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10 surprising facts about Jesus we’ve had wrong all these years

10 surprising facts about Jesus we’ve had wrong all these years

By Jeff A. Benner

10. Jesus was not only descended from the kings of Israel, but also from the priests of Israel.

According to the geneology of Matthew chapter 1, Jesus was a descendent of King David and therefore a descendent of the kingly line, but few realize that he was also a descendent of the priestly line as well. There was in the days of Herod, king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abijah: and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth (Luke 1:5). Elisabeth was the cousin of Mary, Jesus’ mother. While Jesus is descended from the Kingly line through his father, he is also descended from the priestly line through his mother.

9. Jesus was not an only child.

According to Mark 6:3 Jesus had many brothers and sisters. Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended in him.

8. Jesus spoke Hebrew, not Greek.

According to Josephus, a Jewish historian who lived during the time of Jesus, Jews hated all things Greek, including the language. In fact, during the Maccabean revolt, observant Jews killed Jews that learned the Greek language and culture. While it has been assumed in the past that Hebrew ceased to be a spoken language of the Jews long before Jesus, recent archaeological evidence shows that the Hebrew language was still used by the Jews in Israel into the second century AD.

7. The term "son of man" describes Jesus’ messiah-ship, not his humanity.

Many assume that the phrase "son of God" refers to Jesus’ messiahship, but in truth, this phrase is used for all of God’s children (see John 1:12). The phrase "son of man" is frequently found in the Bible and is a generic term for "man" (see Ezekiel 2:1). However, in Daniel 7:13 we find something unique. one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven This verse, like much of the book of Daniel, was written in Aramaic, not Hebrew. The Hebrew term for "son of man" is ben adam, but in Aramaic it is bar enosh. This is the only verse in all of the Bible that uses the phrase bar enosh. When Jesus referred to himself as the "son of man," he did not use the Hebrew "ben Adam," but the Aramaic "bar enosh," identifying himself as the "son of man" that will come with the clouds of heaven.

6. Jesus wore a tallit, not a Roman toga.

Almost without fail, every image of Jesus has him dressed in a roman toga, which Jews did not wear. All male Jews wore a four-cornered garment with a fringe on each corner in obedience to God’s command in Numbers 15:38. We know that Jesus wore this garment based on what we read in Matthew_9:20. And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem (Greek: kraspedon=fringe) of his garment.

5. More than three wise men came to see Jesus.

Every nativity scene of Jesus’ birth has three wise men, but nowhere in the Bible does it identify how many wise men came to see Jesus. Many assume three because there were three gifts (gold, frankincense and myrrh). Matthew 2:1 only tells us that "wise men" came from the east. People did not travel in small groups in those days due to predators and raiders. It was more likely that a very large contingent of wise men, and soldiers, traveled from the east to see Jesus. In addition, these wise men were not Persians, as often assumed, but were in fact Jews. When the Israelites were taken into captivity and removed from the land of Israel, hundreds of years before Jesus, they were all taken to the "east." When the Jews were allowed to return to Israel years later, only a small group did so and the majority remained in the "east."

4. Jesus ate lamb not ham.

Leviticus chapter 11 identifies all of the animals God allowed the Israelites to eat. They were only allowed to eat animals that chew the cud and have a split-hoof, which would include cattle, goats and sheep. Leviticus 11 disqualifies swine, which do have a split-hoof, but do not chew the cud. Jesus, as an observant Jew, would have followed these dietary requirements.

3. Jesus’ last words on the cross were not Eli Eli Lama Sabach’tani.

In Matthew 27:46, the phrase Eli Eli Lama Sabach’tani is the last recorded words of Jesus, but his last words must have been sh’ma Yisra’el Yahweh eloheynu, Yahweh ehhad (Hear, O, Israel, Yahweh is our God, Yahweh is One (Deuteronomy 6:4). According to Jewish tradition, the words of Deuteronomy 6:4 should be the final words of every Jew before death and we can be sure that these were the last words of Jesus, a devout Jew, on the cross.

2. Jesus was probably a stone mason, not a carpenter.

In Mark 6:3 Jesus is identified, in most translations, as a carpenter. However, the Greek word tekton more generically means a "craftsman." This word can be used for one who works with wood (carpenter), metals (smith) or stone (mason). Wood was scarce in Israel at this time, but stone was very plentiful. More than likely, Jesus was a mason, not a carpenter.

1. Jesus’ real name is not Jesus.

Jesus’ original name was Yehoshua (Joshua). When this name was transliterated into Aramaic it became Yeshua (see Ezra 2:2, which is written in Aramaic). Then, when transliterated into Greek it became Iesou(s) (see the name "Joshua" in Exodus 17:9 in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament). When this was transliterated into Latin it became "Jesus."

Ancient Hebrew Alphabet and Language

Related Pages by Jeff A. Benner

ExplainingExplaining an apparent contradiction in Matthew 21:16 (Article)
Matthew 21:16 quotes Psalms 8:2(3), but there appears to be a contradiction in the two passages.

TheThe Holy Assembly and the Everlasting Covenant (Website)
Mr. Benner's online book following the covenant God made with Israel from its inception in the book of Genesis and into the New Testament.

HowHow To: New Testament Greek to Hebrew (Video)
I am going to begin this instruction by examining John 1:1 in eSword, a free Bible program that works amazingly well.