Did anyone watch The Passion of the Christ and wonder why Jesus looked like a dude who grew up in Seattle despite being born in the Middle East? You’re not the only one. For whatever reason, we in the Western world have agreed that Jesus basically looks like Gordon Lightfoot with a better beard, but evidence and a basic sense of logic suggest that this was not the case. Just ask this anthropologist.
Richard Neave, a medical artist from the University of Manchester, used forensic anthropology to recreate the Lord’s face…and it definitely doesn’t look like the Jesus from our Bible school coloring books.
Using forensic science and anthropological deduction, Neave’s Jesus is a dark-skinned man with brown eyes and short, curly hair. Pretty much the opposite of common depictions of the Son of God, am I right?
Jesus is often depicted with the complexion of a gamer boy from the suburbs of Boston, but Neave deduced that because he was of the Semitic people, he most likely had darker skin.
He also worked outside as a carpenter until he was 30, which probably gave him a pretty gnarly tan.
And while Jesus is often shown with long Pantene Pro-V hair, Semite tradition favored shorter hairstyles. The apostle Paul even said, “If a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him.”
Unless, of course, Paul changed his mind about long hair when he saw Jesus the same way we all changed our minds about bangs when we saw Michelle Obama.
Neave and his team also decided that Jesus wouldn’t be the tall statue of a man he is often shown to be. The truth is that given the sort of nutrition of the day, Jesus was probably just over five feet tall. But then again, his dad was God, so who knows what that brought to the gene pool.