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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

Jesus Christ

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The Son of God, the Messiah and Savior of the World, the first and principal object of the prophecies; who was prefigured and promised in the Old Testament; was expected and desired by the patriarchs; the hope and salvation of the Gentiles; the glory, happiness, and consolation of Christians. The name JESUS, in Hebrew JEHOSHUAH or Joshua, signifies Savior, or Jehovah saves. No one ever bore this name with so much justice, nor so perfectly fulfilled the signification of it, as Jesus Christ, who saves from sin and hell, and has merited heaven for us by the price of his blood. It was given to him by divine appointment, Matthew 1:21 , as the proper name for the Savior so long desired, and whom all the myriads of the redeemed in heaven will for ever adore as their only and all-glorious Redeemer.

JESUS was the common name of the Savior; while the name CHRIST , meaning the Anointed One, The Messiah, was his official name. Both names are used separately, in the gospels and also in the epistles; but JESUS generally stands by itself in the gospels, which are narratives of his life; while in the epistles, which treat of his divine nature and of his redeeming work, he is called CHRIST , CHRIST JESUS, or THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. See CHRIST .

Here, under the Redeemer's human name, belong the facts relating to his human nature and the history of his life upon earth. His true and complete humanity, having the soul as well as the body of man, is everywhere seen in the gospel history. He who is "God over all, blessed forever," was an Israelite "as concerning the flesh," Romans 9:5 , and took upon him our whole nature, in order to be a perfect Savior. As a man, Jesus was the King of men. No words can describe that character in which such firmness and gentleness, such dignity and humility, such enthusiasm and calmness, such wisdom and simplicity, such holiness and charity, such justice and mercy, such sympathy with heaven and with earth, such love to God and love to man blended in perfect harmony. Nothing in it was redundant, and nothing was wanting. The world had never produced, nor even conceived of such a character, and its portraiture in the gospels is a proof of their divine origin, which the infidel cannot gainsay. Could the whole human race, of all ages, kindreds, and tongues, be assembled to see the crucified Redeemer as he is, and compare earth's noblest benefactors with Him, there would be but one voice among them. Every crown of glory and every meed of praise would be given to Him who alone is worthy-for perfection of character, for love to mankind, for sacrifices endured, and for benefits bestowed. His glory will forever be celebrated as the Friend of man; the Lamb sacrificed for us.

The visit of JESUS CHRIST to the earth has made it forever glorious above less favored worlds, and forms the most signal event in its annals. The time of his birth is commemorated by the Christian era, the first year of which corresponds to about the year 753 from the building of Rome. It is generally conceded, however, that the Savior was born at least four years before A. D. 1, and four thousand years after the creation of Adam. His public ministry commenced when he was thirty years of age; and continued, according to the received opinion, three and a half years. Respecting his ancestors, see GENEALOGY .

The life of the Redeemer must be studied in the four gospels, where it was recorded under the guidance of supreme wisdom. Many efforts have been made, with valuable results, to arrange the narrations of the evangelists in the true order of time. But as neither of the gospels follows the exact course of events, many incidents are very indeterminate, and are variously arranged by different harmonists. No one, however, has been more successful than Dr. Robinson in his valuable "Harmony of the Gospels".

The divine wisdom is conspicuous not only in what is taught us respecting the life of Jesus, but in what is withheld. Curiosity, and the higher motives of warm affection, raise numerous questions to which the gospels give no reply; and in proportion as men resort to dubious traditions, they lose the power of a pure and spiritual gospel. See further, concerning Christ, MESSIAH, REDEEMER, etc.

Jesus was not an uncommon name among the Jews. It was the name of the father of Elymas the sorcerer, Acts 13:6 ; and of Justus, a fellow-laborer and friend of Paul, Colossians 4:11 . It is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, or Jeshua, borne by the high priest in Ezra's time, and by the well-known leader of the Jews in to the Promised Land. See also 1 Samuel 6:14 2 Kings 23:8 . The Greek form of the word, Jesus, is twice used in the New Testament when Joshua the son of Nun is intended, Acts 7:45 Hebrews 4:8 .


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Jesus Christ'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/ats/j/jesus-christ.html. 1859.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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