His real name was Yeshua of Nazareth, the name Joshua being the closest translation into English. He was given the title "christ" by his followers. Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word "messiah", which in turn means "annointed one". This was assigned to him because he was thought by his followers to be a messiah sent by God to bring about the "Kingdom of God"--the independent Jewish state. He was one of many military messiahs at the time who fought against the Roman occupation of Judea and failed. Most likely born of an affair between a Roman soldier and a Jewish woman and put to death for inciting a riot. According to the gospels, he attacked licensed business men at the temple during Passover with a whip. These business men were changing the currency for Jews that were traveling from other parts of the Empire so that they could buy sacrifices and fulfill their religious obligations. This terrorist assault was probably fueled by Jewish upset with a tax the Romans had placed on the temple that went to the construction of public facilities in Judea--such as the aqueduct and the roads. The Roman soldiers were at red alert during Passover, when Jews from all over the Empire pilgrimaged to the Jewish temple in Judea, as assaults such as this were likely to invoke a riot that would get many innocent people killed. The penalty for this was, quite reasonably, death by crucifixion--one was whipped, hung naked on a cross by the road to humiliate one and so others would see what would happen if they tried to invoke a riot, and denied a Jewish burial--having one's body thrown to dogs and wild animals to rip apart and devour totally. Contrary to popular belief, Jesus never claimed to be God. The term "Son of God" was used by many to refer to individuals that had a special covenant with God. The term "Son of Man" was an idiomatic and common Jewish expression at the time that essential meant "I" or "this man" and was the equivalent of saying "my/his father's son." The act of forgiving others their sins was performed by rabbis, who were no more asserting themselves to be God than Catholic priests are during Confession. If people were upset at him doing this, it was because he was asserting that he had the authority of a rabbi, though he had not been approved by the temple. More radical claims about his divinity are found in John, but this was the last of the gospels, and if you put the works of the Bible in the order they were written (Note: this is different than the order in which they are presented in the Bible. Paul's works were written first, then Mark, then Matthew, then Luke, then John) you can actually see the story evolving--with each step new miracles are added and old miracles are made more miraculous and the claims about Jesus become bolder. This is the general way in which tall tales work. Jesus's alleged powers were derived from Pagan God-Men such as Mythra and Horus. The story of Jesus's life as described in the Bible shares 200 points of similarity with the story of Horus's life--and Horus's story was formed and circulated hundreds of years before Jesus was allegedly born. The alleged teachings of Jesus closely match those of the famous Jewish religious leader Hillel the Elder who lived one or two generations before Jesus was born. After Jesus's execution his followers continued in his tradition, lead by his brother James, until they were destroyed along with other rebel groups and the Jewish Temple in 70 CE as the Romans crushed the Jewish rebellion. The view of Jesus as a spiritual redeemer was made possible after the more spiritual (as opposed to militant) and universal (as opposed to Jewish) version of Christianity preached by Paul (who never met the pre-crucifixion Jesus but claimed to have received a vision of Jesus resurrected), and opposed by James and Jesus’s followers, was all that remained. The war with the Romans that left the Jewish (and true) Christians destroyed allowed the seeds that Paul had planted to take root and take over. A militant messiah was no longer practical, so a peaceful messiah was created to appease the Romans and gain influence over them economically and culturally.
Jesus Christ--the religion based on him taught the world despair and taught life to hate itself.