the Race and Appearance of Jesus


The race and appearance of Jesus has been a topic of discussion since the days of early Christianity.

Jesus, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader.

Early Christianity covers the period from its origins until the First Council of Nicaea.

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There are no firsthand accounts of Jesus's physical appearance, although some authors have suggested that physical descriptions may have been removed from the Bible at some point to emphasize his universality.

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Revelation 1:15 symbolically describe Jesus as having feet that resembled polished bronze/brass, as if refined in a furnace, a head and hair as white as wool, and eyes of fire.


Various theories about the race of Jesus have been proposed and debated.


By the Middle Ages, a number of documents, generally of unknown or questionable origin, had been composed and were circulating with details of the appearance of Jesus.

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century.


Now these documents are mostly considered forgeries.


By the 19th century, theories that Jesus was non-Semitic were being developed, with writers suggesting he was variously white, black, Indian, or some other race.

India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia.


However, as in other cases of the assignment of race to Biblical individuals, these claims have been mostly pseudoscientific, based on cultural stereotypes, ethnocentrism, and societal trends rather than on scientific analysis or historical method.

Historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence, including the evidence of archaeology, to research and then to write histories in the form of accounts of the past.

The scientific method is an empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century.

Ethnocentrism is the act of judging another culture based on preconceptions that are found in the values and standards of one's own culture.


Many people have a mental image of Jesus drawn from artistic depictions.


A wide range of depictions have appeared over the two millennia since Jesus's death, often influenced by cultural settings, political circumstances and theological contexts.


The depiction of Jesus in art of the first Christian centuries gradually standardized his appearance with a short beard.

No useful description of the physical appearance of Jesus is given in the New Testament and the depiction of Jesus in pictorial form was controversial in the early Church.

Missing Image

These images are often based on second- or third-hand interpretations of spurious sources, and are generally not historically accurate.

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