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5 Facts You Probably Don't Know About Jesus Christ

1. Jesus last name wasn’t Christ We hear “Jesus Christ” so often that it’s easy to think that Christ is Jesus’ surname. It’s not. In first-century Palestine, people didn’t have last names. People identified others by referencing their parents: “They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, “I came down from heaven”'?" (John 6:42) Christ comes from the Greek for Christos, which means “anointed one.” 2. Jesus probably wasn’t born on December 25 The entire world celebrates Christ’s birth on December 25, but is that His actual birthday? Probably not. Early Christian leaders like Hippolytus and John Chrysostom began observing Christ’s birth on this date. Over time it became the accepted date for celebration, offering an alternative to many pagan festivals happening at this time. Many scholars question the accuracy of this date, and doubt the shepherds would be out with the sheep at night during the coldest time of the year. Looking at the conception and birth of John the Baptist, many believe Jesus was probably born in the fall. 3. Jesus probably wasn’t born in 1 A.D. Jesus’ significance is seen in how His presence divides history. Today we see history through the lens of B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (anno Domini “in the year of the Lord”). The only problem is that Jesus was probably born before 4 B.C. Herod is the main reason that many scholars believe Christ was born earlier. Most believe Herod died in 4 B.C. And since he played such a big part in Christ’s birth story (Matthew 2), Jesus had to have been born before this date. 4. Jesus was born of a virgin Matthew’s gospel claims that Jesus’ conception was miraculous, and points to this miracle as a fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Not only was Jesus born to a virgin, but Matthew saw this as a critical piece of evidence that Jesus was actually the Messiah. 5. Matthew and Luke focused on different aspects of Jesus' identity Luke compiled his gospel account from multiple eyewitness accounts for a man named Theophilus. Most assume Theophilus was a high-ranking or prominent Gentile himself—making Luke the only Gospel written by a Gentile for a Gentile audience. Matthew was a Jew intent on proving to the Jews that Jesus was the promised Jewish Messiah.

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