View Full Version : Why Is Jesus Off His Face?
12-26-1999, 08:42 PM
Keeping in the yuletide spirit, another JC question. This is the most famous historical figure ever, an individual that has an enormous impact globally and yet we really have no idea what he looks like. Yes, I know Jewish law forbades any images of this nature, but surely if he was SO famous in his day then the inumerable and very well funded Roman artisans would have knocked up a few images for the benefit of Pilate, who I'm sure would have got some political mileage by glorifying the Empires might against the 'pretender'.
Or is this anomoly just a hint that the life and death of Christ was really of no great significance for its time,and that the religion has simply become far bigger than the man? (no disrespect intended)
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12-26-1999, 10:04 PM
Jesus did not become all that well known until well after his death. The true creator of the Christian religion is good ole Saul of Tarsus (Paul). Without him bringing the word out to the non-jews, setting up home offices, and making the message more palatable to the masses it would likely faded into obscurity.
When one looks that far back into time less is known. A wealthy person could get his likeness painted or sculpted, but it was not an easy for a simple martyr. Are there any likenesses of Hannibal, the Carthaginian general who chased Romans around until attrition weakened his forces? I haven't seen any, and he was vary famous for his time.
12-26-1999, 10:24 PM
Even if they did whip up a few statues or portraits, what are the odds that they would have survived for 2000 years? Between erosion, fires, and the general ravages of time, not too many images are going to survive that length of time. Granted, coins from that era have survived, but not too many people have their image placed on coins.
Although curiously, paintings and sculptures are probably more archival than most of what we use nowadays. Your standard photo probably isn't good for more than 20-100 years, and digital data is only as good as the medium its recorded on.
If you want your great great grandkids to know what you looked like, it might be a good idea to have your face pressed into a shroud :-).
12-27-1999, 01:14 AM
You don't think a JPEG of your puss stuck in a radiation-hardened ROM chip, put in a time capsule with instructions, would hang around for a millenium or so?
Ray (Ya seen one, ya seen 'em all.)
John W. Kennedy
12-27-1999, 01:41 PM
To take a concrete example, we don't have any portrait of Cleopatra, apart from coins (which agree with the contemporary accounts saying that she was rather plain).
And, as far as I know, we don't have decent portraits of any Jewish figure until modern times.
In fact, apart from Roman portrait busts, we don't really have portraits of _anyone_ until the late middle ages.
John W. Kennedy
"Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays."
-- Charles Williams
I notice a lot of the K-Mart cardboard Jesuses people put up where I live look an awful lot like Veronica Lake: long, wavy blonde hair, blue eyes and a LOT of makeup.
I have a feeling this is not overly accurate.
12-27-1999, 02:02 PM
You folks may want to read this article from the, National Catholic Reporter. Apparently they have run a contest to put a 'modern' face on Jesus. I guess he's supposed to be a Rastafarian now. Go figure.
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12-27-1999, 02:03 PM
Whoops, here's the link.
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