PHYSICAL DESCRIPTIONS OF JESUS (YASHUA) EXPLAINED
Sunday, August 2, 2009
THE PHYSICAL DESCRIPTIONS OF JESUS (YASHUA) CHANGES DEPENDING ON THE
INTENT OF THOSE WHO CHOSE TO DESCRIBE HIM.
His followers and his GENETICS, describe him as a SCANDINAVIAN WHO DID NOT
PRACTICE THE JEWISH RELIGION BUT WAS INFACT A NAZARENE BY FAITH. The
Bible also states this as fact:
Mark 16:6 “And he said to them, "(A)Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus
the (B)Nazarene, who has been crucified (C)He has risen; He is not here; behold, here
is the place where they laid Him.
Matthew 2: 23 Mark 1:24 Mark 10:47 Mark 14:67 Luke 4:34 Luke 24:19 Acts
For very devious reasons the formers of the Jewish and Roman Orthodox Catholic
and Christian religion would have you believe that he was born in Bethlehem in
Judah, however history and record keeping methods today tell a different story.
These documents, tell us that he was born in a Nazarene village in Northern Israel
west of the Sea of Galilee, east of the Mediterranean Sea and just below Mt. Carmel.
(See map above regarding Jesus (Yashua’s) home and teaching sites in Northern
Israel). On this map you will NOT find a location of the town of Nazareth because it
did not exist back during the life and times of Jesus (Yashua) at that point in human
history Nazareth was considered to be a village.
Keep in mind that a Jew was someone who practiced the Jewish religion. A Jew is
not a specific race of people. Many different people groups worshipped the Jewish
religion including black people. All the different races of people who practiced the
Jewish religion were called Jews. Most of these people lived in southern Judah,
which is the part of Israel where Jerusalem, Bethelem and Qumran are located.
ON THE OTHER HAND
THE SERPENT BLOODLINES DESCRIBED JESUS (YASHUA) WITH FEATURES SIMILAR
TO CAIN who had red hair, green eyes and a crooked nose. These deceptive authors
also describe him as a Turk or Semite with dark hair dark- eyes. It was the Turkish,
Semite, Levi bloodline who bred with the Scandinavian populations in Southern
Russia. This genetically blended race later became the KHAZAR ZIONIST EMPIRE OF
ASHKENAZIM JEWS in Medo Persia, which is directly associated with ancient Babylon
and the LEADERS OF THE REPTILIAN ANUNNAKI WHO WERE the NORDIC ARYAN
ALIEN “FALLEN WATCHERS.” These false gods who “Flit and Flew” in “Chariots of
Fire” and “Whirling Wheels” aka UFO’s, were the GODS WORSHIPPED BY THE
NORTHERN HEBREW ISRAELITES.
IN THE OLD TESTAMENT this serpent bloodline is directly associated with the
Priests, Pharisees, Scribes, Levi’s and Phoenicians, “Sea People” etc., WHO ALSO
WORSHIPPED THE NORDIC ARYAN ALIEN “FALLEN ELOHIM WATCHER” ENTITIES IN
SECRET. They falsely identified Jesus (Yashua’s) features this way AS A WAY OF
PROVING THAT HE WAS A HYBRID WHO’S DESCENDENTS TODAY ARE THE GLOBAL
ELITE POWER BROKERS WHO ARE the ILLUSIVE LOST TRIBE OF DAN that have been
left out of Bible Prophecy. Today they are the 13 MOST POWERFULL FAMLIES IN
THESE NASTY CHRUCH FATHERS and RELIGIOUS DECEIVERS also BLEND THE
DESCRIPTION OF JESUS (YASHUA) WITH ISA AND APPOLONIUS, WHICH WAS A VERY
DESCEPTIVE TRICK MEANT TO FALSELY ASSOCIATE JESUS (YASHUA) WITH THE
SERPENT AGENDAS. THESE FALSE DESCRIPTIONS CLEVERLY LEAD READERS TO
BELIEVE THE MEROVINIGAN BLOODLINE OF ISA AND APPOLONIUS IS THE
BLOODLINE OF JESUS (YASHUA).
Below you will find an article which includes the physical descriptions of Jesus
(Yashua), written by his contemporaries, which can be found on The Nazarene Way
of Essenic Studies Website.
Physical Descriptions of Jesus
The Oldest Views and Literary Data on the External
Appearance of Jesus the Nazarene
The Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies
The Oldest Views and Data on the External Appearance of Jesus. The Apocrypha and
Pseudepigrapha (§ 1). The Church Fathers (§ 2). Other Data (§ 3).Literary Data on the Oldest
Pictures of Jesus. Extant Pictures of Jesus. Portraits Ostensibly Authentic. Portraits by Painters,
Sculptors, etc. (§ 1). Alleged Supernatural Pictures (§ 2).Pictures of Jesus in Ancient Art. Symbolical
and Allegorical Representations (§ 1). Representations as Teacher and Lawgiver (§ 2).Origin of the
Pictures of Jesus. Iconoclasm: The Religious and Political Destruction of Sacred Images or
The Description of Publius Lentullus
The following was taken from a manuscript in the possession of Lord Kelly, and in his
library, and was copied from an original letter of Publius Lentullus at Rome. It being
the usual custom of Roman Governors to advertise the Senate and people of such
material things as happened in their provinces in the days of Tiberius Caesar, Publius
Lentullus, President of Judea, wrote the following epistle to the Senate concerning the
Nazarene called Jesus.
"There appeared in these our days a man, of the Jewish Nation, of great virtue,
named Yeshua [Jesus], who is yet living among us, and of the Gentiles is accepted
for a Prophet of truth, but His own disciples call Him the Son of God- He raiseth the
dead and cureth all manner of diseases. A man of stature somewhat tall, and
comely, with very reverent countenance, such as the beholders may both love and
fear, his hair of (the colour of) the chestnut, full ripe, plain to His ears, whence
downwards it is more orient and curling and wavering about His shoulders. In the
midst of His head is a seam or partition in His hair, after the manner of the
Nazarenes. His forehead plain and very delicate; His face without spot or wrinkle,
beautified with a lovely red; His nose and mouth so formed as nothing can be
reprehended; His beard thickish, in colour like His hair, not very long, but forked;
His look innocent and mature; His eyes grey, clear, and quick- In reproving
hypocrisy He is terrible; in admonishing, courteous and fair spoken; pleasant in
conversation, mixed with gravity. It cannot be remembered that any have seen Him
Laugh, but many have seen Him Weep. In proportion of body, most excellent; His
hands and arms delicate to behold. In speaking, very temperate, modest, and wise.
A man, for His singular beauty, surpassing the children of men"
The letter from Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar
This is a reprinting of a letter from Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar describing the
physical appearance of Jesus. Copies are in the Congressional Library in Washington,
TO TIBERIUS CAESAR:
A young man appeared in Galilee preaching with humble unction, A NEW LAW IN
THE NAME OF THE GOD THAT HAD SENT HIM. At first I was apprehensive
that His design was to stir up the people against the Romans, but my fears were
soon dispelled. JESUS OF NAZARETH SPOKE RATHER AS A FRIEND OF THE
ROMANS THAN OF THE JEWS. One day I observed in the midst of a group of
people a young man who was leaning against a tree, calmly addressing the
multitude. I was told it was Jesus. This I could easily have suspected SO GREAT
WAS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIM AND THOSE WHO WERE
LISTENING TO HIM. HIS GOLDEN COLORED HAIR AND BEARD GAVE TO
HIS APPEARANCE A CELESTIAL ASPECT. He appeared to be about 30 years of
age. Never have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance. WHAT A
CONTRAST BETWEEN HIM AND HIS BEARERS WITH THEIR BLACK
BEARDS AND TAWNY COMPLEXIONS! Unwilling to interrupt Him by my
presence, I continued my walk but signified to my secretary to join the group and
listen. Later, my secretary reported that never had he seen in the works of all the
philosophers anything that compared to the teachings of Jesus. He told me that
Jesus was neither seditious nor rebellious, so we extended to Him our protection. He
was at liberty to act, to speak, to assemble and to address the people. THIS
UNLIMITED FREEDOM PROVOKED THE JEWS -- NOT THE POOR BUT
THE RICH AND POWERFUL.
Later, I wrote to Jesus requesting an interview with Him at the Praetorium. He
came. When the Nazarene made His appearance I was having my morning walk and
AS I FACED HIM MY FEET SEEMED FASTENED WITH AN IRON HAND TO
THE MARBLE PAVEMENT AND I TREMBLED IN EVERY LIMB AS A
GUILTY CULPRIT, THOUGH HE WAS CALM. For some time I stood admiring
this extraordinary Man. There was nothing in Him that was repelling, nor in His
character, yet I felt awed in His presence. I TOLD HIM THAT THERE WAS A
MAGNETIC SIMPLICITY ABOUT HIM AND HIS PERSONALITY THAT
ELEVATED HIM FAR ABOVE THE PHILOSOPHERS AND TEACHERS OF
Now, Noble Sovereign, these are the facts concerning Jesus of Nazareth and I have
taken the time to write you in detail concerning these matters. I say that such a man
who could convert water into wine, change death into life, disease into health; calm
the stormy seas, is NOT GUILTY OF ANY CRIMINAL OFFENSE AND AS
OTHERS HAVE SAID, WE MUST AGREE -- TRULY THIS IS THE SON OF
Your most obedient servant,
The Emerald of Caesar
This Likeness of Jesus was copied from a portrait carved on an emerald by order of
Tiberius Caesar, which emerald the Emperor of the Turks afterwards gave out of the
Treasury of Constantinople to Pope Innocent VIII for the redemption of his brother, taken
captive by the Christians.
"The Archko Volume"
Another description of Jesus is found in "The Archko Volume" which contains official
court documents from the days of Jesus. This information substantiates THAT HE
CAME FROM RACIAL LINES WHICH HAD BLUE EYES AND GOLDEN HAIR.
In a chapter entitled "Gamaliel's Interview" it states concerning Jesus (Yeshua)
"I asked him to describe this person to me, so that I might know him if I should
meet him. He said: 'If you ever meet him [Yeshua] you will know him. While he is
nothing but a man, there is something about him that distinguishes him from every
other man. He is the picture of his mother, only he has not her smooth, round face.
HIS HAIR IS A LITTLE MORE GOLDEN THAN HERS, THOUGH IT IS AS
MUCH FROM SUNBURN AS ANYTHING ELSE. HE IS TALL, AND HIS
SHOULDERS ARE A LITTLE DROOPED; HIS VISAGE IS THIN AND OF A
SWARTHY COMPLEXION, THOUGH THIS IS FROM EXPOSURE. HIS EYES
ARE LARGE AND A SOFT BLUE, AND RATHER DULL AND HEAVY....' This
Jew [Nazarite] is convinced that he is the Messiah of the world. ...this was the same
person that was born of the virgin in Bethlehem some twenty-six years before..."
- The Archko Volume, translated by Drs. McIntosh and Twyman of the Antiquarian
Lodge, Genoa, Italy, from manuscripts in Constantinople and the records of the
Senatorial Docket taken from the Vatican of Rome (1896) 92-93
Josephus, the "Antiquities Of The Jews"
This is a quote from Josephus, from his historical first-century writings entitled,
"Antiquities Of The Jews," Book #18, Chapter 2, section 3.
"Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man;
for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth
with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles.
He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men
amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did
not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine
prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning
him. AND THE TRIBE OF CHRISTIANS, SO NAMED FROM HIM, ARE NOT
EXTINCT AT THIS DAY."
Cornelius Tacitus, a Roman historian
Cornelius Tacitus was a Roman historian who lived circa 56-120 AD. He is believed to
have been born in France or Gaul into a provincial aristocratic family. He became a
senator, a consul, and eventually governor of Asia. Tacitus wrote at least four historic
treatises. Around 115 AD, he published Annals in which he explicitly states that Nero
prosecuted the Christians in order to draw attention away from himself for Rome's
devastating fire of 64 AD. In that context, he mentions Christus who was put to death
by Pontius Pilate.
Christus: Annals 15.44.2-8 "Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite
tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace.
Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during
the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a
most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not
only in JUDAEA, THE FIRST SOURCE OF THE EVIL, BUT EVEN IN ROME..."
1. The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha.
Neither the New Testament nor the writings of the earlier post-Biblical Christian
authors have any statements regarding the personal appearance of Jesus, thus
contrasting sharply with the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha and especially
with the works of the Gnostics. In the "Shepherd" of Hermas (ix. 6, 12) the lofty
stature of the Son of God is emphasized, and according to the Gospel of Peter he
even towered above the heaven at his resurrection. Gnostic influence is betrayed by
visions in which Christ appears as a shepherd, or the master of a ship, or in the
form of one of his apostles, as of Paul and of Thomas, or again as a young boy. In
the Acts of Andrew and Matthew he assumes the figure of a lad, and the same form
is taken in the Acts of Peter and Andrew, in the Acts of Matthew, and in the
Ethiopic Acts of James. Manazara is healed by a youth in the Acts of Thomas, and a
beautiful lad appears to Peter and Theon in the Actus Vercellensis, which also
mentions the smile of friendship in the face of Jesus. A handsome youth with smiling
face appears at the grave of Drusiana in the Acts of John, but certain widows to
whom the Lord restored their sight saw him an, aged man of indescribable
appearance, though others perceived in him a youth, and others still a boy. The
youthfulness of Christ is also mentioned in the life and passion of St. Clus and the
VISION OF SAINTS PERPETUA AND FELICITAS ASCRIBED TO THE RISEN
CHRIST THE FACE OF A YOUTH WITH SNOW-WHITE HAIR.
2. The Church Fathers.
The early Christian authors were by no means concordant in their opinions of the
personal appearance of Jesus. SOME, BASING THEIR JUDGMENT ON ISA. III.
AND LIII., DENIED HIM ALL BEAUTY AND COMELINESS, WHILE OTHERS,
WITH REFERENCE TO PS. XLV. 3, REGARDED HIM AS THE MOST
BEAUTIFUL OF MANKIND. To the former class belong Justin Martyr, Clement
of Alexandria, Basil, Isidor of Peluaium, Theodoret, Cyril of Alexandria, Tertullian,
and Cyprian. Origen declared that Christ assumed whatever form was suited to
circumstances. It was not until the fourth century that Chrysostom and Jerome laid
emphasis upon the beauty of Jesus. While Isidor of Pelusium had referred the
phrase, "THOU ART FAIRER THAN THE CHILDREN OF MEN" in Ps. xlv. 2, to
the divine virtue of Christ, Chrysotom interpreted the lack of comeliness mentioned
in Isa. liii. 2 as an allusion to the humiliation of the Lord. Jerome saw in the
profound impression produced by the first sight of Jesus upon disciples and foes
alike a proof of HEAVENLY BEAUTY IN FACE AND EYES. From the insults
inflicted upon Jesus Augustine concluded that he had appeared hateful to his
persecutors, while ACTUALLLY HE HAD BEEN MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN
ALL, since the virgins had loved him.
3. Other Data.
The Problem of the life passion of St. C? us, and the external appearance of Jesus
possessed but minor interest for the Church Fathers, although the Catholic Acts of
the Holy Apostles ascribe to him an OLIVE COMPLEXION, A BEAUTIFUL
BEARD, AND FLASHING EYES. Further details are first found in a letter to the
Emperor Theophilus attributed to John of Damascus (in MPG, xcv. 349), which
speaks of the brows which grew together, the beautiful eyes, the prominent nose, the
curling hair, the look of health, the black beard, the wheat-colored complexion, and
the long fingers, a picture which almost coincides with a hand-book on painting
from Mt. Athos not earlier than the sixteenth century. In like manner, Nicephorus
Callistus, who introduced his description of the picture of Christ (MPG, cxlv. 748)
with the words, "as we have received it from the ancients," was impressed with the
healthful appearance, with the stature, the brown hair which was not very thick but
somewhat curling, the black brows which were not fully arched, the sea-blue eyes
shading into brown, the beautiful glance, the prominent nose, but brown beard of
moderate length, and the long hair which had not been cut since childhood, the neck
slightly bent, and the olive and somewhat ruddy complexion of the oval face. A
SLIGHT DIVERGENCE FROM BOTH THESE ACCOUNTS IS SHOWN BY
THE SO-CALLED LETTER OF LENTULUS, THE OSTENSIBLE
PREDECESSOR OF PONTIUS PILATE, who is said to have prepared a report to
the Roman Senate concerning Jesus and containing a description of him. According
to this document Christ possessed a tall and handsome figure, a countenance which
inspired reverence and awakened love and fear together, dark, shining, curling hair,
parted in the center in Nazarene fashion and flowing over the shoulders, an open
and serene forehead, a face without wrinkle or blemish and rendered more beautiful
by its delicate ruddiness, a perfect nose and mouth, a full red beard of the same
color as the hair and worn in two points and piercing eyes of a grayish-blue.
II. Literary Data on the Oldest Pictures of Jesus:
(1) A handkerchief embroidered with the figures of Jesus and his Apostles, and
made, according to legend, by his mother, is said to have been seen by the monk
Arculfus during his residence in Jerusalem (Adamnan, De Locis sanctis, i. 11 ).
(2) In his account of his visit to Crea Philippi, Eusebius mentions (Hist. eccl. vii.
18) a group of statuary in brass which consisted of a kneeling woman and a man
standing with his hands stretched out toward her. Local tradition saw in this a
figure of Jesus and the woman healed of an issue of blood, who was said to have
come from Crea Philippi. This legend was accepted by Eusebius, Asterius
Amasenus Photius, Sozomen, Philostorgius, and Macarius Magnes, the last-named
calling the woman Beronike. The actual meaning of the group is uncertain. Some
have seen in it an emperor and a province, possibly Hadrian and Judea while others
have regarded it as Ƴculapius and Hygeia, a view which is vitiated by the fact that
no mention is made of the serpent-staff characteristic of statues of the god of
healing. It is entirely possible that the group actually represented Christ and either
the woman with an issue of blood or possibly the woman of Canaan who implored
him to heal her daughter. (3) According to Iren浳 (H/i>., I., xxv. 6), pictures of
Christ were possessed by the Gnostic sect of Carpocratians, who crowned them with
garlands like the pictures of philosophers--Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, and others--
while, according to the Carpocratians, Pilate had a portrait of Jesus painted during
his lifetime, and the Carpocratian Marcellina possessed a picture of Christ which
she honored, like those of Paul, Homer, and Pythagoras, with prayer and incense.
(4) The Emperor Alexander Severus had a picture of Jesus; it must have been,
however, only an ideal portrait, like those of Apollonius, Abraham, Orpheus, and
others, which were also included in his lararium (Lampridius, Vita Alex. Sev. xxix.).
(5) A brass statue of the Savior was erected by Constantine the Great before the
main door of the imperial palace of Chalce (Theophanes in MPG, cviii. 817). (6) A
picture of Jesus "painted from life" was possessed by the Archduchess Margaret
which may be the same one as D 's altar-piece of St. Luke at Brussels (M.
Thausing, D , p. 420, Leipsic, 1876).
While the portraits just mentioned were prepared by human agency, there were
others to which a supernatural origin was ascribed. To this category belong (7) a
picture at Camulium in Cappadocia, apparently on cloth and perhaps a copy of that
of Edessa (see below). It was mentioned at the second Nicene Council and was
carried to Constantinople by Justin II., where it was regarded as so sacred that a
special festival was instituted in its honor, and it was frequently carried in war as a
potent icon (J. Gretsei opera, xv. 196-197, Regensburg, 1741). (8) In the war against
the Persians the General Philippicus had a picture of Christ which the Romans
believed to be supernatural in origin, and the same portrait served to quell a mutiny
in the army of Priscus, the successor of Philippicus. This icon was apparently on
cloth, and was a copy of an original which was frequently confounded with a
portrait in Amida, although the latter is expressly said to have been painted, and
was, consequently, natural in provenience (Zacharias, MPG, Ixxxv. 1159). (9) A
Syriac fragment mentions a picture of Jesus painted on linen and found unwet in a
spring by a certain Hypatia shortly after the Passion. This portrait left a miraculous
imprint on the napkin in which it was wrapped, and one of these pictures found its
way to Crea while the other was taken to Comolia (possibly identical with the city
of Camulium already mentioned), although a copy was later found at Dibudin (?)
(Lipsius, Die edessenische Abgarsage, p. 67, n. 1, Brunswick, 1880). (10) About 570 a
linen mantle was shown at a church in Memphis which bore the impress of the
Savior's face and was so bright that none could gaze at it (Antoninus Martyr, De
locis sanctisxliv.). (11)Byzantine literature frequently mentions pictures of Christ
impressed on bricks. According to a legend which presents several slight variations,
the portrait of himself which Jesus had sent to Abgar at Edessa was believed to have
been walled up to save it from the attack of King Ananun and to have been
rediscovered in 539 together with a brick which bore a miraculous copy of the
original (Georgius Cedrenus, ed. Bekker, i. 312, and others). (12) The patriarch
Germanus, when forced to leave Constantinople, is said to have taken with him a
picture of Christ which later came into the possession of Gregory II. (G. Marangoni,
Istoria dell' oratorio di San Lorenzo, pp. 78 sqq., Rome, 1747). (13) The cloth with a
picture of Christ presented by Photius to the hermit Paul at Latro in the ninth
century was merely a copy of a miraculous original, although only he to whom the
gift was made was able to perceive the portrait, others seeing only the cloth (Gretses,
ut sup. p,186). (14) More important than all other statements concerning the oldest
pictures of Christ is a passage of Augustine (De trin. viii. 4), stating that the
portraits of Jesus were innumerable in concept and design.
III. Extant Pictures of Jesus. 1. Portraits Ostensibly Authentic: 1. Portraits by
Painters, Sculptors, etc.
(1) The paintings of Luke, of which the best known are two at Rome. One of these is
in the chapel Sanctus Sanctorum, although the statement that Luke painted a
portrait of Jesus dates only from medieval times, the monk Michael, the biographer
of Theodore of Studium, being one of the earliest sources. In the last quarter of the
twelfth century the legend of Luke was interwoven by Wernher of Niederrhein with
the tradition of Veronica (see below). Luke, in answer to Veronica's entreaties, is
said to have made repeated attempts to portray Christ, but his endeavors were
unsuccessful. Jesus then impressed the image of his face upon the handkerchief of
Veronica. Another picture ascribed to Luke and painted on cloth is in the Vatican
library, while a third is said to have been placed in the cathedral of Tivoli by Pope
Simplicius. Other pictures are likewise ascribed to a similar provenience, and very
late traditions even attribute statues of Christ to the chisel of Luke. [In the church of
San Miniato at Monto, in the environs of Florence, Italy, is shown a portrait of
Christ, attributed to Luke.] (2) To Nicodemus is ascribed a statue of the crucified
Christ carved in black cedar and preserved in the Cathedral of Lucca. Its design
shows that it dates at the earliest from the eighth century, although tradition states
that the model of Nicodemus was furnished by the impress of the Savior's body on
the linen cloths purchased to cover the corpse at the descent from the cross. (3) A
"true and only portrait of our Savior taken from an engraved emerald which Pope
Innocent VIII. received from Sultan Bajazted II. for the ransom of his brother, who
was a captive of the Christians," frequently reproduced in photograph is in reality
the copy of a medal which may have been cut at the command of Mohammed II.,
and which is, at all events, of comparatively modern date. (4) The mosaic in the
Church of St. Praxedis in Rome, which is exhibited on festal occasions, is by no
means one of the earliest Christian mosaics, although tradition regards it as a
present to Pudens from the Apostle Peter.
2. Alleged Supernatural Pictures.
Alleged supernatural pictures may be divided into those which represent the entire
figure of Jesus, and those which give only his face. (1) Clothe of medieval date
containing more or less clear outlines of the figure of a man, all claiming to be the
"napkin" in which Jesus was wrapped in the grave and on which his image was
impressed, were formerly found in Chamb鲹, and until the end of the eighteenth
century, in Besan篮, while they still exist at Compi觮e and Turin, the latter
"napkin" being declared authentic by a bull of Sixtus IV. Far more famous,
however, are the cloths which bear only the impress of a head or face and of these
one of the best known is (2) the picture of Edessa, or the Abgar picture. According
to the Doctrine of Addai and Moses of Choren, Hanan, the envoy of the king of
Edessa, painted a portrait of Jesus and took it to his royal master. Evagrius, on the
authority of Procopius, states that Christ sent to the king a picture of miraculous
origin. The legend apparently arose about 350, and may well have been based on an
actual painting which remained at Edessa till 944, when it was brought to
Constantinople by the Emperor Romanus I. Its subsequent fortunes are uncertain,
although various cities laid claim to its possession, especially Genoa, Rome, and
Paris, the first-named city advancing the most probable arguments for authenticity
and receiving the confirmation of Pius IX. (see ABGAR).
This picture shows only the head of Jesus, but legend also knows a full-length
Edessene portrait on linen produced by contact with the body of Christ. It is
mentioned by Gervase of Tilbury in the beginning of the thirteenth century, who
bases his statement on ancient sources and says that it was exhibited on festivals in
the chief church of Edessa, and that on Easter it shows Jesus successively as a child,
boy, youth, young man, and in the ripeness of years. (3) One of the choicest
treasures of the Roman Church is the handkerchief of Veronica, which is shown
only on special occasions, particularly in Passion Week. This portrait is said to have
been transferred in 1297 by Boniface VIII. from the Hospital of the Holy Ghost to
St. Peter's in Rome, where it reposes behind the statue of St. Veronica. The picture,
which is now much faded, shows an elliptical face with a low-arched forehead, in
marked contrast with the long nose. The mouth is slightly open, and the scanty hair
is visible only on the temples. The beard on the cheeks is thin, but is stronger on the
chin, where it ends in three points, while the mustache is more conspicuous for color
than for strength. The eyes arched by scanty brows, are closed, and, combined with
features distorted by agony and stained with blood complete the picture of a martyr
pale in death. From the point of view of esthetics and the history of art, the picture
is probably Byzantine. Although one would expect the picture of Veronica to be
regarded as the napkin which covered the head of Christ, there is no tradition as to
its origin, although a mess of medieval legends connects it with the name of a
These may be divided into two classes. In the older group, apparently written
shortly before the ninth century, Veronica appears as the woman afflicted with an
issue of blood, who had a portrait of Jesus either painted by herself or at her
bidding, or else impressed by Christ himself upon a piece of cloth. The second form
of the legend sprang up in France and Germany in the course of the fourteenth
century and superseded the older version before 1500. According to this tradition,
Veronica gave the Savior a handkerchief on his way to Golgotha, and received it
back impressed with his features. Further amplifications of the tradition stated that
the napkin was brought to Rome by John VII., or even during the reign of Tiberius,
while it is certain that Celestine III. prepared a reliquary for it. At all events, what is
clear is that during the medieval period Rome possessed a cloth picture of Christ,
which was apparently supposed to be the miraculous impress of the head of Jesus in
the sepulcher. It is significant, moreover, that it bore the name sudarium before the
rise of the legend of the handkerchief given Christ to wipe his face on his way to the
cross, nor was it until the twelfth century that the name of Veronica even began to
form a part of the tradition, a connection suggested by a popular etymology of
Veronica as Vera *?* ("true image"), This legend of Veronica gave rise to a
tendency of art which reached its culmination in D , who represented the napkin
of Veronica and the Savior with a crown of thorns, combining the suffering in the
face of Jesus with the loftiness and the majesty of the Son of God, (4) The picture of
Christ in the apse of St. John Lateran at Rome is supposed to have been
miraculously produced when the church was dedicated by Pope Sylvester, although
it is in reality a mosaic of recent date.
2. Pictures of Jesus in Ancient Art: 1. Symbolical and Allegorical Representations.
In the course of time pictorial representations of Jesus became either real or
symbolical and allegorical, the latter tendency gradually giving way to the former.
To the category of symbols belong the fish, the lamb, the various monograms of
Christ, and the Good Shepherd, the last-named leading to representations of Jesus
in human form. As early as Tertullian the Good Shepherd adorned chalices, and it
was a favorite form of decoration in the catacombs, where the figure usually carries
a goat or a wether. In these pictures, often adorned with other animals, trees, and
shrubs, and based on Luke xv. 5; John x.; and Ps. xxiii., the Christ appears only in
youthful guise, although the Shepherd is usually clad in garments of a higher rank
and wears the Roman tunic and the pallium as well as sandals. The figure,
moreover, is Latin instead of Oriental in type, and represents a youthful and
beardless sometimes even boyish, figure, a round head with curling hair, and a
frank face with regular features. This type of picture, purely ideal as it was,
underwent evolution in the course of time. In the third century the face grew more
oval, while the unparted hair grew slightly over the forehead in the center and
flowed on the on the sides in wavy or curly locks.
2. Representation as Teacher and Lawgiver.
The first real impulse, however, to artistic representations of Jesus was given by his
miracles, though the risen Lord as a teacher and a lawgiver became more and more
a subject for pictorial representation. In the midst of all or a part of his disciples,
including Paul, Christ appears either on a plain, as in Spain and southern France,
or standing on a mountain either within or without the four rivers of Eden, or
sitting on a throne with his feet on a footstool or on the clouds while mosaics
represent him as seated on the celestial globe. As a teacher, he is depicted as
speaking and as holding a book or scroll either in his hand or on his bosom, while as
a lawgiver he proffers the Gospel to Peter or Paul. In both of these latter categories
the beardless, youthful type gradually grows less frequent, so that on Roman, Upper
Italian, and French sarcophagi the central Christ appears bearded, although in the
reliefs on their sides he wears no beard, the former representing the risen Lord and
the latter the earthly Savior. Originally a characteristic of the ascended Christ, the
beard was attributed to Jesus during his earthly ministry after the end of the fourth
or the beginning of the fifth century. The struggle between the two types is seen in
the mosaics of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo at Ravenna and of St. Michael, but the
earliest specimen of the bearded Christ is generally believed to be the socalled
Callistinian mosaic which was found in the catacomb of St. Domitilla. In conformity
with the manhood implied by the beard, the body increased in height and breadth,
while the features became more sharply defined as the bones gained in accentuation
over the flesh. The nose became longer and more prominent, and the eyes were
deeper and their pupils enlarged, while the angles of the nose and mouth were more
sharply outlined. The hair, while frequently less curling than hitherto, was now
represented as falling to the neck and shoulders, and was often parted in the middle.
The color both of the hair and of the beard varied through all shades from yellow to
gray and black. The upper lip was never clean-shaven, and the beard was sometimes
close and sometimes either pointed or rounded, the parted type being found only in
rudimentary form in early Christian art.
The bearded Christ represents the climax of the art of early Christianity, and the
fifth century ushered in a period of decay marked by all manner of exaggeration.
Majesty became stiffness, exaltation unapproachability, and earnestness gloom.
Thus the Christ of Saints Cosmas and Damian (q.v.) in Rome, dating from the sixth
century, is a figure with, long face, projecting cheek bones, ashen complexion,
attenuated nose, mane-like hair, and scanty beard.
It was the task of the Middle Ages to reduce the multiplicity of concepts of the
likeness of Christ to unity, a task which required centuries for its completion. The
Carolingian period saw a sort of fruitless recrudescence of the process of evolution
of the early Christian Period. Even during the Renaissance the beardless type
struggled for supremacy with the bearded, especially in miniatures and ivories, but
the former steadily lost ground, so that its last sporadic occurrence is a
Scandinavian Christ in glory of the thirteenth century, such pictures as the Piet༯i>
of Botticelli at Munich being mere anachronisms.
IV. Origin of the Pictures of Jesus:
While the theory may be advanced that the oldest pictures of Christ were based
either on works of art still more ancient or on tradition, it is practically certain that
they are not real portraits but ideal representations. This is clear both from their
extreme diversity and from the words of Augustine: "What his appearance was we
know not." The most primitive type, wherein early Christian and Gnostic
documents agree, is that of a boy or youth. The youthful vigor of the early Church
in religious and in moral thought, sustained by the belief in the second coming of the
Lord and strengthened by persecution, inspired the artist to depict the Christ as the
incarnation of undying youth, even as Noah, Job, Abraham, and Moses were
represented as beardless boys. Herein, too, lay the genesis of the concept of the Good
With the fourth and fifth centuries the bearded type was evolved side by side with
the beardless. The explanation of this change lies in the perfection, strength, and
manliness implied by the beard. The parted hair, on the other hand, which is
characteristic of the pictures of Christ in this period, especially in the mosaics,
typifies his earthly lineage and designates him as one of the children of Israel, since
of human beings only Jews and Judeo-Christians are represented with parted hair
in early Christian art. The theory, advanced by many scholars, that Greek religious
art influenced the various early Christian concepts of the personal appearance of
Christ seems to lack sufficient evidence to be in any wise conclusive.
In the 1930's, French Shroud scholar Paul Vignon described a series of common
characteristics visible in many early artistic depictions of Jesus. The Vignon
marking, as they are known, all appear on the Shroud suggesting that it is the
source of later pictures of Jesus.
Christ Pantocrator, c. 1100 from dome of Church at Daphni, near Athens. Note U at
bridge of nose, triangle on nose, raised right eyebrow, uneven hair, owlish eyes.
A square U-shape between the eyebrows.
A downward pointing triangle or V-shape just below the U-shape, on the bridge of
Two wisps of hair going downward and then to the right.
A raised right eyebrow.
Large, seemingly "owlish" eyes.
An accent on the left cheek and an accent on the right cheek that is somewhat lower.
A forked beard and hair parted in the middle, a custom of the Nazarenes.
Hair on one side of the head that is shorter than on the other side.
An enlarged left nostril.
An accent line below the nose and a dark line just below the lower lip.
A gap in the beard below the lower lip.
Draped clothing of white linen typical of the ancient Essenes.
The religious and political destruction of sacred images or monuments
Literally, iconoclasm is religious and political destruction of the sacred images or
monuments, usually (though not always) of another religious group. People who
destroy such images are called iconoclasts, while people who revere or venerate such
images are called iconodules.
In 725 the Emperor Leo III, ignoring the opposition of both Patriarch Germanus of
Constantinople and Pope Gregory II in Rome, ordered the removal of all icons from
the churches and their destruction. Nearly all ancient images of Jesus were
destroyed during the iconoclastic periods in the eighth and ninth centuries.
Table of Contents
1 Byzantine iconoclasm 1.1 The first iconoclastic period: 730-787 1.2 The second
iconoclastic period: 813-843 2 Islamic iconoclasm 3 Reformation iconoclasm
Just as in our own time there is controversy about icons, so was there dispute in the
early Church. Early critics of icons included Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria,
Minucius Felix and Lactancius. EUSEBIUS WAS NOT ALONE IN FEARING
THAT THE ART OF THE PAGAN WORLD CARRIED WITH IT THE SPIRIT
OF THE PAGAN WORLD WHILE OTHERS OBJECTED ON THE BASIS OF
OLD TESTAMENT RESTRICTIONS OF IMAGERY. CHRISTIANITY WAS,
AFTER ALL, BORN IN A WORLD IN WHICH MANY ARTISTS WERE
EMPLOYED DOING RELIGIOUS OR SECULAR WORK. IDOLATRY WAS A
NORMAL PART OF PAGAN RELIGIOUS LIFE. THUS WE FIND THAT IN
THE EARLY CENTURIES, IN THE MANY AREAS OF CONTROVERSY
AMONG CHRISTIANS, THERE WAS DIVISION ON QUESTIONS OF
RELIGIOUS ART AND ITS PLACE IN SPIRITUAL LIFE.
Byzantine Iconoclasm The first iconoclastic period: 730-787 Emperor Leo III the
Isaurian (reigned 717-741) banned the use of icons of Jesus, Mary, and the Saints
and commanded the destruction of these images in 730. The Iconoclastic
Controversy was fueled by the refusal of many Christians resident outside the
Byzantine Empire, including many Christians living in the Islamic Caliphate to
accept the emperor's theological arguments. St. John of Damascus was one of the
most prominent of these. Ironically, Christians living under Muslim rule at this time
had more freedom to write in defense of icons than did those living in the Byzantine
Empire. Leo was able to promulgate his policy because of his personal popularity
and military success - he was credited with saving Constantinople from an Arab
siege in 717-718 and then sustaining the Empire through annual warfare. The first
Iconoclastic period came to an end at the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, when the
veneration of icons was affirmed, although the worship of icons was expressly
forbidden. Among the reasons were the doctrine of the Incarnation: because God
the Son (Jesus Christ) took on flesh, having a physical appearance, it is now possible
to use physical matter to depict God the Son, and to depict the saints. Icon
veneration lasted through the reign of Empress Irene's successor, Nicephorus I
(reigned 802-811), and the two brief reigns after his. The second Iconoclastic
Emperor Leo V (reigned 813-820) instituted a second period of Iconoclasm in 813,
which seems to have been less rigorously enforced, since there were fewer
martyrdoms and public destructions of icons. Leo was succeeded by Michael II, who
was succeeded by his son, Theophilus II. Theophilus died leaving his wife Theodora
regent for his minor heir, Michael III. Like Irene 50 years before her, Theodora
mobilized the iconodules and proclaimed the restoration of icons in 843. Since that
time the first Sunday of Lent is celebrated in the churches of the Orthodox tradition
as the feast of the "Triumph of Orthodoxy". Islamic Iconoclasm
Because of the prohibition against figural decoration in mosques - not, as is often
said, a total ban on the use of images - Muslims have on occasion committed acts of
iconoclasm against the devotional images of other religions. An example of this is the
2001 destruction of frescoes and the monumental statues of the Buddha at Bamiyan
by the Taliban, an element of the Islamist movement. In a number of countries,
conquering Muslim armies tore down local temples and houses of worship, and built
mosques on their sites. The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem was built on top of the
remains of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Similar acts occurred in parts of north
Africa under Muslim conquest. In India, numerous former Buddhist monasteries
and Hindu temples were conquered and rebuilt as mosques. In recent years, some
Hindu nationalists have attempted to tear down these mosques, and replace them
with Hindu Temples. This is part of the current conflict today between Indian
Hindu nationalists and Indian Islamists. Reformation Iconoclasm
Some of the Protestant reformers encouraged their followers to destroy Catholic art
works by insisting that they were idols. Huldreich Zwingli and John Calvin
promoted this approach to the adaptation of earlier buildings for Protestant
worship. In 1562, some Calvinists destroyed the tomb of St. Irenaeus and the relics
inside, which had been under the altar of a church since his martyrdom in 202. The
Netherlands (including Belgium) were hit by a large wave of Protestant iconoclasm
in 1566. This is called the Beeldenstorm. Bishop Joseph Hall of Norwich described
the events of 1643 when troops and citizens, encouraged by a Parliamentary
ordinance against superstition and idolatry, behaved thus:
'Lord what work was here! What clattering of glasses! What beating down of walls!
What tearing up of monuments! What pulling down of seats! What wresting out of
irons and brass from the windows! What defacing of arms! What demolishing of
curious stonework! what tooting and piping upon organ pipes! And what a hideous
triumph in the market-place before all the country, when all the mangled organ pipes,
vestments, both copes and surplices, together with the leaden cross which had newly
been sawn down from the Green-yard pulpit and the service-books and singing books
that could be carried to the fire in the public market-place were heaped together'.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: The Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies. A Painter's Study of the
Likeness of Christ from the Time of the Apostles, London, 1903; A. N. Didron,
Iconographie chrenne. Histoire de Dieu, Paris, 1843; W. Grimm, Die Sage vom
Ursprung der Christusbilder, pp. 121-175, Berlin, 1844; Mrs. Jameson, History of
our Lord as Exemplified in Works of Art, 2 vols., London, 1872; A Hauck, Die
Entstehung des Christustypus in der abendl䮤ischen Kunst, Heidelberg, 1880; T.
Heaphy, Likeness of Christ, New York, 1886 (illustrations valuable); H. M. A.
Guerber, Legends of the Virgin and Christ, with Special Reference to . . . Art, ib.
1896; E. M. Hurll, Life of Our Lord in Art, Boson, 1898 (valuable); E. von
Dobsch Christusbilder, Leipsic, 1899; F. W. Farrar, Life of Christ as
Represented in Art, London, 1900; J. L. French, Christ in Art, Boston, 1900; F.
Johnson, Have We the Likeness of Christ, Chicago, 1903: J. Burns, The Christ Face
in Art, New York, 1907; J. S. Weis-Liebersdorf, Christus- und Apostelbilder,
Freiburg, 1902; J. Heil, Die fr ristlichen Darstellungen der Kreuzigung Christi,
Leipsice, 1904; K. M. Kaufmann, Handbuch der christlichen Arch䯬ogie,
Paderborn, 1905; G. A. M r, Die liebliche Gestalt Jesu Christ, nach der
schriftlichen und monumentalen Urtradition, Styria, 1909.