Jesus

Introduction

Jesus or Jesus Christ (jēˈzəs krĪst, jēˈzəz) [key], 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. Muslims acknowledge him as a prophet, and Hindus as an avatar (see avatara). He was born just before the death of King Herod the Great (37 B.C.–4 B.C.) and was crucified after a brief public ministry during Pontius Pilate's term as prefect of Judaea (A.D. 26–36).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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