The Real Jesus

Talpiot Tomb Entrance

Jesus of Nazareth was an Apocalyptic Jew. He was always a Jew and never anything else in terms of religion. He was never a Christian and he would not even have known that word.

He was born to an unwed, Jewish woman out of wedlock. The man who fathered him was a Roman soldier of Jewish descent.  That soldier was transferred to German, possibly never knowing he had a son. He died in Germany after a long military career and was buried there. His tombstone is in a German museum.

Jesus saw himself as head of a family that was descended from King David. He came to believe that he was the Davidic Messiah who was the King of the Jews and would rule as such when God broke into the world with his kingdom, the Kingdom of God. He partnered with a relative of his who was known as John the Baptist. They baptized people together and taught together, urging people to repent of their sins in anticipation of what Jesus and John thought would be the soon coming Kingdom of God breaking into the world.

Unfortunately, John was caught and executed by Herod Antipas. John’s death was devastating to Jesus, but he carried on with his mission.

In A.D. 30, Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Jewish holy days of Passover, believing that sometime during those holy days the Kingdom of God would come through into the world. There, he was betrayed by one of his own close followers, Judas Iscariot, who told authorities that Jesus claimed to be the king of the Jews. To make such a claim was a crime in the Roman Empire.

Jesus was arrested and crucified by the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate. He died and was temporarily buried by one of his influential supporters until the Jewish holy days were over. He was then moved to a permanent burial place. Some people had visions of him after he died, giving rise to the belief that, in some sense, he had been raised from the dead.

In 1980, in a district called Talpiot, south of the Old City of Jerusalem, the Jesus family tomb was discovered by accident as a result of a construction project, building new housing in the area. It was a controversial find, but as the years passed, more and more evidence became available that makes the probability of this being the tomb of Jesus’ family that contained not only the bones of Jesus, but those of his mother, Mary, his wife, Mary Magdalene, his son, and his siblings a virtual certainty.

Jesus is not God and never claimed to be God. He never wanted to be worshiped as God. He never intended to found a new religion, nor to build the church. He taught from Jewish scripture, and his teaching can be summed up as love of God and neighbor with salvation coming from direct forgiveness from God for personal repentance of sins.

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