Jesus Christ is the originator and focus of the Christian faith based on the teaching of the Holy Bible. He is the eternal second person of the Triune God who took on humanity at his incarnation, being born of the virgin Mary. He is uniquely the God-man, both fully God and fully man in his one person, who came to fully reveal God and accomplish the redemption of mankind through his sacrificial atoning death on the cross. On the third day following his crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit and now sits at the right hand of God the Father, according to the Scriptures.
- The Person of Jesus Christ - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 (QuickTime), by Bruce Ware - Seminary lectures
- Who is Jesus? (MP3), by Tim Keller
- Christology (MP3), by Gerald Bray
- Christology in the Old Testament: A Panel Discussion of how and to what extent we should see Christ in the Old Testament (MP3), a panel at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Who is Jesus and Why Does it Matter? (MP3), by Ravi Zacharias (Q&A)
Jesus the Christ
The title 'Christ', from the Greek Christos, is the equivalent of the Hebrew Messias, meaning "anointed one." Thus, the term Christ is a title rather than a proper name and identifies Jesus as the anticipated Messiah of the Old Testament.
"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 (1 Corinthians 12:3; 1 John 5:1)." ^^
Scripture presents Jesus as the second person of the Trinity who existed prior to his incarnation. Christ was involved in the Creation (John 1:1-3) and is denoted as having existed before all things were created (see Col.1:16-17; cf. John 17:5).
The Word became flesh
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14) Although Jesus pre-existed as the Son of God, Scripture teaches that he took on flesh and was born in the likeness of men in human form (Philippians 2:7-8; cf. 1 John 4:2-3). This has traditionally been understood as his incarnation. Jesus was born of a virgin, a doctrine well attested in the NT and found deep in the beliefs of the early church fathers.
Jesus' life and ministry
"When he was about thirty years of age" (Luke 3:23) Jesus was baptized, signifying the beginning of his ministry. He was then tempted by the devil, and remained obedient unlike the disobedience of Israel in the midst of their temptations. Throughout his ministry he performed many miracles, healing the sick, raising the dead, and performing many "signs" (cf. Gospel of John). He told parables, and the NT (especially the Gospels) are full of his teachings. Furthermore, Jesus lived a sinless life, fulfilling the law and completely obeying the will of God.
The person of Jesus
Jesus is both fully God and fully man. Furthermore, he has been traditionally understood as Prophet, Priest, and King (his "offices"). Scripture also presents him as the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53), and the Second Adam (Rom.5:12-21; 1 Cor.15:20-22). Who Jesus was (his person) is closely linked to what he did (his works).
The culmination of Jesus' life
Jesus' life culminated in his substitutionary death, resurrection and ascension. Scripture teaches that Jesus died, was buried, and rose on the third day (1 Cor 15:3-4; cf. Acts 2:32). In this, he revealed the glory he had with the Father before the world existed (John 17:5), being exalted to the right hand of God and given the name above all names (Phil 2:9).
Jesus will return to judge both believers and unbelievers (see Matt 24-25; cf. 1 Thess). Known as the parousia, Christians call this the Second Coming.
Other issues in Christology
Traditionally, Christology has been approached "from above" and "from below." While these are not the only methods, they have remained the current methods for doing theology.
See main page: Christological methods
What did Jesus actually say and do?
Groups and organizations like the Jesus Seminar have questioned the reliability of the Gospels and thus their presentation of the biblical Jesus. Did the Jesus of scripture really exist? If he did, what did he say and did he really perform miracles? These are some of the questions involved in this ongoing discussion.
Could Jesus have sinned?
Many have questioned whether or not Jesus was able to sin. Since Jesus is God, those who say he could have sinned are criticized for implying that God could sin. Those who deny that Jesus could have sinned find critique in that this makes Jesus somehow less human, and although he knew temptation, it was not similar the temptation that the rest of humanity faces.
See main page: Impeccability of Jesus
Old Testament Prophecy
The Old Testament is ripe with prophecy that points to the Messiah, setting conditions in which believers could identify the Christ, in addition to His complete fulfillment of the Law. The fulfillment of the Law is very important, as Christ had to be the "spotless Lamb" in order to redeem humanity.
- Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, and I. Howard Marshall, eds. Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Intervarsity Press, 1992. ISBN 0830817778
- Fred Sanders and Klaus Issler, eds. Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective: An Introductory Christology. B&H Academic, 2007. ISBN 080544422X
- Darrell Bock and Daniel Wallace, Dethroning Jesus: Exposing Popular Culture's Quest to Unseat the Biblical Christ. Thomas Nelson, 2007. ISBN 078522615X
- Darrell Bock, Jesus According to Scripture: Restoring the Portrait from the Gospels. Baker Academic, 2002. ISBN 080102370X (paperback, 2007)
- Ben Witherington, The Christology of Jesus. Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1997. ISBN 0800631080
- Edward Rochie Hardy, ed. Christology of the Later Fathers. Library of Christian Classics. Westminster John Know, 1977. ISBN 0664241522
- Damon W. K. So, Jesus' Revelation of His Father: A Narrative-Conceptual Study of the Trinity with Special Reference to Karl Barth. (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2006). ISBN 184227323X
- Damon W. K. So, The Forgotten Jesus and the Trinity You Never Knew. (Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2010). ISBN 9781608996315
- Meditation on Jesus Christ from a Trinitarian perspective, and other resources. by Damon So
- Christology: Jesus Christ, by Greg Herrick (bible.org)
- The Person and Work of Christ, Augustus to Tiberius, by Dr. Paul L. Maier
- Who is Jesus--Really? Views, with Q & A, on the person and work of Jesus Christ
- Jesus, Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Growing in Christ (PDF), by Gary Gilley