Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Jeffrey B. PettisEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_346

There is no conclusive evidence to disprove the existence of the Jesus of history, although what evidence that does exist regarding his earthly life and ministry is minimal. Scholars date his birth at ca. 4 BCE. According to the Gospels, his home where he grew up was in Nazareth, possibly in lower Galilee (Matt. 2.23; Mark 1.9; Luke 1.26; John 1.45f). Most likely Jesus had siblings and was raised in a Jewish home and in Jewish traditions including attending synagogue and temple worship and becoming versed in the Jewish Scriptures. He probably helped his father as a builder in a nearby city. His public life begins at about age 30 and is marked in the NT Gospels by his baptism by John the Baptist in the River Jordan (Mark 1.9–11; Matt. 3.13–17; Luke 3.21–22; John 1.29–34). John the Baptist is thought to have been a member of the Essenes, a Jewish priestly millennia list sect invested in ascetic, apocalyptic beliefs, and practices. The Gospels portray Jesus in a stronger yet respectful...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of TheologyFordham UniversityNew YorkUSA