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Old 06-26-2003, 03:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Was Jesus Black?

I will start this thread by getting out of the way the fact that I am an atheist, but that I do believe in the historical figure of Christ. I don't believe that he went round performing miracles and later raising from the dead. But he definitely existed.

I first heard rumours of Jesus being black a long time ago. But at the time I dismissed these people as idiots trying to provoke a reaction by saying something "shocking".

However I am hearing this opinion more and more, and am wondering if there is any truth in the matter?

the main source of evidence appears to be the bible, but the language used in the bible is so archaic, and so shrouded in ambiguity it is difficult to ascertain any definite meaning from it, but I would be interested in seeing the specific passages.

Is there any historical evidence to point to a black messiah? Or conversely to a white one?
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Old 06-26-2003, 04:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Depends...

If the intent is to describe Jesus as being of African Decent, the current scientific model seems to indicate that everyone is of African Descent, so yep.

If the intent is to describe Jesus as appearing as an African would at the time, likely no. He is described as Jewish and born of Mary of the line of David, so while technically 'Caucasian' (mid-easterner) likely brownish, not black.

There is some talk that he is of the Lost Tribes but I dunno, seems like sketchy evidence.
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Old 06-26-2003, 05:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Recall that Jesus was a Jew, and Jews of that pre-Diaspora era (hell, Jews currently living in the Middle East, for the most part) were fairly darker than many Jews of European descent these days. I don't think he was what we'd call "black" like Samuel L Jackson, but he definately wasn't as, *ahem* Aryan as he is often depicted in European paintings. He was more of a mocha brown, I'd say.
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Old 06-26-2003, 05:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Duh! He was hispanic. Come on. His name was Jesus! (Kidding.)
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Old 06-26-2003, 06:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Unlikely from what we know.

He was however probably not the nice white european messiah that is usually portrayed.

(go to google and pull up a picture of a middle-eastern man).
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Old 06-26-2003, 06:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'd say more of an olive Middle Eastern (ie. Hebrew) hue, but that's just me.
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Old 06-26-2003, 06:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If this Jesus existed to begin with, he would not be a pasty European white guy as he has be portrayed as for several hundred years. There is the possibility that he might be black, since those from the Middle East back in that time would get slaves from northeast Africa. In the most likely, Jesus would look like anyone else from the Middle East, seeing as that was the place of his supposed birth. Of course this is saying that i believe in organzied religion.
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Old 06-27-2003, 01:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Well, he certainly wasn't white (if her ever existed). I don't know about black though.
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Old 06-27-2003, 05:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Jesus was half jew, and half whatever color God is!

So what color is god?
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Old 06-27-2003, 08:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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lol According to the Bible everyone in his time believed that he was only the son of a Jewish Carpenter. Sooo He looked like a Jew at that time. Not the European white Jews. Darker than Caucasians but not as dark as those of African decent.
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Old 06-27-2003, 05:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Our terminology of Black and White is just so Farked up, its ridiculous. I am from southern Louisiana and I can introduce many of you folks to some of the lightest skin color (not albino) people, who are what is racially called "Black". The question is what does it matter? But to answer your question:
This is one the even the most religious, caucasion bible thumper seems to forget....there is a scripture in the bible (sorry I can't remember it exact passage) but it describes Jesus. It says that Jesus "had skin of bronze and hair of wool". It is safe to assume that Jesus would have looked like a typical middle easterner, just because of where he was born.
If you start to follow the history of religious artifacts, some of the earliest sculptures and paintings of the holy family did not depict them of a "white" descent, but as chritianity started to expand, more and more of the church heirarchy started to push for a whiter Jesus.
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Old 06-28-2003, 07:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I wasn't implying that it mattered. I just think that its funny that we are constantly shown a very specific look for Jesus. I mean if I showed you ten portraits of people, it would be "obvious" which one is jesus...the one with long brown hair, a neatly trimmed beard and white white skin!
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Old 06-28-2003, 07:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I saw a documentary about this a long time ago... And it had good points on why Jesus would be darker than the average middle easterner.
I dont remember well, but the documentary argued that Jesus and his parents would have needed to have darker skin if they would passed unnoticed during their years hiding in Egypt... They also talked about Joseph's ancestors having dark skin or something....
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Old 06-28-2003, 08:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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if he was, organized religion would never admit to it.
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Old 06-28-2003, 08:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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i agree with bermuDa on that one...organized religion is so stuck up and is just a remnant of the dark ages. i cannot believe people still look up to them (especially with all the sex scandals).
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Old 06-28-2003, 09:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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he was a friggin arab, i mean look they still dress the way he did. and he was born and lived in the middle of all the arabic countries
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Old 07-01-2003, 11:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Actually, I was thinking a bit about this a couple of years back.
So I e-mailed Christopher Johnson, the Grand Dragon of Kentucky's KKK chapter.

My question was: Are arabs white? Since Jesus was an arab belonging to the Jewish faith, they must be, right? Since Jesus was white and all.

Mr. Johnson replied that Arabs are not white, and since Jesus was a divine creation, genetics had nothing to do with it.
So, were back to square one, people.

At least if we trust the KKK.
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Old 07-02-2003, 01:23 AM   #18 (permalink)
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if genetics had nothing to do with it... then jesus wasn't white either!

eat your heart out, mr. johnson
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Old 07-02-2003, 08:04 AM   #19 (permalink)
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according to the people that made him up, it'd be their same race.(skin color)

black jesus was a ploy to convert blacks into christianity
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Old 07-02-2003, 08:41 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Jesus WAS black. Jesus was NOT his real name. Period. We also know that he was NOT a Jew or a Christian.

Welcome to the wonderful world of misinformation brought to you by the 'Christians'. (specifically, the Roman Catholoc Church)
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Old 07-02-2003, 09:14 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by j_o_brown
Jesus WAS black. Jesus was NOT his real name. Period. We also know that he was NOT a Jew or a Christian.

Welcome to the wonderful world of misinformation brought to you by the 'Christians'. (specifically, the Roman Catholoc Church)
Could you please elaborate for us? What was "his" name? Where did the name Jesus come from? I get the impression that Jesus was a relatively common name in that area at that time.
Obviously Jesus wasn't a christian... or at least in the sense of being BORN a christain. As far as I know he considered himself a Jew, and believed that he was the Messiah, whose arrival was prophetisied by the Jew. i.e. he considered himself a continuation of the Jewish religion, rather than a founder of a new one. anyone care to correct me on this one?
Do you have any specific evidence that Jesus WAS black?

Thanks,
CSflim
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Old 07-03-2003, 01:14 AM   #22 (permalink)
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He - the historical figure - was an Israeli Jew. Prior to the Diaspora, you're talking essentially the same ethnic stock that modern day Palestinians are derived from. Want to know what Jesus looked like? Look at Palestinians, Iraqis, Arabs, and other near Middle Eastern groups.
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Old 07-03-2003, 10:15 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I get pissed off at the pansy white Jesus as depicted in cheesy Church shop prints. He always looks like he has used too much conditioner or something.
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Old 07-07-2003, 04:48 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I can't believe this entire forum has gone by without anyone praising the mighty works of Kevin Smith! Recall that in Dogma, Jesus was indeed black and God also a woman.

In reality, I think that Jesus was probably not black but rather Arabian/Jewish as many other people on this thread have said before me. I agree with Macheath that most Jesus pictures look way too pretty (case in point, I once found a picture in a church that me and my friends called "Drag Queen Jesus" because the man seriously looked like he was wearing lipstick and mascara). Scriptures in Isaiah that supposedly refer to Jesus actually describe him as being quite ugly and unappealing.
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Old 07-07-2003, 05:20 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Jesus WAS black. Jesus was NOT his real name. Period. We also know that he was NOT a Jew or a Christian.
This could be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read. How do you know what his name was? The fact of the matter is that he was jewish and that Jesus did exist (The Romans kept records of their executions). St. Peter was the founder of the Christian religion, and ofcourse it was based solely on the teachings of Jesus. The early "church" was known as "the way". The way later evolved in the catholic church a few centuries later.
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Old 07-08-2003, 12:46 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
black jesus was a ploy to convert blacks into christianity
Since it doesn't really matter what skin color Jesus has, does it really hurt anything to have images of Christ as black, latino, etc...so that everyone can see themselves in the images of God?
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Old 07-08-2003, 01:28 AM   #27 (permalink)
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He was probably dark... We only see pictures of a 'white' Jesus now because of all the 'white' missionary people who sailed around the world a few centuries trying to convert people to Christianity. Perhaps they were a bit prejudice against darker people back then.
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Old 07-08-2003, 09:00 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Was Jesus a black man or white man?

In Times Square and in other locations, there is a group of people called 12 Tribes and they take a very literal sense of the bible. There is often a preacher giving sermon, a reader, reading verses as espoused by the preacher, and occassionally a camera man. They preach some hatred most of the time, heckling passersby that are not black or chosen people. Sometimes I see their show on public access.

from the 12tribes website.
Quote:
We are the Biblical Israelites, our goal is to spread the true Gospel and prepare our people for the second coming of Jesus Christ as it is written in Matthew chapter 10, Verses 6-7: "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach saying The Kingdom of heaven is at hand."

The brothers at 12 Tribes of Israel do not make claims or give opinions which cannot be substantiated in the Biblical text. According to the books of Deuteronomy 28:15-68 and II Esdras 13:40-46, all those whose forefathers are of so called Negro, Indian, and Latin American descent; scattered throughout North, Central, South America and the four corners of the earth, make up the 12 Tribes of the Nation of Israel. We are here to bring out the TRUTH to the world, and destroy the lies that have been taught for ages.

We teach the Bible as it is written in Isaiah 28:10, "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little." In other words, as it is written in Psalms 40:7 and Hebrews 10:7, the Bible is the written word of God and it is Jesus Christ who gave us Commandment upon Commandment and Law upon Law to observe and keep.
Having studied the bible at great length I am not convinced that Jesus looks like any of those friezes that are in most churches. If he was a jewish man from Israel, then he would look similarly to those that have been living in that area for generations.
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Old 07-08-2003, 09:50 AM   #29 (permalink)
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This seems reminicent to the Nation of Islam's Yaccub's history (which could be the biggest crock of shit I have ever read). Basically the story states that Life was created at Mecca sometime in the past. It was ruled by 60 some odd scientists, one of them was mad. This mad scientist created the white man. The white man rose to power, but he is to be put down some 6000 years later when a giant race war will insue and the Black people will regain power.
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Old 07-08-2003, 09:54 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo_PeiPei
This seems reminicent to the Nation of Islam's Yaccub's history (which could be the biggest crock of shit I have ever read). Basically the story states that Life was created at Mecca sometime in the past. It was ruled by 60 some odd scientists, one of them was mad. This mad scientist created the white man. The white man rose to power, but he is to be put down some 6000 years later when a giant race war will insue and the Black people will regain power.
And they will sing "Helter Skelter" and carve the word "Piggies" into the stomachs of their victims while Charles Manson looks on.

I knew this sounded familiar.
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Old 07-08-2003, 11:32 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Jesus was a Jew, plain and simple. So he probably looked like the Israelites of today.
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Old 07-08-2003, 04:45 PM   #32 (permalink)
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this thread feels reminiscent of this one.
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Old 07-08-2003, 09:28 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Ok, I might be missing something here, but why exactly does it matter? Should the colour of his skin, be it white, pink, brown, grey, or blue affect our opninions of Him? If he had a particular skin colour, would it change the meaning of His words?
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Old 07-08-2003, 10:57 PM   #34 (permalink)
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ideally, or realistically?
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Old 07-13-2003, 09:42 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Jesus was, in fact, a whale.

Whether or not his skin was white or black is something most religious figureheads debate to this day over cups of Pekan tea and moments of heated discussion at the Vatican.

But seriously, one of the main purposes in scripting the Bible appears to be the presence of a heavy window for interpretation, so that it may reach out to the beliefs of many while shunning only a discriminate few. In this sense, you can read darn near anything into the text at hand.

White or black, red or blue, pink or late-autumn beige; I do believe the purpose was to promote the message, not the image. When the opposite occurs, the focus stops being on faith and starts being on insignificant details.

A topic many tend to be very fond of.
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:34 AM   #36 (permalink)
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i have ignored this thread since day one. but here.....

i do not care if Jesus looked like a werewolf. he could be gay, straight, completely abstinant (uh spelling?) or whatever.

hey may be black.... or fucking purple. who cares? his persona is all i care about and the love he gives me.

that's what matters.
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Old 07-15-2003, 07:59 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mel
He was probably dark... We only see pictures of a 'white' Jesus now because of all the 'white' missionary people who sailed around the world a few centuries trying to convert people to Christianity. Perhaps they were a bit prejudice against darker people back then.
That's a bit unfair. The actual reason is that people living in the Middle Ages had no fear of anachronism. When they painted people (any people), they painted them as Medieval people, complete with clothing and such. This practice continued for a very long time, partly just because of tradition (we've always painted Jesus this way) and probably partly because of prejudice.
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Old 07-15-2003, 07:13 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:39 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by bermuDa
this thread feels reminiscent of this one.
The one we're reading now? Is this supposed to be some sort of joke?
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:40 PM   #40 (permalink)
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What Jesus looked like means nothing. What matters is that his overall message is that people should work together, not against each other.
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