Jesus Christ is considered one of the most influential personalities in world history.
Two thousand years after his death, millions still follow his teachings, and that isn’t likely to change any time soon. But amid the acceptance that he existed and died on a Roman cross sometime around 33 A.D., there is much disagreement over what he may have looked like.
Historical depictions of Jesus Christ illustrate him with European features and a soft, almost effeminate look.
Well, the science of forensic anthropology disagrees with that depiction, and now it has posited a face that more closely resembles what the true Jesus Christ would have looked like.
Before getting into that, here’s how these scientists arrived at their conclusions.
First of all, they examined the skull structure of a First Century Jewish man as well as skeletal remains. What they found is that a man of Jesus Christ’s descent would have typically been around 5’1″ in height and 110 pounds.
With Jesus working outside and in the field of carpentry, he would have likely been more muscular than most, so gone are the depictions of the effeminate European.
As for his skin tone, working outside would have made him darker in complexion. For hair coloring and style, the anthropologists turned to evidence within Scripture, particularly the book of 1 Corinthians.
This book, typically attributed to the later apostle Paul, features an excerpt where Paul describes “long hair on a man as disgraceful,” notes Popular Mechanics. This admission occurred after Paul has a vision of Jesus.
Paul likely would not have written these words if Jesus Christ had long hair.
“If a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him.”
Richard Neave, a medical artist retired from The University of Manchester in England and the man behind the recreation of Jesus, felt that it was unlikely Jesus would have hair contrary to the norm for Jewish men of the time.
Put all of that together, and this is what you get.
— Mic (@micnews) December 14, 2015
While it is unlikely that the above is an exact depiction of how Jesus Christ looked, it is undoubtedly closer than the European depictions of him.
What is particularly noteworthy about the face is how ordinary he looks for a person thought to be the savior of mankind.
But that also goes somewhat with the scriptural depictions as Jesus was supposed to be “of the earth” as much as he was deity.
Neave’s depiction is essentially what the Bible depicts in that sense, though technically the Gospel accounts do not include any specific physical descriptions.
Scholars believe that is because it wasn’t the appearance of Jesus that was remarkable, but the message that he taught and the mission that he set about to fulfill.
The Popular Mechanics piece linked above has many more details on the science behind the facial reconstruction. It’s highly recommended that you check it out.
That is, if you believe that Jesus Christ existed. Some have tried to call that into question as of late. An earlier piece from the Inquisitr detailed the account of Michael Paulkovich, who examined 126 historical texts only to find no mention of Jesus’ existence.
Jesus is thought to have lived between 7 B.C. and 33 A.D. Paulkovich focused on texts that were written around the time of his existence.
“When I consider those 126 writers, all of whom should have heard of Jesus but did not — and Paul and Marcion and Athenagoras and Matthew with a tetralogy of opposing Christs, the silence from Qumram and Nazareth and Bethlehem, conflicting Bible stories, and so many other mysteries and omissions — I must conclude that Christ is a mythical character.”
What do you think about Jesus Christ, readers? Did he exist, was he who he said he was, and do you think the above facial reconstruction is accurate? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via ShutterStock]