I think I saw some Book of Mormon quotes having to do w/ fair skin, and have been thinking a lot about how the average christian really thinks Jesus, if he existed, looks like those pictures hanging in their church. Also, I use a jehovah's witnesses flyer showing a well-groomed, very white Jesus as a bookmark on my atheist/skeptic type books, keeping this in the forefront of my thoughts.

 

So, I was hoping my friends here can give me a better view into what he would really have looked like if he existed.  Are there any anthropology types out there who can point me to the facts?  How dark would he have been?  Would he have looked more like Osama bin Laden?  Or Mitt Romney?  President Obama?

 

And, to fuel the fun even more, help point to the quotes by the religious people or books (such as BoM), showing that they have misconceptions about skin color.

 

(if this would have fit well w/ one of the forum posts, rather than a blog, please point that out for me, but wasn't sure if I could get a better response in one of them.)

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Comment by John B Hodges on July 15, 2011 at 8:07am

I personally think it likely that there was a historical Jesus, though almost totally obscured and eclipsed by the legends about him. If there was, he most likely looked like a Hebrew of the time.

From two utterly disreputable sources: Ted Armstrong's PLAIN TRUTH magazine once claimed that the pictures of a blond blue-eyed Jesus originally came from paintings of Apollo that were "repurposed" by the Church. And the book of Revelations somewhere describes Jesus as having "skin like copper and hair like wool".

Comment by Daniel W on July 14, 2011 at 9:56pm

There is actually no really good evidence that there was a Jesus.  Even the existence of Nazarethat the time of the supposed Jesus is disputed.  So deciding what Jesus "really" looked like is like deciding what Ganesha or Quetzalcoatl looked like. 

 

That being said, you could take the other extreme.  If Jesus was the result of impregnating Mary by the holy ghost, then that might explain the blue-eyed blond thing.  Everyone knows ghosts are really really pale, so he might just take after his dad.

Comment by Clarence Dember on July 14, 2011 at 7:23pm
Looks like hazardous terrain to me...
Comment by Napoleon Bonaparte on July 14, 2011 at 6:16pm
He might have looked more like the Palestinians of today than modern Isrealis because the latter have mostly immigrated there from other parts of the world since 1948.
Comment by Daniel B on July 14, 2011 at 3:24pm

Thanks Shaheed, Grace, Matt, and Sentient.

 

Using http://skepticsannotatedbible.com, I find one of the quotes I had heard...

13:15 And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain.

 

Funny.  I still want to hear more, though.

Comment by Shaheed on July 14, 2011 at 12:44pm

Jesus was born in region where people had color. The picture of Jesus, seen on some churches' walls, is the biggest piece of propaganda ever produced. Michelangelo was instructed by the roman emperor Constantine to paint the picture of the "White Jesus". It is important to note, by the way, that there were only two types of White people living in that region, you were either a Greek or a Roman and Jesus wasn't either. Jesus was a dark skinned man. In fact, there are some early portraits of Jesus showing him with brown skin. In a nutshell, he looked like a typical person from western Asia.

Comment by Grace Fitzpatrick on July 14, 2011 at 12:36pm
I wouldn't be surprised if he looked like this:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Race_of_Jesus.ogv 
Comment by matt warren on July 14, 2011 at 12:23pm

in the "heathens guide to world religions" the author references descriptions of mohamad that are fairly acuratly rendered.

probably much like him.

again bout 5'-5'6"..oliv coplex..beard..brown/black eyes and I think it refs a passage from a book that did not make it into the codex that jesus was also "short and stocky, a thick built person and not very attractive"...

The common pix we see is derived from a renaissance sort of idea...mostly from Mediterranean ideas not mid eastern.

I like the blond haired, black eyed, muscled up biker jesus on a Harley in leathers. saw that once at a county fair.

fuckin sacramento....

Comment by Daniel W on July 14, 2011 at 11:44am
Had there been a Jesus he doubless would have looked like a Hebrew of that time - I suspect similar to modern Palestinians. However from Roman times to today, there has been so much war migration and mixing, including Romans Europeans Arabs Turks and others, unless you have a picture it's hard to say. My uneducated guess. Suspecting olive complexioned man with black hair and brown eyes, 5 foot 2 and hirsute. Kidding about the 5 foot 2 and maybe hirsute aspect.

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