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Thread: Why the White Jesus?

  1. #1
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    Default Why the White Jesus?

    I know, religion has no place in politics, but I didn't know where else to put this topic. Why is it, that Jesus is portrayed in so many films and bible stories as a white man? I think it's rather obvious that he was not white. He lived in what is now Israel, which in historical times was primarily, if not completely populated by arabic people. The closest white people at that time were the Romans. In The Passion, Jesus was white, in the pictures of in my Bible, he's white. Why is this?

  2. #2
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    Lightbulb

    Because he was depicted by white Europeans who either didn't know any better or didn't feel like worshipping a brown god. After a while, this became the traditional way to portray him, helped along by further centuries of racism.
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  3. #3
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    Because arabs are terrorists.

    [/idiot impersonation]
    and no wonder hearts and minds have been won

  4. #4
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    Jesus is in the eye of the beholder.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    So I'm guessing you just saw the Malcolm X film?
    Quote Originally Posted by T-6005 View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Talking Pie
    Jesus is in the eye of the beholder.
    Just recognized the person in your avatar. >_<
    and no wonder hearts and minds have been won

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelchairman
    So I'm guessing you just saw the Malcolm X film?
    No I haven't seen that one yet, but I think I'll rent it in a couple weeks when I'm back in Iowa. This white Jesus thing has just been bothering me for a while.

  8. #8
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    I always thought Jesus was a Jew. And Jews have a white skin coulour.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Mota Boy is right, but to further elaborate:

    Most Europeans were illiterate after the Fall of Rome. Because books were extremely expensive, only the wealthy could afford to learn to read and own them. Churches were decorated with murals, mosaics, frescoes, and stained-glass windows depicting biblical scenes as a way to teach Christianity to the masses. Jesus was depicted as the Europeans looked: fair-skinned with dark hair. Early depictions were of a Jesus with short, dark hair and a baby-smooth face. The Byzantine Empire had the more well-known image of a bearded Jesus. As the decades passed, visual interpretations of Jesus would change with the times, and it was not uncommon for artists to place biblical events as happening in their own time.

    The image of Jesus that we know best stems from the Renaissance. This was a period of new scientific growth and exploration as well as a time when people once again took interest in the stories of Rome and Greece. Jesus was outfitted with long, brown hair, a beard, and a white tunic with a red toga, harkening back to the Roman Empire. It's interesting how this image has lasted about 500 years.

    When an artist reinvented Jesus for the 21st century as a clean-shaven black man, people were up in arms! Why? Because it wasn't close enough to the image people have of Jesus. Every culture that adopts Christianity will recreate Jesus in their likeness. The European Jesus is simply the best-known interpretation.
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  10. #10
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    Well, a black Jesus isn't really much better than a caucasian Jesus.
    and no wonder hearts and minds have been won

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