What Did Jesus Look Like?

The very question, “What Did Jesus Look Like?” says a lot about our modern age. And the silence of the Bible as to the physical appearance of most of its principal characters says a lot too.

We live in a very image driven culture. Ever since the invention of photography and especially television, the physical appearance of people has become quite significant. Perhaps the first real discernment of how important this had become was in the Nixon-Kennedy debate. Those who listened on radio generally thought Nixon won the debate. Those who saw it on TV thought Kennedy had won. And thus it was that physical appearance seems to have been greatly magnified as an assent or liability. It is surely true that physical appearance had importance before,  but now it was magnified. Prior to the invention of photography, films and TV  very few people had access to the physical appearance of influential people before they formed an opinion of them.

The fact that the Bible has so little to say about the physical appearance of Jesus or most of the main figures gives an indication that such facts were of less significance to the people of that time. It may also say something of God the Holy Spirit who chose not to inspire the recordation of such information as a general rule. It would seem that physical attractiveness (or lack thereof) matters little to God? (I am hopeful in this department for my handsomeness has taken a serious hit in recent decades). Perhaps too the Holy Spirit draws back from such descriptions so that we would be encouraged to see ourselves in the narrative of Holy Scripture.

We get occasional references to physical traits. There are the some references to attractiveness. David is said to have a ruddy appearance, Leah seems to have been less attractive than her sister Rachael. Bathsheba surely drew David’s eye. There is also some mentioning of more specific traits. For example the beloved woman in the Song of Songs describes herself as “black” and “beautiful.” Sampson is said to have long hair. Zacheus is said to be of short stature. Herod was an Edomite, a name which refers to the reddish skin of that race of people. You will perhaps want to add to this list in the comments section. But overall the Scriptures are remarkably silent about any extensive physical description of the main protagonists. Who was tall, who was short, what color their skin or hair, or eyes? How long was the hair? Did the person have a beard?

And thus as we consider Jesus we are left with little from the scriptures themselves. It does seem clear that Jesus must have had a vigorous constitution given the extensive journeys he made throughout the mountainous region of the Holy Land. Lengthy walks of 60 miles or more back and forth from  Jerusalem to Galilee and then well north to Tyre and Sidon. Climbs up steep hills and mountains such as Tabor were not for the weak or feeble. I have spoken more of the physical stamina of Christ here: On the Human Stature of Christ. But as for his hair color, relative height, skin tone etc. we have little or nothing.

I would like to speculate however based on a a few criteria of certain possible traits of Jesus’ physical appearance. Again, these are mere speculations. I encourage you to remark on them and to add or subtract as you see fit. These speculations are somewhat random and given here in no particular order.

1. The length of his hair. It is common since the renaissance to see Jesus depicted with long and straight or wavy  locks of flowing hair. I have often wondered if ancient Jewish men ever wore their hair this long. I say this because St. Paul says,  Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him? (1 Cor 11:14). He goes on to speak of long hair as a  “glory” to a woman. I wonder if Paul would have said such a thing if Jesus had the log hair he is often depicted with today? What exactly Paul meant by “long” is a matter for debate. It does not necessarily mean that Jesus went about with hair as short as some men wear it today. The Shroud of Turin, if it is authentic, shows the hair length to be at just about the length of the upper shoulder.  I also doubt that Jesus’ hair would be as straight as many post renaissance artists depict it. If Jesus was a Semite, his hair was probably far more coarse and wiry than European hair. It is also interesting that some of the earliest images we have of Jesus on the Catacomb walls depicts him as clean shaven with short hair. But this may simply be a projection of Mediterranean standards upon him. Again, all these ponderings of mine are speculative.

2. What of Jesus’ complexion? If Jesus was of Semitic stock (a point which some debate) it would follow that his skin was not as dark as that of a sub-Saharan African but neither was it as light as a northern European. Many Scholars think that the ancient Semites had something of an olive tone to their skin, generally dark colored hair that was thick and often wiry or curly. The picture at left was developed by scholars recently using forensic techniques on a skull found from the first century AD. While the skin tone and hair are more speculative, the appearance of the face is based on the techniques of forensic reconstruction (cf  HERE and HERE ). The image is not without controversy. Indeed there seem to be significant differences among scholars as to both the origin, appearance and general anthropology of the Semites who likely descended from Noah’s son Shem according to the Scriptures. Here again, I present these aspects of appearance to you only as speculative.

3. The Shroud of Turin – You have likely read much on the shroud. There is wide consensus today that the shroud comes from a period far earlier than the Middle Ages as was held in the 1980s when some questionable studies were conducted on it. Even if it dates from the time of Christ, this still does not prove it is his image. However the seemingly miraculous manner of the imprinting of the image is strong evidence not to be lightly set aside that this is in fact Christ’s image. Even if it is we have to be careful to remember that he had been savagely beaten and that this may have marred his appearance left on the shroud. Nevertheless, if this is Jesus’ image then we can see that he was 5-feet-10 to almost 6 feet tall and weighed about 180 pounds, had a fairly strong muscular build and a long nose seemingly typical with the Jews of his day. We have already remarked on the length of the hair and, despite Paul’s remark, his hair as depicted on the Shroud  was worn a bit longer than most men of today. The photo at the top of this post is based on the Shroud image. Again I caution,  these observations are all speculative based on the authenticity of the shroud of which the Church makes no official ruling.

Perhaps we do well to end where we began and question our own modern preoccupation with the physical appearance of Jesus and other biblical figures. It is true we are visual and will always prefer to see the face of those we love. But the Bible’s silence on these matters may be instructive and we do well to consider that the Scriptures invite us to look deeper than appearance, deeper than race or ethnicity. The Word became flesh in Jesus, but the Word must also become flesh in us and we must learn to find Christ in the Sacraments (cf  Luke 24:31,35), in the poor, in our neighbor, our enemy, our very selves.

This video is one of the most extraordinary  I’ve seen using a fascinating technology to show the many ways Jesus has been depicted down through the centuries. The images melt and morph into one another!

68 Replies to “What Did Jesus Look Like?”

    1. There is a letter from Publius Lentulus, dated about the 4th century, to the Roman Senate. Publius was a friend of Pontius Pilate. The letter gives a description of Jesus’ physical attributes. My understanding is that the authenticity is questioned but I think the bottom line is that nobody knows if it is authentic or not. In any event it is serious food for thought. In part it reads;
      “In this time appeared a man endowed with great powers. His name is Jesus. His disciples call him the Son of God. He is of noble and well-proportioned stature, with a face full of kindness, and yet firmness, so that beholders both love him and fear him.”
      I hope this has been informative.

      1. How could a friend of Pontius Pilate have written a letter dated about the 4th century?

  1. An interesting meditation. The artist’s selection includes much time on the Cross – also worth pondering. Thanks for sharing this.
    TeaPot562

  2. What Did Jesus Look Like?

    Mary.

    Being fully man, bone of her bones, flesh of her flesh, His face is the face of His Blessed Virgin Mother.

  3. Monsignor – it’s interesting that you have posted this on the heels of Who Told You You Weren’t Beautiful?

    Since we are all made in the image and likeness of God, and that likeness is chiefly of the soul, then I don’t think God cares one way or another how His children look. I don’t care what my kids look like – one is the spit and image of her paternal grandmother, another is the spit and image of his paternal grandfather. Yet another looks incredibly like her paternal great-grandmother. None of them look much like me at all.

    We all know it’s more important to be a good person than to be a good-looking person; still, there is no denying that looks can sometimes open doors that wouldn’t have been opened before. And, call me foolish or whatever, but I can’t help but think that Jesus would have been one of the ‘beautiful’ people. I can’t say how important looks were when He was alive, but I think it makes sense for Him to have been handsome, because if people are anything like they are today, well, you said it yourself, Monsignor, when you made the comparison to the Nixon/Kennedy debates.

    On the other hand, it’s true that His message would have been compelling enough to be taken seriously despite how He might have looked.

    As for you, Monsignor; that photo gravitar that pops up on New Advent shows a very open, happy, and pleasant-looking priest ~ I don’t think your looks are too far gone!

    1. “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.”

      “The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
      a scrubby plant in a parched field.
      There was nothing attractive about him,
      nothing to cause us to take a second look.
      He was looked down on and passed over,
      a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
      One look at him and people turned away.
      We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
      But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
      our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.”

      “For [the Servant of God] grew up before Him like a tender plant, and like a root out of dry ground; He has no form or comeliness [royal, kingly pomp], that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him.”

      (Isaiah 53:2-5)

      Judas had to point Jesus out when he was arrested (meaning the mob could not tell him apart from his disciples). Throughout the scriptures, if anything, people were wondering how such an ordinary looking man could be the savior.

      Jesus would certainly not have looked anything even remotely what we call beautiful (precisely so his followers would be genuine and could not be blamed for listening to him just because he was handsome).

    2. You stated that its more important to be “good” rather than good looking. I agree our actions the
      Way we conduct ourselves should represent Christ Jesus. However, Jesus Himself said in Luke 18:19
      “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. It’s really upsets me when people say
      they are a “good” person since I first read this scripture years ago. We are to strive to be Christ like.
      We will obtain a righteous state when we model our lives & live as near to what Jesus expects from
      us while here on earth. I mean no offence to you or anyone else. Blessing are abundant & overflowing
      to those who serve the Lord whole heartedly, seeking Him daily & in everything we do.
      <

  4. Interestingly, Ven. Mary of Agreda in her book, City of God, says that Adam and Our Lord looked physically identical! This makes sense of “Let us make man to our image and likeness”. Also, it makes sense that God made the first man, Adam, as perfect as flesh and bones can be. It follows then that Our Lord would look likewise if He also were made perfectly, something impossible to consider contrarily. Conveniently, Our Lord is known as the Second Adam.

    Furthermore, when tempting Adam and Eve in the garden, the Serpent was to have seen the same identical images and likenesses seen by all the angels before the fall as described in Apocalypse XII: “A woman clothed with the sun…” with “…her son.” Her son being fully grown and looking similar in age.

    After the fall, when God says: “I will put enmities between you and the woman, and… her seed” the Serpent is to have immediately known that the woman and man seen in the “great sign” were not the same woman and man he had just tempted – there was a case of mistaken identity. Adam and Eve were identical in likeness to the New Adam and New Eve, the latter being those seen in the great sign. Eve and Mary, therefore, were also identical looking, which also makes sense.

    As if there couldn’t be more, regarding the great sign, there was one further likeness, the Serpent also recognised himself: “a great red dragon”. And after the fall when he thereafter is to crawl on his belly, this was a foretelling of the extinction of the great dinosaur dragons… excepting for snakes!

    Lastly, how comforting to know that God already knew the Serpent would have mistaken Our Lord and Our Lady’s identity, and that this beast’s intention were alway to be futile.

  5. The image of the face of Jesus which was imprinted on St. Veronica’s cloth (Station 6) is keep in the Vatican. It is brought out once a year for veneration by the public. The imprint shows the face of Jesus in a gold frame. I have a copy of the picture, but I do not remember where I got it. I could e-mail it to you, Msgr. Pope, if you tell me how to forward it. St. Jude statues and pictures also show a face of Jesus on his chest. The story is that St. Jude Thaddeus cured of leprosy and converted King Abgar of Edessa (now Urfa in eastern Turkey) with a cloth which had the imprint of Jesus. That cloth depicted on St. Judes chest is called the Mandylion. The face of Jesus keep in the Vatican is a face of a truely human man who has his very own distinctive attributes. He truely was flesh. True man, and true God, both one and the same.

      1. I have always wondered if Veronica’s cloth was still in existance and what was the image. Wish I had known it was at the Vatican; I would loved to have seen it. Oddly, we NEVER see holy cards with the image. Grandpa Tom is very fortunate indeed to have one.

  6. Mary. Jesus was made completely from his mother’s DNA. Look at mary’s face from the Image of OUR LADY OF ALL NATIONS. There you’ll find Jesus’s face.

  7. Father,

    If memory serves me, the Eastern Orthodox believe that the image from the Sudarium is the most accurate image as it was depicted for hundreds of years following Christ’s death (as early as the 2nd Century, I think) and is the most widely shown image in the Early Church. This website shows how the Sudarium, the “burial face cloth”, matches the image on the Shroud in keen detail. The mapping shown is pretty amazing.

    Shroud of Turin and Sudarium Congruences

    D.v.

  8. Wasn’t there a historian of the period, Flavius Josephus ,who reported a description of Jesus as having blue eyes and long chestnut colored hair? I’m not sure at all about the writing source,but I clearly recall having read this description because it was so amazing to me that such a description existed .

    1. Yes you are right. I looked at this site http://www.thenazareneway.com/likeness_of_our_saviour.htm

      and lo and behold there are several physical descriptions of him . I cannot vouch for their authenticity and must say I have never read of them before. I know Josephus made mention of Chirst but I’ve never heard these other attestaions. anyway here is the description by one Publius Lentullus :

      A man of stature somewhat tall, and comely, with very reverent countenance, such as the beholders may both love and fear, his hair of (the colour of) the chestnut, full ripe, plain to His ears, whence downwards it is more orient and curling and wavering about His shoulders. In the midst of His head is a seam or partition in His hair, after the manner of the Nazarenes. His forehead plain and very delicate; His face without spot or wrinkle, beautified with a lovely red; His nose and mouth so formed as nothing can be reprehended; His beard thickish, in colour like His hair, not very long, but forked; His look innocent and mature; His eyes grey, clear, and quick- In reproving hypocrisy He is terrible; in admonishing, courteous and fair spoken; pleasant in conversation, mixed with gravity. It cannot be remembered that any have seen Him Laugh, but many have seen Him Weep.

      Another quote is from a letter by Pontius Pilate that I am highly dubious of. but it says:

      His golden colored hair and beard gave to his appearance a celestial aspect. He appeared to be about 30 years of age. Never have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance. What a contrast between Him and His bearers with their black beards and tawny complexions!

      1. I doubt both the description credited to Pontius Pilate and Publius Lentullus.If I am not mistaken Isaiah 53:2 prophesied “He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to him”.

        1. Hello Steve. Isaiah mentions the appearance of Christ during his Passion. That is why His appearance is “non-attractive” since he was beaten and flogged.

  9. I don’t think God cares one way or another how His children look

    Yes and no.

    I agree that He sees the beauty in all of His Creation.

    However:
    He did give us bodies — we are more than spirits like the angels, we are embodied spirits (or ensouled bodies), the whole person is both spirit and body together. And, in making us this way, He does care about how we treat this gift of the body that He gave to us.

    We are already beautiful in His eyes, but when we uglify ourselves by sin, or when we exhibit a slovenly disrespect or disregard for the body, even if not overtly sinful (e.g. not bathing, not grooming, not even attempting to keep the body fit and healthy), then I do think He starts to care how we look.

    In a similar and often used example — some folks will say that God doesn’t care how you dress in church, He loves you just the same and He’s just happy you’re there. And there is some measure of truth in that. If you are poor and all your clothes are beat up and you are doing the best you can, then He loves you and is happy you are there. On the other hand, if you of some means, you dress well for work or for socializing, and you come to Mass in short shorts and a Black Sabbath t-shirt or low cut halter top, with dirt all over the hands that you expect to receive Communion in, then we have a problem.

    1. Well, since this post dealt with physical attributes, my response was based on that. Gee whiz.

      For the record, I agree with the rest.

  10. That which is beautiful to our eyes may be far from truly beautiful. When we see with our eyes, our human and worldly eyes, we see a false reality, a false world, a false beauty. Our human eyes deceive us, so much so that Satan himself would be fantastically beautiful to us, rather than the corrupted being that he is, and as depicted in art with horns and a tail.

    We have become infected with a disease that leads us to see ourselves and others with the world’s eyes — thus, we see superficial appearances, and not the truth of a person or thing, which can only be seen when one has the grace to see with the heart, which in turn allows one to see with our eyes that which truly is beautiful.

    For example, there are persons who are disfigured or deformed, some so disfigured or deformed that the world looks at them and sees hideous monsters. I have one particular little girl in mind who was born with certain facial deformities resulting from the absence of various bones. I will be honest with you — when I first saw her on TV, I shuddered and felt repulsion, so great was her disfigurement.

    But when I saw her crying and fearful of an upcoming operation (one of many painful corrective operations), wanting her daddy to pick her up and hold her, unable to cry in any usual way, but able to hold out her arms to daddy, it was then that I began to receive the grace to see her truly (and it was grace, of that there is no doubt — left to myself and the worldly influences on me, I would never have been able to truly see her).

    I saw then that she was not this horribly grotesque monster — she was a little girl, a wonderfully beautiful little girl. More beautiful than any other perhaps, because of her infirmities and disfigurement. I have thought about Juliana often since then, this image of Christ Himself, this image of Love itself. And I thank God that He has granted me that grace to begin to see with the heart, so that I might also see with my eyes what is truly beautiful. Although such children may receive little here in this life, and although Juliana never asked to be an occasion of grace for us in this way, may God make her and them princesses and princes of Heaven, above all of us who have received so much here.

    When we see with our hearts, which is to say, our souls, as illuminated by the true Light, we are able to see reality as it truly is, we are able to see true beauty, which may or may not correspond to what our human eyes find aesthetically pleasing. What is repugnant and ugly to our human eyes, may be seen to be truly beautiful when viewed with our hearts.

    But being able to see with our hearts is not easy. And it almost certainly cannot be done by our own efforts. We most likely need a little help. But if we at least want to be able to truly see, to be able to see with our hearts, and we seek that help, then we will begin to receive the grace to be able to do so. And the real beauty that we see will be more astounding than we could have ever imagined.

    (previously posted at Dawn Eden’s old blog)

  11. Very interesting post, Monsignor. The comments about image and appearance are certainly true. But, I understand that the Shroud’s image corresponds strikingly with a famous icon from St Catherine of the Sinai called Pantocreator. i am embroidering that image for one of our priests right now, so have gotten very familiar with it. The similarities are many.

  12. I feel the Shroud of Turin is exceedingly worthy of veneration, not for its authenticity, but for what it brings to mind. Saint Faustina’s Divine Mercy painting doesn’t suggest any likeness to the image of Jesus, but rather it brings to mind the infinite mercy of Jesus.

    I am a professional engineer, and I have more than average knowledge in math and science, but I am also a portrait artist. It is from an artistic prospective that I have come to an opinion regarding the origin of the Shroud. While we may discover pollens inadvertently woven into the fabric, or chemical composition of the stains or carbon dating of the original fibers, which could place the Shroud’s existence to a time and place consistent with that of Jesus, still I don’t think it will ever be possible to prove to the satisfaction of all, that there was ever any physical contact between this Shroud and the body of Jesus. For me the image on the Shroud brings to mind the suffering of Jesus, and from that suffering, the infinite love God has for humans. For me, how the Shroud came to be is of far less importance.

    As I understand a Jewish burial of two thousand years ago, the body would have been placed on a narrow cloth and folded over the head to the feet. Linen strips would have been tied around the head, body, legs and feet to bind the cloth snugly against the perimeter of the body. From an artistic prospective, if this were the case, I would expect not only the front and back of the body to be imprinted upon the cloth, but also each side of the body. For example, not only would the features of the face have been projected upon the cloth as if we were looking straight into the face, but also each ear, as if we were looking at the profile of the head, straight into the ear. The image should be quit distorted. The ears, rather than being separated by the width of the face, would likely be separated by a distance more than twice the with of the face. Consider a sphere, the diameter of the sphere is a distance considerably shorter than half of the circumference. Similarly, the distance from ear to ear as a straight line width across the face is considerably less, then the distance along the curved shape of the head, as the cloth would have been laid. The face on the Shroud should be much wider than that depicted. It would be likely wider than it is tall. Take the head of a manikin, and ink the nose and each ear. Wrap a cloth around the head. Unwrap it. The ink from the ears will be much further apart than the width of the face.

    For me, I no longer place my hope in science to prove the existence of God. By believing, I accept the supernatural, and that which I can’t explain or understand. I have come to accept, that in this life, I will see truth as a confused child lost in a crowd.

    I think, if it had been God’s will for us to have an accurate image of Jesus, we would have one, and there would be no uncertainty. Had there not been so many paintings of Christ depicted by European artists, perhaps it would be much easier for all people of the world to visualize Christ in ones own image, rather than blue eyed and with chestnut hair.

    In France, there are caves, miles underground, where the ceiling becomes so low that you must crawl on your stomach to proceed. As you approach a large chamber room the guide may turn off the lights, and there is absolute darkness. This would scare me to death, but I understand that most experience a kind of enlightenment, a connection to God and peace. Suddenly the lights are turned on and high above the chamber floor, on the ceiling, there are paintings, put there 17,000 years ago, depicting the human struggle to understand God. I believe there truly is ongoing communication between God and humans. He reveals to us what we are capable of understanding for our time. To the soul detached from the body, all is revealed and only then can we fully comprehend the image of God. Not from human images, but by His goodness, we will recognize Him.

  13. St. Faustina was sad that He could not be drawn as wonderful as He is in the Divine Mercy image. I wonder at how His eyes look as they are the window to the soul…rather His gaze…

  14. Last year our parish had classes on the Creed for a period of six weeks. One of the weeks the instructor asked that the group bring in our favorite image of Jesus for the following week, they could be pictures, icons or sculptures.
    Being a new Catholic (last year Baptized and Confirmed) I got to thinking about what I really thought Jesus looked like. So I researched and found the article from Popular Mechanics. I found it most fascinating and thought I would bring this image to the group and explain the logic and science behind it, maybe even challenge some of the groups long held thoughts of our Lord.
    At the meeting, people showed their pictures and explained why that image was their favorite. Some where very intriguing, Jesus as a baby, others of him carrying his cross, one with a view as if the Father was looking upon the Son on the cross from above.
    My turn came and after my explanation of the article everyone’s mind was abuzz. Once I showed the image though I could here gasps from the group. Personally I thought the representation from the forensic anthropologists and computer programmers was very good and showed how our Lord was every man. Imagine then how my heart sank as one member said that the image looked like a modern day terrorist.

  15. Dear Msgr. Pope. I sent you about five images of Veronica’s cloth. The one from the Vatican is the one in the Gold metal Frame with what appears to be smaller images of the passion engraved in the frame. The one at the web site oremus/Veronica is one I sent you, but is not the one at the Vatican. The one from the Vatican has a picture of Jesus recessed within the frame. The beard is cut into three points. This picture is one of the choicest treasures of the Roman Church. It is said to have been transferred in 1297 by Boniface VII from the Hospital of the Holy Ghost to St. Peter’s Rome, where it reposes behind the statue of St. Veronica.

  16. Dear Msgr. Pope; Sheila, and anyone who wishes to have a copy of the picture kept in the Vatican, go to Yahoo.com, and at the search engine, type in Veronica’s viel, then go to the link for Wikipedia. You will find this picture, along with several others together with some history concerning the Cloth of Veronica. You can download the pictures, and make them a part of your photo album. Print them for your home. God bless.

  17. ONE OF THE THINGS I WOULD ALWAYS HATE MARTIN LUTHER IN HIS 99 PINTS IS THAT HE SAYS THE BIBLE SAYS DONT MAKE ANY IMAGE OF WHAT IS IN HEAVEN OR EARTH I MEAN US THE ROMAN CATHOLICS WE BELIEVE AT A 100% ON HOW GOD LOOKED GOD ALLMIGHTY THE LORD SAINT JESUS CHRISTS HAD LONG HAIR LONG BEER THATS HIM THE HOLY ONE THE ONE HOWS HOLY IMAGES AND HOLY STATUES ARE IN OUR BEUTIFULL CHURCH .THAT IS SOMETHING I CAN NOT UNDERSTAND THE PROTESTANT HE DENIS THE LORD HE SAYS NOBODY ON THESE EARTH CAN DESCRIBE HIM .THAT IS BLASPHEMY I TALK TO JESUS FACE TO FACE WHEN EVER I WANT TO .

  18. I take care of a young man with Down’s syndrome. He has acute lymphoblastic leukemia and has relapsed twice over the last7 to 8 years that he has been my patient. He has been transplated twice with unrelated cord stem cells. He has endured untold number of bone marrow biopsies, lumbar punctures, needle pokes, episodes of nausea and vomiting, graft-vs-host symptoms with painful mouth and skin lesions, and perhaps too the indignity that some may question why we do so much to keep him alive. And yet through it all, all he does is smile and return love. When my time comes and I stand before the judgement throne of Christ I will be neither surprised, nor diasappointed, if when I behold His face that He looks like this young man.

    Msgr. Poe, is it possible to obtain a copy of your YouTube video of “The Many Faces of Christ” so that I may use it in a mini-retreat that I will be soon leading?

  19. Those who will get there (heaven) will see his face. Those who will not get there will never know. So, if you really, really want to see his face…you must act now.

  20. His beard is much curlier and he looks younger.. I think a blue robe would fit him better..

    Daniel..

  21. The image that was published on the shroud of turin looks almost exactly like this dude in my class! no no i’m for real here, okay take away the long beard and replace it with a shorter one but not as thick. He was tall about 6 ft 3 and was not too thin but yet not to heavy either, athletic build. His eyes are light maybe hazel and his hair is a light brown and he has thick dark eyebrows, heavy but not a unibrow like frida khalo! His eyes are intense and his hair is short not like crew cut but just short and his face is like that of a modern day jew with those puffy kind of cheeks and a small mouth and a very keen sharp nose but it’s not real small but not really that large. He has a light complexion, I guess like golden complexion but not yellow like an asian or mulatto, maybe the complexion of natalie portman and charlize theron. umm yeah that image on the shroud looks just like the dude in my class but the dude is younger, like he’s only in his early twenties! but anyway interesting article!!!

  22. i have read all your messages and found them interesting , we know that the shroud hasnt been proved or disproved to be the image of christ. the pieces of the cloth that were sent for carbon dating , dated back only 800-1000 yrs ago , ? but those pieces were taken from the edges of the cloth which has beeen touched , and handled by human hands for centuries , so its probably has a fair amount of contaminates ETC , (in other words , it could actually be older than what they originally thought ) the image on the cloth is neither painted nor drawn that we know of ,so the only other possibility that it was the power of a light transfer . some studies have suggested it is put there through a light so powerful that it created or burned an image on the cloth . light travels in two ways , straight line ,like a laser and spread out , like a ray , , so you have an image that you want to put on cloth , if the light was used was a laser , you wold see no image at all on the cloth , if it was conical, diffused or ray like , you would see the outer perimeter of the object you are tranposing, but no inner detail , ( in this case , eyes ,nose mouth etc ) but light can also be used to travel in slices or sections ( ie. a copy machine ) , what im getting at folks is that science and religion do come together , the image on the cloth may or may not be jesus himself ,but what i do think and believe is that not only you see an image of a man on a cloth , but the ressurrection itself , transposed on the cloth with an energy so great that we cant understand ! if you saw the passion of the christ at the end when he was ressurrected , you saw the “light” travel in sections down the body from head to toe ( mel must’ve studied this theory) thus creating the image ? who knows for absolute certainty ! thats why we have faith good people! if we had all the answers then we wouldnt have or need faith !

  23. Isaiah 53:2 is a prophecy describing his appearance. “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.”

    I Corinthians 11:14, ” Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?” If it were a shame Jesus would not do it.

    1. Hello Ron Lee. As I wrote before, Isaiah mentions the appearance of Christ during his Passion. That is why His appearance is “non-attractive” since he was beaten and flogged.

  24. When I was going to publish a picture bible, THEY WILL BE THE SOUL SURVIVORS, I asked God to give me a sign. I saw a floating face that lit up the room. There is a book, HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, with a picture of Jesus by Akiane, a 8 yr. old girl. That is the face GOD showed me, to approve my book He had me do for Him. HEAVEN IS FOR REAL is a best seller on Barnes And Noble. My book is for children of all ages. I am a Jewish/Christian!!!

  25. Didn’t the new testament say the roman soldiers “pulled his beard”? every rabbi had a beard because there is a mosaic injunction to not “cut the corners of the beard.” since no one knows what that means they let it grow. (some of the modern ones don’t but back then they all did). had scissors been invented? i doubt it. how would they cut their hair? with a razor? I bet it looked pretty raggedy. few barbers but many heads. I doubt they cut their hair very often just out of opportunity. also there was the ideal of the nazarite vow where you never cut your hair. therefore there were definitely jewish men with very long hair. jesus probably had hair we would consider pretty long. he may have also had those long sideburn looking things orthodox jews wear or some ancient version of them. i think the silliest idea is some fundamentalist preachers claim he would have short hair and no beard because caesar had such. jesus was the un-caesar. that’s like saying the u.s. president would have long hair and a beard cause osama bin-laden had long hair and a beard. it’s absurd. jesus wouldn’t base his appearance on romans. he was hoping god was about to kick the romans out. best wishes.

  26. Check out the shroud of Jesus on youtube and you will find a lasting answer to your questions

  27. One thing for sure is that he looked indifferent so much so that Judas had to kiss him the soldiers knew who to arrest.

  28. So many of you with many different thoughts of Jesus appearance. I need know only that He IS my Savior, no matter His appearance. However if I was to place Jesus in my mind while praying I would think of Love and to see Him as different than most. A special appearance with purity in his eyes, kindness on His face and a very good specimen of a man because God made Him very special to get the message across. Jesus did not help just the comely, but all people and especially those in most need. Each person need only picture Him as they see Him and thank Him with all your being for He is also God.

    1. Avoid using the second person plural pronound “you” in argumentation. It is off-putting and therefore comes across as arrogant. Make room in your heart for the rest of us poor slobs who do ponder these sorts of things that are unecessary for more mature people such as you.

  29. In 1931 an Australian researcher named Robert Eiler restored an old Russian translation of the works of Jewish historian Josephus where he actually described Jesus’s appearance. Josephus described Jesus as a short hunchbacked BLACK man with a unibrow. Revelation 2 describes Jesus as having hair like wool and feet the color of brass. So no matter how you cut it Jesus was a BLACK man and the people that are misused and descriminated against in our society are the original Israelites.

  30. You need to provide proof of your research. All that I have read about Josephus say that he never really described Jesus physically, he did mention that Jesus was Christ, but no mention of his looks. Provide us with links and proof of your comments please.

    1. This is an old article, written maybe three or four years ago so I am not sure who you are speaking to, or reply to. If I wrote of Jesus’ looks it was surely in the order of speculation. Thus “proof” is too strong a word or demand by you. Also why is Josephus the “goto guy” in this? Who cares if he opined on Jesus’ looks or not? But again, its an old article and the comments you may be responding to are years old.

  31. It is very interesting that no one has included the earliest depictions of ancient Hebrews and Jesus: Egyptian art and Assyrian art, Roman catacombs from the 3rd century AD, Byzantine, Russian and Greek religious icons. Most seem consistent with dark brown and black colored skins with semitic and negroid features, not European white skin and fair hair which came much later during the Medieval period. There was also the widespread and much venerated “Black Madonna and Child” iconography throughout Europe. I encourage everyone to research and stay open minded. There are many reasons for this shift and “white-washing” of Biblical characters, some obvious and some not but this is the time for many truths to be revealed and brought into the light.

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