Ancient/Classical History/Jesus Christ



I have heard that long ago in the past people didn't have last names. So why is Jesus called Jesus Christ. Isn't Christ his last name?


Hi A.J.,

Thank you for this question. As far as I know, the use of commonly past down surnames did not exists in ancient Israel when Jesus was alive. The use of surnames is a relative new thing from what I understand. Surnames came into use in Britain about 600 or 700 years ago.

Christ is not Jesus' last name. Christ is the title that the followers of Jesus applied to his name. It comes from a Greek word that means anointed. It is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Meshiach, which means Messiah or anointed one. Jesus followers called him Christ because they believed that he was the long awaited Jewish Messiah.

I hope this helps

Thank you  

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Alex Gorecki


I am knowledgeable about Ancient History. But my expertise in this category is mostly in Biblical and Church History from Antiquity.


Mostly in Biblical and Church History from Antiquity.

I hold a BA and an MA in History from a State University in New England.

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