9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. Christian Gifts
2. (Biography) Also called: Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth ?4 bc–?29 ad, founder of Christianity, born in Bethlehem and brought up in Nazareth as a Jew. He is believed by Christians to be the Son of God and to have been miraculously conceived by the Virgin Mary, wife of Joseph. With 12 disciples, he undertook two missionary journeys through Galilee, performing miracles, teaching, and proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom of God. His revolutionary Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–8), which preaches love, humility, and charity, the essence of his teaching, aroused the hostility of the Pharisees. After the Last Supper with his disciples, he was betrayed by Judas and crucified. He is believed by Christians to have risen from his tomb after three days, appeared to his disciples several times, and ascended to Heaven after 40 days
The story of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem is called the Nativity. He was conceived by the Virgin Mary (see Mary, the mother of Jesus) through the power of the Holy Spirit of God, laid in a manger after his birth in Bethlehem, and raised by Mary and her husband, Joseph (see Joseph, the husband of Mary), in Nazareth. As a boy of twelve, he went to the Temple in Jerusalem (see also Jerusalem), where he astonished the teachers of the Mosaic law with his knowledge. As a man, he chose the Twelve Apostles, with whom he traveled throughout his native Palestine teaching the word of God (see Sermon on the Mount), healing the sick, and performing miracles (see loaves and fishes). He attracted many followers and also made many enemies for claiming to be the Messiah and for failing to observe all Jewish laws. He was eventually betrayed by Judas Iscariot, condemned by Pontius Pilate, and crucified by the Roman authorities who ruled his country. Christians believe that he rose again from the dead and that his Resurrection makes salvation (see also salvation) possible. Christians also expect a Second Coming of Jesus. (See Crucifixion, gospel, and Gospels.) Christian Canvas Art

No other Italian artist embodied Catholic Baroque art better than Gianlorenzo Bernini, whose output of religious art included the sculptural masterpiece The Ecstasy of St.Teresa (1645–52), inside the specially designed Cornaro Chapel of the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria. The Baroque idiom spawned a melodramatic style of architecture, exemplified by Bernini's design for Saint Peter's Square (1656-67) and the approaches to St Peter's Basilica in Rome. A favourite of Urban VIII, and a rival of Francois Duquesnoy (1594-1643) and Alessandro Algardi (1598-1654), Bernini's stature in Rome (though not his creativity) was matched by that of the French-born Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), the founder of French Classicism, whose religious paintings included The Martyrdom of St Erasmus (1628), The Plague on Ashdod (1630), The Israelite Gathering Manna in the Desert (1639), The Boy Moses Tramples the Pharaoh's Crown (1645), and The Holy Family on the Steps (1648).
When Jesus is presented as a baby in the temple per Jewish Law, a man named Simeon says to Mary and Joseph that Jesus "shall stand as a sign of contradiction, while a sword will pierce your own soul. Then the secret thoughts of many will come to light" (Luke 2:28–35). Several years later, when Jesus goes missing on a visit to Jerusalem, his parents find him in the temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions, and the people are amazed at his understanding and answers; Mary scolds Jesus for going missing, to which Jesus replies that he must "be in his father's house" (Luke 2:41–52).

Jesus, Thou art in the midst of us, and Thou knowest all men: if there is any here like that poor woman--if their minds are dark, their lives unholy--if they have come out not seeking Thee, not desiring to be taught; deal with them according to the free mercy which Thou didst show to her Speak to them, Lord, open their ears to my message, bring their sins to their minds, and make them thirst for that salvation which Thou art ready to give. Christian Gifts


The Italian Early Baroque painter Caravaggio was one of the heroes of the Catholic Counter-Reformation arts campaign. Not because of his piety, but because he painted Christ, the Virgin Mary, the Apostles and Saints, with such unbelievable naturalism. Caravaggio's brand of unsophisticated realism was the perfect style for the Church's message. It gave key Biblical events an immediacy which no other painter had achieved. By abandoning the stylistic pretensions of late Mannerism - a style which was understood only by an educated minority, he provided the instant inspirational impact demanded by the Council of Trent. His greatest works include: The Calling of St Matthew (1600), The Martyrdom of St Matthew (1600), Conversion on the Way to Damascus (1601), Supper at Emmaus (1602), The Entombment of Christ (1601-3), The Crucifixion of St Peter (1601), and The Death of the Virgin (1601-6). His dramatic use of light and shadow was continued after his death by followers of so-called caravaggism.

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

During the development of Christian art in the Byzantine Empire (see Byzantine art), a more abstract aesthetic replaced the naturalism previously established in Hellenistic art. This new style was hieratic, meaning its primary purpose was to convey religious meaning rather than accurately render objects and people. Realistic perspective, proportions, light and color were ignored in favor of geometric simplification of forms, reverse perspective and standardized conventions to portray individuals and events. The controversy over the use of graven images, the interpretation of the Second Commandment, and the crisis of Byzantine Iconoclasm led to a standardization of religious imagery within the Eastern Orthodoxy.

Gothic art, too, was all about Christian architecture. It was indebted to a revival of science and mathematics, notably Euclidian geometry. While the Romanesque was noted for its massiveness of scale, thick walls, narrow windows and dim interiors, Gothic architecture dazzled with its soaring vaults, huge stained glass windows and spacious, well-lit interiors. Using pointed arches to spread the weight of the ceiling, and revolutionary flying buttresses to support the walls, it allowed architects to create a church which fully reflected the glory of God. The Gothic style first appeared in the Abbey Church of Saint-Denis, near Paris (begun 1140), and within less than a century had revolutionized cathedral design across Europe. For the ultimate expression of religious Gothic architecture, see: Sainte Chapelle (1241-48) in Paris.
Jesus' crucifixion is described in all four canonical gospels. After the trials, Jesus is led to Calvary carrying his cross; the route traditionally thought to have been taken is known as the Via Dolorosa. The three Synoptic Gospels indicate that Simon of Cyrene assists him, having been compelled by the Romans to do so.[244][245] In Luke 23:27–28 Jesus tells the women in the multitude of people following him not to weep for him but for themselves and their children.[244] At Calvary, Jesus is offered a sponge soaked in a concoction usually offered as a painkiller. According to Matthew and Mark, he refuses it.[244][245]
During the development of Christian art in the Byzantine Empire (see Byzantine art), a more abstract aesthetic replaced the naturalism previously established in Hellenistic art. This new style was hieratic, meaning its primary purpose was to convey religious meaning rather than accurately render objects and people. Realistic perspective, proportions, light and color were ignored in favor of geometric simplification of forms, reverse perspective and standardized conventions to portray individuals and events. The controversy over the use of graven images, the interpretation of the Second Commandment, and the crisis of Byzantine Iconoclasm led to a standardization of religious imagery within the Eastern Orthodoxy. Share Your Faith Products

"Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. "This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. "You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.

^ Following the Apostolic Age, there was fierce and often politicized debate in the early church on many interrelated issues. Christology was a major focus of these debates, and was addressed at every one of the first seven ecumenical councils. Some early beliefs viewed Jesus as ontologically subordinate to the Father (Subordinationism), and others considered him an aspect of the Father rather than a separate person (Sabellianism), both were condemned as heresies by the Catholic Church.[43][402] The Church resolved the issues in ancient councils, which established the Holy Trinity, with Jesus both fully human and fully God.[43]
^ Tuckett writes: "All this does at least render highly implausible any far-fetched theories that even Jesus' very existence was a Christian invention. The fact that Jesus existed, that he was crucified under Pontius Pilate (for whatever reason) and that he had a band of followers who continued to support his cause, seems to be part of the bedrock of historical tradition. If nothing else, the non-Christian evidence can provide us with certainty on that score."[283] Christian Gifts

The Roman Catholic Church responded to the Protestant Reformation with the Counter-Reformation. Catholic Counter-Reformation Art was designed to communicate the distinctive tenets of the Catholic liturgy and faith so as to strengthen the popularity of Catholicism. It was launched at the same time as Mannerist painting was taking hold in Italy - a highly expressive style that used distortion for effect, as exemplified in Parmigianino's picture Madonna with the Long Neck (1535, Uffizi). Concerned that Catholic art was attaching too much importance to decorative qualities, and not enough to religious values - thus negating its educational effects on churchgoers - the Catholic authorities decreed that Biblical art should be be direct and compelling in its narrative presentation, which itself should be accurate rather than fanciful, and should above all encourage piety. Nudity, and other inappropriate imagery was banned. For an example of a pious Mannerist artsist who adapted his style in line with the Church's teaching, see: Federico Barocci (1526-1612). Scripture Art
1200–50; Middle English < Late Latin Iēsus < Greek Iēsoûs < Hebrew Yēshūaʿ, syncopated variant of Yəhōshūaʿ God is help; in Early Modern English, the distinction (lost in Middle English) between Jesus (nominative) and Jesu (oblique, especially vocative; see Jesu) was revived on the model of Latin and Gk sources; Jesus gradually supplanted the older form in both nominative and oblique Christian Gifts
After Jesus' death, his followers said he rose from the dead, although exact details of their experiences are unclear. According to Sanders, the Gospel reports contradict each other, which, according to him, suggests competition among those claiming to have seen him first rather than deliberate fraud.[350] On the other hand, L. Michael White suggests that inconsistencies in the Gospels reflect differences in the agendas of their unknown authors.[311] The followers of Jesus formed a community to wait for his return and the founding of his kingdom.[28]

Although born in Bethlehem, according to Matthew and Luke, Jesus was a Galilean from Nazareth, a village near Sepphoris, one of the two major cities of Galilee (Tiberias was the other). He was born to Joseph and Mary sometime between 6 bc and shortly before the death of Herod the Great (Matthew 2; Luke 1:5) in 4 bc. According to Matthew and Luke, however, Joseph was only legally his father. They report that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived and that she “was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18; cf. Luke 1:35). Joseph is said to have been a carpenter (Matthew 13:55)—that is, a craftsman who worked with his hands—and, according to Mark 6:3, Jesus also became a carpenter. Share Your Faith Products
Birth Nativity Mary Joseph Flight into Egypt Childhood Unknown years Baptism Temptation Apostles selecting Great Commission Ministry Sermon on the Mount/Plain Beatitudes Prayers Lord's Prayer Parables Miracles Transfiguration Homelessness Last Supper Farewell Discourse Passion arrest trial Crucifixion sayings on the cross Tomb Resurrection appearances Ascension

Jesus' childhood home is identified in the gospels of Luke and Matthew as the town of Nazareth in Galilee, where he lived with his family. Although Joseph appears in descriptions of Jesus' childhood, no mention is made of him thereafter.[126] His other family members—his mother, Mary, his brothers James, Joses (or Joseph), Judas and Simon and his unnamed sisters—are mentioned in the gospels and other sources.[127]


Non-Christian sources are valuable in two ways. First, they show that even neutral or hostile parties never evince any doubt that Jesus actually existed. Second, they present a rough picture of Jesus that is compatible with that found in the Christian sources: that Jesus was a teacher, had a reputation as a miracle worker, had a brother James, and died a violent death.[11] Scripture Art
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