God has always been in the imagination of man; people imagine him/her according to their faiths and the social paradigms they exist in, and he/she takes the shape of their imaginations.
As a result the first Gods were forces of nature imagined as rulers, or even better, animals. For example: the carrion jackals of the Sahara became the harbingers of Death, and later Anubis, Death himself.
In Eastern India, God was imagined as a tree stump, something that was incomplete in itself, but completed everything else as a source of everything on Earth; he was called the lord of the universe, literally, Jagannath.
Jesus is the deity who by far has the most number of followers, and it is increasing especially in places like Korea and China. People have, for centuries, imagined him as a blonde-ish man of middle years and fair complexion, oftentimes with blue eyes and fair skin too.
This image stayed the longest in public imagination because of the simple fact that the Europeans, who would go on to conquer the Earth and take their [Son of] God with them to their new frontiers, imagined him in their own image.
But is that really what Jesus looked like. Even if I do not delve into Science, the answer to many people would be no; the Chinese imagine him and his apparel in a certain way, Indians do it in another and Africans another.
But the image I described of “our lord” would be the most common one, finding place in calendar art and even on film.
Now to the scientific answer to my previous question: No, probably not.
A couple of years ago, British scientists and Israeli archaeologists came together in one of the most brilliant of ways: they, using police forensic techniques would go on to recreate the face of Jesus Christ; well, someone who lived in the area at the point of time believed to be the time of Christ.
Richard Neave, one of the scientists in the study, is convinced that this is the limit of accuracy that can be achieved using the data at hand.
And this is not Neave’s first foray into something like this; it is by far the most controversial however.
He was the one who had previously reconstructed the faces of King Midas of Phrygia and King Phillip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great.
This study would fall under the broader field of palaeoanthropology, although this particular study combines studies from many more fields together with forensics and archaeology. The scientists took into account things like nutrition, habitation and social lives, in the first century AD, in then Judea.
The image is very different from what we understand to be Christ’s image with the slick hair, fair skin and well-groomed beard. But, the truth is that the latter image was propagated by the Romans, after Christianity was legalised in Rome in around 300 AD or so.
Check out the video with the explanation of the process of reconstruction that went into recreating the face.