What was the real name of Jesus Christ

Did Jesus Christ Really Live?

The story is more than dramatic: a young preacher is sentenced to death for blasphemy under rather dubious circumstances. The judgment is carried out by crucifixion in front of the city wall of Jerusalem. The young man dies and is buried by friends. A few days later, however, they find the grave empty and hear from an angel that the dead man has ascended to heaven. And whoever believes in him can hope for the same.

This is how the Easter story, one of the central narratives of Christianity, goes, very much abbreviated. From this a world religion has developed. If we have time off these days, it is because of these processes around 2000 years ago. But what was really going on back then? Did Jesus Christ Really Exist? Researchers have some exciting answers to this.

A large number of scientists assume that Jesus actually lived - even if many of the traditions about him are confused. "The diversity and sometimes the contradiction in the traditions of Jesus are an indication that we are really dealing with historical facts," says Annette Merz, Protestant professor for the New Testament in Groningen.

And Stefan Schreiber, Catholic professor for the New Testament at the University of Augsburg, adds: “I would say, from a historical point of view, it is most likely that Jesus of Nazareth existed - simply because we have such a broad tradition about him. Of course, the whole range of Christian sources, but also notes, short texts in ancient literature that also testify to this figure. "

References among others from the Romans

In fact, there are references to Jesus from the Jewish-Roman historian Flavius ​​Josephus, the Roman emperor biographer Suetonius and the Roman historian and senator Tacitus, for example.

But one has to distinguish between two things: the Christ figure of faith and the historical personality of the real living person. And not everything always agrees. So it is considered unlikely that Jesus was actually born in the year that we now call 0, more likely two or three years before that. And he was probably not born in Bethlehem, as the Christmas story says, but rather in Nazareth. He spoke Aramaic, but opinions differ about whether he could also speak Greek.

His Aramaic name was Yeshua ben Joseph. He was called Jesus in the gospels of the Bible written in Greek. There are no direct archaeological traces of him. But this is not considered to be surprising, because it applies to the vast majority of the people of this time, especially the poorer ones. "It would be very unusual to find 2,000 year-old evidence of the life of a single person," says the Italian archaeologist Eugenio Alliata, who is also a Franciscan monk.

He probably didn't want to found his own religion

Researchers believe that after his youth, Jesus joined the group of a religious preacher called John the Baptist. Later he had his own followers and was an itinerant preacher. Jesus was Jewish. He probably didn't want to found his own religion at all. But he wanted to prepare people so that God's rule on earth would soon begin. Nobody knows what Jesus looked like. It's not unlikely that he was dark-skinned.

He became a danger for the religious Jewish establishment and the Roman occupying power in his homeland when he placed the rule of God above everything else - and thus brought the secular and spiritual rulers into difficulties of explanation, for which they were actually needed. So he must have died, probably around the year 30.

Bible texts were clearly written after his death

Some of the biblical texts of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were written down much later, in the second half of the 1st century. Perhaps that explains why some details are not right. In addition, the historical person was embedded in a religious setting. This means that some things were simply made suitable so that, for example, previous prophecies of older texts actually apply.

Jesus also appears in the Koran as Īsā ibn Maryam (Jesus, son of Mary). In Islam he is an important prophet, but is not considered the son of God as in Christianity. Jesus (Jeschu) also appears in the Jewish Talmud. However, the information does not match that in the Bible. The Jews do not consider Jesus the Son of God.