A Facebook friend recently posted this portrait of Jesus, who in spite of a darkened complexion (the lighting perhaps), exhibits Caucasian features, styled hair and a trimmed beard. His bluish eyes do have a certain intensity and the overall effect seems quite dramatic. But you don’t have to be a historian to realize that this is not how Jesus appeared in the 1st century. I’m guessing, however, that historical accuracy is not what the artist was going for. And we can sympathize. It must be extremely difficult to create a Jesus that appeals to everyone.
In good humor, my friend added the caption, “Kenny Loggins, perhaps?” I saw the real Kenny Loggins at the Hollywood Bowl a few years ago. And although he’s in his 60’s—it’s been nearly 30 years since his popular album photos were published—I suppose there are worse models for the face of Jesus. Continue reading
The following was originally published on Grace Notes in 2009.
“Most families where Jesus lived had at least one animal. Can you guess what animal that was? A donkey!” “Really?” I thought.
My wife Sondra and I were on our way to church. She was reading to me while I was driving. While I did not doubt that Jewish families in the early first century owned animals, the evidence indicates that poorer families could not afford horses or donkeys. The old story about Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem on a donkey is pure fiction. The Bible never says anything about Mary and Joseph having a donkey after that either. Continue reading