Friday, November 15, 2013

Images of Jesus

Why do most depictions of Jesus look so much like Russell Brand, when they should probably look more like Osama bin Laden? 





People will probably say that I have this the wrong way around: that it is Russell Brand who looks like Jesus. It’s true that Russell Brand looks like Jesus as he is often depicted in religious art. In fact, the historical figure probably looked like neither. He almost certainly didn’t have Max von Sydow’s or Jeffrey Hunter’s baby blue eyes.


Unlike some people, I don’t dispute the existence of an historical figure going by the name of Joshua sometime in the first century of this era, living in the region of Palestine and presenting himself as a religious prophet. He clearly had an impact on people. Since then, of course, the western world has set about reconstructing this figure in its own image. Both the man and his teachings. Joshua, or Jesus if you prefer, was a man of middle-eastern origin, beliefs and appearance. This is probably embarrassing and even offensive to some contemporary Christians.

Let’s just admit that Jesus would be much more at home in a market in Gaza than in a Walmart in Los Angeles or a Coles in Cairns.

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