Why Is Jesus Usually Depicted as White?

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This is not a religious article, but simply an effort to understand why Jesus is always depicted as white even though he was born in the Middle East, where people are dark skinned. The truth is that we don’t have a painting or a description from the time after Jesus was put on the cross and every description we can find in the Bible was written way later, when no one that actually met or saw Jesus Christ was alive. But, since talking in the air cannot be respected, let’s move to the facts and see why Jesus was chosen to be represented as a white man.


1. The few written description that exist from the New Testament contradict each other. 

From one hand they say that his hair were as white as snow, but from the other hand his feet were said to be like bronze. 


2. The color white is associated with pureness in the Bible and Jesus is known as the most pure man on earth, so the connection is obvious.

It doesn’t mean that Jesus was white though.


3. Christians were persecuted for centuries after Jesus’ death, so people were trying to distance themselves from him.

And that’s why we don’t have any depiction from the time that people were around him.


4. If Jesus was depicted as dark-skinned or even black, this would mean that an oppressed minority would be glorified, something that Romans didn’t want to happen.


5. Depictions of Jesus began during the 5th century in Rome.

By that time, people might have felt the need to depict Jesus based on their own image, with lighter skin and European features.


6. During the Middle Ages a forged letter from someone named Publius Lentulus arrived describing Jesus as someone with long, wavy hair, blue eyes and rosey cheeks.


7. Many people made claims that they had visions from the time Jesus lives that he was white. 

Historians have stated that these fake ‘miracle images’ are back from the Middle Ages.


8. During the Middle Ages that Roman Christians fought with Middle Eastern Muslims, the first associated those that were dark-skinned and black with non-believers.


As you can see, there is more than proof that Jesus was made to be white and in reality he must have been dark-skinned. Using common logic, a man that was born in Judea in the Middle East could not have been light-skinned or have blue eyes.


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