Talk:Race and appearance of Jesus

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Santo Niño de Cebú[edit]


This article is well outside of topical areas where I usually edit, but I happened to be looking at it recently, and Santo Niño de Cebú came to mind. That article is about what is said to be the oldest religious image in the Philippines, said to have been brought by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. It is a statue depicting Jesus as a young child with a distinctly olive complexion. I just thought I would mention it here in case it merits mention in the article. Also, the Black Madonna article might be not completely unrelated to this one. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 01:53, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

The Jewish Face[edit]

In the video "The Face of Jesus" [1] (taken from the TV series "Son of God") it is shown that Jewish skulls are much wider and much heavier that other skulls. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:42, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

It appears that the person saying this is Mordechai Aviam, and the claim is repeated in a slightly different form on the defunct BBC Son of God website. However, he's making a very broad and probably off-the-cuff remark, and it would be much better to see if there is a version of this that's citable to a scientific paper.--Pharos (talk) 20:18, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Galilean vs. Judean[edit]

In the video "The Man Who Saw Jesus" (taken from the National Geographic series "Biblical Forensics") it is shown that Galilean people were dolichocephalic and Judean people were brachycephalic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:38, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

The person speaking here is Israel Hershkovitz, and again, like in the above discussion, he's making a very broad and possibly off-the-cuff claim that if possible it would be better to have a scientific paper for. Perhaps we should have a section of the article on all these TV "forensic" reconstructions, which apparently go back to 1981, and have been criticized by Joe Zias in this Jerusalem Post article.--Pharos (talk) 20:32, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Remove copyvio link just added by IP. In any case, I agree we'd need a scientific study, this sounds extremely dubious. Dougweller (talk) 10:21, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

Quran and Hadith[edit]

The current version of the section on Muslim views is as folows:

Quranic and hadith traditions such as Sahih Bukhari as well as tafsir have given an oral depiction of what Jesus looked like, although some accounts don't match, such as Jesus being both curly haired and straight-haired: "Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet said, "One should not say that I am better than Jonah (i.e. Yunus) bin Matta." So, he mentioned his father Matta. The Prophet mentioned the night of his Ascension and said, "The prophet Moses was brown, a tall person as if from the people of the tribe of Shanu'a. jesus was a curly-haired man of moderate height." He also mentioned Malik, the gate-keeper of the (Hell) Fire, and Ad-Dajjal", in Book 55, Hadith 608; and "Ibn Umar said, “No! I swear by Allah that the prophet (pbuh) didn’t say that Jesus was light-skinned, but he said ‘While I was asleep, I was walking around the Kaaba when I saw a black-skinned man with straight hair between two men. I asked who the man was and I was told that he was Isa (Jesus) the son of Meryem", in Bukhari hadith number 3185.

This is all cited to a book called Jesus: A Brief History, p221. In fact the only passage on that page about Jesus' appearance says that "From the Hadith of Al-Bukhari, for example, we learn that Jesus had curly hair and a reddish complexion". Other sources confirm this: "and I met Jesus and the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) described him as one having a medium stature and a red complexion as if he had (just) come out of the bath." (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 607); "and I saw Jesus who was of average height with red face as if he had just come out of a bathroom." (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 648). Obviously the 'bath' reference implies that his features were visibly flushed (which is only possible with palish skin). However, there is another Bukhari hadith which seems to contradict the others: "Narrated Salim from his father: No, By Allah, the Prophet did not tell that Jesus was of red complexion but said, 'While I was asleep circumambulating the Ka'ba (in my dream), suddenly I saw a man of brown complexion and lank hair walking between two men, and water was dropping from his head. I asked, 'Who is this?' The people said, He is the son of Mary.'". In other words Salim is saying that the other versions are incorrect, or appears to be, though the context of the story is rather different. The others refer to Muhammad meeting Jesus during the Night Journey, but it is not clear what the context of the dream is in the second hadith, which may or may not be the Night Journey. All these should be given. Paul B (talk) 16:32, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

I've altered the text to the best of my abilities, though it would be good to have more detail on debates about translations of specific Arabic words. BTW, the original text was added by an IP in December [2]. Since the sources are clearly edited to intentionally misrepresent both the original hadiths and the secondary source, I consider it to be a bad faith addition. Paul B (talk) 14:41, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

New Testament Descriptions?[edit]

The New Testament includes several descriptions of Jesus' everyday appearance before his death (bronze skin and wooly hair; caucasians were not living in that region during the time of Jesus' birth]])

If such passages actually exist why aren't they cited? Why would you cite someone's opinion of what the bible says instead of the bible itself? Not only does this sentence contradict the rest of this article, it has the appearance of a complete fantasy.

The only part of the Bible that uses the term "wool" in reference to Jesus is Revelations 1:14: His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

The title of this section is "Biblical references" not "Opinions of commentators" so unless you can come up with actual Biblical references this sentence will be deleted.

Also, as for Caucasians not living in the region at that time, it depends on what you mean by Caucasians, there were plenty of Romans there, and there had been for decades! John Alan ElsonWF6I A.P.O.I. 23:54, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

An editor's analysis based upon primary religious sources is prohibited as original research. In Wikipedia most information is verified to reliable sources, in this case meaning publications written by scholars of history and theology. For the balance between theological claims and secular academia see WP:RNPOV. For the use of academic sources in general see WP:ABIAS. Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:20, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

How is that relevant? The title of the section is "Biblical references" that implies an actual Biblical reference rather than the mere opinion of a commentator. If there are actual biblical references then where? If they actually existed they would have been cited. This statement is also in direct contradiction to several other statements contained in this article and a Wikipedia article should not contradict itself.

Note the introduction Although the New Testament includes no description of the physical appearance of Jesus before his death and the section Early Church to the Middle Ages which states Despite the lack of direct biblical or historical references, also the section Artistic portrayals states Despite the lack of biblical references or historical records, for two millennia a wide range of depictions of Jesus have appeared .

It is obvious that the editor who inserted the sentence in question is citing questionable sources or is just fabricating things out of thin air, hoping that nobody will check his sources.

When you are discussing the actual text of a document (as opposed to how it is interpreted) the only reliable source is the document itself. Many sources could be cited that misquote the U.S. constitution, for example, but the actual text trumps all such sources when the topic is the actual text itself. There are, of course, many references that can be cited for the fact that the New Testament contains no description of the physical appearance of Jesus before his death, which is why the rest of the article states this verified fact, but it is not up to the skeptics of an edit to prove a negative. John Alan ElsonWF6I A.P.O.I. 01:43, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

Further research shows that it is the latter: The editor who inserted that sentence was fabricating things out of thin air and the two citations are on an altogether different topic, belonging to the next paragraph about the transfiguration.

I have found BOTH of these references online, (the second requires some "fiddling" to get to the pages in question but they are viewable online) both are talking about the appearance of Jesus during the transfiguration, making no reference to his "everyday appearance" either before or after the transfiguration, so it seems obvious that editor didn't even read the references cited and merely lifted them from the next paragraph where they actually belong.

Accordingly, I will edit this sentence to reflect reality, and restore the references to their proper placement. John Alan ElsonWF6I A.P.O.I. 03:55, 16 August 2015 (UTC)