United Brethren has retired.

What colour was Jesus?

I saw this interesting article on the BBC news web site. It discusses whether you can really tell what Jesus would have looked like. For example, was he white, olive-skinned, or black? I would guess olive-skinned. After all he was born in the Middle East to a Middle Eastern mother. And surely His Father is beyond race.

The standard depiction of him with long hair also could be inaccurate. Dr Goodacre from the University of Birmingham said:

"There's a reference in Paul which says it's disgraceful for a man to wear long hair, so it looks pretty sure that people of that period had to have reasonably short hair".

It seems obvious to me that artists have painted Jesus to their own ethnic background as a means of identifying with Him, but I'm often disappointed in Church art that shows him being white and having lush golden hair. Incidentally, there's a great BYU studies issue that deals with all of this. (I'll dig out the reference)

I have to ask myself though - does it really matter? No, it doesn't, but it is interesting to imagine.

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Blogger Ronan said ... (October 28, 2004 6:43 PM) 

You're right, doesn't matter a fig. There's a quote attributed to Josephus (it's found in an eighth-century document written by Andreas Hierosolymitanus, Archbishop of Crete) which says:

"But moreover the Jew Josephus in like manner narrates that the Lord was seen having meeting eyebrows, goodly eyes, long-faced, crooked, well-grown."

Who knows?


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