Misconceptions About Jesus Appearance
Misconception: Some argue that Jesus must have been of African descent because the book of Revelation compares his hair to wool and his feet to burnished bronze.Revelation 1:14, 15, The New Jerusalem Bible.
Fact: The book of Revelation is presented in signs. The description of Jesus hair and feet uses symbolic language to illustrate Jesus qualities after his resurrection, not to describe his physical appearance when he was on earth. In saying that Jesus head and his hair were white as white wool, as snow, Revelation 1:14 uses color, not texture, as a point of comparison. This represents his wisdom due to age. This verse is not comparing the texture of Jesus hair to that of wool any more than it is comparing the texture of his hair to that of snow.
Jesus feet looked like fine copper when glowing in a furnace. Also, his face was like the sun when it shines at its brightest. Since no race has skin color matching these descriptions, this vision must be symbolic, showing the resurrected Jesus as the one who dwells in unapproachable light.1 Timothy 6:16.
Misconception: Jesus was weak and frail.
Fact: Jesus was manly in his behavior. For example, he boldly identified himself to the armed crowd that came to arrest him. Jesus must also have been physically strong to have worked as a carpenter using manual tools..
Misconception: Jesus was always somber, melancholy.
Jesus Likely Had Black Hair And A Beard
Jesus told his followers, And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black .
Jesus probably had a beard and short curly hair with long sideburns or payot. Jesus followed the law in Leviticus 19:27 which said, You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. Even today, Orthodox Jewish men grow long hair on the sides of their heads.
Shorter hair was considered the norm for Jewish men and for Romans. Paul explains to early Christians in Corinth, Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering .
As It Was In The Beginning
The passages quoted thus far have been from the New Testament. Armed only with these, you can mount a strong case that the Hebrew Bible proclaims Christ. But perhaps, it might be argued, this Christian interpretation is found only by looking backward from the New. Is it possible to also read the Bible forward, from Genesis onward, and see the same Christ-centeredness? I believe so.
Its my contention that Christ is either patterned, promised, or present on every page of the Hebrew Bible. More than this, in certain key passages, he is portrayed in all three ways at once. Below I select just three of these occasions and hope that it inspires you to see the whole Bible through these lenses.
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Acheiropoieta And Reported Visions
During the Middle Ages, a number of legendary images of Jesus began to appear, at times, they were probably constructed in order to validate the styles of the depictions of Jesus which were reported during that period, e.g. the image of Edessa. The Veil of Veronica was accompanied by a narrative about the Passion of Jesus.
A number of descriptions of Jesus have been reported by saints and mystics who claim that they have seen Jesus in visions. Reports of such visions are more common among Roman Catholics than they are among members of other Christian denominations.
By the twentieth century, some reports of miraculous images of Jesus began to receive a significant amount of attention, e.g. Secondo Pia‘s photograph of the Shroud of Turin, one of the most controversial artifacts in history. During its May 2010 exposition, the shroud and its photograph of what some authors consider the face of Jesus were visited by more than two million people.
Another twentieth-century depiction of Jesus, namely the Divine Mercy image is based on Faustina Kowalska‘s reported vision, which she described in her diary as a pattern that was then painted by artists. The depiction is now widely used among Catholics, and it has more than a hundred million followers worldwide.
What Does All This Mean For Us Today
When we realize that there arent any pictures or statues of Jesus that were made during his lifetime, it reminds us that God looks on the heart and not on outward appearance. When the prophet Samuel was directed by God to choose the king of Israel, God gave him very specific instructions to ignore Saul, who looked more like a king but did not have a heart for God.
But the Lord said to Samuel, Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
It is important that we learn from this to not judge ourselves or others by outward appearance. As Jesus told his followers, Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment .
Matthew, Mark, Peter, and John were disciples of Jesus who traveled with Jesus during his time of ministry and each of them wrote books about Jesus. It is remarkable that none of the books written by Jesus followers contain any description of his appearance. The New Testament authors made sure we focused on Jesus message and his heart.
When we feel average or less then, when people despise us or ridicule us because of the way we look, we need to remember that Jesus was average, he wasnt considered good-looking or beautiful, and people ridiculed him and even spat on him .
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The 7 Special Qualities Of God
Many people wonder, how is God described in the bible?, and while we may not know everything about the nature of God, there are some things we can know about who God is. Throughout Scripture, God is defined as Spirit, a person, life, self-existent, unchanging, unlimited by time and space, and a unity. To understand God better, it is important to understand these seven aspects of His nature.
How Have Depictions Of Jesus Changed Over The Centuries
Some of the earliest known artistic representations of Jesus date to the mid-third century A.D., more than two centuries after his death. These are the paintings in the ancient catacombs of St. Domitilla in Rome, first discovered some 400 years ago. Reflecting one of the most common images of Jesus at the time, the paintings depict Jesus as the Good Shepherd, a young, short-haired, beardless man with a lamb around his shoulders.
The restored fresco depicting Jesus and his apostles in the Roman catacomb of Santa Domitilla.
Another rare early portrait of Jesus was discovered in 2018 on the walls of a ruined church in southern Israel. Painted in the sixth century A.D., it is the earliest known image of Christ found in Israel, and portrays him with shorter, curly hair, a depiction that was common to the eastern region of the Byzantine empireespecially in Egypt and the Syria-Palestine regionbut disappeared from later Byzantine art.
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Jesus Burns At The Bush
The burning bush has so many biblical resonances. Plants are often likened to Gods people . The peoples sufferings in Egypt are commonly described as a furnace . Here at the burning bush, we see Gods people on fire in a furnace of affliction, and yet here is the Christlike pattern their King, the great I Am, descends into the burnings to be with his people and to lead them out. The pattern of the exodus is the pattern of the gospel.
The exodus itself is the fulfillment of promises. In Genesis 12, we learn that the seed of Abraham will bless and rule the nations. The promise includes an ambiguity is the seed plural or singular ? In essence, the answer is yes. The seed is first the nation of Israel and, in the fullness of time, it is Christ the Messiah who singularly represents the nation . So as the promise develops, we read Genesis 15, where the Lord prophesies a suffering-and-rising pattern for the seed of Abraham: the seed will be enslaved and afflicted, yet through judgment the seed would come out to a greater glory . This death and resurrection would first be endured by Israel, but as we watch the exodus, we are seeing a preview of the coming gospel drama. In other words, the whole of the exodus is a promise of Christ.
Another Name For Jesus
Isaiah gives perhaps the lengthiest name for Jesus Christ than does any other author in the Bible. Youve probably seen it included in many Christmas programs and Christmas cards and is one of the most famous descriptions of Jesus in both name and character. We find these names in Isaiah 9:6 where it says For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. In the original Hebrew language there were no commas so all of what we consider different names or titles is actually the same name! It should read that Jesus will be called Wonderful Counselor-Mighty God-Everlasting Father-Prince of Peace because He is all these things and infinitely more.
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God Is Unlimited By Time And Space
God is not limited by time and space. Another of His names is the Everlasting God . When Paul described God to the Athenian philosophers, he noted, God that made the world and all the things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands . Bible teachers describe this aspect of Gods nature as the infinity and immensity of God. It is the foundation of our view of Gods sovereignty in the universe.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord . There can only be one God. To speak of more than only one supreme, absolute, perfect, and almighty being called God makes about as much sense as talking about a square circle. The meaning of words would become useless and truth would collapse. Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts I am the first, and I am the last and beside me there is no God .
When we talk about the Trinity, we are still talking about one God in three personalities. The idea of God as a Trinity was suggested in Hebrew thought by the name of God, Elohim, which is a plural. Elsewhere in Scripture, God is also spoken of as plural, such as: Let us make man in our image .
The Bible describes him as the one who inhabiteth eternity . Paul called him immortal . Abraham recognized the everlasting God . Moses observed even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God . The psalmist wrote, But thou art the same and thy years shall have no end .
Jesus Was Neither Tall Nor Remarkably Good Looking
If Jesus appearance was remarkable in any way, the writers of the gospels would have commented on it. For instance, the Gospel of Luke describes a tax collector named Zacchaeus as short.
Jesus was heading his way, and Zacchaeus wanted to see what he was like. But Zacchaeus was a short man and could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree.
If Jesus was taller than the average people in the crowd, Zacchaeus would have been able to see him above everyone else.
In the Old Testament, the future King Saul is described as good-looking and tall. Kish had a son named Saul, who was better looking and more than a head taller than anyone else in all Israel. .
In 1 Samuel 17:4, Goliath was described as a giant who was six cubits and a span tall, which translates into over nine feet tall.
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The Meaning Of The Names
There are not a lot of words in this passage that need defining. But at the heart of the revelation is the giving of the name Jesus. Here too you could get help from a good Bible dictionary. But to cut the process short I will summarize what you would find. This is a good Hebrew name very similar to the Old Testament name Joshua. The Hebrews loved to give names with meaning and the meaning usually involved some word play on the name. The word play with this name is on the verb to save. That verb in Hebrew is yasha. Names like Hosea, Isaiah, and Joshua, to name but a few, are all based on this verb. The name Jesus, like the name Joshua, would mean the Lord saves, or shortened would mean he saves. This is why the significance of the name is then explained, For he shall save his people from their sins.
This latter clarification was necessary because in the Old Testament the verb to save is most often used for physical deliverance–saved from enemies, from disease, from oppression, from death. It is also used in the sense of salvation from sin, but folks would probably think of other types of salvation first. In fact, the followers of Jesus often thought more in the sense of a national deliverance from Rome than in a spiritual salvation from sin. The word from God makes it clear from the outset that the salvation Jesus will bring will be a salvation from sin. Once sin is dealt with, then the results of the sin can be taken care of as well .
What Research And Science Can Tell Us About Jesus
In 2001, the retired medical artist Richard Neave led a team of Israeli and British forensic anthropologists and computer programmers in creating a new image of Jesus, based on an Israeli skull dating to the first century A.D., computer modeling and their knowledge of what Jewish people looked like at the time. Though no one claims its an exact reconstruction of what Jesus himself actually looked like, scholars consider this imagearound five feet tall, with darker skin, dark eyes, and shorter, curlier hairto be more accurate than many artistic depictions of the son of God.
In her 2018 book What Did Jesus Look Like?, Taylor used archaeological remains, historical texts and ancient Egyptian funerary art to conclude that, like most people in Judea and Egypt around the time, Jesus most likely had brown eyes, dark brown to black hair and olive-brown skin. He may have stood about 5-ft.-5-in. tall, the average mans height at the time.
While Cargill agrees that these more recent images of Jesusincluding darker, perhaps curlier hair, darker skin and dark eyesprobably come closer to the truth, he stresses that we can never really know exactly what Jesus looked like.
What did Jewish Galileans look like 2,000 years ago? he asks. That’s the question. They probably didn’t have blue eyes and blond hair.
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Biblical Definition Of Hell
Hell is the place where those who reject the Lordship of Jesus Christ will experience the wrath and justice of God for all of eternity. Theologian Wayne Grudem defined Hell as a place of eternal conscious punishment for the wicked. It is mentioned many times throughout the scriptures. 17th Century Puritan, Christopher Love stated that,
Hell is a place of torment, ordained by God for Devils and reprobate sinners, wherein by His justice He confines them to everlasting punishment tormenting them both in Body and Soul, being deprived of Gods favor, objects of His wrath, under which they must lie to all eternity.
Hell is a Christian belief and teaching that many would like to avoid or forget altogether. It is a harsh and terrifying truth that awaits those who will not respond to the Gospel. Theologian R.C Sproul writes, There is no biblical concept more grim or terror-invoking than the idea of hell. It is so unpopular with us that few would give credence to it at all except that it comes to us from the teaching of Christ himself. J.I. Packer also writes, New Testament teaching about hell is meant to appall us and strike us dumb with horror, assuring us that, as heaven will be better than we could dream, so hell will be worse than we can conceive. Now a question may be asked, what do the Scriptures teach about hell?
Names And Titles Of Jesus:
1. Almighty One who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. Rev. 1:8
2. Alpha and Omega I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Rev. 22:13
3. Advocate My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 1 John 2:1
4. Author and Perfecter of Our Faith Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb. 12:2
5. Authority Jesus said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Matt. 28:18
6. Bread of Life Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35
7. Beloved Son of God And behold, a voice from heaven said, This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Matt. 3:17
8. Bridegroom And Jesus said to them, Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. Matt. 9:15
9. Chief Cornerstone The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. Ps. 118:22
10. Deliverer And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. 1 Thess.1:10
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