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grimpixie
01-06-2004, 02:27 AM
What's up with the OP?

Grim

Grrr!
01-06-2004, 06:38 AM
Grrr! Hamsters ate my OP!! Lets try this again...

I 've seen portraits of him and I've seen statues of him; I was just wondering what the logic BEHIND it all was. I mean wasn't Jesus Jewish? Do the people that have/make actually believe that Jesus was black? Or is it ment to be taken in a metaphorical sense? ..As in sense of belonging or identity?

Also couldn't black Jesus be considered a tad bit sac-religious? (this is where the crux of the debate lies) I mean it would pretty much be the same as me making out Buda to be white or something along those lines..

[disclaimer] it's a shame I have to put this in here but just in case anybody wants to get started; No, I'm not a racist I believe ALL races are equal..

Dalchini
01-06-2004, 06:45 AM
Originally posted by SHAKES
Grrr! Hamsters ate my OP!! Lets try this again...

I 've seen portraits of him and I've seen statues of him; I was just wondering what the logic BEHIND it all was. I mean wasn't Jesus Jewish? Do the people that have/make actually believe that Jesus was black? Or is it ment to be taken in a metaphorical sense? ..As in sense of belonging or identity?

Also couldn't black Jesus be considered a tad bit sac-religious? (this is where the crux of the debate lies) I mean it would pretty much be the same as me making out Buda to be white or something along those lines..

[disclaimer] it's a shame I have to put this in here but just in case anybody wants to get started; No, I'm not a racist I believe ALL races are equal..





The only potraits I seen, show Jesus as a blond hair, blue eyed man!

Kimstu
01-06-2004, 06:47 AM
OP: Also couldn't black Jesus be considered a tad bit [sacrilegious]? (this is where the crux of the debate lies) I mean it would pretty much be the same as me making out [Buddha] to be white or something along those lines..

Well, there are oodles and oodles of depictions of Jesus that show him as lily-white, blond and blue-eyed, which I doubt is any more plausible as an ethnotype for a first-century Middle Eastern Jew. If blond Jesus isn't considered sacrilegious, why should black Jesus be?

Grrr!
01-06-2004, 06:59 AM
by Kimstu: If blond Jesus isn't considered sacrilegious, why should black Jesus be?

I see a big difference here; I mean we're talking about the guys heritage..or mother to be more specific...

you with the face
01-06-2004, 07:00 AM
Why is being Jewish incompatible with dark skin and kinky hair?

grimpixie
01-06-2004, 07:06 AM
Some (http://religion-cults.com/art/black-jesus.html) artwork (http://www.rejesus.co.uk/expressions/faces_jesus/gallery/rasta.html) of the kind SHAKES is talking about...

To me it is identification with the "liberator of oppressed peoples" aspect of Jesus' ministry here on earth - to portray Jesus as black is to show his incarnation as one of those suffering here on earth (who must be black, just as the oppressor must be white). This is certainly the foundatation of much of Black Liberation Theology as evidenced by this article (http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/BlackTheology.html) on the subject:One of the more controversial aspects of Cone's Christology is his view that Jesus was (is) black: "The 'raceless' American Christ has a light skin, wavy brown hair, and sometimes - wonder of wonders - blue eyes. For whites to find him with big lips and kinky hair is as offensive as it was for the Pharisees to find him partying with tax-collectors. But whether whites want to hear it or not, Christ is black, baby, with all of the features which are so detestable to white society" (emphasis in original).[32]

Cone believes it is very important for black people to view Jesus as black: "It's very important because you've got a lot of white images of Christ. In reality, Christ was not white, not European. That's important to the psychic and to the spiritual consciousness of black people who live in a ghetto and in a white society in which their lord and savior looks just like people who victimize them. God is whatever color God needs to be in order to let people know they're not nobodies, they're somebodies."[33]Grim

tomndebb
01-06-2004, 07:29 AM
I suspect that there are as many different meanings and purposes for various portrayals of Jesus as there are artists.

In my experience, the overwhelming majority of people who painted Jesus as a Nordic European, an Eastern Asian (complete with epicanthic folds), a black African, or an indigenous American did so for the purpose of recognizing that Jesus came to all people, including their particular group.

In a few cases, there are additional motives, often political. Among some of the "Aryan" groups in the U.S., I have seen strident attempts to claim that Jesus was not Jewish. For good or ill, the concepts that surround Jesus are larger than any small group attempting to politicize him, and even those groups may inadvertantly shed new perceptions on the larger view. If someone's individual view of Jesus is paricularly silly, their message will disappear along with their movement. In the meantime, it is a historical reality that all groups have tended to cast his image in the contet of their own cultures, so I hardly consider that action to be sacriligeous or blasphemous. (I doubt that Jesus would be offended.)

Super Gnat
01-06-2004, 08:57 AM
Originally posted by SHAKES
I see a big difference here; I mean we're talking about the guys heritage..or mother to be more specific... You would expect a first century Jewish woman to have blonde hair? :dubious:

People like to draw a Jesus that looks like them. Why is it okay if He looks like you but not okay if He looks like me?

Kalhoun
01-06-2004, 09:03 AM
I saw something on the net or in the bookstore or SOMEWHERE that was a collection of about a gazillion different opinions of what Jesus looks like. It reinforced my opinion that he is simply a man who lived before cameras were invented.

labmonkey
01-06-2004, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by SHAKES
I 've seen portraits of him and I've seen statues of him; I was just wondering what the logic BEHIND it all was. I mean wasn't Jesus Jewish? Do the people that have/make actually believe that Jesus was black? Or is it ment to be taken in a metaphorical sense? ..As in sense of belonging or identity?

Also couldn't black Jesus be considered a tad bit sac-religious? (this is where the crux of the debate lies) I mean it would pretty much be the same as me making out Buda to be white or something along those lines..
[/B] [/B]

Yes, Jesus was Jewish, reconstruction of the skull of a semitic man from around the time Jesus is understood to have lived, here. (http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/12/25/face.jesus/)

Like Tom already said, there are any number of different reasons for Jesus to be portrayed as one physical type or another. I wouldn't read too much into it though. Most likely, upon adopting Christianity, people simply assumed Jesus looked like them(and the people around them). There are scant physical descriptions in the bible IIRC.

Bongmaster
01-06-2004, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by labmonkey
Yes, Jesus was Jewish, reconstruction of the skull of a semitic man from around the time Jesus is understood to have lived, here. (http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/12/25/face.jesus/)

Like Tom already said, there are any number of different reasons for Jesus to be portrayed as one physical type or another. I wouldn't read too much into it though. Most likely, upon adopting Christianity, people simply assumed Jesus looked like them(and the people around them). There are scant physical descriptions in the bible IIRC.

Now thats Jesus. :)

Stonebow
01-06-2004, 11:41 AM
You know, I've always wondered why the default position has not been that Jesus was similar in appearance (allowing for height) to the people living in that general region of the world today. I've always thought of him as being somewhat Middle-Eastern in appearance (dark/black hair, swarthy complexion, dark eyes).

Is this really a far out assumption?

I understand the political statement that Black Jesus tries to make, though. It's the same concept as Black Santa- too often, cultural icons that blacks were supposed to pay lip-service to reinforce the conception of whites as saviors, benefactors, etc. It's just the appropriation of the symbol for their own- nothing wrong with it, especially since it's just as plausible that he was black as it is that he was white.

Nobody
01-06-2004, 12:14 PM
I have to agree with Stonebow that I too figured that he probably had a dark hair, dark eyes, and olive complexioned skin. Of course, there are plenty of light skinned, light hair, blue eyed Middle Easterners nowadays, but I'm wondering how much of it is due to intermarrying with Northern Europeans, and how common that would have been back in Jesus' day.
Also, why would a black Jesus be sacrilegious? What's wrong with being black?

pothead
01-06-2004, 05:24 PM
Flavius Josephus, the guy with the reference to Jesus outside of Church-documents, is said to have said:

"...a man of simple appearance, mature age, dark skin, small stature, three cubits high, hunchbacked with a long face, long nose, and meeting eyebrows, so that they who see him might be affrighted, with scanty hair with a parting in the middle of his head, after the manner of the Nazorites, and with an undeveloped beard."


link (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/skeptic/message/24029)

Considering the source, I'd take it with a helping of salt. The reply in the link says Josephus' own additions of Jesus were doctored by the Church. Originally the growing Church had destroyed or altered all mentions of Jesus that portrayed him as anything less than God. A Slavic translation was said to have survived and discovered/translated. I would assume that copy was the only one that had such a description.

Why would the Church try to convince a bunch of heathens that there was historical evidence of Jesus? They could just as well excommunicate any nay-sayers and damn them to hell. If anyone could find a legitamate source would be great.

Vezer
01-06-2004, 06:38 PM
Christian Orthodox has Jesus generally as dark skinned with brown hair.

Pic 1 (http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/icons/data/pantokrator2.gif)

Pic 2 (http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/icons/data/icxc.gif)

I can sort of see why people would make Jesus close to black more than I see black Santa Claus. He was from a region where many ethnicties blended and had (still do) have many dark skinned people.

Grrr!
01-06-2004, 07:11 PM
by Super Gnat People like to draw a Jesus that looks like them. Why is it okay if He looks like you but not okay if He looks like me?

Well, if some one draws your portrait so people can remember you after you're dead and gone; You wont mind if they make you out to be white?

Super Gnat
01-06-2004, 07:13 PM
Not if I was supposed to be the Savior of all humanity.

Do you think Jesus is offended by pictures that show him as a blond?

E-Sabbath
01-06-2004, 09:08 PM
All I'm going to say is that he was a carpenter. And he spent 40 days in the desert. This man is not going to be fair of skin, and he's not going to be waifishly thin, either.

Grrr!
01-06-2004, 10:23 PM
First off there are two posters in this thread that seem to think-- I think- there is something wrong with being black. Let me tell you now that I DON'T.

All I'm saying is that I don't believe black Jesus to be a true portrayal of him. (acording to MY understanding of christianity) But hey, if it can get more people to follow his cause, then I guess it serves its purpose. Even though it may be a little deceptive. Unless someone wants to argue that he actually was black.

Alas, I must digress though, upon review, I probably shouldn't of started this thread considering the fact that I'm atheist. I just seriously had a genuine curiousity about it.

labmonkey
01-06-2004, 10:34 PM
Originally posted by SHAKES
First off there are two posters in this thread that seem to think-- I think- there is something wrong with being black. Let me tell you now that I DON'T.

All I'm saying is that I don't believe black Jesus to be a true portrayal of him. (acording to MY understanding of christianity) But hey, if it can get more people to follow his cause, then I guess it serves its purpose. Even though it may be a little deceptive. Unless someone wants to argue that he actually was black.

Alas, I must digress though, upon review, I probably shouldn't of started this thread considering the fact that I'm atheist. I just seriously had a genuine curiouosity about it.

I didn't get the feeling you were being racist and I'm an atheist as well, dosen't preclude you from having an interest in religious affairs.

tomndebb
01-06-2004, 11:18 PM
Even though it may be a little deceptive. The point, however, is that it is not[i] deceptive. Leaving aside the cooks and cranks (who are, truly, a tiny minority of people painting pictures of Jesus), the majority of people who painted pictures of Jesus did so to establish a connection to Jesus within their own culture. A 16th century Japanese probably had a pretty good idea that Jesus did not have the "slanted" eyes of the East, given that his story was brought to them by "round-eyed" Jesuits from Europe, but he probably had no notion of how a Jewish preacher from first century Roman Palestine really looked or dressed. So he drew his picture of Jesus in a way to portray Jesus coming to redeem [i]his people, with epicanthic folds and sashed robes, and the normal accoutrements of a 16th century Japanese. Renaissance painters probably had a better idea of what a 1st century Jew might have looked like, but that did not stop them from portraying Jesus (and the Holy Family and the Apostles) as Renaissance era Europeans.

The idea that artistic expression needs to be historically accurate is not an idea that has appeared very often in art history. No one (aside from a few cranks) really cares how each era and culture have portrayed Jesus. Everyone has presumed that Jesus, (who is reported to have come to save [i]all[i] people), will be portrayed in each culture as "one of them." This, rather than an imagined historical record, is why people paint his picture, to begin with.

tomndebb
01-06-2004, 11:19 PM
Kooks, not cooks! (yeeesh)

mhendo
01-06-2004, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by SHAKES
All I'm saying is that I don't believe black Jesus to be a true portrayal of him. (acording to MY understanding of christianity) Well, if you want to engender a more constructive debate, perhaps you'd care to enlighten us as to exactly what your understanding Christianity is, and why it leads you to believe that the most accurate portrayal of Jesus (or his mother, for that matter) would be of a white, northern European-looking person.

GIGObuster
01-06-2004, 11:45 PM
For historical perspective, Jesus most likely looked like this:

http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/jesus/photo/zoom5.html

The Discovery channel did a reconstruction based on the average man, who lived a life similar to and was around the age of Jesus in Palestine.

Grrr!
01-07-2004, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by mhendo
Well, if you want to engender a more constructive debate, perhaps you'd care to enlighten us as to exactly what your understanding Christianity is, and why it leads you to believe that the most accurate portrayal of Jesus (or his mother, for that matter) would be of a white, northern European-looking person.


This is what I got from all the churches I went to as a child. Also it's what I get from people in general. That and the bibles I remember having depicted him as white (the pictures anyway).


Again this is just MY limited understanding of it. I haven't set foot inside of a church for more than two decades so take that at face value..

Grrr!
01-07-2004, 01:26 AM
(forgot to make my second point.)

Also what I'm getting here so far is that it's OK to portray Jesus in different images in order to appeal to an intended target group/race/audience. Thus helping the plight of Cristianity. Baring that logic in mind I guess you could say that if I wanted to appeal to the S&M crowd it would be OK to portray Jesus wearing a ball gag, tied down by leather straps; all the while being sodomized with a cattle prod. --Becuase after all, I'm just trying to get the heathernous S&M crowd to accept Jesus as their saviour.

In other words where is the line drawn and why?

yojimbo
01-07-2004, 04:34 AM
I heard several times (most recently a UK documentary about the ancient wonders of the world) that the popular image of Jesus as a western looking guy was based on the face of the Statue of Zeus (http://ce.eng.usf.edu/pharos/wonders/zeus.html) at Olympia.

Anybody want to back this up/shoot it down?

Siege
01-07-2004, 05:03 AM
One of the things that bugged me as a white, English kid growing up in an almost all white American small town is that Jesus and Mary were almost always depicted as being blonde-haired and blue-eyed, two things I wasn't. For that matter, it seemed angels, too, were almost always blonde-haired and blue-eyed. At the church's annual Christmas pageants, Mary was inevitably going to be a pretty blonde, or so it seemed until I got old enough to run the things along with a friend of mine who was, ironically, a pretty blonde.

SHAKES, it would seem to me that in a fair and balanced perspective, such a portraying Christ as a blue-eyed blonde would be just as bothersome as portraying him with African features. Realistically, it isn't. Me, I have no problem with either one. Seeing Christ depicted as a black man may draw my attention and give me cause to think, although the effect has worn off; nowadays, when we're supposed to know better, seeing Christ depicted as a blue-eyed blonde may be a bit off-putting, depending on the context.

It seems to me Christianity has to fight a tendency to be or to appear exclusive. All too often I've read people write that if you X you can't be a true Christian, whether X is "are homosexual", "believe in evolution", "question God" or any number of other things. When I was involved in my Diocesan Commission on Racism, I heard black people talk about walking into churches and feeling unwelcome, or being told that mixed race marriages were immoral (yes, this was within the last 10 years). This is just my opinion, but depicting Jesus as a black man would seem to be one way to fight that perception and tendency toward exclusivity and a way to get people to think. To this Christian, that's a good thing!

CJ

Honesty
01-07-2004, 05:22 AM
There is a verse that called Jesus to have feet of brass and hair of lambswool. Or some nonsense like that.

- Honesty

Grrr!
01-07-2004, 06:31 AM
Siege, that was well put. Which is basically what I was thinking in the first place. The ends justify the means. (my words)

However, I do find it very surprizing that very few people want to come out and say "Yes, he absolutely is (insert whatever race/color here)"

That to me still at least whispers a hint of sepratism, which I don't think is in the animous Christianity or people like myself who are athiest but still believe in love thy neighbor.

BTW:

I heard black people talk about walking into churches and feeling unwelcome, or being told that mixed race marriages were immoral (yes, this was within the last 10 years).

All I can say is WOW! I had no idea that still went on in CHURCHES of all places.

FriarTed
01-07-2004, 06:56 AM
Pothead says-

Flavius Josephus, the guy with the reference to Jesus outside of Church-documents, is said to have said:



quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"...a man of simple appearance, mature age, dark skin, small stature, three cubits high, hunchbacked with a long face, long nose, and meeting eyebrows, so that they who see him might be affrighted, with scanty hair with a parting in the middle of his head, after the manner of the Nazorites, and with an undeveloped beard."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

along with the cite.

The cite references that description from The Hiram Key. Funny thing is I have seen that description given, not for Jesus, but for Paul- is comes from some of the apocryphal NT materials, not Josephus.

No reflection on Pothead, btw

Shade
01-07-2004, 07:14 AM
Originally posted by SHAKES
Also what I'm getting here so far is that it's OK to portray Jesus in different images in order to appeal to an intended target group/race/audience. Thus helping the plight of Cristianity. Baring that logic in mind I guess you could say that if I wanted to appeal to the S&M crowd it would be OK to portray Jesus wearing a ball gag, tied down by leather straps; all the while being sodomized with a cattle prod. --Becuase after all, I'm just trying to get the heathernous S&M crowd to accept Jesus as their saviour.

In other words where is the line drawn and why? I think the S&M crowd should be happy with the most common portrayal of Jesus... Sorry, everyone, but I think it needed to be said.

Seriously, the difference would seem to be that while supposedly Jesus was a first-century middle-eastern Jew, his message would seem to be consistent with being any other race. Most christians would probably consider it contradictory for him to have any sexuality at all, let alone S&M.

Bryan Ekers
01-07-2004, 07:51 AM
You know, that Jesus is one mean mother-

Shut yo mouth!



Heck, the man himself had no problem with symbolism (i.e. Luke 22:19 and :20, in which he describes bread and wine as stand-ins for his own body and blood) so why should he be offended by variant depictions of him, especially since that helps spread his word to cultures that may have been unknown to him in his time?

APB
01-07-2004, 08:50 AM
The Josephus 'quote' is almost certainly a twentieth-century invention, inspired by an eighth-century source which itself has almost no evidential authority. So much for Knight and Lomas's scholarly expertise.

http://www.members.aol.com/FlJosephus2/MailAndFAQ.htm

As FriarTed says, there is a similar tradition for St Paul, although it is doubtful whether that should be taken very much more seriously.

Eve
01-07-2004, 11:36 AM
"...a man of simple appearance, mature age, dark skin, small stature, three cubits high, hunchbacked with a long face, long nose, and meeting eyebrows, so that they who see him might be affrighted, with scanty hair with a parting in the middle of his head, after the manner of the Nazorites, and with an undeveloped beard."

Omigod, Jesus was Peter Lorre (http://www.prisma-online.de/tv/person.html?pid=peter_lorre)?!

Super Gnat
01-07-2004, 01:56 PM
Originally posted by SHAKES
First off there are two posters in this thread that seem to think-- I think- there is something wrong with being black. Let me tell you now that I DON'T.I don't think you're racist, but I think you have a rather large blind spot here.

All I'm saying is that I don't believe black Jesus to be a true portrayal of him. (acording to MY understanding of christianity) But hey, if it can get more people to follow his cause, then I guess it serves its purpose. Even though it may be a little deceptive. Unless someone wants to argue that he actually was black. And where do you get this portrayal from?

This is what I got from all the churches I went to as a child. Also it's what I get from people in general. That and the bibles I remember having depicted him as white (the pictures anyway).So the only reason that you think that is because people you grew up with seem to take it for granted? You're an atheist, so obviously you questioned them on some things. Why are you swallowing this particular bit whole?

However, I do find it very surprizing that very few people want to come out and say "Yes, he absolutely is (insert whatever race/color here)"

Did you miss the links?

labmonkey's link: http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/12/25/face.jesus/

GIGObuster's link: http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/jesus/photo/zoom5.html

And again I ask: why is portraying him as a blond, straight-haired, fair-skinned, blue-eyed man with a small nose and thin lips better than portraying him as a brunette with kinky hair, dark skin, dark eyes, and thick lips?

tomndebb
01-07-2004, 05:24 PM
However, I do find it very surprizing that very few people want to come out and say "Yes, he absolutely is (insert whatever race/color here)" This statement puzzles me. Clearly, no one posting here believes that Jesus was anyone other than a first century Jewish guy. There have been a couple of posts the ridicule people who believe (or, at least, claim) that Jesus was not a first century Jew. Why would we attempt to "Come out and say" the obvious.

I think the greater point that several of us have made is that accurate identification has nothing to do with art. None of the artists (even those who drew picures of a person with Eastern Mediterranean features) were attempting to draw a police sketch. It is not (usually) the point of art to document literal accuracy.

I don't understand why you think that art should be intended as a police sketch or wanted poster (although I have seen a couple of "wanted posters" with the face of "Jesus" on them).

Grrr!
01-08-2004, 01:06 AM
OK let substitute black for AFRICAN. Alright -and please nobody give me the garb about there are all types of Africans. I know that and I think you all know what I'm trying to say here.


by: Super Gnat the only reason that you think that is because people you grew up with seem to take it for granted? You're an atheist, so obviously you questioned them on some things. Why are you swallowing this particular bit whole?

Actually, with all due respect to Christians I don't swallow any of it. However I was just thinking it should at least be consistant with the bible.

Also I was under the impression that first century Jewish people were white. Am I wrong on this one?

As far as the "art" thing goes. Eh, alright if you guys say so. But I've seen PLENTY of potraits of people long dead and gone that looked amazingly similar if not exactly as the person being painted. _And they sure as hell didn't make their skin a different color.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think thats the norm and NOT the exceptipon. (to paint people how they actually look.)

grimpixie
01-08-2004, 02:31 AM
Originally posted by SHAKES
Also I was under the impression that first century Jewish people were white. Am I wrong on this one? If they were, this is the first I have heard of it - is there any reason to believe that those living there 2000 years ago looked much different from those who live there now. And compare like with like, Jesus and his friends would have been little more than peasants, so please don't compare them with Ariel Sharon.
As far as the "art" thing goes. Eh, alright if you guys say so. But I've seen PLENTY of potraits of people long dead and gone that looked amazingly similar if not exactly as the person being painted. _And they sure as hell didn't make their skin a different color.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think thats the norm and NOT the exceptipon. (to paint people how they actually look.) Had Jesus actually sat for a portrait, I think your complaints would be justified - the object of a portrait is to produce an accurate likeness of the subject. The kind of artwork we are generally talking about WRT Jesus is not portaiture, since he never did sit down and get painted, having better things to do with his time (like saving the world ;) ), but what you might call "conceptual art". IOW it is painted in order to deliver a message. A crucifiction scene may portray (or attempt to portray) the suffering of Jesus on the cross or the anguish of his friends and family or the intense spiritual events that were occuring at the same time - it may attempt to be accurate at the same time WRT details such as Roman uniform or the views of Jerusalem from Calvary, but that is not the main function of the artwork. A picture that portrays Jesus as a person of obviously sub-Saharan African origin is making a point other than the colour of his skin. As has been pointed out, to portray Jesus as of stereotypically Nordic origin is no less inaccurate, but possibly more dangerous because this image has become so pervasive in Western "Christian" society that it has started to become the "accepted" image of Jesus - as your own testimony reveals. Santa Claus has undergone a similar transformation - from a tall man in long flowing robes to a short, fat man in a red fur jacket (Cite (http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/santa.asp)), an image which is now unchallengable.

As for the Bible - I think that, as a book written (mostly) by Jews for (mostly) Jews, the issue of skin colour was not one that needed to be raised, as it would be taken as read. I would be surprised if you (or anyone else) could find a description of anyones appearance - skin colour in particular - in the Bible.

Grim

E-Sabbath
01-08-2004, 04:45 AM
Queen of Sheba, Grim.

Alessan
01-08-2004, 04:56 AM
Jus as a side note - and I hope I'm not offending anyone - but I pretty much doubt that Jesus would have sat down for a portarait, or agreed to one made in absentia. First-century Jews didn't really hold with representational art. What with the Second Commandment and all, historically speaking very few Jews were involved in the plastic arts until something like the 19th century.

amarinth
01-08-2004, 05:03 AM
SHAKES, your impression is incorrect.

Originally posted by E-Sabbath
Queen of Sheba, Grim. The bride in the Song of Songs skin color is described several times. And I have heard that that may be referring to the Queen of Sheba. But when she appears in I Kings 10 and I Chronicles 9, there's no mention of her skin color.

Grrr!
01-08-2004, 05:48 AM
by Grim If they were, this is the first I have heard of it - is there any reason to believe that those living there 2000 years ago looked much different from those who live there now. And compare like with like, Jesus and his friends would have been little more than peasants, so please don't compare them with Ariel Sharon.

Well, I geuss I should withdraw my debate then. Jeesh! boy is my face red. I was going by all the Jews I've seen on the T.V. (Hollywood) Those people are Jewish and white whats up with that?

Anyway, my first debate here and probably my last at least for a while...:smack:

E-Sabbath
01-08-2004, 06:21 AM
amarinth, a valid point. And I've also heard the "I am black but beautiful" line is minstranslated from "I am black _and_ beautiful." I have no authority on this that I can cite, however, it being a memory of something I read nigh a decade ago. Still, there we go, bride in the Song of Solomon. I suspect that if one were to go to a racist website and search for Sons of Ham, for example, one might find others. I don't know for sure, as I've avoided such things.

Kimstu
01-08-2004, 06:44 AM
SHAKES: I was going by all the Jews I've seen on the T.V. (Hollywood) Those people are Jewish and white whats up with that?

:confused: Where were you seeing depictions of Jews that led you to think that a typical Jew is pale-skinned, blond-haired, and blue-eyed? Most contemporary American Jews are generally considered to "look white", more or less, but AFAIK they (we) usually are much more "brunette"-looking than the depictions of "blond Jesus".

So I still don't see why you'd imagine that a "Swedish-looking" blond Jesus would be a more historically accurate picture than an "African-looking" black Jesus. The historical Jesus would most likely have been somewhere between those two extremes, but he certainly wouldn't have been a blond.*

(As for why most American Jews are lighter-skinned and more "white"-looking than many Middle Eastern populations who are probably more similar in appearance to the historical Jesus: that's because most American Jews are descended from European Jewish population groups. The Jews who lived in Europe since the medieval period (sometimes identified as "Ashkenazi Jews", though I think technically that may refer to a more specific group) have common ancestors with the more "Middle-Eastern-looking" Sephardic Jews and Arabs, but they also have some genetic input from European populations that tended to be "whiter".)





*Random fun fact: when I studied Akkadian, I learned that a common idiom for the human race among ancient Mesopotamians was "the black-headed ones". Black hair was so universal in their Middle Eastern culture that it passed into their language as a descriptor for all humans! :)

Random musing: I'm not accusing the OP of racism, but I do think it's very interesting and significant that he (like many of us, I'm sure) automatically perceives "Swedish Jesus" to be a more accurate picture than "African Jesus". The real Jesus, as we've said, probably looked very different from both of them. But since "Swedish Jesus" falls into the racial category "white", and in most people's minds "Jew" also falls into the category "white", and "African Jesus" doesn't, then automatically, "Swedish Jesus" is a more acceptable picture. It's really bizarre how our mental racial categories make us highlight certain physical differences as being significantly "different" and downplay others as being "basically the same"!

I'm reminded of one of G. M. Fraser's "Private Macauslan" short stories where he's talking about a pipe band in a WWII Scots regiment of the Royal Army. A new recruit, who happens to be an accomplished bagpipes player, wants to join the band, but the commanding officer is uneasy about it because the new recruit is black. (He had a Scots father and an African mother.) Not that the CO is prejudiced against blacks or distrusts the new recruit on racial grounds in any way---but the pipe band is supposed to have a consistent and uniform appearance, and the black guy is so different that he stands out and it might look weird.

Consider: if the pipe band had one significantly shorter guy, or one significantly taller guy, or only one blond guy or only one redheaded guy, that would be innately just as "different" and just as "weird", right? But it wouldn't be perceived as a problem in the pipe band. Our brains have internalized arbitrary racial divisions so deeply that we automatically think that skin-color differences make people much more "different" than other kinds of physical differences. Freaky! (Happy ending: the black bagpiper does get to join the band after all.)

tomndebb
01-08-2004, 07:35 AM
As far as the "art" thing goes. Eh, alright if you guys say so. But I've seen PLENTY of potraits of people long dead and gone that looked amazingly similar if not exactly as the person being painted. We do say so. (And I am not at all sure why you are having trouble with this.)

It is not even limited to Christianity.
Here is an image of Buddha from Nepal (with facial features of the people in that region. (http://www.catmando.com/nepaltourist/buddha.jpg)
Here is an image of Buddha from China (with "Chinese" facial features). (http://www.artsforge.com/anna/budhead.jpg)

If you look at paintings of the nativity or the crucifixion of Jesus from the Byzantine Empire of the ninth century, the Magi wear the clothes of Byzantine nobility and the "Roman" soldiers wear the uniforms of ninth century Byzantium. If you look at painting from 13th century Flanders, the magi wear the clothes of important Flemish merchants and the "Roman" soldiers are dressed as 13th century Flemish soldiers. The same process is repeated throughout all the artwork. "Universal" themes tend to be portrayed in ways most like the people who commission the paintings.

Shade
01-08-2004, 07:46 AM
Originally posted by SHAKES
As far as the "art" thing goes. Eh, alright if you guys say so. But I've seen PLENTY of potraits of people long dead and gone that looked amazingly similar if not exactly as the person being painted. _And they sure as hell didn't make their skin a different color.This might be a stupid question, but if they're so long dead, how do you know the portraits are accurate? Is it that they are all similar to each other? Or are you extrapolating from portraits painted since film?

Anyway, I thought there were no original pictures of jesus, so the portraits in existance hardly can be acurate however much they'd like to be.

syncrolecyne
01-08-2004, 10:49 AM
I think its important to realize that our Western concepts and ideas about race mostly arose after the 15th and 16th centuries, with the exploration of the Americas, Africa, Asia, the conquest of the Native Americans, the slave trade, and colonization.

If anything, I believe the ancient Mediterranean peoples had the ntion that they were "normal" and the darker people to the south and lighter people to the north were "different". But they didn't think in terms of black and white, which if you really think about it are hyperbolic terms that overstate the real differences in skin colors (pink and brown), to drive a bigger wedge between two different types of people.

To call Jesus "black", "white" or whatever simply projects our modern feelings on race of a man or God (?) that existed long before those terms really existed.

tomndebb
01-08-2004, 11:06 AM
Examples of people creating art in their own (period and cultural) images: (I had to run some errands, so did not get a chance to complete my earlier post.)

Jan van Eyck. The Crucifixion. 1425-1430 (http://www.abcgallery.com/E/eyck/eyck28.html) (Note the 15th century Northern European appearance of the people from this 15th century Northern European painting.)

Simone Martini. Jesus on Way to Calvary c. 1342 (http://posters.seindal.dk/p143038_Jesus_on_Way_to_Calvary.html) (With (light haired) Jesus surrounded by typical townsfolk of Northern Italy and Southern France of the early 14th century.)

Piero della Francesca. Resurrection c. 1462 (http://www.kfki.hu/~arthp/html/p/piero/francesc/resurrex.html) (With a pale-skinned, blonde Jesus standing over tomb guards who are certainly more 15th century Italian than 1st century Roman.)

And, not limited to just pictures of Jesus, we find:

Lucas Cranach the Elder. Judith with the Head of Holofernes. c.1530 (http://www.abcgallery.com/C/cranach/cranach13.html) (With a Judith who does not look particularly Middle Eastern, dressed as a 16th century German Burger's daughter.)

Jean Fouquet, illustrating the Histories of Josephus with the Fall of Jericho. c. 1475 (http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?eu=35666) (Despite illustrating a hstory book, the city of Jericho is portrayed as a 15th century French town on the Rhone River rather than a 14th century B.C.E. city in the desert south of Judea.)

And, outside the Christian tradition, beyond the different faces given to the Buddha by different ethnic groups, we not only find representations of the Buddha that are lean and fit, but other representations in which he is quite fat. There does not appear to be a need for "historical" representation in those images.

Kizarvexius
01-08-2004, 01:22 PM
For what it's worth, most of the earliest known depictions of Jesus show him looking pretty much like a Roman. Funny that these were created by Romans, who knew very well what Jews looked like.

Example 1 (http://www.tau.ac.il/taunews/97spring/images/t-links.gif) , Example 2 (http://www.coco.cc.az.us/apetersen/_ART201/_images/christ_galla_placidia_det.gif), Example 3 (http://www.tigtail.org/TVM/Mez/a.early%20christian/tomb/M/roman_donna_velata-catacomb-priscilla.c400.jpg).

Funny also that the Roman Christians usually depicted him clad in gold and purple robes -- garb reserved exclusively for the emperor.

Religion and culture and tightly intermingled, and if a human face is going to worshipped as a god, most people would prefer that the face look something like their own. It's pretty much the same reason why Jesus is called Jesus/Gesu/Jesu (etc) instead of Yeshua ben Yosef.

1ofnine
01-09-2004, 02:16 AM
Jesus was descended of David and David was redheaded. Many Jews are redheads -- and I know a Jewish woman from Iran whose grandmothers were Iranian Jews and blond. So the idea that blond and redheaded Jews are just mixed with Europeans assumes that Europe has a copyright on that characteristic -- which isn't true since much of the darker characteristics in the Middle East are due to the Muslim invasions from Yemen/Saudi Arabia in the 7th. century, the original Turkish central Asians moving into the region as will as the Mongul invasions. There was also some mixture between Arabs and black slaves which can also be seen in some regions of the Mid East.

Jews of the 1st. century were probably lighter, much lighter, than most Jews living in Arabic lands (or the ones living there until they were kicked out in the 40s) in modern times. Much of Rome was Semitic (Syrian, Jewish) by 100AD and most of the depictions of Jews were of whites with brown or red hair -- sometimes blonder. Ephriamites (other tribes of the northern kingdoms) were described as having peach or ruddy complexions and light hair and they are depicted on Egyptian wall paintings as such.
Blue and green eyes are also a characteristic you can still see in some Arab populations as well as jews.

Let's say that a country like Sweden continues to have heavy immigration from non-white areas and continues to have a low birthrate. In a few hundred years most of the Swedish population will be dark and few will be born looking like the idea people have of Swedes today (based on a population that existed to the 1970s as a homogenus population usually with red or blond hair). Could people then start questioning a painting of a Viking showing a blond warrior since most people there in the future might look more like a Pakistani or Iraqi?

I think that this is comparable with Israel of the 1st. Century and so most of the depictions of Jesus with what is mistakenly described as "Nordic" features probably do show what he actually looked like.

Zoe
01-09-2004, 02:58 AM
1ofnine, do you think the research and "reconstruction" done by British and Israeli anthropologists is inaccurate then? (See links from early posts on page 1.)

I don't usually associate fair-skinned people with the ability to tolerate the desert sun very well.

Welcome to SDMB!

cichlidiot
01-09-2004, 05:31 AM
I really don't know what Jesus looked like, and don't have an investment in it either. I just thought I'd throw in a few links showing that there are black Jews, possibly part of the Lost Tribes. This link discusses the Lemba people (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/israel/familylemba.html), and this one, the Cohanim (http://web.archive.org/web/20021204122046/www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/israel/familycohanim.html). Interesting stuff.

Siege
01-09-2004, 06:05 AM
1ofnine, this is the first I've heard of this theory, and I've been a Christian all my life. Could you please tell me what it's based on and provide a link or two? I'm with Zoe. I have very fair skin myself, and it's not well suited to a sunny climate. I'm also no ethnographer, but this is the first time I've heard that red hair is found in Middle Eastern genotypes.

Thank you, and welcome to the Board,
CJ

1ofnine
01-09-2004, 07:55 AM
A site dealing with the Moorish invasion of Europe notes:

"The Berbers, under Arab leadership, formed the largest part of the Moorish invasion. They were generally of a lighter complexion than the Arabs, some being fair-haired with blue-eyes."

http://www.lusaweb.com/azores/html/pioneer.cfm

"Many Berbers have characteristic physical features, quite a few are blond-haired and blue-eyed."

http://www.hampshireflag.co.uk/world-flags/allflags/berber.html

I thought I would take just one example of Middle Eastern people to illustrate my point. Berbers inhabit some of the hottest regions of North Africa. They are not Europeans either.

Now this is just one grooup of people. The Middle East has a wide range of peoples who, while they have mixed considerably, you still can find blond or red hair in the population. Many Iranians have light complexions as do Kurds (both these groups were originally Indo European -- they still are but other groups have contributed to the genetic makeup), and I have met many Lebanese and Syrians that could easily pass as British. So why is it so strange to say that prior to the Islamic-inspired invasions from Yemen/Saudi Arabia and the Mongol invasions (both occuring long after the times of Jesus) that the Jews living in the region looked like they are depicted in Egyptian and Roman pictures -- as basically light complected with wide ranges in hair color?

1ofnine
01-09-2004, 07:59 AM
This is really interesting as it pertains to what the Jewish/Hebrews lookded like:

http://www.britam.org/anthropology.html

Darph
01-09-2004, 08:01 AM
Remember - Israel was part of the roman Empire,
Most recent evidence of Jesus shows that he didn't even speak Hebrew, he spoke Aramaic. Only the pharosies spoke Hebrew,the pesants spoke another language.


Jesus was a Jew, its a fact. He was a levite,Line of David,Line of abraham,the blessed father of all jews.

Mehitabel
01-09-2004, 08:26 AM
Well, I don't know about that; yes, he spoke Aramaic in daily life, but wouldn't the learned discourses in the temple have been in Hebrew, much like a medieval boy from Brittany would have spoken Breton but learned Latin if he became a priest?

Darph
01-09-2004, 08:48 AM
As far as black jesus goes,i see it as a racist issue.

Some blacks are still interetwined with white rejectionism.This is simply a problem with racism,somthing that takes time and emotional healing to get passed.

We are all human, if a person can only bring himself to pray to a black jesus,than i guess thats better than not at all.

Darph
01-09-2004, 08:50 AM
Originally posted by Mehitabel
Well, I don't know about that; yes, he spoke Aramaic in daily life, but wouldn't the learned discourses in the temple have been in Hebrew, much like a medieval boy from Brittany would have spoken Breton but learned Latin if he became a priest?

Or a banker..:-)
I like this msg board.. working at work pleh..

Captain Amazing
01-09-2004, 09:24 AM
Originally posted by Darph
Jesus was a Jew, its a fact. He was a levite,Line of David,Line of abraham,the blessed father of all jews.

If Jesus was descended from King David, he was from the tribe of Judah, not Levi...not that tribal identities other than Levite existed by the Roman period.

Stonebow
01-09-2004, 09:31 AM
Originally posted by Darph
As far as black jesus goes,i see it as a racist issue.

Some blacks are still interetwined with white rejectionism.This is simply a problem with racism,somthing that takes time and emotional healing to get passed.

Are you implying that it is racism on the part of blacks, whites, or both?

Because it reads as though you are blaming black anger at whites for the creation of 'black Jesus.' All this without trying to understand that white Jesus is not necessarily the correct default position- or that a black (or at least non-white) messiah is a valid position in itself given the historical and ethnographic data available to us.

I guess that I'm not understanding where a black Jesus is less 'holy' or 'correct' than a white one. The whole 'black Jesus is better than none at all' is a bit condescending. Does the idea that your savior might actually have been of a darker persuasion bother you?

Enola Straight
01-09-2004, 05:31 PM
I always thought Jesus Christ...known at the time as Ye'shua ben Yusef...was a Sephardic Jew, the brown skinned Semitic race of Hebrews native to the Middle East, as opposed to the "white" race of jews called the Ashkenazi, native to Eastern Europe.

Headcoat
01-09-2004, 05:58 PM
Does anyone know what race situations were like in Jesus' time and place? Since he lived under Roman rule, wouldn't his blackness be of more significance and pointed out as such in scripture (assuming he was black)? As I understand it, negro Africans were not common in the middle east or the Roman empire; and the only encounter with them were as slaves.

I doubt a black African could have ushered even a small following among the Jews in that era.

tomndebb
01-09-2004, 07:13 PM
was a Sephardic Jew Technical point. The Sephardi were the Jews who inhabited the Iberian peninsula from the early middle ages until their expulsion in 1492. Many moved to the Middle East (among other places) following the expulsion, but Jesus could not have been a member of a group that only became a group 400 or 500 years his departure.

Does anyone know what race situations were like in Jesus' time and place? Since he lived under Roman rule, wouldn't his blackness be of more significance and pointed out as such in scripture (assuming he was black)? Actually, the evidence indicates that peoples at that time were less concerned with skin color and it would have been quite possible that a person would not be associated with skin color in later descriptions.

Regardless, Jesus was a Jew of his time and place, with, most likely, the typical coloring of his neighbors. However, as has been noted on several occasions, people painting images of people from the past tend to use the forms and colors of their (the artists') neighbors and it is a fairly modern conceit that a painter might strive for "historical accuracy" when painting an inspirational image.

Dolphin
01-09-2004, 08:28 PM
Hopefully SHAKES is still reading this thread, because I might have some insight into your original question (What's up with black Jesus?).

I'm not sure that most proponents of "black Jesus" mean "African Jesus", although I'm sure that there are plenty of examples of African Christian art that depict Jesus as African.

The "black Jesus" movement seems to be nothing other than a concious movement by non-white churches to break the stereotypical "European Jesus" that predominates.

I am intentionally avoiding the debate on what color Jesus actually was -- the whole point is that the proponents of "black Jesus" are fighting a stereotype.

I believe the "black Jesus" argument is best personified by this interaction I had with a dark-skinned gentleman in the bathroom of my church in Boston. (I am ethnically Asian)

I walked into the bathroom and he accosted me:

Gentleman: "What are you doing here?"
Dolphin: "I'm helping with the clothes and food pantry."
G: "No, what are you doing here, at this church?"
D: "Oh! I go to this church."
G: "No, no, no - why are you *here*, at a *white* church?"
D (tactfully): "Our church is open to people of all races, whether you're white, black, yellow -- everyone is welcome."
G: "Yeah, but Jesus was black."
D: "I suppose he had dark skin ..."
G: "No, he was BLACK."
D (annoyed): "Well, he was Jewish, but he was outside a lot so ..."
G: "JESUS WAS BLACK, LIKE YOU AND ME!"
(pause)
D: "I'm black?"
G: "Yeeeeah. You black, brother."

pizzabrat
01-09-2004, 08:44 PM
Dolphin
Gentleman: "What are you doing here?"
Dolphin: "I'm helping with the clothes and food pantry."
G: "No, what are you doing here, at this church?"
D: "Oh! I go to this church."
G: "No, no, no - why are you *here*, at a *white* church?"
D (tactfully): "Our church is open to people of all races, whether you're white, black, yellow -- everyone is welcome."
G: "Yeah, but Jesus was black."
D: "I suppose he had dark skin ..."
G: "No, he was BLACK."
D (annoyed): "Well, he was Jewish, but he was outside a lot so ..."
G: "JESUS WAS BLACK, LIKE YOU AND ME!"
(pause)
D: "I'm black?"
G: "Yeeeeah. You black, brother."


Huh. I guess that does explain everything.

green ambrosia
01-10-2004, 06:16 AM
hi there all. i didnt read all the postings on this debate,
so i dont know if this has already been covered,
but i thought i would give my input on the black jesus debate.

(now this stuff i got from an email ages ago, so it isn't my logic,
but nevertheless i think it's brilliant
and congrats to the guy who wrote it :) )

um, jesus was born in a part of the world we call the middle east,
which if we were being honest, is basically a part of africa,
seperated from the continent only by the man-made suez canal.
this would firstly give the impression that the chances of him
bieng white or fair are somewhere between slim and none. (we're not in 'south' africa afterall!)

the earliest representations of jesus, mary and christs disciples appear in the catacombs (like little tunnel thingies) of rome, where the first christians, known as "Essenes" buried their dead. all of these portrayals pictured a dark-skinned messiah. in addition, during the time of roman emperor justinian II, the empire minted a gold coin that pictured jesus. the coin, which today can be viewed in the british museum, shows a man with clearly non-white facial features and tightly curled hair, and is consistent with the description of jesus offered in the book of revelations, IN THE BIBLE! :)... wherein it noted that jesus had hair like wool, feet the colour of burnt brass, and resembled jasper and sardine stones (both of which were brown in colour)

ALSO, remember how (going back to the bible now) Herod sent search parties after Jesus' birth to find him and slay him as an infant. to hide the christ child, his family escaped with him to Egypt ... and if there is one thing that you can be ABSOLUTELY sure of, its that one would not be so stupid as to hide an ARYAN baby and family in PRE-ARAB Egypt, of all places. this was afterall, a society of dark-skinned africans (as evidenced in their own hieroglyphs)... they described their home as Kemet (the black land), and themselves as Kemetcu (the black humans)...

the "father" of modern history, Herodotus, himself acknowledged as much when he said, " the egyptians, colchians, and ethiopians have thick lips, broad nose, wooly hair, and are of burnt skin" elsewhere, he actually referred to them as "black"... if jesus HAD been WHITE, Mary and joseph surely would have put Jesus on a slow boat to canada, not trekked to egypt where finding them would be like shooting fish in the proverbial barrel...:D

hehehehe... how cool is that. i reckon it all makes sense... what u guys think. sorry it was long, i just needed to write down the main points, and this guy had a few arguments...

coolio, write back please with agreement or criticism, both are fine, i like to learn:cool: :cool:

bye then...:p (green ambrosia)

tomndebb
01-10-2004, 08:41 AM
write back please with agreement or criticism, both are fine, i like to learn That is always a good thing:

The Middle East is clearly in Asia, not Africa. (It hardly changes the color of the inhabitants, but in the fight against ignorance, we should get our geography correct.) The Suez Canal is rather short, connecting the Mediterranean to the Red Sea--two bodies of water that distinctly outline Africa as we recognize it.

The Essenes were a Jewish sect (who generally hung out in the desert South and East of Jerusalem) that had little to nothing to do with early Christianity (although there are always people who are desperate to make that connection).

Any coins from the period of Justinian II (669 - 711) would have been subject to the same issues of selecting images from the local people (as opposed to using historic references) that have been described earlier in the thread.

Images from the Book of Revelation (which was probably written by a person who never met Jesus) are also subject to the constraints imposed by the symbolism used to convey a message, and probably have no basis in factual description.

Egyptians of the first century probably looked a lot like Egyptians, today, with large numbers of people in a broad range of hues and shades. (Paintings from Egypt display a myriad of colors and shades over several thousand years of history.)

Your point that Jesus would not have appeared Aryan is a good one, although, when we venture out into the realm of "who is white?" we begin running into the problem that it is difficult to find two groups who agree on what "white" looks like.

- - -

Welcome to the SDMB. I appreciate your enthusiasm, although you may find that if you do read a thread before you post to it, you may discover that others have already addressed your points (sometims confirming them, sometimes rebutting them).

Sampiro
01-10-2004, 04:12 PM
I thought that everybody knew that Black Jesus was created by J.J. and that his eyes were patterned after those of Ned the Wino.
Cite:http://valdefierro.com/times40.html

TBG
01-10-2004, 08:56 PM
I don't know where you people are seeing them, but I have never, in my entire life, seen a painting where Jesus was portrayed as blonde, only with brown hair.

I have seen the "black Jesus" as well (unfortunately) but never blonde. Blue eyes, maybe, I don't pay much attention to eye color, but blonde, nuh uh.

Ned the wino... :)

green ambrosia
01-10-2004, 09:38 PM
:)oh well. thanks for the reply all.:) and i think i will start to read the other threads... um... then how come this whole thing is such a debate if you have so many answers to any argument :confused:... seriously, not being rude, but like... how come there is a debate then... someone just decide... black, or white, or in the middle... thanks "TOM", your thread was enlightening....hehehe

bye all, thanks again...


:p *green ambrosia* :p

1ofnine
01-12-2004, 07:37 AM
Mohammed was an Arab, correct? Did he not describe Jesus (and I know whether you accept this or not may have to do with your view of his connection with God) as a man with a red face (ruddy)? Now if an Arab describes a Jewish prophet (who is revered in Islam) as red faced and thereby extremely light complected -- ruddy is usually reserved for people with red hair -- then why is it so odd to believe Jesus was as white as most Jews are today? And as I mentioned, a friend of mine is an Iranian Jew and her Jewish grandmothers from Iran are blonds -- so that helps throw out the idea that European Jews are light because they mixed with Europeans.

Isn't it sort of a racial thing to believe that fair skin is only a "Nordic" thing? As for people depicting those they revere in racial images akin to themselves then why do pictures done of the apostles (some related by blood to Jesus) in Ethiopia show light people, not dark?

capacitor
01-13-2004, 11:53 PM
That is always a good thing:

The Essenes were a Jewish sect (who generally hung out in the desert South and East of Jerusalem) that had little to nothing to do with early Christianity

The Essenes expanded baptism from just the priests to all devouts. The Christians adopted that principle to their ritual: "One faith, one baptism".

tomndebb
01-14-2004, 01:25 AM
While the Essees may have introduced baptism as a widespread ritual, (although, it is possible that they were one of several groups who acted similarly), it would seem that by the time that Christians adopted baptism, it had flowed out into a more general Jewish practice and was no longer the "property" of the Essenes. John the Baptist is occasionally mentioned as a possible Essene, yet his purported hermit existence, wearing of skins, and diet of locusts tends to argue aainst that claim. (The Essenes lived in communities, preferred white linen, and John's diet of locusts would not have been in keeping with their vegetarian diet.)

Even if the Christians borrowed baptism directly from the Essenes, it is hardly likely tht the statement to which I responded, 'the first christians, known as "Essenes"' has much to support it.