Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Although Jesus has been depicted in hundreds of paintings, sketches, online images, and also by actors in movies, we have no idea what Jesus really looked like. The New Testament also gives no description of His physical appearance.

However, there are a few older manuscripts available today that describe His appearance. Some descriptions are in remarkable detail, and do not even come close to many of the modern-day portraits and digital images I have seen.

One description of Jesus is found in "The Archko Volume" which contains official court documents from the days of Jesus. This information substantiates that He came from racial lines which had blue eyes and golden hair. In a chapter entitled "Gamaliel's Interview" it states concerning Jesus (Yeshua) appearance:

"I asked him to describe this person to me, so that I might know him if I should meet him. He said: 'If you ever meet him [Yeshua] you will know him. While he is nothing but a man, there is something about him that distinguishes him from every other man. He is the picture of his mother, only he has not her smooth, round face. His hair is a little more golden than hers, though it is as much from sunburn as anything else. He is tall, and his shoulders are a little drooped; his visage is thin and of a swarthy complexion, though this is from exposure. His eyes are large and a soft blue, and rather dull and heavy....' This Jew [Nazarite] is convinced that he is the Messiah of the world. ...this was the same person that was born of the virgin in Bethlehem some twenty-six years before..."

- The Archko Volume, translated by Drs. McIntosh and Twyman of the Antiquarian Lodge, Genoa, Italy, from manuscripts in Constantinople and the records of the Senatorial Docket taken from the Vatican of Rome (1896) 92-93

The following was taken from a manuscript in the possession of Lord Kelly, and in his library, and was copied from an original letter of Publius Lentullus at Rome. It being the usual custom of Roman Governors to advertise the Senate and people of such material things as happened in their provinces in the days of Tiberius Caesar, Publius Lentullus, President of Judea, wrote the following epistle to the Senate concerning the Nazarene called Jesus.

"There appeared in these our days a man, of the Jewish Nation, of great virtue, named Yeshua [Jesus], who is yet living among us, and of the Gentiles is accepted for a Prophet of truth, but His own disciples call Him the Son of God- He raiseth the dead and cureth all manner of diseases. A man of stature somewhat tall, and comely, with very reverent countenance, such as the beholders may both love and fear, his hair of (the colour of) the chestnut, full ripe, plain to His ears, whence downwards it is more orient and curling and wavering about His shoulders. In the midst of His head is a seam or partition in His hair, after the manner of the Nazarenes. His forehead plain and very delicate; His face without spot or wrinkle, beautified with a lovely red; His nose and mouth so formed as nothing can be reprehended; His beard thickish, in colour like His hair, not very long, but forked; His look innocent and mature; His eyes grey, clear, and quick- In reproving hypocrisy He is terrible; in admonishing, courteous and fair spoken; pleasant in conversation, mixed with gravity. It cannot be remembered that any have seen Him Laugh, but many have seen Him Weep. In proportion of body, most excellent; His hands and arms delicate to behold. In speaking, very temperate, modest, and wise. A man, for His singular beauty, surpassing the children of men"

The above info was obtained from
This website provides more comprehensive information and other sources concerning this topic, at the following link:

Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with crucifixion. It is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, northern Italy.

The origins of the shroud and its image are the subject of intense debate among scientists, theologians, historians and researchers. Some contend that the shroud is the cloth placed on the body of Jesus Christ at the time of his burial, and that the face image is the Holy Face of Jesus. Others contend that the artifact was created in the Middle Ages -- Source: Wikipedia article: Shroud of Turin.

The photograph depicted on the right shows, on the left-hand side of the picture, the positive sepia coloured image found on the linen. The image on the right, which has been contrast enhanced shows a more realistic view, but it is in fact the negative image of the one on the left side.

I tend to agree with the arguments presented on the website, that no artist, no craftsman, no faker of relics, could possibly paint a negative of a human face (as shown on the left-hand side of the picture). To do so is like trying to write your signature upside down and backwards.

To date, no one has been able to fully explain the mysterious images on the Shroud of Turin and the shroud remains one of the most studied and most controversial artifacts in human history.

A team of graphic artists tried to recreate the real face on the Turin Shroud in a special two-hour documentary on the History Channel. The image was made by taking information and blood encoded on the Turin Shroud and transforming it into a 3D image. The documentary was broadcast for the first time in March 2010. The article and 3D image can be viewed at

I am rather sceptical when people make unsubstantiated claims that the image on the cloth is definitely the Face of Jesus Christ. Personally, it makes no difference to me whether the shroud shows an image of a crucified man or not. Many people were crucified back in those days. and left blood stains on cloth. The entire debate over the Turin Shroud, and whether or not the image on the cloth is the figure-outline of Jesus at the time of His crucifixion, is in my view totally irrelevant! Remarkable yes, but immaterial to the strengthening of ones faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17 KJV

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