Historical Jesus Christ
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Historical Jesus Christ
Page 32

Real Person?

Mary Mother of JesusThe holy innocence, Jesus Christ, who was always one with the Father, came to personally dwell in a young woman (called a virgin) named Mary. Mary's name in the original manuscripts of the New Testament was based on her original Aramaic name "Maryam or Mariam," both of which appear in the New Testament. In the Orthodox Church, the three main titles for Mary used are Theotokos "God-bearer" or loosely "Mother of God," Aeiparthenos or "Ever-virgin" and Panagia or "All-holy." An angelic messenger told Mary in Luke 1.35, "the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." Jesus, the child of Mary, was the very first personal body of Christ.

The Body of Christ

Body of ChristSaint Paul interchanges the term "body of Christ" in 1 Corinthians 12.12 with the name, "Christ." He wrote, "Just as a body, though one, has many parts, all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ." In his mind, the work and presence of the historical person Jesus is succeeded by the Body of Christ. When Jesus Christ ascended to the Heavens, the Body of Christ continued and today works on earth in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Historical Person

Jesus PictureWhat was Jesus really like as a historical person? Was he lanky or smallish, smiling or glum? Does it even matter to us? Strangely, there is little in the New Testament of a physical description of the historical appearance of Jesus. With the exception of the birth narratives and the one story of the twelve-year-old Jesus lingering in the Temple, there is hardly anything of his childhood either. John the Baptist however traditionally described Jesus as "rather bald but with a thick, flowing beard." Saint James is alleged to have written that his brother Jesus was, "a young man whose beard was just beginning." Wikipedia writes, "As a Jew in 1st century Judea, Jesus probably looked like a typical Judean man of his time. Research on ancient skeletons in Israel suggests that Judeans of the time were biologically closer to Iraqi Jews than any other contemporary population, and thus in terms of physical appearance the average Judean of the time would have likely had dark brown to black hair, olive skin, and brown eyes. Judean men of the time period were on average about 5 feet 5 inches in height. Scholars have also suggested that it is likely Jesus had short hair and a trim beard, in accordance with Jewish practices of the time." The earliest depictions of Jesus from the Roman catacombs depict him as free of facial hair. Who knows?

"Historical Jesus Christ"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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