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Jack Ryan

Painting Bible Characters as White People

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We used to draw them very, very white. I remember when a very handsome white brother with "Christopher Reeves" (Superman) like features came to Bethel in 1977, and the head of the Art Dept asked if we thought we could get him to be the new "model" for Jesus. I admit that it never occurred to me that he would be wrong for the part. A previous white brother who had been used as the model had been from our home congregation back in the mid 1960's, up until about 1968. He's on the Mount of Olives teaching the disciples on a calendar, and appeared in another calendar and a couple of Watchtower covers. 

The brother who had been the "Superman" model was changed to someone who actually has some slightly mideastern features, but it is definitely a compromise. (The "Be My Follower" cover.) If you looked without knowing the changes over the years, you'd say he was still white, perhaps Italian. But if you were even more used to the older models, you'd notice that there has been a purposeful transition.

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It is a good few years now that an effort has been made to "un-white" them. Just check the publications carefully. Of course an effort has also been made to diversify the models being used. Good comment by JWInsider.

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Usually Black Israelites take issue with this, on the other side of the spectrum, we have people who see Jesus and or others in the Bible portrayed as Asian, Hispanic, etc.

 

There's no problem with the portrayal but to throw a hissy-fit over such, I ask, build yourself a time machine and find out.

That being said, if you exposed such ones they will scream at you, calling you an Edomite or sons and daughters of Esau.

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Well 7 of the 8 GB are American, and 7 of the 8 GB are white. 

As for how each of us see Jesus in our hearts and minds, well I would think we see him in a very positive way, so colour doesn't matter. 

But it doesn't show much 'guidance from God' does it, if the GB have always pictured Jesus and His followers as white ? 

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If people are going to blame racism, then blame humanity and the early Church fathers for making Jesus white in their own image. Jesus while having 14 generations of lineage, was not as dark as some modern people like to imagine him. While it can be conceivable that Jesus skin tone matched the traits of the surrounding Jews, (olive brown) he was still considered a little lighter than that since Nazarene’s were just that. Racism even for clarification doesn’t belong in a Christian world. Discussing church behavior makes it even less Christian. Matthew 1:1-17 gives everyone a clue as to the diverse lineage of Jesus.

    Hello guest!

    Hello guest!

The other factor that is misconstrued, Certain Africans believe Jesus was black because of the misunderstanding of Jesus travels into Africa, not being born there.

    Hello guest!

This is why racism never factored into the Watchtower until it became a point of contention for society. This is when the Watchtower decided to show the diversity of Jesus lineage, by having a universal look into humanity. The thing to remember is not Jesus skin tone, but what he represents and what his sacrifice accomplished. Racism is the devil's work, not Christ. This is what should be in a Christian mind, always. ?

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@Hankulan Tunani Just be watchful of those who are quick to say something crazy, like screaming and calling you Edomite. I remember there are those who say that also believe that the Holocaust never happen, and are very critical to those who are aware of the history.

There's also another they speak of also, King David, son of Jesse, for there are people who debate about not just his skin color, but his hair.

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10 hours ago, Space Merchant said:

There's no problem with the portrayal but to throw a hissy-fit over such, I ask, build yourself a time machine and find out.

I built a time machine in my front yard. One gate goes into the past and one to the future.  It took me a year and a half to run the underground cables and the post uplinks, and encase the wiring in concrete.

Now all I need is a 1.21gigawatt power supply, and get my front yard up to 88 miles per hour.

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@James Thomas Rook Jr. Well then, you are tasked to go back in time and figure out what Jesus and everyone else actually looks like. But you'd have to be very, very careful not to cause a time paradox. Anything silly you do in the past, surely, God will know when/should you return.

 

Just do not make contact with Jesus' robe otherwise what played out in Luke 8:45 (Mark 5:30-34) will take place, then you'll have a problem, when you are the only one among the crowd who speaks a language they have never heard of (Jesus might be able to understand you) - English.

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