Why is Jesus Portrayed as White?
Updated: Dec 12, 2022
The question of why Jesus is often portrayed as white has baffled many people throughout history. Many believe that Jesus was born in the Middle East, which would naturally make him a person of color. However, despite this fact, Jesus is consistently depicted as being white in popular culture and media.
Refuting the obvious
It is quite safe to say that a lot of people think that Jesus was a White man. I mean, have you seen all the paintings and statues? He's mostly portrayed as a pale guy with light hair and blue eyes. But here's the thing: Jesus was probably not White. In fact, he was most likely a dark-skinned man with black hair and brown eyes. So why is he always portrayed as White?
Some argue that the predominance of white portrayals of Jesus is simply due to cultural biases and norms regarding race, with whiteness being seen as superior in many Western societies. Others suggest that this perception may be tied to the long history of racism and oppression against people of color, which has led some to attempt to erase these groups from the historical narrative.
It's important to understand that the Bible doesn't give us a physical description of Jesus. All we really know is that he was a Jewish man who lived in first-century Palestine. We don't know what he looked like, and there's no mention of his skin color or hair color in the Bible.
So, if we don't know what Jesus actually looked like, why do so many people think he was White?
One possibility is that people want to see Jesus as someone who looks like them. After all, it can be comforting to think of Jesus as someone who shares our physical characteristics. If you're White, then it makes sense that you would want to picture Jesus as White.
Another explanation is that many of the earliest representations of Jesus were created by European artists who had never even been to Palestine. They didn't know what Jesus actually looked like, so they used their own cultural biases to create an image of him that reflected their own world view.
Perpetuating the dogmas
Whatever the reason may be, it is clear that the perception of Jesus as a person of color needs to be addressed and reconsidered in order to more accurately reflect his true heritage and the experiences of marginalized groups throughout history. After all, if we continue to allow whiteness to be seen as synonymous with divinity, then we risk further perpetuating the idea that white lives and experiences are more valuable than those of people of color. So why is Jesus white, and why does it matter? We may never have a definitive answer, but it is important that we continue to question this misconception in order to dismantle the many forms of racism and prejudice that still plague our society today.
iIt's worth noting that in recent years there has been a trend towards portraying Jesus as more racially diverse. As our world becomes more multicultural, we are seeing more images of Jesus that reflect the racial diversity of our planet.