Jump to content

Jesus Or Christ?


GeorgeW
 Share

Recommended Posts

I see both the words 'Jesus' and 'Christ' used in this forum. I know this is a little nit picking, but are they used interchangeably or to deliberately convey different ideas?

 

'Jesus' is, of course, a man's name where 'Christ' is his title. One can use 'Jesus' in simply referring to the historical person where 'Christ,' at least in my mind, is a theological statement about the status of the person, i.e. anointed by God. Sometimes, I hear preachers use 'The Christ' apparently to emphasize that Jesus is not only anointed by God, but is the single anointed one.

 

Sometimes, I see 'Christ' used by participants in this forum who, I don't think, intend this meaning. I would be interested in how others use the words and if any distinction is intended.

 

George

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just speaking for myself, George, and without making a hard, fast rule, I generally use "Jesus" or "Jesus of Nazareth" to refer to the historical person that, I believe, existed 2000 years ago. And then I use the term "Christ" to refer to the mythological entity that the church created around Jesus of Nazareth who is often thought to be either God himself or so transcendant as to exist in spirit form today.

 

Generally, I don't see much continuity between the Christ of Christianity and the Jesus of history. Traditionally, Christ is the second person of the trinity who came to die for our sins in order to take us to heaven when we die if we trust in his sacrifice. For me, Jesus is the enlightened teacher anointed by God who came to show us how to live self-sacrificing lives for the good of ourselves, others, and our world here and now. Put crassly, the Christ of the church, according to the creeds, was born of a virgin, never taught us anything of value, and then died and rose again in order to save us. What is important is his death and resurrection, not his message or his life. For Jesus, his message was his life and was more important than his life, or even his death.

 

So in my journey, I no longer need Christ to save me from hell, but I do find value in Jesus as my brother to show me how to live.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use them interchangeably more than I should.

 

I would like to think I use the name Jesus when I am discussing an individual and his teachings, and Christ more when I'm talking about the individual's divinity and role in redeeming the world. I'd like to think that, but I can't claim that confidently.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George,

 

To me, Christ is more a title that was applied to Jesus, the man. It means anointed of God as to the idea of being smeared together with God in the Greek or in simpler terms to be one with God as in connected. And yes i would say we are all connected, only some of us may not have realized that yet. Christ could be synonymous with the word Buddha which as you may know means "awakened one". Neither one being limited to one man in my view. To me, our being is in Christ, not Jesus the man, who was in the flesh as you and i. Essentially, in Christ, all things move and have their being.

 

Speaking for myself,

Joseph

 

P.S. Good question George. I think that some use the word Jesus as synonymous to Christ. What that person sees in the word 'Jesus' may be more than a name representative of a man in the flesh. Perhaps, they are being used to convey different ideas and perhaps not? Perhaps, only the person using his/her chosen word may know for sure?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see both the words 'Jesus' and 'Christ' used in this forum. I know this is a little nit picking, but are they used interchangeably or to deliberately convey different ideas?

 

Calling the main character in the Gospels Jesus is conveying an idea. So, I don't really believe it is relevant whether someone uses Christ or Jesus - they are referring to the same character in the New Testament, namely; the Messiah as foretold in the Tanakh.

 

According to the story, angels tell both Mary and Joseph to name their child Jesus, "because he will save his people from their sins." Jesus is the Greek spelling (without the "j" of course) of Joshua, which is roughly translated as "savior."

 

However, I think that people who identify more with the salvation theme of Jesus will use "Christ" to emphasize the preordained, or anointed nature of the Christian faith.

 

Humanists who emphasize the works and philosophy of Jesus tend to not add Christ (in my non-scientific analysis :) ), as do I.

 

NORM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I generally use Jesus, and I suppose, given my convictions, should probably be called a "Jesusian" rather than a Christian. W Philosophically, words like Christ, Lord, and Savior tend to elicit a less than positive response in me. On the other hand, there have been so many people through history who do use those words, and whose actions in response to whatever they believe about them has demonstrated such a commitment to peace and justice, that I feel compelled to take them and the words very seriously. So I can live with the word Christ, but don't use it much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Jesus is the Greek spelling (without the "j" of course) of Joshua, which is roughly translated as "savior."

 

NORM

 

You are right, it is a shortened form of the Hebrew name for Joshua (Yehoshu'a). His name is close to Yeshu'a (there is one segment we don't have in English). Several years ago, I traced the pronunciation from Hebrew to Modern English. There were nine changes, five of which occurred in English alone (from Old English to Early Modern English). As a result, not a single sound segment remains the same. He wouldn't have a clue who we were addressing when we say 'Jesus.'

 

George

Edited by GeorgeW
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I generally use Jesus, and I suppose, given my convictions, should probably be called a "Jesusian" rather than a Christian. W Philosophically, words like Christ, Lord, and Savior tend to elicit a less than positive response in me. On the other hand, there have been so many people through history who do use those words, and whose actions in response to whatever they believe about them has demonstrated such a commitment to peace and justice, that I feel compelled to take them and the words very seriously. So I can live with the word Christ, but don't use it much.

 

I too use 'Jesus' referring to the historical person. The title 'Christ,' to me is a theological determination (i.e. messiah, savior) that I am not able to make with conviction. (But, I don't object to it and respect those who do use it.)

 

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are right, it is a shortened form of the Hebrew name for Joshua (Yehoshu'a). His name is close to Yeshu'a (there is one segment we don't have in English). Several years ago, I traced the pronunciation from Hebrew to Modern English. There were nine changes, five of which occurred in English alone (from Old English to Early Modern English). As a result, not a single sound segment remains the same. He wouldn't have a clue who we were addressing when we say 'Jesus.'

 

That's interesting, George, especially considering the amount of reverance and appeal to authority that many Christians give to "the name of Jesus."

 

Also, doesn't the Bible say that messiah was actually supposed to be named 'Emmanuel'? Matthew 1:23?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's interesting, George, especially considering the amount of reverance and appeal to authority that many Christians give to "the name of Jesus."

 

Also, doesn't the Bible say that messiah was actually supposed to be named 'Emmanuel'? Matthew 1:23?

 

Yes, the name game continues! I believe this portion of Matthew was added in order to jibe with the messianic prophecy of Isaiah:

 

isa7-14.jpg

Transliteration: hinneh ha'almah harah veyoledet ben; veqara't shemo 'immanu 'el

 

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The young woman (ha'almah) will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. - Isaiah 7:14

 

Of course, I've given the translation found in most Jewish Tanakhs.

 

Christian Bibles typically translate ha'almah as "virgin." I'm guessing this translation came about around the time of the invention of the immaculate conception story, since the context of the scripture doesn't indicate the sexual purity of the young woman one way or the other.

 

When converting to Judaism, I asked about these things and was taken very painstakingly through learning Hebrew with emphasis on Isaiah and the other prophets.

 

And then they asked me why I wanted to give up membership in the most exclusive club on the planet in exchange for one of the most despised. B)

 

NORM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service