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Published on Sep 11, 2009
Jesus (c. 4 BC – c. AD 30/33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a Jewish preacher and religious leader who became the central figure of Christianity. Christians believe him to be the Son of God and the awaited Messiah (Christ) prophesied in the Old Testament.
Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed historically, although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how closely the biblical Jesus reflects the historical Jesus. Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was baptized by John the Baptist and subsequently began his own ministry, preaching his message orally and often being referred to as "rabbi". He was arrested and tried by the Jewish authorities, and was crucified by the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect. Jesus debated fellow Jews on how to best follow God, performed healings, taught in parables and gathered followers. After his death, his followers believed he rose from the dead, and the community they formed eventually became the Christian Church.