Jesus of Nazareth also known as Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, which views him as the Messiah foretold in the old testament, and within which most denominations recognize him as the son of God and as God incarnate. The principal sources of information regarding Jesus' life and teachings are the four canonical gospels, especially the Synoptic Gospels, though some scholars argue that other texts (such as the Gospel of Thomas) are as relevant as the canonical gospels to the historical Jesus. Most critical scholars in the fields of history and biblical studies believe that some parts of the new testament are useful for reconstructing Jesus' life, agreeing that he was a Jew who was regarded as a teacher and healer.
They also generally accept that he was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman Prefect of Judaea, Pontius Pilate, on the charge of sedition against the Roman Empire. Aside from these few conclusions, academic studies remain inconclusive about the chronology, the central message of Jesus' preaching, his social class, cultural environment, and religious orientation. Scholars offer competing descriptions of Jesus as the awaited Messiah, as a self-described Messiah, as the leader of an apocalyptic movement, as an itinerant sage, as a charismatic healer, and as the founder of an independent religious movement.
The four canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are the main sources for the christian biography of Jesus' life as the miraculous son of God. Critical scholars find valuable historical information about Jesus' life and ministry in the synoptic gospels but more or less discount much of the miraculous and theological content. The Gospels (especially Matthew) present Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection as fulfillments of prophecies found in the Hebrew Bible.