What did Jesus look like?

imageSister Melannie Svoboda, a Sister of Notre Dame in Chardon, Ohio, in her blog, Sunflower Seeds, imagines what Jesus looks like.

“Let’s start with the Shroud of Turin,” she writes. She discussed the close briefly and reminds us that “the Catholic Church has neither formally endorsed nor formally rejected the Shroud of Turin.”

Sister Melannie then gives some other images to contemplate. Regrettably, she doesn’t name them.

imageOne is Warner Sallman’s, “Son of Man.” handed out on wallet cards to American troops during World War II by the Salvation Army and the YMCA.


6 thoughts on “What did Jesus look like?”

  1. Well, we can cross off blond hair & blue eyes.

    As an aside, can anyone point me to a sculpture of crucified Christ which conforms closely to the man in the Shroud?

      1. Thanks Dan.

        I have seen that thread. It’s not what I’m hoping to find.
        I would like to see a crucifixion sculpture of Christ on the cross but modelled on the man in the Shroud.
        It seems there is no such sculpture anywhere, which surprises me.

  2. Most portayals of Jesus tend to reflect the artistic style, customs and stereotypes of their time and locality. Our favourite pictures of him probably say more about us than about him. Sister Melannie’s comment that the average 1st century Semite was about 5ft-1in is I suspect a piece of questionable anthropogical folklore. I’m not sure that I know what your average New Zealander looks like – they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and nowadays in all sorts of colours. Maybe this was also true in Palestine of that time.

    You can find a picture of the “Maori Jesus” in the stained glass window of St Faith’s Anglican church in Rotorua, a very old colonial era church. Jesus wears a feathered cloak, an emblem of particular honour:

    The poet James K Baxter had his own version of the Maori Jesus:
    “I saw the Maori Jesus, Walking on Wellington Harbour He wore blue dungarees His beard and hair were long His breath smelt of mussels and paraoa When he smiled it looked like the dawn.” James K. Baxter

    I seem to recall the pictures of the “Sacred Heart” of my childhood had a Jesus with blue eyes. The Japanese also have their own images of Jesus. Some comments in Sister Mellanie’s blog suggest that the actual appearance of what Jesus really looked like, doesn’t matter so much as do other more important aspects. Maybe some of us are too focused on appearances – part of the celebrity culture, I wonder?

  3. I for 1 have only cared about the origins of JESUS. Simply because, most religions do. The image of Christ, is displayed prominently. I have no degree. I simply ask, could the shroud of Turin possibly just be that of an other unfortunate soul.. The date of the cloth seems to be the what everyone wants to know. Was not JESUS for Nazareth crucified young? Those stains look like an old man.

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