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Thread: What do you think Jesus looked like?

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    My own view, as an Eastern Orthodox Christian, is that the early Church possessed icons that were based on actual eyewitness accounts of what Jesus looked like, as well as the famous Image Not-Made-by-Hands. The typical picture of Jesus as a young man with long, dark hair and a dark, full beard is based on those icons of Christ and is therefore fairly accurate.

    Later paintings of Jesus as a blond Northern European or as a Subsaharan African are figments of the imagination or projections of some kind.

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    More from the Dura Europos fresco:










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    What did Jesus really look like? by Joan Taylor, King's College London
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35120965

    Everyone knows what Jesus looks like. He is the most painted figure in all of Western art, recognised everywhere as having long hair and a beard, a long robe with long sleeves (often white) and a mantle (often blue).

    Jesus is so familiar that he can be recognised on pancakes or pieces of toast.

    But did he really look like this? Probably not.

    In fact this familiar image of Jesus actually comes from the Byzantine era, from the 4th Century onwards, and Byzantine representations of Jesus were symbolic - they were all about meaning, not historical accuracy.

    They were based on the image of an enthroned emperor, as we see in the altar mosaic of the Santa Pudenziana church in Rome.

    So what did Jesus really look like?

    Let's go from head to toe.
    1. Hair and beard

    When early Christians were not showing Christ as heavenly ruler, they showed Jesus as an actual man like any other: beardless and short-haired.

    _87291931_jesuscompositecopy.jpg

    The earliest surviving paintings of Jesus, from the church at the ruined city of Dura-Europos on the Euphrates (dating from first half of the 3rd Century AD)
    Last edited by Jean M; 12-24-2015 at 05:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gravetti View Post
    http://theshroudofturin.blogspot.se/...shroud-of.html

    Finally, there are other Biblical passages which show that long hair, per se, was not a problem to God.

    Indeed, in Numbers 6:1-5 God Himself instructed Moses that, if "a man or a woman makes a ... vow of a Nazirite," then amongst other things, "no razor shall touch his [or her] head" for the duration of the vow:

    "6 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord, 3 he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried. 4 All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins. 5 `All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall touch his head. Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the Lord, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long.'"

    http://www.jesusevidence.org/shroud.html

    Dr. Pierluigi Baima Bollone, 76, a surgeon, who was a teacher of Forensic Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Law at the University of Turin for more than forty years analysed samples taken from the cloth with adhesive tape. He reported that the blood on the shroud is type AB.

    http://www.christiantimes.com/articl...urin/52342.htm

    The "angelic" face of a 12-year-old Jesus has been recreated using the image taken from the Shroud of Turin to commemorate the two-month exhibition of the cloth believed to be Jesus Christ's burial cloth.



    http://www.lastampa.it/2013/03/26/va...eM/pagina.html
    "the Shroud dates back to the period when Jesus Christ was crucified in Jerusalem. Final results show that the Shroud fibres examined produced the following dates, all of which are 95% certain and centuries away from the medieval dating obtained with Carbon-14 testing in 1988: the dates given to the Shroud after FT-IR testing, is 300 BC 400, 200 BC 500 after Raman testing and 400 AD 400 after multi-parametric mechanical testing. The average of all three dates is 33 BC 250 years."


    "Table 2: Human mtDNA haplogroups found on the Turin Shroud."
    http://www.nature.com/articles/srep14484/tables/2
    Last edited by parasar; 12-24-2015 at 05:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    What did Jesus really look like? by Joan Taylor, King's College London
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35120965

    Everyone knows what Jesus looks like. He is the most painted figure in all of Western art, recognised everywhere as having long hair and a beard, a long robe with long sleeves (often white) and a mantle (often blue).

    Jesus is so familiar that he can be recognised on pancakes or pieces of toast.

    But did he really look like this? Probably not.

    In fact this familiar image of Jesus actually comes from the Byzantine era, from the 4th Century onwards, and Byzantine representations of Jesus were symbolic - they were all about meaning, not historical accuracy.

    They were based on the image of an enthroned emperor, as we see in the altar mosaic of the Santa Pudenziana church in Rome.

    So what did Jesus really look like?

    Let's go from head to toe.
    1. Hair and beard

    When early Christians were not showing Christ as heavenly ruler, they showed Jesus as an actual man like any other: beardless and short-haired.

    _87291931_jesuscompositecopy.jpg

    The earliest surviving paintings of Jesus, from the church at the ruined city of Dura-Europos on the Euphrates (dating from first half of the 3rd Century AD)
    Since Jesus was a Jewish man of the 1st century, it isn't likely that he shaved his face. Probably the church at Dura-Europos was portraying Jesus as its parishioners envisioned him, as a contemporary young man of the 3rd century.
    Last edited by rms2; 12-24-2015 at 06:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    Probably the church at Dura-Europos was portraying Jesus as its parishioners envisioned him..
    This is exactly the problem. There were no contemporary portraits or descriptions. So people creating images of Jesus had to imagine him. That applies to all the images of Jesus.

    We either treat the question as religious and therefore a matter of faith, or we treat it as any other quest for knowledge and therefore a matter of evidence and deduction. Can't do both at the same time.
    Last edited by Jean M; 12-24-2015 at 07:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    This is exactly the problem. There were no contemporary portraits or descriptions. So people creating images of Jesus had to imagine him. That applies to all the images of Jesus.

    We either treat the question as religious and therefore a matter of faith, or we treat it as any other quest for knowledge and therefore a matter of evidence and deduction. Can't do both at the same time.
    It's a bit of both for me. We know that Jewish men of the 1st century did not shave their beards unless they had a skin disease, so it isn't likely Jesus was clean shaven.

    As an Eastern Orthodox Christian, I believe Orthodox icons of Jesus are basically accurate because descriptions of Jesus were passed down by word of mouth and because of the Image Not Made by Hands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    As an Eastern Orthodox Christian, I believe Orthodox icons of Jesus are basically accurate because descriptions of Jesus were passed down by word of mouth and because of the Image Not Made by Hands.
    I believe that were Jesus on earth today, he wouldn't fret if people painted him black or white, Asian or Western, bearded or clean-shaven, long-haired or short, blond, red-head or brown-haired, with blue, green or brown eyes, if that helped them to feel closer to him. Perhaps he'd say "Engrave me in your hearts and minds. I belong to all of you." But that is just an atheist's view of the man who springs from the gospels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    I believe that were Jesus on earth today, he wouldn't fret if people painted him black or white, Asian or Western, bearded or clean-shaven, long-haired or short, blond, red-head or brown-haired, with blue, green or brown eyes, if that helped them to feel closer to him. Perhaps he'd say "Engrave me in your hearts and minds. I belong to all of you." But that is just an atheist's view of the man who springs from the gospels.
    However people conceive of Him, Jesus was a real man who looked a certain way. We don't know exactly how He looked, but IMHO we have a pretty good basic idea. Others disagree, obviously.

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