56; from Da 7:13; marking at once His humiliation as man's representative Head, and His consequent glorification in the same nature: Mt 20:28; 26:64.) Sinless Himself, yet merciful to sinners; meek under provocation, yet with refined sensibility; dignified, yet without arrogance; pure Himself, yet with a deep insight into evil; Christ is a character of human and divine loveliness such as man could never have invented; for no man has ever conceived, much less attained, such a standard; see His portraiture, Mt 12:15-20. Even His own brethren could not understand His withdrawal into Galilee, as, regarding Him like other men, they took it for granted that publicity was His aim (Joh 7:3-4; contrast Joh 5:44). Jesus was always more accessible than His disciples, they all rebuked the parents who brought their infants for Him to bless (Lu 18:15-17), they all would have sent the woman of Canaan away.

But He never misunderstood nor discouraged any sincere seeker, contrast Mt 20:31 with Mt 20:24-32. Earthly princes look greatest at a distance, surrounded with pomp; but He needed no earthly state, for the more closely He is viewed the more He stands forth in peerless majesty, sinless and divine. (On His miracles, see MIRACLES and on His parables, see PARABLES.) He rested His teaching on His own authority, and the claim was felt by all, through some mysterious power, to be no undue one (Mt 7:29). He appeals to Scripture as His own: "Behold I send unto you prophets," etc. (Mt 23:34; in Lu 11:49, "the Wisdom of God said, I will send them prophets".) His secret spring of unstained holiness, yet tender sympathy, was His constant communion with God; at all times, so that He was never alone (Joh 16:32), "rising up a great while before day, in a solitary place" (Mr 1:35).

Luke tells us much of His prayers: "He continued all night in prayer to God," before ordaining the twelve (Lu 6:12); it was as He was "praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended, and (the Father's) voice came from heaven, Thou art My beloved Son," etc. (Lu 3:22); it was "as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistering" (Lu 9:29); when the angel strengthened Him in Gethsemane, "in an agony He prayed more earnestly," using the additional strength received not to refresh Himself after His exhausting conflict, but to strive in supplication, His example confirming His precept, Lu 13:24 (Lu 22:44; Heb 5:7). His Father's glory, not His own, was His absorbing aim (Joh 8:29,50; 7:18); from His childhood when at 12 years old (for it was only in His 12th year that Archelaus was banished and His parents ventured to bring Him to the Passover: Josephus, Ant. 17:15) His first recorded utterance was, "Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?" or else "in My Father's places" (Lu 2:49; Ps 40:6,8).

Little is recorded of His childhood, but as much as the Spirit saw it safe for us to know; so prone is man to lose sight of Christ's main work, to fulfill the law and pay its penalty in our stead. The reticence of Scripture as remarkably shows God's inspiration of it as its records and revelations. Had the writers been left to themselves, they would have tried to gratify our natural curiosity about His early years. But a veil is drawn over all the rest of His sayings for the first 30 years. "He waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom ... He increased in wisdom" (Lu 2:40,52), which proves that He had a" reasonable soul" capable of development, as distinct from His Godhead; Athanasian Creed: "perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting." His tender considerateness for His disciples after their missionary journey, and His compassion for the fainting multitudes, outweighing all thought; of His own repose when He was weary, and when others would have been impatient of their retirement being intruded on (Mr 6:30-37), are lovely examples of His human, and at the same time superhuman, sympathy (Heb 4:15). Then how utterly void was He of resentment for wrongs.

When apprehended, instead of sharing the disciples' indignation He rebuked it; instead of rejoicing in His enemy's suffering, He removed it (Lu 22:50-51); instead of condemning His murderers He prayed for them: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Lu 23:34). What exquisite tact and tenderness appear in His dealing with the woman of Samaria (John 4), as He draws the spiritual lesson from

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There is no historical task which is more important than to set forth the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, and none to which it is so difficult to do justice. The importance of the theme is sufficiently attested by the fact that it is felt to be His due to reckon a new era from the date of His birth. From the point of view of Christian faith there is nothing in time worthy to be set beside the deeds and the words of One who is adored as God manifest in the flesh, and the Saviour of the world. In the perspective of universal history. His influence ranks with Greek culture and Roman law as one of the three most valuable elements in the heritage from the ancient world, while it surpasses these other factors in the spiritual quality of its effects. On the other hand, the superlative task has its peculiar difficulties. It is quite certain that a modern European makes many mistakes when trying to reproduce the conditions of the distant province of Oriental antiquity in which Jesus lived. The literary documents, moreover, are of no great compass, and are reticent or obscure in regard to many matters which are of capital interest to the modern biographer. And when erudition has done its best with the primary and auxiliary sources, the historian has still to put the heart-searching question whether he possesses the qualifications that would enable him to understand the character, the experience, and the purpose of Jesus. 'He who would worthily write the Life of Jesus Christ must have a pen dipped in the imaginative sympathy of a poet, in the prophet's fire, in the artist's charm and grace, and in the reverence and purity of the saint' (Stewart, The Life of Christ, 1906, p. vi.).

1. The Literary Sources

(A) Canonical

(1) The Gospels and their purpose.

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Je'sus Christ.

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.

See Jehoshua

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 Palestine, 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.)

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JESUS CHRIST, the son of God, the Messiah, and Saviour of the world, the first and principal object of the prophecies, prefigured and promised in the Old Testament, expected and desired by the patriarchs; the hope of the Gentiles; the glory, salvation, and consolation of Christians. The name Jesus, or, as the Hebrews pronounce it, ??????, Jehoshua or Joshua, '??????, signifies, he who shall save. No one ever bore this name with so much justice, nor so perfectly fulfilled the signification of it, as Jesus Christ, who saves even from sin and hell, and hath merited heaven for us by the price of his blood. It is not necessary here to narrate the history of our Saviour's life, which can no where be read with advantage except in the writings of the four evangelists; but there are several general views which require to be noticed under this article.

1. Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ or Messiah promised under the Old Testament. That he professed himself to be that Messiah to whom all the prophets gave witness, and who was, in fact, at the time of his appearing, expected by the Jews; and that he was received under that character by his disciples, and by all Christians ever since, is certain. And if the Old Testament Scriptures afford sufficiently definite marks by which the long announced Christ should be infallibly known at his advent, and these presignations are found realized in our Lord, then is the truth of his pretensions established. From the books of the Old Testament we learn that the Messiah was to authenticate his claim by miracles; and in those predictions respecting him, so many circumstances are recorded, that they could meet only in one person; and so, if they are accomplished in him, they leave no room for doubt, as far as the evidence of prophecy is deemed conclusive. As to MIRACLES, we refer to that article; here only observing, that if the miraculous works wrought by Christ were really done, they prove his mission, because, from their nature, and having been wrought to confirm his claim to be the Messiah, they necessarily imply a divine attestation. With respect to PROPHECY, the principles under which its evidence must be regarded as conclusive will be given under that head; and here therefore it will only be necessary to show the completion of the prophecies of the sacred books of the Jews relative to the Messiah in one person, and that person the founder of the Christian religion.

The time of the Messiah's appearance in the world, as predicted in the Old Testament, is defined, says Keith, by a number of concurring circumstances, which fix it to the very date of the advent of Christ. The last blessing of Jacob to his sons, when he commanded them to gather themselves together that he might tell them what should befall them in the last days, contains this prediction concerning Judah: "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be," Ge 49:10, The date fixed by this prophecy for the coming of Shiloh, or the Saviour, was not to exceed the time during which the descendants of Judah were to continue a united people, while a king should reign among them, while they should be governed by their own laws, and while their judges should be from among their brethren. The prophecy of Malachi adds another standard for measuring the time: "Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall come suddenly to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts," Mal 3:1. No words can be more expressive of the coming of the promised Messiah; and they as clearly imply his appearance in the second temple before it should be destroyed. In regard to the advent of the Messiah before the destruction of the second temple, the words of Haggai are remarkably explicit: "The desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of Hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former, and in this place will I give peace," Hag 2:7. The Saviour was thus to appear, according to the prophecies of the Old Testament, during the time of the continuance of the kingdom of Judah, previous to the demolition of the temple, and immediately subsequent to the next prophet. But the time is rendered yet more definite. In the prophecies of Daniel, the kingdom of the Messiah is not only foretold as commencing in the time of the fourth monarchy, or Roman empire, but the express number of years that were to precede his coming are plainly intimated: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sin, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know, therefore, and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks," Da 9:24-25. Computation by weeks of years was common among the Jews, and every seventh was the sabbatical year; seventy weeks, thus amounted to four hundred and ninety years. In these words the prophet marks the very time, and uses the very name of Messiah, the Prince; so entirety is all ambiguity done away. The plainest inference may be drawn from these prophecies. All of them, while, in every respect, they presuppose the most perfect knowledge of futurity; while they were unquestionably delivered and publicly known for ages previous to the time to which they referred; and while they refer to different contingent and unconnected events, utterly undeterminable and inconceivable by all human sagacity; accord in perfect unison to a single precise period where all their different lines terminate at once,

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