Although Christian views of Jesus vary, it is possible to summarize key elements of the shared beliefs among major denominations based on their catechetical or confessional texts. Christian views of Jesus are derived from various biblical sources, particularly from the canonical Gospels and New Testament letters such as the Pauline epistles. Christians predominantly hold that these works are historically true.
Those groups or denominations committed to what are considered biblically orthodox Christianity nearly all agree that Jesus:
- was born of a virgin
- is a human being who is also fully God
- did not sin
- was martyred and buried in a tomb
- rose from the dead on the third day
- eventually ascended back to God the Father
- will return to Earth.
Some groups which are considered to be Christian hold beliefs which are considered to be heterodox. For example, believers in monophysitism reject the idea that Christ has two natures, one human and one divine.
The five major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus are his baptism, transfiguration, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. These are usually bracketed by two other episodes: his nativity at the beginning and the sending of the Paraclete (Holy Spirit) at the end. The gospel accounts of the teachings of Jesus are often presented in terms of specific categories involving his "works and words", e.g., his ministry, parables and miracles.
Christians not only attach theological significance to the works of Jesus, but also to his name. Devotions to the name of Jesus go back to the earliest days of Christianity. These exist today both in Eastern and Western Christianity—both Catholic and Protestant.
Christians predominantly profess that through Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, he restored humanity's communion with God with the blood of the New Covenant. His death on a cross is understood as a redemptive sacrifice: the source of humanity's salvation and the atonement for sin which had entered human history through the sin of Adam.