18 Of The Biggest Misunderstandings About Jesus

SharePinEmailJesus showed us how to live through his words and his actions. The Bible tells us that Jesus expressed unconditional love to others and was willing to take a stand on what he knew was right. But many misconceptions about Jesus tend to repeatedly arise. Here are some of the most common misunderstandings about Jesus…

Jesus showed us how to live through his words and his actions. The Bible tells us that Jesus expressed unconditional love to others and was willing to take a stand on what he knew was right. But many misconceptions about Jesus tend to repeatedly arise.

Here are some of the most common misunderstandings about Jesus that need to be debunked.

We Must Always Forgive

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It is commonly believed that Jesus said we must always forgive. The Bible says God forgives if we forgive others and to forgive if they repent. While forgiveness is a hugely important part of Christianity, it does not mean that Christians enable people to get away with doing bad things. Jesus’s teaching of love is linked to his teaching of forgiveness but more so that people should make a conscious effort to let go of feelings that bear a grudge against another person.

Jesus Was Born on December 25th

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It is drilled into us from an early age that Jesus Christ was born on December 25th. There is not however any evidence that proves he was born on Christmas Day. Instead, the date is likely to have derived from the Pagan festivals in Europe that take place on December 25th and may have been intended to replace the Roman Saturnalia festival.

Jesus Was Visited by Three Wise Men at Birth

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Another popular nativity misconception is that three wise men visited Jesus when he was born. But according to the Bible, men came to adore him after seeing ‘his star in the east.’ The actual number of men who visited him was not disclosed. The reference was made in Chapter 2 of the Gospel of Matthew, which does not refer to them as ‘wise men’ or ‘kings.’

Jesus Had Hair and a Beard

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We commonly associate Jesus as having long hair and a bushy beard, as the drawings we have seen of Jesus virtually all our lives, present him in this way. But early Christians showed Jesus as looking like any other man, with short hair and no beard.

Jesus Was a Pushover

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There tends to be a belief that Jesus was a gentle, tender and warm ‘pushover,’ who walked with a lamb around his neck. But according to John 6:66, he did not shy away from defending what the truth was, even when “many of his disciples drew back and no longer walked with him.”

There Was Only Four Gospels

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The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, also known as the ‘canonical gospels,’ are considered to be the most authentic and historically accurate gospels. But there were in fact around 60 gospels written about the life, work and messages of Jesus.

Jesus Went by the Name of Jesus

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Jesus was definitely called Jesus, right? Not necessarily. Jesus in Hebrew was “Yeshua,” which translates into Joshua in English. But, as we know of Jesus through English translations of the Greek New Testament, we refer to him as “Jesus.”

Jesus Was Politically Motivated

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There can be a tendency to use verses in the Scripture and images of Jesus to promote particular political agendas. But the message of Christ was based on freedom, which transcends any contemporary school of political thought.

Jesus Was Married

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The belief that Jesus was married is another misconception, as there is no record in the Bible or in any historical account that Jesus ever married.

Jesus Was a Peacemaker

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Jesus is commonly depicted as the model peacemaker.  Isaiah 9:6 wrote: “For a Child Is Born to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.” But there is some conflicting information about whether Jesus was a true peacemaker. As Luke 12:51 said Jesus said: “Think ye, that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, no; but separation.” Matthew 10:34 put it even more clearly: “Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword.”

The Death of Jesus was a Defeat

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The crucifixion of Jesus Christ is often thought to be a failure and one that showed weakness. But in Christian theology, in leading to redemption and the salvation of humanity, Jesus’s crucifixion on the cross was a triumph over sin and death.

Jesus Was an Antisemite

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There is a belief that Jesus exhibited dislike towards Jewish people. But he was Jewish himself and so were his early followers, and there is little to suggest that Jesus was an antisemite.

Jesus Carried Out Miracles for His Own Gain

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There are several accounts that Jesus performed miracles, such as raising the dead and healing the sick. Some believe that Jesus performed such miracles for his own personal gain. But the broader message of Christianity, is that these miracles were acts of compassions and showed Jesus’s divine authority.

Jesus Founded Christianity

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Jesus might the most dominant figure in the Christian faith, but he did not found Christianity. Instead, the religion was formed after his death and resurrection.

Jesus Studied with Buddhist Monks in India

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There is a belief that before he started preaching in Galilee, Jesus went to India, in what is commonly referred to as the ‘lost years.’ However, no evidence suggests the trip happened, and the ‘lost years’ are exactly that, lost as there is no information about what happened to Jesus during that time.

Jesus Intentionally Started a New Religion

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Jesus was born a Jew and remained a Jew throughout his life. It was not until after his death that Christianity was formed, and, rather than starting a new religion, his teachings were to bring people back to God.

Jesus Was Solely A moral Teacher

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Rather than being solely a moral teacher, for Christians, Jesus was the Son of God and Savior of the world.

Jesus Was Rich

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Jesus was not born into wealth, despite popular belief. He came from a humble, working-class family, and his teachings were centered on simplicity and looking after the marginalized and poor.  

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