When it comes to the life of Jesus, the main source of information comes from the Bible. Specifically, the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John provide the most detailed accounts of Jesus’ life, teachings, and ministry.
The Gospels are considered to be historical accounts written by eyewitnesses or those who were close to eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life. They were written in Greek between 70-100 AD and are comprised of narratives, teachings, parables, and miracles performed by Jesus during his time on earth.
Matthew was one of Jesus’ disciples and his Gospel emphasizes Jesus as the Messiah and fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. It includes details about his birth, baptism, teachings like the Sermon on the Mount, parables like the Good Samaritan, and his crucifixion and resurrection.
Mark is believed to have been a disciple of Peter and his Gospel is known for its fast-paced narrative style. It focuses on Jesus as a miracle-worker and includes stories about healings like the blind man at Bethsaida and exorcisms like that of Legion.
Luke was a physician and companion of Paul’s who wrote one of the longest Gospels. He emphasizes Jesus as a compassionate healer who reaches out to marginalized groups like women and Gentiles. His Gospel includes details about Mary’s visitation by an angel before Jesus’ birth, stories like that of Zacchaeus the tax collector, and parables such as that of The Prodigal Son.
John was another disciple who wrote his Gospel later than Matthew, Mark or Luke. His Gospel emphasizes Jesus as both human and divine with statements like “In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1) which identifies Jesus with God at Creation. It includes stories about miracles such as the feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus’ interactions with people like Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman at the well.
While the Gospels provide the most detailed accounts of Jesus’ life, there are other sources that mention him. For example, Josephus was a Jewish historian who wrote about Jesus’ crucifixion under Pontius Pilate. The Roman historian Tacitus also mentioned Jesus in his account of Nero’s persecution of Christians.
However, these secondary sources do not provide as much information about Jesus as the Gospels do. They can corroborate some details like his crucifixion but lack the depth and detail provided by eyewitness accounts.
In conclusion, when it comes to learning about the life of Jesus, the primary source is the Bible with its four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These accounts were written by eyewitnesses or close associates of eyewitnesses and provide detailed narratives of his teachings, miracles, and interactions with others during his ministry on earth. While there are other sources that mention him, none can match the depth and detail provided by these primary sources.