The True Face of Jesus

I’m currently reading this book called “The Jesus Papers”, written by Michael Baigent. It’s an interesting book which I’m still reading so I’ll review it when I’m done. Dan Brown, while writing The Da Vinci Code, based some of his research on this author’s work. It questions the very existence of Jesus Christ, a figure so large in our lives, especially when we were children.

I especially loved the illustrations in this book for children: My Friend Jesus (see image below).

The book My Friend Jesus for children
The book My Friend Jesus for children

We grew up with the blonde image of Jesus, the very center of our Christian faith. We watched movies where Jesus glided across green fields talking to the children, preaching to the crowds and healing the sick. Even now, this blond long-haired image of Jesus hangs on the walls of our churches, of our homes, of our offices, of our Catholic school classrooms and halls.

The famous blonde face of Jesus. Image from catholictradition.org
The famous blonde face of Jesus. Image from catholictradition.org

The various movies over time have reinforced this image with the actors being long-haired and blonde, sometimes blue/green-eyed.

Actor Robert Powell played the part of Jesus in the movie Jesus of Nazareth in 1977. Image from http://www.rejesus.co.uk
Actor Robert Powell played the part of Jesus in the movie Jesus of Nazareth in 1977. Image from http://www.rejesus.co.uk

This could not be more wrong!

Quoting from the author of the book I’m reading:

Modern Christian illustrations depict the popular image of Jesus wandering around ancient Israel- the sun gliding his blond hair yet never burning his fair skin (I admit I had a crush on this very handsome image). Yet Jesus was a Jew: a dark Palestinian not a Northern fair European.

Jesus was born in modern day Palestine. He was a Jew, so it follows that he looked like everyone else did back then. History is written by the conquerors, so as the gospel was spreading throughout the image altered to that more appealing to the audience.

Advances in forensic science reveal the most famous face in history. That of Jesus Christ.

The true face of Jesus
The true face of Jesus

I know it’s hard to deal with, but you can read more about the True Face of Jesus here.. how they managed to reconstruct it using well, science.

P.S.

I know, I know… we are all used to the blond Jesus who’s so cute and whom we are all in love with; The sun gliding his long tresses, his dimpled cheeks always drawn into a smile.. but it’s time to grow up and face the truth; we have been lied to long enough!

  • http://twitter.com/GinieKay GiniK

    What does it matter ah? What does it matter what Jesus really looked like? What matters is whether you’re following him or not. What’s in a face?

    • savvykenya

      It’s all a matter of faith, ey? If the people spreading this faith are using a false image, what else could they be lying about?

      • http://twitter.com/GinieKay GiniK

        But your faith should not depend on what they say but what God has revealed. It would have to be such a wonderful conspiracy if our Faith was based on lies but a conspiracy which would definitely not last for over 2000 years. Also, artists sometimes, actually most of the time represent what they think or understand, I’ve seen an image of Jesus for instance with Chinese features because it was painted by a Chinese.

        • savvykenya

          Some aspects of a religion can be changed to suit the times, no? It all boils down to a matter of faith, faith is what makes you believe the Adam and Eve story over the Mumbi and her nine daughters.

          • http://twitter.com/GinieKay GiniK

            The face of Jesus is not an aspect of religion. No where is it subscribed that that is the face of Jesus. Faith is God given. Isn’t it ironic that you’re so ready to believe what you’re reading from an author who is most likely an atheist yet are ready to discredit what you’ve been taught? Even if he was right, it wouldn’t change a thing.

  • rebel cadet

    JESUS CHRIST!!!!

    • savvykenya

      I know, right?

  • Shisya2002

    This proves what i have always believed,,, that jesus was more ‘black’ than white!

    • savvykenya

      He’s neither black nor white :)

  • Shisya2002

    However i believe one thin is certain, his beard must have been split!!

    • savvykenya

      Why do you believe his beard was split?

  • http://realkenyanhiphop.blogspot.com/ Gregory

    I am not much of a religious person jesus must have been fairer lol. This face is scarry.

    • savvykenya

      Apparently, Isaiah 53:2 says: “he hath no beauty” etc

  • r.holmgren

    The Jesus Papers is a waste of your time. Fantasy and fabrication and corrosive to your soul

    • savvykenya

      I am not believing everything I read, a lot of speculation there.. but also leads to a few questions here and there.

  • Ideos Maghanga

    People, the important thing is the reason behind his coming to earth – bring redemption to mankind.

    • savvykenya

      This is a typical Christian response: the end justifies the means, eh? So it’s okay if they use the image that can appeal to people to be saved, rather than a true image of what Jesus may have looked like? Is it okay to use it to spread Christianity?

  • Bis

    SavvyKenya and all readers of this article, i am humbled to comment on the above subject. Modern Christians, Science, History and Bible are ALL different things. Modern Christians believe on the drawings like above (the work of a creative designer who perhaps didn’t see Jesus!) Actor Robert Powell who-as you wrote-played the part of Jesus in the movie Jesus of Nazareth in 1977 is in fact yesterday compared to HIS departure in 33 AD- difference of 1944 years down the line!

    What am i driving at? The only single book of reference for LIFE is BIBLE. Not modern Christians, Science or History! History and Science might perhaps give/reveal different physical images of Jesus. Agreed. What does the Right Book tells us? We are not interested in the image of HIM whether ugly, handsome or many other descriptions! We are interested in what Science, History and Modern Christianity do not know and they won’t know FOR YOUR INFORMATION! God Himself (Jesus’ Father) is not interested in outer (physical)appearance of somebody and that is why Jesus, sent to save mankind would have had a unique appearance that carries characteristics of ALL PEOPLE, race(skin color),tribe, body shape n size etc, but that was not important!

    Jesus was/is a UNIQUE person -Study of his life in the Bible-whom we cannot believe Him simply because of his image we see by the church walls or what The Jesus Papers are showing/telling us, NO. Why? 1. He walked on water as opposed to science, among other many unique things he does. After all, His existence was long ago seen by prophets; Isaiah, Moses, Daniel 9.24 among others! We therefore follow what He told us to do for the sake of our salvation PERIOD. Besides, there is nowhere in Bible where we are to guess the image of Jesus otherwise His image would have been part of the scriptures but hakuna imagine!

    Never be deceived, knowing Jesus’ image is not part of salvation, it’s part of building history! So, no matter the image you give, well, we’ll say ‘we don’t know’
    Am sorry if i’ve hurt anyone but that’s the truth. Believe in the Bible alone for your salvation unless with other motives.

    • savvykenya

      Do you know that the Bible was not written until many years after Jesus’ death?! Who compiled the books that would go into the Bible? Who even decided which Gospel to take and which to leave? These were done by humans.

      Is it wrong to study history, to find out more about what happened during that time? Is it wrong to want to know how Jesus really looked like? Is it wrong to ask questions? One thing about religion is that ‘they’ want you to take everything at face value. Ask no questions. Just believe what we tell you, it’s the truth. It will lead you to heaven. If you ask questions, you are an atheist with no faith, so we’ll pray that God gives you faith. It’s not wrong to ask questions.

      Surely, there is a God out there, but the whole concept of Christianity is something else altogether.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • curious

    Hi hi hi. Would you trust that guy with your child? …But anyway I’ve never gotten the whole Jesus story. If God loved people and wanted to save their souls from eternal damnation why didn’t he just get rid of that “Book of Life” he keeps. Why did he reincarnate himself and have himself killed?? Or he just into S&M?

    • savvykenya

      I’m sure if you studied the Bible you’d find an explanation.. He wanted us to know what sacrifice is.

    • Gg

      the stupidity with we africans is that we believe every bullshit that a white who is only trying to make his book contoversial..read marketing gimmick says.If an a self confessed atheist like philiph ochieng believes that Jesus was real, who are you?

      • savvykenya

        And us “stupid” Africans just accepted Christianity the way it was explained to us, without question. We were told our religions will never get you into heaven, better abandon your heathen practices.

        I don’t care what Philip Ochieng believes in, it’s just a fact that Jesus did not look like the popular image spread around.

  • Gmatiri

    i think you would rather use your beautiful time doing some more constructive works,perhaps even pray for the ocampo 4 than attack other peoples faith, who prevented you from believing in a cow like the hindu do?How comes no one is ready to attack the muslims and their proohet?MY FRIEND GOD is not mocked and whatever a man sows he shall reapeth

    • savvykenya

      Is it mocking Jesus if we attempt to unveil his real face? Surely, he couldn’t have looked like the blonde handsome image distributed by Christians.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.kathenya Eric Kathenya

    Jesus was a Jew. Who are the Jews we know today? Start with the poster child of social media Mark Zuckerberg. Oh, he doesnt live in Palestine. Ok. Look at Benjamin Netanyahu etc. White as chalk. Look at the Arabs too. Even Africa-Arabs aka Mubarak and Gaddafi.

    • savvykenya

      Do you want us to travel to Pakistani right now and see how the population looks like?! We are talking about Jesus 2000 years ago. He did not have long blonde hair, he looked like everyone around him. In fact, when Pilate’s soldiers came to arrest him, they couldn’t pick him out from the other disciples, Judas had to kiss him for them to know.

      The skulls found in the region where Jesus was born that dated back to that time were the ones modeled to come up with that face, the nearest thing we have to his true face.

  • Mackel9

    Huh? Ignorance is bliss

    • savvykenya

      In this case, literally!

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  • http://www.siku-moja.blogspot.com nairobian perspective

    Hah hah Savvy….some emotive topic , but consider this slight correction,the bible (greek Biblios) is a compilation of books, 66 in number according to canonical records, the first book was written over 3,500 years ago,last book is the letter of John written some 1,900 years again, some scrolls such as the Dead Sea Scroll( containing book of Isaiah ) have been dated to 150-200 Before Our Common Era(BCE) by carbon dating,that is before even Jesus set foot on Earth.Jewish Historian Josephus and Roman Historian Tacitus(lived in the same era) both confirm the historicity and verify events described in the Gospels including the Census decree of Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:1) requiring Jews to register in their hometowns .
    There is more facts of Jesus existence than critics can disprove than there is of the existence of Plato, Socrates,Luanda Magere and even some Pharaohs eg Rameses.The issue is (even with the staunchest of informed critics )never whether or not Jesus existed but how he looked like? as you so well put it .However note and that is without dispute….no one exactly knows how he looked and not even science can prove that save for give conjectures
    .I mean Kenyans are dark, generally but not all Kenyans are dark…thats a fact, some Taita’s are light but not all are light, even in the same family there is always variation of tone and since scientists dont have any DNA material of Jesus….we cannot even start speculating. What you see in books are just artists depictions but none of them had or will ever have the actual view of Jesus.And thats the furthest that argument should go…!

    • savvykenya

      Thanks for the contribution.

      1. To construct the face of Jesus, they found skulls dating back to the time of Jesus (using carbon dating of course) in the same area he was born; and thus they constructed a face using 3D imaging, that is the CLOSEST resemblance we have of Jesus, and not the other blonde Jesus image. So of course it’s speculation but it’s more accurate, but not exact.

      2. Jesus did exist, that’s for sure. So maybe his looks are not important in the entire Christian set up. The question is, was he the son of God in the literal sense?! I doubt it. But that is a discussion for another day!

      • http://www.siku-moja.blogspot.com nairobian perspective

        1. That’s fallacious as well as absurd! 2000 years from now collect a few skulls from Nairobi, using 3d imaging reconstruct my face….heh our skull ranges ,face morphology differ greatly without putting wear and tear aspects.Sometimes you have to have enormous blind faith to believe some of these scientists. Many falsify data just to reach predetermined ends to justify their theories after all those skulls could be of anyone including visitors/tourists to Galilee etc…
        2.Question of whether Jesus was the Son of God…interesting write on it please ,my few cents it depends on which sense you are speaking, si hata wewe ni mtoto wa mungu? Luke 3: 38 in tracing Jesus genealogy has as the final statement Adam son of God(in what sense is he son of God?thru creatorship ama?)…i wonder why guys get so pent up when someone is called Son of God.In this age and time i find it queer that people still believe that to father one there must be sexual relationship..(hah hah let me start for you another viral post)….

        • savvykenya

          on 1. I believe that whatever face they will reconstruct using 3D imaging, will be a closer representation (an average face) of someone living in Nairobi at the time. Whatever method they used, it must surely be more accurate than the Blonde Jesus image. He definitely looked like everyone around him, because when Pilate’s soldiers came to arrest him, they couldn’t pick him out from the other disciples, Judas had to kiss him for them to know. But since looks aren’t that important, we should halt the discussion here.

          On whether Jesus is God; hmm.. he was made deity when the Bible books were being compiled, before that, had history not been ‘exaggerated’ or manipulated, then he would be just another prophet, like Muhammad.