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josie's avatar

How big was Jesus?

Asked by josie (27928points) September 10th, 2010

I do not want to get into whether or not Jesus was merely a prophet or the Son of God or whatever.
I will grant the question that a person probably existed that is either an historical figure or a subject of popular rumor who has become the figure that we call Jesus Christ.
When you think of Jesus, how tall a guy do you invision?
A 205 lb. 6’3” inch guy like me, or smaller like Al Pacino (5’6”, 150 lbs.)

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31 Answers

cockswain's avatar

A little smaller than the Beatles.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Not as big as the Beatles, according to John Lennon.

And damn fast typers to hell.

lillycoyote's avatar

I can’t recall in any of the scholarly works on the “historical Jesus” that I’ve read, and that’s not many, that anyone has ever been able to determine or has even tried to speculate on his size or build. Maybe they have, I’m no expert, but I can’t recall.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Find out all you need to know and win a date with Jesus here. Better depictions are found on his bathing page.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

With the poor nutrition of the era and the hard lifestyle he had, I would guess around 5’6” give or take. I watched a documentary once that tried to reconstruct his facial features from the gene pool of the time, and he looked nothing like the typical pictures. I can’t remember if they mentioned height.

MaryW's avatar

I think about 5’11, 150 – 155 lbs If you use the Shroud of Turin. This would be slightly taller than the average at the time. His weight would not be as high as modern averages as he walked alot.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Somewhere, on one of my comments on another thread from probably a year or so ago, I’d pulled together all the supposed eye witness descriptions of Jesus from historical record. Not biblical descriptions, but those of Roman record. Jesus was a figure of considerable concern and his description was needed in order to point him out in a crowd.

As I recall, he was described as taller than average, standing out from the crowd, with amazingly blue eyes and almond hair.

No time to search for that post currently. But it is there somewhere in my comments. Not just one, but many descriptions from different historical Roman sources of record.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I didn’t know such records existed. I know some people who think he never even existed, who claimed that the first non-Biblical references to him were written 200 years after his death. Let me know if you ever find them again.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Yeah I did a quick search but couldn’t find them. But I think I was actually mildly debating @josie at the time. I can’t remember the exact wording of the question, nor the quotes. But I was amazed that such records did exist.

lillycoyote's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh There is quite a bit of scholarship and research that has been done regarding the “historical Jesus.” It is not at all hard to find.

Deja_vu's avatar

I’m sure Jesus was very short like Danny Devito just not as fat. People were shorter back then so in that case he was probley really tall for the time.

crazyivan's avatar

The number I usually come across is between 5’2” and 5’4” in keeping with the standard of the day. The other thing of interest to think about is that he probably couldn’t make his way through airport security without an additional screening in the US, given his ethnicity.

Freaking airport security…

faye's avatar

@MaryW I read somewhere that the shroud of Turin is not from Jesus’ time.

crazyivan's avatar

The shroud of Turin has been thoroughly debunked on a number of occasions.

truecomedian's avatar

What? What a weird question. Weird because I never thought about it. He was probably about average for a jew in that time. Anywhere from 5’5” to 6’, and between 130 to 180 pounds. That’s probably to vague to get any lurve but it’s the best answer I can give without researching the anthropology of the time and place where he was said to be born and get a more exact size. At first like some people I thought you meant big, as in importance. Don’t want to get into that, but he definatly is/was famous depending on your faith.

Rarebear's avatar

Probably about 8 inches.

Trillian's avatar

What then to do about this Jesus mania?
How do we deal with the carpenter king?
Where do we start with a man who is bigger,
than John was when John did his baptism thing?
(Rice, Webber)

ucme's avatar

Why do you think women yell out his name during sex!?! Yeah the holy mother fucker was packing a huge pork sword….allegedly!! :¬)

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@ucme well, nominally Christian women, anyway.

I’m not taking my speculations anywhere beyond that right now. Maybe it’s time for some field research…

downtide's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies There are, within the area of the Middle East, pockets of people whose ethnic appearance is more Caucasian, with brown hair and often very light eyes. The Kurds are a well-known example. So it’s entirely possible, if Jesus had some ancestry in one of those groups, that he could have been light-haired and blue-eyed as typically depicted in Christian art. This boy is a Kurd.

lillycoyote's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Here are some links to Wikipedia articles that can give you some background and directions and references for further study if you’re interested.

Historical Jesus 1 and Historical Jesus 2 and Jesus as Myth. Obviously Wikipedia is just a place to start as there is some controversy surrounding this subject. :-)

I have no axe to grind either way, though I happen to think that there was an “historical Jesus” of some sort, some individual upon whom the ensuing 2000 years of mythology or whatever, was built; but better and more knowledgeable minds than mine have studied the matter in great detail and for a very long time and have come to conflicting conclusions. I just think that anything that has had such a broad and powerful influence on world history should be approached with some seriousness and not automatically dismissed or accepted without some study.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@lillycoyote Thanks for the links. I am aware of most arguments either way, but I just wouldn’t have thought it possible to deny it with the sources @RealEyesRealizeRealLies was talking about. I personally think he was a real human, but I would be interested to see such specific sources.

lillycoyote's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Sorry. I hope my answer didn’t seem patronizing, it was not meant that way at all.

cookieman's avatar

You’d have to ask Mary Magdalaine.

oh…you meant ‘height’

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@lillycoyote No offence taken. Thanks again for the information.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Found it! Here is the original thread. It was another @josie question about how Jesus looked.

As I said in the original thread: “I’m not promoting it either way. But there does seem to be some foundation behind the typical western depictions.”

________________

The blond haired blue eyed Jesus:

Another description of Jesus is found in The Archko Volume which contains official court documents from the days of Jesus. This information substantiates that He came from racial lines which had blue eyes and golden hair. In a chapter entitled Gamaliel’s Interview it states concerning Jesus (Yeshua) appearance

“I asked him to describe this person to me, so that I might know him if I should meet him. He said: ‘If you ever meet him [Yeshua] you will know him. While he is nothing but a man, there is something about him that distinguishes him from every other man. He is the picture of his mother, only he has not her smooth, round face. His hair is a little more golden than hers, though it is as much from sunburn as anything else. He is tall, and his shoulders are a little drooped; his visage is thin and of a swarthy complexion, though this is from exposure. His eyes are large and a soft blue, and rather dull and heavy….’ This Jew [Nazarite] is convinced that he is the Messiah of the world. ...this was the same person that was born of the virgin in Bethlehem some twenty-six years before…”

This is a reprinting of a letter from Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar describing the physical appearance of Jesus. Copies are in the Congressional Library in Washington, D.C.

TO TIBERIUS CAESAR:

A young man appeared in Galilee preaching with humble unction, a new law in the Name of the God that had sent Him. At first I was apprehensive that His design was to stir up the people against the Romans, but my fears were soon dispelled. Jesus of Nazareth spoke rather as a friend of the Romans than of the Jews. One day I observed in the midst of a group of people a young man who was leaning against a tree, calmly addressing the multitude. I was told it was Jesus. This I could easily have suspected so great was the difference between Him and those who were listening to Him. His golden colored hair and beard gave to his appearance a celestial aspect. He appeared to be about 30 years of age. Never have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance. What a contrast between Him and His bearers with their black beards and tawny complexions! Unwilling to interrupt Him by my presence, I continued my walk but signified to my secretary to join the group and listen. Later, my secretary reported that never had he seen in the works of all the philosophers anything that compared to the teachings of Jesus. He told me that Jesus was neither seditious nor rebellious, so we extended to Him our protection. He was at liberty to act, to speak, to assemble and to address the people. This unlimited freedom provoked the Jews—not the poor but the rich and powerful.”

The following was taken from a manuscript in the possession of Lord Kelly, and in his library, and was copied from an original letter of Publius Lentullus at Rome. It being the usual custom of Roman Governors to advertise the Senate and people of such material things as happened in their provinces in the days of Tiberius Caesar, Publius Lentullus, President of Judea, wrote the following epistle to the Senate concerning the Nazarene called Jesus.

“There appeared in these our days a man, of the Jewish Nation, of great virtue, named Yeshua [Jesus], who is yet living among us, and of the Gentiles is accepted for a Prophet of truth, but His own disciples call Him the Son of God- He raiseth the dead and cureth all manner of diseases. A man of stature somewhat tall, and comely, with very reverent countenance, such as the beholders may both love and fear, his hair of (the colour of) the chestnut, full ripe, plain to His ears, whence downwards it is more orient and curling and wavering about His shoulders. In the midst of His head is a seam or partition in His hair, after the manner of the Nazarenes. His forehead plain and very delicate; His face without spot or wrinkle, beautified with a lovely red; His nose and mouth so formed as nothing can be reprehended; His beard thickish, in colour like His hair, not very long, but forked; His look innocent and mature; His eyes grey, clear, and quick- In reproving hypocrisy He is terrible; in admonishing, courteous and fair spoken; pleasant in conversation, mixed with gravity. It cannot be remembered that any have seen Him Laugh, but many have seen Him Weep. In proportion of body, most excellent; His hands and arms delicate to behold. In speaking, very temperate, modest, and wise. A man, for His singular beauty, surpassing the children of men”

______________

However, all of these descriptions contradict the Old Testament description of what the coming Messiah would actually look like.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.
Isaiah 53:2

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Thanks! If those sources are reliable, then I would trust them more than something written several hundred years before he was even born.

downtide's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Thanks for all this. It lends support to my theory that he may have had Kurdish ancestry, or something similar.

truecomedian's avatar

If he was over 300 pounds he never would have gotten up on that cross.

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