I haven’t read much of the bible since my childhood Sunday school days, but I recently came to discover that Jesus’ physical appearance was unknown and the typical Jesus appearance with the long hair and the beard is mainly a European rendition of Jesus.
I think the very fact that Jesus’ appearance is unknown is a representation of the fact that physical appearance and material matter shouldn’t be a factor in judging a person’s character, and Jesus is to be remembered by his ideals and the things he said.
In today’s world, many people are remembered for their face or their physical appearance as opposed to the things they did for the world or the things they said to inspire others.
On a less serious note (since serious is boring), if you actually think about Jesus’ background, he’s commonly known as a Palestinian Jew, and being born in the Middle East, what colour do you think Jesus’ skin would have been? I find it somewhat humourous that the Western media and churches have images of Jesus all over the place as a white person. Is this to appease the audience to which they’re preaching? Does is make the white man more proud to portray him as one of themselves? Jesus was brown!
To me, it doesn’t matter what colour his skin was, but if you’re going to have a symbolic portrait that represents someone, why not try to be a little more realistic?
Interesting point, Jim. I choose to believe that Jesus looks a lot like the pic you posted of Brotha JC in a previous post. Somehow the quote, “keep it real dawgs,” comes to mind.
I remember listening to this very old comedy routine of Eddie Murphy in which he quotes these verses from the bible where it states that Jesus had black tightly curled hair or something to that effect and some other descriptive things… Eddie went on to say how Jesus was black… then some guy (apparently he was white) in the audience chuckled and Eddie launched into him… though I expect that he was hoping a honky would laugh since it made it that much funnier…
I did a little looking online and it seems that the feet of bronze and hair like wool passage is from:
revelation 1: 12 and 13?
Though here is a quote from another site:
“I kept looking
Until thrones were set up,
And the Ancient of Days took His seat;
His vesture was like white snow
And the hair of His head like pure wool.
His throne was ablaze with flames,
Its wheels were a burning fire.”
Apparently from Daniel 7:9
I do an interesting lecture on personality principle and use the face of Jesus as an example.
Jim, I think in order for an entity like God/Jesus to be accessible to certain masses, you have no choice but to represent him in a certain mold and with a certain skin colour. There are renditions of a Chinese Jesus, Black, Spanish, and traditionally what a Palestinian Jew would look like.
The Germanic representation has become Standard Jesus (I have one of those) because it represents, first, a physical ideal and, second, that a Jesus bathed in lights like blonde hair and blue eyes is inherently good. There is a whole school of art and literature that dismisses dark colouring and people of dark colouring as inherently “bad.” Go figure!