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Would Christianity be as popular if Jesus were portrayed more accurately?

Jesus is most often portrayed as a well-groomed, Caucasian man. In reality, he would have been nothing like this.

He would have been dark skinned.
Wore a short tunic...

I think even the image of Jesus is a marketing tactic. An appealing "mascot." God is similarly portrayed as an older, Caucasian man.

What if they were dark-skinned? Or, what if they were very unattractive? Would it change anything?

Here is an article from BBC about what Jesus would have really looked like:


By silvereyes8
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In America, definitely not as popular. Too many racists here. And too many shallow people who need Jesus to look attractive to them.


I think that all of religion is a well crafted marketing campaign to convince people to part with their money and power over their own lives.

icolan Level 7 Jan 6, 2018

I think most westerners really do think of Jesus as a white dude, forgetting that he was a Middle Eastern Jew. I'm not sure it was for marketing purposes that this anglicized version of Jesus became popular. My understanding is that the religion spread but most people during the Renaissance in Europe had never seen a Middle Eastern person, so the paintings depicted pale-skinned men and women, including for Jesus. It seems ridiculous, but I guess if I'd never seen someone from the Middle East I'd have the same blind spot and think nothing of a Caucasian portrayals. Regardless, because so many people do currently have a vision in mind of what Jesus looked like, a white dude, they wouldn't be as inclined to follow Christianity if they really thought of him as he would have been in reality. I think cultural prejudice would curb belief a lot — but I also think it's so ingrained in people that there's cognitive dissonance at work, so people know he couldn't have been white, blond, and blue-eyed, yet that's the persistent image in their mind and remains in all the derivative artwork.

resserts Level 8 Jan 6, 2018

@silvereyes It's difficult to say how slavery would have played out. I think xenophobia transcends religion, though often they've fed off each other, and slavery was considered acceptable in most of the world for most of human history. So, in my mind the question is how people would have continued to justify their slaveholding had they not had scripture to fall back on. I'm confident there would have been some excuse, but without it being a divine mandate I don't know how it would have been justified.


I am positive that buybull thumpers would not be happy to see Jesus this way. We create gods in our image, therefore he must look just like us, regardless of where the buybull says he was born.


Seen it-more realistic,


Hey! That's the owner of the quicky mart just down the street,where I get my slushies,and smokes.

Nemosson Level 6 Jan 6, 2018

Nope. Especially now.

KKGator Level 9 Jan 6, 2018

have had this debate and it raises the hackles of some believers. Along with him probably being married. God is such a father figure. That is the reflection I see most people generate their ideal of him from. What they think a father should be like. Even his detractors. Why isn't he nice? Why do bad things happen? Daddy wouldn't let bad things happen. As a devout agnostic, I think he could be an amorphous douchebag who like to dance to tuba music. But maybe that's just me.


The prevalent portrayal of jesus, I think, is inspired mostly by roman gods. Eg. Neptune

Srijith Level 7 Jan 7, 2018

If you want your religion to appeal to everyone... you have to leave blanks unfilled.


In racist America? Not!


Personally.... it's the way bad things happen to good people that bother me. Prayers were not being answered. No proof that there is a supreme being.


I think it would be WAY more popular. Granted, we're still trying to figure out who Jesus was, but there's one thing that stands out. He was an advocate for the poor, and he saw a universe that valued him... From the time he was at least twelve, Jesus recognized that he was connected to something at such a deep level that it was intimate with him. Jesus recognized it as a father, more than a father, a “daddy.” The Aramaic term he used for his father was “Abba,” which was a term used by a child. Jesus recognized that he was special in this presence. This presence had high hopes for him; but not only himself, others as well. Jesus’ daddy loved us all. Jesus daddy was calling to us, wooing us, taking care of us, always supporting us. Jesus daddy cared deeply about how we were doing in life. Jesus daddy thought of us as his pride and joy.

This is why Jesus got upset, why he railed against the Pharisees, and why he was a thorn in the side of the Roman Empire. It was because they weren’t behaving according to what Jesus recognized not only as HIS Abba, but their daddy too. Jesus wanted to convince them (and us) to look inside, to see the same Universe he saw… that place where love comes from. He wanted us to stand in the presence of our own daddy, and from that place, make our commentary.

He saw God through a Jewish lens, but that's because he was Jewish. I suspect, were he alive today, he would see God through a different lens, but it would still be that sense of connection and relation.


Jesus, if he were even real, would look more like Osama Bin Laden or your average Islamic terrorist than the general consensus among white Americans.

mt49er Level 7 Jan 6, 2018

There is a very good chance that Jesus (Yeshua) was a 1st century literary recreation of the 2 Yeshua s who were in the old testament. The synoptic gospel stories are definitely recreations of several old testament stories. Also a 2nd century pagan writer, Celsus claimed that Jesus' father was a Roman soldier named Albus Penterra of the Syrian archers. They found his grave in Germany in the 1800s. If true the Virgin Mary may well have been a rape victim and therefore still considered a virgin under Jewish law. Maybe he did have blue eyes.


Oh, the sun must look pretty!

Can't find it but there's...I think definitive evidence how we see jehebus today is as the son of a Roman ruler of the time, by decree inserted as the son of said local daddy god.

k, who was passing around that video...or remembers the link?


Whenever a Christian claims they witness Jesus. I never get an answer back, when I ask what dose Jesus look like?.

Described in the Bible
The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace. (No description of being white skin or blue eyes in the Bible)

We are most shown paintings and drawings of a white skin, blonde and blue eyes Jesus. Angels are even more spoken about than Jesus. Angels are blonde, very white and tall like Trump, minus the fat and orange skin. Then we have a white sky Daddy. It's all in the imagination of white supremest artist plans to be superior over all other races.

They used the Bible to enslaved blacks for 100s of years in this last century. Native Americans had larger population than Europe with Mexico City had more population than any city in Europe. Until those white devil Christians came over.


I had seen a show on cable with that picture as an image rendered by an artist. Caucasians are in the minority in the world, yet we seem to hold the image of God/Jesus as a Caucasian as "official". No, I don't think that the real Jesus of Nazareth would be accepted in the U.S. My thought is if the real Jesus of Nazareth would come back to life and somehow be able to prove that he was who he said he was, Christianity might persecute him.


I read somewhere that it was during Medieval times that they decided that jesus was a California dude, with long blonde hair and blue eyes...kind of a surfing dude...hang 10 man smile001.gif


Wouldn't that changed history if Jesus was black, a loss tribe of Jews. Thanks


what, you mean like he never existed at all ?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but....yeah, there's not a scrap of historical primary source, a validated historical site or artefact.

@Duke Yes, in Bladerunner movies, thankfully.


The problem is, there's no consensus about who the "real" Jesus was, any more than there's consensus amongst Christians who the supernatural Jesus was. Any portrayal is going to be one group's take on him. The debates between scholars who don't accept a supernatural Jesus but believe they know who the real Jesus was is endless. I would be pleased if Christians would just acknowledge the mythology of the Supernatural Jesus and admit they no proof for their extraordinary claims. But they won't do that. Supernatural Jesus is their big selling and marketing point. It's been that way since the 4th Century AD when they decided they couldn't just have a prophet, no he had to be a Son of God. Various scholars, like Bart Erhmann and others, account for the suppression and elimination of Christian groups then who wouldn't go along with it. The Caucasian Jesus is just part of a process of concealing the Jewish cult roots of this religion.


To quote XTC IN DEAR GOD, "man created god in his image". I once read a book about the historical times when "jesus" was supposedly walking the earth. An interesting point it made was during that time there were "messiahs" cropping up every other day or so and someone named jesus does not even appear anywhere. It's strange that this guy jesus only appears in 1 book........why?

harito Level 5 Jan 7, 2018

I think it never would have caught on with the Romans, and thus not the majority of Europe. Which raises the question as to what would have happened.

bingst Level 8 Jan 6, 2018
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