Brother Ron Barnes
Founder and Pastor
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Dear Brother Ron
Why isn't Jesus black? He was born in
Jerusalem which is a Middle Eastern country. So chances are he would either
be dark skinned or tan. If not to start, he would have tanned growing up. So
why is He always portrayed as white?
I have often wondered the same thing myself. If you look at
videos from the Middle East, you don't see too many blue-eyed blondes. Jesus
was a pure native Hebrew. The book of Matthew begins with a listing of His
heritage back to Abraham. This was done to validate Jesus as a "real" Jew,
meaning a legitimate member of one of the tribes of Israel. So it would be
logical to assume that He had the same physical characteristics as others of
the same lineage.
I have visited many churches and seen
pictures of a black Jesus, an oriental Jesus and a Native American Jesus.
I believe this is done to help the congregation identify with Jesus as "one
of us". Given the history of mistreatment suffered by other races at the
hands of white oppressors, this is understandable. But I also believe that
Christianity is not well served by the insertion of mythology into the
There have been many attempts to validate depictions of
Jesus as having a light complexion and brown hair. You can learn more about
the various physical descriptions of Jesus at
The official explanation is that Mary was a
Hamite, meaning she was descended from the Europeans, not the people of the
Middle East. The descriptions mentioned above have been the subject of much criticism
and concerns about their authenticity. There is much speculation that they were created
by the Church to make Jesus more acceptable to the people of Europe.
The important thing about Jesus is not the
color of His skin, His hair or His eyes. The important thing is the message He gave us about a loving God and
how to know, love and serve Him. Maybe the Muslims had this controversy in
mind when they declared a ban on pictures of Mohammed. They wanted people to
focus on the message, not the man.
Perhaps Christians would be well advised to
do the same.