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Was Jesus White or Black?

Over the past nearly 2,000 years, Jesus Christ has been portrayed in almost every way imaginable, but typically in a manner that matched the speculator's own circumstances i.e. white people tend to think of Christ as a white man, while black people tend to think of Christ as a black man. Who's right? Was Christ white or black? Answer - neither.

"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus"

Jesus of Nazareth was a typical Jew of His place and time. As such, He would have had a typical "Mediterranean" or "Middle Eastern" skin color which is neither white white nor black black (see an archived CNN news article entitled From science and computers, a new face of Jesus, which is available at the time of this writing, to get a more realistic idea of what Christ might have really looked like).

Earth Although the magazine article is speculative, Bible History is precise and certain. The people of Israel racially originated from Iraq (e.g. Abraham was an Iraqi, so too therefore were his son Isaac and grandson Jacob racially Iraqi - see Israel's Iraqi Roots), Syria (e.g. Leah, the mother of a number of the sons / tribes of Israel, including Judah from whom King David and Jesus Christ descended, was Syrian) and Egypt (e.g. the Israelite patriarch Joseph's wife was an Egyptian, very likely a black woman in that time; her sons were the Israelite patriarchs Ephraim and Manasseh; see The Israelite Patriarchs - Joseph). The Israelites were, racially, neither "white," nor "black."

The reality that Jesus Christ could have appeared either as a light-skinned black man or a dark-skinned white man may be no coincidence. The Christ is the Messiah of all of humanity. By His ultimate purpose as the Messiah, no one "owns" the Son of God.

"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Timothy 2:3-6 KJV)

"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:26-29 KJV)

Fact Finder: What else do we know about Christ's appearance as a man?
See What Did Jesus Look Like?

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