General Question

zensky's avatar

Is this how you imagined Jesus?

Asked by zensky (13294 points ) November 1st, 2011

http://archives.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/12/25/face.jesus/index.html

Christians – do you need an image of him? Does this help or hinder?

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63 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

Well, we know that the historical Jesus was certainly not Western European, as he has most often been pictured. Who knows what he really looked like? That rendering is probably at least more accurate than showing him as a Western European.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I always thought of him more like this

Blackberry's avatar

You mean he’s not an lily white blue eyed saint of Americanness?! I’ve seen that before an I’m not surprised.

Hibernate's avatar

No image needed. It hinder but the subject will forever be something to mock.

JLeslie's avatar

I think my husband looks like Jesus. Better looking than your link @zensky. Still, black wavy hair, “mediterranean” skin. But, who knows, maybe he was pale and blond with blue eyes, and that is part of the reason he stood out? Maybe he was full of recessive traits that people idolized.

rebbel's avatar

That guy is (a young) Bud Spencer.
I pictured Jesus as a Western European, but that is probably caused by the fact that I was brought up in Europe and attended Christian schools where they showed images of him where he looked like one…
It still could be that he looked European, I guess, because there are also white, blond, blue eyed Greeks that is actually what a Greek used to look like, whereas a lot of people will, I assume, think of Greeks as dark(er) skinned, dark eyed.
And Greece being in the neighborhood of where Jesus used to wander…..

Blackberry's avatar

@RocketSquid @Lightlyseared Lawlz.
And I apologize for my first answer. The grammar was horrendous.

everephebe's avatar

To be honest Robert Powell is totally how I still picture Jesus.

zensky's avatar

My link is a forensic scientific rendition, by Israeli and Christian scientists based on facts – as commissioned by the prestigious magazine Popular Mechanics. Jesus – doesn’t anyway think this is a great question?

wonderingwhy's avatar

Can’t say I’ve ever had much of a picture (beyond the standard american one), I sorta like this one though. A face reminds me of someone but I can’t quite figure out who. Maybe a good guy to sit next to at the bar?

Anyway here’s a link to the Popular Mechanics article, it’s a little light on the science, but interesting and a nice quick read if you find the idea of forensic anthropology interesting.

lillycoyote's avatar

@zensky LOL. I suspect their research on what the historical Jesus probably looked like was also published in some real, peer-reveiwed science journals too, though, I bet the top scientists in Israel have been dying to publish in Popular Mechanics their entire careers. It’s quite a feather in their caps, I would say.

wundayatta's avatar

I tend not to imagine Jesus, so the answer would be, “no.”

lillycoyote's avatar

@wonderingwhy That’s a longer version of what @zensky posted. It’s also a little light on the proofreading too. I’m pretty sure Joe Cauchi was not an 11th century painter. :-)

mazingerz88's avatar

If Jesus really said those lovely teachings that were attributed to him then he could look like Gollum and it would hardly matter to me. He could look like ( NSFW pic! ) this dude for all I care but I would personally prefer him to appear to me in this image.

zensky's avatar

Next time post a warning please.

YoBob's avatar

Hmmm…. being from the middle east I expected him to be a bit darker skinned and slightly less stocky.

Here’s the image re-created from the Shroud of Turin.

gorillapaws's avatar

There’s no question that Jesus would have looked like the historical Jews of his time and place. It probably makes more sense to think of the linked image as a relative of Christ than Christ himself, but he would probably have similar features.

I do find it funny that he is so often depicted as a malnourished viking.

mazingerz88's avatar

@gorillapaws I have no idea how the historical Jews looked like at Jesus’s time on the average. But I would guess there were already lots of handsome Jews then and this Popular Mechanic’s rendering could be very, very far off the mark. He could be as or even more handsome as those other nicer looking popular images portrayed him to be.

smilingheart1's avatar

@gorillapaws, I mostly really enjoyed your respnse. Why does Hollywood either make him look anemic or like John Lennon spiffed up a bit. Mother Theresa of Calcutta used to say, upon seeing someone difficult to get along with etc. “There goes Jesus in one of his more distressing disguises.” Jesus would like us all to look at each other and think that His countenance in a sense if you can get my meaning. More like whoever is there in front of you, think of that as His face to you at the moment. All very heavy to think on.

I try to behold Him more as the essence of His character than particular features.

Some of the Bible depictments of Him as the returning victor of all things at the end of the age make Him really more like @mazingerz88‘s graphic, in the sense of He will be back to kick butt where butt kicking is due. Not like the weak depictments we have floating around now.

zensky's avatar

<<< Jews looked like this.

Judi's avatar

As a Christian, I saw the pictures as a child, but as I grew up I read Isaiah 53:2 :
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
I knew he didn’t have beautiful flowing blond hair and probably looked like an ordinary guy from his time. Probably not as sexy as Piccard or @zensky

rojo's avatar

I always pictured him as looking like Ted Neely.
Maybe if we trimmed the beard in the pic to a goatee and whatever you call that little wad of hair between the chin and lip.

thorninmud's avatar

I guess that if the Bible is to be believed, there’s no particular reason to think that he inherited any DNA at all from the Jews or anyone else. He would have looked however God fancied he should look, right?

AstroChuck's avatar

There is no discernible proof that Christ even actually existed.

marinelife's avatar

Actually, this is how I pictured him.

ml3269's avatar

@astrochuck: Right. But they (Christians) do believe… so… ;)

Blackberry's avatar

@marinelife Wow…....it’s just too easy….

XOIIO's avatar

Yea, imagined. Just liek everyone else did, imagined.

Jesus.

BECAUSE HE ISN’T REAL! *screen shakes *

At leas the beard is basically the same.

CaptainHarley's avatar

It doesn’t matter either way.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@marinelife

I dare you to do the same thing with Mohammed.

CaptainHarley's avatar

This is how I’ve always imagined Jesus, and probably how I always will. : )

stardust's avatar

No. I certainly don’t think (if he existed at all) that he had the pretty boy looks so often associated with him.

Jeruba's avatar

So he would have had trouble boarding a plane…

Even as a young child being brought up in a conservative Christian household, with pictures like this and this on the wall. I was taught that he didn’t really look like them at all but was probably…well, actually more like the image you linked. I believed that, but I still held the conventional paintings dear.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Yoo hoo! @marinelife

Where’s my insulting pic of Muhammed? : )

Blackberry's avatar

@CaptainHarley I don’t know how to use photoshop, but if I could, I would.

Joker94's avatar

Not exactly how I imagined him, I guess, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t think it’d be important to dwell on his looks and nothing else. For the record, though, I picture him like this.”

digitalimpression's avatar

Makes no difference to me what He looked like.

“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Since even the 10 commandments prohibit graven images of G-D, the notion of a drawn, sketch or sculpted image of what some believed to be related to the deity seems inherently sacrilegious. Of course since Jesus the historical figure has no significance to me, even if he looked quite different from humans, it would not alarm or upset me. I suspect he looked like others from that region.

Earthgirl's avatar

Of course the image may be acuurate or not, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we like to envision the outer self of a person to match their inner beauty. If you need to have an image of Jesus in mind, and not all people do, why not envision him as being handsome? What difference does it make? Historical accuracy just doesn’t matter. It is the heart and spirit of a person and their words and wisdom that matter. I like to picture him like this
http://holyhell.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/jesus-children.jpg

ratboy's avatar

Perhaps he was a mousy little fellow.

livingchoice's avatar

Does it really matter what he looked like. I think of it as another one of those barriers that needs to be broken down. I don’t care if he looks like the Hispanic Jesus, the White Jesus, the Black Jesus, the Asian Jesus, The Indian Jesus etc. He can have green skin and red eyes for all I care I just want to see him in peace, whatever he looks like! With all of that said, I like this rendition of him http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&client=firefox-a&sa=N&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&biw=1525&bih=698&tbm=isch&tbnid=61mgqU4ztuKyIM:&imgrefurl=http://www.christianmovies.biz/Jesus_Of_Nazareth_Review.html&docid=DC-sJ2uHWYyTAM&imgurl=http://www.christianmovies.biz/jesus_of_nazareth.jpg&w=540&h=540&ei=DaqwTq6LF-2msQK65PjIAQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=507&vpy=367&dur=291&hovh=143&hovw=143&tx=161&ty=255&sig=115082404327135556727&page=1&tbnh=143&tbnw=143&start=0&ndsp=24&ved=1t:429,r:18,s:0 wow that’s a long link. LOL

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Nullo's avatar

My mental imagery is skewed by a multitude of Religious Art paintings. Between the fact that they tend to portray the Middle East as Western Europe, and that our only Biblical clue is that Isaiah states that Jesus isn’t particularly good-looking, I know it’s not accurate.
I suspect that the picture in the article isn’t terribly far off. But in any case, it’s a trivial matter.

Coloma's avatar

I could care less what he looked like. He was kind to lambs and children and prostitutes, good enoguh. lol

Prosb's avatar

I had always preferred this ever since I was little. I think most people seem more comforting with a dark skin tone for some reason.

Nullo's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence I believe that the prohibition was of graven images to worship. Which is not to say that there aren’t crucifix-worshipers out there – I’ve know a few – but that doesn’t automatically rule out all depictions evar.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Weirdly, the first thing that sprung to my mind when I saw this picture was “I expected his face to be slimmer”. I do picture him to be dark but I also picture him with long hair as per the stereotypes!

JLeslie's avatar

@Leanne1986 Yes, slimmer. I agree. I was going to photobucket my husband for this Q, but I cannot figure out how to upload his picture.

Coloma's avatar

I “picked up” a young traveler in my tourist community in June who was in my store and brought him home for a night at the inn.
The most adorable “Jesus” lookalike, a beautiful young man from Wisconson doing the hippie traveler thing and ended up in my zone.
We had the best time. Set him up in my spare room., made him a nice meal, talked all night long. There is always room at my inn. :-)

AstroChuck's avatar

Sorry for my post regarding the actual existence of Jesus Christ. I only know noticed this Q was directed to Christians.

lillycoyote's avatar

@XOIIO There reasonably good evidence that there was, indeed, an historical Jesus. A real person. What is ascribed to him and about him may not be true, but the stories about him are most likely based on a real historical person, a person, not a God.

The picture in the link is probably more accurate than most depictions.

And, poor Jesus. You should all know that he just deleted his picture from Fluther’s Photobucket album because he felt like everyone here thinks he’s fat.

XOIIO's avatar

@lillycoyote I know that there was msot likely a real person, but all the coming back to life, and halos and shit is bull.

Nullo's avatar

@XOIIO Only if you go in for atheism.

judochop's avatar

If Jesus is brown…White people are fucked.

drdoombot's avatar

I kinda picture him like this.

JLeslie's avatar

@judochop Why would you say that? Why would it matter what color skin Jesus had?

zensky's avatar

Yeah, what?

judochop's avatar

@JLeslie it’s a joke, sort of. I laugh at how white people most times assume everyone else to be white as well. How many white people you know who assume him to be dark skinned? Even though the Bible states that he had hair like wool. White folks don’t have hair like that.

Nullo's avatar

@judochop Caucasians don’t have hair like that.
Perhaps you could elaborate on the bit with the profanity? I’m still a bit confused.

JLeslie's avatar

@judochop Well, I didn’t grow up with Jesus, didn’t know he was supposed to be the son of God until my late teens. The first time I heard someone say Jesus probably had olive skin and dark hair because of where he was from, which was many years ago I heard this, I thought it made sense. I also seriously meant what I wrote that he could have been more fair than what was typical, we just don’t know. We have heard other stories of white people being seen as Gods. But, I think more likely he was dark with dark hair. I also think it is probably natural for people to assume someone looks similar to themselves if they identify with the person or look up to them.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)

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