Who was Jesus ?
of reading - words
Before being Christ, Jesus was a man, among others. History and archaeology have made it possible to clarify some aspects of his life, which are sometimes in disagreement with the Holy Scriptures.
With two billion Christians on the planet, God knows that the life of Jesus is one of the most told stories in the world.
There is no need to go back over her "official" biography. Everyone knows her: her virgin conception, her birth in a Galilean stable, her miracles, her betrayal by the apostle Judas, her crucifixion.
But Jesus is not only the Messiah at the origin of Christianity: he is also a real historical figure. Today, none of the specialists in the field (ancient historians, religious historians, archaeologists) question Jesus' earthly existence.
Yes, the prophet did exist. However, with the progress of history and archaeology, some discoveries have strongly challenged the biblical version of Jesus' life, the one described by the so-called canonical Gospels.
1. Born in Bethlehem?
The Gospels never give a precise date of Jesus' birth: they say that it took place in such and such circumstances.
For the apostle Luke, Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem during a Roman census of Judea. Her mother, Mary, and her husband, Joseph, made the trip from the city of Nazareth in Galilee, where they live. Joseph was to go to Bethlehem, where his family came from, to be registered.
In the Gospel, according to Matthew, it is said that after Jesus' birth, Mary and Joseph settled in Nazareth.
2. Conceived of the Holy Spirit, a born virgin?
The version that is emerging is that of an orphaned Mary, placed as an adolescent with a very old Joseph (about 70 years old). The carpenter/woodsman became engaged to Mary, but he already had six children from a previous union, including four sons.
Some specialists claim that Joseph is the biological father of Jesus. Others imagined a new scenario: what if Joseph had been away for a few days or weeks for his work, leaving Mary surrounded by his sons? The conception may not be virginal. But instead the result of illegitimate love.
Because we must put things in context: in antiquity, "cases" of divine conception were commonplace. The importance that Jesus' reputation has taken on is undoubtedly the result of an a posteriori construction.
The Messiah so awaited by the Jews must have been born of a virgin mother, and in Bethlehem, the city from which the Jewish kings traditionally came (beginning with King David). Jesus' apostles, to convince new disciples, could have taken liberties with reality.
3. Any brothers and sisters?
The Gospel, according to Mark, gives brothers and sisters to Jesus, but Matthew only speaks of half-brothers and half-sisters.
On the question of Jesus' brothers and sisters, it is impossible to decide.
A 1st-century ossuary was discovered in Jerusalem in the early 2000s. The inscription "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" was engraved on it. But this trail is a dead end: Joseph, James, or even Jesus were prevalent names at the time.
4. A married man?
Jesus remained single and chaste all his life; he was never married.
The Gospels mention three Mary close to the Messiah, different from her mother: Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, and, for Luke, an anonymous sinner.
Christians are divided on who is who and who did what between the three Mary. Catholics have chosen to group them under the unique character of Mary Magdalene, a repentant sinner who embodies Christian forgiveness. The Orthodox and Protestants, on the other hand, continue to differentiate between the three women.
The fact is that the name Mary of Magdala appears 19 times in the Gospels, against only three times for the Virgin Mary.
This character, a prostitute, disciple, or repentant, therefore occupies a special place in Jesus' life: she could herself be his wife and have carried his children!
Jesus lived in a very structured Jewish society, where morality was omnipresent. Most historians believe that after a certain age, a man had to marry. Impossible to cut it off, even if we had made a different choice of life, like Jesus.
Conspiracy theories suggest that the Catholic Church hid the marriage of Mary Magdalene and Jesus because it was too stale, too everyday. In short, a union too earthly.