(2.) A Jewish Christian surnamed Justus (Col 4:11).
Je'sus, the proper, as Christ is the official, name of our Lord. To distinguish him from others so called, he is spoken of as "Jesus of Nazareth" (John 18:7), and "Jesus the son of Joseph" (John 6:42).
This is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, which was originally Hoshea (Num 13:8, 16), but changed by Moses into Jehoshua (Num 13:16; 1Ch 7:27), or Joshua. After the Exile it assumed the form Jeshua, whence the Greek form Jesus. It was given to our Lord to denote the object of his mission, to save (Mat 1:21).
The life of Jesus on earth may be divided into two great periods, (1) that of his private life, till he was about thirty years of age; and (2) that of his public life, which lasted about three years.
In the "fulness of time" he was born at Bethlehem, in the reign of the emperor Augustus, of Mary, who was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter (Mat 1:1; Luke 3:23; Compare John 7:42). His birth was announced to the shepherds (Luke 2:8-20). Wise men from the east came to Bethlehem to see him who was born "King of the Jews," bringing gifts with them (Mat 2:1-12). Herod's cruel jealousy led to Joseph's flight into Egypt with Mary and the infant Jesus, where they tarried till the death of this king (Mat 2:13-23), when they returned and settled in Nazareth, in Lower Galilee (Mat 2:23; Compare Luke 4:16; John 1:46). At the age of twelve years he went up to Jerusalem to the Passover with his parents. There, in the temple, "in the midst of the doctors," all that heard him were "astonished at his understanding and answers" (Luke 2:41).
Eighteen years pass, of which we have no record beyond this, that he returned to Nazareth and "increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man" (Luke 2:52).
He entered on his public ministry when he was about thirty years of age. It is generally reckoned to have extended to about three years. "Each of these years had peculiar features of its own.
(1.) The first year may be called the year of obscurity, both because the records of it which we possess are very scanty, and because he seems during it to have been only slowly emerging into public notice. It was spent for the most part in Judea. (2.) The second year was the year of public favour, during which the country had become thoroughly aware of him; his activity was incessant, and his frame rang through the length and breadth of the land. It was almost wholly passed in Galilee. (3.) The third was the year of opposition, when the public favour ebbed away. His enemies multiplied and assailed him with more and more pertinacity, and at last he fell a victim to their hatred. The first six months of this final year were passed in Galilee, and the last six in other parts of the land.", Stalker's Life of Jesus Christ, p. 45.
The only reliable sources of information regarding the life of Christ on earth are the Gospels, which present in historical detail the words and the work of Christ in so many different aspects. (See CHRIST; MIRACLE; PASSION; PARABLE.)
Anointed, the Greek translation of the Hebrew word rendered "Messiah" (q.v.), the official title of our Lord, occurring five hundred and fourteen times in the New Testament. It denotes that he was anointed or consecrated to his great redemptive work as Prophet, Priest, and King of his people. He is Jesus the Christ (Acts 17:3; Acts 18:5; Mat 22:42), the Anointed One. He is thus spoken of by Isaiah (Isa 61:1), and by Daniel (Dan 9:24-26), who styles him "Messiah the Prince."
The Messiah is the same person as "the seed of the woman" (Gen 3:15), "the seed of Abraham" (Gen 22:18), the "Prophet like unto Moses" (Deut 18:15), "the priest after the order of Melchizedek" (Ps 110:4), "the rod out of the stem of Jesse" (Isa 11:1, 10), the "Immanuel," the virgin's son (Isa 7:14), "the branch of Jehovah" (Isa 4:2), and "the messenger of the covenant" (Mal 3:1). This is he "of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write." The Old Testament Scripture is full of prophetic declarations regarding the Great Deliverer and the work he was to accomplish. Jesus the Christ is Jesus the Great Deliverer, the Anointed One, the Saviour of men. This name denotes that Jesus was divinely appointed, commissioned, and accredited as the Saviour of men (Heb 5:4; Isa 11:2-4; Isa 49:6; John 5:37; Acts 2:22).
To believe that "Jesus is the Christ" is to believe that he is the Anointed, the Messiah of the prophets, the Saviour sent of God, that he was, in a word, what he claimed to be. This is to believe the gospel, by the faith of which alone men can be brought unto God. That Jesus is the Christ is the testimony of God, and the faith of this constitutes a Christian (1Co 12:3; 1Jn 5:1). (See JESUS; MIRACLE; PARABLE; PASSION.)
Instruction by parables has been in use from the earliest times. A large portion of our Lord's public teaching consisted of parables. He himself explains his reasons for this in his answer to the inquiry of the disciples, "Why speakest thou to them in parables?" (Mat 13:13-15; Mark 4:11, 12; Luke 8:9, 10). He followed in so doing the rule of the divine procedures, as recorded in Mat 13:13.
The parables uttered by our Lord are all recorded in the synoptical (i.e., the first three) Gospels. The fourth Gospel contains no parable properly so called, although the illustration of the good shepherd (John 10:1-16) has all the essential features of a parable. (See CHRIST.)
God is Love
(A.S. and Dutch God; Dan. Gud; Ger. Gott), the name of the Divine Being. It is the rendering (1) of the Hebrew ʾEl, from a word meaning to be strong; (2) of ʾEloah, plural ʾElohim. The singular form, Eloah, is used only in poetry. The plural form is more commonly used in all parts of the Bible, The Hebrew word Jehovah (q.v.), the only other word generally employed to denote the Supreme Being, is uniformly rendered in the Authorized Version by "Lord," printed in small capitals. The existence of God is taken for granted in the Bible. There is nowhere any argument to prove it. He who disbelieves this truth is spoken of as one devoid of understanding (Psalm 14:1).
The arguments generally adduced by theologians in proof of the being of God are:
(1.) The a priori argument, which is the testimony afforded by reason.
(2.) The a posteriori argument, by which we proceed logically from the facts of experience to causes. These arguments are,
(a) The cosmological, by which it is proved that there must be a First Cause of all things, for every effect must have a cause.
(b) The teleological, or the argument from design. We see everywhere the operations of an intelligent Cause in nature.
(c) The moral argument, called also the anthropological argument, based on the moral consciousness and the history of mankind, which exhibits a moral order and purpose which can only be explained on the supposition of the existence of God. Conscience and human history testify that "verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth."
God's attributes are spoken of by some as absolute, i.e., such as belong to his essence as Jehovah, Jah, etc.; and relative, i.e., such as are ascribed to him with relation to his creatures. Others distinguish them into communicable, i.e., those which can be imparted in degree to his creatures: goodness, holiness, wisdom, etc.; and incommunicable, which cannot be so imparted: independence, immutability, immensity, and eternity. They are by some also divided into natural attributes, eternity, immensity, etc.; and moral, holiness, goodness, etc.
This word seems to require explanation only in the case of its use by our Lord in his interview with "Simon, the son of Jonas," after his resurrection (John 21:16, 17). When our Lord says, "Lovest thou me?" he uses the Greek word agapas; and when Simon answers, he uses the Greek word philo, i.e., "I love." This is the usage in the first and second questions put by our Lord; but in the third our Lord uses Simon's word. The distinction between these two Greek words is thus fitly described by Trench:, "Agapan has more of judgment and deliberate choice; philein has more of attachment and peculiar personal affection. Thus the 'Lovest thou' (Gr. agapas) on the lips of the Lord seems to Peter at this moment too cold a word, as though his Lord were keeping him at a distance, or at least not inviting him to draw near, as in the passionate yearning of his heart he desired now to do. Therefore he puts by the word and substitutes his own stronger 'I love' (Gr. philo) in its room. A second time he does the same. And now he has conquered; for when the Lord demands a third time whether he loves him, he does it in the word which alone will satisfy Peter ('Lovest thou,' Gr. phileis), which alone claims from him that personal attachment and affection with which indeed he knows that his heart is full."
In 1 Corinthians 13 the apostle sets forth the excellency of love, as the word "charity" there is rendered in the Revised Version.
This word is used of the deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptians (Exodus 14:13), and of deliverance generally from evil or danger. In the New Testament it is specially used with reference to the great deliverance from the guilt and the pollution of sin wrought out by Jesus Christ, "the great salvation" (Hebrews 2:3).
The purchase back of something that had been lost, by the payment of a ransom. The Greek word so rendered is apolutrosis, a word occurring nine times in Scripture, and always with the idea of a ransom or price paid, i.e., redemption by a lutron (see God (Numbers 3:49; 18:15).
There are many passages in the New Testament which represent Christ's sufferings under the idea of a ransom or price, and the result thereby secured is a purchase or redemption (Compare Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; Galatians 3:13; 4:4, 5; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; 1Timothy 2:5, 6; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:12; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; Revelations 5:9). The idea running through all these texts, however various their reference, is that of payment made for our redemption. The debt against us is not viewed as simply cancelled, but is fully paid. Christ's blood or life, which he surrendered for them, is the "ransom" by which the deliverance of his people from the servitude of sin and from its penal consequences is secured. It is the plain doctrine of Scripture that "Christ saves us neither by the mere exercise of power, nor by his doctrine, nor by his example, nor by the moral influence which he exerted, nor by any subjective influence on his people, whether natural or mystical, but as a satisfaction to divine justice, as an expiation for sin, and as a ransom from the curse and authority of the law, thus reconciling us to God by making it consistent with his perfection to exercise mercy toward sinners" (Hodge's Systematic Theology).