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Thursday, 1 April 2010

Jesus' appearance

At work this morning, and I frankly have neither the energy nor inclination to do any, so I have been reading the papers, online, love it! Haven't read a paper for a while and I was interested to see on Maundy Thursday how much religious input there would be in the press. Well, not much is the answer to that... But what I did find was interesting and a bit disturbing in places. Why is that some people (and quite often its non-believers) have an obsession with what Jesus actually looked like? I mean really, does it matter? Ok so we all have the traditional image of a young bearded man and then there are others who want to push the boundaires and suggest variations, usually based on 'scientific' or 'historical' fact that are way off this traditional image. I mean really, isn't all about the person he was? isn't that what he preached? It's about the person, the heart underneath - he didn't care if people were prostitiutes or lepers, he would speak to them, engage with them, heal them, it wasn't about what they looked like. So what is this obsession with how HE looked? Is it a science thing? trying to prove what he looked like? presumably so they can then disprove it also...?

I start on this because there's a bit in the press about the Turin Shroud, I guess because it is about to go on display again. There is, again, such obsession over whether it is real (and I will not go into that here..). Some American scientists (and I would like to say this is from yesterdays paper so it's not an April Fool) claim they have produced a 3D image of Christ, using the shroud as their reference point. see here:


Ok so in science terms this is quite a feat: using a 2D image they have created a 3D one, and I am not disputing that this is possible, but why? why spend all this time and presumably money, on an image that may not be Christ at all, just some other poor soul who was crucified (or maybe not even that, although I believe current thinking has 'proved' that it is a shroud of someone who has been crucified).
More here:

And of course then there are the comments too, that follow all online articles. Those who so ardently have to prove their point, and usually do so by alienating themselves to the rest of the readership. For example:

'Duh! cynical attempt to restore some credibility for the church by using a known (but famous) fake to stir the gullible masses. The surprising thing is the masses still ARE so gullible'

'Is there anybody in the world more gullible than a religious person? They'll believe anything. '

Frankly I find this offensive (although not surprising). I am a well-eduated woman, who has more than an ounce of intelligence. I will not 'believe anything', quite the opposite in fact. If I want to know about a subject I look into it, research it, and only form an opinion when I know all there is to know. Faith is not about being gullible, on the contrary it is about believing 'The ultimate Truth'. Surely it's far more gullible to believe the lies of the enemy, espceially when they aren't questioning them...? I liked this comment though:

'Wow, I'm amazed at the hatefulness and vulgarity spewed in these comments... It seems that if a fake image of Jesus can get under people's skin, it's pretty indicative of the spiritual battle going on in their hearts. '

So, then, does it matter what He looked like? It certainly seems to bother the unbelievers....

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