Despite the Bible's descriptions explaining the Lord Jesus Christ's earthly lineage as a Jew from the house of David, many are still wondering how He could possibly look like, including His skin color. And because a significant portion of Christians are themselves white people, it comes as no surprise that they tend to depict Jesus as a white man. A recent survey in the U.K. shows this.
YouGov reported that while "The image of Christ as a man with white skin and blue eyes would appear to be at odds with what is likely, given the biblical account of his family hailing from the Middle East," people tend to think that Jesus Christ is or was indeed a white man. A survey showed that more than half or 58% said they usually see Jesus being depicted as white versus 22% who said they usually see Jesus being depicted as Middle Eastern.
The survey results are despite the fact that "a Middle Eastern Jesus is the one that makes most sense to Britons." The survey showed that two thirds or up to 68% of British people said it would be acceptable to depict Christ as having Middle Eastern racial characteristics, compared to only 9% who disagreed with this.
Meanwhile, 63% of Britons said it's acceptable for the Son of God to be depicted as being white, results that are similar to the same study conducted in America by YouGov USA last year. The differences in the responses come with the age demographic. The opinion is nearly identical across all ages for a Middle Eastern Jesus, but younger Britons are less accepting of a white Jesus. The survey showed that only 51% of 18-24 year olds and 61% of 25-49 year olds accepted a white Jesus, while 66-67% of those aged 50 and above accepted a white Jesus.
The survey also showed that British Christians are slightly more likely than the general public to say that it is acceptable to have a white Jesus (69%) versus the same number who said it is acceptable to have a Middle Eastern Jesus (68%). Meanwhile, ethnic minority Britons were substantially less likely to say that depicting Jesus as white was acceptable, with just 40%, versus 60% who said it was acceptable to depict Jesus as Middle Eastern.
According to History, the Bible says little about Jesus' physical appearance, instead talking about his roots as mentioned in the first four books of the New Testament, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These gospels said that Jesus was a "a Jewish man born in Bethlehem and raised in the town of Nazareth, in Galilee (formerly Palestine, now northern Israel) during the first century A.D."
Many scholars look to Revelation 1:14-15 as the only specific description of Jesus' physical features, as it said that Christ's hairs on his head "were white as white wool, white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace."