Know Biography of Jesus of Nazareth, Christianity And The Gospels

Biography of Jesus of Nazareth

If we disregard the Gospels, the figure of Nazareth Christ, whose message about Christian religion emerged, remains shrouded in mystery. There are few documents that can be used as sources for historical study on the life of Nazareth Christ. Despite being the character represented in more works of art, both painting and sculpture, are unaware of their features and appearance, and indeed it is impossible to write his biography in the modern sense. Like Socrates, left nothing in writing. The Gospels of Mark, Luke, Matthew and John have no historical intent: the purpose of these narratives, made with a distinctive literary style, was a written record of the life and message of the Master.

But this does not cease to be “historical” facts they relate. Luke, the physician dominated Syrian perfectly the Greek, his native language, makes this clear in the prologue that precedes his Gospel: “Since many have undertaken to tell in order the things that have been fulfilled among us, as we which were handed from the beginning were eyewitnesses, […] having diligently researched everything from the beginning, I write out of order, most excellent Theophilus …». Theophilus, by treatment that gives Lucas would be an important and influential figure in the environment.

The so-called radical critique of liberal Protestant applied to the Gospels was even denying the historical existence of the Nazarene. Fair or Tiberias in his History of the Jews or Philo of Alexandria about Nazareth . But his historical existence is attested with sufficient clarity by authors such as Tacitus in his Annals, by Suetonius in Claudii Vita, by Pliny the Younger, proconsul of Bithynia, in his letter to Emperor Trajan, written around AD 70, and by the historian Flavius Josephus.

In his letter, Pliny the Younger speaks of “a group that sings hymns in honor of Christ as a God. ” Tacitus in the Annals (written in the early second century), refers to Christ as “doomed to punishment under the rule of Tiberius by the procurator Pontius Pilate. ” Antiquities of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (written about the year 93) refer first to “Jesus-Nazareth who is called Christ ” in relation to the execution of James in Jerusalem, and cited below, as translated by the Syrian bishop Agapi, “a wise man called Jesus-Nazareth was known for his way of acting and virtue “, saying:”Many Jews and many among the other nations came to him. Pilate condemned him to die on the cross. But those who followed him did not stop to be faithful to his thinking. They were told that three days after being crucified, they had appeared, and he was alive. Perhaps, then, was the Christ of the prophets foretold many wonderful things. ”

Jews and Romans:

Can not understand the doctrine and life of Nazareth without putting them into historical context. Palestine was a territory administered by the Romans, whose empire had begun his period of political and territorial zenith. With the rise of Augustus, who died the year 14 AD and who was succeeded by his son Tiberius, a contemporary of the Nazarene, the Mediterranean had become a Roman lake and the prevailing imperial authority at all costs. In Jesus-Nazareth’ metaphysics of Plato and Aristotle had lost its appeal. The most widespread philosophical systems were Epicureanism and Stoicism. The doctrine of Jesus contains some element of both systems. For example, the Stoics proclaimed the equality and brotherhood of all men. On the other hand they force even the mysteries, such as Eulesis and Dionysius. Even the Egyptian mystery of Osiris enjoyed a great prestige in Rome.

The Jewish world under Roman rule began with Herod the Great, from 37 to 4 BC The emperor Octavian Augustus confirmed him in his position as king of the Jews because Herod had helped him in his final departure from the territory to Egypt Ptolemy. In his will, Herod divided his kingdom among his sons Archelaus, Antipas and Herod Philip, the latter being tetrarch of Galilee and Perea in Jesus-Nazareth. Heir to a vast religious tradition, the Jewish world was dominated mainly by two groups or sects: the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The first came in full of the middle class, the Sadducees, the priestly aristocracy of the rich, who in Jesus-Nazareth was in the family of Annas the most powerful saga. The Pharisees claimed authority based on piety and culture, the Sadducees, through the blood and position. The Pharisees were more progressive, the Sadducees, more conservative, readily accepted Roman rule because it allowed them to keep their privileged position. The Pharisees were concerned about raising the religious status of the masses, the Sadducees, to indoctrinate and attract those who were connected with the Temple administration and ritual.

Apart from these two tendencies were located zealots. When towards the year 6 BCE Quirino legacy ordered a general census of Palestine, the Pharisee and the Galilean Judas Sadduq Gamala led the revolt of disaffected Jews. Around him gathered a group that carried out several campaigns against the Romans. This was the origin of the zealots, that ardent patriot, and completely separated from the Pharisees, they used every means, not excluding the fatal attack, to get rid of the foreign oppressor Jews and punish traitors. Used for their murders a short dagger called sicca, so the Romans were known by the name of sicarii (‘assassins’) .

The Hidden Life

All this occurred in the first century of our era. However, even more rational Catholic exegesis, no data on the life of Jesus-Nazareth Christ can be fixed with absolute certainty. Jesus-Nazareth son of Joseph and Mary of Nazareth, was conceived in the Galilee village under mysterious angel Gabriel announced that the craftsman did to his fiancee (not yet celebrated the wedding) was pregnant, but the fruit of her womb was not the work of a human being but the Holy Spirit. Mary was a cousin of Elizabeth, wife of the priest Zechariah, who in old age to beget Juan Bautista.

In those days a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the inhabitants of the empire should be registered, everyone in the city of his race . Joseph and his young wife had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, about 120 kilometers from Nazareth. Probably made the trip in convoy with others who followed the same path . The couple, with limited economic resources, spent the night in the outskirts of Bethlehem, taking refuge in one of the caves used by shepherds. While there, she was the days of the delivery and gave birth to her firstborn son, who lay in a manger because there was no room at the inn.

The humble birth of Jesus took place during King Herod the Great. Therefore could not occur more than 4 BC, the date of death of tetrarch. Following Lucas (2, 1), Jesus was born at the time of census ordered by Augustus and carried out by Quirinius, governor of Syria. Tertullian claimed that Saturnino Simple census, the legacy of Syria from 8 to 2 BC, it may well have completed a census initiated by Quirino. Therefore, it is generally accepted that the birth of Jesus took place between 7 and 6 BC

The Gospel of Luke recounts the events both simple and extraordinary that accompanied the birth of Jesus-Nazareth, the herald angels to some shepherds, who came to Bethlehem and were the first in “praise and glorify God for all that had seen and heard “(Lk 2, 20). Matthew, however, tells the mysterious visit of three kings of the East, guided by a star, you come to worship and offerings of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Previously, these kings “wizards” for Jerusalem had been asking “Where the King of the Jews is has been born?” Such a question filled with fear of the king, who ordered a few days after a terrible slaughter of male children, which Christian tradition remembers every December 28 as the Day of the Innocents. Warned of the danger that lurked, Joseph and Mary fled from Bethlehem with her son and fled to Egypt, where they remained until the death of King Herod.

Back in Jesus-Nazareth taught the Scriptures and the Jewish oral tradition to the point of surprise with their knowledge to the doctors of the law who heard him in the temple when he was only twelve. While “child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom” (Lk 2, 40), led a normal life, working with his father. Up to thirty years back knowing nothing of his life, only what fantastically narrated in the apocryphal gospels, that is, those writings of unknown or wrongly attributed, for the most part of Gnostic origin, dealing with the life of Jesus-Nazareth the last years of his youth. Particularly struck by the mass of miraculous elements, often abstruse and unpleasant, in which history and fable mingle.


To date the beginning of the public ministry, Luke places special emphasis on presenting accurate data about the preaching of John the Baptist, whom Jesus would come to be baptized. However, only one is truly useful information, “the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar ‘, the reign of which started on August 19, 1914 d. C. The fifteenth year would be, according to the Roman system, the August 19, 1928 d. C. to August 18, 1929 d. C. Moreover, there is no unanimity about the duration of his public life. As the three Synoptic speak of a single Easter, Juan Evangelista three clearly specified.

John the Baptist began preaching the early arrival of the Messiah and to baptize his listeners in the waters of Jordan. When Jesus-Nazareth was baptized by John (who was his cousin), was as the evangelists a celestial sign that said as a child of God. Before starting his own ministry, Jesus-Nazareth withdrew to the desert a period of “forty days “, during which, according to the Gospel story, he fasted and tested their spiritual strength to the temptations of the devil.

On his return from the desert, Jesus-Nazareth began his teaching disclosure alone, becoming known in the synagogue, which came every Saturday. One day he did in his village. Chose a reading from the prophet Isaiah that prefigures the Messiah, the anointed of God to announce to the poor have good news and give freedom to the oppressed. They said it was him whom the prophet spoke. It was reviled by so great pride (everyone knew who was the son of Joseph) and tried to throw him down headlong. Be the fate of his entire ministry: the misunderstanding of his own, culminating with the betrayal of one of his favorite disciples. But soon his preaching called around to multitudes who taught in parables, while working miracles fed filled with wonder and faith in their doctrine.

It won and dislikes of the scribes and Pharisees, the upstart that stole that prominence and popularity among people. The Pharisees complained that Jesus-Nazareth celebrated feasts and banquets. Worse, it was with publicans and sinners, outlawed mob: why the Pharisees labeled him a drunk and party animal. Meanwhile, Jesus chose twelve of his disciples: Simon (whom he named Peter) and his brother Andrew, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus and Simon (called the Zealot), Jude of James and Jude Iscariot. They were simple men, most anglers who earned a living with fatigue. Male members of the estate taxes bear the Romans and rebelled against the privileged life of scribes, Sadducees and Pharisees. Jesus proposed a social and even religious order again, without hypocrisy, in solidarity with the poor, vital.

The so-called “Sermon on the Mount” is perhaps the most significant of all who spoke, both in its doctrinal content as it is preceded, according to Luke, by choosing the twelve disciples and perform many miracles in the land of Galilee. In this speech Gospel in the biblical tradition called “The Beatitudes, Jesus-Nazareth greets the crowd with a” blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven, blessed are you who hunger now, for ye shall be filled Blessed are those who weep now for ye shall laugh “(Luke 6, 20-21), and then sets out the conditions to be met by those who choose to follow him:” Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil , for the Son of man … “It is precisely the idea of the divine fatherhood central theme of his message, it is of that reality from which emanates the love and generosity of the Creator to every human creature.

The Sermon on the Mount reveals his deep knowledge of human behavior, and also reinterprets Mosaic Law elucidating their fundamental principles and precepts adapted to human needs. It is in this sense that says, for example, “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath” (Mk 2, 27), when the Pharisees complain that his disciples have pulled a pin or that he it has worked miracles and healed the sick on that day sacred to the Jews. The love of enemies (“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you”), mercy (“Be merciful as your Father is merciful. Do not judge and will not be judged, condemn not and will not be condemned: forgive and ye shall be forgiven “), beneficence (” Give and you shall […], because with the measure you give it shall be measured “) or the heat well-ordered (” no good tree gives bad fruit, and Conversely, there are no bad tree bears fruit good “) are different aspects of one fundamental idea contained in the phrase” to love God and neighbor. ”

A strictly secular places Jesus in a unique human frame, but not his figure is less worthy of study and consideration. He who defined themselves Maestro, did not follow the guidelines of the powerful class Jewish, Sabbath transgressed the rule was accompanied by women (Mary and Martha, Joanna, the wife of Cusa, Herod’s steward, Susanna and many others) and staying at home. His friends were plain and simple people who accompanied him in his celebrations and weddings. The teachings of Jesus-Nazareth, who first spoke of new concepts such as love of neighbor and enemy, mercy toward sinners and respect people above their condition, they soon clash with the Jewish clergy.

Jewish priestly caste saw with fear the effects of the preaching of Jesus-Nazareth in the village and ordered the scribes and Pharisees attend them leading questions to challenge his authority. Jesus skillfully dodged all the traps to be tended and the Sanhedrin unsuccessfully sued the support of Roman authority to suppress the “agitator. ” But the unrest was rife not only among the priests, but also in the same Herod, because he consented to Nazareth call him king of the Jews, Herod title cost him the adulation of the foreign oppressor. There came a time when Jesus-Nazareth spoke bluntly: “He who is not with me is against me. And be not like the scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, vipers, whited sepulchres outside and full of carrion on the inside … Fortunes ye loved not sell the goods and give alms … “And the events precipitated.

Jesus-Nazareth sent to preach two by two to seventy-two disciples endorsed by the people of Judea, where he began an intense religious movement as if they were to conquer the Holy City. She went to Jesus-Nazareth from Galilee aware that his hour had come. Herod, whom Jesus had called fox lurking, the priests, eye for a trap. But Jesus was not scared. On the contrary, entered Jerusalem in provocative and became enthroned as king for a crowd that filled the city on the occasion of Easter. And at the very hub of the Jewish world, the Temple, asserted his authority, drove the vendors to whip because he was disgusted that a place of prayer had become a lucrative market.

Passion and death of Jesus-Nazareth

On the day of Unleavened Bread, which sacrificed the Passover lamb, Jesus prepares what will be his last meal with his disciples and it will announce its end: “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; I tell you that I do not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God “(Luke 22:16). In the gospel story of the Passover Supper, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples and shares with them the bread and wine as the expression of the New Covenant of God with men. Then, warns them of what has to happen in the coming days. To the amazement and distress of the disciples, announces that one of them will betray him: “The hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table”(Luke 22, 21) and her beloved Peter would deny three times, but eventually regret their action: “I assure you [Peter]: today, this very night before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three ” (Mk 14, 30).

Following these dramatic revelations once finished the Passover meal, Jesus and his disciples left the Upper Room and walked to the garden of Gethsemane. Next, Jesus withdrew in company with Peter, James and John, who said, “My soul is sorrowful to the point of death, stay here and watch” (Mark 14, 33). And as he said this came forward and, kneeling, began to pray: “Father, if willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will but yours be done” (Lk 22, 42). Soon after, the temple guard was present at the scene and turned to Jesus, the priests of the Sanhedrin had preferred to do stop away from the crowd that followed him with fervor. In order to surprise the helpless Jesus, the Sanhedrin had bought the Judas Iscariot will pay him thirty pieces of silver, apparently equivalent amount to one hundred twenty pence, which was the price paid then for a slave or a paula-antonio’s rescue Accordance with the requirements of the Mosaic Law.

Pursued by the Sanhedrin, betrayed by his disciple Judas Iscariot and denied by Peter, Jesus-Nazareth faced only with determining the sentence of the Sanhedrin, the rejection of Herod Antipas, who referred him back to Pontius Pilate, and the statement that he gave after “wash hands” and to release Barabbas instead, apparently a leader of an insurrectionary movement accused of murder. In vain the Roman procurator had tried to prevent the crucifixion of Nazareth, whom he considered actually innocent of the charges against him. Pressed by the priests of the Sanhedrin, which had excited the crowd to ask for the death of the dangerous “troublemaker” and sentenced him to die eventually crucified .

The offenses were charged him with the Sanhedrin to announce the destruction of the Temple (“That which you see, will be days when no stone unturned”, Luke. 21, 6) and recognized as the Son of God. And, with Roman law, believe the King of the Jews, which contributed to increased political instability at the discretion of the influential priests of the Sanhedrin. Once convicted, Nazareth was humiliated, tortured and forced to carry his own cross to Calvary, where he was crucified.

The four Gospels agree that Jesus died on Friday. On the death of Jesus was not a Sabbath because the guards had guns and stores were open (Joseph of Arimathea could buy a sheet and aromas women to embalm the body.) More likely is that one day Nazareth anticipated the Passover meal. Collecting all the data (the procurator Pilate ruled from 26 to 36 AD), it is certain that Jesus died on Friday 14 Nisan (first month of the Biblical Hebrew calendar) the year 30 AD, which is equivalent to 7 April 30 AD On the third day according to the Scriptures, was resurrected and appearing to his disciples, encouraging them to preach the word of God.


Biography of Jesus of Nazareth_1

Christianity is now the religion with the largest number of adherents worldwide: almost one third of humanity is Christian (about two billion people) and its adaptive capacity is present in all continents. Over two thousand years of history, appeared in their midst of differences and divisions that have led to a plurality of Churches. All of them agree on some core beliefs (the unity of God and the Messiahship and divinity of Jesus), but differ in the institutional structure, the valuation of certain biblical and ecclesiastical traditions and the management of community rituals.

Three blocks can be set to that, apart from minor differences within each group, we call Christianity Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and reformed or Protestant. The three major churches (Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant) share essentially the same sacred scriptures (the Bible) and come after a millennium of undivided Christianity, although not free of heresy and persecution suffered marginalization.

The origins

We know the origins and formation of Christianity in the first place, the books of the New Testament that refer to the life and death of Jesus and some facts concerning the establishment of the Church. Even as believers in the writings of the Christian message, and if not treated accordingly, impartial testimony, many of its reports respond well to the ideology and customs half Jewish and Greco-Roman world where the facts lie. Moreover, even though they represent a defense of the Christian reality, constitute a more vibrant and sincere an apology at all costs. Just think of the very dignified role that repeatedly make the first community leaders, the apostles of Jesus, obtuse, selfish, cowardly and unfair to the Master. The portrait of Jesus himself exudes humanity even in his own miracle-working activity of healing the sick and casting out demons.

The Gospel of Luke tries to connect the Christian event with some events in world history: “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea …” (Luke 3, l) Juan Bautista began his activity as a preacher, exhorting the people to conversion of their sins and receive a baptism of penance, which he managed in the waters of Jordan.

He attended Jesus to be baptized by John. And, after retiring to the desert for meditation period of forty days, Jesus began his public ministry, which lasted about three years, according to the computation more likely. Among the early followers chose twelve, whom he called “apostles” or emissaries, as soon send them to preach his message, which essentially said “time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is near, repent and believe the gospel “(Mark 1, 15). All in a language that was accessible only to the believers in Israel, they were expressions and ideas of the Old Testament.

Jesus taught in synagogues, places, fields and shores of Lake Galilee of Gennesaret, commenting on passages from the Prophets and provisions of the Act, with great public acceptance easier and with suspicion and hostility after first by religious leaders and the official priesthood, represented by the sects of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. His message of the kingdom of God wrapped in parables or comparisons drawn from agricultural and domestic life that captured the attention of the listeners live and familiar tone.

Jesus and his disciples first saw his missionary activity as the fulfillment of the prophecies of the prophets who foretold the liberation of the poor, the oppressed and the sick. From the moment he took the party of the people and the sinners and outcasts with openness and humanity that irritated the legalistic mentality of the right thinking. Irritation escalated to the personal authority with which Jesus exposed their ideas without resorting to the authority of teachers. The clamor of the people was that nobody had spoken as he nor anyone else had had his miraculous powers to heal the sick.

The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7, Luke 6, 20-49) summarizes the religious and ethical message of Jesus, while they define how they act, that had nothing to do with violent and militant messianism, as expected and the Zealots longed for in their hatred of Rome. After what has been called “crisis Galil “, whereby people became disillusioned with his pacifism back to Jesus, it was difficult to foresee a tragic outcome. Jesus was aware of this and repeatedly announced his passion and death to the disciples, as witnessed in unison the first three Gospels.

With its festive and peaceful entry into Jerusalem riding a donkey, Jesus completely disappoint the violent, but the sympathy of the people further exacerbated the envy and the fears of Jewish leaders. On the eve of the great religious festival of spring, celebrated the Passover with his disciples, leading to his death a sacrificial nature of atonement, which had already suggested. The ritual would repeat itself with the essential elements of bread and wine into the Lord’s Supper and Christian Eucharist.

The servants of the high priest Caiaphas and other hierarchs he was arrested on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. Jewish leaders condemned him for blasphemy, saying it posed as the Messiah and Son of God, and accused him before the Roman procurator of rebellion against Rome. Pilate condemned him to death on a cross. The verdict was probably executed on 7 April of the year 30 AD.

The spread of Christianity

Everything seemed to have finished in the most pitiful: the hero nailed to a cross and his disciples disappointed in their hopes, fled and hid for fear of reprisals from the village leaders. But on the third day some believing women, with Mary Magdalene to the head, jumped to Peter and other disciples and told that the Lord had risen and had been seen alive. His own disciples found the event and soon got together and took to the streets fearlessly proclaiming the wonderful fact. The testimony of Jesus, that they had accepted, now amounted to personal testimony and determined that many accepted entering the new religious community by confessing believer in Jesus and through the rite of baptism in his name.

The early followers were Jewish monotheists, who saw no difficulty in reconciling their faith in monotheism with Jesus as the Davidic Messiah and the Son of God. Soon joined the group people from the Gentiles, to which Jewish proselytism had approached the Jewish faith and were called “proselytes” or “God-fearing. ” For reasons of trade and pilgrimage were many in Jerusalem, and soon their number equaled that of the Christian descendants of Abraham.

Jesus had limited its activity preaching and healing “the sheep of the house of Israel”, with just a brief foray into pagan territory of Phoenicia. However, his message of universal love, the kingdom of God who welcomes all and it was heavenly Father of all men, broke all boundaries of nationalism. It was the tiny seed that would end a mature tree to provide shade for everyone. But the apostles, all Jews by birth and mind, had their doubts about the recipients of the Christian message: if Jews and Gentiles and Jews alone, as do all by faith in Jesus and baptism. The so-called Council of Jerusalem, held the year 49, echoed the problem looking for a consensus solution.

But the breakthrough came from a Jew named Paul, who was born in Tarsus (Asia Minor). Roman citizen, he studied in Jerusalem under the famous rabbi Gamaliel, and displayed a great zeal in verbal and armed defense of Judaism, coming to violently persecute the followers of Jesus. A strong personal experience completely changed his way of thinking and became a Christian in Damascus, capital of Syria, taking the Roman name Paulus, Paul. No one in history, except Jesus, would be more decisive for the fate of Christianity.

In his tireless missionary journeys throughout the Roman Empire, Paul founded many local churches, whose faith encouraged by letters, which are the first written evidence of the new religion and a substantial part of the New Testament. Although she is holy and blessed the Law of Moses, says Paul, does not justify or sanctify the man that makes the faith, as stated in the text of Genesis 15, 6, which also ensured that all nations would be blessed by the great patriarch Abraham (Genesis 12, 3). The death of Jesus, interpreted in the light of his resurrection, had a universal value of rescue and reconciliation for all people, whatever their nationality, social status and sex: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor as free, and there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus “(Galatians 3, 28). Left averted a schism or initial rupture. There would be no more than a single universal Church, home to both Jews and Gentiles, joined in the one faith in Jesus Christ. That was the crucial fact that erased all the inequalities and differences.


All local Christian communities shared the same faith in Jesus and in the mysterious workings of His Spirit, all practiced the same rites, which essentially consisted of the reception of baptism as initiation ceremony of admission and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. But so late I did not represent a true partnership institutionalized. Before that there was a priesthood itself, equivalent for example to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem or who swarmed around the Greco-Roman cults. The College was provided by the “presbyters ” (elders), the “deacons” (servers) and “bishops” (overseers), until the latter appear at the top of each ecclesial community. Until then the leadership of the churches had been in the hands of special charismatic, as were the apostles, prophets and doctors, counting the spiritual gifts that administrative. The so-called “monarchical episcopate”, with one bishop at the head of each community, it starts late I.

The word “bishop” comes from the Greek episkopos, “inspector”, “vigilante. ” A text of the Acts of the Apostles understood in the sense of people who remain “vigilant” to shepherd the Lord’s Church. In the New Testament literature is not clearly defined and their state and its functions. May be admitted that at first Christian communities were governed by a council of elders and a second phase has already one elderly man as leader of each community. In the last years of the century or early in the second century was widespread and the establishment of a bishop in front and in charge of each local church.

In the early days, judging by what Paul says, the great body of believers in the Churches were people of low economic and social condition: “There are not many rich, not many wise men …” If for the disinherited of the Christian message represented a hope of salvation (as they had represented the mystery cults of Rome Hellenized) to the wealthy and “prudent”, the ignominious origins of a “cult” who was also Jewish persecution is not might be too attractive.

From Nero to Diocletian was two and half centuries of bloody persecution, motivated by the refusal of Christians to worship the deified emperor, were seen as rebellious to the Empire, as traitors for treason. Witness the abundance of blood, as were the martyrs, made a heroic tone to the Christian life and fueled his sense of identity: true Christians were those who suffered passion and violent death as his Master and Lord. Tertullian, a North African theologian, saw the blood of the martyrs the fertile seed of Christians.

The political decision of Emperor Constantine the Great to declare lawful religion of Christianity through the Edict of Milan (313) and turn a few years in the state religion was a radical change for the Church. The bishops became de facto officials spiritual and administrative powers, accentuating the pyramidal nature of urban communities, while contributing to the strengthening of civil institutions and, ultimately, the stability of the Roman Empire, with one God One Christ and one emperor.

The major cities of Antioch, Alexandria and Byzantium in the Eastern Empire, and Rome in the West, were centers of political and economic power and Christian bishoprics with vague but real authority over others. Along with Jerusalem formed the five patriarchs. When Constantine moved the capital to Byzantium, which then called Constantinople, the bishop of Rome enjoyed autonomy and power far superior to any other. The historical reputation of being Roma evangelized by Paul and Peter (whose bodies lay there), reinforced the privileged position of the Roman Diocese, without competition in the West.

Christian doctrine

The cessation of the persecutions and the prestige of their status as official religion facilitated the spread of Christianity to the limits of the Empire. But at the same time, multiplying communities with people of all social strata, more difficult to maintain the unity of belief. The more so since the introduction of Christianity introduced personality thinkers critical reflection on traditional beliefs.

Since the second century there had been deviations from work, above all Gnostic heresies. But it was in the fourth century when he felt the need to give to the ecclesiastical institution must deposit it indisputable truths, that lay in the apostolic tradition and were accepted by all or most of the most prestigious local churches. These truths are called dogmas, made synthetically in the symbols or creeds. In the beginning was intended to explain concepts of Greek philosophy the realities existing in a particular way appeared in the New Testament. Thus, we incorporated concepts such as nature, substance, essence and person, not on the Bible but could contribute to shed more light.

In the setting of such basic assumptions were oriented the church councils and synods. “Council” is a Latin word and “synod ” Greek word, and both mean assembly or meeting. In designating the ecclesiastical language of bishops, usually called by the emperor, who discussed and defined truths of the Christian creed and formulas. Within this language, the council came to refer ecumenical assemblies in theory (universal), or at least participation of bishops from various regions, while the Synod was more local and small.

The first was the ecumenical councils of Nicaea (325), which defined the divinity of the Son, putting it in the same plane as the Father, against the doctrine of the Alexandrian priest Arius. The first eight ecumenical councils pursuing clear concepts of the Trinity of God and the personality of Christ, true God and true man. Were held in the first nine centuries and its authority is still recognized by Catholics, Orthodox and much of the Reformed Churches.

Due to the position of the Church since the fourth century the Roman Empire and from the V in the Byzantine Empire, the councils were supervised and sometimes manipulated by the state power (all held in the East and four in the capital, Constantinople) and sometimes had profound repercussions in political and social. The proclamation of the divine motherhood of Mary in the Council of Ephesus (431), against the advice of the Patriarch of Constantinople Nestorius, was the cause of riots.

Throughout the first millennium of its existence, Christianity was developed differently in Western and Eastern empires, and the struggle for power between the Pope of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople led to the schism of the two churches (1050 .) In the Eastern Empire was established Eastern Orthodox Church, which spread northward and evangelized the Slavic peoples. In Rome it was the Catholic Church and its catchment area included central and western Europe. The Catholic Church developed a centralized church government established a system immutable dogmas. In the sixteenth century, the Protestant Reformation broke the power of the Church and, despite the Counter-Reformation in northern Europe flourished Reformed churches, which split into numerous sects. Today the ecumenical movement is to unite again to all Christian churches.

Theological reflection and religious monastic

The first form of systematized thought cultured apologists, Justin Martyr with the head, and at the same end of the century, imposing the need to defend against attacks Jews and Gentiles and to improve the image of Christianity to the thinking class Empire. The polemical tone never disappeared completely, given the continued flowering of deviations or heresies within the Church, but the emphasis laid on the deepening of the Christian mystery for the instruction of the faithful.

That work led to termination of the fathers of the Church, with such illustrious names as Origen, Tertullian, Irenaeus, Athanasius, the two Cyril of Alexandria and Jerusalem, the three Cappadocian (Gregory Nazianzen, Gregory of Nyssa and Basil), the Milanese Ambrose, John Chrysostom Antiochian, Popes Leo and Gregory the Great, who unified from the dogma of music (Gregorian chant), the polyglot Jerome, who worked more than anyone else in the Bible, Isidore of Seville, first “encyclopaedia”of the West with their Etymologies, and, above all because of their mental depth, its psychological insight and enormous influence, Augustine, bishop of Hippo and author of such famous works as the Confessions and City of God.

Along with organized religion in Egyptian churches began to break through a desire for more intimate religious and away from family and social obligations. Aspired to escape the “world” of men, already in the New Testament (especially in Paul and John) appeared as a power contrary to God and Christ. Thus was born the monks, first in total isolation and then hermits and retired communities, devoted to penance and fasting, physical work and spiritual meditation. In the West spread the ascetic lifestyle Benedict of Nursia (Italy), ordered his Rule sensible and measured, as summarized in the binomial ora et labora (pray and work). It was the accepted norm throughout the Western monasticism, who with the branches of Cluny (tenth century) and the Cistercians (XV century), became the main focus of religion, art and culture in the Christian Middle Ages until the implementation of universities and the emergence of the mendicant orders.

The Gospels

In theological terms, the New Testament means New Covenant between God and all mankind in His Son Jesus Christ, continuation and fulfillment of Old Testament that first established with his chosen people, the people of Israel on Mount Sinai. From the literary point of view, it is understood by all New Testament books in which the disciples of Jesus left evidence of the establishment and early years of this new and definitive covenant. The New Testament consists of 27 books, unanimously accepted by Catholic, Orthodox and Protestants: the four Gospels, the Book of Acts of the Apostles, thirteen Epistles of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, the seven Catholic Epistles of James , San Pedro, San Juan and St. Jude and the Apocalypse of St. John.

The four Gospels tell us about how they were received in the early Christian community life and teaching of Jesus. It is necessary to note that, at the time of writing the appropriation of evangelical traditions transmitted in the early Christian communities, several of the apostles were still living. The Acts of the Apostles (Luke probably written between the years 1965 to 1980) describe a lively and detailed, but only partially, the beginnings of the Church from the Ascension and Pentecost (circa 30) until the arrival of Paul Rome around 61 AD. Lucas, Paul’s companion, was a firsthand witness to all that relates to the mission and travel from his teacher and the communities he founded.

Unlike the writings of the Old Testament, the New Testament were composed in a short period of time, specifically during the second half of the I. They were all born in Christian communities and had the aim of strengthening the faith of the same and the new ones were founded. It is difficult to determine the date on which the various New Testament books were written, but with the support of internal and external criteria, it can determine a certain chronological order in their appearance and in many cases, the time they were written .

For example, the Epistles of St. Paul were written between 50 and 67. The first of the Epistles of Peter was written a little before 64, while the second (written not by him but by a disciple) and Santiago are difficult to date. The Gospels and the Book of Acts were written between 65 and 100. Of late I are the Epistles of John and Jude, and Revelation and the Epistle to the Hebrews.

There were many Christians who have proposed in their writings that had happened from the beginning, as Lucas warns us at the beginning of his gospel (1.1). But not all of those first-century writings were accepted as inspired by God and, therefore, accepted as part of the Holy Scriptures. Participants were selected prior to inclusion in a canon. The criteria used to determine the canonicity of the writings were three: 1) the apostolic origin of a document, ie it had been written by an apostle or a disciple of any apostle, 2 °) the full agreement of the letter with the living tradition of the Church, that is, his orthodoxy, 3 °) the use of the writings in the public reading of a number of churches.

A late second century, the apologist Tatian, a disciple of Justin, merged into one of the four Gospels, in the play called Diatessaron (“four in one”), this work was translated into several languages and adopted as the basis for catechesis for people barbarians who were coming to the Roman Empire. This shows that the four gospels did not have the authority still had then, but had begun to be named as such since the mid-second century. The list of oldest known works is the so-called “canon of Muratori, a second century text discovered by researcher Muratori in 1740. This document, which lack the initial part certainly spoke of Matthew and Mark, mentioned the Gospel of Luke and John, the Book of Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles of St. Paul, the Catholic Epistles and Revelation.

In the third century began to give the name of the whole New Testament writings considered canonical. But the list was not fully defined. It first appears in the writings of fourth-century historian Eusebius of Caesarea, which, however, reflects doubts about the canonicity of Revelation was rejected even by many theologians, especially Asians. St. Athanasius who would be the end of the fourth century ensured that the book was well accepted by the Orientals. The first comprehensive catalog of the New Testament was issued, along with the current Catholic canon for the Old Testament, in the Council of Hippo (North Africa) in 393. It was then confirmed by the Council of Carthage in 419 and the East at the Council of Trullo (692). And also for the ecumenical councils of Florence (1441, against the Jacobites) and Trent (1546) to settle the matter to the doubts uttered by Luther and other reformers about the authenticity of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle of James and Luke and Revelation. Today there is no difference between Orthodox, Catholics and Protestants regarding the New Testament canon.

In the New Testament the word gospel means “good news” and is used to express the content of the mission of preaching Jesus and the primitive. On the lips of Jesus, gospel means good news that the kingdom of God has begun to be present among men (Mark 1:14-15). In the apostolic preaching, it means the good news of the death and resurrection of Jesus, because these events discovered that God had begun to fulfill its promises.

The gospel and its message is one, but is expressed in different theologies and different approaches depending on the various writings. We first focus of the four Gospels and the Book of Acts, we offer a theology of the memory of Jesus, these books are intended to demonstrate that the preaching of Jesus is historical and not an ideological system abstract. Then there is the theology kerygmatic own most of the Epistles of St. Paul and the Epistle to the Hebrews: the theology of the announcement, the proclamation of what the apostles have lived and experienced, focused experience in the resurrection of crucified. The theology of praxis is practical guidance on the Christian life is true that almost all the letters contain some guidance in this regard, but some, like James and I Peter, do it with a particular emphasis. Others, like Judas, the second of Peter and John, are focused more specifically on guidelines for cases of internal divisions within communities. Finally we have the prophetic theology, typical of the Apocalypse, which fits with the prophecy of the Old Testament and provides elements for an interpretation of history in the light of the coming of Christ.

The Gospel of Matthew

Matthew was a tax collector in Capernaum, where he passed the “way of the sea ” that crossed the caravans from the interior of Syria were aimed at commercial centers of the Mediterranean and Egypt. Matthew’s vocation to the apostolate is known in some detail, as generally the main followers of Jesus. His condition placed him morally collector outside the Palestinian society, which viewed the tax collectors and public sinners because of his hated job. Jesus, to Capernaum, Matthew saw on his desk and invited him to follow him. Matthew replied to his call and invited his colleagues to a solemn farewell banquet, attended by Jesus. Undertaken and the sublime adventure of leaving ministry and gold records, which could no longer return.

Faithful witness of Christ’s life, picked first in Aramaic a considerable amount of “sayings” and acts (especially of discourse) of Salvador, particularly in view of an apology for Christianity against the Jews. The Gospel of St. Matthew is the first of the Gospels, and was written in Jerusalem, originally in Aramaic, then translated into Greek. It is not known the exact date of its composition. According to the testimony of St. Irenaeus, who says he wrote “while St. Peter and St. Paul spread the good news of the Gospel in Rome,” presumably was around the years 63-67 AD Along with the Gospels of St. Mark and St. Luke is the group of three Gospels called “synoptic” similar in their lexicon, the selection of stories and order, and only differ in certain details.

The book is divided into three parts. The first recounts the childhood of Jesus and his hidden life (I, 11): the genealogy of Jesus, the virginal conception and birth of the Savior, the adoration of the Magi, Flight into Egypt and the return of this country. The second part describes the public life of Jesus (III-XXV). Are some facts of his preaching, and the circumstances that come to show that Jesus, though rejected by the Sanhedrin, is the Messiah, while pointing out the true nature of the kingdom of God. Finally, the third part recounts the passion and the triumph of Christ (XXVI-XXVII): preparation of the Passion, the Passion and death of Jesus, His glorification, resurrection, and appearances. Connection between the various episodes are done using very basic procedures, and sometimes, summarizing what has already been said.

The story of San Mateo is not a historical biography of Jesus, nor are the stories of the other evangelists. San Mateo collects and links the words and deeds of Jesus, spoken, or occurring in different circumstances. The preaching of Jesus’parables (number eight), the maximum and keep this close union speeches. It was not possible to specify in San Mateo a distribution of reports and triads and septenaries peak. Thus, the temptation has three episodes, and three times Jesus prays in Gethsemane. The number seven is the virtue, the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, the parables of chapter XIII, the curses of Chapter XIII; also recommended forgive seventy times seven (XVIII, 22).

Overall we can say that if the style of San Mateo offers some unique features, these will not go away, as other sacred writers of the classical language. Compared to San Marcos, the vocabulary of the Gospel of Matthew contains a smaller proportion of items not found in the classical language or writers. Instead, the narrator is shown completely foreign to the Greco-Roman culture, accustomed to reading the Greek Bible, which adopts the special wording. Long speeches break the monotony of the narrative. Among them is the very famous “Sermon on the Mount” content as high as imbued with true poetry. Also, the invective against the Pharisees recalls the passion of Isaiah’s prophetic fragments. The maximum number confer an original feature of the Gospel of Matthew. Calm and objective in its story, Matt reveals qualities of order and harmony which clearly respond to their Semitic mentality, and no waiver to let stick out from time to time evidence of his former profession, as shown by his detailed references to everything has to do with trade and currency.

Concern about the life of Jesus build in the prophecies of the Old Testament gives his little book a solemn tone, with echoes that are lost in the remoteness of the millennia. The first pagan adversaries of Christianity, Celsus, Porphyry and Julian, emphasized the vocation of Matthew to accuse the new religion of inhuman madness, but if the gesture of Matthew was the result of a mature meditation on what Jesus had said and done Capernaum, why not lost one iota of his courage and boldness reveals that the former had no example. The “Sermon on the Mount, ” Matthew is the only widely reproduced (chapter V-VII), is one of the signs of his religious and poetic sensitivity.

The Gospel of Mark

In the history of the early Church, Mark is a secondary figure, but full of grace and vivacity. Many authors place him in the Gospel story, identifying him with the boy who, in Gethsemane, he appeared wearing only a sheet, awakened by the noise of the armed men who had come to capture Jesus. They were also placed her hands on the unsuspecting viewer, who, however, leaving his light clothing, escaped (Gospel of St. Mark, chap. XIV, 51).

Marcos was one of those men who give up significant stress to dedicate the service of a personality of major initiatives. Wealthy family, took his first steps in the apostolate with his cousin Barnabas and St. Paul, who served as “minister”in the first missionary journey, reserving the external functions to alleviate those. Unexpectedly, he lacked the courage and wanted to go back, and so in the next trip, St. Paul did not wanted among his companions.

Then in Asia Minor appears associated with the ministry of St. Peter, who gave evidence of parental love. In Rome he was again companion of St. Paul, who was particularly looking for him estimation from Ephesus at the time of its last captivity. In the Eternal City was asked to collect the memories of San Pedro on the life of Jesus, and in this way, wrote the second Gospel, in which the divine figure of the Master alive with a wealth of specific hues and colors that make the tiny little book biography faster but also more agile and drama of Jesus.

A historical tradition safe places in fact writing this gospel in close relation with the Apostle Peter. The testimony to the respect of Papias, St. Justin and Irenaeus, in a period close to the author, are extremely important. St. Clement of Alexandria adds, “some listeners of the preaching of St. Peter in Rome begged Mark to put to them in writing what Peter preached … Mark had contented. When Peter found out, not ordered Marcos publish it nor encouraged it, but after recognizing the truth of what was written there, approved the content. “Confirmation that “Mark wrote his Gospel as he heard the Apostle Peter” have it in the same text. Indeed, it highlights the actions of Peter that are in their disgrace and instead, shut the stories told by other evangelists, that are in their glory. So, San Marcos described more closely than the other evangelists Peter’s triple denial. Among the speeches of Peter in the Acts of the Apostles and the second Gospel is an analogy also warns of conception and development of catechesis which makes plausible the existence of a relationship of dependency between the two works.

Written in Greek in Rome, on an unknown date the Gospel of St. Mark is the shortest of the four. Ignores any news expose of child life of Jesus, and has only his public life, beginning with the words “Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ Son of God. ” Can be divided into four parts. In the first, of commencement of the prosecution, are developed the preaching of John the Baptist in the desert (I, 1-5) from which comes the evangelist symbol of the lion, the baptism of Jesus and his retirement in the desert (I, 9-13), preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God in Capernaum and its environs (I, 14-III, 35), and the teaching and miracles around the lake of Tiberias (IV, 1 – V 43). The second part describes Jesus’ ministry in Galilee, Jesus returns to his country, chooses his disciples, and then they go beyond the sea of Tiberias (VI, 1 – VII, 23), thence to the northern Galilee , Tyre and Sidon, after he had worked miracles passing through Caesarea Philippi to Tabor and finally descends again be found in Capernaum (VII, 24-IX, 50). In the third part, Jesus will cross Perea and Judea (X). In the fourth and final are described Easter and the Passion (XI, 1 – XVI, 18). Appendix (XVI, 19 – XX) is the mission of Jesus and the apostolic mission effectiveness.

Apart from the first part, which can be regarded as a preface, in the second, dedicated to Jesus’ ministry in Galilee, the order of the stories seem to be historically and geographically, as evidenced by the many spatial and temporal directions. However, it is possible that this order is a bit artificial, it is not, in fact, very probable that Jesus ever happened twice in the same region. As in the Gospel of Matthew, it also noted slow progress in the messianic revelation. Jesus, at the beginning of his ministry, does any indication to his disciples of his mission prepares them gradually, and finally makes proclaimed to Peter that he is the Messiah Son of God. Gradually unveils what should be the messianic kingdom and comes too late to predict his Passion, Death and Resurrection.

The story of San Marcos is, in general, identical to that of San Mateo and San Lucas. It contains only five pieces of their own: two parables, two miracles and a historical piece in the third chapter (III, 20-21), which refers to the concern of the parents of Jesus. The two parables peculiar to San Marcos is the seed that grows (IV, 26-29) and master that part of your home and do not know when you (XIII-34). The two miracles are healing a deaf-mute (VII, 31-36) and healing the blind man at Bethsaida (VIII, 22-26). San Marcos also has given us some phrases characteristic of Jesus, spent in silence by other evangelists: “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath ” (I, 27) or “All these evil things come from within” (VII, 22). The feelings of hatred manifested in Jesus’ opponents are expressed in the same way by the other two Synoptics, but there is a very important detail: the Herodians had joined with the Pharisees and the scribes against Jesus (III, 6) .

San Marcos unveils the provisions of the disciples to the Master, but also relates the feelings and impressions of Jesus himself: “Jesus, turned their eyes towards them in anger” (II, 5); “had compassion on the crowd followed him because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he began to teach at length “(VI, 34). Another feature of San Marcos is the process of dramatizing the story: do not expose the facts, but that translates into action and put into the mouth of Jesus’ direct speech.

Compared to the other evangelists, as well as peculiarities appear Marcos perception of the popular and literary style and carefree acute. Tradition tells of Levitical origin, indicating a physiological peculiarity own: his short fingers. Symbolized, like the other evangelists, one of the four river terminals and then by the winged lion of Revelation, was represented in medieval iconography often accompanied by San Pedro, which makes the Gospel.

The Gospel of Luke

The evangelist Luke, disciple and companion of Saint Paul in his recent travels and in his prison in Rome, is credited with the third Gospel, the authenticity of the book was accredited by the patristic testimony and the canon of Muratori. Physician and Antioch, San Lucas is the most learned of the authors of the New Testament. Most learned and scrupulous historian, writer, sometimes used as a Greek of refined elegance, and in some cases does not avoid the imitation of Semitic. Dante described him as “the chronicler of the magnanimity of Christ”, and yes, Lucas is sensitive to those words and deeds of the teachers expressed to live the Gospel spirit of charity.

Featuring a delicate sensitivity, carefully brought to light the role of women in the story of Jesus, and told with inimitable grace of childhood episodes of Salvador. Art owes all topics most popular evangelical inspiration and frequent. One tradition makes painter of the profession met, if not the technique, at least the art of critical and dramatic representation of events. San Lucas picked up the parables of Jesus more expressive of supreme religious value not only human but also literary (eg, The Prodigal Son, The Good Samaritan, Lazarus and the rich man or the Pharisee and the publican.)

Also author of the Acts of the Apostles, Luke was aware of being the first historian of Christianity, and produced the two works with sound intuition and rigorous method. The presence of his personality only glimpsed through taste and the extent to which states and reproduce the material that had been collecting incontrovertible sources by long investigations. Renan said that the Gospel of Luke is the best book ever written, and could have added that the personality of its author is one of the most lively and cordial as many gravitate in the orbit of the main players in the history of early Christianity. Besides being the first Christian historian, is also the first artist of the new religion. In the vicinity of San Pablo, Lucas lived a strong Christian, whose origins and early progress expressed under the seal of poetry and truth.

Written in Greek between 60-63 d. AD, the Gospel of Luke was probably made in the capital Rome. In your organization, admirable even from the literary point of view can be seen, after preface (I, 1-4), five parts. Part One: childhood Precursor announcement and the birth of Jesus, Mary’s visit to Santa Isabel, birth of the Precursor and Jesus; Presentation in the Temple, Christ among the doctors (I, 5 – II, 52). Part II: preparation for public life preaching of St. John the Baptist baptized (genealogy) and temptations of Jesus (III-IV, 13) Jesus’ ministry in Galilee, miracles and preaching, as in the other Synoptics (IV, 14 – IX, 50). Part Three: Jesus’ last journey from Galilee to Jerusalem, miracles and preaching, as in the other Synoptics (IX, 51 – XIX, 28). Part Four: the story of the passion and death of Jesus, as in the other Synoptics (XIX, 29 – XXIII, 55). Part Five: Resurrection of Jesus, his appearance, his ascension (XXIV, 1-52).

The episodes occur exclusively in the Gospel of Luke are very numerous. From the linguistic point of view, the vocabulary is richer than the other evangelists and authors of Scripture, and although the book should be included among the vulgar Greek productions, has yet a superiority that is nearer to the classics. Lucas avoids Hebraisms, Aramaic and Latin; known art and to write their stories a character at once simple and grandiose, gracefully express the various feelings of the people who enter the scene and portraying them perfectly.

The evangelist says in the preface that it intends to make a historical work. In his foreword to imitate the great Greek historians (Herodotus, Thucydides and Polybius), and, like them, begins his book noting the sources that are inspired by their stories, how composed and the aim pursued. Its chronological data relates to secular history (II, 13-III, 1), but like the other Synoptics, not just a chronicler of the life of Jesus, sometimes, like San Mateo and San Marcos, discourses and miracles meet under different circumstances. From the doctrinal point of view, the Gospel of Luke is called “Ebionite”, ie, the Gospel of the poor. Poverty trumps earthly wealth, and in the midst of a wonderful light, there is the doctrine of universal salvation: the Jew is overcome individualism.

The Gospel of John

Author addition to the three Epistles and Revelation, San Juan clearly prevails over the other evangelists including iconography, thanks to the important place that corresponds to John in all representations of the supper and crucifixion. Among the twelve disciples who followed Jesus Christ, San Juan is the most clearly drawn by the Gospels. And the three Synoptics give special attention to her figure, but the writings of John himself will add plenty of personal memories and reveal, in a humble and subtle language, the most secret folds of his soul. It paraphrases with which John is referred coyly to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, features full, short, the characteristics of his personality and spiritual adventure it was intended. Indeed, only by that preference of Jesus reveals his inner wealth.

Born into a wealthy family of fishermen of Capernaum or Bethsaida neighbor, San Juan was one of the early followers of Jesus and was part of that triumvirate of intimates who had the privilege of attending the most significant events of life teacher, as the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter or the agony of Gethsemane. At the Last Supper, John rested his head on the breast of Christ (if identified John with the unnamed beloved disciple of the Fourth Gospel) and was the only one of the Apostles who was present at the crucifixion.

The evangelist was received into the flesh of Jesus’ family, becoming the faithful guardian of Mary, and became the most sublime singer of Christian love. His is the phrase “God is love”and, before being exiled to Patmos, and after suffering, it is said, dipping into a cauldron of boiling oil without feeling harm, advised his disciples: “My children , Love one another. This is the great commandment that Christ taught us. “The last words Jesus Christ on earth leads you are almost certainly a symbolic allusion and certainly the sign of a singular destination, “What if I want it to remain until my return ?…” (John XXI, 21-22). Therefore, in his old age, spread the rumor that would not die until the return of Christ. Apparently died in Ephesus, a great age.

Written in Greek (and undoubtedly in Ephesus, according to the authoritative testimony of St. Irenaeus), the Gospel of St. John raised long controversy about the exact date of its composition. Given, however, that the apostle wrote in old age (as evidenced by Epiphanius and Eusebius), returning from exile under the emperor Nerva (96-98), and, as regards Jerome the author died 68 years after the Passion of Jesus, you almost certainly set the time of writing around d. 96-98 years C.

Both Ryland’s and Egerton Papyrus, discovered in 1920 and 1934 respectively in Egypt, let us know that this gospel was recognized and even was linked to the synoptic gospels from the first half of the century. The book begins with a prologue in which contains even more than in the pages of San Pablo, much of Christian theology. It (I, 1-18) is presented to the person of the word of God, Light and Life, which is manifested through the creation and the incarnation and giving to those who are believing in it, descent divine. Already in these opening statements are the three truths preached throughout the book: Jesus is substantially united with God the Father, is light (truth) and life (grace) of men is, finally, true God.

In the first part (I, 19-XII, 50) Jesus Christ is revealed to the world, shines in the darkness do not want. This statement of Jesus is prepared by the testimony of John the Baptist, the calling of the disciples and first miracle in which shines the glory of Christ. Follows the first public demonstration in Judea, after which it is first received by the Samaritans and then by the Galileans as Savior of the world. Another demonstration in Jerusalem, with the miracle of the pool of Bethsaida, arouses the hatred of the Jews. In Galilee, Christ reveals himself as the bread of life and confirmed by the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, the people do not believe, nor his disciples, only Peter expresses his faith in the Savior’s words.

Chapters VII, VIII, IX and X far more accurate Jesus doctrine, with the consequent increase of animosity by the Pharisees. It is light in the world, and it shows with healing the man born blind. The miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus reveals all its power and confirms its mission. Jesus goes to Ephraim, then to Bethany in the house of Lazarus, enters triumphantly into Jerusalem and, most recently, talks about his future greatness and exaltation. At this point, the evangelist seems to make a compilation of the above talking about the causes of infidelity and claiming a categorical affirmation of Christ.

In the second part (XIII-XXI, 25), shine the love of Christ to his disciples. Given at the Last Supper’s supreme examples of charity and humility and in a last speech consoles and confirmed in their faith. In his final prayer to the Father, Jesus asks his glorification, the protection and sanctification to His Apostles and love and unity for all who believe in him. From Chapter XVIII to XXI, 24 is illustrates the love of Christ and his messianic status in the Passion and Resurrection. The last two verses give us indications about the author of the Gospel and tell us that it did not contain everything that Jesus did.

The most striking character of this Gospel, when confronted with the Synoptics, is its wealth and poverty discourses in narratives. That trend does not exclude doctrinal mostly a historical exhibition. But the chronology is limited to main lines, the distribution of the life of Christ in Easter. The evangelist was proposed threefold. The first, dogmatic, prove that Jesus is the Messiah foretold by the Prophets, the true Son of God (II, 17, III, 14, III, 18, XIX, 24, 28, 36, XX, 31). Jesus is continually described as the real promised by the prophets, and divinity is clearly attested in the book.

The second goal that San Juan is proposed is apologetic: Cerinthus refute error, which denied the divinity of Christ, also refutes the Ebionites, guilty of the same heresy. He could not think of the Gnostic heresies of Marcion, which emerged later, but it can be said that the destroyed beforehand. His third objective is historical: it is evident in San Juan’s intention to complete the narrative of the Synoptics. St. Clement of Alexandria notes that Jesus’ earthly mission had been confirmed in the other three Gospels, and that San Juan had the responsibility to narrate the events testified to the divine ministry of Jesus Christ. And the evangelist himself confirmed (XX, 31).

Therefore rule out many facts which is known by the other Gospels do not refer all the moral precepts of the Sermon on the Mount, review no more than five miracles of Jesus, does not mention Jesus’ journey to Galilee, just remember the miracles and the admirable discourses of Jesus in Judea and Jerusalem, which the others were silent. If you entered only two events before the Passion, already referred to by the Synoptics (the multiplication of the loaves and the passage of Jesus on the waves) is to better explain the words of the Savior in Judea and Jerusalem. He adds, the episode of the washing of the feet to the dinner, set the time of the imprisonment of John the Baptist, specifies the place of the three denials of Peter, determines the four Easter and provides the means to coordinate all the events narrated by other three evangelists and to establish an exact match.

The Gospel of John comes from theological statements filed with the authority and solemnity and high literary form, the episode of Jesus and the Samaritan and the story of Lazarus’ resurrection can be compared to the best pages of San Lucas. Some account, such as healing the man born blind, has a color change Semitic style closer to San Marcos. San Juan is dogmatic theologian par excellence: the poet and philosopher of Catholic spirituality. Sources said: “If the Synoptics are the first and the best part of Holy Scripture, the Gospel of St. John is the first of the Synoptic Gospels and the entire New Testament. ” San Juan has in it something more sweet and affectionate than the other evangelists, is pleased to candidly tell the love Jesus had for him, and, in formulating the theology of Christianity, emphasizing the values full of love and mercy that is no longer be separated from religion.

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