Jesus And His Race – A Matter Of Importance


The historical Jesus is not at all like the man they see in their hearts, in Hollywood movies, or in stained-glass windows in their churches. Many scholars and archaeologists agree that Jesus was probably a guy with dark skin and brown eyes, more like a “Middle Eastern Jewish” or Arab man. Some people have said that the TSA might “profile Jesus for additional security screening” if he were to fly today.

Some people might answer with a strong “So what?” The question of what color Jesus was has been a religious debate for a long time. Some people, called “armchair theologians,” claimed that Jesus was black based on verses like Revelation 1:14–14. They would say things like, “The Bible said he had hair that was as white as wool” and feet that were like “burnished bronze,” so don’t tell me Jesus didn’t have an Afro!” I grew up in a black church that had a huge painting of a white Jesus above the pulpit.

That’s true, Megyn Kelly, who used to host Fox News, said in 2013 that Jesus “was a White man, too.” It’s hard to forget what she said. Afterward, she said that what she said was funny.

But there are two main reasons why the color of Jesus’ face is important this Easter. However, there has been a push in America for a long time to replace the White Jesus with the traditional Nordic Jesus. Biblical scholars, churches of color that follow “liberation theology,” progressive mainstream churches, and many other Christian groups think that overt depictions of the White Jesus are out of date and even offensive. As America’s population becomes more diverse, more and more Christians are asking for Jesus to come back as someone who looks like them.

In some parts of the country, though, the White Jesus never went away. There are a lot of pictures of the traditional White Jesus on social media because of the rise of White Christian pride. Sometimes you can see him wearing a red MAGA hat. The former president is pushing a “God Bless the USA Bible” that has parts of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. He says this is to bring Christianity and patriotism together and strengthen the White Jesus, who is very important to Christian nationalism.

Second, there has been a controversial debate lately about who the real Jesus was. At least one biblical expert says that the claim that Jesus was a “Palestinian Jew” by people who are against the Israel-Hamas conflict is not true and adds to the terrible past of “using Jesus against Jews once again.”

Not everybody wants to be a part of this talk. When asked about when Jesus showed up, some Christians roll their eyes. Some people say that the story of Easter has nothing to do with Jesus’ lessons or the color of his clothes. They quote Bible verses like Galatians 3:28–29, which says, “You are all one in Christ Jesus; there is no Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female.” What does this mean?

There are also people who say they are not religious and don’t think race should play a role in anything. As one angry user put it: “I’m sick and tired of hearing people argue about whether God is black or white, what color the twelve tribes of Israel were, or what color Jesus was.” To be honest, I don’t care what color any of them were or are. As far as I know, the Bible doesn’t say anything important about the color of someone’s skin.

Many of these debates about the color of Jesus’ skin don’t have a more fair point of view from smart people on both sides. This is what they say.

Why Some People Say It Doesn’t Matter What Race Jesus Was

This is despite the fact that the New York Times called Warner Sallman “the most famous artist of the 20th century.” His fame comes from the “Head of Christ,” which is a beautiful painting. People have made about 500 million copies of it to use on prayer cards, stamps, Sunday schools, and to decorate their living rooms.

Sallman claimed that the picture came from God. He was a professional illustrator one late winter night in 1924, and he was having trouble drawing a picture of Jesus for an evangelical magazine. He said he woke up at 2 a.m. and went to bed without drawing because he was sad.

He said, “Abruptly, as if it were on my drawing board, a picture of Christ appeared to my mind’s eye.” Sallman’s parents came to the United States from Scandinavia, so his charcoal sketch, which he later turned into an oil picture, shows a Jesus with light hair and blue eyes who looks like he belongs in the Nordic culture. This is a perfect case of what people who disagree with Jesus call the “White Jesus.” 

This book came out in America in the middle of the 20th century, during a time of extreme nationalism, record church attendance, and fear about the alleged Communist Party danger. Military personnel in the United States got thousands of wallet-sized copies during World War II.

As per Edward J. Blum, who co-wrote “The Color of Christ,” “it was so iconic that one American minister wanted every Christian to carry a small print of Sallman’s Christ in their wallets to combat ‘card-carrying members of the Communist Party.”

America has changed since then. However, some people say that Jesus’ color should stay the same or that it doesn’t matter at all. Christina L. Barr is an author and minister who has worked in Republican Party affairs before. She says that the message of Easter is bigger than any color. She says that everyone is a sinner and that Jesus died for all of them, no matter what color their skin is.

Barr tells CNN that “heaven isn’t just for rich people or people with light skin.” “Everyone is welcome in God’s arms,” Barr says that some people who say they want a black or brown Jesus might only be interested in his skin color and not in what he taught.

For her job as CEO of Black Tea News, she wrote a blog post about what it might be like if Jesus came to modern America dressed as a Black guy. It was her claim that the people would be excited at first before Jesus started talking about giving up sexual sin and greed.

“He would be labeled a bigoted coon and completely canceled by the time he offends abortion providers by claiming that God detests hands that shed innocent blood and chastises Americans for our covetousness,” the writer said.

Some people talk about Jesus’ color from a more philosophical point of view. In a piece called “Why Jesus’ Skin Color Doesn’t Matter,” Antony Pinol said it shouldn’t matter what color Jesus is shown to be in modern art and icons, like black, brown, Hispanic, or Middle Eastern. He did this because his body was just a way to carry something much more important: the spirit of his father, God.

In an interview with CNN, Pinol said he knew why some people thought a darker Jesus would be easier to reach. He knows that as a White man, he might not know about the problems that come with following a White Jesus.

He does say, though, that people find it harder to have a closer bond with God when they focus too much on Jesus’ physical traits. He doesn’t care that Jesus is a different color. According to Pino, it doesn’t change what Jesus stood for, the lesson that is central to Christianity, or what he showed through his life and actions. “His message would not change no matter what color he was.”