His hair is the colour of wine [probably meaning yellow' and golden at the root -- straight and without lustre -- but from the level of the ears curling and glossy, and divided down the centre after the fashion of the Nazarenes [Nazarites] . . . His beard is full, of the same colour as his hair, and forked in form: His eyes blue extremely brilliant. (Coming Together in the 21st Century, p. 55)DeYoung writes that the European portrayal of Jesus was culturally appropriate. The problem is, over time this depiction became dominant, and as such became useful in European colonial actions.
A white Jesus served the purpose of being God's stamp of approval on the actions of white people. Such an image was also useful for demonstrating that white people were superior to people of color by virtue of of the whiteness of Jesus. The propagation of white images of Jesus continues even into our own time through media portrayals in movies and television, as well as in the pictures of nearly every Bible produced for use around the world. (p. 55).Yes, there are some representations emerging, especially from the Global South, that are challenging this picture. But it still has a strong influence in how the Christian faith is perceived and understood. I invite your thoughts, and will add further posts over the next few days.