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Monday, January 28, 2019

Jesus is never called Christ

The most ancient dated Christian inscription (Oct. 1, 318 A.D.) runs "The Lord and Saviour Jesus the Good"— Chrestos, not Christos. This was the legend over the door of a Marcionite Church, and the Marcionites were Anti-Jewish Gnostics, and did not confound their Chrestos with the Jewish Christos (Messiah)

But even so we are confronted with the difficulty that according to the received tradition the Christian Christ was never at Rome, and did not survive to the reign of Claudius. Moreover, if it be argued that Suetonius does not employ the phrase "impulsore Chresto" literally, but intended it to carry a metaphorical meaning, even so we have to remember that Christos does not necessarily refer to Jesus. Christos is simply the Greek for the Hebrew Messiah , the "anointed," and at this period there were many claiming to be this "anointed." The reference may then be simply to a Messianic riot of some sort among the Jews. 
-- Did Jesus Live 100 B.C.? by G. R. S. Mead
Early Christian writers almost uniformly spelled the name of Christ, not "Christos" (the Anointed), but "Chrestos." Chrestos was a Pagan name given to the judge of Hades or the lower world. 
-- The Christ, John E. Remsberg

In the Synoptic Sayings Source [
Q source], "Christological titles for Jesus are strikingly absent [scholar-speak for 'Jesus is never called Christ']" 
-- Helmut Koester, Introduction to the New Testament, vol 2, History and Literature of Early Christianity

The Greeks used both the word Messias (a transliteration) and Christos (a translation) for the Hebrew Mashiach (Anointed). The word Christos was far more acceptable to the pagans who were worshiping Chreston and Chrestos. 

According to Realencyclopaedie, the inscription Chrestos is to be seen on a Mithras relief in the Vatican. According to Christianity and Mythology, Osiris, the Sun-deity of Egypt, was reverenced as Chrestos. In the Synagogue of the Marcionites on Mount Hermon, built in the third century A.D., the Messiah's title is spelled Chrestos. According to Tertullian and Lactantius, the common people usually called Christ Chrestos.

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