Antique – Old Ghostly Image. Ghostly image on very thin paper – NOT Printed. Mysterious – See-through – like Shroud of Turin. For offer – a very unusual item! Fresh from an estate in Upstate NY. Never offered on the market until now. Vintage, Old, antique, Original – NOT a Reproduction – Guaranteed!! This was found tucked away in an old book from the mid 1800s. Nothing has been done to it at all – JUST as it was found. At first it looked blank, but upon closer examination, there is a faint image that looks like Jesus – exactly as shown in photos. Shown are scans and a couple photos of the piece. I have studied printing and paper for decades, and IT IS NOT PRINTED – it looks like some sort of negative exposure, somewhat like the Shroud of Turin. If you hold it up to light you can see right through it. Not sure of exact age but a very unusual item I doubt you will ever see again. The full piece measures approx. 6 3/4 x 4 7/8 inches. In good to very good condition. Paper has some “waviness” to it, and some light foxing (small brown spots). The first scan is a closeup, and the others show the entire piece. I tried my best to show this item – if you have any questions please feel free to ask. If you collect religious history, weird objects, creepy etc. This is a nice one for your paper or ephemera collection. Perceptions of religious imagery in natural phenomena, sometimes called simulacra, are sightings of images with spiritual or religious themes or import to the perceiver. The images perceived, whether iconic or aniconic, may be the faces of religious notables or the manifestation of spiritual symbols in the natural, organic media or phenomena of the natural world. The occurrence or event of perception may be transient or fleeting or may be more enduring and monumental. The phenomenon appears to approach a cultural universal and may often accompany nature worship, animism, and fetishism, along with more formal or organized belief systems. Within Christian traditions, many instances reported involve images of Jesus or other Christian figures seen in food; in the Muslim world, structures in food and other natural objects may be perceived as religious text in Arabic script, particularly the word Allah or verses from the Qur’an. Many religious believers view them as real manifestations of miraculous origin; a sceptical view is that such perceptions are examples of pareidolia. The original phenomena of this type were acheropites: images of major Christian icons such as Jesus and the Virgin Mary which were believed to have been created by supernatural means. The word acheropite comes from the Greek , meaning “not created by human hands”, and the term was first applied to the Turin Shroud and the Veil of Veronica. Later, the term came to apply more generally to simulacra of a religious or spiritual nature occurring in natural phenomena, particularly those seen by believers as being of miraculous origin. Scientifically, such imagery is generally characterized as a form of pareidolia. This is a false perception of imagery due to what is theorized as the human mind’s over-sensitivity to perceiving patterns, particularly the pattern of a human face, in otherwise random phenomena. It is suggested that a tendency of religious imagery in Islam to be perceived as Arabic words is made more likely by the general simplicity of letter forms in the Arabic alphabet (especially in the everyday Riq’a); a tradition of massive typographical flexibility in Islamic calligraphy; and the particular shape of the word Allah. These factors make the word easy to read into many structures with parallel lines or lobes on a common base. Lewis wrote about the implications of perception of religious imagery in questionable circumstances on issues of religious belief and faith. He argued that people’s ready ability to perceive human-like forms around them reflects a religious reality that human existence is immersed in a world containing such beings. The principal reason he believed in religion was because he believed himself to be wired to believe it, just as he believed human beings are wired to perceive inference if… Then and other mental logical phenomena as representing truths about the external world that can be learned from, rather than representing purely internal phenomena to be characterized as error. He chose to believe in his wiring for religious perception in the same way and for the same reasons that he chose to believe in his wiring for logic, choosing to use and rely on both as guides to learning about the world rather than regarding them as purely random in origin and discarding them. People continue to have faith in the phenomenon of logic, despite the fact that they sometimes make demonstrably mistaken inferences. Perceiver as cultural filter. From an etic perspective, perception of an image, icon, or sign of religious or spiritual import to the perceiver is indelibly mediated or filtered through culture, politics, and worldview. As Gregory Price Grieve states. What you see is not always what you get. Instead, what we see depends on mediation. That is, because our descriptions of religious images are culturally located, our naïve descriptions are neither innocent nor objective. Rather, all social objects are mediated by intervening socially grounded, culturally generated, and historically particular mechanisms. Moreover, these intervening mechanisms are not only by necessity material, but are marbled through and through with power relations. Psychology of the sacred, taking stock of the human condition, conveys that people construct meaning from that which is without meaning; stated differently, culture gives context to lived experience. Therefore, both meaning and absence of meaning may be perceived as being co-existents. Cultural context as constructed meaning and memetic transmission engenders social, existential, and spiritual comfort in a tenuous and arbitrary lived experience and millieu: perception as a participatory event parsing experience into meaningful units. The crossroads or intersections of evolutionary psychology of religion, pattern recognition, neuroaesthetics and symbolic communication lend to the construction of meanings as group cohesion and bond-forming in human society. The Clearwater Virgin on Christmas Day 1996. The Virgin Mary accounts for a substantial number of sightings of this type. A typical example is the “Clearwater Virgin”, where an image of Mary was reported to have appeared in the glass façade of a finance building in Clearwater, Florida, and attracted widespread media attention. A local chemist examined the windows and suggested the stain was produced by water deposits combined with weathering, yielding a chemical reaction like that often seen on old bottles, perhaps due to the action of the water sprinkler. On March 1, 2004, the three uppermost panes of the window were broken by a vandal.  Other examples of Marian apparitions of this type that have received substantial press coverage include a fence in Coogee, Australia in 2003; a hospital in Milton, Massachusetts in June 2003; and a felled tree in Passaic, New Jersey in 2003.  Images of the Virgin have also been reported on a rock in Ghana,  an underpass in Chicago,  a lump of firewood in Janesville, Wisconsin; a chocolate factory in Fountain Valley, California; and a pizza pan in Houston, Texas. Another image regularly reported is that of Jesus Christ. Sightings of this type have been reported in such varied media as cloud photos,  Marmite,  chapatis,  shadows,  Cheetos,  tortillas,  trees,  dental x-rays,  cooking utensils,  windows rocks and stones,  painted and plastered walls,  and dogs’ hindquarters.  When such images receive publicity, people frequently come considerable distances to see them, and to venerate them. On April 30, 2002 the Hubble Space Science Institute released new photographs of the Cone Nebula, also known as the Space Mountain, to showcase a new extremely high resolution camera. Shortly afterwards some began to call it the “Jesus Nebula”, believing they could see Jesus’s face in it.  The new camera was installed on Hubble by astronauts during a space shuttle mission in March 2002. The Cone Nebula, located in the constellation Monoceros, is a region that contains cones, pillars, and majestic flowing shapes that abound in stellar nurseries where natal clouds of gas and dust are buffeted by energetic winds from nurseries of newborn stars. One controversial incident that received considerable publicity was when the face of Mother Teresa was claimed to have been identified in a cinnamon bun at Bongo Java in Nashville, Tennessee on 15 October 1996.  On 25 December 2005 the bun was stolen during a break-in at the coffee house. This phenomenon can even take political meanings, such as the cross-shaped reflection seen on the East Berlin TV Tower, nicknamed “the Pope’s revenge” and cited by Ronald Reagan as an example of the survival of religious ideas in the secular Communist society. In at least two instances, the images of deceased Anglican clergymen allegedly appeared on the walls of their church. In 1902, the image of a Dean Vaughan allegedly appeared on the walls of Llandaff cathedral, while the image of Dean Henry Liddell allegedly appeared on the walls of Christ Church, Oxford in 1923. In the Muslim community, a frequently-reported religious perception is the image of the word “Allah” in Arabic on natural objects. Again, the discovery of such an object may attract considerable interest among believers who visit the object for the purpose of prayer or veneration. Examples of this phenomenon have been reported on fish,  fruit and vegetables,  plants and clouds,  eggs,  honeycombs,  and on the markings on animals’ coats. The Arabic script for the name of Allah is purported to be visible in a satellite photograph of the 2004 Asian tsunami. This was taken as evidence by some Muslims that Allah had sent the tsunami as punishment. Several Hindu murtis are held to be “self-manifest” or Swayambhu. Most are lingams of Shiva. Main article: Monkey tree phenomenon. In Jurong West, Singapore in September 2007, the discovery of calluses on a tree which look like the Hanuman, the monkey deity in the Hindu pantheon, created a social phenomenon. There are two nearby trees which also resemble deities. One features an apparent outline of Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy, and another resembles the Hindu elephant god Ganesha. In some cases, apparent religious images have been deliberately created from natural materials as part of an artistic endeavor or investigation into the phenomenon of perceptions of religious imagery. The “Pope Tart” was a hoax apparition created by Karen Stollznow in 2005 as part of an investigation into pareidolia for The Skeptic in Australia.  In other cases these deliberate images have been mere commercial ventures. The Jesus Toaster and The Virgin Mary Toaster were created by Galen Dively in 2010. These toasters create images of Jesus and Mary on bread. Bélmez Faces, a disputed paranormal phenomenon in Bélmez, Spain, where several spots on floors and walls are interpreted as faces. The Shroud of Turin or Turin Shroud (Italian: Sindone di Torino, Sacra Sindone [sakra sindone] or Santa Sindone) is a length of linen cloth bearing the negative image of a man who is alleged to be Jesus of Nazareth. It is kept in the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, which is located within a complex of buildings which includes the Turin Cathedral, the Royal Palace of Turin, and the Palazzo Chiablese in Turin, Piedmont, northern Italy. The cloth itself is believed by some to be the burial shroud that Jesus was wrapped in when he was buried after crucifixion. It is first securely attested in 1390, when a local bishop wrote that the shroud was a forgery and that an unnamed artist had confessed. Radiocarbon dating of a sample of the shroud material is consistent with this date. The Catholic Church has neither formally endorsed nor rejected the shroud, but in 1958 Pope Pius XII approved of the image in association with the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus.  Pope John Paul II called the Shroud “a mirror of the Gospel”.  Other Christian denominations, such as Anglicans and Methodists, have also shown devotion to the Shroud of Turin. Diverse arguments have been made in scientific and popular publications claiming to prove that the cloth is the authentic burial shroud of Jesus, based on disciplines ranging from chemistry to biology and medical forensics to optical image analysis. In 1988, three radiocarbon dating tests dated a corner piece of the shroud from the Middle Ages,  between the years 1260 and 1390. Some shroud researchers have challenged the dating, arguing the results were skewed by the introduction of material from the Middle Ages to the portion of the shroud used for radiocarbon dating.  However, all of the hypotheses used to challenge the radiocarbon dating have been scientifically refuted,  including the medieval repair hypothesis,  the bio-contamination hypothesis and the carbon monoxide hypothesis. The image on the shroud is much clearer in black-and-white negative than in its natural sepia color, and this negative image was first observed in 1898 on the reverse photographic plate of amateur photographer Secondo Pia, who was allowed to photograph it while it was being exhibited. A variety of methods have been proposed for the formation of the image, but the actual method used has not yet been conclusively identified. Despite numerous investigations and tests, the status of the Shroud of Turin remains murky, and the nature of the image and how it was fixed on the cloth remain puzzling.  The shroud continues to be both intensely studied and controversial. . Secondo Pia’s 1898 negative of the image on the Shroud of Turin has an appearance suggesting a positive image. It is used as part of the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus. Image from Musée de l’Élysée, Lausanne. The shroud is rectangular, measuring approximately 4.4 by 1.1 metres (14 ft 5 in × 3 ft 7 in). The cloth is woven in a three-to-one herringbone twill composed of flax fibrils. Its most distinctive characteristic is the faint, brownish image of a front and back view of a naked man with his hands folded across his groin. The two views are aligned along the midplane of the body and point in opposite directions. The front and back views of the head nearly meet at the middle of the cloth. The image of the “Man of the Shroud” has a beard, moustache, and shoulder-length hair parted in the middle. He is muscular and tall (various experts have measured him as from 1.70 to 1.88 m or 5 ft 7 in to 6 ft 2 in).  Reddish-brown stains are found on the cloth, showing various wounds that, according to proponents, correlate with the yellowish image, the pathophysiology of crucifixion, and the Biblical description of the death of Jesus. In May 1898 Italian photographer Secondo Pia was allowed to photograph the shroud. He took the first photograph of the shroud on 28 May 1898. In 1931, another photographer, Giuseppe Enrie, photographed the shroud and obtained results similar to Pia’s.  In 1978, ultraviolet photographs were taken of the shroud. The shroud was damaged in a fire in 1532 in the chapel in Chambery, France. There are some burn holes and scorched areas down both sides of the linen, caused by contact with molten silver during the fire that burned through it in places while it was folded.  Fourteen large triangular patches and eight smaller ones were sewn onto the cloth by Poor Clare nuns to repair the damage. Main article: History of the Shroud of Turin. The historical records for the shroud can be separated into two time periods: before 1390 and from 1390 to the present. Prior to 1390 there are some similar images such as the Pray Codex. However, what is claimed by some to be the image of a shroud on the Pray Codex has crosses on one side, an interlocking step pyramid pattern on the other, and no image of Jesus. Critics point out that it may not be a shroud at all, but rather a rectangular tombstone, as seen on other sacred images.  The text of the codex also fails to mention a miraculous image on the codex shroud. It is often mentioned that the first certain historical record dates from 1353 or 1357.  However the presence of the Turin Shroud in Lirey, France, is only undoubtedly attested in 1390 when Bishop Pierre d’Arcis wrote a memorandum to Pope Clement VII (Avignon Obedience), stating that the shroud was a forgery and that the artist had confessed.  Historical records seem to indicate that a shroud bearing an image of a crucified man existed in the small town of Lirey around the years 1353 to 1357 in the possession of a French Knight, Geoffroi de Charny, who died at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356.  However the correspondence of this shroud in Lirey with the shroud in Turin, and its origin has been debated by scholars and lay authors, with statements of forgery attributed to artists born a century apart. Some contend that the Lirey shroud was the work of a confessed forger and murderer. There are no definite historical records concerning the particular shroud currently at Turin Cathedral prior to the 14th century. A burial cloth, which some historians maintain was the Shroud, was owned by the Byzantine emperors but disappeared during the Sack of Constantinople in 1204.  Although there are numerous reports of Jesus’ burial shroud, or an image of his head, of unknown origin, being venerated in various locations before the 14th century, there is no historical evidence that these refer to the shroud currently at Turin Cathedral. The pilgrim medallion of Lirey (before 1453),  drawing by Arthur Forgeais, 1865. The history of the shroud from the 15th century is well recorded. In 1453 Margaret de Charny deeded the Shroud to the House of Savoy. In 1578 the shroud was transferred to Turin. Since the 17th century the shroud has been displayed e. In the chapel built for that purpose by Guarino Guarini and in the 19th century it was first photographed during a public exhibition. In 1532, the shroud suffered damage from a fire in a chapel of Chambéry, capital of the Savoy region, where it was stored. A drop of molten silver from the reliquary produced a symmetrically placed mark through the layers of the folded cloth. Poor Clare Nuns attempted to repair this damage with patches. In 1578 Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy ordered the cloth to be brought from Chambéry to Turin and it has remained at Turin ever since. Repairs were made to the shroud in 1694 by Sebastian Valfrè to improve the repairs of the Poor Clare nuns.  Further repairs were made in 1868 by Clotilde of Savoy. The shroud remained the property of the House of Savoy until 1983, when it was given to the Holy See. A fire, possibly caused by arson, threatened the shroud on 11 April 1997.  In 2002, the Holy See had the shroud restored. The cloth backing and thirty patches were removed, making it possible to photograph and scan the reverse side of the cloth, which had been hidden from view. A faint part-image of the body was found on the back of the shroud in 2004. The Shroud was placed back on public display (the 18th time in its history) in Turin from 10 April to 23 May 2010; and according to Church officials, more than 2 million visitors came to see it. On Holy Saturday (30 March) 2013, images of the shroud were streamed on various websites as well as on television for the first time in 40 years.  Roberto Gottardo of the diocese of Turin stated that for the first time ever they had released high definition images of the shroud that can be used on tablet computers and can be magnified to show details not visible to the naked eye.  As this rare exposition took place, Pope Francis issued a carefully worded statement which urged the faithful to contemplate the shroud with awe but, like his predecessors, he “stopped firmly short of asserting its authenticity”. The shroud was again placed on display in the cathedral in Turin from 19 April 2015 until 24 June 2015. There was no charge to view it, but an appointment was required. Main article: Conservation-restoration of the Shroud of Turin. The Shroud has undergone several restorations and several steps have been taken to preserve it to avoid further damage and contamination. The shroud is kept under the laminated bulletproof glass of the airtight case. The temperature- and humidity-controlled case is filled with argon (99.5%) and oxygen (0.5%) to prevent chemical changes. The Shroud itself is kept on an aluminum support sliding on runners and stored flat within the case. A poster advertising the 1898 exhibition of the shroud in Turin. Secondo Pia’s photograph was taken a few weeks too late to be included in the poster. The image on the poster includes a painted face, not obtained from Pia’s photograph. Religious beliefs about the burial cloths of Jesus have existed for centuries. The Gospels of Matthew, [27:5960] Mark, [15:46] and Luke[23:53] state that Joseph of Arimathea wrapped the body of Jesus in a piece of linen cloth and placed it in a new tomb. The Gospel of John[19:3840] refers to strips of linen used by Joseph of Arimathea and states that Apostle Peter found multiple pieces of burial cloth after the tomb was found open, strips of linen cloth for the body and a separate cloth for the head. [20:67] The Gospel of the Hebrews, a 2nd-century manuscript, states that Jesus gave the linen cloth to the servant of the priest. Although pieces said to be of burial cloths of Jesus are held by at least four churches in France and three in Italy, none has gathered as much religious following as the Shroud of Turin.  The religious beliefs and practices associated with the shroud predate historical and scientific discussions and have continued in the 21st century, although the Catholic Church has never passed judgment on its authenticity.  An example is the Holy Face Medal bearing the image from the shroud, worn by some Catholics.  Indeed, the Shroud of Turin is respected by Christians of several traditions, including Baptists, Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Orthodox, Pentecostals, and Presbyterians.  Several Lutheran parishes have hosted replicas of the Shroud of Turin, for didactic and devotional purposes. In 1543 John Calvin, in his Treatise on Relics, wrote of the shroud, which was then at Nice (it was moved to Turin in 1578), How is it possible that those sacred historians, who carefully related all the miracles that took place at Christ’s death, should have omitted to mention one so remarkable as the likeness of the body of our Lord remaining on its wrapping sheet? In an interpretation of the Gospel of John, [20:67] Calvin concluded that strips of linen were used to cover the body (excluding the head) and a separate cloth to cover the head.  He then stated that either St. John is a liar”, or else anyone who promotes such a shroud is “convicted of falsehood and deceit. Although the shroud image is currently associated with Catholic devotions to the Holy Face of Jesus, the devotions themselves predate Secondo Pia’s 1898 photograph. Such devotions had been started in 1844 by the Carmelite nun Marie of St Peter (based on “pre-crucifixion” images associated with the Veil of Veronica) and promoted by Leo Dupont, also called the Apostle of the Holy Face. In 1851 Dupont formed the “Archconfraternity of the Holy Face” in Tours, France, well before Secondo Pia took the photograph of the shroud. Further information: Acheiropoieta, Veil of Veronica, Manoppello Image, and Image of Edessa. 17th-century Russian icon of the Mandylion by Simon Ushakov. The religious concept of the miraculous acheiropoieton has a long history in Christianity, going back to at least the 6th century. Among the most prominent portable early acheiropoieta are the Image of Camuliana and the Mandylion or Image of Edessa, both painted icons of Christ held in the Byzantine Empire and now generally regarded as lost or destroyed, as is the Hodegetria image of the Virgin.  Other early images in Italy, all heavily and unfortunately restored, that have been revered as acheiropoieta now have relatively little following, as attention has focused on the Shroud. Proponents for the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin argue that empirical analysis and scientific methods are insufficient for understanding the methods used for image formation on the shroud, believing that the image was miraculously produced at the moment of Resurrection.  Some proponents have argued that the image on the shroud can be explained with scientific evidence that supports the Gospel narrative. John Jackson (a member of STURP) proposed that the image was formed by radiation methods beyond the understanding of current science, in particular via the “collapsing cloth” onto a body that was radiating energy at the moment of resurrection.  However, STURP member Alan Adler has stated that Jackson’s theory is not generally accepted as scientific, given that it runs counter to the laws of physics.  In 1989 physicist Thomas Phillips speculated that the Shroud image was formed by neutron radiation due to a miraculous bodily resurrection. Antipope Clement VII refrained from expressing his opinion on the shroud; however, subsequent popes from Julius II on took its authenticity for granted. The Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano covered the story of Secondo Pia’s photograph of 28 May 1898 in its edition of 15 June 1898, but it did so with no comment and thereafter Church officials generally refrained from officially commenting on the photograph for almost half a century. The first official association between the image on the Shroud and the Catholic Church was made in 1940 based on the formal request by Sister Maria Pierina De Micheli to the curia in Milan to obtain authorization to produce a medal with the image. The authorization was granted and the first medal with the image was offered to Pope Pius XII who approved the medal. The image was then used on what became known as the Holy Face Medal worn by many Catholics, initially as a means of protection during World War II. In 1958 Pope Pius XII approved of the image in association with the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus, and declared its feast to be celebrated every year the day before Ash Wednesday.  Following the approval by Pope Pius XII, Catholic devotions to the Holy Face of Jesus have been almost exclusively associated with the image on the shroud. In 1983 the Shroud was given to the Holy See by the House of Savoy.  However, as with all relics of this kind, the Roman Catholic Church made no pronouncements on its authenticity. As with other approved Catholic devotions, the matter has been left to the personal decision of the faithful, as long as the Church does not issue a future notification to the contrary. In the Church’s view, whether the cloth is authentic or not has no bearing whatsoever on the validity of what Jesus taught or on the saving power of his death and resurrection. Pope John Paul II stated in 1998 that: Since it is not a matter of faith, the Church has no specific competence to pronounce on these questions. She entrusts to scientists the task of continuing to investigate, so that satisfactory answers may be found to the questions connected with this Sheet.  Pope John Paul II showed himself to be deeply moved by the image of the Shroud and arranged for public showings in 1998 and 2000. In his address at the Turin Cathedral on Sunday 24 May 1998 (the occasion of the 100th year of Secondo Pia’s 28 May 1898 photograph), he said: The Shroud is an image of God’s love as well as of human sin… The imprint left by the tortured body of the Crucified One, which attests to the tremendous human capacity for causing pain and death to one’s fellow man, stands as an icon of the suffering of the innocent in every age. In 2000, Cardinal Ratzinger, later to become Pope Benedict XVI, wrote that the Shroud of Turin is a truly mysterious image, which no human artistry was capable of producing. In some inexplicable way, it appeared imprinted upon cloth and claimed to show the true face of Christ, the crucified and risen Lord.  In June 2008, three years after he assumed the papacy, Pope Benedict announced that the Shroud would be publicly displayed in the spring of 2010, and stated that he would like to go to Turin to see it along with other pilgrims.  During his visit in Turin on Sunday 2 May 2010, Benedict described the Shroud of Turin as an “extraordinary Icon”, the Icon of Holy Saturday… Corresponding in every way to what the Gospels tell us of Jesus”, “an Icon written in blood, the blood of a man who was scourged, crowned with thorns, crucified and whose right side was pierced.  The pope said also that in the Turin Shroud “we see, as in a mirror, our suffering in the suffering of Christ”.  On 30 May 2010, Benedict XVI beatified Sister Maria Pierina De Micheli who coined the Holy Face Medal, based on Secondo Pia’s photograph of the Shroud. On 30 March 2013, as part of the Easter celebrations, there was an extraordinary exposition of the shroud in the Cathedral of Turin. Pope Francis recorded a video message for the occasion, in which he described the image on the shroud as “this Icon of a man”, and stated that the Man of the Shroud invites us to contemplate Jesus of Nazareth. “ In his carefully worded statement Pope Francis urged the faithful to contemplate the shroud with awe, but “stopped firmly short of asserting its authenticity. During his weekly general audience on 5 November 2014, Pope Francis announced he would go on a pilgrimage to Turin on 21 June 2015, to pray before, venerate the Holy Shroud and honor St. John Bosco on the bicentenary of his birth. Station biologique de Roscoff in Brittany, France where the first scientific analysis of the photographs of the shroud was performed by Yves Delage in 1902. Sindonology (from the Greek sindon, the word used in the Gospel of Mark[15:46] to describe the type of the burial cloth of Jesus) is the formal study of the Shroud. The Oxford English Dictionary cites the first use of this word in 1964: The investigation… Assumed the stature of a separate discipline and was given a name, sindonology”, but also identifies the use of “sindonological” in 1950 and “sindonologist in 1953. Secondo Pia’s 1898 photographs of the shroud allowed the scientific community to begin to study it. A variety of scientific theories regarding the shroud have since been proposed, based on disciplines ranging from chemistry to biology and medical forensics to optical image analysis. The scientific approaches to the study of the Shroud fall into three groups: material analysis (both chemical and historical), biology and medical forensics and image analysis. The initial steps towards the scientific study of the shroud were taken soon after the first set of black and white photographs became available early in the 20th century. In 1902 Yves Delage, a French professor of comparative anatomy, published the first study on the subject.  Delage declared the image anatomically flawless and argued that the features of rigor mortis, wounds, and blood flows were evidence that the image was formed by direct or indirect contact with a corpse. William Meacham mentions several other medical studies between 1936 and 1981 that agree with Delage.  However, these were all indirect studies without access to the shroud itself. The first direct examination of the shroud by a scientific team was undertaken in 19691973 in order to advise on preservation of the shroud and determine specific testing methods. This led to the appointment of an 11-member Turin Commission to advise on the preservation of the relic and on specific testing. Five of the commission members were scientists, and preliminary studies of samples of the fabric were conducted in 1973. In 1976 physicist John P. Jackson, thermodynamicist Eric Jumper and photographer William Mottern used image analysis technologies developed in aerospace science for analyzing the images of the Shroud. In 1977 these three scientists and over thirty others formed the Shroud of Turin Research Project. In 1978 this group, often called STURP, was given direct access to the Shroud. Also in 1978, independently from the STURP research, Giovanni Tamburelli obtained at CSELT a 3D-elaboration from the Shroud with higher resolution than Jumper and Mottern. A second result of Tamburelli was the electronic removal from the image of the blood that apparently covers the face. Phase contrast microscopic view of image-bearing fiber from the Shroud of Turin. The carbohydrate layer is visible along top edge. The lower-right edge shows that coating is missing. The coating can be scraped off or removed with adhesive or diimide. Main article: Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin. After years of discussion, the Holy See permitted radiocarbon dating on portions of a swatch taken from a corner of the shroud. Independent tests in 1988 at the University of Oxford, the University of Arizona, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology concluded with 95% confidence that the shroud material dated to 12601390 AD.  This 13th- to 14th-century dating is much too recent for the shroud to have been associated with Jesus of Nazareth. The dating does on the other hand match the first appearance of the shroud in church history.  This dating is also slightly more recent than that estimated by art historian W. Dale, who postulated on artistic grounds that the shroud is an 11th-century icon made for use in worship services. Some proponents for the authenticity of the shroud have attempted to discount the radiocarbon dating result by claiming that the sample may represent a medieval “invisible” repair fragment rather than the image-bearing cloth.  However, all of the hypotheses used to challenge the radiocarbon dating have been scientifically refuted,  including the medieval repair hypothesis,  the bio-contamination hypothesis and the carbon monoxide hypothesis. In 2013, Giulio Fanti performed new dating studies on fragments obtained from the shroud. He performed three different tests including ATRFTIR and Raman spectroscopy (absorption of light of different colors). The date range from these tests date the shroud between 300 BC and 400 AD.  These studies have been publicly disregarded by Cesare Nosiglia, archbishop of Turin and custodian of the shroud. Cardinal Nosiglia stated that “as it is not possible to be certain that the analysed material was taken from the fabric of the shroud no serious value can be recognized to the results of such experiments”. In the 1970s a special eleven-member Turin Commission conducted several tests. Conventional and electron microscopic examination of the Shroud at that time revealed an absence of heterogeneous coloring material or pigment.  In 1979, Walter McCrone, upon analyzing the samples he was given by STURP, concluded that the image is actually made up of billions of submicrometre pigment particles. The only fibrils that had been made available for testing of the stains were those that remained affixed to custom-designed adhesive tape applied to thirty-two different sections of the image. Mark Anderson, who was working for McCrone, analyzed the Shroud samples.  In his book Ray Rogers states that Anderson, who was McCrone’s Raman microscopy expert, concluded that the samples acted as organic material when he subjected them to the laser. John Heller and Alan Adler examined the same samples and agreed with McCrone’s result that the cloth contains iron oxide. However, they concluded, the exceptional purity of the chemical and comparisons with other ancient textiles showed that, while retting flax absorbs iron selectively, the iron itself was not the source of the image on the shroud. A Roman loom, c. In 2000, fragments of a burial shroud from the 1st century were discovered in a tomb near Jerusalem, believed to have belonged to a Jewish high priest or member of the aristocracy. The shroud was composed of a simple two-way weave, unlike the complex herringbone twill of the Turin Shroud. Based on this discovery, the researchers stated that the Turin Shroud did not originate from Jesus-era Jerusalem. According to textile expert Mechthild Flury-Lemberg of Hamburg, a seam in the cloth corresponds to a fabric found at the fortress of Masada near the Dead Sea, which dated to the 1st century. The weaving pattern, 3:1 twill, is consistent with first-century Syrian design, according to the appraisal of Gilbert Raes of the Ghent Institute of Textile Technology in Belgium. Flury-Lemberg stated: The linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin does not display any weaving or sewing techniques which would speak against its origin as a high-quality product of the textile workers of the first century. A piece of travertine. Joseph Kohlbeck from the Hercules Aerospace Company in Utah and Richard Levi-Setti of the Enrico Fermi Institute examined some dirt particles from the Shroud surface. The dirt was found to be travertine aragonite limestone. Biological and medical forensics. There are several reddish stains on the shroud suggesting blood, but it is uncertain whether these stains were produced at the same time as the image, or afterwards.  McCrone (see painting hypothesis) identified these as containing iron oxide, theorizing that its presence was likely due to simple pigment materials used in medieval times.  Other researchers, including Alan Adler, identified the reddish stains as blood and interpreted the iron oxide as a natural residue of hemoglobin. Working independently, forensic pathologist Pier Luigi Baima Bollone concurred with Heller and Adler’s findings and identified the blood as the AB blood group. Joe Nickell argues that results similar to Heller and Adler’s could be obtained from tempera paint. Chrysanthemum coronarium, now called Glebionis coronaria. In 1997 Avinoam Danin, a botanist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, reported that he had identified Chrysanthemum coronarium (now called Glebionis coronaria), Cistus creticus and Zygophyllum whose pressed image on the shroud was first noticed by Alan Whanger in 1985 on the photographs of the shroud taken in 1931. He reported that the outlines of the flowering plants would point to March or April and the environs of Jerusalem.  In a separate report in 1978 Danin and Uri Baruch reported on the pollen grains on the cloth samples, stating that they were appropriate to the spring in Israel.  Max Frei, a Swiss police criminologist who initially obtained pollen from the shroud during the STURP investigation, stated that of the 58 different types of pollens found, 45 were from the Jerusalem area, while six were from the eastern Middle East, with one pollen species growing exclusively in Istanbul, and two found in Edessa, Turkey.  Mark Antonacci argues that the pollen evidence and flower images are inherently interwoven and strengthen each other.  However it was subsequently determined that Baruch’s work was “scientifically unsafe”, and Danin thereafter disowned the publication of this work. Danin stated in 2011, that: In 2001 we brought most of the slides to Prof. Thomas Litt who is an expert palynologist and has very sophisticated microscopic equipment. Litt concluded that none of the pollen grains he saw could be named at a species level. Hence, all the conclusions drawn from previous palynological investigations of Dr. Frei’s material should be suspended until a new collection of pollen grains can be carried out and the grains thus obtained can be studied with modern equipment and by an expert of pollen of this area. Skeptics have argued that the flower images are too faint for Danin’s determination to be definite, that an independent review of the pollen strands showed that one strand out of the 26 provided contained significantly more pollen than the others, perhaps pointing to deliberate contamination.  Skeptics also argue that Max Frei had previously been duped in his examination of the Hitler Diaries and that he may have also been duped in this case, or may have introduced the pollens himself. Beaulieau has stated that Frei was a self-taught amateur palynologist, was not properly trained, and that his sample was too small. In 2008 Avinoam Danin reported analysis based on the ultraviolet photographs of Miller and Pellicori taken in 1978. Danin reported five new species of flower, which also bloom in March and April and stated that a comparison of the 1931 black and white photographs and the 1978 ultraviolet images indicate that the flower images are genuine and not the artifact of a specific method of photography. A study published in 2011 by Lorusso and others subjected two photographs of the shroud to detailed modern digital image processing, one of them being a reproduction of the photographic negative taken by Giuseppe Enrie in 1931. They did not find any images of flowers or coins or anything else on either image, they noted that the faint images identified by the Whangers were “only visible by incrementing the photographic contrast”, and they concluded that these signs may be linked to protuberances in the yarn, and possibly also to the alteration and influence of the texture of the Enrie photographic negative during its development in 1931. In 2015, Italian researchers Barcaccia et al. Published a new study in Scientific Reports. They examined the human and non-human DNA found when the shroud and its backing cloth were vacuumed in 1977 and 1988. They found traces of 19 different plant taxa, including plants native to Mediterranean countries, Central Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Asia (China) and the Americas. Of the human mtDNA, sequences were found belonging to haplogroups that are typical of various ethnicities and geographic regions, including Europe, North and East Africa, the Middle East and India. A few non-plant and non-human sequences were also detected, including various birds and one ascribable to a marine worm common in the Northern Pacific Ocean, next to Canada.  After sequencing some DNA of pollen and dust found on the shroud, they confirmed that many people from many different places came in contact with the shroud. According to the scientists, such diversity does not exclude a Medieval origin in Europe but it would be also compatible with the historic path followed by the Turin Shroud during its presumed journey from the Near East. Furthermore, the results raise the possibility of an Indian manufacture of the linen cloth. In 2017, a new examination claimed that “the most abundant pollen on the relic may be attribruted to the genus Helichrysum”. According to the author, palynologist Marzia Boi, it “confirms and authenticates the theory that the corpse kept in the Shroud received a funeral and burial with all the honour and respect that would have been customary in the Hebrew tradition”. Full length negatives of the shroud. A number of studies on the anatomical consistency of the image on the shroud and the nature of the wounds on it have been performed, following the initial study by Yves Delage in 1902.  While Delage declared the image anatomically flawless, others have presented arguments to support both authenticity and forgery. In 1950 Pierre Barbet wrote a long study called A Doctor at Calvary which was later published as a book.  Barbet stated that his experience as a battlefield surgeon during World War I led him to conclude that the image on the shroud was authentic, anatomically correct and consistent with crucifixion. For over a decade, Frederick Zugibe performed a number of studies using himself and volunteers suspended from a cross, and presented his conclusions in a book in 1998.  Zugibe considered the shroud image and its proportions as authentic, but disagreed with Barbet and Bucklin on various details such as blood flow. Zugibe concluded that the image on the shroud is of the body of a man, but that the body had been washed. In 2001, Pierluigi Baima Bollone, a professor of forensic medicine in Turin, stated that the forensic examination of the wounds and bloodstains on the Shroud indicate that the image was that of the dead body of a man who was whipped, wounded around the head by a pointed instrument and nailed at the extremities before dying. In 2010 Giulio Fanti, professor of mechanical measurements, wrote that “apart from the hands afterward placed on the pubic area, the front and back images are compatible with the Shroud being used to wrap the body of a man 175 ± 2 cm (5 ft 9 in ± 1 in) tall, which, due to cadaveric rigidity, remained in the same position it would have assumed during crucifixion”. Nickell, in 1983, and Gregory S. Paul in 2010, separately state that the proportions of the image are not realistic. Paul stated that the face and proportions of the shroud image are impossible, that the figure cannot represent that of an actual person and that the posture was inconsistent. They argued that the forehead on the shroud is too small; and that the arms are too long and of different lengths and that the distance from the eyebrows to the top of the head is non-representative. They concluded that the features can be explained if the shroud is a work of a Gothic artist. A 2013 study analysed the wounds seemingly evident on the image in the shroud and compared them favorably to the wounds which the gospels state were inflicted on Jesus.  However, the analysis of a crucified Roman, discovered near Venice in 2007, shows heel wounds consistent with those found on Jehohanan and are not consistent with wounds depicted on the shroud. Also, neither of the crucifixion victims known to archaeology show evidence of wrist wounds. Image and text analysis. Both art-historical, digital image processing and analog techniques have been applied to the shroud images. In 1976 Pete Schumacher, John Jackson and Eric Jumper analysed a photograph of the shroud image using a VP8 Image Analyzer, which was developed for NASA to create brightness maps of the moon. A brightness map (isometric display) interprets differences of brightness within an image as differences of elevation brighter patches are seen as being closer to the camera, and darker patches further away. Our minds interpret these gradients as a “pseudo-three-dimensional image”. [full citation needed] They found that, unlike any photograph they had analyzed, the shroud image has the property of decoding into a 3-dimensional image, when the darker parts of the image are interpreted to be those features of the man that were closest to the shroud and the lighter areas of the image those features that were farthest. The researchers could not replicate the effect when they attempted to transfer similar images using techniques of block print, engravings, a hot statue, and bas-relief. However optical physicist and former STURP member John Dee German has since noted that it is not difficult to make a photograph which has 3D qualities. If the object being photographed is lighted from the front, and a non-reflective “fog” of some sort exists between the camera and the object, then less light will reach and reflect back from the portions of the object that are farther from the lens, thus creating a contrast which is dependent on distance. Researchers Jackson, Jumper, and Stephenson report detecting the impressions of coins placed on both eyes after a digital study in 1978.  They claimed to have seen a two-lepton coin on the right eyelid dating from 2930,  and a one-lepton coin on the left eyebrow minted in 29.  The existence of the coin images is rejected by most scientists.  A study published in 2011 by Lorusso and others subjected two photographs of the shroud to detailed modern digital image processing, one of them being a reproduction of the photographic negative taken by Giuseppe Enrie in 1931. They did not find any images of flowers or coins or any other additional objects on the shroud in either photograph, they noted that the faint images identified by the Whangers were “only visible by incrementing the photographic contrast”, and they concluded that these signs may be linked to protuberances in the yarn, and possibly also to the alteration and influence of the texture of the Enrie photographic negative during its development in 1931.  The use of coins to cover the eyes of the dead is not attested for 1st-century Palestine. In 2004, in an article in Journal of Optics A, Fanti and Maggiolo reported finding a faint second face on the backside of the cloth, after the 2002 restoration. The front image of the Turin Shroud, 1.95 m long, is not directly compatible with the back image, 2.02 m long. If Jesus’ dead body actually produced the images on the shroud, one would expect the bodily areas touching the ground to be more distinct. In fact, Jesus’ hands and face are depicted with great detail, while his buttocks and his navel are faintly outlined or invisible, a discrepancy explained with the artist’s consideration of modesty. Also, Jesus’ right arm and hand are abnormally elongated, allowing him to modestly cover his genital area, which is physically impossible for an ordinary dead body lying prone. No wrinkles or other irregularities distort the image, which is improbable if the cloth had covered the irregular form of a body. For comparison, see oshiguma; the making of face-prints as an artform, in Japan. Furthermore, Jesus’ physical appearance corresponds to Byzantine iconography. Claims of writing on the Shroud. A late 19th-century photograph of the Chapel of the Shroud. In 1979 Greek and Latin letters were reported as written near the face. These were further studied by André Marion, a professor at the École supérieure d’optique and his student Anne Laure Courage, in 1997. Subsequently, after performing computerized analysis and microdensitometer studies, they reported finding additional inscriptions, among them INNECEM (a shortened form of Latin “in necem ibis””you will go to death”), NNAZAPE(N)NUS (Nazarene), IHSOY (Jesus) and IC (Iesus Chrestus). The uncertain letters IBER? Have been conjectured as “Tiberius”.  Linguist Mark Guscin disputed the reports of Marion and Courage. He stated that the inscriptions made little grammatical or historical sense and that they did not appear on the slides that Marion and Courage indicated. In 2009, Barbara Frale, a paleographer in the Vatican Secret Archives, who had published two books on the Shroud of Turin reported further analysis of the text.  In her books Frale had stated that the shroud had been kept by the Templars after 1204.  In 2009 Frale stated that it is possible to read on the image the burial certificate of Jesus the Nazarene, or Jesus of Nazareth, imprinted in fragments of Greek, Hebrew and Latin writing. Frale stated the text on the Shroud reads: In the year 16 of the reign of the Emperor Tiberius Jesus the Nazarene, taken down in the early evening after having been condemned to death by a Roman judge because he was found guilty by a Hebrew authority, is hereby sent for burial with the obligation of being consigned to his family only after one full year.  Since Tiberius became emperor after the death of Octavian Augustus in AD 14, the 16th year of his reign would be within the span of the years AD 30 to 31.  Frale’s methodology has been criticized, partly based on the objection that the writings are too faint to see.  Dr Antonio Lombatti, an Italian historian, rejected the idea that the authorities would have bothered to tag the body of a crucified man. He stated that It’s all the result of imagination and computer software. A study by Lorusso et al. Subjected two photographs of the shroud to digital image processing, one of them being a reproduction of the photographic negative taken by Giuseppe Enrie in 1931. They did not find any signs, symbols or writing on either image, and noted that these signs may be linked to protuberances in the yarn, as well possibly as to the alteration and influence of the texture of the Enrie photographic negative during its development in 1931. Hypotheses on image origin. Many hypotheses have been formulated and tested to explain the image on the Shroud. According to pro-authenticity authors Baldacchini and Fanti, “the body image of the Turin Shroud has not yet been explained by traditional science; so a great interest in a possible mechanism of image formation still exists”, a conclusion also supported by Philip Ball. The technique used for producing the image is, according to Walter McCrone, described in a book about medieval painting published in 1847 by Charles Lock Eastlake (Methods and Materials of Painting of the Great Schools and Masters). Eastlake describes in the chapter “Practice of Painting Generally During the XIVth Century” a special technique of painting on linen using tempera paint, which produces images with unusual transparent featureswhich McCrone compares to the image on the shroud. Pro-authenticity journals have declared this hypothesis to be unsound, stating that X-ray fluorescence examination, as well as infrared thermography, did not reveal any pigment.  The non-paint origin has been further examined by Fourier transform of the image: common paintings show a directionality that is absent from the Turin Shroud. In 2009, Luigi Garlaschelli, professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia, announced that he had made a full size reproduction of the Shroud of Turin using only medieval technologies. Garlaschelli placed a linen sheet over a volunteer and then rubbed it with an acidic pigment. The shroud was then aged in an oven before being washed to remove the pigment. He then added blood stains, scorches and water stains to replicate the original.  But according to Giulio Fanti, professor of mechanical and thermic measurements at the University of Padua, “the technique itself seems unable to produce an image having the most critical Turin Shroud image characteristics”. Garlaschelli’s reproduction was featured in a 2010 National Geographic documentary. The technique used by Garlaschelli included the bas relief approach (described below) but only for the image of the face. The resultant image was visibly similar to the Turin Shroud, though lacking the uniformity and detail of the original. According to the art historian Nicholas Allen, the image on the shroud was formed by a photographic technique in the 13th century.  Allen maintains that techniques already available before the 14th centurye. As described in the Book of Optics, which was at just that time translated from Arabic to Latinwere sufficient to produce primitive photographs, and that people familiar with these techniques would have been able to produce an image as found on the shroud. To demonstrate this, he successfully produced photographic images similar to the shroud using only techniques and materials available at the time the shroud was supposedly made. He described his results in his PhD thesis,  in papers published in several science journals,  and in a book.  Silver bromide is believed by some to have been used for making the Shroud of Turin as it is widely used in photographic films. Scientists Emily Craig and Randall Bresee have attempted to recreate the likenesses of the shroud through the dust-transfer technique, which could have been done by medieval arts. They first did a carbon-dust drawing of a Jesus-like face (using collagen dust) on a newsprint made from wood pulp (which is similar to 13th- and 14th-century paper). They next placed the drawing on a table and covered it with a piece of linen. They then pressed the linen against the newsprint by firmly rubbing with the flat side of a wooden spoon. By doing this they managed to create a reddish-brown image with a lifelike positive likeness of a person, a three-dimensional image and no sign of brush strokes.  However, according to Fanti and Moroni, this does not reproduce many special features of the Shroud at microscopic level. Another hypothesis suggests that the Shroud may have been formed using a bas-relief sculpture. Researcher Jacques di Costanzo, noting that the Shroud image seems to have a three-dimensional quality, suggested that perhaps the image was formed using a three-dimensional object, such as a sculpture. While wrapping a cloth around a life-sized statue would result in a distorted image, placing a cloth over a bas-relief would result in an image like the one seen on the shroud. To demonstrate the plausibility of his hypothesis, Costanzo constructed a bas-relief of a Jesus-like face and draped wet linen over the bas-relief. After the linen dried, he dabbed it with a mixture of ferric oxide and gelatine. The result was an image similar to that of the Shroud. The imprinted image turned out to be wash-resistant, impervious to temperatures of 250 °C (482 °F) and was undamaged by exposure to a range of harsh chemicals, including bisulphite which, without the gelatine, would normally have degraded ferric oxide to the compound ferrous oxide.  Similar results have been obtained by Nickell. Instead of painting, it has been suggested that the bas-relief could also be heated and used to scorch an image onto the cloth. However researcher Thibault Heimburger performed some experiments with the scorching of linen, and found that a scorch mark is only produced by direct contact with the hot object thus producing an all-or-nothing discoloration with no graduation of color as is found in the shroud. According to Fanti and Moroni, after comparing the histograms of 256 different grey levels, it was found that the image obtained with a bas-relief has grey values included between 60 and 256 levels, but it is much contrasted with wide areas of white saturation (levels included between 245 and 256) and lacks of intermediate grey levels (levels included between 160 and 200). The face image on the Shroud instead has grey tonalities that vary in the same values field (between 60 and 256), but the white saturation is much less marked and the histogram is practically flat in correspondence of the intermediate grey levels (levels included between 160 and 200). The Maillard reaction is a form of non-enzymatic browning involving an amino acid and a reducing sugar. The cellulose fibers of the shroud are coated with a thin carbohydrate layer of starch fractions, various sugars, and other impurities. In a paper entitled “The Shroud of Turin: an amino-carbonyl reaction may explain the image formation, “ Raymond Rogers and Anna Arnoldi propose that amines from a recently deceased human body may have undergone Maillard reactions with this carbohydrate layer within a reasonable period of time, before liquid decomposition products stained or damaged the cloth. The gases produced by a dead body are extremely reactive chemically and within a few hours, in an environment such as a tomb, a body starts to produce heavier amines in its tissues such as putrescine and cadaverine. However the potential source for amines required for the reaction is a decomposing body, :100 and no signs of decomposition have been found on the Shroud.  Rogers also notes that their tests revealed that there were no proteins or bodily fluids on the image areas. :38 Also, the image resolution and the uniform coloration of the linen resolution seem to be incompatible with a mechanism involving diffusion. Mills argued that the image was formed by the chemical reaction auto-oxidation. He noted that the image corresponds to what would have been produced by a volatile chemical if the intensity of the color change were inversely proportional to the distance from the body of a loosely draped cloth. Since 1930 several researchers J. Rinaudo and others endorsed the flash-like irradiation hypothesis. It was suggested that the relatively high definition of the image details can be obtained through the energy source (specifically, protonic) acting from inside.  The Russian researcher Alexander Belyakov proposed an intense, but short flashlight source, which lasted some hundredths of a second.  Some other authors suggest the X-radiation or a burst of directional ultraviolet radiation may have played a role in the formation of the Shroud image.  From the image characteristics, several researchers have theorized that the radiant source was prevalently vertical. These theories do not include the scientific discussion of a method by which the energy could have been produced. During restoration in 2002, the back of the cloth was photographed and scanned for the first time. Giulio Fanti, a scientist at the University of Padua, wrote an article on this subject with colleagues in 2005 that envisages electrostatic corona discharge as the probable mechanism to produce the images of the body in the Shroud.  Congruent with that mechanism, they also describe an image on the reverse side of the fabric, much fainter than that on the front view of the body, consisting primarily of the face and perhaps hands. As with the front picture, it is entirely superficial, with coloration limited to the carbohydrate layer. The images correspond to, and are in registration with, those on the other side of the cloth. No image is detectable in the reverse side of the dorsal view of the body. Raymond Rogers criticized the theory, saying: It is clear that a corona discharge (plasma) in air will cause easily observable changes in a linen sample. No such effects can be observed in image fibers from the Shroud of Turin. Corona discharges and/or plasmas made no contribution to image formation. In December 2011, Fanti published a critical compendium of the major hypotheses regarding the formation of the body image on the shroud. He stated that “none of them can completely explain the mysterious image”. Fanti then considered corona discharge as the most probable hypothesis regarding the formation of the body image.  He stated that it would be impossible to reproduce all the characteristics of the image in a laboratory because the energy source required would be too high.  Fanti has restated the radiation theories in a 2013 book. In December 2011 scientists at Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Development ENEA deduced from the STURP results that the color of the Shroud image is the result of an accelerated aging process of the linen, similar to the yellowing of the paper of ancient books. They demonstrated that the photochemical reactions caused by exposing linen to ultraviolet light could reproduce the main characteristics of the Shroud image, such as the shallowness of the coloration and the gradient of the color, which are not reproducible by other means. When subsequently illuminated with a UV lamp, the irradiated linen fabrics behaved like the linen of the Shroud. They also determined that UV radiation changes the crystalline structure of cellulose in a similar manner as aging and long-duration background radiation. It appears unlikely a forger may have done this image with technologies available in the Middle Ages or earlier, but their study does not mean the Shroud image was created by the flash of a miraculous resurrection, contrary to how the story was presented in the media, especially on the Web.  Professional skeptic Joe Nickell states that the latest findings are nothing new despite being “dressed up in high-tech tests”, and that they don’t prove much of anything. In November 2011, F. Published a paper that analyzed the abrupt changes in the yellowed fibril density values on the Shroud image. They concluded that the rapid changes in the body image intensity are not anomalies in the manufacturing process of the linen but that they can be explained with the presence of aromas or burial ointments.  However, their work leaves the existence of an energy source for the image an open question. A 2013 study published in a theological journal followed a “Minimal Facts approach” to determine which hypothesis relating to the image formation process “is the most likely”. The study concluded “that the probability of the Shroud of Turin being the real shroud of Jesus of Nazareth is very high”. Fringe theories about the Shroud of Turin. Relics associated with Jesus. No useful description of the physical appearance of Jesus is given in the New Testament and the depiction of Jesus in pictorial form was controversial in the early Church.  The depiction of him in art took several centuries to reach a conventional standardized form for his physical appearance, which has subsequently remained largely stable since that time. Most images of Jesus have in common a number of traits which are now almost universally associated with Jesus, although variants are seen. The conventional image of a fully bearded Jesus with long hair emerged around 300 AD, but did not become established until the 6th century in Eastern Christianity, and much later in the West. It has always had the advantage of being easily recognizable, and distinguishing Jesus from other figures shown around him, which the use of a cruciform halo also achieves. Earlier images were much more varied. Images of Jesus tend to show ethnic characteristics similar to those of the culture in which the image has been created. Beliefs that certain images are historically authentic, or have acquired an authoritative status from Church tradition, remain powerful among some of the faithful, in Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, and Roman Catholicism. The Shroud of Turin is now the best-known example, though the Image of Edessa and the Veil of Veronica were better known in medieval times. [not verified in body]. Incised sarcophagus slab with the Adoration of the Magi from the Catacombs of Rome, 3rd century. Plaster cast with added colour. No physical description of Jesus is contained in any of the canonical Gospels. In the Acts of the Apostles, Jesus is said to have manifested as a “light from heaven” that temporarily blinded the Apostle Paul, but no specific form is given. In the Book of Revelation there is a vision the author had of “someone like a Son of Man” in spirit form: dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head were white like wool, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like burnt bronze glowing in a furnace… His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance (Revelation 1:1216, NIV). Use in art of the Revelation description of Jesus has generally been restricted to illustrations of the book itself, and nothing in the scripture confirms the spiritual form’s resemblance to the physical form Jesus took in his life on Earth. Jesus in the Catacombs of Rome. Third-century fresco from the Catacomb of Callixtus of Christ as the Good Shepherd. Exodus 20:46 “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” is one of the Ten Commandments and except for minor exceptions made Jewish depictions of first-century individuals a scarcity. But attitudes towards the interpretation of this Commandment changed through the centuries, in that while first-century rabbis in Judea objected violently to the depiction of human figures and placement of statues in Temples, third-century Babylonian Jews had different views; and while no figural art from first-century Roman Judea exists, the art on the Dura synagogue walls developed with no objection from the Rabbis early in the third century. During the persecution of Christians under the Roman Empire, Christian art was necessarily furtive and ambiguous, and there was hostility to idols in a group still with a large component of members with Jewish origins, surrounded by, and polemicising against, sophisticated pagan images of gods. 202, Clement of Alexandria d. 320 and Eusebius of Caesarea d. 339 disapproved of portrayals in images of Jesus. The 36th canon of the non-ecumenical Synod of Elvira in 306 AD reads, “It has been decreed that no pictures be had in the churches, and that which is worshipped or adored be not painted on the walls”,  which has been interpreted by John Calvin and other Protestants as an interdiction of the making of images of Christ.  The issue remained the subject of controversy until the end of the 4th century. The earliest surviving Christian art comes from the late 2nd to early 4th centuries on the walls of tombs belonging, most likely, to wealthy Christians in the catacombs of Rome, although from literary evidence there may well have been panel icons which, like almost all classical painting, have disappeared. The Healing of the Paralytic one of the oldest possible depictions of Jesus,  from the Syrian city of Dura Europos, dating from about 235. Initially Jesus was represented indirectly by pictogram symbols such as the ichthys (fish), the peacock, or an anchor (the Labarum or Chi-Rho was a later development). The staurogram seems to have been a very early representation of the crucified Jesus within the sacred texts. Later personified symbols were used, including Jonah, whose three days in the belly of the whale pre-figured the interval between Christ’s death and resurrection; Daniel in the lion’s den; or Orpheus charming the animals.  The image of “The Good Shepherd”, a beardless youth in pastoral scenes collecting sheep, was the most common of these images, and was probably not understood as a portrait of the historical Jesus at this period.  It continues the classical Kriophoros (“ram-bearer” figure), and in some cases may also represent the Shepherd of Hermas, a popular Christian literary work of the 2nd century. Among the earliest depictions clearly intended to directly represent Jesus himself are many showing him as a baby, usually held by his mother, especially in the Adoration of the Magi, seen as the first theophany, or display of the incarnate Christ to the world at large.  The oldest known portrait of Jesus, found in Syria and dated to about 235, shows him as a beardless young man of authoritative and dignified bearing. He is depicted dressed in the style of a young philosopher, with close-cropped hair and wearing a tunic and pallium signs of good breeding in Greco-Roman society. From this, it is evident that some early Christians paid no heed to the historical context of Jesus being a Jew and visualised him solely in terms of their own social context, as a quasi-heroic figure, without supernatural attributes such as a halo (a fourth-century innovation). The appearance of Jesus had some theological implications. While some Christians thought Jesus should have the beautiful appearance of a young classical hero,  and the Gnostics tended to think he could change his appearance at will, for which they cited the Meeting at Emmaus as evidence,  others including the Church Fathers Justin d. 165 and Tertullian d. 220 believed, following Isaiah:53:2, that Christ’s appearance was unremarkable: he had no form nor comeliness, that we should look upon him, nor beauty that we should delight in him. But when the pagan Celsus ridiculed the Christian religion for having an ugly God in about 180, Origen d. 248 cited Psalm 45:3: “Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, mighty one, with thy beauty and fairness” Later the emphasis of leading Christian thinkers changed; Jerome d. 420 and Augustine of Hippo d. 430 argued that Jesus must have been ideally beautiful in face and body. For Augustine he was beautiful as a child, beautiful on earth, beautiful in heaven. Bearded Jesus between Peter and Paul, Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter, Rome. Second half of the 4th century. Such works “first present us with the fully formed image of Christ in Majesty that will so dominate Byzantine art” For detail of Christ, see This File. Christ Pantocrator in a Roman mosaic in the church of Santa Pudenziana, Rome, c. 400410 AD during the Western Roman Empire. From the 3rd century onwards, the first narrative scenes from the Life of Christ to be clearly seen are the Baptism of Christ, painted in a catacomb in about 200,  and the miracle of the Raising of Lazarus,  both of which can be clearly identified by the inclusion of the dove of the Holy Spirit in Baptisms, and the vertical, shroud-wrapped body of Lazarus. Other scenes remain ambiguous an agape feast may be intended as a Last Supper, but before the development of a recognised physical appearance for Christ, and attributes such as the halo, it is impossible to tell, as tituli or captions are rarely used. There are some surviving scenes from Christ’s Works of about 235 from the Dura Europos church on the Persian frontier of the Empire. During the 4th century a much greater number of scenes came to be depicted,  usually showing Christ as youthful, beardless and with short hair that does not reach his shoulders, although there is considerable variation. Jesus is sometimes shown performing miracles by means of a wand,  as on the doors of Santa Sabina in Rome (43032). He uses the wand to change water to wine, multiply the bread and fishes, and raise Lazarus.  When pictured healing, he only lays on hands. The wand is thought to be a symbol of power. The bare-faced youth with the wand may indicate that Jesus was thought of as a user of magic or wonder worker by some of the early Christians.  No art has been found picturing Jesus with a wand before the 2nd century. Some scholars suggest that the Gospel of Mark, the Secret Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of John (the so-called Signs Gospel), portray such a wonder worker, user of magic, a magician or a Divine man.  Only the Apostle Peter is also depicted in ancient art with a wand. Another depiction, seen from the late 3rd century or early 4th century onwards, showed Jesus with a beard, and within a few decades can be very close to the conventional type that later emerged.  This depiction has been said to draw variously on Imperial imagery, the type of the classical philosopher,  and that of Zeus, leader of the Greek gods, or Jupiter, his Roman equivalent,  and the protector of Rome. According to art historian Paul Zanker, the bearded type has long hair from the start, and a relatively long beard (contrasting with the short “classical” beard and hair always given to St Peter, and most other apostles); this depiction is specifically associated with “Charismatic” philosophers like Euphrates the Stoic, Dio of Prusa and Apollonius of Tyana, some of whom were claimed to perform miracles. After the very earliest examples of c. 300, this depiction is mostly used for hieratic images of Jesus, and scenes from his life are more likely to use a beardless, youthful type.  The tendency of older scholars such as Talbot Rice to see the beardless Jesus as associated with a “classical” artistic style and the bearded one as representing an “Eastern” one drawing from ancient Syria, Mesopotamia and Persia seems impossible to sustain, and does not feature in more recent analyses. Equally attempts to relate on a consistent basis the explanation for the type chosen in a particular work to the differing theological views of the time have been unsuccessful.  From the 3rd century on, some Christian leaders, such as Clement of Alexandria had recommended the wearing of beards by Christian men.  The centre parting was also seen from early on, and was also associated with long-haired philosophers. Christ as Emperor, wearing military dress, and crushing the serpent representing Satan. From the middle of the 4th century, after Christianity was legalized by the Edict of Milan in 313, and gained Imperial favour, there was a new range of images of Christ the King,  using either of the two physical types described above, but adopting the costume and often the poses of Imperial iconography. These developed into the various forms of Christ in Majesty. Some scholars reject the connection between the political events and developments in iconography, seeing the change as a purely theological one, resulting from the shift of the concept and title of Pantocrator (“Ruler of all”) from God the Father (still not portrayed in art) to Christ, which was a development of the same period, perhaps led by Athanasius of Alexandria d. Another depiction drew from classical images of philosophers, often shown as a youthful “intellectual wunderkind” in Roman sarcophagii; the Traditio Legis image initially uses this type.  Gradually Jesus became shown as older, and during the 5th century the image with a beard and long hair, now with a cruciform halo, came to dominate, especially in the Eastern Empire. In the earliest large New Testament mosaic cycle, in Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna ca. 520, Jesus is beardless though the period of his ministry until the scenes of the Passion, after which he is shown with a beard. The Good Shepherd, now clearly identified as Christ, with halo and often rich robes, is still depicted, as on the apse mosaic in the church of Santi Cosma e Damiano in Rome, where the twelve apostles are depicted as twelve sheep below the imperial Jesus, or in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia at Ravenna. Christ in majesty, still with no beard, from an English 12th-century illuminated manuscript. Once the bearded, long-haired Jesus became the conventional representation of Jesus, his facial features slowly began to be standardised, although this process took until at least the 6th century in the Eastern Church, and much longer in the West, where clean-shaven Jesuses are common until the 12th century, despite the influence of Byzantine art. But by the late Middle Ages the beard became almost universal and when Michelangelo showed a clean-shaven Apollo-like Christ in his Last Judgment fresco in the Sistine Chapel (153441) he came under persistent attack in the Counter-Reformation climate of Rome for this, as well as other things. French scholar Paul Vignon has listed fifteen similarities (“marks”, like tilaka) between most of the icons of Jesus after this point, particularly in the icons of “Christ Pantocrator” (“The all-powerful Messiah”). He claims that these are due to the availability of the Image of Edessa (which he claims to be identical to the Shroud of Turin, via Constantinople) to the artists. Certainly images believed to have miraculous origins, or the Hodegetria, believed to be a portrait of Mary from the life by Saint Luke, were widely regarded as authoritative by the Early Medieval period and greatly influenced depictions. In Eastern Orthodoxy the form of images was, and largely is, regarded as revealed truth, with a status almost equal to scripture, and the aim of artists is to copy earlier images without originality, although the style and content of images does in fact change slightly over time. The oldest surviving panel icon of Christ Pantocrator, encaustic on panel, c. 6th century, showing the appearance of Jesus that is still immediately recognised today. As to the historical appearance of Jesus, in one possible translation of the apostle Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul urges Christian men of first-century Corinth not to have long hair.  An early commentary by Pelagius ca. AD 420/440 says, Paul was complaining because men were fussing about their hair and women were flaunting their locks in church. Not only was this dishonoring to them, but it was also an incitement to fornication. Have speculated that Paul was a Nazirite who kept his hair long even though such speculation is at odds with Paul’s statement in I Corinthians 11:14 that long hair for men was shameful at the time. Jesus was a practicing Jew so presumably had a beard. Christ Carrying the Cross, 1580, by El Greco, whose art reflects both his roots in Greek Orthodox traditions and the Catholic Counter-Reformation. By the 5th century depictions of the Passion began to appear, perhaps reflecting a change in the theological focus of the early Church.  The 6th-century Rabbula Gospels includes some of the earliest surviving images of the crucifixion and resurrection.  By the 6th century the bearded depiction of Jesus had become standard in the East, though the West, especially in northern Europe, continued to mix bearded and unbearded depictions for several centuries. The depiction with a longish face, long straight brown hair parted in the middle, and almond shaped eyes shows consistency from the 6th century to the present. Various legends developed which were believed to authenticate the historical accuracy of the standard depiction, such as the image of Edessa and later the Veil of Veronica. Partly to aid recognition of the scenes, narrative depictions of the Life of Christ focused increasingly on the events celebrated in the major feasts of the church calendar, and the events of the Passion, neglecting the miracles and other events of Jesus’ public ministry, except for the raising of Lazarus, where the mummy-like wrapped body was shown standing upright, giving an unmistakable visual signature.  A cruciform halo was worn only by Jesus (and the other persons of the Trinity), while plain halos distinguished Mary, the Apostles and other saints, helping the viewer to read increasingly populated scenes. The period of Byzantine Iconoclasm acted as a barrier to developments in the East, but by the 9th century art was permitted again. The Transfiguration of Jesus was a major theme in the East and every Eastern Orthodox monk who had trained in icon painting had to prove his craft by painting an icon of the Transfiguration.  However, while Western depictions increasingly aimed at realism, in Eastern icons a low regard for perspective and alterations in the size and proportion of an image aim to reach beyond earthly reality to a spitual meaning. The 13th century witnessed a turning point in the portrayal of the powerful Kyrios image of Jesus as a wonder worker in the West, as the Franciscans began to emphasize the humility of Jesus both at his birth and his death via the nativity scene as well as the crucifixion.  The Franciscans approached both ends of this spectrum of emotions and as the joys of the Nativity of were added to the agony of crucifixion a whole new range of emotions were ushered in, with wide-ranging cultural impact on the image of Jesus for centuries thereafter. . After Giotto, Fra Angelico and others systematically developed uncluttered images that focused on the depiction of Jesus with an ideal human beauty, in works like Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, arguably the first High Renaissance painting.  Images of Jesus now drew on classical sculpture, at least in some of their poses. However Michelangelo was considered to have gone much too far in his beardless Christ in his The Last Judgment fresco in the Sistine Chapel, which very clearly adapted classical sculptures of Apollo, and this path was rarely followed by other artists. The High Renaissance was contemporary with the start of the Protestant Reformation which, especially in its first decades, violently objected to almost all public religious images as idolatrous, and vast numbers were destroyed. Gradually images of Jesus became acceptable to most Protestants in various contexts, especially in narrative contexts, as book illustrations and prints, and later in larger paintings. Protestant art continued the now-standard depiction of the physical appearance of Jesus. Meanwhile, the Catholic Counter-Reformation re-affirmed the importance of art in assisting the devotions of the faithful, and encouraged the production of new images of or including Jesus in enormous numbers, also continuing to use the standard depiction. By the end of the 19th century, new reports of miraculous images of Jesus had appeared and continue to receive significant attention, e. Secondo Pia’s 1898 photograph of the Shroud of Turin, one of the most controversial artifacts in history, which during its May 2010 exposition it was visited by over 2 million people.  Another 20th-century depiction of Jesus, namely the Divine Mercy image based on Faustina Kowalska’s reported vision has over 100 million followers.  The first cinematic portrayal of Jesus was in the 1897 film La Passion du Christ produced in Paris, which lasted 5 minutes.  Thereafter cinematic portrayals have continued to show Jesus with a beard in the standard western depiction that resembles traditional images. Main article: Alexamenos graffito. Engraving of a crucified donkey believed to be an early anti-Christian graffito, it reads: Alexamenos worships [his] god. A very early image which is believed to be an early anti-Christian graffito is the Alexamenos graffito, a unique piece of wall graffiti near the Palatine hill in Rome. The inscription has been ascribed dates ranging from the 1st to the 3rd centuries AD.  It was apparently drawn by a Roman soldier to mock another soldier who was a Christian. The caption reads, in Greek, “Alexamenos worships [his] God”, while the image shows a man raising his hand toward a crucified figure with a donkey’s head. This seems to refer to a Roman misconception that the Jews worshipped a god with the form of a donkey, so that the image would be at once antisemitic and anti-Christian. A small minority of scholars dispute whether this image depicts Jesus, proposing that this image may be a reference to another deity. Conventional depictions of Christ developed in medieval art include the narrative scenes of the Life of Christ, and many other conventional depictions. Common narrative scenes from the Life of Christ in art include. Nativity of Jesus in art. Adoration of the Shepherds. Adoration of the Magi. Finding in the Temple. Descent from the Cross. Pietà (mother and dead son). See also: God the Father in Western art. An 18th-century Ethiopian image of Jesus. Certain local traditions have maintained different depictions, sometimes reflecting local racial characteristics, as do the Catholic and Orthodox depictions. The Coptic Church of Egypt separated in the 5th century, and has a distinctive depiction of Jesus, consistent with Coptic art. The Ethiopian Church, also Coptic, developed on Coptic traditions, but shows Jesus and all Biblical figures with the Ethiopian appearance of its members.  Other traditions in Asia and elsewhere also show the race of Jesus as that of the local population (see Chinese picture in the gallery below). In modern times such variation has become more common, but images following the traditional depiction in both physical appearance and clothing are still dominant, perhaps surprisingly so. In Europe, local ethnic tendencies in depictions of Jesus can be seen, for example in Spanish, German, or Early Netherlandish painting, but almost always surrounding figures are still more strongly characterised. For example, the Virgin Mary, after the vision reported by Bridget of Sweden, was often shown with blonde hair, but Christ’s is very rarely paler than a light brown. Some medieval Western depictions, usually of the Meeting at Emmaus, where his disciples do not recognise him at first Luke. 24.1332, showed Jesus wearing a Jewish hat. File:Race of Jesus. The CGI model created in 2001 depicted Jesus’ skin color as being darker and more olive-colored than his traditional depictions in Western art. In 2001, the television series Son of God used one of three first-century Jewish skulls from a leading department of forensic science in Israel to depict Jesus in a new way.  A face was constructed using forensic anthropology by Richard Neave, a retired medical artist from the Unit of Art in Medicine at the University of Manchester.  The face that Neave constructed suggested that Jesus would have had a broad face and large nose, and differed significantly from the traditional depictions of Jesus in renaissance art.  Additional information about Jesus’ skin color and hair was provided by Mark Goodacre, a New Testament scholar and professor at Duke University. Using third-century images from a synagoguethe earliest pictures of Jewish peopleGoodacre proposed that Jesus’ skin color would have been darker and swarthier than his traditional Western image. He also suggested that he would have had short, curly hair and a short cropped beard.  This is also confirmed in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, where Paul the Apostle states that it is “disgraceful” for a man to have long hair.  As Paul knew many of the disciples and members of Jesus’ family, it is unlikely that he would have written such a thing had Jesus had long hair.  Although entirely speculative as the face of Jesus,  the result of the study determined that Jesus’ skin would have been more olive-colored than white,  and that he would have looked like a typical Galilean Semite. Among the points made was that the Bible records that Jesus’s disciple Judas had to point him out to those arresting him in Gethsemane. The implied argument is that if Jesus’s physical appearance had differed markedly from his disciples, then he would have been relatively easy to identify. Miraculous images of Jesus. Main articles: Acheiropoieta, Divine Mercy image, and Head of Christ. Secondo Pia’s negative of his photo of the Shroud of Turin. Many Christians believe this image to be the Holy Face of Jesus. There are, however, some images which have been claimed to realistically show how Jesus looked. One early tradition, recorded by Eusebius of Caesarea, says that Jesus once washed his face with water and then dried it with a cloth, leaving an image of his face imprinted on the cloth. This was sent by him to King Abgarus of Edessa, who had sent a messenger asking Jesus to come and heal him of his disease. This image, called the Mandylion or Image of Edessa, appears in history in around 525. Numerous replicas of this “image not made by human hands” remain in circulation. There are also icon compositions of Jesus and Mary that are traditionally believed by many Orthodox to have originated in paintings by Luke the Evangelist. A currently familiar depiction is that on the Shroud of Turin, whose records go back to 1353. Controversy surrounds the shroud and its exact origin remains subject to debate.  The Shroud of Turin is respected by Christians of several traditions, including Baptists, Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Orthodox, Pentecostals, and Presbyterians.  It is one of the Catholic devotions approved by the Holy See, that to the Holy Face of Jesus, now uses the image of the face on the shroud as it appeared in the negative of the photograph taken by amateur photographer Secondo Pia in 1898.  The image cannot be clearly seen on the shroud itself with the naked eye, and it surprised Pia to the extent that he said he almost dropped and broke the photographic plate when he first saw the developed negative image on it in the evening of 28 May 1898. Before 1898, devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus used an image based on the Veil of Veronica, where legend recounts that Veronica from Jerusalem encountered Jesus along the Via Dolorosa on the way to Calvary. When she paused to wipe the sweat from Jesus’s face with her veil, the image was imprinted on the cloth. The establishment of these images as Catholic devotions traces back to Sister Marie of St Peter and the Venerable Leo Dupont who started and promoted them from 1844 to 1874 in Tours France, and Sister Maria Pierina De Micheli who associated the image from the Shroud of Turin with the devotion in 1936 in Milan Italy. “The Saviour Not Made by Hands”, a Novgorodian icon from c. 1100 based on a Byzantine model. A very popular 20th-century depiction among Roman Catholics and Anglicans is the Divine Mercy image,  which was approved by Pope John Paul II in April 2000.  The Divine Mercy depiction is formally used in celebrations of Divine Mercy Sunday and is venerated by over 100 million Catholics who follow the devotion.  The image is not part of Acheiropoieta in that it has been depicted by modern artists, but the pattern of the image is said to have been miraculously shown to Saint Faustina Kowalska in a vision of Jesus in 1931 in Pock, Poland.  Faustina wrote in her diary that Jesus appeared to her and asked her to “Paint an image according to the pattern you see”.  Faustina eventually found an artist (Eugene Kazimierowski) to depict the Divine Mercy image of Jesus with his right hand raised in a sign of blessing and the left hand touching the garment near his breast, with two large rays, one red, the other white emanating from near his heart.  After Faustina’s death, a number of other artists painted the image, with the depiction by Adolf Hyla being among the most reproduced. Warner Sallman stated that The Head of Christ was the result of a “miraculous vision that he received late one night”, proclaiming that the answer came at 2 A. January 1924″ as “a vision in response to my prayer to God in a despairing situation.  The Head of Christ is venerated in the Coptic Orthodox Church,  after twelve-year-old Isaac Ayoub, who diagnosed with cancer, saw the eyes of Jesus in the painting shedding tears; Fr. Ishaq Soliman of St. Mark’s Coptic Church in Houston, on the same day, “testified to the miracles” and on the next day, Dr. Atef Rizkalla, the family physician, examined the youth and certified that there were no traces of leukemia.  With episcopal approval from Bishop Tadros of Port Said and Bishop Yuhanna of Cairo, “Sallman’s Head of Christ was exhibited in the Coptic Church”, with “more than fifty thousand people” visiting the church to see it.  In addition, several religious magazines have explained the “power of Sallman’s picture” by documenting occurrences such as headhunters letting go of a businessman and fleeing after seeing the image, a “thief who aborted his misdeed when he saw the Head of Christ on a living room wall”, and deathbed conversions of non-believers to Christianity.  As an extraordinarily successful work of Christian popular devotional art,  it had been reproduced over half a billion times worldwide by the end of the 20th century. A representation of Jesus as the sun-god Helios/Sol Invictus riding in his chariot. Mosaic of the 3rd century on the Vatican grottoes under St. Christ Pantocrator mosaic in the dome above the Katholikon of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Jesus depicted on an early 8th-century Byzantine coin. After the Byzantine iconoclasm all coins had Christ on them. 11th-century Christ Pantocrator with the halo in a cross form, used throughout the Middle Ages. Characteristically, he is portrayed as similar in features and skin tone to the culture of the artist. A beardless Christ in the Anglo-Saxon New Minster Charter, Winchester, mid-10th century. An unusual image of Jesus as a medieval knight bearing an attributed coat of arms based on the Veil of Veronica. The Baptism of Christ, by Piero della Francesca, 1449. Christ as the Suffering Redeemeer, c. Mary and Christ, in The Last Judgement by Michelangelo, this depiction was much criticised. A traditional Ethiopian depiction of Jesus and Mary with distinctively “Ethiopian” features. Jesus, aged 12, Jesus among the Doctors (as a child debating in the temple), 1630 by Jusepe de Ribera. A Chinese depiction of Jesus and the rich man, from Mark chapter 10. A mural depicting the baptism of Jesus in a typical Haitian rural scenery, Cathédrale de Sainte Trinité, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The Word of Life mural on the side of the Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame. Pietro Perugino’s depiction of the Crucifixion as Stabat Mater, 1482. Transfiguration of Jesus depicting him with Elijah, Moses and three apostles by Carracci, 1594. The Crucifixion of Christ, 1558, by Titian. Jesus as Good Shepherd stained glass at St John’s Ashfield. Trevisani’s depiction of the typical baptismal scene with the sky opening and the Holy Spirit descending as a dove, 1723. Jesus Christ Pantocrator 13th-century mosaic from Hagia Sophia. Resurrection by Noël Coypel, 1700, using a hovering depiction of Jesus. 19th-century Russian icon of Christ Pantocrator. Head of Jesus (1890) by Enrique Simonet. Jesus, with crown and dove of peace, pacifies two fighting warriors, Berlin Cathedral, c. “Christ All Mercy” Eastern Orthodox icon. A Nestorian “Crucifixion of Jesus”, illustration from the Nestorian Evangelion, 16th century. Reconstruction of the Chinese Nestorian painting of Jesus Christ, 9th century. Manichaean Painting of the Buddha Jesus, a 12th- or 13th-century Chinese hanging scroll depicting Jesus Christ as a Manichaean prophet. Reconstruction of the enthroned Jesus image on a Manichaean temple banner from ca. 10th-century Qocho (East Central Asia). Contemporary icon of Christ. Christ the King in Portugal. Christ the Redeemer, the most famous icon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Christ in Majesty, Chartres Cathedral. Michelangelo’s Pietà shows Mary holding the dead body of Jesus. Cristo de la Concordia in Bolivia, claimed to be the largest statue of Jesus ever made. Cristo del Otero, above Palencia, Spain. Bertel Thorvaldsen’s Christus, Church of Our Lady, Copenhagen. Infant Jesus of Prague, one of several miniature statues of an infant Christ that are much venerated by the faithful. Lux Mundi, a statue of Jesus by Tom Tsuchiya completed in 2012. The boy Jesus as the Good Shepherd, Church of the Good Shepherd (Rosemont, Pennsylvania). Category:Cultural depictions of Jesus. God the Father in Western art. Perceptions of religious imagery in natural phenomena. Resurrection of Jesus in Christian art. AD 30 / 33, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, [f] was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader.  He is the central figure of Christianity and is widely described as the most influential person in history.  Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah (Christ) prophesied in the Old Testament. Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed historically, [g] although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how closely the Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus. [h][i] Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was baptized by John the Baptist and began his own ministry. He preached orally and was often referred to as “rabbi”.  Jesus debated with fellow Jews on how to best follow God, engaged in healings, taught in parables and gathered followers.  He was arrested and tried by the Jewish authorities,  turned over to the Roman government, and crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect.  After his death, his followers believed he rose from the dead, and the community they formed eventually became the early Church. The birth of Jesus is celebrated annually on December 25th (or various dates in January by some eastern churches) as Christmas. His crucifixion is honored on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter. The widely used calendar era “AD”, from the Latin anno Domini (“in the year of the Lord”), and the equivalent alternative “CE”, are based on the approximate birthdate of Jesus. Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven, from where he will return.  Most Christians believe Jesus enables people to be reconciled to God. The Nicene Creed asserts that Jesus will judge the living and the dead either before or after their bodily resurrection,  an event tied to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian eschatology.  The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of the Trinity. A minority of Christian denominations reject Trinitarianism, wholly or partly, as non-scriptural. Jesus also figures in non-Christian religions and new religious movements. In Islam, Jesus (commonly transliterated as Isa) is considered one of God’s important prophets and the Messiah.  Muslims believe Jesus was a bringer of scripture and was born of a virgin, but was not the son of God. The Quran states that Jesus never claimed divinity.  Most Muslims do not believe that he was crucified, but that he was physically raised into Heaven by God. In contrast, Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, arguing that he did not fulfill Messianic prophecies, and was neither divine nor resurrected. Further information: Jesus (name), Holy Name of Jesus, Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, and Names of God in Christianity. Counter-clockwise from top-right: Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, and English transcriptions of the name Jesus. A typical Jew in Jesus’ time had only one name, sometimes followed by the phrase son of. , or the individual’s hometown.  Thus, in the New Testament, Jesus is commonly referred to as “Jesus of Nazareth”[k] e.  Jesus’ neighbors in Nazareth refer to him as “the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon” (Mark 6:3),  “the carpenter’s son” (Matthew 13:55),  or “Joseph’s son” (Luke 4:22).  In John, the disciple Philip refers to him as “Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth” (John 1:45). Jesus, pronounced “Jeshua” in Hebrew, is equivalent to the Hebrew name Joshua,  the biblical name of Moses’ assistant and of a Jewish high priest.  The name Jesus is derived from the Latin Iesus, a transliteration of the Greek (Iesous).  The Greek form is a rendering of the Hebrew (Yeshua), a variant of the earlier name (Yehoshua), or in English, “Joshua”.  The name Yeshua appears to have been in use in Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus.  The 1st-century works of historian Flavius Josephus, who wrote in Koine Greek, the same language as that of the New Testament,  refer to at least twenty different people with the name Jesus i.  The etymology of Jesus’ name in the context of the New Testament is generally given as “Yahweh is salvation”. Since early Christianity, Christians have commonly referred to Jesus as “Jesus Christ”.  The word Christ was a title or office (“the Christ”), not a given name.  It derives from the Greek (Christos),  a translation of the Hebrew mashiakh meaning “anointed”, and is usually transliterated into English as “Messiah”.  In biblical Judaism, sacred oil was used to anoint certain exceptionally holy people and objects as part of their religious investiture (see Leviticus 8:1012 and Exodus 30:29). Christians of the time designated Jesus as “the Christ” because they believed him to be the Messiah, whose arrival is prophesied in the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament. In postbiblical usage, Christ became viewed as a nameone part of “Jesus Christ”. The term “Christian” (meaning a follower of Christ) has been in use since the 1st century. Life and teachings in the New Testament. According to the Gospels. In rest of the NT[show]. Wikipedia book Book:Life of Jesus. Main article: Life of Jesus in the New Testament. See also: Gospel, Gospel harmony, Historical reliability of the Gospels, and Internal consistency of the New Testament. See also: New Testament places associated with Jesus and Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament. A four-page papyrus manuscript, which is torn in many places. A 3rd-century Greek papyrus of the Gospel of Luke. The four canonical gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are the foremost sources for the life and message of Jesus.  However, other parts of the New Testament also include references to key episodes in his life, such as the Last Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:23.  Acts of the Apostles (Acts 10:3738 and Acts 19) refers to the early ministry of Jesus and its anticipation by John the Baptist.  Acts 1:111 says more about the Ascension of Jesus (also mentioned in 1 Timothy 3:16) than the canonical gospels do.  In the undisputed Pauline letters, which were written earlier than the gospels, the words or instructions of Jesus are cited several times (1 Corinthians 7:1011, 9:14, 11:2325, 2 Corinthians 12:9). Some early Christian groups had separate descriptions of the life and teachings of Jesus that are not included in the New Testament. These include the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Peter, and Gospel of Judas, the Apocryphon of James, and many other apocryphal writings. Most scholars conclude that these are written much later and are less reliable accounts than the canonical gospels. The canonical gospels are four accounts, each written by a different author. The authors of the gospels are all anonymous, attributed by tradition to the four evangelists, each with close ties to Jesus: Mark by John Mark, an associate of Peter; Matthew by one of Jesus’ disciples; Luke by a companion of Paul mentioned in a few epistles; and John by another of Jesus’ disciples,  the “beloved disciple”. One important aspect of the study of the gospels is the literary genre under which they fall. Genre “is a key convention guiding both the composition and the interpretation of writings”.  Whether the gospel authors set out to write novels, myths, histories, or biographies has a tremendous impact on how they ought to be interpreted. Some recent studies suggest that the genre of the gospels ought to be situated within the realm of ancient biography.  Although not without critics,  the position that the gospels are a type of ancient biography is the consensus among scholars today. Not everything contained in the New Testament gospels is considered to be historically reliable.  Views range from their being inerrant descriptions of the life of Jesus to their providing little historical information about his life beyond the basics.  According to a broad scholarly consensus, the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), and not John, are the most reliable sources of information about Jesus. According to the Marcan priority, the first to be written was the Gospel of Mark (written AD 6075), followed by the Gospel of Matthew (AD 6585), the Gospel of Luke (AD 6595), and the Gospel of John (AD 75100).  Furthermore, most scholars agree that the authors of Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source when writing their gospels. Matthew and Luke also share some content not found in Mark. To explain this, many scholars believe that in addition to Mark, another source (commonly called the “Q source”) was used by the two authors. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as the Synoptic Gospels, from the Greek (syn “together”) and (opsis “view”).  They are similar in content, narrative arrangement, language and paragraph structure.  Scholars generally agree that it is impossible to find any direct literary relationship between the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John.  While the flow of some events (such as Jesus’ baptism, transfiguration, crucifixion and interactions with the apostles) are shared among the Synoptic Gospels, incidents such as the transfiguration do not appear in John, which also differs on other matters, such as the Cleansing of the Temple. Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels. Jesus in the Gospel of John. Begins with Jesus’ baptism or birth to a virgin. Begins with creation, with no birth story. Baptized by John the Baptist. Baptism presupposed but not mentioned. Teaches in parables and aphorisms. Teaches in long, involved discourses. Teaches primarily about the Kingdom of God, little about himself. Teaches primarily and extensively about himself. Speaks up for the poor and oppressed. Says little to nothing about the poor or oppressed. Does not exorcise demons. Attends one Passover festival. Attends three or four Passover festivals. Cleansing the Temple occurs late. Cleansing the Temple is early. Jesus ushers in a new covenant with a last supper. Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. The Synoptics emphasize different aspects of Jesus. In Mark, Jesus is the Son of God whose mighty works demonstrate the presence of God’s Kingdom.  He is a tireless wonder worker, the servant of both God and man.  This short gospel records few of Jesus’ words or teachings.  The Gospel of Matthew emphasizes that Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s will as revealed in the Old Testament, and he is the Lord of the Church.  He is the “Son of David”, a “king”, and the Messiah.  Luke presents Jesus as the divine-human savior who shows compassion to the needy.  He is the friend of sinners and outcasts, come to seek and save the lost.  This gospel includes Jesus’ most beloved parables, such as the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. The prologue to the Gospel of John identifies Jesus as an incarnation of the divine Word (Logos).  As the Word, Jesus was eternally present with God, active in all creation, and the source of humanity’s moral and spiritual nature.  Jesus is not only greater than any past human prophet but greater than any prophet could be. He not only speaks God’s Word; he is God’s Word.  In the Gospel of John, Jesus reveals his divine role publicly. Here he is the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the True Vine and more. In general, the authors of the New Testament showed little interest in an absolute chronology of Jesus or in synchronizing the episodes of his life with the secular history of the age.  As stated in John 21:25, the gospels do not claim to provide an exhaustive list of the events in the life of Jesus.  The accounts were primarily written as theological documents in the context of early Christianity, with timelines as a secondary consideration.  In this respect, it is noteworthy that the Gospels devote about one third of their text to the last week of the life of Jesus in Jerusalem, referred to as the Passion.  Although the gospels do not provide enough details to satisfy the demands of modern historians regarding exact dates, it is possible to draw from them a general picture of the life story of Jesus. Main articles: Genealogy of Jesus and Nativity of Jesus. Jesus was Jewish,  born by Mary, wife of Joseph (Matthew 1; Luke 2). The Gospels of Matthew and Luke offer two accounts of the genealogy of Jesus. Matthew traces Jesus’ ancestry to Abraham through David (1:116).  Luke traces Jesus’ ancestry through Adam to God (3:2338).  The lists are identical between Abraham and David, but differ radically from that point. Matthew has twenty-seven generations from David to Joseph, whereas Luke has forty-two, with almost no overlap between the names on the two lists. [m] Various theories have been put forward seeking to explain why the two genealogies are so different. A Nativity scene; men and animals surround Mary and newborn Jesus, who are covered in light. Adoration of the Shepherds (1622) by Gerard van Honthorst. Matthew and Luke each describe Jesus’ birth, especially that Jesus was born by a virgin named Mary in Bethlehem in fulfillment of prophecy. Luke’s account emphasizes events before the birth of Jesus and centers on Mary, while Matthew’s mostly covers those after the birth and centers on Joseph.  Both accounts state that Jesus was born to Joseph and Mary, his betrothed, in Bethlehem, and both support the doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus, according to which Jesus was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb when she was still a virgin.  At the same time, there is evidence, at least in the Lukan Acts of the Apostles, that Jesus was thought to have had, like many figures in antiquity, a dual paternity, since there it is stated he descended from the seed or loins of David. In Matthew, Joseph is troubled because Mary, his betrothed, is pregnant (Matthew 1:1920), but in the first of Joseph’s three dreams an angel assures him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife, because her child was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  In Matthew 2:112, wise men or Magi from the East bring gifts to the young Jesus as the King of the Jews. They find Jesus in a house in Bethlehem and not a barn and Jesus is now a child and not an infant. Matthew focuses on an event after the Luke Nativity where Jesus was an infant. In Matthew Herod the Great hears of Jesus’ birth and, wanting him killed, orders the murders of male infants in Bethlehem under age of 2. But an angel warns Joseph in his second dream, and the family flees to Egyptlater to return and settle in Nazareth. In Luke 1:3138, Mary learns from the angel Gabriel that she will conceive and bear a child called Jesus through the action of the Holy Spirit.  When Mary is due to give birth, she and Joseph travel from Nazareth to Joseph’s ancestral home in Bethlehem to register in the census ordered by Caesar Augustus. While there Mary gives birth to Jesus, and as they have found no room in the inn, she places the newborn in a manger (Luke 2:17). An angel announces the birth to some shepherds, who go to Bethlehem to see Jesus, and subsequently spread the news abroad (Luke 2:820). After the presentation of Jesus at the Temple, Joseph, Mary and Jesus return to Nazareth. Early life, family, and profession. Main article: Christ Child. See also: Return of the family of Jesus to Nazareth, Unknown years of Jesus, and Brothers of Jesus. William Holman Hunt, The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple (1860). Jesus’ childhood home is identified in the gospels of Luke and Matthew as the town of Nazareth in Galilee, where he lived with his family. Although Joseph appears in descriptions of Jesus’ childhood, no mention is made of him thereafter.  His other family membershis mother, Mary, his brothers James, Joses (or Joseph), Judas and Simon and his unnamed sistersare mentioned in the gospels and other sources. The Gospel of Mark reports that Jesus comes into conflict with his neighbors and family.  Jesus’ mother and brothers come to get him (Mark 3:3135) because people are saying that he is crazy (Mark 3:21). Jesus responds that his followers are his true family. In John, Mary follows Jesus to his crucifixion, and he expresses concern over her well-being (John 19:2527). Jesus is called a (tektn) in Mark 6:3, traditionally understood as carpenter but could cover makers of objects in various materials, including builders.  The gospels indicate that Jesus could read, paraphrase, and debate scripture, but this does not necessarily mean that he received formal scribal training. When Jesus is presented as a baby in the temple per Jewish Law, a man named Simeon says to Mary and Joseph that Jesus shall stand as a sign of contradiction, while a sword will pierce your own soul. Then the secret thoughts of many will come to light (Luke 2:2835). Several years later, when Jesus goes missing on a visit to Jerusalem, his parents find him in the temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions, and the people are amazed at his understanding and answers; Mary scolds Jesus for going missing, to which Jesus replies that he must “be in his father’s house” (Luke 2:4152). Main articles: Baptism of Jesus and Temptation of Christ. The Baptism of Christ (1895) by Almeida Júnior. The Synoptic accounts of Jesus’ baptism are all preceded by information about John the Baptist.  They show John preaching penance and repentance for the remission of sins and encouraging the giving of alms to the poor (Luke 3:11) as he baptizes people in the area of the Jordan River around Perea and foretells (Luke 3:16) the arrival of someone “more powerful” than he.  Later, Jesus identifies John as “the Elijah who was to come” (Matthew 11:14, Mark 9:1314), the prophet who was expected to arrive before the “great and terrible day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5). Likewise, Luke says that John had the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). In Mark, John baptizes Jesus, and as he comes out of the water he sees the Holy Spirit descending to him like a dove and he hears a voice from heaven declaring him to be God’s Son (Mark 1:911). This is one of two events described in the gospels where a voice from Heaven calls Jesus “Son”, the other being the Transfiguration.  The spirit then drives him into the wilderness where he is tempted by Satan (Mark 1:1213). Jesus then begins his ministry after John’s arrest (Mark 1:14). Jesus’ baptism in Matthew is similar. Here, before Jesus’ baptism, John protests, saying, “I need to be baptized by you” (Matthew 3:14). Jesus instructs him to carry on with the baptism “to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). Matthew also details the three temptations that Satan offers Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:311). In Luke, the Holy Spirit descends as a dove after everyone has been baptized and Jesus is praying (Luke 3:2122). John implicitly recognizes Jesus from prison after sending his followers to ask about him (Luke 7:1823). Jesus’ baptism and temptation serve as preparation for his public ministry. The Gospel of John leaves out Jesus’ baptism and temptation.  Here, John the Baptist testifies that he saw the Spirit descend on Jesus (John 1:32).  John publicly proclaims Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb of God, and some of John’s followers become disciples of Jesus.  In this Gospel, John denies that he is Elijah (John 1:21). Before John is imprisoned, Jesus leads his followers to baptize disciples as well (John 3:2224), and they baptize more people than John (John 4:1). Main article: Ministry of Jesus. Jesus sits atop a mount, preaching to a crowd. A 19th-century painting depicting the Sermon on the Mount, by Carl Bloch. The Synoptics depict two distinct geographical settings in Jesus’ ministry. The first takes place north of Judea, in Galilee, where Jesus conducts a successful ministry; and the second shows Jesus rejected and killed when he travels to Jerusalem.  Often referred to as “rabbi”,  Jesus preaches his message orally.  Notably, Jesus forbids those who recognize him as the Messiah to speak of it, including people he heals and demons he exorcises (see Messianic Secret). John depicts Jesus’ ministry as largely taking place in and around Jerusalem, rather than in Galilee; and Jesus’ divine identity is openly proclaimed and immediately recognized. Scholars divide the ministry of Jesus into several stages. Jesus preaches around Galilee, and in Matthew 4:1820, his first disciples, who will eventually form the core of the early Church, encounter him and begin to travel with him.  This period includes the Sermon on the Mount, one of Jesus’ major discourses,  as well as the calming of the storm, the feeding of the 5,000, walking on water and a number of other miracles and parables.  It ends with the Confession of Peter and the Transfiguration.  The final ministry in Jerusalem begins with Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city on Palm Sunday. This period culminates in the Last Supper and the Farewell Discourse. The Exhortation to the Apostles, by James Tissot, portrays Jesus talking to his 12 disciples. Near the beginning of his ministry, Jesus appoints twelve apostles. In Matthew and Mark, despite Jesus only briefly requesting that they join him, Jesus’ first four apostles, who were fishermen, are described as immediately consenting, and abandoning their nets and boats to do so (Matthew 4:1822, Mark 1:1620). In John, Jesus’ first two apostles were disciples of John the Baptist. The Baptist sees Jesus and calls him the Lamb of God; the two hear this and follow Jesus.  In addition to the Twelve Apostles, the opening of the passage of the Sermon on the Plain identifies a much larger group of people as disciples (Luke 6:17). Also, in Luke 10:116 Jesus sends seventy or seventy-two of his followers in pairs to prepare towns for his prospective visit. They are instructed to accept hospitality, heal the sick and spread the word that the Kingdom of God is coming. In Mark, the disciples are notably obtuse. They fail to understand Jesus’ miracles (Mark 4:3541, Mark 6:52), his parables (Mark 4:13), or what “rising from the dead” would mean (Mark 9:910). When Jesus is later arrested, they desert him. Main articles: Sermon on the Mount, Parables of Jesus, and Miracles of Jesus. See also: Sermon on the Plain, Five Discourses of Matthew, Farewell Discourse, Olivet Discourse, and Bread of Life Discourse. Jesus and the rich young man by Heinrich Hofmann, 1889. In the Synoptics, Jesus teaches extensively, often in parables,  about the Kingdom of God (or, in Matthew, the Kingdom of Heaven). The Kingdom is described as both imminent (Mark 1:15) and already present in the ministry of Jesus (Luke 17:21). Jesus promises inclusion in the Kingdom for those who accept his message (Mark 10:1327). Jesus talks of the “Son of Man, ” an apocalyptic figure who would come to gather the chosen. Jesus calls people to repent their sins and to devote themselves completely to God.  Jesus tells his followers to adhere to Jewish law, although he is perceived by some to have broken the law himself, for example regarding the Sabbath.  When asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus replies: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind… And a second is like it:’You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:3739). Other ethical teachings of Jesus include loving your enemies, refraining from hatred and lust, turning the other cheek, and forgiving people who have sinned against you (Matthew 57). John’s Gospel presents the teachings of Jesus not merely as his own preaching, but as divine revelation. John the Baptist, for example, states in John 3:34: He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. ” In John 7:16 Jesus says, “My teaching is not mine but his who sent me. The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Jesus, his head surrounded by a halo, puts his hands on a leper, thereby healing him. Jesus cleansing a leper, medieval mosaic from the Monreale Cathedral, late 12th to mid-13th centuries. Approximately thirty parables form about one third of Jesus’ recorded teachings.  The parables appear within longer sermons and at other places in the narrative.  They often contain symbolism, and usually relate the physical world to the spiritual.  Common themes in these tales include the kindness and generosity of God and the perils of transgression.  Some of his parables, such as the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:1132), are relatively simple, while others, such as the Growing Seed (Mark 4:2629), are sophisticated, profound and abstruse.  When asked by his disciples about why he speaks in parables to the people, Jesus replies that the chosen disciples have been given to “know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven”, unlike the rest of their people, For the one who has will be given more and he will have in abundance. But the one who does not have will be deprived even more. “, going on to say that the majority of their generation have grown “dull hearts and thus are unable to understand (Matthew 13:1017). In the gospel accounts, Jesus devotes a large portion of his ministry performing miracles, especially healings.  The miracles can be classified into two main categories: healing miracles and nature miracles.  The healing miracles include cures for physical ailments, exorcisms,  and resurrections of the dead.  The nature miracles show Jesus’ power over nature, and include turning water into wine, walking on water, and calming a storm, among others. Jesus states that his miracles are from a divine source. When Jesus’ opponents suddenly accuse him of performing exorcisms by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, Jesus counters that he performs them by the “Spirit of God” (Matthew 12:28) or “finger of God”, arguing that all logic suggests that Satan would not let his demons assist the Children of God because it would divide Satan’s house and bring his kingdom to desolation; furthermore, he asks his opponents that if he exorcises by Beel’zebub, by whom do your sons cast them out?  In Matthew 12:3132, he goes on to say that while all manner of sin, “even insults against God” or “insults against the son of man”, shall be forgiven, whoever insults goodness (or “The Holy Spirit”) shall never be forgiven; he/she carries the guilt of his/her sin forever. In John, Jesus’ miracles are described as “signs”, performed to prove his mission and divinity.  However, in the Synoptics, when asked by some teachers of the Law and some Pharisees to give miraculous signs to prove his authority, Jesus refuses,  saying that no sign shall come to corrupt and evil people except the sign of the prophet Jonah. Also, in the Synoptic Gospels, the crowds regularly respond to Jesus’ miracles with awe and press on him to heal their sick. In John’s Gospel, Jesus is presented as unpressured by the crowds, who often respond to his miracles with trust and faith.  The gospel episodes that include descriptions of the miracles of Jesus also often include teachings, and the miracles themselves involve an element of teaching.  Many of the miracles teach the importance of faith. In the cleansing of ten lepers and the raising of Jairus’ daughter, for instance, the beneficiaries are told that their healing was due to their faith. Proclamation as Christ and Transfiguration. Main articles: Confession of Peter and Transfiguration of Jesus. The Transfiguration of Jesus, depicted by Carl Bloch, 19th century. At about the middle of each of the three Synoptic Gospels are two significant events: the Confession of Peter and the Transfiguration of Jesus.  These two events are not mentioned in the Gospel of John. In his Confession, Peter tells Jesus, You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.  Jesus affirms that Peter’s confession is divinely revealed truth.  After the confession, Jesus tells his disciples about his upcoming death and resurrection (Matthew 16:21, Mark 8:31, Luke 9:22). In the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:19, Mark 9:28, and Luke 9:2836),  Jesus takes Peter and two other apostles up an unnamed mountain, where he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.  Jesus also refers to himself as the light of the world,  after identifying the crowd he was preaching to in the sermon on the mount as the light of the world.  Jesus further identifies himself as a Jew to the Samaritan woman with the plural “we” and the saying, salvation is from the Jews. “ This saying is a possible reference to Isaiah 49:6, wherein God tells Isaiah, “I will also make you a light for the nations, that you may bring My salvation to the ends of the earth. The description of the last week of the life of Jesus (often called Passion Week) occupies about one third of the narrative in the canonical gospels,  starting with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and ending with his Crucifixion. Jesus, riding a donkey colt, rides towards Jerusalem. A large crowd greets him outside the walls. A painting of Jesus’ final entry into Jerusalem, by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1897. Main articles: Triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Cleansing of the Temple, and Bargain of Judas. In the Synoptics, the last week in Jerusalem is the conclusion of the journey through Perea and Judea that Jesus began in Galilee.  Jesus rides a young donkey into Jerusalem, reflecting the tale of the Messiah’s Donkey, an oracle from the Book of Zechariah in which the Jews’ humble king enters Jerusalem this way (Zechariah 9:9).  People along the way lay cloaks and small branches of trees (known as palm fronds) in front of him and sing part of Psalms 118:2526. Jesus then prophesies about the coming destruction, including false prophets, wars, earthquakes, celestial disorders, persecution of the faithful, the appearance of an “abomination of desolation, ” and unendurable tribulations (Mark 13:123). The mysterious “Son of Man, ” he says, will dispatch angels to gather the faithful from all parts of the earth (Mark 13:2427). Jesus warns that these wonders will occur in the lifetimes of the hearers (Mark 13:2832).  In John, the Cleansing of the Temple occurs at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry instead of at the end (John 2:1316). Jesus comes into conflict with the Jewish elders, such as when they question his authority and when he criticizes them and calls them hypocrites.  Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles, secretly strikes a bargain with the Jewish elders, agreeing to betray Jesus to them for 30 silver coins. The Gospel of John recounts of two other feasts in which Jesus taught in Jerusalem before the Passion Week (John 7:110:42).  In Bethany, a village near Jerusalem, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. This potent sign increases the tension with authorities,  who conspire to kill him (John 11).  Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus’ feet, foreshadowing his entombment.  Jesus then makes his Messianic entry into Jerusalem.  The cheering crowds greeting Jesus as he enters Jerusalem add to the animosity between him and the establishment.  In John, Jesus has already cleansed the Second Temple during an earlier Passover visit to Jerusalem. John next recounts Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples. Main article: Last Supper. See also: Jesus predicts his betrayal, Denial of Peter, and Last Supper in Christian art. A depiction of the Last Supper. Jesus sits in the center, his apostles gathered around on either side of him. The Last Supper, depicted by Juan de Juanes, c. The Last Supper is the final meal that Jesus shares with his 12 apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The Last Supper is mentioned in all four canonical gospels; Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians (11:2326) also refers to it.  During the meal, Jesus predicts that one of his apostles will betray him.  Despite each Apostle’s assertion that he would not betray him, Jesus reiterates that the betrayer would be one of those present. Matthew 26:2325 and John 13:2627 specifically identify Judas as the traitor. In the Synoptics, Jesus takes bread, breaks it, and gives it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you”. He then has them all drink from a cup, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:1920).  The Christian sacrament or ordinance of the Eucharist is based on these events.  Although the Gospel of John does not include a description of the bread-and-wine ritual during the Last Supper, most scholars agree that John 6:2259 (the Bread of Life Discourse) has a eucharistic character and resonates with the institution narratives in the Synoptic Gospels and in the Pauline writings on the Last Supper. In all four gospels, Jesus predicts that Peter will deny knowledge of him three times before the rooster crows the next morning.  In Luke and John, the prediction is made during the Supper (Luke 22:34, John 22:34). In Matthew and Mark, the prediction is made after the Supper; Jesus also predicts that all his disciples will desert him (Matthew 26:3134, Mark 14:2730).  The Gospel of John provides the only account of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet after the meal.  John also includes a long sermon by Jesus, preparing his disciples (now without Judas) for his departure. Chapters 1417 of the Gospel of John are known as the Farewell Discourse and are a significant source of Christological content. Agony in the Garden, betrayal, and arrest. Main articles: Agony in the Garden, Kiss of Judas, Arrest of Jesus, and Malchus. Judas kisses Jesus, and soldiers rush to seize the latter. A depiction of the kiss of Judas and arrest of Jesus, by Caravaggio, c. In the Synoptics, Jesus and his disciples go to the garden Gethsemane, where Jesus prays to be spared his coming ordeal. Then Judas comes with an armed mob, sent by the chief priests, scribes and elders. He kisses Jesus to identify him to the crowd, which then arrests Jesus. In an attempt to stop them, an unnamed disciple of Jesus uses a sword to cut off the ear of a man in the crowd. After Jesus’ arrest, his disciples go into hiding, and Peter, when questioned, thrice denies knowing Jesus. After the third denial, Peter hears the rooster crow and recalls Jesus’ prediction about his denial. Peter then weeps bitterly. In John (18:111), Jesus does not pray to be spared his crucifixion, as the gospel portrays him as scarcely touched by such human weakness.  The people who arrest him are Roman soldiers and Temple guards.  Instead of being betrayed by a kiss, Jesus proclaims his identity, and when he does, the soldiers and officers fall to the ground. The gospel identifies Peter as the disciple who used the sword, and Jesus rebukes him for it. Trials by the Sanhedrin, Herod, and Pilate. Main articles: Sanhedrin trial of Jesus, Pilate’s Court, Jesus at Herod’s Court, and Crown of Thorns. See also: Jesus, King of the Jews; John 18:38; and Ecce homo. After his arrest, Jesus is taken to the Sanhedrin, a Jewish judicial body.  The gospel accounts differ on the details of the trials.  In Matthew 26:57, Mark 14:53 and Luke 22:54, Jesus is taken to the house of the high priest, Caiaphas, where he is mocked and beaten that night. Early the next morning, the chief priests and scribes lead Jesus away into their council.  John 18:1214 states that Jesus is first taken to Annas, Caiaphas’ father-in-law, and then to the high priest. A depiction of Jesus’ public trial. Antonio Ciseri’s 1871 depiction of Pontius Pilate presenting Jesus to the public. During the trials Jesus speaks very little, mounts no defense, and gives very infrequent and indirect answers to the priests’ questions, prompting an officer to slap him. In Matthew 26:62 Jesus’ unresponsiveness leads Caiaphas to ask him, Have you no answer? “ In Mark 14:61 the high priest then asks Jesus, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?  This provokes Caiaphas to tear his own robe in anger and to accuse Jesus of blasphemy.  The use of the word “king” is central to the discussion between Jesus and Pilate. In John 18:36 Jesus states, “My kingdom is not from this world”, but he does not unequivocally deny being the King of the Jews.  In Luke 23:715 Pilate realizes that Jesus is a Galilean, and thus comes under the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea.  Pilate sends Jesus to Herod to be tried,  but Jesus says almost nothing in response to Herod’s questions. Herod and his soldiers mock Jesus, put an expensive robe on him to make him look like a king, and return him to Pilate,  who then calls together the Jewish elders and announces that he has “not found this man guilty”. Observing a Passover custom of the time, Pilate allows one prisoner chosen by the crowd to be released. He gives the people a choice between Jesus and a murderer called Barabbas (- or Bar-abbâ, “son of the father”, from the common given name Abba:’father’).  Persuaded by the elders (Matthew 27:20), the mob chooses to release Barabbas and crucify Jesus.  Pilate writes a sign in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek that reads “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” (abbreviated as INRI in depictions) to be affixed to Jesus’ cross (John 19:1920),  then scourges Jesus and sends him to be crucified. The soldiers place a Crown of Thorns on Jesus’ head and ridicule him as the King of the Jews. They beat and taunt him before taking him to Calvary,  also called Golgotha, for crucifixion. A depiction of Jesus on the cross. Main articles: Crucifixion of Jesus and Burial of Jesus. See also: Sayings of Jesus on the cross and Crucifixion eclipse. Jesus’ crucifixion is described in all four canonical gospels. After the trials, Jesus is led to Calvary carrying his cross; the route traditionally thought to have been taken is known as the Via Dolorosa. The three Synoptic Gospels indicate that Simon of Cyrene assists him, having been compelled by the Romans to do so.  In Luke 23:2728 Jesus tells the women in the multitude of people following him not to weep for him but for themselves and their children.  At Calvary, Jesus is offered a sponge soaked in a concoction usually offered as a painkiller. According to Matthew and Mark, he refuses it. The soldiers then crucify Jesus and cast lots for his clothes. Above Jesus’ head on the cross is Pilate’s inscription, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. Soldiers and passersby mock him about it. Two convicted thieves are crucified along with Jesus. In Matthew and Mark, both thieves mock Jesus. In Luke, one of them rebukes Jesus, while the other defends him.  Jesus tells the latter: “today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). In John, Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the beloved disciple were at the crucifixion. Jesus tells the beloved disciple to take care of his mother (John 19:2627). The Roman soldiers break the two thieves’ legs (a procedure designed to hasten death in a crucifixion), but they do not break those of Jesus, as he is already dead (John 19:33). In John 19:34, one soldier pierces Jesus’ side with a lance, and blood and water flow out.  In the Synoptics, when Jesus dies, the heavy curtain at the Temple is torn. In Matthew 27:5154, an earthquake breaks open tombs. In Matthew and Mark, terrified by the events, a Roman centurion states that Jesus was the Son of God. On the same day, Joseph of Arimathea, with Pilate’s permission and with Nicodemus’ help, removes Jesus’ body from the cross, wraps him in a clean cloth, and buries him in his new rock-hewn tomb.  In Matthew 27:6266, on the following day the chief Jewish priests ask Pilate for the tomb to be secured, and with Pilate’s permission the priests place seals on the large stone covering the entrance. Appearance of Jesus Christ to Maria Magdalena (1835) by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov. Main articles: Resurrection of Jesus, Post-resurrection appearances of Jesus, and Ascension of Jesus. See also: Empty tomb, Great Commission, Second Coming, Resurrection of Jesus in Christian art, and Ascension of Jesus in Christian art. Mary Magdalene (alone in the Gospel of John, but accompanied by other women in the Synoptics) goes to Jesus’ tomb on Sunday morning and is surprised to find it empty. Despite Jesus’ teaching, the disciples had not understood that Jesus would rise again. In Matthew, there are guards at the tomb. An angel descends from heaven, and opens the tomb. The guards faint from fear. Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” after they visited the tomb. Jesus then appears to the eleven remaining disciples in Galilee and commissions them to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Mark, Salome and Mary, mother of James are with Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:1). In the tomb, a young man in a white robe (an angel) tells them that Jesus will meet his disciples in Galilee, as he had told them (referring to Mark 14:28). In Luke, Mary and various other women meet two angels at the tomb, but the eleven disciples do not believe their story (Luke 25:112). Jesus appears to two of his followers in Emmaus. He also makes an appearance to Peter. Jesus then appears that same day to his disciples in Jerusalem (Luke 24:1343). Although he appears and vanishes mysteriously, he also eats and lets them touch him to prove that he is not a spirit. He repeats his command to bring his teaching to all nations (Luke 24:51). In John, Mary is alone at first, but Peter and the beloved disciple come and see the tomb as well. Jesus then appears to Mary at the tomb. He later appears to the disciples, breathes on them, and gives them the power to forgive and retain sins. In a second visit to disciples, he proves to a doubting disciple (“Doubting Thomas”) that he is flesh and blood.  The disciples return to Galilee, where Jesus makes another appearance. He performs a miracle known as the catch of 153 fish at the Sea of Galilee, after which Jesus encourages Peter to serve his followers. Jesus’ ascension into Heaven is described in Luke 24:5053, Acts 1:111 and mentioned in 1 Timothy 3:16. In the Acts of the Apostles, forty days after the Resurrection, as the disciples look on, “he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight”. 1 Peter 3:22 states that Jesus has “gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God”. The Acts of the Apostles describes several appearances of Jesus after his Ascension. In Acts 7:55, Stephen gazes into heaven and sees “Jesus standing at the right hand of God” just before his death. In Acts 9:1018, Jesus instructs Ananias of Damascus in a vision to heal Paul.  The Book of Revelation includes a revelation from Jesus concerning the last days. Main article: Early Christianity. After Jesus’s life, his followers, as described in the first chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, were all Jews either by birth or conversion, for which the biblical term “proselyte” is used,  and referred to by historians as Jewish Christians. The early Gospel message was spread orally, probably in Aramaic,  but almost immediately also in Greek.  The New Testament’s Acts of the Apostles and Epistle to the Galatians record that the first Christian community was centered in Jerusalem and its leaders included Peter, James, the brother of Jesus, and John the Apostle. After the conversion of Paul the Apostle, he claimed the title of “Apostle to the Gentiles”. Paul’s influence on Christian thinking is said to be more significant than that of any other New Testament author.  By the end of the 1st century, Christianity began to be recognized internally and externally as a separate religion from Judaism which itself was refined and developed further in the centuries after the destruction of the Second Temple. Numerous quotations in the New Testament and other Christian writings of the first centuries, indicate that early Christians generally used and revered the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh) as religious text, mostly in the Greek (Septuagint) or Aramaic (Targum) translations. Early Christians wrote many religious works, including the ones included in the canon of the New Testament. The canonical texts, which have become the main sources used by historians to try to understand the historical Jesus and sacred texts within Christianity, were probably written between 50 and 120 AD. Main articles: Historical Jesus and Quest for the historical Jesus. See also: Biblical criticism. Prior to the Enlightenment, the gospels were usually regarded as accurate historical accounts, but since then scholars have emerged who question the reliability of the gospels and draw a distinction between the Jesus described in the gospels and the Jesus of history.  Since the 18th century, three separate scholarly quests for the historical Jesus have taken place, each with distinct characteristics and based on different research criteria, which were often developed during the quest that applied them.  While there is widespread scholarly agreement on the existence of Jesus, [g] and a basic consensus on the general outline of his life, [o] the portraits of Jesus constructed by various scholars often differ from each other, and from the image portrayed in the gospel accounts. Approaches to the historical reconstruction of the life of Jesus have varied from the “maximalist” approaches of the 19th century, in which the gospel accounts were accepted as reliable evidence wherever it is possible, to the “minimalist” approaches of the early 20th century, where hardly anything about Jesus was accepted as historical.  In the 1950s, as the second quest for the historical Jesus gathered pace, the minimalist approaches faded away, and in the 21st century, minimalists such as Price are a very small minority.  Although a belief in the inerrancy of the gospels cannot be supported historically, many scholars since the 1980s have held that, beyond the few facts considered to be historically certain, certain other elements of Jesus’ life are “historically probable”.  Modern scholarly research on the historical Jesus thus focuses on identifying the most probable elements. Judea and Galilee in the 1st century. Judea, Galilee and neighboring areas at the time of Jesus. In AD 6, Judea, Idumea, and Samaria were transformed from a client kingdom of the Roman Empire into an imperial province, also called Judea. A Roman prefect, rather than a client king, ruled the land. The prefect ruled from Caesarea Maritima, leaving Jerusalem to be run by the High Priest of Israel. As an exception, the prefect came to Jerusalem during religious festivals, when religious and patriotic enthusiasm sometimes inspired unrest or uprisings. Gentile lands surrounded the Jewish territories of Judea and Galilee, but Roman law and practice allowed Jews to remain separate legally and culturally. Galilee was evidently prosperous, and poverty was limited enough that it did not threaten the social order. This was the era of Hellenistic Judaism, which combined Jewish religious tradition with elements of Hellenistic Greek culture. Until the fall of the Roman Empire and the Muslim conquests of the Eastern Mediterranean, the main centers of Hellenistic Judaism were Alexandria (Egypt) and Antioch (now Southern Turkey), the two main Greek urban settlements of the Middle East and North Africa area, both founded at the end of the 4th century BCE in the wake of the conquests of Alexander the Great. Hellenistic Judaism also existed in Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period, where there was conflict between Hellenizers and traditionalists (sometimes called Judaizers). The Hebrew Bible was translated from Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic into Jewish Koiné Greek; the Targum translations into Aramaic were also generated during this era, both due to the decline of knowledge of Hebrew. Jews based their faith and religious practice on the Torah, five books said to have been given by God to Moses. The three prominent religious parties were the Pharisees, the Essenes, and the Sadducees. Together these parties represented only a small fraction of the population. Most Jews looked forward to a time that God would deliver them from their pagan rulers, possibly through war against the Romans. Main article: Sources for the historicity of Jesus. See also: Josephus on Jesus and Tacitus on Christ. A 1640 edition of the works of Josephus, a 1st-century Roman-Jewish historian who referred to Jesus. New Testament scholars face a formidable challenge when they analyze the canonical Gospels.  The Gospels are not biographies in the modern sense, and the authors explain Jesus’ theological significance and recount his public ministry while omitting many details of his life.  The reports of supernatural events associated with Jesus’ death and resurrection make the challenge even more difficult.  Scholars regard the gospels as compromised sources of information because the writers were trying to glorify Jesus.  Even so, the sources for Jesus’ life are better than sources scholars have for the life of Alexander the Great.  Scholars use a number of criteria, such as the criterion of independent attestation, the criterion of coherence, and the criterion of discontinuity to judge the historicity of events.  The historicity of an event also depends on the reliability of the source; indeed, the gospels are not independent nor consistent records of Jesus’ life. Mark, which is most likely the earliest written gospel, has been considered for many decades the most historically accurate.  John, the latest written gospel, differs considerably from the Synoptic Gospels, and thus is generally considered less reliable, although more and more scholars now also recognize that it may contain a core of older material as historically valuable as the Synoptic tradition or even more so. The non-canonical Gospel of Thomas might be an independent witness to many of Jesus’ parables and aphorisms. For example, Thomas confirms that Jesus blessed the poor and that this saying circulated independently before being combined with similar sayings in the Q source.  Other select non-canonical Christian texts may also have value for historical Jesus research. Early non-Christian sources that attest to the historical existence of Jesus include the works of the historians Josephus and Tacitus. [p] Josephus scholar Louis Feldman has stated that “few have doubted the genuineness” of Josephus’ reference to Jesus in book 20 of the Antiquities of the Jews, and it is disputed only by a small number of scholars.  Tacitus referred to Christ and his execution by Pilate in book 15 of his work Annals. Scholars generally consider Tacitus’s reference to the execution of Jesus to be both authentic and of historical value as an independent Roman source. Non-Christian sources are valuable in two ways. First, they show that even neutral or hostile parties never evince any doubt that Jesus actually existed. Second, they present a rough picture of Jesus that is compatible with that found in the Christian sources: that Jesus was a teacher, had a reputation as a miracle worker, had a brother James, and died a violent death. Archeology helps scholars better understand Jesus’ social world.  Recent archeological work, for example, indicates that Capernaum, a city important in Jesus’ ministry, was poor and small, without even a forum or an agora.  This archaeological discovery resonates well with the scholarly view that Jesus advocated reciprocal sharing among the destitute in that area of Galilee. Main article: Chronology of Jesus. See also: Anno Domini. Jesus was a Galilean Jew,  born around the beginning of the 1st century, who died in 30 or 33 AD in Judea.  The general scholarly consensus is that Jesus was a contemporary of John the Baptist and was crucified by the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, who held office from 26 to 36 AD. The gospels offer several clues concerning the year of Jesus’ birth. Matthew 2:1 associates the birth of Jesus with the reign of Herod the Great, who died around 4 BC, and Luke 1:5 mentions that Herod was on the throne shortly before the birth of Jesus,  although this gospel also associates the birth with the Census of Quirinius which took place ten years later.  Luke 3:23 states that Jesus was “about thirty years old” at the start of his ministry, which according to Acts 10:3738 was preceded by John the Baptist’s ministry, itself recorded in Luke 3:12 to have begun in the 15th year of Tiberius’ reign (28 or 29 AD).  By collating the gospel accounts with historical data and using various other methods, most scholars arrive at a date of birth from 6 to 4 BC for Jesus,  but some propose estimates that lie in a wider range. The years of Jesus’ ministry have been estimated using several different approaches.  One of these applies the reference in Luke 3:12, Acts 10:3738 and the dates of Tiberius’ reign, which are well known, to give a date of around 2829 AD for the start of Jesus’ ministry.  Another approach uses the statement about the temple in John 2:1320, which asserts that the temple in Jerusalem was in its 46th year of construction at the start of Jesus’ ministry, together with Josephus’ statement that the temple’s reconstruction was started by Herod the Great in the 18th year of his reign, to estimate a date around 2729 AD.  A further method uses the date of the death of John the Baptist and the marriage of Herod Antipas to Herodias, based on the writings of Josephus, and correlates it with Matthew 14:4 and Mark 6:18.  Given that most scholars date the marriage of Herod and Herodias as AD 2835, this yields a date about 2829 AD. A number of approaches have been used to estimate the year of the crucifixion of Jesus. Most scholars agree that he died in 30 or 33 AD.  The gospels state that the event occurred during the prefecture of Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea from 26 to 36 AD.  The date for the conversion of Paul (estimated to be 3336 AD) acts as an upper bound for the date of Crucifixion. The dates for Paul’s conversion and ministry can be determined by analyzing the Pauline epistles and the Acts of the Apostles.  Astronomers have tried to estimate the precise date of the Crucifixion by analyzing lunar motion and calculating historic dates of Passover, a festival based on the lunisolar Hebrew calendar. The most widely accepted dates derived from this method are April 7, 30 AD, and April 3, 33 AD (both Julian). Main article: Historicity of Jesus. See also: Cultural and historical background of Jesus, History of the Jews in the Roman Empire, Historical criticism, Textual criticism, and Historical reliability of the Gospels. A white statue of a man. An apparently old document. Roman senator and historian Tacitus mentioned the execution of “Christus” (Jesus) by Pilate in a passage describing the Great Fire of Rome and Nero’s persecution of Christians in the Annals, a history of the Roman Empire during the 1st century. Scholars have reached a limited consensus on the basics of Jesus’ life. See also: Brothers of Jesus. Many scholars agree that Joseph, Jesus’ father, died by the time Jesus began his ministry. Joseph is not mentioned at all in the gospels during Jesus’ ministry. Joseph’s death would explain why in Mark 6:3, Jesus’ neighbors refer to Jesus as the “son of Mary” (sons were usually identified by their fathers). According to Theissen and Merz, it is common for extraordinary charismatic leaders, such as Jesus, to come into conflict with their ordinary families.  In Mark, Jesus’ family comes to get him, fearing that he is mad (Mark 3:2034), and this account is likely historical because early Christians would not have invented it.  After Jesus’ death, many members of his family joined the Christian movement.  Jesus’ brother James became a leader of the Jerusalem Church. Géza Vermes says that the doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus arose from theological development rather than from historical events.  Despite the widely held view that the authors of the Synoptic Gospels drew upon each other (the so-called synoptic problem), other scholars take it as significant that the virgin birth is attested by two separate gospels, Matthew and Luke. . Sanders, the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke are the clearest case of invention in the Gospel narratives of Jesus’ life. Both accounts have Jesus born in Bethlehem, in accordance with Jewish salvation history, and both have him growing up in Nazareth. But Sanders points that the two Gospels report completely different and irreconcilable explanations for how that happened. Matthew’s account is more plausible, but the story reads as though it was invented to identify Jesus as like a new Moses, and the historian Josephus reports Herod the Great’s brutality without ever mentioning that he massacred little boys. Sanders says that the genealogies of Jesus are based not on historical information but on the authors’ desire to show that Jesus was the universal Jewish savior.  In any event, once the doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus became established, that tradition superseded the earlier tradition that he was descended from David through Joseph.  Luke reports that Jesus was a blood relation of John the Baptist, but scholars generally consider this connection to be invented. Most modern scholars consider Jesus’ baptism to be a definite historical fact, along with his crucifixion.  Theologian James D. Dunn states that they “command almost universal assent” and “rank so high on the’almost impossible to doubt or deny’ scale of historical facts” that they are often the starting points for the study of the historical Jesus.  Scholars adduce the criterion of embarrassment, saying that early Christians would not have invented a baptism that might imply that Jesus committed sins and wanted to repent.  According to Theissen and Merz, Jesus was inspired by John the Baptist and took over from him many elements of his teaching. Most scholars hold that Jesus lived in Galilee and Judea and did not preach or study elsewhere.  They agree that Jesus debated with Jewish authorities on the subject of God, performed some healings, taught in parables and gathered followers.  Jesus’ Jewish critics considered his ministry to be scandalous because he feasted with sinners, fraternized with women, and allowed his followers to pluck grain on the Sabbath.  According to Sanders, it is not plausible that disagreements over how to interpret the Law of Moses and the Sabbath would have led Jewish authorities to want Jesus killed. According to Ehrman, Jesus taught that a coming kingdom was everyone’s proper focus, not anything in this life.  He taught about the Jewish Law, seeking its true meaning, sometimes in opposition to other traditions.  Jesus put love at the center of the Law, and following that Law was an apocalyptic necessity.  His ethical teachings called for forgiveness, not judging others, loving enemies, and caring for the poor.  Funk and Hoover note that typical of Jesus were paradoxical or surprising turns of phrase, such as advising one, when struck on the cheek, to offer the other cheek to be struck as well (Luke 6:29). The Gospels portray Jesus teaching in well-defined sessions, such as the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew or the parallel Sermon on the Plain in Luke. According to Gerd Theissen and Annette Merz, these teaching sessions include authentic teachings of Jesus, but the scenes were invented by the respective evangelists to frame these teachings, which had originally been recorded without context.  While Jesus’ miracles fit within the social context of antiquity, he defined them differently. First, he attributed them to the faith of those healed. Second, he connected them to end times prophecy. Jesus chose twelve disciples  (the “Twelve”), evidently as an apocalyptic message.  All three Synoptics mention the Twelve, although the names on Luke’s list vary from those in Mark and Matthew, suggesting that Christians were not certain who all the disciples were.  The 12 disciples might have represented the twelve original tribes of Israel, which would be restored once God’s rule was instituted.  The disciples were reportedly meant to be the rulers of the tribes in the coming Kingdom (Matthew 19:28, Luke 22:30).  According to Bart Ehrman, Jesus’ promise that the Twelve would rule is historical, because the Twelve included Judas Iscariot. In Ehrman’s view, no Christians would have invented a line from Jesus, promising rulership to the disciple who betrayed him.  In Mark, the disciples play hardly any role other than a negative one. While others sometimes respond to Jesus with complete faith, his disciples are puzzled and doubtful.  They serve as a foil to Jesus and to other characters.  The failings of the disciples are probably exaggerated in Mark, and the disciples make a better showing in Matthew and Luke. Sanders says that Jesus’ mission was not about repentance, although he acknowledges that this opinion is unpopular. He argues that repentance appears as a strong theme only in Luke, that repentance was John the Baptist’s message, and that Jesus’ ministry would not have been scandalous if the sinners he ate with had been repentant.  According to Theissen and Merz, Jesus taught that God was generously giving people an opportunity to repent. Jesus taught that an apocalyptic figure, the “Son of Man”, would soon come on clouds of glory to gather the elect, or chosen ones (Mark 13:2427, Matthew 24:2931, Luke 21:2528). He referred to himself as a “son of man” in the colloquial sense of “a person”, but scholars do not know whether he also meant himself when he referred to the heavenly “Son of Man”. Paul the Apostle and other early Christians interpreted the “Son of Man” as the risen Jesus. The title Christ, or Messiah, indicates that Jesus’ followers believed him to be the anointed heir of King David, whom some Jews expected to save Israel. The Gospels refer to him not only as a Messiah but in the absolute form as “the Messiah” or, equivalently, “the Christ”. In early Judaism, this absolute form of the title is not found, but only phrases such as “his Messiah”. The tradition is ambiguous enough to leave room for debate as to whether Jesus defined his eschatological role as that of the Messiah.  The Jewish messianic tradition included many different forms, some of them focused on a Messiah figure and others not.  Based on the Christian tradition, Gerd Theissen advances the hypothesis that Jesus saw himself in messianic terms but did not claim the title “Messiah”.  Bart Ehrman argues that Jesus did consider himself to be the Messiah, albeit in the sense that he would be the king of the new political order that God would usher in,  not in the sense that most people today think of the term. Passover and crucifixion in Jerusalem. Around AD 30, Jesus and his followers traveled from Galilee to Jerusalem to observe Passover.  Jesus caused a disturbance in the Second Temple,  which was the center of Jewish religious and civil authority. Sanders associates it with Jesus’ prophecy that the Temple would be totally demolished.  Jesus had a last meal with his disciples, which is the origin of the Christian sacrament of bread and wine. Jesus’ words are recorded in the Synoptics and in Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians. The differences in the accounts cannot be completely reconciled, and it is impossible to know what Jesus intended, but in general the meal seems to point forward to the coming Kingdom. Jesus probably expected to be killed, and he may have hoped that God would intervene. The Gospels say that Jesus was betrayed to the authorities by a disciple, and many scholars consider this report to be highly reliable.  He was executed on the orders of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect of Judaea.  Pilate most likely saw Jesus’ reference to the Kingdom of God as a threat to Roman authority and worked with the Temple elites to have Jesus executed.  The Sadducean high-priestly leaders of the Temple more plausibly had Jesus executed for political reasons than for his teaching.  They may have regarded him as a threat to stability, especially after he caused a disturbance at the Second Temple.  Other factors, such as Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, may have contributed to this decision.  Most scholars consider Jesus’ crucifixion to be factual, because early Christians would not have invented the painful death of their leader. The Resurrection of Christ from a 16th-century manuscript of La Passion de Nostre Seigneur. After Jesus’ death, his followers said he rose from the dead, although exact details of their experiences are unclear. According to Sanders, the Gospel reports contradict each other, which, according to him, suggests competition among those claiming to have seen him first rather than deliberate fraud.  On the other hand, L. Michael White suggests that inconsistencies in the Gospels reflect differences in the agendas of their unknown authors.  The followers of Jesus formed a community to wait for his return and the founding of his kingdom. Main article: Portraits of the historical Jesus. Modern research on the historical Jesus has not led to a unified picture of the historical figure, partly because of the variety of academic traditions represented by the scholars.  Given the scarcity of historical sources, it is generally difficult for any scholar to construct a portrait of Jesus that can be considered historically valid beyond the basic elements of his life.  The portraits of Jesus constructed in these quests often differ from each other, and from the image portrayed in the gospels. Jesus is seen as the founder of, in the words of Sanders, a’renewal movement within Judaism. ” One of the criteria used to discern historical details in the “third quest is the criterion of plausibility, relative to Jesus’ Jewish context and to his influence on Christianity. A disagreement in contemporary research is whether Jesus was apocalyptic. Most scholars conclude that he was an apocalyptic preacher, like John the Baptist and Paul the Apostle. In contrast, certain prominent North American scholars, such as Burton Mack and John Dominic Crossan, advocate for a non-eschatological Jesus, one who is more of a Cynic sage than an apocalyptic preacher.  In addition to portraying Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet, a charismatic healer or a cynic philosopher, some scholars portray him as the true Messiah or an egalitarian prophet of social change.  However, the attributes described in the portraits sometimes overlap, and scholars who differ on some attributes sometimes agree on others. Since the 18th century, scholars have occasionally put forth that Jesus was a political national messiah, but the evidence for this portrait is negligible. Likewise, the proposal that Jesus was a Zealot does not fit with the earliest strata of the Synoptic tradition. Language, ethnicity, and appearance. Further information: Language of Jesus and Race and appearance of Jesus. Twelve depictions of Jesus from around the world. The ethnicity of Jesus in art has been influenced by cultural settings. As the biological son of David, Jesus would be of the Jewish race, ethnicity, nation, and culture.  One argument against this would be a contradiction in Jesus’ genealogies: Matthew saying he is the son of Solomon and Luke saying he is the son of Nathan – Solomon and Nathan being brothers. John of Damascus taught that there is no contradiction, for Nathan wed Solomon’s wife after Solomon died in accordance with scripture, namely, yibbum (the mitzvah that a man must marry his brother’s childless widow). Jesus grew up in Galilee and much of his ministry took place there.  The languages spoken in Galilee and Judea during the 1st century AD include Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek, with Aramaic being predominant.  There is substantial consensus that Jesus gave most of his teachings in Aramaic. Modern scholars agree that Jesus was a Jew of 1st-century Palestine.  Ioudaios in New Testament Greek[r] is a term which in the contemporary context may refer to religion (Second Temple Judaism), ethnicity (of Judea), or both.  In a review of the state of modern scholarship, Amy-Jill Levine writes that the entire question of ethnicity is “fraught with difficulty”, and that “beyond recognizing that’Jesus was Jewish’, rarely does the scholarship address what being’Jewish’ means”. The New Testament describes Jesus wearing tzitzit – the tassels on a tallit – in Matthew 14:36 and Luke 8:43-44.  Besides this, the New Testament gives no description of the physical appearance of Jesus before his deathit is generally indifferent to racial appearances and does not refer to the features of the people it mentions.  Jesus probably looked like a typical Jew of his time and according to some scholars was likely to have had a sinewy appearance due to his ascetic and itinerant lifestyle. Main article: Christ myth theory. The Christ myth theory is the hypothesis that Jesus of Nazareth never existed; or if he did, that he had virtually nothing to do with the founding of Christianity and the accounts in the gospels. [s] Stories of Jesus’ birth, along with other key events, have so many mythic elements that some scholars have suggested that Jesus himself was a myth.  Bruno Bauer (18091882) taught that the first Gospel was a work of literature that produced history rather than described it.  According to Albert Kalthoff (18501906) a social movement produced Jesus when it encountered Jewish messianic expectations.  Arthur Drews (18651935) saw Jesus as the concrete form of a myth that predated Christianity.  Despite arguments put forward by authors who have questioned the existence of a historical Jesus, there remains a strong consensus in historical-critical biblical scholarship that a historical Jesus did live in that area and in that time period. . Main article: Religious perspectives on Jesus. Apart from his own disciples and followers, the Jews of Jesus’ day generally rejected him as the Messiah, as do the great majority of Jews today. Christian theologians, ecumenical councils, reformers and others have written extensively about Jesus over the centuries. Christian sects and schisms have often been defined or characterized by their descriptions of Jesus. Meanwhile, Manichaeans, Gnostics, Muslims, Baha’is, and others have found prominent places for Jesus in their religions.  Jesus has also had detractors, both past and present. Main articles: Jesus in Christianity, Christ (title), and Christology. The Trinity is the belief in Christianity that God is one God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus is depicted with the Alpha and Omega letters in the catacombs of Rome from the 4th century. Jesus is the central figure of Christianity.  Although Christian views of Jesus vary, it is possible to summarize the key beliefs shared among major denominations, as stated in their catechetical or confessional texts.  Christian views of Jesus are derived from various sources, including the canonical gospels and New Testament letters such as the Pauline epistles and the Johannine writings. These documents outline the key beliefs held by Christians about Jesus, including his divinity, humanity, and earthly life, and that he is the Christ and the Son of God.  Despite their many shared beliefs, not all Christian denominations agree on all doctrines, and both major and minor differences on teachings and beliefs have persisted throughout Christianity for centuries. The New Testament states that the resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of the Christian faith (1 Corinthians 15:1220).  Christians believe that through his sacrificial death and resurrection, humans can be reconciled with God and are thereby offered salvation and the promise of eternal life.  Recalling the words of John the Baptist on the day after Jesus’ baptism, these doctrines sometimes refer to Jesus as the Lamb of God, who was crucified to fulfill his role as the servant of God.  Jesus is thus seen as the new and last Adam, whose obedience contrasts with Adam’s disobedience.  Christians view Jesus as a role model, whose God-focused life believers are encouraged to imitate. Most Christians believe that Jesus was both human and the Son of God.  While there has been theological debate over his nature, [t] Trinitarian Christians generally believe that Jesus is the Logos, God’s incarnation and God the Son, both fully divine and fully human. However, the doctrine of the Trinity is not universally accepted among Christians.  With the Protestant Reformation, Christians such as Michael Servetus and the Socinians started questioning the ancient creeds that had established Jesus’ two natures.  Nontrinitarian Christian groups include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,  Unitarians and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Christians revere not only Jesus himself, but also his name. Devotions to the Holy Name of Jesus go back to the earliest days of Christianity.  These devotions and feasts exist in both Eastern and Western Christianity. Main article: Judaism’s view of Jesus. See also: Jesus in the Talmud. Judaism rejects the idea of Jesus being God,  or a mediator to God, or part of a Trinity.  It holds that Jesus is not the Messiah, arguing that he neither fulfilled the Messianic prophecies in the Tanakh nor embodied the personal qualifications of the Messiah.  Jews argue that Jesus did not fulfill prophesies to build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:2628), gather Jews back to Israel (Isaiah 43:56), bring world peace (Isaiah 2:4), and unite humanity under the God of Israel (Zechariah 14:9).  Furthermore, according to Jewish tradition, there were no prophets after Malachi,  who delivered his prophesies in the 5th century BC. Judaic criticism of Jesus is long-standing. The Talmud, written and compiled from the 3rd to the 5th century AD,  includes stories that since medieval times have been considered to be defamatory accounts of Jesus.  In one such story, Yeshu HaNozri (“Jesus the Nazarene”), a lewd apostate, is executed by the Jewish high court for spreading idolatry and practicing magic.  The majority of contemporary scholars consider that this material provides no information on the historical Jesus.  The Mishneh Torah, a late 12th-century work of Jewish law written by Moses Maimonides, states that Jesus is a “stumbling block” who makes “the majority of the world to err and serve a god other than the Lord”. Medieval Hebrew literature contains the anecdotal “Episode of Jesus” (known also as Toledot Yeshu), in which Jesus is described as being the son of Joseph, the son of Pandera (see: Episode of Jesus). The account portrays Jesus as an impostor. Main article: Jesus in Islam. The name Jesus son of Mary written in Islamic calligraphy followed by Peace be upon him. A major figure in Islam,  Jesus (commonly transliterated as s) is considered to be a messenger of God (Allah) and the Messiah (al-Masih) who was sent to guide the Children of Israel (Bani Isra’il) with a new scripture, the Gospel (referred to in Islam as Injil).  Muslims regard the gospels of the New Testament as inauthentic, and believe that Jesus’ original message was lost or altered and that Muhammad came later to restore it.  Belief in Jesus (and all other messengers of God) is a requirement for being a Muslim.  The Quran mentions Jesus by name 25 timesmore often than Muhammadand emphasizes that Jesus was a mortal human who, like all other prophets, had been divinely chosen to spread God’s message.  While the Qur’an affirms the Virgin birth of Jesus, he is considered to be neither the incarnation nor the son of God. Islamic texts emphasize a strict notion of monotheism (tawhid) and forbid the association of partners with God, which would be idolatry.  Like all prophets in Islam, Jesus is considered a Muslim. The Quran describes the annunciation to Mary (Maryam) by an angel that she is to give birth to Jesus while remaining a virgin. It calls the virgin birth a miracle that occurred by the will of God.  The Quran (21:91 and 66:12) states that God breathed his spirit into Mary while she was chaste.  Jesus is called the “Spirit of God” because he was born through the action of the Spirit,  but that belief does not imply his pre-existence. To aid in his ministry to the Jewish people, Jesus was given the ability to perform miracles, by permission of God rather than by his own power.  Through his ministry, Jesus is seen as a precursor to Muhammad.  According to the Quran, Jesus was not crucified but was merely made to appear that way to unbelievers by Allah,  who physically raised Jesus into the heavens.  To Muslims, it is the ascension rather than the crucifixion that constitutes a major event in the life of Jesus.  Most Muslims believe that Jesus will return to earth at the end of time and defeat the Antichrist (ad-Dajjal) by killing him in Lud. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has several distinct teachings about Jesus. Ahmadis believe that he was a mortal man who survived his crucifixion and died a natural death at the age of 120 in Kashmir, India and is buried at Roza Bal. Bahá’í teachings consider Jesus to be a manifestation of God, a Bahá’í concept for prophetsintermediaries between God and humanity, serving as messengers and reflecting God’s qualities and attributes.  The Bahá’í concept emphasizes the simultaneous qualities of humanity and divinity; thus, it is similar to the Christian concept of incarnation.  Bahá’í thought accepts Jesus as the Son of God.  In Bahá’í thought, Jesus was a perfect incarnation of God’s attributes, but Bahá’í teachings reject the idea that “ineffable essence” of the Divinity was contained within a single human body because of their beliefs regarding “omnipresence and transcendence of the essence of God”. Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, wrote that since each manifestation of God has the same divine attributes, they can be seen as the spiritual “return” of all previous manifestations of God, and the appearance of each new manifestation of God inaugurates a religion that supersedes the former ones, a concept known as progressive revelation.  Bahá’ís believe that God’s plan unfolds gradually through this process as mankind matures, and that some of the manifestations arrive in specific fulfillment of the missions of previous ones. Thus, Bahá’ís believe that Bahá’u’lláh is the promised return of Christ.  Bahá’í teachings confirm many, but not all, aspects of Jesus as portrayed in the gospels. Bahá’ís believe in the virgin birth and in the Crucifixion,  but see the Resurrection and the miracles of Jesus as symbolic. See also: Criticism of Jesus. Enthroned Jesus image on a Manichaean temple banner from ca. In Christian Gnosticism (now a largely extinct religious movement),  Jesus was sent from the divine realm and provided the secret knowledge (gnosis) necessary for salvation. Most Gnostics believed that Jesus was a human who became possessed by the spirit of “the Christ” at his baptism. This spirit left Jesus’ body during the crucifixion, but was rejoined to him when he was raised from the dead. Some Gnostics, however, were docetics, believed that Jesus did not have a physical body, but only appeared to possess one.  Manichaeism, a Gnostic sect, accepted Jesus as a prophet, in addition to revering Gautama Buddha and Zoroaster. Some Hindus consider Jesus to be an avatar or a sadhu.  Paramahansa Yogananda, an Indian guru, taught that Jesus was the reincarnation of Elisha and a student of John the Baptist, the reincarnation of Elijah.  Some Buddhists, including Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, regard Jesus as a bodhisattva who dedicated his life to the welfare of people.  The New Age movement entertains a wide variety of views on Jesus.  Theosophists, from whom many New Age teachings originated,  refer to Jesus as the Master Jesus, a spiritual reformer, and they believe that Christ, after various incarnations, occupied the body of Jesus.  Scientologists recognize Jesus (along with other religious figures such as Zoroaster, Muhammad, and Buddha) as part of their “religious heritage”.  Atheists reject Jesus’ divinity, but have differing views on Jesus’ moral teachings. For example, Richard Dawkins has called him “a great moral teacher”. Main article: Depiction of Jesus. An ancient wall painting depicting Jesus. Jesus healing a paralytic in one of the first known images of Jesus from Dura Europos in the 2nd century. Some of the earliest depictions of Jesus at the Dura-Europos church are firmly dated to before 256.  Thereafter, despite the lack of biblical references or historical records, a wide range of depictions of Jesus appeared during the last two millennia, often influenced by cultural settings, political circumstances and theological contexts.  As in other Early Christian art, the earliest depictions date to the late 2nd or early 3rd century, and surviving images are found especially in the Catacombs of Rome. The depiction of Christ in pictorial form was highly controversial in the early church. [u] From the 5th century onward, flat painted icons became popular in the Eastern Church.  The Byzantine Iconoclasm acted as a barrier to developments in the East, but by the ninth century, art was permitted again.  The Protestant Reformation brought renewed resistance to imagery, but total prohibition was atypical, and Protestant objections to images have tended to reduce since the 16th century. Although large images are generally avoided, few Protestants now object to book illustrations depicting Jesus.  The use of depictions of Jesus is advocated by the leaders of denominations such as Anglicans and Catholics and is a key element of the Eastern Orthodox tradition. The Transfiguration was a major theme in Eastern Christian art, and every Eastern Orthodox monk who had trained in icon painting had to prove his craft by painting an icon depicting it.  Icons receive the external marks of veneration, such as kisses and prostration, and they are thought to be powerful channels of divine grace.  The Renaissance brought forth a number of artists who focused on depictions of Jesus; Fra Angelico and others followed Giotto in the systematic development of uncluttered images. Before the Protestant Reformation, the crucifix was common in Western Christianity. It is a model of the cross with Jesus crucified on it. The crucifix became the central ornament of the altar in the 13th century, a use that has been nearly universal in Roman Catholic churches since then. Jesus appears as an infant in a manger (feed trough) in Christmas creches, which depict the Nativity scene.  He is typically joined by Mary, Joseph, animals, shepherds, angels, and the Magi.  Francis of Assisi (1181/821226) is credited with popularizing the creche, although he probably did not initiate it.  The creche reached its height of popularity in the 17th and 18th centuries in southern Europe. Main article: Relics associated with Jesus. The Shroud of Turin (Italy) is the best-known claimed relic of Jesus and one of the most studied artifacts in human history. The total destruction that ensued with the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70 made the survival of items from 1st-century Judea very rare and almost no direct records survive about the history of Judaism from the last part of the 1st century through the 2nd century. [v] Margaret M. Mitchell writes that although Eusebius reports (Ecclesiastical History III 5.3) that the early Christians left Jerusalem for Pella just before Jerusalem was subjected to the final lock down, we must accept that no first hand Christian items from the early Jerusalem Church have reached us.  Joe Nickell writes, as investigation after investigation has shown, not a single, reliably authenticated relic of Jesus exists. However, throughout the history of Christianity a number of relics attributed to Jesus have been claimed, although doubt has been cast on them. The 16th-century Catholic theologian Erasmus wrote sarcastically about the proliferation of relics and the number of buildings that could have been constructed from the wood claimed to be from the cross used in the Crucifixion.  Similarly, while experts debate whether Jesus was crucified with three nails or with four, at least thirty holy nails continue to be venerated as relics across Europe. Some relics, such as purported remnants of the Crown of Thorns, receive only a modest number of pilgrims, while the Shroud of Turin (which is associated with an approved Catholic devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus), has received millions,  including popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. List of founders of religious traditions. List of people who have been considered deities. List of books about Jesus. List of people claimed to be Jesus. First Council of Nicaea 325 A. Voting About God in the Early Church Councils by Ramsay MacMullen, Yale University Press, 2006. The item “UNUSUAL Antique JESUS Christ Ghostly Image Just FOUND Like Shroud of Turin” is in sale since Monday, March 11, 2019. This item is in the category “Collectibles\Religion & Spirituality\Christianity\Other Christian Collectibles”. The seller is “dalebooks” and is located in Rochester, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.
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