According to medieval artist/scientist, Richard Neave, Jesus is not the white, long-haired, skinny face you’ve been seeing throughout your entire life.
Using the powers of science, Neave found three skulls from Israeli archaeological sites and used computerized tomography to construct the best shape for Jesus’s face. From his findings, Neave created a black Jesus, with a much broader nose and a new hairdo. This photo has since gone viral.Read Here!
From the first time Christian children settle into Sunday school classrooms, an image of Jesus Christ is etched into their minds. In North America he is most often depicted as being taller than his disciples, lean, with long, flowing, light brown hair, fair skin and light-colored eyes. Familiar though this image may be, it is inherently flawed. A person with these features and physical bearing would have looked very different from everyone else in the region where Jesus lived and ministered. Surely the authors of the Bible would have mentioned so stark a contrast. On the contrary, according to the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane before the Crucifixion, Judas Iscariot had to indicate to the soldiers whom Jesus was because they could not tell him apart from his disciples. Further clouding the question of what Jesus looked like is the simple fact that nowhere in the New Testament is Jesus described, nor have any drawings of him ever been uncovered. There is the additional problem of having neither a skeleton nor other bodily remains to probe for DNA. In the absence of evidence, our images of Jesus have been left to the imagination of artists. The influences of the artists’ cultures and traditions can be profound, observes Carlos F. Cardoza-Orlandi, associate professor of world Christianity at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta. “While Western imagery is dominant, in other parts of the world he is often shown as black, Arab or Hispanic.” And so the fundamental question remains: What did Jesus look like?
An answer has emerged from an exciting new field of science: forensic anthropology. Using methods similar to those police have developed to solve crimes, British scientists, assisted by Israeli archeologists, have re-created what they believe is the most accurate image of the most famous face in human history.
Richard Neave (born 1936) is a British expert in forensic facial reconstruction. Neave became an expert in anatomical art and was on the staff of the Unit of Art in Medicine at the University of Manchester. He has used his skill in recreating faces from skulls in police forensic work and in producing images of historical figures. One of his reconstructions was of a prehistoric bog body known as Yde Girl. In 1998, a murder investigation resulted in a successful prosecution as a result of Neave’s work. Neave’s archaeological reconstructions include Philip II of Macedon and Midas. In 2001, the television program Son of God used one of three first-century Jewish skulls from a leading department of forensic science in Israel to depict Jesus in a new way. Neave constructed a face using forensic anthropology which suggested that Jesus would have had a broad face and large nose, and differed significantly from the traditional depictions of Jesus in Renaissance art.