A combination of Yeshua of Nazareth's (a.k.a. Jesus Christ's) personal teachings,
the teachings of Paul, the teachings about Jesus by his disciples and by
various groups in early Christianity, and the inclusion of Pagan Greek philosophy led to the development of the largest religion
in the world: Christianity.
About one in three humans worldwide identify themselves as a
Christian, This ratio is very slowly dropping, primarily due to the increase in the number of Muslims, Agnostics, Atheists, and "NOTAS". NOTAS is a term referring to "None Of The Above; persons who are not affiliated with any organized religion. Muslims are growing in number primarily because of their high birth rate. The number of Agnostics, Atheists, and "NOTAS"are increasing, particlarly in developed countries, because of disallusionment with organized religions.
About 70% of American adults identify
themselves as Christians -- a ratio which is still substantial, even though
it is dropping about 10 percentage points a decade. Part of the loss is due to individuals becoming NOTAs. Many youths are leaving their church in their late teens -- typically when they go off to college -- and never returning.
It is generally acknowledged that more books have been written about Jesus than about any other individual in history.
Even though our office library contains over 25 feet of books which deal entirely with Jesus, this is a
miniscule fraction of the books
written about Jesus during the past few decades.
As a newborn, Jesus was probably given the Hebrew name Yehoshua
or Yeshua. He might have been called Yeshu by his family and friends in
his home region of the Galilee. We will generally use Jesus
throughout this web site because this is the name with which most people are
most familiar and comfortable. We do acknowledge that some consider it disrespectful to call a person by a foreign translation
of his name. It is worth remembering that his family, friends, disciples and followers never called him Jesus.
We do occasionally use one of his actual names: Yeshua of Yeshua of Nazareth in our
Jesus has been arguably the most influential human in history. Christianity has generated enormous passion in people.
The approximate year of his birth divided history into the interval before his birth (BC and BCE) and the current era (AD and CE). The religion has given untold numbers of people hope for a life
beyond death. Christian beliefs have also motivated billions of people to commit innumerable selfless acts. However, this passion has sometimes motivated horrendous events up to and including attempted hate-based genocides
of entire people groups. Today, in much of the world, it has led to such widespread evils as anti-semitism, homophobia, and transphobia (hatred and oppression of Jews, of persons with a homosexual orientation, and of transgender persons.
In recent history, people have been slaughtered, in part:
Because they simply try to follow Jesus' teachings (as in
the past mass murder of Christians by the Muslim central government and Arab militias in the Sudan) and the recent atrocities by the Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS).
Because they followed the "wrong" denomination (as in Catholics and Protestants killing each other in Northern Ireland).
Because they added books to the Bible (as in American Protestants attacking Mormons during the 19th century in a small-scale genocide because they consider the Book of Mormon to be inspired by God.)
Because they were not Christians (as in the genocide of Muslims in Bosnia by members of the Serbian Orthodox church, and in Kosovo by the former Serbian Orthodox-affiliated government of Yugoslavia)
Because they were Christians (as the more limited mass murder of
Serbian Orthodox and Roman Catholics in Bosnia and Kosovo by Muslims) and extremely common harassment, attacks, murders, and mass murders elsewhere in the world; or
Because they belong to the same
Christian denomination but are of different ethnic backgrounds (as in the
genocide in Rwanda. mainly by Roman
Catholics exterminating other Roman Catholics).