Sunday, 5 July 2020

A Sunday Special: Was Christ black?


                          

Dear Justin Welby, the Arch-do-gooder of Canterbury, has decided that we should 'reconsider the notion that Christ was white'. Since the recent death of George Floyd in the USA, skin colour has become all-important in just about every sphere imaginable, and Welby is not allowing Jesus to escape scrutiny.

Jesus is depicted as being of various skin colours; in white countries he is usually shown as white, and in black countries as black. In fact very little is known of his appearance, and the imagination of artists is as varied as their countless depictions.

The only physical description of Jesus in The Bible comes from Revelations 1:12-16, and I imagine that if one is prepared to believe in virgin birth, resurrection, and assorted gods and devils, it's no more far-fetched to believe the physical description of him in the all-important book.

                                  The Resurrection of Christ in Art: Six Iconographic Strategies

He is described thus: 'His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes as a flame of fire'. The description then continues to say he had feet the colour of burnished bronze.

Not much to go on, but we can at least start to build a picture. He was a Palestinian Jewish man, very blond, with striking eyes, and tanned feet. Welby, in his attempt to be PC, might have us believe that he was black. I think maybe he should read his Bible; unless of course he considers it to be a pick-n-mix book!

The two illustrations above show both he and Mary Magdalene as white and gingerish; not unlike many present day neighbouring Syrians.

May I be radical and suggest that those who wish to see him as white, continue to do so, and those who wish to see him as black also continue to do so. Just buy a picture for your wall that suits your own personal vision.

I'm no Christian, but I was brought-up in the traditions of The Protestant Church of England, and I refuse to be told that the Christ I've heard about for over 70 years was actually black. Next they'll be telling me that Martin Luther King was white.

Welby was born in 1956, so for the past 64 years he's been perfectly happy that his boss was a long-haired, caucasian, hippy, with Superman-like powers, so why (following the death of a black man in the USA) he should suddenly wonder if Christ was black, I really can't imagine; maybe he is simply following a knee-jerk trend.

30 comments:

  1. Here is a shortcut, Cro, a spontaneous thought on reading your post (good to have you back).

    Considering that we are supposed to be made in God's image all we need to do is look in the mirror.

    U

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Swap the suggested picture for a mirror, and it's much the same. Could someone explain this to Welby?

      Delete
  2. That's an interesting start to your return from 'hols'. Thank you for only having a week off I/we have missed you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Having no religious beliefs whatsoever it is not something I have ever thought about before. Black, white, in between - one day it may be that colour is not something we even think about - but it's a long time away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My attitude to this topic is identical to Pat's.

      Delete
  4. I wrote a similar post last week, one of my unpublished ones. I concluded his arguments were muddled and incoherent and he was jumping on a political bandwagon, which he is apt to do, and he should stick to religion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ursula. I'm not publishing your reply to Rachel, as I found it confrontational. I'm going to be very strict about this as from now!

      Delete
  5. It is lovely to see you back. I for one should go for a well tanned Jesus, because he did after all live in a hot country.
    York up till last month had a black Archbishop, Setamu. He was opinionated as many bishops are but his geniality made up for a man of faith - not that I believe in what they preached.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I read somewhere last week that Welby had a picture of the last supper....a black Jesus and white apostles ! How does that work?

    ReplyDelete
  7. PS Good to have you back.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Welcome back, I've missed my daily morning dose of Cro. Hope you enjoyed your break?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just glad to see you back. How about it not mattering whether Christ was white or black?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am pleased to see you back here too. Like Weaver, I have no religious beliefs at all. It seems to me that all religions just make it uo as they go along to suit whoever is in power at any point in time.
    Hope you enjoyed your break?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think that all religions are the rules that people have developed around spirituality, which is of course a different thing. Let everyone believe as they wont.
    Kathy

    ReplyDelete
  12. No soft option for your first post back from hols, eh??!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. In Jesus Christ Superstar (the film) Ted Neely was a white hippy and Carl Anderson was black. Ban it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Welcome black Cro...sorry, back I meant! I don't believe in any of it so for me there's no question either way. But everyone to their own I say. Hope you had a nice few days off.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Given the part of the world that Jesus is said to have come from, his skin color would be darker and not the Nordic coloring that is so often depicted in churches and art.

    It is nice to see you back on Blogger, Cro.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you look at film from the Syrian refugee camps, you'll see lots of children, and some adults, who look very light coloured, and with pale gingerish hair; very much like my second illustration. Maybe he was of that ilk, with suntanned feet, which we all have in Summer.

      Delete
  16. Good to see you back, Cro. You were missed. Does it matter what color of skin, hair or eyes Jesus had? Only (I suppose) because race has now become a paramount issue again. Which is sad. We've gone backwards instead of forwards. Thankfully all fads pass; there'll be a new reason to be outraged or contrite by the end of the year.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Moderately brown then? With sun-bleached hair. Maybe he bathed in the sea a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I agree with "Starting over...", I think Jesus would be darker than most white churches depict him. The bible is folk lore stories passed down to teach lessons to the people of those times (and current times to those that believe, I guess). Not always actual facts... and who knows in the many tellings and translations how the original stories were changed or embellished...

    ReplyDelete
  19. Nice to have you back. I rarely comment but want you to know I, too, missed your daily post. Like Weave, I never gave any thought to the question you ask. Also, great that you will keep U out of trouble. Thanks, X2!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I was in high school, way back in the sixties, when I realized Christ was not the blue eyed blond over the alter. That he had at least very dark hair. It was the beginning of my doubt.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've had this conversation with a couple people over the years. The Bible doesn't give much detail about the physical appearance besides what you quoted in Revelation but then He's coming back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

    There's a verse in Isaiah that tells us there's nothing overtly attractive that would draw us in as one might be to an incredibly good-looking person. I did a Web search and found it:

    Isaiah 53:2- For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.

    Each time i've had this conversation with others, we conclude that you know Him by who He is rather than what He looks like.

    The fact that the Bible doesn't record any remarkable physical attributes would lead me to suspect he looked like others who were living in that area at the time. As you point out, that could be any number of things.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...