Major World Religions(III)_ Dr Saheb Sahu
Jesus and His world
Jesus (4BCE-30/33CE), also known as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a Jewish preacher and religious leader, who is the central figure of Christianity. Christians believe him to be the Son of God and the awaited Messiah (Christ) prophesized in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament.
Jesus was a Galilean Jew, who began his ministry, preaching his message orally. Jesus debated fellow Jews on how to follow God, engaged in healing, taught in parables and gathered followers. Jesus taught with simplicity in Aramaic, the dialect spoken by ordinary Jews in those days. He used stories, aphorism, similes and metaphors. The parable form that he used was customary in the East. His teachings were models of clarity, brevity and force. He was seen as a trouble maker and a rebel by the Jewish authority in Jerusalem. He was arrested and tried by the Jewish high priests and subsequently crucified by the Roman authority.
Christian doctrines include the belief that Jesus was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Church, died by crucifixion as sacrifice to achieve atonement, rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven, from where he will return.
Judaism rejects the idea of Jesus being God or a mediator to God. It holds that Jesus is not the Messiah. In Islam, Jesus is considered to be a messenger of God (Allah) and a Messiah. While the Quran acknowledges the virgin birth of Jesus, he is considered to be neither the incarnation nor the son of God.
A Christian Bible is a set of books that Christians regard as divinely inspired and thus constituting Scripture. The Christian Bible has two Bibles- the Old and the New Testament. The Old Testament is the first part, and is based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible.
The New Testament is the name given to the second and the final portion of the Christian Bible. Jesus is its central figure. The term “New Testament” came into use in the second century CE. The New Testament presupposes the inspiration of the Old Testament. It is a collection of 27 books.
Denominations of Christians
There are two main denominations among Christians-Catholic and Protestant. The Catholic are further divided into- The Roman Catholic Church, The Eastern Orthodox Church, and The Assyrian Church of the East etc. The Protestants are divided into more than fifty different churches like: Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Evangelical, and Quakers etc.
Teachings of Jesus
The four canonical gospels of the New Testament (Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John) are the foremost sources for the life and teachings of Jesus. The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings of Jesus which emphasizes his moral teachings found in the Gospel of Mathew. It is generally considered to contain the central tenets of Christian discipleship.
The Sermon on the Mount
And seeing the multitude, He (Jesus) went up on the mountain, and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the poor in heart,
For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called the sons of God.
Blessed are those who persecuted for righteousness sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn on the other to him also.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.
Forgive, and you shall be forgiven.