This will not come as a surprise to most of the people who have ever taken a moment to actually locate Bethlehem on a map, but the news has emerged that forensic anthropologists have carried out extensive research and concluded that Jesus actually had tan skin, short, curly hair, and was quite burly as opposed to the much-touted image of a blonde haired, blue eyed, almost effeminate looking Saviour.
According to The Epoch Times, forensic anthropology features experts well-versed in a variety of fields, such as genetics, human growth, and nutrition.
It’s usually used to solve crimes, but Richard Neave, a medical artist retired from The University of Manchester in England who has reconstructed dozens of famous faces, realised it could be used to shed new light on the appearance of Jesus.
First, reported Popular Mechanics, Neave found that Matthew’s description of Jesus indicated that his features were typical of Galilean Semites of the era, so Neave and his team acquired skulls from new Jerusalem.
“Special computer programs then evaluated reams of information about known measurements of the thickness of soft tissue at key areas on human faces. This made it possible to re-create the muscles and skin overlying a representative Semite skull.”
From this data, they built a 3D reconstruction of the face and then created a CAT of the skull. Layers of clay were applied, matching the data from the computer program, along with simulated skin. The team then modelled the nose, lips, and eyelids based on the shape of the underlying muscles.
While Jesus’ hair and colouration couldn’t be determined from the skull, the team examined drawings of Jesus found at various archaeological sites from before the Bible was compiled. Evidence from these drawings included the indication that Jesus had dark eyes and a beard. The team also came to the conclusion that Jesus had short hair.
While forensic depictions aren’t an exact science, this drawing is pretty close, said Alison Galloway, professor of anthropology at the University of California in Santa Cruz.
You can lose your mind over this if you wish, or perhaps take the view that it doesn’t matter what Jesus looked like. His works, His words, and His deeds show us what human compassion looked like, what loving your neighbour sounds like, what peace feels like. And try a little harder each day to walk in His footsteps.
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