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Jesus of Nazareth

Biblical Figure / Religious Figure

Born: c. 5 B.C.
Died: c. 30 A.D. (crucifixion)
Birthplace: Bethlehem, Judea
Best known as:

The son of God in the Christian religion

Jesus of Nazareth is the central figure of the Christian religion, a savior believed to be both God incarnate and a human being. He is also known as Jesus Christ, the term "Christ" meaning anointed or chosen one. Most of the details of his life are unclear, and much of what is known about his life comes from the four Gospels of the Bible. The Gospels tell the story of Jesus's auspicious birth in a stable in Bethlehem, and then of his life as an adult, a teacher with miraculous powers who foretold his own death to his closest followers, called apostles. Jesus, betrayed by the apostle Judas, was crucified by the Romans, and his resurrection three days after his death was taken as proof of his divinity. The date of Jesus's birth to Mary is celebrated each December 25th as Christmas Day. The occasion was used as the base year for the modern Christian calendar, though researchers now believe that earlier estimates were inexact and that Jesus was actually born between 4 B.C. and 7 B.C. The date of the crucifixion is now marked as Good Friday, and the resurrection celebrated as Easter.

Extra credit:

Jesus of Nazareth was portrayed by actor Jim Caviezel in the 2004 film The Passion of the Christ. Others who have played Jesus on the big screen include Jeffrey Hunter (King of Kings, 1961), Max von Sydow (The Greatest Story Ever Told, 1965) and Willem Dafoe (The Last Temptation of Christ, 1988)... Christmas is also the realm of the fictional toy-giver known as Santa Claus.

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