White Jesus

31 Mar

The other day in religion class we watched “Jesus of Nazareth.” Something that caught my attention was just how white and European Jesus looked. Now I was raised as a christian, and every picture of Jesus that I had seen while growing up was of his as white and blue eyed.

white jesus 1white jesus 2

The movie took this to a new level, making his eyes glow blue. It was as if he was radiating white blue eyed-ness, like some subtle Nazi master race propaganda.

white jesus 3Blue eyes is a genetic characteristic native to Europe and sometimes Northern Africa, not the middle east where Jesus is from. People in the middle east would also have had a darker skin tone, something more akin to olive, not Caucasian white. And don’t forget, Jesus was a jew, so he would have had their genetic characteristics as well.

Not the wonderful white savior you thought eh? There is an interesting article on how they came up with the above likeness of Jesus here.

7 Responses to “White Jesus”

  1. Sisyphus Fragment March 31, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    I’ve always wondered how they can get away with something so obvious. I pointed this out to my Christian family when I was about 10 years old. They agreed with me but had no explanation for why.

  2. Sidney Carton March 31, 2009 at 4:53 pm #

    In Latin America they adore Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Aparacida, both of which are supposed to be Mary, yet one looks like Native American from Mexico, the other like an Afro-Brazilian, neither appear in any sense Jewish. We tend to see deity through our own particular prism.

    When I served as a Missionary, I was often asked what I thought about Jesus’ skin color. My answer was that Jesus was Jewish and looked like a middle aged Galilean during the 1st Century. That meant that he likely had olive skin, brown eyes and brown hair. No shock to me.

  3. Pttyann March 31, 2009 at 5:29 pm #

    You’re not alone in your thinking,I’ve often wondered why fill God’s word with what you think he should look like? For his skin had to be dark and it’s the same old thing in most Jesus movies that’s why I do not watch them,for since History started there has always been people of color and why white is always chosen I to would like to know. Even though I do have a good idea.
    Numbers 6:24~26

  4. Havoc April 6, 2009 at 12:38 am #

    The point in Jesus being white and blue-eyed is to make him more like europeans, of course. But this is something natural. Muslims don’t drawn any figures because this is forbidden to them, but christians obviosuly wouldn’t paint jesus as a black man because they want something familiar – themselves! I guess it’s now a strong tradition to imaginate Jesus as a beautiful blonde-haired men because they never wanted to see their Lord as a mundane man with a darker skin tone. Yes, this is called racism.

  5. RockChild April 6, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    I never understood the white jesus/black jesus thing either… The bible clearly describes him as a middle easterner.

  6. christian November 14, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    I would like to point out that there are plenty of blue eyed people from israel and other middle eastern countries… OMG and shock horror to all you people who don’t think outside the obvious box. there are also BLONDE HAIRED MIDDLE EASTERN people have seen a arab woman in full scarf get up with a little blonde haired blue eyed baby so mmmmm the image of a blue eyed Jesus isn’t that unthinkable.

    • Scott September 7, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

      Yes, even in Mexico there are blonde haired blue eyed folks ..

      And of course Jesus was Jewish – I have a Jewish friend that is
      blonde w/blue eyes ..

      So the above person is right, and most of the rest of you have no
      clue (although you think you do. 😉

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