Do we know what Jesus actually looks like?


We have -historically - the following sources:
-roman image and scriptural sources showing/ talking about hairstyle. The roman citizen wore his hair mainly short in this time, BUT especially in the far away provinces this was not always the case. We now this happened because of mosaics, coptic mummy paintings and letters about the “strange fashion sense in the province”.
Then we have sources for the costume history of different areas in the near east, with huuuuge plurality of fashion styles. I genral, beards were a status symbol, eyeliner was very common for men and women because of medical and beauty reasons. There is archaeologic evidence for hair oil pots, beard care tools and kajal colour pots in the whole egypt, mediterranian and middle east area.
At least we know that many religious groups marked themself with long hair for an ascetic lifestyle. We have description of this in many scriptures. So a long beard and long hair could be possible for Jesus, too.

To the depiction:
It´s interesting that the image of the long haired jesus which is so popular today has it´s foundation mainly in the depiction tradition of the migration era. The nobility in the late antiquity wore long hair and beards as a sign of their class. It was easier for them to accept christ with him depicted with the “common” visual signs of glory.

I like the different images so much. Interesting are also the images of Holy Mary. I recently saw an album of litte chinese prints of Holy Mary in traditional Han-Dynasty clothing and chinese-looking facial features. It´s lovely how all humans can see the grace within :blue_heart:




Who says they don’t?
If someone performed miracles and rose from the dead, that earns them a sketch.


I’m not sure there is a particular “look” to “people of his region”. The first Syrian I ever met had blonde hair and blue eyes. I’m not even sure we know what “Jews” generally looked like at the time. Their ancient origin was Sumeria, which contained a mixture of Semitic and Persian peoples, and they frowned on intermarrying with locals of any kind. Today, Americans think of “Jews” as looking like the Ashkenazim of whom there are many in the U.S. (likely of Turkic origin). But there’s no certainty at all the Jews of Jesus’ time looked like that, and good reason to question it.

I think speculating on what Jesus “really” looked like is idle at best. But I suppose if I had to make my own guess, I would guess the icons of the early Byzantine period would be well to consider for that purpose.


It seems like there’s a remarkable consistency in all the early Jesus images. I figure it had to have come from somewhere.



That’s not how it works. Jesus was seen by many as a blasphemous rebel, and later Christianity was seen as a cult. Jesus also gave instructions that nothing was to be written until after His Death.

Sorry, but Jesus wasn’t the famous Guy today that He was back then. I suspect not too many people really knew about or believed what happened at the time.

Furthermore, it would be a very pathetic argument to not believe in Him over a sketch. Really, that’s a desperate excuse…


Agreed. The ‘surfer’ Jesus depiction is almost laughable.


I’m not sure if Jesus would have necessarily looked like Jews of that period…of course his mother was Jewish…but his father was God…so it’s any ones guess as to his appearance.


Chapter and verse, please?


That looks awful The nearest you can get to how Jesus looked is in the icons of him. They show both his physical and spiritual appearance.



The fact that he evaded capture by escaping into the crowd and that Judas needed to identify him to the authorities would imply that he did not have distinctive looks.


He probably looked like a guy from Palestine.


I suspect that it’s highly possible that He had quite a bit of His Mother’s features since it was she who was His only biological parent and whose genes Jesus received. All the more the reason why I couldn’t possibly conceive that He looks anything like the BBC image from post # 9. Geesh, no offence, but if I saw that man walking down the street towards me after dark…I’d cross to the other side!


I think He looks like the image on the Shroud.


I thought pretty much the same thing.


as for the long hair vs short hair jesus, long hair was a symbol of holiness and dedication to God we have in scripture:

Numbers 6:4-6
4 As long as they remain under their Nazirite vow, they must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins.
5 “‘During the entire period of their Nazirite vow, no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over; they must let their hair grow long.
6 “‘Throughout the period of their dedication to the Lord, the Nazirite must not go near a dead body.

Then you also have Samson who had long hair

Judges 16:16-17
16 And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. 17 And he told her all his heart, and said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.”


I saw Jesus on TV and he looked like this :smirk:


Jesus wasn’t a Nazirite.


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