In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The Historical Jesus
Jesus was born around 2 BCE in Bethlehem, in Judea. Bethlehem is a town, in the West Bank territory, a few miles from the Israeli capital of Jerusalem. This is where the Prophets said the Messiah – that is the one who would save the people of Israel – would be born and, by this, Jesus fulfilled the prophesy that he would be born in the City of David (Bethlehem). His mother, Mary and her husband, Joseph, were Nazarenes, a fancy phrase that simply means they were from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, but Bethlehem was Joseph’s ancestral home.
For the first few years of his life, Jesus’ family lived in exile in Egypt before returning to Nazareth where Joseph a carpenter, taught his sons, including Jesus, his first born, the trade. For much of his adult life, Jesus lived as a carpenter.
At about 30 years of age, Jesus began his ministry. Though the most complete descriptions of Jesus’ teaching and ministry come down to us through the first four books of the New Testament of the Bible, they are far from the only contemporary written sources that we have to draw from. The historical Jesus is actually a very well documented fact. The most famous contemporary to write about him was the historian Josephus.
His teachings have a power and a claim of authority that is unique. They are the very foundation of modern moral and philosophical thought, so deeply embedded in our culture, that many people use them without the slightest understanding of their source. Phrases like “turn the other cheek”, and “go the extra mile” are lifted directly from his teachings.
Jesus taught principles so radical that even 2,000 years cannot diminish their power. Easily the most radical of his teachings was that you must love your enemy. His teaching about enemy love, forgiveness and refusal to surrender to anger and bitterness was and is revolutionary. The most complete summary of his teachings can be found in The Sermon on the Mount, his most famous speech. As Christians, we haven’t always lived up to his example or his teachings, but that is a reflection on us, not Jesus or his teachings.
The real challenge is his audacious claim that he was, and is, the Son of the Living God.
C.S. Lewis stated:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Essentially, we must decide if Jesus was a lunatic, a liar or who He said He is.
What we Believe
Read his teaching in the Sermon on the Mount and read his other teachings and ask yourself, is this the ranting of a madman. We believe the obvious answer is no. We also do not believe that the example of his life or fundamental truths within his teachings are consistent with a con-man.
We believe that Jesus was, and is, the Son of the Living God.
We believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there He will come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Return to Our Beliefs