Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The face of Christ

I had a few minutes while Kate was sleeping and I was waiting for John to get home. So, the children and I were looking at some pictures of Jesus. I was trying to explain to them that the typical image of Jesus wasn't really what he looked like. After all, he was Jewish and from the middle east. Paul also tells men in 1 Corinthians that they aren't supposed to have long hair, so I doubt Jesus did. I came across this little article, thought it was neat, and wanted to share. On a side note, if you've never studied where the typically thought of image of Jesus came from, you should. You'll never look at it the same way again.

Some artists, especially during the Renaissance, depicted Jesus with red hair. Why? Well, 1 Samuel 16:12 says that Jesus' great-great-great-great- great-great-great-great- great-great-great-great- great-great-great-great- great-great-great-great- great-great-great-great- great-grandfather David was "ruddy." However, the text seems to be describing a reddish tone to David's skin, and to claim that this text meant that David's distant relative had red hair is pretty far-fetched. Others have argued that Jesus had woolly hair by citing Revelation 1:14. Besides the fact that this is Apocalyptic literature, which is notoriously difficult to use in arguments about a person's physical appearance, the entire passage reads as follows:

"His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow."

The point is not that Jesus' hair had the texture of wool, but that in this Apocalyptic appearance, Jesus' hair was radiant, in order to emphasize his glory and power.

So then, in reality what did Jesus look like? Well, some scientists for a BBC special measured several skulls of middle aged Jewish men from Roman period Palestine, and they put together a composite of what the average man might have looked like at that time. And this is what they came up with.

Jesus according to the BBC

Image from BBC

Not at all the traditional image of Jesus with a long face, as this idea developed hundreds of years after Jesus.

I can't wait to meet him!



michele said...

hi amanda, this is marie's aunt. :) i wanted to send you a note to tell you how absolutely adorable little kate is. i can just picture her and ainsley growing up as little buddies. sorry to hear about your roof. geez, it is WAY worse than i thought it was when marie told me about it. take care of yourself and your precious little lambs.


washburnello said...

That's the coolest picture ever! I'd heard of that study before but I never did a search to actually find it.

michele said...

so good to hear back from you! yes, we met at the wedding...but i didn't look like my current profile picture! lol. thank you for your kind words. marie has always had my heart.

jenifriend said...

this is so interesting! and i really enjoy your new layout; it's so fresh!!