Okay. So I have this thing about Christianity… Aside from the incest, slavery, selling children, murder and when one thinks of Jesus, one thinks of a long haired hippie-like dude, aglow with divine awesomeness. But given what he was, where he was (in the historical record,) a Jewish man with long hair would have been considered ungodly. These images of Jesus as we have them in the Western world, are the result of the Conference of Nicea and European influences.
Here’s my thing: if they (the church in all it’s diverse glory) cannot get an approximation of what he would have historically looked like, then how can I know that the acts attributed to Jesus are in fact his words and actions, and not the creative imaginings of a follower pushing their own agenda, like creating a Jesus depiction to suit European tastes?
I’ve been reading the Gnostic Gospels lately, and watching a lot of documentaries about the early church, in preparation of a novel I’m writing.
Once upon a time, when Jesus was alive, he encouraged women to be ministers. Some of his followers were not real keen on that idea (coughcough*Peter*cough), believing a woman’s place is in the kitchen or on her back popping out babies, and THAT became the status quo for a very long time. There are frescoes in a Roman catacomb that show a woman in priestly vestments.
If this one, simple lesson of Jesus, that women are able to reason and give insight to God and publicly pass that down to others, got smudged in history by those who believed in a patriarchal society, how can one find any solace in a faith that ignores basic teachings of its lauded leader?
I do believe the historical Jesus of Nazareth. He was a person who lived and was crucified on the cross by the Roman authority.
Some people may think that I nitpick too much in regards to things like appearance. But to me, the whole Christian message has been corrupted by the interpretations of others. If Peter’s knickers were in such a wad over Mary Magdalen’s participation in the early ministry was such that she ended up being reviled as a whore for over a thousand years, welk, one could easily see that the message of reform Jesus tried to share with the world at large was intercepted and corrupted by his own ardent follower who also became the first Pope.
Now, I realize everyone has their own interpretation of Christianity and the Bible. For me, I see so much political motivation for reform.
Tangent: after high school I went to art school. I was a photographer, I did not draw worth a shit, which is why I took pictures. I could draw a mean stick figure, and that’s about it.
Last week I felt inspired, and began sketching out what I think Jesus would look like in the historical sense. To me, it makes sense that he would have close cropped hair of a dark color, being that he was a Jew in the Middle East. He would also have a swathy skin tone and dark eyes.
Now, for those who may be upset with how it may feel that I dismiss their Lord and Savior, I hope they would be reminded that Jesus often entertained those who did not share the same beliefs as he did. He was known to hang out with Gentiles, so don’t judge me on my own views… you are entitled to your beliefs as I am to mine, and I would really hate for the atheist to be the one showing more tolerance then those who wish to remind me of my own fate awaiting me in Hell. It’s not very Christ-like to wish Hell on another.
Especially at Christmas.
And so with that, I wish you each a happy holiday, a great New Year, and made the warmth of spring reach you sooner than later.