The Isrealites in Jesus's time were black?

A discussion on the “Passion of the Christ” brought up another argruement.
This person claimed that it is inaccurate since people “definately know” that Jesus and the people in that area around the time were black.

I asked about any proof that this person has but I got the “You just can’t handle the the truth” argument.

So any ideas where people got this info?

The movie Malcolm X mentioned a passage in the bible which described Jesus’ feet as black. Of course that could just mean that they were dirty.

I don’t think there’s any reason to assume that the Jewish people would in whole be black though. Just looking at Egyption or Persian sculpture, Grecian art, or anything else from the near vicinity at the same time predominately shows a similar to modern day, white to olive-skinned people. So while as Jesus himself may have been black, I would have to think that he would have been a minority among the populace if so, and most probably he wasn’t.

As I recall it, one of the founders of Hinduism or Buddhism was black, and has since been always been drawn in art as being blue. So assuming that Jesus would have been treated the same way, we would know that he was a minority black, and he perhaps would have been drawn in a less-than-realistic form when that skin color was generally frowned upon.

What he was’t, was a fair skinned white guy. I think most scholars agree on this. I’m with the Persian persuasion, I think the man had darker olive skin, and wavey brunette hair. Having never met the man this is all conjecture.

Hinduism doesn’t really have a “founder” – it’s a collection of very old beliefs and practices without a single unifying figure. Certainly without one that can be called “black”.

Buddhism is supposed to be founded by Gautama Siddhartha, a historical figure who lived in India. It is exceedingly unlikely that he was “black”, as in physically resembling a negroid of African descent. Old colonial British references might call native Indian people “black”, but they meant a dark-skinned Indian person.

I’ve never heard that any founder of an Indian religion was anything other than of Indian descent himself.

Blue in Indian art is often used to connote holiness and godliness. I’ve never heard that it derived from being black.
Where DID you hear this?

I agree.
Indigo has always been a sacred color in Hinduism. I have never heard it used to connote someone being black.

I’ve never understood where the ‘Jesus was black’ argument came from. Is it from that passage that says his feet was black?

I heard someone try to claim that all Egyptians were black once. When I started talking about how all the evidence we have, like the description of the Queen of Punt, and how Egyptian art always depicts Egyptians as reddish brown and other Africans as black, he just started going on about how all the real evidence is ignored and covered up. Everytime I asked for evidence he would reply with something like ‘Well $afro_centrist_author thinks it’, and never actually gave a reason.

If by that they mean they resembled populations from sub-Saharan Africa, then the claim is absurd.

If by that they mean that they were “non-white,” in being darker-skinned than populations of northern Europe, then that is probably correct. But that is not the connotation that “black” has in the US at present.

If they can’t provide a cite, ignore 'em.

Perhaps it’s related to this:

Some of the “Nubian” dynasties that ruled Egypt were from southern Egypt, and were probably darker skinned than those that originated in northern Egypt. They to some degree resembled people from sub-Saharan Africa, and could be considered to be “black.” Some Afro-centrists have extended this to imply that all Egyptians were “black,” even ones such as Cleopatra, who was of Greek ancestry.

Back when I was in school, we had a speaker at a Black History Month assembly who claimed that Jesus was black. His evidence was a passage which described Jesus’ hair as being like the wool of a lamb, and of course, wooly-haired people are black. Even at the moment I heard it, I knew he was full of it, since the wooliest hair in the room was at that moment on the top of my German-Italian-Irish head. But once I got a chance to look it up in the Bible, it just got even better. The passage in question wasn’t describing the hair’s texture, but its color: It was as white as the wool of a lamb. And even at that, the description was of Jesus transfigured, and therefore all glowy, not of his Earthly form, so it’s irrelevant anyway.

Fact is he did not look like the long-haired blonde, blue-eyed Aryan-like creature that is portrayed in too much ‘religious art’.

He would have looked much more like this or this or maybe eventhis

Maybe even like this or this.

Krishna means both “black” and “blue” in Sanskrit and many Hindus believe he historically existed on earth as an avatar of Vishnu (a god in human form).

The origins of the Krishna myth are obscure, but (from what I remember of college courses on the subject) the name probably originally was meant to indicate something about him being “black” or dark, but because Sanskrit uses the same word for both black and blue, Krishna began to be depicted as having blue skin, and he remains blue to this day.

There’s a passage in Revelation that says Jesus has feet “like burnished bronze” (which is dark brown) and hair as “white as wool.” This is the passage which is seized upon to make the case that Jesus was black. It’s the book of Revelation, though, so nothing in it should be taken very literally. The author was speaking from visions, after all.

Mild hijack here, but I’ve encountered this observation during a few discussions touching on the ethnicity of Jesus, and have never understood it. I was raised Catholic, and our idolatrous Papist iconography always depicted Christ as an ascetically skinny guy with dark brown hair and either brown or hazel eyes. In my entire life, I have never seen a blue-eyed, blonde Christ depicted anywhere.

Where are all these Aryan Christ images I have heard tell about? The closest I’ve ever seen is in the Jehovah’s Witness tracts, which present him as a sort of cross between Elvis and Dan Hagerty-- possibly blue-eyed, but generally with brown hair and beard cut in a shaggy '70s-era style.

A prominent example is Christ in Majesty in the North Apse of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholic) in Washington DC. I can’t tell if he’s blue-eyed, but he’s certainly blond and very pale-skinned.

See this guy? I’ve got dark hair; to me this is still in the ‘blond’ category, though some might call it brown. But it’s sure not dark brown or black. There’s many images like that . You see this one quite a bit, too. Oh, and here’s some classics. No question those are white folk!

Popular Mechanics’ version.

Yeah, those are the sorts of images I’m familiar with. I’m not saying he doesn’t look white, or at least whiter than is probably anthropologically accurate (although, be fair: he’s only Semitic on his mother’s side. His dad is God, who probably doesn’t even have chromosomes, so it’s no wonder Jesus came out a mutant).

Describing the images as ‘white’ is one thing, but it’s kind of a leap to ‘blonde’ or ‘Aryan.’ My hair looks to be about the same color, and I always thought of it as dark brown. So I’ve actually been a blonde Aryan all these years and never even noticed? To me, “blonde Aryan” describes someone like Rutger Hauer, not Matthew Perry or Dan Ackroyd.

But yeah, that picture of Jesus at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception looks obviously blonde though. I don’t know what’s up with that. He doesn’t really have a beard either, does he? More of a 5-o’clock shadow. And what’s with the little '80s ponytail? In fact, I question whether that’s actually supposed to be Jesus, instead of Don Johnson from Miami Vice.

Damn. He could be this guy’s brother.

I’ve always heard Krishna to be described as dark-skinned. I don’t know if that necessarily means that he was black (as in skin color), but it’s a possible interpretation.

However, as for the blue color, Vishnu is quite often depicted in blue, and two avatars, Rama and Krishna are routinely depicted in blue as well. I’ve always heard that the blue color signifies divinity, and a number of Hindu deities are routinely depicted in shades from blue to purple. It seems more likely to me that Krishna is depicted in blue because he is an avatar of Vishnu.

I’m not sure what you mean by the origin of the Krishna myth being obscure. The story of Krishna is depicted in the Mahabharata.

Scratch that. Only parts of the Krishna myth are in the Mahabharata. In one of my translations, the author chose to include the entire story based on other sources.