Discover seven surprising facts about Jesus—His birth, title, crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, and first-century life in Judea. You will uncover numerous facts about Jesus that will showcase points of interest about our redeemer. These astounding facts about Jesus will be of news to you, and you will unravel some unfamiliar realities about the Messiah.
Jesus is the most influential figure in history and the greatest human who ever lived. However, very little is known about His life on Earth though He has been written about, painted, and sung to more than any other person in the world.
The gospels do not offer a complete account of Christ’s life on this planet. However, recent archaeological discoveries and historical research have given the world sufficient information to keep pondering over His life. Moreover, many facts about Jesus are hidden in the gospels, which even devout Christians are not aware of.
Many so-called scholars publish articles on Jesus Christ, which are based on pure speculation and fantasy. This is a humble attempt to counter the weird claims about the life of the Son of the Living God. What we know about Jesus has been known for the past two millennia. We are just uncovering the real story of the elusive Jesus Christ, who came to save us and walked in our shoes, understanding our struggles and pain.
Table of Contents
- 1 Who is Jesus?
- 2 7 Stunning Facts About Jesus Christ
- 2.0.1 Jesus Was Born in B.C. (Earlier Than People Thought) and Not A.D.
- 2.0.2 Jesus Was not Born on December 25th
- 2.0.3 Jesus was not Born in a Stable
- 2.0.4 Who is Messiah? — Christ is Not the Last Name of Jesus … It’s a title
- 2.0.5 Supernatural Phenomenon of Three Hour Darkness During Jesus’ Crucifixion
- 2.0.6 Unusual Burial and Jesus’ Tomb was Triple Protected
- 2.0.7 The Resurrection Was Physical
Who is Jesus?
Jesus Christ was more than simply a great teacher. He is the Messiah of Israel and anointed Savior of the World. He is the Son of the Living God, and He came into the world to save sinners. He radically changed the course of history through His death and resurrection. Christ is the way to a true and meaningful relationship with God the Almighty Father.
7 Stunning Facts About Jesus Christ
We cover seven astounding facts about Jesus Christ: Jesus Was Born in B.C. (Earlier Than People Thought) and Not A.D., Jesus Was not Born on December 25th, Jesus was not Born in a Stable, Christ is Not the Last Name of Jesus … It’s a title, Supernatural Phenomenon of Three Hour Darkness During Jesus’ Crucifixion, Unusual Burial and Jesus’ Tomb was Triple Protected, and the Resurrection Was Physical.
Facts About Jesus Christ #1
Jesus Was Born in B.C. (Earlier Than People Thought) and Not A.D.
History is divided into B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (anno Domini or in the year of the Lord), referring to the birth of Jesus Christ. However, most historians put the date of Jesus’ birth sometime between 6 B.C. and 2 B.C. Jesus was not born in 1 A.D. This happened due to the miscalculation made by the sixth-century monk, Dionysius Exiguus, which resulted in the date shift to A.D. Incidentally, Dionysius, a Scythian monk, was the inventor of the modern calendar.
From the writing of Roman historians, we know that Herod the Great, King of Judea, died about 4 B.C. Jesus was born when Herod was alive. The king ordered the execution of all male children two years old and under in Bethlehem and its vicinity, in a desperate attempt to kill the Messiah after he was outwitted by the Magi (Matthew 2:16).
Moreover, the census that took place while Quirinius was the governor of Syria (Luke 2:2) most probably happened about 6 B.C. This event is linked to the birth of Christ as Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to register, and Mary was expecting a child (Luke 2:1-5).
Another reason for putting the date of the birth of Jesus between 6 B.C. and 2 B.C. is that many scholars believe that Jesus began His ministry on Earth between 27-29 A.D. when He was around 30 years old (Luke 3:23).
Whatever the date might be between 6 B.C. and 2 B.C., Jesus is the only true Savior who came to this world to redeem us from death and destruction and give us eternal life.
Facts About Jesus Christ #2
Jesus Was not Born on December 25th
Christians all around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th; however, the exact day of Christ’s birth is unknown. The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336 A.D., during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine, who was the first Christian Roman Emperor. Early Christian leaders such as Hippolytus and John Chrysostom began observing the birth of Jesus on this date. Over time, it became the accepted date for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.
Another possible theory of why the early Christians chose December 25th, is because the Jewish Festival of Lights called the Festival of Hanukkah, fell on 25 to 30 Kislev, which is the third month of the civil and ninth of the religious year. It corresponds with parts of November and December.
Many experts question the veracity of this date and express doubt that the shepherds would be out with their flocks in the field at night during the coldest time of the year. As December is cold and rainy in Judea, the shepherds would have sought shelter for their sheep at night. Traditionally, the shepherds in this region send their sheep to the field from the spring until the beginning of October. Additionally, Roman censuses were not taken during the winter as temperatures often dropped below freezing, and the roads were in miserable condition.
Though the Bible does not give any specific date regarding the time of the year Jesus was born, the Gospel of Luke indirectly suggests that Jesus may have been born in the early fall.
John’s father, Zechariah, belonged to the priestly division of Abijah (Luke 1:5), which was the eighth of the 24 divisions which King David (according to God’s instructions) had set up to service the Temple (1 Chronicles 24:1-19; 1 Chronicles 28:12-13). The descendants of the sons of Eleazar and Ithamar, the two sons of Aaron, were divided into 24 groups (courses) and a schedule was set up for the priests to service the temple all through the year. Each course served for one week (2 Chronicles 23:8, 1 Chronicles 9:25), from Sabbath to Sabbath, twice a year.
The Hebrew calendar comprises 12-lunar months of 29 or 30 days, totaling 354 days. A normal Jewish year consists of a total of 51 weeks, requiring Temple service of 24 courses for two times per year plus three weeks of Pilgrim Feasts.
John’s father, Zechariah, served in the Jerusalem temple during the 8th course (course of Abijah), which was from May 19th to May 26th. An angel appeared to Zechariah when he was on duty and was serving as a priest before God. Zechariah was shocked and gripped with fear. The angel announced that his wife will bear a son, and he has to call him John.
Since Zechariah did not believe what the angel said, he was unable to speak. This immediately disqualified him from his priestly duties (Leviticus 21:16-23), and, therefore, he left for home sometime between May 26th and June 1st, when Elizabeth would have conceived. Nine months later brings us to the beginning of March, which is the most likely time for John the Baptist’s birth. This would place the birth of Jesus six months later (Luke 1:26-38) in the first half of September, as John the Baptist was six months older (Luke 1:24-36) than Jesus.
Facts About Jesus Christ #3
Jesus was not Born in a Stable
The birth of Jesus Christ is the most famous Bible story of all. Every year during Christmas, nativity scenes are set up in churches and homes across the world. According to tradition, Jesus was born in a stable, because there was no room at the inn.
However, the truth is different. According to biblical and archaeological experts, Jesus was presumably born in the house of Joseph’s relatives as it is unthinkable that Joseph would not have been welcomed by the relatives of his ancestral place.
Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem and would have most likely found the family guest room filled with other relatives, who would have arrived before them. Hence, they would have been forced to stay in the lower room of the house where the animals were kept at night. These rooms had hollows in the ground and were filled with straws to feed the animals. In those days, animals were kept inside the house to protect them from the elements and theft. Moreover, this room would have had a manger, or feeding trough, which Mary would have used as a crib.
Joseph and Mary would not have stayed in an inn, because first-century Palestine customs indicate that people stayed with relatives and not strangers.
The word used in this context for “Inn” in Luke 2:7 is the Greek word kataluma, which means a spare room or guest room in a private house. Luke uses the same word to describe the upper room where Jesus and his disciples ate the last supper. Moreover, the Gospel of Luke never mentions the words stable or innkeeper in the narration of Jesus’ birth. However, in the story of the Good Samaritan, Luke uses the word pandocheion, which refers to a public lodging house or inn where all travelers (strangers) were received but had no separate rooms.
So we infer that Jesus was not born in a stable, but in the lower floor of a peasant house.
Facts About Jesus Christ #4
Who is Messiah? — Christ is Not the Last Name of Jesus … It’s a title
“Christ” is not the last name of Jesus, but it is a title that comes from a Greek word “Christos” meaning “Anointed One.” Christos is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word “Mashiach” meaning “Messiah”. Unlike modern times, during the time of Jesus, the people of Palestine used only one name and did not have last names. Their first name was followed either by the phrase “son of . . . ” or the person’s hometown. This is why we see Jesus often identified by referencing His parents (Mark 6:3 and John 6:42) or referred to as Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 21:11).
Christ the title given to Jesus in due course became part of His name. The Greek word “Christos” has an interesting background. Originally used as an adjective simply meaning “anointed,” it developed into a term meaning “the anointed (chosen) one” in the Old Testament. While between the testaments, it was used to denote a person that the Almighty Father promised to send to save His people. In the New Testament, it referred to Christ, who was God’s Son and the Savior of humanity. He was anointed with oil (Matthew 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9; Luke 7:36–50; John 12:1–8) and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16,17).
The word Christ also has a long and interesting history. The Jewish people were anxiously looking for a king send by God to rule the entire world. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for this king was Messiah. However, the Jewish people misunderstood what the Messiah was coming to do. They believed that the Messiah would set up a kingdom on earth and deliver them from their Roman rulers. However, Christ came to deliver humanity from their terrible bondage of sin, as predicted in Genesis 3:15. The profile of the Messiah is also described in the psalms of David (Psalm 16; 22; 45; 110) and the prophecies of Daniel (Daniel 9).
Titles describe the jobs of people or help explain what they do or who they are. The title Christ describes and honors Jesus as the Chosen One and the Son of God (John 1:41) (Matthew 16:16) (Luke 4:41), who came to deliver people from destruction and set captives free. The term “Christ” became so closely associated with the followers of Jesus that eventually we became known as “Christians.”
Facts About Jesus Christ #5
Supernatural Phenomenon of Three Hour Darkness During Jesus’ Crucifixion
The two momentous events in the life of Jesus Christ are the crucifixion and resurrection. They reconcile us to our Creator and promise us eternal life. Our Christian faith hangs on these two incidents.
The Passover festival celebrates God’s deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt through the blood of a lamb. Jesus died around 3 PM, the same time Passover lambs were slaughtered in the Temple (Exodus 12:5-6, Matthew 27:45, John 19:30). Our Savior was both the spotless red heifer sacrificed outside the camp to purify people from sin (Numbers 19:1-10, Hebrews 13:11-12), and the Passover Lamb sacrificed to save his people from death (Exodus 12:13, Isaiah 53:7, 1 Peter 1:19). Jesus was the Lamb of God who took away the sins of humanity (world) (John 1:29).
It took Jesus six hours to die after He was hung on the cross. Since the Romans considered it too gruesome to crucify someone in town, they made people carry their cross to the outskirts of town. In Christ’s case, it was Golgotha (Aramaic: “Skull”) also called Calvary meaning bald head or skull in Latin, which is a skull-shaped hill in Jerusalem. The word “crucifixion” means “fixed to a cross.” and the Romans considered crucifixion as the cruelest and most terrifying of punishments.” Death by crucifixion was one of the gruesome ends the Romans handed out to slaves and those challenging Roman authority.
A sign was put up over Jesus’ head “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS”, written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin (John 19:20), which explained the charges against Jesus (Matthew 27:37).
When Jesus was crucified, the skies darkened for three hours while He hung on the cross (Luke 23:44-45). According to recent research, experts using astronomy have pinpointed this event to a one-minute 59-second total solar eclipse, which occurred in 29 A.D. Some historians assert that Jesus did not die in 29 A.D., so the solar eclipse that year is not related to His death. Some scholars argue that the darkness that descended during the Crucifixion was too long to be a solar eclipse, which lasts only a few minutes. Other researchers believe that it might be a partial eclipse, which can last for three hours.
Other scholars state that the fourteenth of Nisan (7th April) of the year 30 A.D. is the most likely date of the crucifixion of Jesus. Using astronomical data, physicists Humphreys and Waddington have calculated that when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judaea (26–36 A.D.), the celebration of a Friday Passover on 14 Nisan would have to be on April 7th, A.D. 30.
However, some thinkers put forth the argument that 31 A.D. is the year of the death of our Lord based on the 70-weeks prophecy of Daniel 9. 31 A.D. falls in the middle of the final prophetic week between 27 A.D. and 34 A.D. Moreover, the year 27 A.D. is considered the year of the baptism of Jesus (Luke says that Jesus was baptized when He was about 30 years old, and Matthew and Mark say that He was born during the reign of Herod the Great, who died about 4 B.C., which could lend to a baptism date of 27 A.D.), and our Redeemer’s earthly ministry was for three and a half years, which makes 31 A.D., the year of the crucifixion.
Jesus was crucified on “the day of Preparation” (John 19:31), which is the Friday before the Sabbath of Passover week (Mark 15:42). The night before, on Thursday evening, Jesus had the Passover meal with the Twelve (Mark 14:12), the “Last Supper.”
Other academics argue that there must have been something that caused the sun to stop shining.
The feast of the Passover always occurred at the full moon of the Jewish month of Nisan. In other words, an eclipse cannot occur during the Passover because the moon is on the wrong side of the earth to block out the sun. (An eclipse is an occurrence when the moon hides the light from the sun.)
A pagan Roman historian, probably a Samaritan, Thallus, wrote in 52 A.D about the crucifixion darkness. The later historian, Julius Africanus, wrote, “Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away the darkness [at Jesus’ death] as an eclipse of the sun” In addition, a Greek historian, Phlegon, also noted the same darkness saying that there was the greatest eclipse of the sun and that it became night in the sixth hour of the day, which is noon. Phlegon wrote from Bithynia, an ancient region of Anatolia in Asia Minor, which is about a thousand miles north of Jerusalem.
Did the darkness cover the whole earth or only in the areas around Jerusalem? It may have been a global phenomenon for which we have not found any conclusive historical evidence yet.
Theologians say that it also could have been a miraculous sign, heaven-sent darkness with the creation sympathizing with the Creator. There have been instances of darkness mentioned in the Holy Bible. Darkness is a sign of God’s punishment and judgment showing us that we have done wrong. There was darkness in Egypt for three days during the plagues (Exodus 7:21-23) God sent to Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to free Israelite slaves. The Almighty sometimes uses physical signs (Joel 2:30,32, Amos 5:18, Revelation 6:12-17). Jesus was bearing the sins of humanity on the cross and suffered on behalf of them, taking on the judgment they deserve, until His death.
Facts About Jesus Christ #6
Unusual Burial and Jesus’ Tomb was Triple Protected
When Jesus died, the thick woven curtain veil in the Temple, which separated the holy place from the holiest of holies (Exodus 26.33), where God’s presence and the ark of the covenant dwelt, tore from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51) and not from the bottom up where a man could have torn it. The holiest of holies is a room where the High Priest could enter only once a year.
At the same time, there was a massive earthquake, and the rocks split (Matthew 27:51). In the history of Israel, earthquakes go hand in hand with divine acts of God, such as when the Creator gave His Law to the Prophet Moses on Mt. Sinai. (Exodus 19:18). Another spectacular thing that happened was that the graves opened, and the bodies of ancient Jewish saints who had fallen asleep were raised (Matthew 27:52).
The burial of Jesus was unusual. Usually, people who were crucified were not buried but left in a rubbish dump to be eaten by hyenas and dogs. However, Joseph of Arimathea (a Sadducee) acted swiftly and personally approached Pilate, the Roman Prefect of Judea, asking for permission to take away the body of Jesus (John 19:38). He was a secret disciple of Jesus as he feared the Jewish leaders. He along with Nicodemus, a Pharisee, who brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, wrapped the body of Jesus in spices and laid Him in a brand new tomb. The men who buried Jesus belonged to the group known as Sanhedrin that condemned him.
The chief priests and the Pharisees knew that Jesus claimed he would rise in three days after His death. So they made sure that none of His followers steal His body and claim that He had risen from the dead. They advised Pilate to have multiple levels of protection to keep the body completely safe from stealing (Matthew 27:62-66).
A large disk-shaped heavy stone was already placed in front of Jesus’ tomb by Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man. The stone weighed between 1 and 2 tons (the weight of a modern car). It would require several men to put it in place as usually the place in the front of the tomb was sloped. Removing it is much more difficult because the stone would have to roll uphill. Few men could not have secretly rolled the stone away without alerting the guards.
A guard was placed in front of the tomb as per the instruction of Pilate. It is not sure whether they used Roman guards or Jewish Temple guards. Pilate asked the Jewish leaders to make the tomb as secure as they know. Guards who fell asleep or walked away from their posts had to face severe repercussions (death penalty by crucifixion). They would not have left their post without divine intervention.
A Roman seal was put on the stone, which served as a warning that the contents belonged to the Roman Empire, and anyone caught breaking such a seal would likely suffer crucifixion. According to new research, there was an “Edict of Caesar” during this period that prohibited the disturbance of graves and demanded that body-snatchers be charged with the capital offense of tomb-robbing.
It was nearly impossible for anyone to get near the body. It is clear in the Book of Acts, the Romans never suggested that the body was stolen.
Facts About Jesus Christ #7
The Resurrection Was Physical
The timing of the resurrection was remarkable. During the Passover festival, the lambs were sacrificed on the 14th day of the month. The Jews observed the Feast of First Fruits two days later to experience God’s redemption and be witnesses to humanity. According to the Jewish calendar, a new day begins when the sun sets, not when it rises. Jesus arose on the third day, the same day as the First Fruits, which reinforces the verses in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23. The resurrection of Jesus Christ confirmed His victory over sin and death.
The tomb where Jesus was buried was not empty after the resurrection. The Gospel of John says that the grave clothes of Jesus were still in place (John 20:6-7). It is very clear that if grave robbers have taken the body, they would not have laid out the strips of linen, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head so carefully. It was as if Jesus’ body was lifted right out of them.
The Chief Priests and the Elders, when they came to know about the resurrection incident from the guards, they did not dispute the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. However, they gave the guards (note here that they had posted more than one guard) a large sum of money, asking them to report to people that Jesus’ disciples came during the night and stole his body away while they were sleeping. So, the guards took the money and spread this false news among the Jews.
There were more than 500 eye-witness accounts, which saw our Savior within 40 days after His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:6). The truth of resurrection made the Early Christians fearless, and they endured great persecution and died gory deaths for their faith.
The resurrection of Jesus was physical. Some scholars suggest that the resurrection of Jesus was only a spiritual resurrection and not a physical (bodily) resurrection. However, it is a fact that His actual body was raised from the dead. He told His disciples that He is not a spirit and He has flesh and bones and encouraged them to touch Him (Luke 24:38–39). Later when Thomas doubted, Jesus urged him to see His hands and touch the wounds in His body and stop doubting and believe (John 20:27).
Moreover, to confirm His physical resurrection, Jesus ate in their presence a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb (Luke 24:42–43). Paul stressed in 1 Corinthians 15 that Jesus was raised in a physical body.
The physical resurrection of Jesus is the most important event in the history of the world, providing irrefutable evidence that Jesus is the Son of the Only True God.
These facts about Jesus looked at some compelling details of Jesus’ life with the historical proof of the Biblical accounts. This comprehensive collection of unknown facts about Jesus would surely kindle your interest in knowing more about our Savior. The story of Christ is itself breathtaking, and these facts about Jesus further round out who the Lamb of God was.
These facts about Jesus will get you through the tough times in life as you have come to know about God’s infinite love for us since He sent His only Begotten Son to suffer for us and save us from the power of death. Knowing these facts about Jesus will keep you on the track of spirituality, peace, happiness, and love. There are thousands of things to know about our Lord, but for now, these seven facts about Jesus show His magnificence, power, and glory.
Are you intrigued by or desire to know more about Jesus, his life, and his teachings or any aspect of His life on earth? Check our series of articles on Jesus Christ that are both comprehensive and easy to understand.