Because all the early classic painters painted him as a white man, that’s why.

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31 Responses to Really

  1. kimberwarrior45 says:

    Since the scriptures say he had to be betrayed with a kiss (because he looked like all the other Jewish males and the Pharisees couldn’t recognize him?) he would be more accurately described as olive or darker skinned and had a full dark beard, dark short hair (as defined in Leviticus), and brown eyes.. As a carpenter’s son he was also muscular and was of the same heights as most of the Jewish males in the area. There is nothing in the scriptures actually describing His human physical appearance-that was not important but you can recognize Him now! He is the one with the nail holes in his hands and wearing the crown of Glory. (If I misunderstood the comment my sincere apologies Wirecutter and please delete this)

  2. Angel says:

    And I want to know why the fuck Jezebel is always depicted as a redhead.

    • favill says:

      Because she was HOT! Redheads are given much power…some choose to use this power for evil.

    • Timbo says:

      Come on now, Angel.
      You know why. You may not like it, but you know why!

      Redheads are a very scary double edge sword.
      It’s exciting to play with fire, but you will end up with burns.

      • Jack58 says:

        Please forgive in advance, Angel – but reminds me of what a friend once said, “Red on the head means fire in the hole!”.
        Was probably a military reference…Or something.

    • kimberwarrior says:

      If you can’t tell a soul are you allowed to tell a ginger?:)

  3. Milo Mindbender says:

    The European Jesus was popularized when Michaelangelo used his brother as a model for the Cistene Ceiling frescoes. It allowed the parsons to remain comfortable with a man who in all probability looked more like Jamie Farr than James Woods.

  4. The entire area around the Med was a mixture of races to be sure but being of Jewish stock means nothing as to racial features. He could have just as easily looked Italian and been Blonde or redheaded and still been common on any coast of that ocean. Some Pharaohs were redheads, Alexander is said to have been Blonde. Our own government still classifies those of middle eastern ethnicity as white as a matter of fact. Hebrews were in general described as being lighter skinned than the tribes around that area from much earlier on but by Jesus’ time it could have been a coin flip.

  5. Kent says:

    Actually, Jesus would have looked a lot like Ahab the Arab down at the bodega. He wouldn’t have been black, as most of the people with dark brown skins would have been south of the Sahara. So he would have had short, curly black hair, and probably a olive complexion, like most Mediterranean peasants. And he wouldn’t have been widely known as Jesus of Nazareth, but as Yeshua bar Yussef, or Joshua son of Joseph. And he probably wasn’t a carpenter, as there isn’t a surfeit of wood in the area he was raised in, but he was probably trained as a stone cutter and mason. In the original text (of which the Coptic Christian bible is closest to), he was a house builder and that got translated to carpenter in the Middle Ages. Sorry, but I studied a lot of classical history of the Near East.

  6. singlestack says:

    Because he was white. Like the other native inhabitants of the area he was of the Caucasoid race.

  7. Unbelievable singlestack. Yeah, and when you get into outer space, the sky is still blue, right? Man, you just can’t seem to deal with it huh? There wasn’t a white person within 1000 miles of Jeruselem, Not even. So what is he was not white with blonde hair, if he was, they sure wouldn’t have crucified him! Do the math…. bigot!!

    • Wirecutter says:

      Naw, go ahead and argue but don’t use the words bigot, racist and nigger here.
      I’m not racist but I get damned tired of folks saying I am because of the smallest reasons, and I imagine others feel the same way.

    • Taken from “The Physical Anthropology of the Israelite People”

      The Israelites of old were regarded by the Egyptians as people from the land of Amuru, meaning the land of the Amorites which the Israelites conquered. Another term applied to the general Syrian area was “Retenu”. The name “Upper Retenu”1 corresponded to the geographical space encompassed by the Land of Israel, according to the Bible. People from the area known as “Amuru” or “Retenu” after ca.1400 BCE are presumably Israelites. They are depicted on Egyptian monuments as red, blonde, or black-haired with frequent blue eyes and red beards. Illustrations of individuals with this appearance are automatically assumed by Egyptologists to pertain to the Israelite or “Syrian” area. Another blonde blue-eyed people depicted on Egyptian monuments were the so-called “Libyans” and it has now been shown by Alessandra Nibbi (1989) that these were not dwellers of “Libya” but rather of the Nile Delta and of Hebrew origin.

      But I guess that makes those anthropologist bigots too huh?

    • Firehand says:

      “There wasn’t a white person within 1000 miles of Jeruselem”
      Really? Do the Romans not count? Or all the people who worked on/traveled on the trade routes?

      LOTS of mixing in that region of the world, over a long period of time.

    • Joe Derocher says:

      The area in question was conquered many times . Macedonians , Romans and so on.
      Under the Seleucid of Syria , Israel was Hellenized by Syrian Greeks . So Jesus could be white. I really don’t care what color he was . Also the Romans described black people as kissed by the sun.

  8. SemperFi, 0321 says:

    I’m always amazed at how people are experts on somebody they do not know, have never seen, and can’t possibly have any idea since it was 2,000 yrs ago, but he’s your best buddy. Takes a lot of creative arrogance to pull that off.

  9. Dan says:

    While black hair with a ruddy complexion was typical for ancient Hebrews there was a reasonable number having blonde or red hair with fairer complexion. It is certainly possible that Jesus of Nazareth had relatively fair skin and reddish hair. Typically there was a noticeable difference in complexion making Romans, Hebrews and Arabs relatively easy to distinguish from each other, there of course being exceptions.

  10. Old Enuff says:

    It’s a simple matter of record. First poster is pretty close, but it can be narrowed down even closer.

    Long ago he was identified as an Ethiopian Jew. About as close to an average as one could ask for, and squarely in the dusty olive camp.

    Interestingly, one of the most used relatively modern images – said to have been a result of a personal vision – not only isn’t all that light, but is an only slightly gentler version of the dude on the Shroud.

    That, by the way, is a scorch mark so detailed that they can calculate intensity vs duration. In this case, had it lasted a full millisecond, it would have vaporized 12 cubic miles of earth and rock.

    Just sayin’…

  11. John Denney says:

    Jesus was a Jew.
    So are Benjamin Netanyahu, Billy Crystal, and Barbara Streisand.
    They look white to me.
    It’s never occurred to me that the term, “people of color”, might include Jews.

  12. Mile Hi says:

    Jesus was Iraqi…..look at a map…just sayin…

  13. flash says:

    FWIW, this is how the Italian police interpret the face of Jesus ,as derived form the Shroud of Turin. Judge for yourself.

  14. formwiz says:

    The Levant was and is the crossroads of the world, so Christ could have looked like anything.

    Last one I heard, he was probably red-haired and fair-skinned, like a Circassian.


    Just as long as he didn’t look like a Kardashian.

    (had to)

  15. ChuckN says:

    What I get a kick out of is that most Christians I know will
    openly say Jesus wasn’t a white guy and I’ve never met
    anyone who wouldn’t at least debate the idea. Yet
    somehow the Left routinely categorizes all Christians,
    specifically all white Christians, are unbridled racists.

  16. Firehand says:

    And yeah, he was a carpenter when that meant hammer and mallet, wedge and drawknife, auger and axe; he’d have been seriously muscled.

  17. CC says:

    I always figured it was Jeffrey Hunter’s fault.

  18. Deb says:

    Where Jesus was born does not determine what he looked like. It is his parent’s heritage that determines that. Joe? His dad, Antonio, owned a furniture store in the strip mall in town. Joe learned to make bed frames and headboards from his dad. Mary? She was the 2nd daughter of wayward Vikings and she had a sister named Jezebel. Joe had to deliver a bed to Mary’s house one day while Mary’s parents were out pillaging. When Joe and Mary met, it was lust at first sight. When Mary told her dad, Lars, that an angel told her she was going to have a baby, Lars shouted “You expect me to believe that? Jesus Christ!” It’s all in the Bible. You have to read between the lines. I will be under my desk with my bowl of holy water in one hand and a crucifix in the other waiting for Angel and Wirecutter to join me.

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