Jesus Was Black and From Nigeria: BBC

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jesus203A traditional Jesus, left, and the BBC’s image of what he might have looked like Jesus has been named the top black icon by the New Nation newspaper. Their assertion that Jesus was black has raised eyebrows in some quarters – so what colour was he?

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Just as no one will ever produce proof for the existence of God, the question of Jesus’s colour may always be a matter for personal belief.

Was he white, white-ish, olive-skinned, swarthy, dark-skinned or black? There are people who believe he was any one of those shades, but there seem to be only two things about the debate that can be said with any degree of certainty.

First – if the past 2,000 years of Western art were the judge, Jesus would be white, handsome, probably with long hair and an ethereal glow.

Second – it can almost certainly be said that Jesus would not have been white. His hair was also probably cut short.

I think the safest thing is to talk about Jesus as ‘a man of colour’

Yet the notion that Jesus was black – highlighted this week in a survey of black icons by the New Nation newspaper which ranked him at number one – is genuinely held by some. One school of thought has it that Jesus was part of a tribe which had migrated from Nigeria.

And Jesus probably did have some African links – after all the conventional theory is that he lived as a child in Egypt where, presumably, his appearance did not make him stand out.

Blue-eyed and brown-eyed Jesus

The New Nation takes it further: “Ethiopian Christianity, which pre-dates European Christianity, always depicts Christ as an African and it generally agreed that people of the region where Jesus came from looked nothing like Boris Johnson,” the paper says. As light-hearted evidence that Jesus was black, it adds that he “called everybody ‘brother’, liked Gospel, and couldn’t get a fair trial”.

But the truth, says New Testament scholar Dr Mark Goodacre, of the University of Birmingham, is probably somewhere in between.

“There is absolutely no evidence as to what Jesus looked like,” he says. “The artistic depictions down the ages have total and complete variation, which indicates that nobody did a portrait of Jesus or wrote down a description, it’s all been forgotten.”

From: BBC News Online Magazine

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsolahttps://naija247news.com
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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