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The Race of Jesus

  1. 0
    Sooner28posted 3 years ago

    http://www.alternet.org/dear-white-chri … page=0%2C2

    Why is Jesus almost universally portrayed as white in American films, and why do Christians not speak out on the obvious historical inaccuracy?

    1. 72
      Robertr04posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      You are a former Christian. Where do you stand now?

      1. 0
        Sooner28posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Agnostic leaning atheist.

        1. 72
          Robertr04posted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Interesting you would bring this up. Why? Most don't know this. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Yahusha ('Jesus'), the Christians beloved Paul, and all the other Hebrews were black.

    2. pennyofheaven profile image82
      pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Films are rarely if ever like the book. They change details like that.

    3. A Troubled Man profile image60
      A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      People always portray their gods from their own personal desires.

      For example, I want God to look like Fred Flintstone. It makes it so much easier to forgive His incompetence and blunders.

  2. tirelesstraveler profile image87
    tirelesstravelerposted 3 years ago

    Good question. But what evidence is there this is true.  There is no description of Jesus anywhere.  Biblical tradition has it that Noah's son Ham was black some kind of a curse. But the other sons Shem and Jepheth were not. Jesus comes from the line of Jepheth which is perhaps why nobody ever thought he was black. 
    Some of my Egyptian friends who are extremely dark skinned. Within that same family others are very pale and European looking.The same  is true with Jewish friends. The Greeks and Romans and perhaps even Nordic people had been sailing around the Mediterranean, inter-mingling with the mid easterners for a long time before the birth of Christ. In the time of Christ people didn't run around the desert in shorts.  The always covered to avoid sunburn and certain dehydration.
    Most early artists had little exposure to dark complexioned people. That might even hold true until the late 60's when color television became common.   
    The long and short of the matter is what Jesus looked like is anyone's guess. Nobody knows.

    1. 0
      Sooner28posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Based on where he was born.  Most biblical scholars already believe he wasn't white anyway.

      It's just very strange many christians (not all) are eerily silent about this historical inaccuracy, but if a TV show or movie were to veer away from their conservative interpretation of Genesis, they would be criticizing.

      1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
        MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I'm a Christian and I never thought Jesus was white.

        I just always kind of assumed he was Arab... You know since he was born in an Arab country, to Arab parents, followed an Arab religion... and taught other Arabs.

        I think someone would have mentioned it if he was glowing white... Or at least something along the lines of "Jesus saith: Father in Heaven, I ask most humbly for some SPF 60."

        1. 0
          Sooner28posted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Lol.  Well this doesn't apply to all Christians.  But the majority of the time a TV show or movie about Jesus is made in the United States, he is always portrayed as white.

          1. bBerean profile image61
            bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            As Secularist10 pointed out, Jesus has been depicted many ways.  It really has more to do with the marketing and demographic for the picture or production.  Movies are made for dollars.  Personally I have never had a Christian bring up the color of Jesus, or express concern over it.  I don't believe I know any who care.

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              Sooner28posted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Why are you not upset at the historical inaccuracies of the Bible series on the history channel, the Passion of the Christ, and any other mainstream American depictions of Jesus?

              It's disingenuous to claim because Jesus has been portrayed as different races in some parts at some times, white Christians have not been silent.

              Conservative churches all around the United States pushed for their congregations to see the Passion, and said not a word about him being white!  It's ridiculous.

              1. bBerean profile image61
                bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Why am I not upset?  Why do you assume?  I have purposely never seen Gibson's movie or the current mini-series and have no desire to do so.  I expect both to be wildly inaccurate and have no time for it.  As for churches making fools of themselves buying into it, that just shows what they know about the bible.  Low on my list of criticisms though, in terms of importance, would be whatever color they chose to depict him as.

                1. 0
                  Sooner28posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Your response to my post shows that you weren't very upset about it.  Instead of saying, yep, I agree, Jesus should be more accurately portrayed, you dodge and say, "well Jesus has been depicted in many ways."  You missed the point on purpose.  I do appreciate you openly saying two mainstream portrayals of Jesus are erroneous, but your tone suggests anything but annoyance.

                  Furthermore, if conservative christians were, as a whole, concerned about accuracy, there would high profile interviews and articles that criticized the Americanization of Jesus and were common knowledge to all.  There is a dearth of them.   All they talk about is abortion and gay marriage.

                  1. bBerean profile image61
                    bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Again you assume.  I am quite used to seeing Jesus exploited many ways, in many forums and media for people's own agendas, and am well past reacting to "defend" Him.  I didn't say "yep...Jesus should be more accurately portrayed" because man has no hope of accurately portraying Him at all, so any effort to do so is a failure from it's inception.  It is arguably blasphemous to try.  I was simply pointing out people will exploit Jesus in whatever manner serves their purpose, and that includes what color or ethnicity they chose to employ when doing so.  There are more fake Jesus out there than Elvis, and it would be a fool's errand to try and respond to them all.

        2. pennyofheaven profile image82
          pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          lol

    2. 72
      Robertr04posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      The Mashyach (Messiah) comes from the line of Shem. Abraham comes from the line of Shem (Gen.11:26). Isaac comes from the line of Shem. Jacob (Israel) comes from the line of Shem. They were all Hebrew. The Jews and Gentiles come from the line of Japheth (Gen.10:3). The Egyptians come from the line of Ham (Gen.10:6). No curse.

  3. secularist10 profile image92
    secularist10posted 3 years ago

    It's true that we can't know for certain. But in all likelihood, he was certainly not European or Arab (there were not significant numbers of Arabs in the area until the 600s AD with the spread of Islam). He was an ethnic Hebrew and spoke Aramaic.

    Europeans for centuries have portrayed Jesus with European features (including blond hair at times!) to cast him as one of them, and to bring their own race closer to "divinity" and holiness. This is common in other cultures and ethnicities as well, and in other religions.

    There are artistic portrayals of Jesus as a black African, East Asian, and probably other types as well.

    1. secularist10 profile image92
      secularist10posted 3 years ago in reply to this
    2. secularist10 profile image92
      secularist10posted 3 years ago in reply to this
    3. MelissaBarrett profile image60
      MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      This is my own ignorance here, and I admit it, but since Israel is on the Arabian peninsula, I assumed that it's citizen's were Arabs.

      Not Arabs as in Arab Muslims or members of the "Arab nations" which were artificially drawn, but actual Arabs...as in from the geographic region.

      Was I wrong?

      1. secularist10 profile image92
        secularist10posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Israel (or Palestine) is not on the Arabian Peninsula, either geographically or politically. The Arabian Peninsula includes Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, a few others. The region that encompasses modern day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria is called the Levant.

        The Arabs and Hebrews are two sub-groups within a racial group called the "Semitic" peoples. Arabs speak Arabic, Hebrews speak Hebrew. Other Semitic groups include Akkadians, Phoenicians, Chaldeans and others. These groups are mentioned in the Bible and are (or were) found in the Levant and Mesopotamia.

        If you call an Israeli citizen an Arab, you will risk stoking major arguments lol. The Palestinians are ethnic Arabs, the Israelis are (mostly) ethnic Hebrews or descended from ethnic Hebrews.

        1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
          MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Well I learned something new today. Thank you. smile

          What exactly would have been the difference in physcial characteristics... if any?  The regions do border each other, was there much in the way of physical distinctions a couple thousand years ago?

          1. secularist10 profile image92
            secularist10posted 3 years ago in reply to this

            My pleasure. Between Hebrews and Arabs? I'm not sure. There were probably some physical differences thousands of years ago, since the two groups were far apart from each other. But over time as the Arabs took over the whole region, there was so much intermingling the differences probably declined, at least among Middle Eastern residents.

            However, since many Hebrews spent thousands of years in Europe, they acquired some of those characteristics like lighter skin or blond hair. Then after they returned to the region en masse with the creation of Israel, you have many Israelis who have white skin, for instance (Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for example).

            1. 72
              Robertr04posted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Trying to keep this short. Can we agree that at the time we are speaking of the Egyptians were known to be black-skinned people? 1)Joseph was govenor of Egypt and his brothers did not recognize him. If they and Joseph would have been caucasian he and they would have stuck out like a sore thumb. Acts7:2-13 shows that even Pharoah was unaware that Joseph was Hebrew. 2) Moses was in Pharoah's house for 40 yrs and Pharoah could not tell the difference between he and an Egyptian. He had ordered all Hebrew males thrown into the river. 3) Yahusha as a babe was whisked off to hide in Egypt from an employee of Rome (Herod) who had commanded the death of all children 2yrs or younger. It would have been no problem to check with the Roman authorities in Egypt to see if a caucasian child 2 yrs old were hiding there. 4) Paul was mistaken for an Egyptian. Being Hebrew, if he were caucasian...Deut.28:64-68 the Hebrews were sent to the four corners of the earth by ships just as Yah said they would be. This is condensed, but IMHO enough.

              1. secularist10 profile image92
                secularist10posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Assuming you are referring to thousands of years BC, no, the Egyptians were not black-skinned. The Nubians, to the south of Egypt, were black. The Egyptians, like the other Near Eastern peoples, including the Hebrews, were brown-skinned, neither "white" nor "black."

                I said that Jews only acquired light skin (which is what I assume you're referring to by "Caucasian") over thousands of years of living among European groups. This happened later in history.

              2. 72
                Robertr04posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                First off, I do not believe that skin color is essential for salvation. It is common knowledge that Noah's son Cham/Ham birthed the African/Black nations. The word Cham means tropical, burnt, and black. Ham would have been what we refer to has a black man. Notice Ham's children were Kush/Cush (Ethiopia, Matsraym (Egyptian), Phut/Put (Somalians), and Kana'an/Canaan (the original inhabitants of the land called Israel). The land we refer to as Egypt was originally called Khemet (land of the black) because the inhabitants the inhabitants were black-skinned people. The Greeks referred to Kush (Ethiopia) as Ethiopians. The Greeks used the term Aithiops (ay-thee-ops) to refer to Kushites because of their dark skin tone. Aithiops means 'burnt/black face'. Egyptians today look like Arabs and we refer to them as 'middle eastern', but Egyptians are the children of Ham and before the Muslims took over the continent known today as Africa, black people ruled the land. "The dignity is so ancient that the insignia of the Pharoah evidently belonged to the time when Egyptians wore nothing but the girdle of the Negro". Gerald Massey, English writer and author of the book, Egypt the Light of the World (pg251). "You are quite right about the 'African' origin of the Egyptians. I have 100 human skulls to prove ti". Sir Richard Francis Burton, a 19th cent. English explorer, writer, and linguist in 1883 wrote to Gerald Massey. "In their complex and many complexions and in physical peculiarities, the Egyptians were an 'African race'. Scientist, R.T.Pritchett states in his book, The Natural History of Man (pg 124,125). The ancient Greek historian Herodotus, who visited Egypt in the 5th cent. B.C.E., saw the Egyptians face to face and described them as black-skinned with wooly hair. Anthropologist, Count Constantine de Volney (1727-1820) paid tribute to Herodotus' discovery when he said "The ancient Egyptians were true Negroes of the same type as all native born Africans. That being so, we can see how their blood mixed for several cent. with that of Romans and Greeks, must have lost the intensity of its original color, while retaining, nonetheless, the imprint of its original mold. We can even state as a general principle that the face (referring to the sphinx) is a kind of monument able, in many cases, to attest to or shed light on historical evidence on the origins of the people. What a subject for meditation! Just think about the race of 'black' men today, our slaves and the objects of scorn, is the very race to which we owe our arts, science and even the use of speech". No curse turned men's skin black. Yahuah gave the skin what it needed to survive in one of the hottest parts of the world - black skin was the norm. Contrary to popular belief, Noah did not have 3 wives that birthed 3 different races of people(Gen.7:7). Egyptians were Noah's grandchildren (Gen,10:1,6). This makes Hebrews the first cousins of these black-skinned Egyptians. Looks as though everyone else is related also smile Having taken so much time showig Egyptians were black, it was done to show the appearance of the people who were always mistaken for each other, Hebrews and Egyptians. Fellowship with Yahuah is not about race, it is about obedience, faith, and works. The only thing I have to say about Jews are they are not Hebrew. The word Jew came along around the 18th cent. It is a nickname for those who follow Judaism. It has nothing to do with Yahudah/Judah. They are Gentiles trampling on His land.

                1. Soul Man Walker profile image59
                  Soul Man Walkerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Dang, dude! That's nothing but creepy!

                  1. 72
                    Robertr04posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    It's late, but please elaborate. Will respond later today. Good nite.

                2. pennyofheaven profile image82
                  pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Gees, you amaze me that you are still trying to go down this road? You might need to look a little deeper beyond the surface of what you deem as reality, skin colour and race have nothing to do with anything.

                  1. 72
                    Robertr04posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    What road are you talking about? The question was about the race of Jesus. In what manner, in any of my posts have I made this a racial issue? I have merely stated my findings from my research (and others) only offering a very limited amount of what is clearly there for all to see. You are encouraged to do your own. Whether you or anyone else agrees with me doesn't matter. Now I'm a racist? I find it amazing that when people find out (arguably?) about the true appearance of Hebrews, they are quick to get offended and shout racism. But it is ok to teach others that Jews or Anglo-Saxons are Hebrews, even if the Scriptures say they are not. I have witnessed this sad situation repeatedly. While you are digesting my posts, once again I state, skin color does not matter in the service of Yahuah. Nevertheless, we should not be ignorant of the fact that there is a forgotten nation that carries the promises of Yahuah (unfortunately? it's not the Jews). According to the Scriptures, is it not conceivable that we need to know who this nation is in order to be joined together as a family? One nation, one pure language, His laws written in our hearts and minds? This is racism, I'm sure, at its utmost. Shalum

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          Robertr04posted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Briefly,the word 'Israeli' is not even mentioned in Scripture. Israeli only refers to a citizen or resident liveing in the modern 'state' of Israel. Israeli does not mean a descendant of Jacob. Neither can the word 'Semite' be found in the Book. It is of relative recent origin. It comes from the 18th century (along with the word Jew). One of its uses was to to designate those who spoke a certain language, such as Syrian, Hebrew, and Arabic. The name was given an extra meaning later to include all those people who were "supposed" to be descendants of Noah's son Shem (not Sem) which include a wide range of people from Arabs to Ashkenazi or Sephardic Jews. Those who now inhabit the modern Israel. The suffix 'ite' is used in the English translations to help identify descendants of a certain person, tribes or nations, such as Hittites, Canaanites, Edomites, etc. Sem is suposse to be the English translation of Sham. Shem is the English translation. The 'ite' denotes descent from, so the Semites are descendants of Sem. Who is Sem?  The name Shem is used in the English translations. It is never given the suffix 'ite'. To denote descent from Shem, the Scriptures use "the sons of Shem" or "the children of Shem", never Semite or even Shemite. Once again, Jews are not Hebrew. They are Ashkenazi (occupying 85% of the land known as Israel today), descendants of Japheth. The Hebrew are descendants of Shem (Gen.10:21). Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel), and Jacob begat 12 sons who became known as the children of Israel (Gen.35:23-26). As you can see, even in Scripture, Ashkanazi (Jews) are the sons of Japheth and not the sons of Sham/Shem. Sham/Shem an Sham/Shem alone is referred to as the father of all Hebrews, not Ashkanazi (Jews). These Jews were later known as Khazars and have no part of the inheritance of Israel (without repentance and immersion).

          1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
            MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Yeah, I'll go with the secular version...

  4. 0
    Emile Rposted 3 years ago

    Yes, I always laugh at the portrayals. I did watch a documentary recently where they used the most advanced technology to lift an image of the face off of the Shroud of Turin.  A very, very Jewish face, in line with the look of a modern Arab appeared. Logically, this makes sense. From the beliefs of both Muslims and Jews, being direct descendents from the same father.

  5. vector7 profile image60
    vector7posted 3 years ago

    lol

    Jesus Christ.. was not black nor white. And it doesn't matter what He looks like to those who love Him anyway.

    But to appease curiosity. He is a Jew sent to the house of Israel, His own nation. Israel is the nation chosen by God to bring the Savior of the world into the world.

    The simple truths seem to cause people to spend all their time contemplating what doesn't matter while all the while overlooking what does matter.

    Look at Israel and you'll see His color.

    God's blessings

    -Just a fellow man

  6. 0
    Rad Manposted 3 years ago

    Arn't the Israelis caucasian? Don't we call caucasians white people? Or are we not satisfied with the term caucasian so we have to further divide people into smaller groups?

    1. 0
      Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      No, Israelis aren't all caucasian. Neither are all Jews. Even if you use the term caucasian to simply mean anyone with light skin as you appear to be doing.

      1. 0
        Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        No, caucasian doesn't mean white person. I've done a little reading on this and understand American's find the term caucasian to be offensive. I'm not sure why, they prefer to divide people up farther then most others.

        Wikipedia:
        Caucasian is the general physical type of some or all of the populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western Asia/Middle East, Asia Minor, Central Asia and South Asia. Historically, the term was used for many people from these regions, without regard necessarily to skin tone.

        1. 0
          Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          First, the first thing up on Wikipedia says caucasian are people descended from those from the Caucasus.

          Second, the generalized use has everything to do with skin tone. We, in the states, divide it down because it helps reinforce that we are one people by choice, not by birth or ancestral heritage. It reminds us of our incredibly rich collective heritage. We are a nation of immigrants. It makes the concept difficult for many outside of our borders to understand.

          1. 0
            Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasian_race

            That's interesting, but Canada is a land of immigrants also, but we never have a "white" box to check, European maybe. It's certainly not difficult to figure out at all.

            All my Jewish friends have the same colour skin as Europeans. Where doesn't the definition of white stop? At what shade do we say, wait your not white? It's rather ridiculous really.

            1. 0
              Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Have you every met a white person? Seriously. Ask a kid if they are white. They laugh and say no.

              But, just because the people you know who are Jewish fall into the  category you classify as white doesn't mean all Jews are white. Anymore than it means all Canadians are white or all Christians are black.

              Whether speaking of Jews as an ethnic group or as a religious group they come in myriad skin tones. Your claim is akin to insisting everyone from Central America is Mexican.

              1. 0
                Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                You didn't click the link? Why are you attempting to clarify white from black. It's like saying all skin tones over a certain shade are people of African descent and forgetting that Caucasians come varied skin tones not to mention the aboriginal Australians. Skin colour has nothing to do with any of this. Saying Jesus wasn't white because he was Jewish is senseless..

                1. 0
                  Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  The only comment I made concerning what Jesus looked like was an image I saw that was lifted from the shroud. The only reason I commented to your post was because you said he was caucasian and further clarified the term to mean white people.

                  The problem with that word is not that it lumps large groups together, but it separates large groups. It is all about skin tone, if your skin tone doesn't fall into a category to be labeled caucasian. I don't give a hoot what color his skin was. No one should. If his skin tone were more important than the message his name wouldn't have survived history.

                  Maybe this is simply a cultural clash we are having. Claiming him to be caucasian or white appears racist to me. As if his color mattered. Claiming him to appear similar in features to those indigenous to the area seems logical to me. His skin tone not really important.

                  Either way, his skin tone should be downplayed. Since many believe he was God in the flesh groups will attempt to show how he was the same as them. Thus, excluding others. As has been evidenced by at least one poster on this thread. What good purpose could be served by that?

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                    Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Emile, You haven't read a single thing I've wrote and you certainly have not clicked on the link. Caucasian does not mean white. Caucasians come in every shade of colour. Generally speaking we aren't supposed to talk of race anymore, but forensics can and has to identify the different groups and caucasians are one of the groups. Only Americans don't like that name.

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                    Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    I should also mention we tend to use the terms African, European and Asian.

  7. A Troubled Man profile image60
    A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago

    The big question to be answered here is, did Jesus win the race?

    1. Zelkiiro profile image84
      Zelkiiroposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      No, he got stopped in Jerusalem for some reason, and I guess he forfeited.

    2. Zelkiiro profile image84
      Zelkiiroposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Oh, but I do remember Paul saying he finished the race, and if he bothered to write about it, I guess it means he was the winner.

  8. Zelkiiro profile image84
    Zelkiiroposted 3 years ago

    The simple, truthful answer: Christianity has always been racist as hell, and for many it would be reprehensible to think its beloved martyr would be anything but white.

  9. 62
    MindlessTheoryposted 3 years ago

    I agree! But i also think that the reason why it was never written in the bible what race he was, it wasn't important and totally irrelevent. It's about what he came to do on earth and the sacrifice he made for us.

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      Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Then why does the bible go on and on about God's chosen people?

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        MindlessTheoryposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        There are people who are chosen religiously, people who are chosen to be rich and unhappy, poor and happy, change lives or even save lives. What i'm trying to say is, we are all God's chosen people. Maybe not spiritually but in other ways.

 
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