New Testament view on Jesus' life
The four canonical gospels of the New Testament are the primary sources of information for the doctrinal Christian narrative of Jesus' life. There is not a single New Testament "view" of Jesus' life, the four gospels tell different but dependent stories. There is wide consensus among contemporary critical scholars that Mark is the earliest written gospel, dating to around 55, that the authors of Matthew and Luke had copies of Mark when they wrote, and adapted Mark for their purposes, and that John, written last, had knowledge of the other three. It has been the work of Christian apologists since Tatian to blend the four books into a coherent account, Tatian's work was the Diatessaron, a "Gospel harmony," or synthesis, of the four New Testament Gospels into a combined narrative of the life of Jesus. Ephrem the Syrian referred to it as the Evangelion da Mehallete ("The Gospel of the Mixed"). This article comes from that synthetic tradition.
In all four gospels, Jesus conducted a miraculous ministry, leads a circle of disciples, draws the ire of religious authorities, is crucified, and rises from the dead. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the Synoptic Gospels, portray Jesus as the Son of God, a healer and exorcist who told parables about the Kingdom of God and coming Judgment. Jesus' identity as the Messiah is kept secret, except to chosen disciples. For example, the current generation was denied any sign in Mark, or given only the Sign of Jonah in Matthew and Luke. John portrays Jesus as the physical incarnation of the Logos, or Divine Word. John's Jesus tells no parables, demonstrates his divine identity with seven signs, and speaks at length about himself. John makes no direct reference to the synoptic concept of a coming judgment.
Genealogy and family
The Gospels give two different accounts of Jesus' genealogy through Joseph. Both accounts trace his line back to King David and from there to Abraham. These lists are identical between Abraham and David, but they differ between David and Joseph. Matthew starts with Solomon and proceeds through the kings of Judah to the last king, Jeconiah. After Jeconiah the line of kings terminated when Babylon conquered Judah. Thus, Matthew presents Jesus as the heir to the throne of Israel. Luke's genealogy is longer than Matthew's; has more names between David and Jesus, and traces the line back to Adam, the traditional first human being.
A well in Nazareth, reputedly where Jesus' family drew water during his childhood.
Joseph is not mentioned in Mark, the earliest Gospel; there Jesus is referred to as 'the son of Mary.' With Jesus commending Mary into the care of the beloved disciple during his crucifixion; later Christian tradition suggested that he had died by the time of Jesus' ministry. Both Matthew 13:55–56 and Mark 6:3 tell of Jesus' relatives. Mark 6:3 reports that those hearing Jesus asked, "Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph,[a] Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, mentions at 1:19 that "I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord's brother." The first-century Jewish historian Josephus also describes James the Just as "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ," though this passage has been suggested as an interpolation (see Josephus on Jesus). Additionally, the Christian historian Eusebius (who wrote in the 4th century but quoted earlier sources that are now lost) refers to James the Just as Jesus' brother (see Desposyni). However, Epiphanius argued that they were "Joseph's children by his (unrecorded) first wife", while Jerome argued that they were "Jesus' cousins". The Greek word adelphos in these verses is translated as brother in many Bible translations. However, the word can refer to any familial relation, and Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions, along with certain other Christians, contend, in accordance with their belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary, that the correct translation of adelphos is kinsman and suppose it to refer to cousins or at most half-brothers.
The Gospel of Luke states that Mary was a relative of Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, though the exact relationship is unspecified and may be an invention of the author of the Gospel..