Is this the Face of Christ?
March 26, 2001 10:52 AM   Subscribe

Is this the Face of Christ? 'The BBC used a combination of 2,000-year-old Jewish skulls and ancient religious images to generate what it claims is the first "true-to-life" picture of Jesus Christ.'
posted by LMG (28 comments total)
Hey, I know that guy! He does my dry-cleaning!
posted by jpoulos at 11:05 AM on March 26, 2001

Well that's odd, since it doesn't look anything like the Shroud of Turin face, and *that's* real.... ;-P
posted by briank at 11:33 AM on March 26, 2001

I saw that guy on the side of my milk carton last Tuesday...
posted by fusinski at 11:36 AM on March 26, 2001

Hey, I know that guy! He does my dry-cleaning!
Really? Ask if he can whip up some water-into-wine for me, OK?
posted by ChrisTN at 11:37 AM on March 26, 2001

and anyways, wouldn't he have been half-jewish? does god have ethincity? genes?

this is going to bother me at least until lunchtime.
posted by th3ph17 at 11:37 AM on March 26, 2001

Funny, that looks nothing like me....
posted by Dagobert at 11:41 AM on March 26, 2001

No wonder He (he?) never married.
posted by Postroad at 11:50 AM on March 26, 2001

This flies in the face of all previous evidence found on countless tortillas over the years.
posted by Skot at 11:53 AM on March 26, 2001

I thought Jesus was a brother? I was way off.
posted by Bracey02 at 12:16 PM on March 26, 2001

how much do i love that alt tag?
posted by sugarfish at 12:21 PM on March 26, 2001

So exactly how old were the "ancient religious images"? Only a few hundred years after Jesus' death? Oy. Okay everyone, sit down and draw us a picture of your great-great-great grandfather. It's okay if you don't remember exactly what he looked like, you can use an average of others of the same race.

Hogwash, hogwash, hogwash. The BBC should be ashamed.

And so should I, for making a serious post rather than another delightful funny one. I'll work on that.
posted by frykitty at 12:30 PM on March 26, 2001

"Ms Heggessey said she might consider looking at other bible figures, including Moses, Joseph and King Herod in the same way."

That does it. You can conjure up all the mugshots of Jesus you want.... but if you start screwing with my mental image of Charlton Heston as Moses, I'm never watching the BBC again!!
posted by apollo at 12:33 PM on March 26, 2001

The BBC should be ashamed.

Why, exactly? I'm not following.
posted by jpoulos at 1:47 PM on March 26, 2001

Ashamed for passing off this nasty piece of pseudo-science to a gullible public.
posted by frykitty at 1:49 PM on March 26, 2001

The image is strikingly different to the traditional idea of Jesus with long hair and a beard.

Um...? How stupid is this writer? Hair? Right.
posted by amanda at 1:56 PM on March 26, 2001

If they wanted a picture, all BBS had to do was ask and I would have supplied it form them...

...I'm going to avoid the lightning bolts now!
posted by Brilliantcrank at 2:16 PM on March 26, 2001

No wonder He (he?) never married.

He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. (Isaiah 53:2)

See? The prophets were right.
posted by iceberg273 at 4:28 PM on March 26, 2001

Semi-Off Topic - Semi-On Topic - Bear With Me Here...

Um... how much money was spent doing this study, I wonder. It must have taken a lot for them to come up with a picture like that. Wow, looks like most Israelis you see in the here-and-now.

And a friend of mine once said, "with that money, think of how many Guatemalan children you could feed." True, he was speaking of my desire for a Herman-Miller chair and not of a picture of Jesus, but still, I think that same stance should hold true...

I dunno, it just annoys me when I see studies that are "profound", as in "a profoundly blinding flash of the (obvious/pointless)"
posted by benjh at 5:59 PM on March 26, 2001

If the picture shakes up some racist who looks down their nose at dark skinned people but falls back on Christianity to make themself feel good, the money will have been worth it.

It does seem overhyped - it has about as much connection to Jesus as it does to the thousands of other people who lived there at that time. But it's a nice counterpoint to the classic tall blond aryan Jesus of the sunday school publications.

posted by Mars Saxman at 6:09 PM on March 26, 2001

I have to admit I was secretly hoping that it would be a picture of Elvis. Don't ask, I don't even know why.
posted by john at 6:09 PM on March 26, 2001

Frykitty: You're missing the point of the pictures. They are a compost of what we know people in that region looked like back then. Italians are not going to start looking like Germans in a couple of hundred years, and the last I looked the Swedes still don't look Chinese. Given a region and a period of time, ( say 500 years) the conclusion that people born in that area will look like others in that area, is not unreasonable.
posted by valintin23 at 8:59 PM on March 26, 2001

Oh, christ. Doesn't everyone know Jesus was a woman?

Seriously, what's the point of this exercise? To allow us to stare into the eyes of a composite in search of divinity? This is the BBC's idea of intelligent religious discussion? What's next--Mohammed's shoe size?
posted by mrdubois at 11:42 PM on March 26, 2001

I don't know, I'll stick to imagining Jesus as Willem Dafoe.
posted by tiaka at 5:51 AM on March 27, 2001

"computer-generated Jesus" (from the caption) just has a catchy ring to it. Band name?

and anyways, wouldn't he have been half-jewish? does god have ethincity? genes?

Jesus was all Jew. Mary was Jewish and His Father was freakin' Yahweh. You don't get a whole lot more Jewish than that.

It's reasonably safe (though probably offensive and blasphemous) to think of Christianity as Judaism 2.0, and Muslim as a forked release of Christianity.
posted by cCranium at 7:12 AM on March 27, 2001

i agree with valintin23 on this one. and i think it's worthwhile. those of us who revere Christ need images for our devotion (at least psychologically, though let me prempt the graven images and iconoclastic remarks by saying that's not what i'm talking about). this helps to put those necessary images in the proper racial and cultural context.
posted by Sean Meade at 7:13 AM on March 27, 2001

The point of the "he looks a bit Jewish" Jesus is that it's easy to forget, after several centuries of western European influence, that Christianity emerged out of the Middle East, land of the comedy terrorist.

As for "ancient religious images": well, they mean the designs of the early Church, where yer Pantocrator looks noticeably more like a native of the Levant. It's not a question of likeness, as much as iconography.

The point? Well, I've seen the trailers for the series, and it looks pretty well-researched. Mockups of Roman Palestine, based upon archaeological evidence: and anything that revises the saccharine illustrations of infant school RE is worth a look.
posted by holgate at 7:49 AM on March 27, 2001

Okay, I get your point about getting the public to stop thinking of Jesus as a blonde white guy. Being outside the Christian loop, I never really understood that whole blonde white icon thing, so I didn't grok the need.

It still bothers me that BBC is presenting this as THE face of Jesus, when in fact it's just the face of an average Jewish guy of the period. But then, I loathe hype in general.
posted by frykitty at 8:06 AM on March 27, 2001

The Jesus I'm used to seeing represented always has a manicure... if only the BBC had generated his "true-to-life" hands.
posted by Chairman_MaoXian at 8:09 AM on March 27, 2001

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