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Jesus of Nazareth, The Alpha and the Omega

This author would be taking an arrogant stance indeed if he were to imply that he could "cover" the life of Jesus Christ in a short encyclopaedia style article intended as background material in an ancient history information resource. The chronicles of history are filled with the writings of individuals far more qualified to discuss the significance of the life of Christ, most notably, Jesus Himself!

For a theological perspective on the significance of the person and life of Jesus Christ, as well as the context of the society within which he lived, I redfer the reader to the writings of Paul the Apostle, the Vulgate Latin translation of the Old and New Testament scriptures produced by Saint Jerome sometime in the 380's A. D., the ancioent Hebrew manuscripts and the Jewish Torah, the canonical writings of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, and the various versions and translations of the Bible produced by the various Protestant churches.

Jesus was born the son of a poor Judaean carpenter and his wife Maria. Scriptures tell us that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit while Maria was yet a virgin and his person consisted of both a divine and a human nature. For her role as the mother of Jesus, Maria is given a place of the highest esteem and reverence by the Catholic Church but is not worshipped as divine. The names of these three family members have been rendered with many different spellings and pronunciations in every language on Earth, but scholars tell us Jesus probably spoke Aramaic and Hebrew while growing up in the hilly country in the region of Nazareth. Very little is known about the early life of Jesus, save for one incident that occurred when he was about twelve years old. He had wandered off from the caravan in which he and his parents were traveling and was found later in the temple explaining points of scripture to the learned doctors of Jewish law. When he learned that he had been the cause of much grief and worry to his parents, who had been searching for him amongst the baggage train for three days. When he understood the hurt that he had caused by his wandering off without telling his parents, he humbly made a committment to be obedient to his parents during the remaining years of his minority. This event is held up by Church scholars and theologians as demonstrating Jesus' growing awareness of his dual nature as God and man, and putting both parts of his nature in proper perspective.

The life and teachings of Jesus have been recorded by the four apostolic authors of the Gospels in such a simple, straightforward way that a reading of their chronicles of these events is totally understandable by even young children. He is recorded himself as saying that "If you would enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, you must become as one of these", indicating the small children who were gathered around him at that time.


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