(Avatar Magic, by Gerald Franquemont, is out on kindle and it can be downloaded onto most reading devices.)
There are over 2 billion Christians in the world today, not counting an additional 14 million Mormons. Basically, believe it or not, Christians do believe that Christ was the Son of God. I only mention this since as a Sunday School teacher I was amazed to have several church going parents protest this truism. But this fact is fundamental to Christianity. To say this isn’t so would be the same as saying that belief in Joseph Smith was not a fundamental part and reason for the Mormon Faith. Take away belief in Joseph Smith and you don’t have the Mormon faith, but another widely accepted branch/denomination of Christianity; take away a belief that Jesus was the Son of God and you don’t have Christianity.
I’ve knocked around when it comes to organized religions. I was raised as a Southern Baptist which basically means by strictest of doctrine that you’re going to hell if you’re not with me on this. Enjoy your trip okay! That’s how I was raised to think. Over the course of my life I’ve dabbled in the Catholic Church. I dated a Catholic Gal for four years, but no way could my knees take the services so we broke up. I attended the Lutheran Church. I studied Native American philosophies and dated a Cherokee for three years (I see a pattern developing here). I’ve been a Trustee of a Methodist church for several years. I graduate from Gettysburg college, a Lutheran College, and I was an active Sunday School teaching member of United Church of Gainesville whose creed, God however known, made me feel comfortable. By the time my wife met me I’d read the entire 3000 word Buddhist text and was practicing Taoism/ yoga and pot. Whew, huh?
Now I’m a Minister of the Life Church. I officiated at my niece’s wedding in California and I love the all- inclusive doctrine that this religious group embraces. In the bigger picture my mission in life is to help people. I work in a library helping people; I’ve written songs I’d hope would help people; I’m writing books now that I hope will help people and I write this blog to help people, mostly- Many of my Republican Family members may disagree with this last listing as I’m down with Obama. So wouldn’t it be nice if I got to the point of this blog and helped you to be done reading it?!?!
Why in God’s name has Christ ever been depicted as being white? This timeless colorful apparition of Jesus has a lot to do with The Church from 200 AD on. It’s possible pigmented colors cost more back then right? Call Jesus toned by politics if you like. The point is I think it’s time the majority of the Western World’s Christians get over it and start coming up with a different hue for Jesus, a new slant on how he looked. Most of us would be amazed to look at the most recently published versions of how this man really looked. Get ready.
Richard Neave’s ( University of Manchester Professor) research involved extracting a skull from the 1st century using anthropological data to pinpoint which skull to use. Using a cat scan the team recreated the skin texture, tone, bone structure, eye set, nose, mouth and hair to come up with how Jesus most likely looked.
Have you seen this guy’s face hanging on anyone’s wall? Didn’t think so.
Professor Vincent Wimbush, of California’s Claremont Graduate University, who is an expert on ethnic interpretations of the Bible, says the matter of the historical colour of Jesus seems to him a “flat, dead-end issue. He’s of Mediterranean stock, and it’s quite clear what that means. We see people like that in the world today, and that should end the matter. The fact that the debate rages on regardless is fascinating, he says, because of what it says about people’s other issues.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3958241.stm
Another version of what Jesus might have looked like came off the Shroud of Turin.
This second image is close to many versions used in the Western World to replicate how Jesus looked except his skin is not white. The skin here is more of a bronze tone. This choice of color may result from interpreted passages found in The Book of Revelations that refers to Jesus’ feet as being bronze colored. But I say good luck with translating Revelations. I’d have had better luck with that during the days I was smoking dubbies.
But why does any of this matter? Many people of faith point out that Jesus’ skin color is of no importance. Really? Just for kicks let me ask: what if Jesus were really white but for almost two thousand years artists and churches depicted him as being black? See? The truth matters. Some, however, say we’ll never know the truth. But I’ve heard since 1960 that solar power would never work and yet Germany produced power equal to twenty-two fully operational Nuclear Power plants in just one solar-powered plant last month. Things happen. Times change.
It’s time for a bazillion churches to get out their black paint toner. Jesus needs a new portrait. Or, are we gonna stick with the old ones?
I have to laugh when I remember that Jesus is said to have called people brother….wow. I hope I’ve helped you when it comes to the issue of how Jesus really looked.
And one foot note (sorta). I ran into this interesting article about an archaeological find that may be the world’s oldest known Christian church site-the first seventy may have use this site. Check it out: