Was Jesus White?

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

440px-MegynKellyMegyn Kelly, on her Fox News show, declared: “Jesus was a white man, too. It’s like we have, he’s a historical figure that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa, I just want kids to know that.” While I grant that Jesus was a historical figure, Santa was only based on a historical figure, a monk named Nicholas. Nicholas was born around 260 A.D. in Patara, in present-day Turkey. Nicholas was probably Greek although little is known about his parents. While it make make Kelly uncomfortable, Nicolas certainly wouldn’t have looked as white as Santa appears in the Coca-Cola ads.

According to Reza Aslan, Jesus was a Galilean, a Palestinian Jew. He would have looked like the average Palestinian looks today. Aslan cites those features: “that would mean dark features, hairy, probably a longer nose, black hair.” Hardly the Jesus seen in so many European paintings. There is great psychological benefit to portraying Jesus as “one of your own.”

jesus in chinese artIn Chinese art (left) we see the Mary and Jesus are depicted with Chinese attributes. jesus in japanese artIn Japanese art (right), Jesus is depicted with Japanese characteristics. The artists may never have seen a foreigner and had no model, other than their fellow countrymen, on which to base their depictions. When trying to attract converts, it is best to remember that people naturally relate to someone who looks like them.

jesus realModern forensic techniques have been used on a skull of a first century Jewish male to create a model of Jesus’ face shown at left. The skin color was chosen as indicative of someone from a desert climate. This image contrasts greatly with the Jesus found in European paintings.

Why is a white skin color for Jesus so important to Kelly?

Many married Christians think they can grow their relationship by inviting Jesus into their marriage. This spiritual polyandry would be less attractive when a non-white Jesus is envisioned.

The portrayal of Jesus has been used throughout history as a political tool. For those who advocate immigration restrictions, a blond-haired blue-eyed Jesus sends a clear message of exclusion.

H/T: Paul Harvey and Edward J. Blum, Darren E. Grem, BBC News, James Nye, Max Fisher.

106 thoughts on “Was Jesus White?”

  1. I think if someone checked the old Roman records for the name Santa Claus, Jr., they might find the white man we now call Jesus. I’m pretty sure Santa Junior was the name he was using when he was jerking those Roman clowns around.

    Santa is known to be white and the name Virgin Mary is a white name, so she is probably white. Now, Joseph, Virgin Mary’s old man, might have been an angry black man – especially when he peeped Santa Claus, Jr. and saw them baby blue eyes.

    There’s no question that the deity of the white people is Santa Claus, the senior, and he created them in his image – white.

    I can’t understand why FOX News hasn’t covered all this crap amidst this manufactured controversy. Aren’t they the main source of religious knowledge in America today?

  2. @RWL – Well it does kinda’ sorta’… However, I would like to hear your opinion on whether you believe Jesus ever existed and what you think his complexion was like.

    @BarkingDog – It’s a lot easier explaining a little “white lie” about Santa Claus then to try and explain celebrating a pagan Roman ceremony (i.e. Saturnalia) on December 25th when Jesus NEVER once instructed anyone to celebrate his birth. His sacrificial execution on a stauros (i.e. tree) had more meaning and was instructed by him to his followers to celebrate that on Nisan 14 every year. That’s despite the fact that his birth was never in the dead of winter but more into the fall of Sept/Oct. Imagine explaining that whopper of a lie to your kids!

    Well I guess a parent who condones celebrating pagan celebrations that stem from ancient Babylon and Egypt can’t quibble over details like loyalty to a Judeo-Christian meta-physical deity. Exclusion devotion is meaningless to some people today I guess. Most people have no idea the origins of birthdays, Easter, Halloween, Xmas, etc. Ahhh why quibble… it’s only your fate that’s at hand… 🙁

    (please use that acronym it’s easier to type)

    1. SOTB,

      Lol! Yes, I believe that Jesus is the Christ, and existed.

      I think he looked like Jimmy Hendrix. 🙂

  3. I am very impressed by the amount of the time several responders have allocated from their busy day to play wordsy with the Fox network opinionators. In the world that I observe, that should mean that 501(c) employees are involved. The religion involved is money – the disagreement is circular.

  4. The adults usually let a kid know that Santa is not real at about the time the kid starts questioning things like the sleigh and high altitude gift giving. But the adults never question the HeyZeus thing about Christmas. I wonder why.

    1. Sonofthunderboanerges,

      I follow/adhere to most of the Christian Apologetic movement, but I do consider myself as a non-denominational christian. Does that answer your question?

  5. Oh and BTW? Since we can agree that Saint Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) was born in Patara Turkey, we can assume that he was not white either. Why? Well Apostle Paul was not white as he was a Jew born in Tarsus Turkey. He had Roman citizenship but not Roman (i.e. Italian) white colored skin. So it must be assumed (as Jon Stewart points out in the video above) that St Nicholas was a dark tanned skin fellow.

    So Megyn’s comments where indicative of her education-level and cognitive reasoning skills. She needs to get on Google to be careful not to catch “foot-in-mouth” disease. 🙂


  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus

    “The question of the existence of Jesus as a historical figure is distinct from the study of the historical Jesus which goes beyond the analysis of his historicity and attempts to reconstruct portraits of his life and teachings, based on methods such as biblical criticism of gospel texts and the history of first century Judea.[23][24][25][26] Nor does it concern supernatural or miraculous claims about Jesus, which historians tend to look on as questions of faith, rather than historical fact.[27]

    Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed, and most biblical scholars and classical historians see the theories of his non-existence as effectively refuted.[1][3][4][9][10][11] In antiquity, the existence of Jesus was never denied by those who opposed Christianity.[28][29] There is, however, widespread disagreement among scholars on the details of the life of Jesus mentioned in the gospel narratives, and on the meaning of his teachings.[5] Robert E. Van Voorst states that the idea of the non-historicity of the existence of Jesus has always been controversial, and has consistently failed to convince virtually all scholars of many disciplines.[9] Geoffrey Blainey notes that a few scholars have argued that Jesus did not exist, but writes that Jesus’ life was in fact “astonishingly documented” by the standards of the time – more so than any of his contemporaries – with numerous books, stories and memoirs written about him. The problem for the historian, wrote Blainey, is not therefore, determining whether Jesus actually existed, but rather in considering the “sheer multitude of detail and its inconsistencies and contradictions”.[30] Although a very small number of modern scholars argue that Jesus never existed, that view is a distinct minority and virtually all scholars consider theories that Jesus’ existence was a Christian invention as implausible.[5][24] Christopher Tuckett states that the existence of Jesus and his crucifixion by Pontius Pilate seem to be part of the bedrock of historical tradition, based on the availability of non-Christian evidence.[24] Graham Stanton states that “Today nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed”.[11]

    The sources for the historicity of Jesus are mainly Christian sources, but there are some mentions also in a few non-Christian Jewish and Greco-Roman sources, which have been used in historical analyses of the existence of Jesus.[31] These include the works of 1st-century Roman historians Josephus and Tacitus.[31][32] Josephus scholar Louis H. Feldman has stated that “few have doubted the genuineness” of Josephus’ reference to Jesus in Antiquities 20, 9, 1 and it is only disputed by a small number of scholars.[33][34][35][36] Bart D. Ehrman states that the existence of Jesus and his crucifixion by the Romans is attested to by a wide range of sources, including Josephus and Tacitus.[37]

    The Mishnah (c. 200) may refer to Jesus and reflect the early Jewish traditions of portraying Jesus as a sorcerer or magician.[38][39][40][41] Other possible references to Jesus and his execution may exist in the Talmud, but they also aim to discredit his actions, not deny his existence.[38][42]

    Accepted historic facts[edit]Main article: Historical Jesus
    The reconstruction of portraits of the historical Jesus along with his life story has been the subject of wide ranging debate among scholars, with no scholarly consensus.[25] In a review of the state of research Amy-Jill Levine stated that “no single picture of Jesus has convinced all, or even most scholars” and that all portraits of Jesus are subject to criticism by some group of scholars.[25] According to James Dunn, nearly all modern scholars consider the baptism of Jesus and his crucifixion to be historically certain.[6][43] He states that these “two facts in the life of Jesus command almost universal assent” and “rank so high on the ‘almost impossible to doubt or deny’ scale of historical facts” that they are often the starting points for the study of the historical Jesus.[6] Amy-Jill Levine has summarized the situation by stating that “there is a consensus of sorts on the basic outline of Jesus’ life” in that most scholars agree that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, debated Jewish authorities on the subject of God, gathered followers, and was crucified by Roman prefect Pontius Pilate who officiated 26-36 AD.[14]

    Scholars attribute varying levels of certainty to other episodes. E.P. Sanders and Craig A. Evans independently state that there are two other incidents in the life of Jesus that can be considered historical: that Jesus called disciples, and that he caused a controversy at the Temple.[44] This extended view assumes that there are eight elements about Jesus and his followers that can be viewed as historical facts—four episodes in the life of Jesus and four about him and his followers, namely:[7][44]

    Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. He called disciples. He had a controversy at the Temple. Jesus was crucified by the Romans near Jerusalem.[7][44]
    Jesus was a Galilean. His activities were confined to Galilee and Judea. After his death his disciples continued. Some of his disciples were persecuted.[7][44]
    Scholarly agreement on this extended list is not universal.[7][44][45]

    Myth theory[edit]

    Main article: Christ myth theory
    “Christ myth theory” is an umbrella term that applies to a range of arguments that question the existence of Jesus as described in the Christian gospels.[46][47][48][49] The theory that Jesus never existed at all has support from a small minority of modern scholars.[9][50][51][52][53]”

  7. I personally feel that Yesuha ben Yoseph (aka Jesus of Nazareth) was a very real person. Why? Because several middle-eastern Asian men of the time period wrote about him (i.e. Apostles of the Bible?). Then after his execution for sedition by the Italians (aka Romans) a Jewish expatriate turned official Roman historian interviewed the apostles and verified Jesus’ existence (i.e. Flavius Josephus).

    Where there any “white men/women” in the bible? Yes. The Greeks and the Romans. Where there any “black men/women”? Yes. Nimrod, Jethro and his daughter Zipporah (Moses’ wife and father-in-law from Ethiopia), the Shulamite Maiden mentioned by Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Ethiopian Eunuch Phillip preached to. Was Jesus BLACK? If so that would mean he was of African descent. He only visited Africa (i.e. Egypt) when he was 2-years old.

    Jesus was from the line of David. David was a Semite or descendant of Noah’s son Shem (hence the name Semite). It appears that the descendants of Shem where the people’s who settled in Yemen, and parts of Northern Africa today (according to DNA testing by Dr. Spencer Wells of Harvard). The peoples of Israel today are mostly descendents of Ashkanaz the grandson of Noah’s son Japeth (who fathered the Caucasians). So it appears that Jesus was not Caucasian (aka white) as inaccurately depicted in Renaissance Italian paintings.

    That would mean all of the apostles, disciples, and Jesus probably where tanned skinned just like for example the Palestinians who live in Israel today. Another unrelated example would be the same shading of let’s say a common Puerto-Rican person here in America. Not too dark and not too light (there are many shades of Puerto-Ricans though). Definitely not like Megyn’s complexion. The same would go for the hair and eyes. That would be black hair and brown eyes.

    As Jesus was living under Jewish tradition he probably also had long curly hair, beard, and those curly lock sideburns. He did not adhere to all Jewish traditions as he NEVER took a wife as Dan Brown tries to inaccurately suggest.

    So IMHO Jesus was neither white nor black. He was Asian. He was born in Israel. That’s in Asia. Was he GOD? No! He worshiped a God himself so that means he was NOT God. He worshiped the same God the Hebrews did. The only reason for the confusion was the mythology of the Trinity arguably invented by a Catholic priest named Athanasius of Alexandria.

    The miracles performed by Jesus where NOT from himself. They where from the meta-physical extraterrestrial that he worshiped. The miracles where akin to baffling technology light years ahead of even our understanding today. Hence the definition of miracle: a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by present understanding of natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.

    This is no different than you trying to explain analog television to an indigenous native of New Guinea. First I don’t think any of you can actually “really” explain the technological nuances of television in the first place but just imagine how baffling it is to the native in question? You’d be viewed as a god yourself.


  8. Arthur Randolph Erb:

    DAVID Drumm, I don’t quite understand your last sentence saying that those who are for immigration restrictions share in being racists.

    I don’t think that is an accurate reading of the intent of the last sentence. If one believes that Jesus had blond-hair blue-eyes, then I suspect that racism is involved. Not everyone who believes in immigration restrictions believes that Jesus had blond-hair and blue-eyes. There have been those who support immigration restrictions who have used a blond-haired blue-eyed Jesus to garner support their cause. See the first H/T.

  9. I still think that God is a Black woman, an angry Black woman. If Jesus was (thanks, Tony), he was her son and of dark skin, race bedxmned

    Megyn is an excellent example of white privilege in action. And, typically, she is clueless about that privilege.

  10. Gene: “Whether Jesus was a real person is really kind of irrelevant.”

    In my personal experience: Not to the people that believe in him, it isn’t.

    Real person equals real miracles and a real afterlife. It basically means God is real. If Jesus becomes fiction the Bible becomes fiction and they have wasted tens of thousands of hours of their lives on heartfelt religion.

  11. Technically she is correct. Middle Easterners have been “white” for State Department purposes since the early 20th century, and therefore eligible for naturalization. In Jesus’s time, of course, there was no such concept as “white” with respect to human beings.

  12. Gene: I agree either way. If a real person, he would be of the area. If a fictional one, the most sensible casting would be as their own perfect image of themselves.

  13. Send the girl a black Jesus. If it matters, you missed the point, Christian or not!

  14. I saw the idea of Zwarte Piet when I was in The Netherlands one Christmas. My wife’s cousin and I drove to a park where a celebration was taking place and I did a serious rubbernecking when I saw children dressed that way. I was in complete disbelief of what I saw, not knowing about Zwarte Piet before. But what they celebrate is their affair.

    Admittedly the Christmas I liked the most was in Basel, Switzerland. The Weihnachtsmarkt I went to there was wonderful. (Chrismas Market) I would trade that any day for Christmas here, which I do not care for due to the hyper-commercialization of it.

    As for the notion of Jesus goes I think the representation done by the scientists is more accurate but of course we ave never going to know what he actually looked like. I take much interest in how especially the Madonna and child is represented over the years and lands. It is a good insight into the people and culture there.

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