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What did Jesus Really Look Like?


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 4 months ago '22        #1
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What did Jesus Really Look Like?
By Carl Seaver
When you close your eyes and imagine Jesus, what comes to mind? Most likely, itís a white man with long brown hair, a beard, and bright blue eyes. Maybe his arms are outstretched with the sleeves of his white robe hanging down.

Maybe thereís a halo around his head. This is more or less the image of Jesus that most of us have grown up with; itís the one thatís found in nearly every painting of Jesus.

But according to history, science, and the Bible, itís also an image thatís probably completely wrong.

The Origins of Our Modern Jesus
Where did we go so wrong in our depictions of Jesus? The answer lay in the 4th century AD when Byzantine artists started painting him.

The Byzantine Empire was the eastern portion of the former Roman Empire, and it continued to function for centuries after Rome fell.

Byzantium was also the center of Orthodox Christianity; religious art and iconography flourished within its borders.

image

Mural of Jesus, 4th century


But the Byzantine artists who drew Jesus were more interested in something other than realism.

Instead, they used symbols to reflect his divine power and authority. They painted him in the style of the Greek gods, dressing him in ornate clothing and seating him on a throne.

They also gave him long, luxurious locks of hair, something that was typical for depictions of deities.

Subsequent artists imitated the Byzantine version of Jesus, giving us works such as Da Vinciís Last Supper, which similarly shows Jesus as a white man with long, flowing hair.

That image of Jesus remained popular for centuries.

image

6th century icon of Jesus


Jesus for Americans
In 1940, the white, long-haired Jesus got an update for his American audience when Warner Sallman painted him with light-colored hair, blue eyes, and a piercing gaze.

Sallman was a commercial artist and advertiser who used his connections to put Jesusí face on everything from postcards to church bulletins to buttons and stamps.

His most famous painting, Head of Christ, was reproduced 500 million times and even given to soldiers during WWII.

image

Head of Christ



Sallmanís goal had been to create a new image of Jesus that matched his own views of what the son of God should look like.

Decades later, itís hard to say that he hasnít succeeded. Weíve been flooded with an image that reflects more the culture that Sallman lived in than anything resembling historical reality.

But perhaps that shouldnít come as a surprise. Considering how important Christianity has been to so many cultures, itís only natural that his image would reflect the people painting him.

Whether itís an artist in 16th century Ethiopia or 17th century India, Jesusí features change to match the imagination of wh0ever is holding the brush.

Jesus Is Rarely Described in the Bible
Unfortunately, coming up with an accurate idea of what Jesus really looked like is tricky because the Bible does not dedicate many lines to his physical appearance.

The best descriptions we have of him come from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Reading these books of the Bible, we can gather that Jesus was around 30 years old when he started preaching.

He also grew up in Nazareth, a town in Galilee, a region now split between northern Israel and southern Lebanon.

One important passage describing Jesusí appearance is from Revelations 1:14-15.

These two verses state that his hairs ďwere white as white wool, white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace.Ē

Few other passages are as descriptive as this one, however, and so weíre often left reading between the lines.

For example, we can be fairly certain that Jesus did not wear a long white robe as is often depicted in paintings.

How do we know?

In Mark 12:38-39, Jesus says, ďBeware of the scribes, who desire to walk in long robes (stolai), and to have salutations in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.Ē

As historian Joan Taylor explains, when Jesus is quoted in the Bible, it usually indicates that itís something he really said. Thus, we can assume that he did, in fact, avoid wearing long robes.

We also know that Jesus did not have eye-catching features that would draw attention to him. That is, he probably was not strikingly handsome, nor would he have had any kind of unusual marks or deformities.

We can draw that conclusion from Matthew 26:47-56. In these verses, when Judas arrives at the garden of Gethsemane to betray Jesus, he identifies Jesus to the soldiers by walking up to him and kissing him as a sign

image

Judas kisses Jesus



This implies that people didnít readily recognize the holy man based on his appearance alone.

Since the descriptions of Jesusí appearance are so scant, how do we get closer to the truth?

The answer is that we have to turn to historical context to fill in the rest of the details.

As Iíve mentioned, Jesus was most likely in his 30s and hailed from the region that is today part of northern Israel (formerly Palestine).

The question is: What did a 30-year-old j3wish man from that region look like in Jesusí time?

What History Reveals About What Jesus Looked Like
Letís start by talking about Jesusí face. Most of the depictions of Jesus show a bearded man.

Would this have been historically accurate? Probably. But itís doubtful that he would have had a particularly long beard, as many paintings would have you believe.

A short beard was a common look for philosophers in that time period. It was a way for thinkers to show that they could have focused more on day-to-day preoccupations such as shaving.

This was in contrast to the male norm of keeping oneís face clean-shaven, which was seen as an important part of being a respectable citizen.

Another reason Jesus likely had a beard was that he spent so much time wandering.

Being frequently on the road, Jesus would not have had a lot of contact with barbers and thus would have inevitably had facial hair during many of his travels.

As for the long, luxurious hair that painters like to give him, that is almost certainly inaccurate.

Long hair was often found in representations of ancient deities, which is probably why so many artists chose to give Jesus long hair as well; however, it was not seen as appropriate for most men.

In 1 Corinthians 11:14, Paul even says, ďDoth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?Ē Itís safe to assume that Paul probably wouldnít have said something like that if Jesus had had long hair.

Finally, thereís the color of Jesusí skin and hair. Although Jesus most likely did have brown hair, his skin was probably not the pale white that is usually depicted in paintings.

Think about it. Jesus lived in what is today the Middle East. So his skin naturally would have been several shades darker. Similarly, the blue eyes painters are so fond of would have been out of the question.

Science Provides More Clues About Jesusí Appearance
Fortunately, advances in technology have aided in clearing up the question of what Jesus really looked like.

Knowing that he probably had dark eyes, dark hair, and tan or olive-hued skin, researchers have used forensic anthropology to recreate images of what a typical Judean man his age would have looked like.

In 2001, Richard Neave and a team of British forensic experts used data gathered from j3wish skulls in the region to piece together what the average j3wish man might have looked like in Jesusí time.

image

Portrait of Jesus by Richard Neave




Neave is a medical artist who has recreated the faces of several of historyís most well-known figures.

When it came to Jesusí face, he used a method known as tomography, in which he took X-ray ďslicesĒ of the j3wish skulls he had gathered and used a computer to analyze their dimensions in detail.

He then used those measurements to create a digital composite of a face.

The results? A man with a wide face, dark hair and complexion, and a short, bushy beard. A far cry from the long-haired Jesus that stares down from the walls of most church hallways and sanctuaries.

Of course, this was an image based on several different skulls and was not meant to be a true representation of Jesusí face. However, it does bring us closer to the real Jesus of Nazareth, a man whose words and actions have touched millions of people but whose face will probably always remain a mystery.


 https://www.historydefine .. lly-look-like/
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147 comments

 4 months ago '14        #2
tank71 
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+98   

 4 months ago '22        #3
5py2000  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x37 OP
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 tank71 said 🔗

emoji
+24   

 4 months ago '06        #4
senimsilla 
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+80   

Top 10 most propped recently  4 months ago '22        #5
Blackberries 
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Enough Petty Fights About Color.






-6   

 4 months ago '05        #6
SeanP3688 
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He looked like this:
+4   

 4 months ago '16        #7
Kansas City Mac 
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+63   

 4 months ago '14        #8
tank71 
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 Blackberries said 🔗
Enough Petty Fights About Color.








+34   

Top 10 most propped recently  4 months ago '22        #9
Blackberries 
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 tank71 said 🔗

Yes, everyone originated from Africa, then branched out.

But they are still anthropomorphic SOLAR Deities.

The Mono-Myth
The Heroes Journey

Horus vs Set
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 4 months ago '18        #10
Mr Tibbs 
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 Kansas City Mac said 🔗





this my favorite picture j. cuz.
+10   

 4 months ago '05        #11
Stuart Scott  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x40
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He was dark skinned

If you’re black and have white Jesus on your walls, stop being ignorant
+28   

 4 months ago '09        #12
Puppet Master  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x18
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He never existed
+1   

 4 months ago '15        #13
frontopronto 
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Cesare Borgia


emoji
+28   

 4 months ago '18        #14
Sick Flair 
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 frontopronto said 🔗
Cesare Borgia


emoji
emoji
iykyk


Last edited by Sick Flair; 06-08-2023 at 08:58 PM..
+16   

 4 months ago '22        #15
GUIDE 
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Modernize the Jesus stuff once.

I encourage anyone to go look up what the traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder are, and then consider if Jesus seemed to have NPD.

If a broad told you tomorrow that she was pregnant, but she didnt know who the father was...Would the thought that she was fu#king too many guys, and thats why she didnt know who the father was cross your mind? Cause the mother of Jesus pulled something like that by claiming she was a virgin, but magically was pregnant with Jesus.

Have you listened to kids that didnt know who their father was? I have. I recall a few kids completely make up absolutely ridiculous sh1t about how great and accomplished he was.

Whats the likelihood of a kid lying about their father growing up and developing a wicked case of NPD?

Once qgain, I encourage anyone to go look up what the traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder are, and then consider if Jesus seemed to have NPD.

emoji
-9   

 4 months ago '17        #16
434ta3  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x4
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Yahshua...my n1gga
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+14   

 4 months ago '11        #17
awww  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x8
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 Puppet Master said 🔗
He never existed
exactly just a made up a$s story
-1   

 4 months ago '22        #18
BReNDon 
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Nothing Jesus ain't real.
-3   

 4 months ago '23        #19
FurrowedBrow 
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 BReNDon said 🔗
Nothing Jesus ain't real.
You're not real
-1   

 4 months ago '06        #20
illathruz  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x4
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🔗

+3   

 4 months ago '22        #21
BReNDon 
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 FurrowedBrow said 🔗
You're not real
I am very much real difference between me and and Jesus is I'm not written about as all powerful in a fantasy book for adults.
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 4 months ago '10        #22
Alixix 
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people believe in him

 4 months ago '19        #23
Poetparagraph 
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As a toddler he hid in Africa undetected with his parents...no pale skin baby is hiding undetected in Africa.

After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to ki1l him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”
Matthew 2:13*-‬15 NLT

↪🔗
+18   

 4 months ago '17        #24
434ta3  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x4
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 BReNDon said 🔗
Nothing Jesus ain't real.
Who created you then and what color you is??
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Top 10 most propped recently  4 months ago '22        #25
Blackberries 
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 434ta3 said 🔗
Who created you then and what color you is??
More Advanced Beings created us for the purpose of mining Gold and other precious metals.

Annnnnd, it's quite ironic why we have such a respect for Gold and other precious metals.
-4   

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