For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. ... Christian Gifts
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins. A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” ... Scripture Art
After Jesus's life, his followers, as described in the first chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, were all Jews either by birth or conversion, for which the biblical term "proselyte" is used,[256] and referred to by historians as Jewish Christians. The early Gospel message was spread orally, probably in Aramaic,[257] but almost immediately also in Greek.[258] The New Testament's Acts of the Apostles and Epistle to the Galatians record that the first Christian community was centered in Jerusalem and its leaders included Peter, James, the brother of Jesus, and John the Apostle.[259] Christian Canvas Art
Géza Vermes says that the doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus arose from theological development rather than from historical events.[316] Despite the widely held view that the authors of the Synoptic Gospels drew upon each other (the so-called synoptic problem), other scholars take it as significant that the virgin birth is attested by two separate gospels, Matthew and Luke.[317][318][319][320][321][322]
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
^ 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 Canvas Art
^ Bart D. Ehrman (1997). The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. Oxford University Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-19-508481-8. The New Testament contains twenty-seven books, written in Greek, by fifteen or sixteen different authors, who were addressing other Christian individuals or communities between the years 50 and 120 C.E. (see box 1.4). As we will see, it is difficult to know whether any of these books was written by Jesus' own disciples.
New Testament scholars face a formidable challenge when they analyze the canonical Gospels.[278] The Gospels are not biographies in the modern sense, and the authors explain Jesus' theological significance and recount his public ministry while omitting many details of his life.[278] The reports of supernatural events associated with Jesus' death and resurrection make the challenge even more difficult.[278] Scholars regard the gospels as compromised sources of information because the writers were trying to glorify Jesus.[89] Even so, the sources for Jesus' life are better than sources scholars have for the life of Alexander the Great.[89] Scholars use a number of criteria, such as the criterion of independent attestation, the criterion of coherence, and the criterion of discontinuity to judge the historicity of events.[279] The historicity of an event also depends on the reliability of the source; indeed, the gospels are not independent nor consistent records of Jesus' life. Mark, which is most likely the earliest written gospel, has been considered for many decades the most historically accurate.[280] John, the latest written gospel, differs considerably from the Synoptic Gospels, and thus is generally considered less reliable, although more and more scholars now also recognize that it may contain a core of older material as historically valuable as the Synoptic tradition or even more so.[281]
One important aspect of the study of the gospels is the literary genre under which they fall. Genre "is a key convention guiding both the composition and the interpretation of writings".[82] Whether the gospel authors set out to write novels, myths, histories, or biographies has a tremendous impact on how they ought to be interpreted. Some recent studies suggest that the genre of the gospels ought to be situated within the realm of ancient biography.[83][84][85] Although not without critics,[86] the position that the gospels are a type of ancient biography is the consensus among scholars today.[87][88]
Moses assembled all the congregation of the people of Israel and said to them, “These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do. Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. You shall kindle no fire in all your dwelling places on the Sabbath day.” Moses said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “This is the thing that the Lord has commanded. Take from among you a contribution to the Lord. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the Lord's contribution: gold, silver, and bronze; ... Christian Gifts

Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I am bringing evil on this place and on its inhabitants, even all the curses written in the book which they have read in the presence of the king of Judah. Because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore My wrath will be poured out on this place and it shall not be quenched.’
^ James Dunn writes that the baptism and crucifixion of Jesus "command almost universal assent" and "rank so high on the 'almost impossible to doubt or deny' scale of historical facts" that they are often the starting points for the study of the historical Jesus.[7] Bart Ehrman states that the crucifixion of Jesus on the orders of Pontius Pilate is the most certain element about him.[8] John Dominic Crossan and Richard G. Watts state that the crucifixion of Jesus is as certain as any historical fact can be.[9] Paul R. Eddy and Gregory A. Boyd say that non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus is now "firmly established".[10]
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.

Prior to the Enlightenment, the gospels were usually regarded as accurate historical accounts, but since then scholars have emerged who question the reliability of the gospels and draw a distinction between the Jesus described in the gospels and the Jesus of history.[264] Since the 18th century, three separate scholarly quests for the historical Jesus have taken place, each with distinct characteristics and based on different research criteria, which were often developed during the quest that applied them.[102][265] While there is widespread scholarly agreement on the existence of Jesus,[g] and a basic consensus on the general outline of his life,[o] the portraits of Jesus constructed by various scholars often differ from each other, and from the image portrayed in the gospel accounts.[267][268]
In general, the authors of the New Testament showed little interest in an absolute chronology of Jesus or in synchronizing the episodes of his life with the secular history of the age.[109] As stated in John 21:25, the gospels do not claim to provide an exhaustive list of the events in the life of Jesus.[110] The accounts were primarily written as theological documents in the context of early Christianity, with timelines as a secondary consideration.[111] In this respect, it is noteworthy that the Gospels devote about one third of their text to the last week of the life of Jesus in Jerusalem, referred to as the Passion.[112] Although the gospels do not provide enough details to satisfy the demands of modern historians regarding exact dates, it is possible to draw from them a general picture of the life story of Jesus.[89][109][111] Share Your Faith Products
Even in Protestant Amsterdam, however, there remained a modest demand for religious paintings. One of the most important commissions received by the young Rembrandt, was five paintings for Prince Frederick Henry of Orange - the leading soldier in the Dutch wars against Catholic Spain - on the subject of Christ's Passion. In addition to his skill as a portraitist, Rembrandt went on to become the greatest religious painter of Dutch Protestantism, noted for works like: The Blinding of Samson (1636), The Sacrifice of Isaac (1636), Susanna and the Elders (1647), Bathsheba Holding King David's Letter (1654), Jacob Blessing the Children of Joseph (1656), and Return of the Prodigal Son (1666-69).

19 designers and 31 writers invested their energy and creativity to this collection, each riffing on the timeless, inspired words of Scripture. Each designer worked hard to capture the essence of each verse in its historical and cultural context, and to design in a way that makes clear the way in which the original readers would have understood it. Then, after each design was complete, a writer reflected on each piece of art and the verse that inspired it. The result is 100 pairs of art and devotional that illuminate the words of Scripture.
^ In the New Testament, Jesus is described as Jewish / Judean (Ioudaios as written in Koine Greek) on three occasions: by the Magi in Matthew 2, who referred to Jesus as "King of the Jews" (basileus ton ioudaion); by both the Samaritan woman at the well and by Jesus himself in John 4; and (in all four gospels) during the Passion, by the Romans, who also used the phrase "King of the Jews".[369]
In AD 6, Judea, Idumea, and Samaria were transformed from a client kingdom of the Roman Empire into an imperial province, also called Judea. A Roman prefect, rather than a client king, ruled the land. The prefect ruled from Caesarea Maritima, leaving Jerusalem to be run by the High Priest of Israel. As an exception, the prefect came to Jerusalem during religious festivals, when religious and patriotic enthusiasm sometimes inspired unrest or uprisings. Gentile lands surrounded the Jewish territories of Judea and Galilee, but Roman law and practice allowed Jews to remain separate legally and culturally. Galilee was evidently prosperous, and poverty was limited enough that it did not threaten the social order.[43] Christian Canvas Art
In Matthew, Joseph is troubled because Mary, his betrothed, is pregnant (Matthew 1:19–20), but in the first of Joseph's three dreams an angel assures him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife, because her child was conceived by the Holy Spirit.[123] In Matthew 2:1–12, wise men or Magi from the East bring gifts to the young Jesus as the King of the Jews. They find Jesus in a house in Bethlehem and not a barn and Jesus is now a child and not an infant. Matthew focuses on an event after the Luke Nativity where Jesus was an infant. In Matthew Herod the Great hears of Jesus' birth and, wanting him killed, orders the murders of male infants in Bethlehem under age of 2. But an angel warns Joseph in his second dream, and the family flees to Egypt—later to return and settle in Nazareth.[123][124][125]
MEANWHILE the new-baptized, who yet remained At Jordan with the Baptist, and had seen Him whom they heard so late expressly called Jesus Messiah, Son of God, declared, And on that high authority had believed, And with him talked, and with him lodged--I mean Andrew and Simon, famous after known, With others, though in Holy Writ not named-- Now missing him, their joy so lately found, So lately found and so abruptly gone, Began to doubt, and doubted many days, And, as the days increased, increased their doubt.
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
Medieval Christian art on the Continent followed similar paths, albeit a little later. Carolingian art (c.750-900), for instance, (the culture of the Frankish kingdom of Charlemagne I) was inspired by Byzantine rather than Irish models. Monastic scriptoria at Aachen, Paris, Reims, Metz and Tours produced beautiful examples of medieval painting like the Godescalc Evangelistary (c.783), the Utrecht Psalter (c.830) and the Grandval Bible (c.840). Carolingian cuture was followed by Ottonian art, under the Holy Roman Emperors Otto I, II and III (900-1050). Inspired by Carolingian techniques as well as Byzantine elements - like the use of gold leaf - Ottonian art was famous for its lavishly decorated manuscripts, including the Perikpenbuch of Henry II (c.1010), the Bamberg Apocalypse (c.1020), the Hitda-Codex (c.1025) and the Codex Aureus Epternacensis (c.1053). See also: German Medieval Art (c.800-1250). Christian Canvas Art
A devout Catholic, the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens became the most influential exponent of Counter-Reformation painting in Northern Europe. Famous for his large-scale religious and history paintings, full of sensuous colour and drama, he socialized in the leading circles of European society as both an artist and diplomat. Despite the distance separating Rubens from the ordinary churchgoer, some of his Catholic pictures, like the celebrated triptych Descent from the Cross (Rubens) (1612), are intensely moving, and his impact on later painters was enormous. See also: Samson and Delilah (1610).
Prior to the Enlightenment, the gospels were usually regarded as accurate historical accounts, but since then scholars have emerged who question the reliability of the gospels and draw a distinction between the Jesus described in the gospels and the Jesus of history.[264] Since the 18th century, three separate scholarly quests for the historical Jesus have taken place, each with distinct characteristics and based on different research criteria, which were often developed during the quest that applied them.[102][265] While there is widespread scholarly agreement on the existence of Jesus,[g] and a basic consensus on the general outline of his life,[o] the portraits of Jesus constructed by various scholars often differ from each other, and from the image portrayed in the gospel accounts.[267][268] Christian Canvas Art
Jesus calls people to repent their sins and to devote themselves completely to God.[43] Jesus tells his followers to adhere to Jewish law, although he is perceived by some to have broken the law himself, for example regarding the Sabbath.[43] When asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus replies: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind ... And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:37–39). Other ethical teachings of Jesus include loving your enemies, refraining from hatred and lust, turning the other cheek, and forgiving people who have sinned against you (Matthew 5–7).[156] Christian Gifts
Judaism rejects the idea of Jesus being God,[42] or a mediator to God, or part of a Trinity.[408] It holds that Jesus is not the Messiah, arguing that he neither fulfilled the Messianic prophecies in the Tanakh nor embodied the personal qualifications of the Messiah.[409] Jews argue that Jesus did not fulfill prophesies to build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26–28), gather Jews back to Israel (Isaiah 43:5–6), bring world peace (Isaiah 2:4), and unite humanity under the God of Israel (Zechariah 14:9).[410] Furthermore, according to Jewish tradition, there were no prophets after Malachi,[411] who delivered his prophesies in the 5th century BC.[412]
^ Flavius Josephus writing (about 5 years later, c. AD 75) in The Jewish War (Book VII 1.1) stated that Jerusalem had been flattened to the point that "there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited."[470] And once what was left of the ruins of Jerusalem had been turned into the Roman settlement of Aelia Capitolina, no Jews were allowed to set foot in it.[469] Share Your Faith Products
In AD 6, Judea, Idumea, and Samaria were transformed from a client kingdom of the Roman Empire into an imperial province, also called Judea. A Roman prefect, rather than a client king, ruled the land. The prefect ruled from Caesarea Maritima, leaving Jerusalem to be run by the High Priest of Israel. As an exception, the prefect came to Jerusalem during religious festivals, when religious and patriotic enthusiasm sometimes inspired unrest or uprisings. Gentile lands surrounded the Jewish territories of Judea and Galilee, but Roman law and practice allowed Jews to remain separate legally and culturally. Galilee was evidently prosperous, and poverty was limited enough that it did not threaten the social order.[43] Christian Canvas Art

In AD 6, Judea, Idumea, and Samaria were transformed from a client kingdom of the Roman Empire into an imperial province, also called Judea. A Roman prefect, rather than a client king, ruled the land. The prefect ruled from Caesarea Maritima, leaving Jerusalem to be run by the High Priest of Israel. As an exception, the prefect came to Jerusalem during religious festivals, when religious and patriotic enthusiasm sometimes inspired unrest or uprisings. Gentile lands surrounded the Jewish territories of Judea and Galilee, but Roman law and practice allowed Jews to remain separate legally and culturally. Galilee was evidently prosperous, and poverty was limited enough that it did not threaten the social order.[43]

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.
The anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He gave them into the hands of plunderers who plundered them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies around them, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had spoken and as the LORD had sworn to them, so that they were severely distressed. Then the LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them. Christian Canvas Art
Jesus is the central figure of Christianity.[13] Although Christian views of Jesus vary, it is possible to summarize the key beliefs shared among major denominations, as stated in their catechetical or confessional texts.[393][394][395] Christian views of Jesus are derived from various sources, including the canonical gospels and New Testament letters such as the Pauline epistles and the Johannine writings. These documents outline the key beliefs held by Christians about Jesus, including his divinity, humanity, and earthly life, and that he is the Christ and the Son of God.[396] Despite their many shared beliefs, not all Christian denominations agree on all doctrines, and both major and minor differences on teachings and beliefs have persisted throughout Christianity for centuries.[397] Christian Gifts
From about 1520, as the Northern Renaissance felt the impact of Luther's revolt against the corrupt practices of the Roman Church, a new set of aesthetics took hold, in the form of Protestant Reformation Art, which reflected the Christian agenda of the Protestant movement, which rejected the humanist art and ideology of the High Renaissance, and celebrated a more austere religious experience, with minimal decoration. As a result, the amount of religious art commissioned by Protestant Church authorities was hugely reduced, and artists in Protestant countries were forced to switch to secular forms like genre painting, portrait art, landscape painting, and still lifes. Christian Canvas Art
The Catholic Church launched the Counter-Reformation to fight for the hearts and minds of those Christians who had 'gone over' to Protestantism. To this end, the Society of Jesus (Societas Jesu) - founded by S. Ignatius Loyola and commonly known as the Jesuits - was formally established in 1540 by Pope Paul III, as an important teaching body and missionary order. Jesuit art was suitably inspirational. First, the architect Giacomo Barozzi (Vignola) was commissioned to design a church for the new order - The Church of the Holy Name of Jesus (Il Gesu) (1568-73) - for which the Baroque painter Giovanni Battista Gaulli painted the fabulous trompe l'oeil ceiling frescoes. Another Jesuit church, the San Ignazio, was the setting for what is arguably the greatest example of quadratura painting ever created - The Triumph and Apotheosis of St Ignatius of Loyola (1691-4) by Andrea Pozzo. There exists no greater exemplar of Counter-Reformation painting, and no better example of the differences between Protestant and Catholic art. Scripture Art
Most modern scholars consider Jesus' baptism to be a definite historical fact, along with his crucifixion.[7] Theologian James D. G. Dunn states that they "command almost universal assent" and "rank so high on the 'almost impossible to doubt or deny' scale of historical facts" that they are often the starting points for the study of the historical Jesus.[7] Scholars adduce the criterion of embarrassment, saying that early Christians would not have invented a baptism that might imply that Jesus committed sins and wanted to repent.[326][327] According to Theissen and Merz, Jesus was inspired by John the Baptist and took over from him many elements of his teaching.[328] Christian Gifts
In general, the authors of the New Testament showed little interest in an absolute chronology of Jesus or in synchronizing the episodes of his life with the secular history of the age.[109] As stated in John 21:25, the gospels do not claim to provide an exhaustive list of the events in the life of Jesus.[110] The accounts were primarily written as theological documents in the context of early Christianity, with timelines as a secondary consideration.[111] In this respect, it is noteworthy that the Gospels devote about one third of their text to the last week of the life of Jesus in Jerusalem, referred to as the Passion.[112] Although the gospels do not provide enough details to satisfy the demands of modern historians regarding exact dates, it is possible to draw from them a general picture of the life story of Jesus.[89][109][111] Share Your Faith Products

“You shall make an altar on which to burn incense; you shall make it of acacia wood. A cubit shall be its length, and a cubit its breadth. It shall be square, and two cubits shall be its height. Its horns shall be of one piece with it. You shall overlay it with pure gold, its top and around its sides and its horns. And you shall make a molding of gold around it. And you shall make two golden rings for it. Under its molding on two opposite sides of it you shall make them, and they shall be holders for poles with which to carry it. You shall make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. ... Christian Canvas Art

Observing a Passover custom of the time, Pilate allows one prisoner chosen by the crowd to be released. He gives the people a choice between Jesus and a murderer called Barabbas (בר-אבא or Bar-abbâ, "son of the father", from the common given name Abba: 'father').[239] Persuaded by the elders (Matthew 27:20), the mob chooses to release Barabbas and crucify Jesus.[240] Pilate writes a sign in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek that reads "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" (abbreviated as INRI in depictions) to be affixed to Jesus' cross (John 19:19–20),[241] then scourges Jesus and sends him to be crucified. The soldiers place a Crown of Thorns on Jesus' head and ridicule him as the King of the Jews. They beat and taunt him before taking him to Calvary,[242] also called Golgotha, for crucifixion.[228][230][243]

Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Christian Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven, from where he will return.[30] Most Christians believe Jesus enables people to be reconciled to God. The Nicene Creed asserts that Jesus will judge the living and the dead[31] either before or after their bodily resurrection,[32][33][34] an event tied to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian eschatology.[35] The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of the Trinity. A minority of Christian denominations reject Trinitarianism, wholly or partly, as non-scriptural. The birth of Jesus is celebrated annually on December 25 (or various dates in January by some eastern churches) as Christmas. His crucifixion is honored on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter. The widely used calendar era "AD", from the Latin anno Domini ("in the year of the Lord"), and the equivalent alternative "CE", are based on the approximate birthdate of Jesus.[36][j] Christian Gifts
He made 300 shields of beaten gold, using three minas of gold on each shield, and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. Moreover, the king made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with refined gold. There were six steps to the throne and a round top to the throne at its rear, and arms on each side of the seat, and two lions standing beside the arms. Twelve lions were standing there on the six steps on the one side and on the other; nothing like it was made for any other kingdom. All King Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. None was of silver; it was not considered valuable in the days of Solomon. Christian Canvas Art
We are faced with a startling opportunity. We may think that we can’t walk this Christian path, but Peter tells us that we have all of the resources that we need in his “very great and precious promises”. When our circumstances cause insecurities and thoughts of despair to dance around our minds, God gives us a way out. We can escape this corruption by knowing God through Jesus Christ. How can we know God? By taking Him at His word! God has already provided for us and He is looking for people who will have the courage to replace their current thinking with God’s faithfulness. Are you looking for the thoughts of God? The Bible is God’s life support to us as we encounter a world of difficulty. Scripture Art
×