The Christian faith grew out of the long-held Jewish belief in the Messiah, a powerful king who would rise to lead the Jewish people to greatness.
In the early 1st century CE, the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish teacher and healer in Roman-occupied Palestine, believed him to be the Messiah and the Son of God. His popularity led some Jewish religious leaders and the Roman regional government to have him arrested and executed. Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead three days later, appearing to a few of his followers before returning to his divine origins.
Christians revere not only the Jewish Bible, called the Old Testament, but also the New Testament, a collection of books and letters. Stories of Jesus's birth, teachings, and death appear mainly in four books known as the Gospels, written by different authors from 30 to 100 years after Jesus' death.