What did Jesus really look like?

Just what I was thinking.

The Shroud Museum in Israel used the same technique (VP-8) to cast a complete bronze body based on the data contained in the Shroud; quite impressive results to say the least.


According to the Bible, Jesus had a beard (it was plucked during his Passion).

That’s really the only thing we know with any authoritative certainty.

Great question. Definitely, European artists portrayed Jesus as “white-bread” white, to make him more acceptable to the European population.

But Jesus was from what is now Palestine. He was probably dark, much like Arabs today. Honestly he probably looked more like (gasp) Saddam or bin Laden than the normal white portrayal…

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Not even that actually. If you read the gospels, they don’t ever mention Jesus ever having a beard or whether it was plucked or not. (In fact, they don’t give any explicit physical description of Jesus at all.) The idea ultimately comes from Isaiah 50:6. “I gave my back to those who strike, / and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; / I hid not my face / from disgrace and spitting.” Now it’s really an open issue: it depends on whether you choose to believe in a literal fulfillment of prophecy (Jesus did actually have an actual beard) or not (the reference is more figurative and just refers to shame and torture in general).

It’s actually kind of like the idea that Jesus’ ministry lasted for three and a half years and that He was 33-and-a-half when He died: a ‘factoid’ we take for granted, but in reality is a belief that actually doesn’t derive from the gospels themselves but from a particular interpretation of OT prophecy. (In this case, the final week of the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 is the origin of the idea.)

Jesus looks like this…


Why the gasp? No-one here believes he was ‘white’. Everyone knows he was middle eastern in appearance.

Gasp because of the connection with these 2 nefarious middle easterns.

But we still don’t know. There are Egyptians, Iranians and others in the region walking around in white skin. And Israel was a crossroads for three continents; they saw every kind of skin there was.


I haven’t read any serious historian conclude or even hypothesise that he was ‘white’.

He was often portrayed as white to make him more ‘acceptable’ to Westerners.

By ‘white’ I think you really mean ‘Germanic’. I’d like to refer you back to my post.

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