Religious perspectives on Jesus is the specific significance some religions place on Jesus. The two largest world religions, Christianity and Islam, consider Jesus to have been an important holy figure. In Christianity, Jesus is generally thought to have divine attributes as the son of God and the Messiah. In Islam, Jesus is considered one of God's most important prophets. Most other religions' views on him range from considering him simply a man (mainstream Judaism) to an enlightened teacher (Buddhism). Others see him as an ordinary human being, although one of the most influential people in history (Atheism), (Agnosticism), (Humanism). Others concerned with the historicity of Jesus question if he existed at all.
Few of the non-Christian sources of Jesus' life have survived. This is mainly due to the fact that Christians had no use for these hostile (to their beliefs) sources, and usually only referenced them in order to refute them. Enough has survived, however, to form some idea of what non-Christian believed about Jesus in antiquity. In Judaism, the concept of Yeshu may refer to Jesus in a derogatory light. The texts attributed to Josephus (Josephus on Jesus) and Tacitus (Tacitus on Christ) are controversial, as there is considerable doubt about their authenticity.
According to the Greek philosopher Celsus, Jesus was the son of a Roman soldier named Panteras, who had had an affair with Mary. The text states the following in translation: "Mary was turned out by her husband, a carpenter by profession, after she had been convicted of unfaithfulness. Cut off by her spouse, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard." The 3rd-century church father Origen found this story to be of sufficient importance to go to the pains of arguing against it in his book against Celsus. Tertullian also found the story important enough to offer a heavy handed criticism of the assertion. Furthermore, in the Acts of Pilate it is asserted that a majority of the Jews believed that Jesus was born of fornication. 
The Talmudic tradition believed that a man who is referred to as Ben-Stada (whom Talmudic commentators equate with the 'son of Pandira') "on account of his poverty was hired out to go to Egypt; that while there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing." According to the Talmud, Ben-Stada learned magic in Egypt and performed his miracles by means of it. Furthermore, it goes on to state that Ben-Stada cut the magic formulas into his skin. Another story is preserved in the Toledoth Yeshu. This document asserts that when Jesus was expelled from the circle of scholars, he is said to have returned secretly from Galilee to Jerusalem, where he inserted a parchment containing the "declared name of God" ("Shem ha-Meforash"), which was guarded in the Temple, into his skin, carried it away, and then, taking it out of his skin, he performed his miracles by its means. This magic formula then had to be recovered from him, and Judah the Gardener (a personage of the "Toledot" corresponding to Judas Iscariot) offered to do it; he and Jesus then engaged in an aerial battle (borrowed from the legend of Simon Magus), in which Judah remained victor and Jesus fled. The Christian writer, Jerome, mentions the accusations of magic that were frequently brought against Jesus. 
Though Christian views of Jesus vary, it is possible to describe a general majority Christian view by examining the similarities between specific Western Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and many Protestant doctrines found in their catechetical or confessional texts. This view, given below as the Principal view, does not encompass all groups which describe themselves as Christian, with other views immediately following.
Christians profess that Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament, who, through his life, death, and resurrection, restored humanity's communion with God in the blood of the New Covenant. His death on a cross is understood as the redemptive sacrifice: the source of humanity's salvation and the atonement for sin which had entered human history through the sin of Adam.
Trinitarian Christians profess Jesus to be GodIncarnate (God who took on human nature and human flesh, the second person of the Holy Trinity), who came to earth to savehumanity from sin and death through the shedding of his own blood in sacrifice, and who returned from the dead to rejoin his Father in Heaven. They profess Jesus to be the only Son of God, the Lord, and the eternal Word (which is a translation of the GreekLogos), who became man in the incarnation, so that those who believe in him might have eternal life. They further hold that he was born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit in an event described as the miraculous virgin birth or Incarnation. In his life Jesus proclaimed the "good news" (Middle English: gospel; Greek: euangelion) that the coming Kingdom of Heaven was at hand, and established the Christian Church, which is the seed of the kingdom, into which Jesus calls the poor in spirit. Jesus' actions at the Last Supper, where he instituted the Eucharist, are understood as central to communion with God and remembrance of Jesus' sacrifice.
Christians also profess that Jesus suffered death by crucifixion, and rose bodily from the dead in the definitive miracle that foreshadows the resurrection of humanity at the end of time, when Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead, resulting in either entrance into heaven or damnation. The resurrection is perhaps the most controversial aspect of the life of Jesus. Christianity hinges on this point of Christology, both as a response to a particular history and as a confessional response. Christians believe that Jesus’ resurrection brings reconciliation with God (II Corinthians 5:18), the destruction of death (I Corinthians 15:26), and forgiveness of sins for followers of Jesus.
The satisfaction view of atonement for sin, first articulated by Anselm of Canterbury, is that humanity owes God a debt of honor. This debt creates essentially an imbalance in the moral universe; it could not be satisfied by God's simply ignoring it. In this view, the only possible way of repaying the debt was for a being of infinite greatness, acting as a man on behalf of men, to repay the debt of honor owed to God. Therefore, when Jesus died, he paid a debt to God, his father. Thomas Aquinas consider atonement and articulated that rather than seeing the debt as one of honor, he sees the debt as a moral injustice to be righted. Aquinas concludes that punishment is a morally good response to sin, "Christ bore a satisfactory punishment, not for His, but for our sins," and substitution for another's sin is entirely possible. Protestant and many non-Protestant Christians generally believe that faith in Jesus, not good works, is the only way to receive salvation and to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, and that salvation is a gift given by the grace of God. However, it is made clear in most denominations that good works alone will never be good enough for one to enter into heaven.
Christianity has undergone several divisions, as reflected in the many different Christian denominations, but there are several beliefs which are common to believers in the divinity of Jesus. In the beginning of the second century, the Roman official and writer, Pliny the Younger (63 - ca. 113), stated that Christians were "singing responsively a hymn to Christ as to god" (carmenque Christo quasi deo dicere secum invicem). Between 325 and 681, Christians theologically articulated and refined their view of the nature of Jesus by a series of seven ecumenical councils (see Christology). These councils described Jesus as one of the three divine hypostases or persons of the Holy Trinity: the Son is defined as constituting, together with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, the single substance of the One God (see Communicatio idiomatum). Furthermore, Jesus is defined to be one person with a fully human and a fully divine nature, a doctrine known as the Hypostatic union. However, the Oriental Orthodoxy, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Church of the East & Abroad do not accept the hypostatic union.
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke suggest the virgin birth of Jesus. Barth speaks of the virgin birth as the divine sign "which accompanies and indicates the mystery of the incarnation of the Son." Donald MacLeod gives several Christological implications of a virgin birth: it highlights salvation as a supernatural act of God rather than an act of human initiative, avoids adoptionism (which is virtually required if a normal birth), and reinforces the sinlessness of Christ, especially as it relates to Christ being outside the sin of Adam (original sin).
Jesus Christ, the Mediator of humankind, fulfills the three offices of Prophet, Priest, and King. Eusebius of the early church worked out this threefold classification, which John Calvin developed and John Wesley discussed.
Some groups identifying themselves as Christian, generally considered to be outside mainstream Christian thought, including Jehovah's Witnesses, Unitarians and Christian Scientists, believe Jesus was divinely inspired, but not God incarnate. Christian Scientists distinguish between Jesus the human, and the Christ (the manifestation of God) that they believe was shown forth in Jesus' life. Consequently, for Christian Scientists, Jesus the Christ may be considered as either human or divine (or both) depending on the perspective from which he is regarded.
There are differing views within Christian groups as to whether or not Jesus ever claimed to be God. The majority of Christians hold that the Bible shows Jesus both as divine, and claiming divinity. Many modern scholars, however, argue that Jesus did not, in fact, make any such claims, either directly or indirectly; John Hick contends that there is general agreement among scholars today that Jesus did not claim to be God: "such evidence as there is has led the historians of the period to conclude, with an impressive degree of unanimity, that Jesus did not claim to be God incarnate,"
This dispute is also sometimes reflected in the rejection of the common Christian doctrine of the trinity. Unitarianism is Christian belief in only one God, not in the differing aspects of God represented by the trinity—Unitarian Universalism, while no longer strictly unitarian, nor even necessarily Christian, derives partly from this belief. Less common is Binitarianism, belief in the divinity of both the Father and the Son, but not in the Holy Spirit.
Some groups, such as the Christadelphians, Jehovah's Witnesses and Christian Scientists, interpret the Bible as teaching that Jesus is the Son of God, but not necessarily God himself. These Christians believe that Jesus was divinely inspired, but not God incarnate.
Swedenborgians (members of the New Church) believe that Jesus is God incarnate, but not a separate person from the Father; the Father is in the Son like the soul in the body.
Adherents to Judaism do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and reject all claimed Messiahs, holding that the world is not redeemed yet and thus the Messianic Era has not begun. Mainstream Jewish movements reject such beliefs on the grounds that:
The many Biblical prophecies regarding the Messiah, such as his bringing the Jews back to the Land of Israel, causing peace on earth, bringing back the dead, having all people know God, and ruling from his throne in Jerusalem, have not been fulfilled.
According to the New Testament, Jesus was killed. In Laws of Kings 11:4, Maimonides rules concerning one who is killed that "it is certain that he is not the one whom the Torah has promised."
Jewish religious leaders and authorities view teachings attributed to Jesus as a variant of the beliefs held by Essenes and Pharisees at his time. They note that the reported life of Jesus is largely consistent with that of a devout Jew and nationalist insurgent at the time of the Second Temple. While early followers of Jesus may have belonged to a Jewish sect, it was the teachings of Paul that severed the relationship between Christianity and Judaism. Several practices in Christianity clearly derive from Judaism, but have taken on elements that are completely alien to Judaism.
Some attempts have been made to reconcile the apparent conflict between Jewish and Christian theological perspectives on the Messiah. Notable among these is the work of Franz Rosenzweig, who postulated that there is a dual covenant in which Christians have chosen a Messiah to convert out of the pagan world.
Some scholars believe that Jesus is mentioned as Yeshu in the Jewish Talmud, although others dispute this.
Israeli scholar Joseph Klausner insisted that Jesus should be viewed as an authentic Jewish teacher.
In Islam, Jesus is known as Isa and is one of God's highest-ranked and most-beloved prophets, specifically sent to guide the Children of Israel.
Unlike Christian writings, the Qur'an does not describe Jesus as the son of God, but as one of five major human prophets (out of many prophets) sent by God throughout history to guide mankind. It also states that Jesus' message to mankind was originally very similar to that of the other Islamic prophets, from Adam to Muhammad, but that it was subsequently distorted by early Christians. Jesus is said to have lived a life of piety and generosity, and abstained from eating flesh of swine (or of any animals, according to some Muslim authors, even some who were not vegetarians themselves). In the Muslim tradition, Jesus did not drink alcohol.
Muslims also believe that Jesus received a Gospel from God, called the Injeel and corresponding to the Christian New Testament. However, Muslims hold that the New Testament has been changed over time (as they also believe of the Old Testament) and does not accurately represent God's original message to mankind. Some Muslims accept the Gospel of Barnabas as the most accurate testament of Jesus, although the authenticity and date of this text is disputed in Islamic, Christian and secular academic circles.
However, the Qur'an and New Testament overlap in other aspects of Jesus' life; both Muslims and orthodox Christians believe that Jesus was miraculously born without a human biological father by the will of God, and that his mother, Mary (Maryam in Arabic), is among the most saintly, pious, chaste and virtuous women ever. The Qur'an also specifies that Jesus was able to perform miracles—though only by the will of God—including being able to raise the dead, restore sight to the blind and cure lepers. One miracle attributed to Jesus in the Qur'an, but not in the New Testament, is his being able to speak at only a few days old, to defend his mother from accusations of adultery. The Qur'an also says that Jesus was a 'word' from God, since he was predicted to come in the Old Testament.
Most Muslims believe that he was neither killed nor crucified, but that God made it appear so to his enemies. The Qur'an narrates that God made it appear so that Jesus was crucified to his enemies but he was not, and lived. According to Islam, Jesus ascended bodily to heaven and is alive. Some Muslim scholars (notably Ahmad Deedat) maintain that Jesus was indeed put up on the cross, but did not die on it—rather, he revived and then ascended bodily to heaven. Others say that it was actually Judas Iscariot who was mistakenly crucified by the Romans. Regardless, Muslims believe that Jesus is alive in heaven and will return to the world in the flesh with Imam Mahdi to defeat the Masih- aDajjal ("Deceiving Messiah"; the Antichrist in Islamic belief) once the world has become filled with sin, deception and injustice, and then live out the rest of his natural life.
Further information: Ahmadiyya
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, wrote in his book Jesus in India (April 1896) that Jesus survived the crucifixion and later travelled to India, where he lived as a prophet (and died) under the name of Yuz Asaf. Ahmad argued that when Jesus was taken down from the cross, he had lapsed into a state similar to Jonah's state of "swoon" in the belly of a fish Matthew 12:40 (see swoon hypothesis). A medicine known as Marham-e-IssaOintment of Jesus was applied to his wounds and he revived. Drawing from Biblical, Quranic and Buddhist scriptures, Ahmad wrote that Jesus appeared to Mary, his apostles and others with the same (not resurrected) human body, evidenced by his human wounds and his subsequent clandestine rendezvous over about forty days in the Jerusalem surroundings. The book uses historical documents to suggest Jesus' travel to Nasibain (Nisbis), Afghanistan and then to Kashmir in search of some of the lost tribes of Israel, who had supposedly settled in the east some 700 years prior.
Most Ahmadis also believe that references to the Second Coming of Jesus in religious scriptures are allegorical and refer to the arrival of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The Ahmadi view of Jesus is one of the main reasons why the movement is considered heretical by mainstream Muslims.
The most significant difference is that while Jesus is considered part of the Godhead and the son of God the Father, Jesus is identified with 'Jehovah', the God of the Old Testament. Jehovah is the creator of the universe, under the direction of God the Father. Most Christians identify the Old Testament God with God the Father, and consider him the creator.
Other beliefs which are more distinctive of Latter-day Saints teaching include:
A council of the Gods in premortal life planned the creation of the earth , and Jesus Christ as Jehovah was a part of this council. Jesus offered to come to earth to provide the way for the salvation and exaltation of as many of God the Father's spirit children as would follow Jesus through repentance and divine grace; those who make and keep covenants with Christ can become gods and goddesses in the celestial kingdom through the power of the atonement. Those who receive godhood through their faithfulness to Christ's teachings will be able to have spirit children in eternity the same way that God the Father does, becoming joint-heirs with Christ, receiving the fullness of knowledge, righteous power, joy and love that the Father and Christ enjoy.
After the Resurrection, Jesus visited the inhabitants of ancient America, as recorded in the Book of Mormon, and visited other lost tribes of Israel.
The Bahá'í Faith consider Jesus to be a manifestation of God. God is one and has manifested himself to humanity through several historic Messengers. Bahá'ís refer to this concept as Progressive Revelation, which means that God's will is revealed to mankind progressively as mankind matures and is better able to comprehend the purpose of God in creating humanity. In this view, God's word is revealed through a series of messengers: Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Bahá'u'lláh (the founder of the Bahá'í Faith) among them. In the Book of Certitude, Bahá'u'lláh claims that these messengers have a two natures: divine and human. Examining their divine nature, they are more or less the same being. However, when examining their human nature, they are individual, with distinct personality. For example, when Jesus says "I and my Father are one,", Bahá'ís take this quite literally, but specifically with respect to his nature as a Manifestation. When Jesus conversely stated "...And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me," Bahá'ís see this as a simple reference to the individuality of Jesus. This divine nature, according to Bahá'u'lláh, means that any Manifestation of God can be said to be the return of a previous Manifestation, though Bahá'ís also believe that some Manifestations with specific missions return with a "new name" and a different, or expanded purpose. Bahá'ís believe that Bahá'u'lláh is, in both respects, the return of Jesus.
Main article: Buddhism and Christianity
Traditionally, Buddhists as a group take no particular view on Jesus. However, recent historical findings and greater availability of translated Buddhist texts indicate possible influence on many of the major teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. Scholars have always noted the great many similarities between the life and teachings of Gautam Buddha and Jesus. These similarities might be attributed to Buddhist missionaries sent as early as Emperor Ashoka around 250 B.C.E. in many of the Greek Seleucid kingdoms that existed then and then later became the same regions that Christianity began.  To the extent that Buddhists and Christians were exposed to each other, individual Buddhists may have had positive or negative impressions of Jesus depending on their individual inclinations. In the modern era, as Buddhist-Christian contact increased dramatically (the Dalai Lama and the Pope have met frequently in the past decade), several Buddhist writers have tried to come to grips with the concept of Jesus. Some have gone so far as to describe him as a bodhisattva, a being committed to the redemption of all life. Specifically, comparisons are sometimes drawn between Jesus and Avalokiteśvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Others see parallels between Avalokiteśvara (who is sometimes portrayed as male and sometimes as female) and the Virgin Mary.
According to the Operating Thetan Level VIII materials authored by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and since publicly exposed, Jesus is revealed to have been a pederast known for expressions of hatred and violent emotional outbursts.
Hubbard described Scientology as "the Western Anglicized continuance of many earlier forms of wisdom", with the teachings of Jesus explicitly included among belief systems comprising those "earlier forms". Jesus is classified as below the level of Operating Thetan, but as a "shade above" the Scientology state of "Clear". His is also recognized as part of the Church's "religious heritage", though he "is seen as only one of many good teachers".
In the 2008 book Vintage Jesus: Timeless Answers to Timely Questions, authors Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears write: "According to Scientology, Jesus is an "implant" forced upon a Thetan about a million years ago", and Jack Huberman writes in 101 People Who Are Really Screwing America that in Scientology Jesus is seen as having been "implanted in humanity's collective memory", by the character from Scientology space opera, Xenu.
↑This section draws on a number of sources to determine the doctrines of these groups, especially the early Creeds, and various Confessions drafted during the Reformation including the Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England, works contained in the Book of Concord, and others.
↑Catechism of the Catholic Church §436–40; Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England, article 2; Irenaeus Adversus Haereses in Patrologia Graeca ed. J. P. Migne (Paris, 1857–1866) 7/1, 93; Luke 2:11; Matthew 16:16
↑Catechism of the Catholic Church §606–618; Council of Trent (1547) in Denzinger-Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum (1965) §1529;John 14:2–3
↑Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England, article 9; Augsburg Confession, article 2; Second Helvetic Confession, chapter 8; Rom 5:12–21; 1 Cor 15:21–22.
↑Catechism of the Catholic Church §456–460; Gregory of Nyssa, Orat. catech. 15 in Patrologia Graeca ed. J. P. Migne (Paris, 1857–1866) 45, 48B; St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 3.19.1 in ibid. 7/1, 939; St. Athanasius, De inc., 54.3 in ibid. 25, 192B. St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. in ibid. 57: 1–4; Galatians 4:4–5
↑Catechism of the Catholic Church §638–655; Byzantine Liturgy, Troparion of Easter; Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England, article 4 and 17; Augsburg Confession, article 3; Second Helvetic Confession, chapter 9.
↑Nicene Creed; Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England, article 1; Augsburg Confession, article 1; Second Helvetic Confession, chapter 3; Council of Nicaea I (325) in Denzinger-Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum (1965) §126; Council of Constantinople II (553) in ibid. §424 and 424; Council of Ephesus in ibid. §255; John 1:1; 8:58; 10:30
↑Catechism of the Catholic Church §464–469; Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England, article 2 and 3 Second Helvetic Confession, chapter 9; Council of Ephesus (431) in Denzinger-Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum (1965) §250; Council of Ephesus in ibid. §251; Council of Chalcedon (451) in ibid. §301 and 302; Hebrews 4:15.
↑ 48.048.1Rhodes, Ron; Lee Strobel (foreword) (2001). The Challenge of the Cults and New Religions: The Essential Guide to Their History, Their Doctrine, and Our Response. Zondervan. pp. 155, 164. ISBN0310232171.
↑Hutson, Steven (2006). What They Never Taught You in Sunday School: A Fresh Look at Following Jesus. Tate Publishing, LLC. pp. 57. ISBN1598863002.
↑Shellenberger, Susie (2005). One Year Devotions for Teens. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. pp. 189. ISBN0842362029.
↑Driscoll, Mark; Gerry Breshears (2008). Vintage Jesus: Timeless Answers to Timely Questions. Good News Publishers. pp. 14, 183. ISBN1581349750.
↑Huberman, Jack (2006). 101 People Who Are Really Screwing America. Nation Books. pp. 51. ISBN1560258756.
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