Crystal Valentine, Poetess…
Getting past the argument of whether Jesus existed or not, some British scientists, assisted by Israeli archaeologists, have come up with what they believe Jesus would have looked like…
My view? Blue eyed blonde haired Jesus is an impossibility. Jesus, by the Bible was a middle eastern Jew, meaning he would look like the locals.
Advances in forensic science reveal the most famous face in history.
From the first time Christian children settle into Sunday school classrooms, an image of Jesus Christ is etched into their minds. In North America he is most often depicted as being taller than his disciples, lean, with long, flowing, light brown hair, fair skin and light-colored eyes. Familiar though this image may be, it is inherently flawed. A person with these features and physical bearing would have looked very different from everyone else in the region where Jesus lived and ministered. Surely the authors of the Bible would have mentioned so stark a contrast.
On the contrary, according to the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane before the Crucifixion, Judas Iscariot had to indicate to the soldiers whom Jesus was because they could not tell him apart from his disciples. Further clouding the question of what Jesus looked like is the simple fact that nowhere in the New Testament is Jesus described, nor have any drawings of him ever been uncovered.
There is the additional problem of having neither a skeleton nor other bodily remains to probe for DNA. In the absence of evidence, our images of Jesus have been left to the imagination of artists. The influences of the artists’ cultures and traditions can be profound, observes Carlos F. Cardoza-Orlandi, associate professor of world Christianity at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta. “While Western imagery is dominant, in other parts of the world he is often shown as black, Arab or Hispanic.” And so the fundamental question remains: What did Jesus look like?
An answer has emerged from an exciting new field of science: forensic anthropology. Using methods similar to those police have developed to solve crimes, British scientists, assisted by Israeli archeologists, have re-created what they believe is the most accurate image of the most famous face in human history.
The Body As Evidence
An outgrowth of physical anthropology, forensic anthropology uses cultural and archeological data as well as the physical and biological sciences to study different groups of people, explains A. Midori Albert, a professor who teaches forensic anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Experts in this highly specialized field require a working knowledge of genetics, and human growth and development. In their research they also draw from the fields of primatology, paleoanthropology (the study of primate and human evolution) and human osteology (the study of the skeleton). Even seemingly distant fields like nutrition, dentistry and climate adaptation play a role in this type of investigation.
While forensic anthropology is usually used to solve crimes, Richard Neave, a medical artist retired from The University of Manchester in England, realized it also could shed light on the appearance of Jesus. The co-author of Making Faces: Using Forensic And Archaeological Evidence, Neave had ventured in controversial areas before. Over the past two decades, he had reconstructed dozens of famous faces, including Philip II of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great, and King Midas of Phrygia. If anyone could create an accurate portrait of Jesus, it would be Neave.
Matthew’s description of the events in Gethsemane offers an obvious clue to the face of Jesus. It is clear that his features were typical of Galilean Semites of his era. And so the first step for Neave and his research team was to acquire skulls from near Jerusalem, the region where Jesus lived and preached. Semite skulls of this type had previously been found by Israeli archeology experts, who shared them with Neave.
With three well-preserved specimens from the time of Jesus in hand, Neave used computerized tomography to create X-ray “slices” of the skulls, thus revealing minute details about each one’s structure. Special computer programs then evaluated reams of information about known measurements of the thickness of soft tissue at key areas on human faces. This made it possible to re-create the muscles and skin overlying a representative Semite skull.
The entire process was accomplished using software that verified the results with anthropological data. From this data, the researchers built a digital 3D reconstruction of the face. Next, they created a cast of the skull. Layers of clay matching the thickness of facial tissues specified by the computer program were then applied, along with simulated skin. The nose, lips and eyelids were then modeled to follow the shape determined by the underlying muscles.
A Matter Of Style
Two key factors could not be determined from the skull—Jesus’s hair and coloration. To fill in these parts of the picture, Neave’s team turned to drawings found at various archeological sites, dated to the first century. Drawn before the Bible was compiled, they held crucial clues that enabled the researchers to determine that Jesus had dark rather than light-colored eyes. They also pointed out that in keeping with Jewish tradition, he was bearded as well.
It was the Bible, however, that resolved the question of the length of Jesus’s hair. While most religious artists have put long hair on Christ, most biblical scholars believe that it was probably short with tight curls. This assumption, however, contradicted what many believe to be the most authentic depiction: the face seen in the image on the famous—some say infamous—Shroud of Turin. The shroud is believed by many to be the cloth in which Jesus’s body was wrapped after his death. Although there is a difference of opinion as to whether the shroud is genuine, it clearly depicts a figure with long hair. Those who criticize the shroud’s legitimacy point to 1 Corinthians, one of the many New Testament books the apostle Paul is credited with writing. In one chapter he mentions having seen Jesus—then later describes long hair on a man as disgraceful. Would Paul have written “If a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him” if Jesus Christ had had long hair? For Neave and his team this settled the issue. Jesus, as drawings from the first century depict, would have had short hair, appropriate to men of the time.
The historic record also resolved the issue of Jesus’s height. From an analysis of skeletal remains, archeologists had firmly established that the average build of a Semite male at the time of Jesus was 5 ft. 1 in., with an average weight of about 110 pounds. Since Jesus worked outdoors as a carpenter until he was about 30 years old, it is reasonable to assume he was more muscular and physically fit than westernized portraits suggest. His face was probably weather-beaten, which would have made him appear older, as well….Read more here…
Michael Whaley, whose tirade against BlackLiveMatter on Youtube, and mentioned in my post “Uncle Ruckus Syndrome” earned himself a interview on the racist trolling Faux News…
As discussed by several folks in my comment section – there were some questions as to whether the boy in the YouTube indeed had a full set of marbles. Faux News, willing to give an audience to any Uncle Tom willing to go on camera criticizing the Black Community, BlackLIvesMatter, or any other thing racial snapped up Whaley…
To their regret.
On “The Kelly File” Tuesday night, host Megyn Kelly spoke to Michael Whaley, an African-American Marine whose anti-#BlackLivesMatter video went viral over the weekend.
In the video, Whaley accused the movement of “encouraging black people to kill white people” — encouragement to which he attributed the murder of Officer Darren Goforth in Houston last Friday. That wasn’t the only Fox News talking point/marching order Whaley indulged in, as he also claimed that “black people can’t accept the truth about themselves,” and need to focus on the fact that “all lives matter.”
Given that Whaley’s video essentially repeated everything that Fox News’ white hosts and guests have been arguing for weeks now, it’s not surprising that Kelly’s producers booked him for an appearance. After all, there’s just something different about him that could lend their arguments the appearance of greater credibility. But back to the interview with Kelly, in which Whaley briefly recapitulated his/their argument before noting that the black community is even more complicit in its own destruction than Kelly assumed.
“What about the ‘no snitch rule’?” Kelly asked. “This was the first I’ve heard about that, for why black people in the inner cities don’t speak up more about black-on-black crime.”
Whaley expressed disbelief, saying “the ‘no snitch rule,’ you know, you’ve probably heard of it before, so I don’t understand why you say it’s your first time hearing about it. There’s been a ‘no snitch rule for a long time.”
“But in this context, it was new,” Kelly clarified, wholly unconvincingly. Even if she had heard of the rule, the fact that she hadn’t thought about the context of the black community enough to consider its implications in this context speaks volumes about the depth of her concern with the plight of black communities in the inner city.
Her inability to make this simple, obvious connection seemed to unnerve him, so after explaining the rule to Kelly, Whaley went on a bizarre rant that began by noting that Jesus’ people had him crucified, but he loved them anyway, and ended by him asserting that “black people and white people aren’t enemies, there’s somebody else behind closed doors, that’s actually pulling the strings, that’s actually causing racism in America.” He didn’t specify who this someone or someones is, but from the look on Kelly’s face, she was clearly afraid he was going to name names. Instead, Whaley veered off in yet another direction.
“It starts with education,” he argued, “we need to teach our kids to overcome diversity, to accept criticism of our races. The #BlackLivesMatter movement is encouraging black people to throw away their lives for something most white people of this generation weren’t a part of, and can’t control. That’s history, let’s not look at the negative things in history. History tends to repeat itself.”
At this point, an uncomfortable Kelly had tried to cut him off three or four times, and finally did so successfully, saying “I hear you, I hear you. We appreciate you coming on, telling us your perspective.”
There have been a number of instances in the past few years where one group or another has rented billboards to push their message out to the public. Alveda King, MLK’s daughter, who is the spokesperson for an anti-abortion group has leased billboards in a number of cities to advance her group’s pro-life message. Even black conservative political groups have used the medium to advance their controversial message – such as Raging Elephants, and the National Black Republican Association‘s “MLK Was a Republican” Boards which appear now each election cycle…
Now the Black Atheists are striking back!
Members of the Dallas religious community are speaking up about a national organization’s controversial plans to display an Atheist message on a prominent billboard, the Christian Chronicle reports.
The billboard was proposed by the national organization African Americans for Humanism as part of their country-wide Black History Month campaign aimed at encouraging African Americans to look critically at their faith, according to KDAF TV.
The message was scheduled to be posted Monday, but the billboard remains blank as community members continue to voice strong opinions on the plans, some of whom have even sent hate mail to African Americans for Humanism members.
David Lane, the pastor of a church about a mile down the road from the billboard site, told reporters he believes the plans will lead to important discussion in the African American community, where faith has long held a strong place.
“Traditionally African Americans come out of a tradition that is led and motivated by faith. We are where we are and we are who we are primarily because we’ve chosen to believe in a power that’s bigger than ourselves,” Lane told Fox 4 News. “It will create a lot of dialogue. There will be congregations of all kinds in this area who will be challenged by the fact that such a movement is at our door.”
But other members of the religious community have not been so welcoming. After a similar billboard was put up in Chicago, a representative at African American for Humanism’s headquarters therereceived a series of angry letters and e-mails, according to the Dallas Observer.
One such e-mail read:
.WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.I have looked at your web cite [sic] and your billboards in Dallas. Your black Athiest Organizations make me sick. There is nothing worse than a bunch of blacks supporting Gays and Lesbians.. You are infesting are [sic] cities with your foolish beliefs! What is your reasoning behind your Athiest [sic] beliefs? It is groups like yours that are screwing up lives.But supporters of the billboard argue that it’s not meant to threaten religious beliefs, but rather provide a space for thought with people who may be in doubt.
Alix Jules, a member of the Dallas-Forth Worth Coalition of Reason, whose face will appear on the billboard, spoke to the Dallas Observer about the challenges many African Americans face when doubting their faith.
“When you wind up saying you don’t believe, then you’re walking away from a mating pool,” Jules told the paper. “You’re not going to be able to do that because now you’re deemed unfit. And you wind up throwing back into your parent’s face the belief they gave you isn’t good enough for you.”