What Are the Only Records of Jesus Life?

The life of Jesus Christ is one of the most debated and discussed topics in history. While there are many stories and accounts of his life, only a handful of records are considered reliable. In this article, we will explore the only records of Jesus’ life that are widely accepted by scholars and historians.

The Gospels

The four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – are the primary sources for the life of Jesus. These books were written by four different authors, each with their own unique perspective. Matthew was a tax collector who became a disciple of Jesus; Mark was a follower of Peter; Luke was a physician and companion of Paul; and John was one of the twelve disciples.

These books were written between 70-100 AD, several decades after Jesus’ death. They contain accounts of his birth, teachings, miracles, crucifixion, and resurrection. While there are some variations in the details between the four Gospels, they all agree on the essential aspects of Jesus’ life.

Matthew

Matthew’s Gospel focuses on Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. He begins with Jesus’ genealogy and birth story before moving on to his teachings and miracles.

Matthew’s account includes many parables that illustrate moral lessons such as the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. He also describes Jesus’ arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection.

Mark

Mark’s Gospel is known for its brevity and fast-paced narrative style. He begins with John the Baptist’s proclamation that someone greater than him is coming soon – referring to Jesus – before describing his baptism in the Jordan River by John. Mark then goes on to describe Jesus’ teachings and miracles before focusing on his journey to Jerusalem for his final week.

Luke

Luke’s Gospel is known for its attention to detail and emphasis on Jesus’ compassion for the poor and marginalized. He begins with the story of John the Baptist’s birth and moves on to describe Jesus’ early life before getting into his teachings and miracles.

Luke also includes several parables unique to his Gospel, such as the Prodigal Son. He describes Jesus’ arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection in detail.

John

John’s Gospel is unique in that it focuses more on the spiritual aspect of Jesus’ life rather than his teachings and miracles. He begins with a poetic description of Jesus as the Word made flesh before moving on to describe his ministry in Galilee.

John also includes several discourses by Jesus, such as the famous “I am the way, the truth, and the life” speech.

Other Sources

While the Gospels are considered the most reliable records of Jesus’ life, there are other sources that provide some insight into his existence. The Roman historian Tacitus mentions “Christus” (Christ) in his Annals as someone who was executed during Pontius Pilate’s reign. The Jewish historian Josephus also mentions Jesus in his Antiquities of the Jews.

However, these sources are not without controversy. Some argue that Tacitus’ account may have been based on hearsay or second-hand information while others believe that Josephus’ passage about Jesus may have been tampered with by Christian scribes.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while there are many stories and accounts of Jesus’ life, only a handful of records are considered reliable by scholars and historians – primarily the four Gospels. These books provide detailed accounts of Jesus’ teachings, miracles, arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. While there may be some variations between them, they all agree on the essential aspects of Jesus’ life.