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The Life of Jesus (Abridged)

What we know of Jesus' life comes almost exclusively from the four "gospels" of the Christian New Testament. Each is of interest on its own, and a great deal of scholarship has examined them in close detail and compared them carefully with each other.

For purposes of a general course on comparative religion or on the ethnography of Christianity, it is useful to have a general familiarity with the life of Jesus as the four books collectively represent it. The files linked to this page extract brief passages from the four gospels, roughly in chronological order. I have added titles describing the content, using terms often used in titles of western paintings of these subjects. The translation is from The New American Bible, the full text of which is available on-line (link). (Caution: There is more than one translation with this name.)

The selection of extracts largely follows Eleonore Beck 1997 Dio parolas al siaj infanoj: bibliaj tekstoj Estella, Navarra (Spain): Editorial Verbo Divino.




Chapter 1 The Annunciation
Chapter 2 Joseph’s Dream
Chapter 3 The Nativity & the Adoration of the Shepherds
Chapter 4 Adoration of the Magi
Chapter 5 The Flight Into Egypt & the Massacre of the Innocents

Chapter 6 Jesus With the Teachers in the Temple
Chapter 7 John the Baptist
Chapter 8 The Baptism of Jesus
Chapter 9 Jesus Teaches in the Synagogue
Chapter 10 Fishers of Men

Chapter 11 Healing the Lame
Chapter 12 The Twelve Apostles
Chapter 13 The Beatitudes
Chapter 14 Other Teachings
Chapter 15 The Lord’s Prayer

Chapter 16 Raising the Dead
Chapter 17 Calming the Sea
Chapter 18 The Feeding of the Five Thousand
Chapter 19 The True Bread of Life
Chapter 20 The Messiah

Chapter 21 The Transfiguration
Chapter 22 Parable: The Good Samaritan
Chapter 23 Parable: The Separating the Sheep From the Goats
Chapter 24 Parable: The Rich Man’s Bounty
Chapter 25 Parable: The Lost Sheep

Chapter 26 Parable: The Good Shepherd
Chapter 27 Parable: The Prodigal Son
Chapter 28 Parable: The Beggar Lazarus and the Rich Man
Chapter 29 Parable of the Tax Collector
Chapter 30 The Little Children

Chapter 31 Healing the Blind Man
Chapter 32 The Salvation of Zacchaeus
Chapter 33 The Entry into Jerusalem
Chapter 34 The Betrayal of Judas
Chapter 35 The Last Supper

Chapter 36 The Foot Washing
Chapter 37 The Prayer in the Garden & the Kiss of Judas
Chapter 38 The Three Denials of Peter
Chapter 39 Jesus Before the Council of Elders
Chapter 40 Jesus Before Pilate

Chapter 41 The Crucifixion
Chapter 42 The Descent From the Cross
Chapter 43 The Empty Tomb
Chapter 44 The Apparition in Emmaus
Chapter 45 The Apparition in Jerusalem

Chapter 46 Making Disciples of All Nations
Chapter 47 The Ascension
Chapter 48 The Gift of Tongues at Pentecost