Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

'Cross' shows Jesus as being a black man
Yahoo News ^ | October 25, 2006 | SANDY COHEN,

Posted on 10/25/2006 6:22:33 PM PDT by Nachum

LOS ANGELES - It's a familiar image for millions of Christians: Jesus Christ, with a crown of thorns, hanging from the cross. What color is he? In a controversial new film opening Friday, he is black.

"Color of the Cross" tells a traditional story, focusing on the last 48 hours of his life as told in the Gospels. In this version, though, race contributes to his persecution.

It is the first representation in the history of American cinema of Jesus as a black man.

"It's very important because (the film) is going to provide an image of Jesus for African-Americans that is no longer under the control of whites," says Stephenson Humphries-Brooks, an associate professor of religious studies at New York's Hamilton College and author of "Cinematic Savior: Hollywood's Making of the American Christ."

What Jesus looked like has long been debated by theologians around the world. Different cultures have imagined him in different ways, says Stephen Prothero, chairman of the religion department at Boston University. In Japan, Jesus looks Japanese. In Africa, he is black. But in America he is almost always white, like the fair-haired savior painted by Leonardo Da Vinci in "The Last Supper" in 1495.

While some black churches have images of a black Jesus behind the altar and others have claimed Christ was black, Prothero says "none of those arguments or images have filtered much into the mainstream."

Filmmaker Jean Claude LaMarre set out to change that with "Color of the Cross." LaMarre, who plays Jesus, wrote, directed and financed the film. It will open in 30 theaters in predominantly black neighborhoods.

"Black people in this country are the only race of people who worship a god outside their own image," says LaMarre, 38, adding that showing Christ as a black man is "the most poignant way to deal with the issue of race in this country because it goes to the heart of how we look at the world."

It also provides a positive image of blacks, something that's been scant in the U.S., says the Rev. Cecil "Chip" Murray, longtime leader of L.A.'s First African Methodist Episcopal Church and a producer of the film.

"It could be revolutionary because, for four centuries in our nation, blacks have been at the lowest end of the stratum," he says. "I think it will traumatize the United States more than it will foreign nations who, to some extent, don't have a centuries-old concept of equating black with negativity."

Humphries-Brooks agrees. Other countries are likely to view the film "in a more detached manner," he says, "because of the way (they) see our race-relations problem."

Why does race matter in the story of Christ?

"Jesus isn't in the hands of historians," Prothero says. "What we have now is our own debate and, in that debate, race has to be a factor because race is a big predicament in American life."

Film is a powerful place to have the discussion, says Humphries-Brooks, who calls the medium "one of the last places that is quasi-public for the formation of values in America."

"Artistic and aesthetic views are as important in developing religious values as the words we speak. Everybody goes to the movies. Not everybody goes to the same church."

Filmmaker LaMarre thinks the film can only have a positive effect.

"The message is that color, a colored Jesus Christ, doesn't matter," he says. "That's why the movie is important. When you have one prevailing image out there, it suggests color does matter."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: blackman; cross; jesus
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-206 next last
To: NorCalRepub
Historically this is the "smartest" state

The most arrogant but hardly the smartest.

101 posted on 10/25/2006 7:46:19 PM PDT by chesty_puller (USMC 70-73 3MAF VN 70-71)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 58 | View Replies]

To: El Gato
The fertile crescent was the crossroads of the world. Dozens of invasions and occupiers over millenia.

Tradition says that Jesus had blue eyes.....
102 posted on 10/25/2006 7:47:39 PM PDT by wodinoneeye
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

""The message is that color, a colored Jesus Christ, doesn't matter," he says."

Truth matters.


103 posted on 10/25/2006 7:48:36 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Truth makes right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Trueblackman
I agree, the color of Jesus does not matter, I accept him whether he is black, red, yellow or white.
104 posted on 10/25/2006 7:49:00 PM PDT by coon2000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: The Ghost of FReepers Past
Okay. So next shall me make a Chinese Jesus?

No, no. I say outsource his job (that of being a God) to India!

105 posted on 10/25/2006 7:51:14 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Cicero
Jesus was crucified because of his race. The Romans had only contempt for the Jews. Of course, he was turned over to the Romans by his own people. Wonder what color the Romans are in this imaging of the events?
106 posted on 10/25/2006 7:52:42 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of Man. He can be any color or all colors, it comes with the territory.


107 posted on 10/25/2006 7:54:26 PM PDT by jwalsh07
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rightwingintelligentsia

What color are the ROMANS in this film? Lily white (and therefore "evil"?!?!)


108 posted on 10/25/2006 7:54:28 PM PDT by Ciexyz (Satisfied owner of a 2007 Toyota Corolla.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: loboinok
The greatest problem with the Social Club Churches is not about the ethnicity of Jesus, but their denial of the fact that he came as the sacrificial lamb, to once and for all be the final sacrifice.

Those chapters of lineage were intended to map the route from the promise of a Messiah, to his actual arrival. The only lineage that matters one iota, is the lineage of Jesus to his Father, God Almighty.
109 posted on 10/25/2006 7:54:33 PM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (I predict a Rep victory so painful to dems, that we are charged with animal cruelty to jackasses.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 88 | View Replies]

To: oneamericanvoice

The truth is that none of the Gospels give us even a hint about what Jesus looked like. I think. however, that Daviv is said to have red, curly hair, and one migh assume, blue eyes. Can't say where thisw cqme from, though.


110 posted on 10/25/2006 7:55:33 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 103 | View Replies]

To: mkjessup
Jesus is the color of Love

A-hunka, hunka, burnin' love, at that!


111 posted on 10/25/2006 7:56:20 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: chesty_puller

/...the arrogance goes to the Texas fellow who started this whole debate by an unintelligent rationalization .... My other posts speak for themselves...and to be honest... it is usually you guys that pick the first fight....rarely the other way around.....so the arrogance thing...or more so "chip on your shoulder" for some reason makes it necessary to attack another state...not sure why


112 posted on 10/25/2006 7:58:40 PM PDT by NorCalRepub
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 101 | View Replies]

To: The_Reader_David

Most beautiful religious artwork. (Post 99)


113 posted on 10/25/2006 7:58:45 PM PDT by Ciexyz (Satisfied owner of a 2007 Toyota Corolla.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 99 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
He's black in Ethiopia, a historically Christian nation.

Traditional Ethiopian image of Jesus

114 posted on 10/25/2006 7:58:46 PM PDT by Map Kernow ("I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing" ---Thomas Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
There is a fine historical precedent for this.
No difference!


115 posted on 10/25/2006 7:59:19 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Prophet in the wilderness
Jesus was a Jew...

There are only three possible choices for race. Jew is not one of them.

While Jesus was indeed a Jew, that is not a race, but an ethnicity.

116 posted on 10/25/2006 8:02:21 PM PDT by elkfersupper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
This oughta settle the question.


117 posted on 10/25/2006 8:05:22 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: humblegunner

Pretty funny, lol!


118 posted on 10/25/2006 8:06:49 PM PDT by TAdams8591
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: OldArmy94

I have a picture of the virgin Mary next to my desk. In it she is hold the baby Jesus, is about 16 or 17 and is an American Indian.

I like the picture because it reminds me (I am white) that out of one of the most exclusive religions sprang forth the most encompassing one. We are not man, or woman, free or slave, Jew or gentile, just children of God.

If portraying Jesus as white, black, Hispanic, Asian or green with red stripes helps someone develop a closer more personal relationship with God, so be it.


119 posted on 10/25/2006 8:07:49 PM PDT by dpa5923 (Small minds talk about people, normal minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

120 posted on 10/25/2006 8:08:32 PM PDT by Zeon Cowboy ("Show me just what Muhammad brought... and there you will find things only evil and inhuman.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

If the most presing concern they have is that Jesus phyically resemble them, then they don't get it and they have larger issues they need to address.

He wasn't blue eyed, with blond hair and a perfectly bronzed tan.

Neither was he black.

Get over it people and actually read the message he was trying to give you instead.


121 posted on 10/25/2006 8:08:58 PM PDT by Soul Seeker (Kobach: Amnesty is going from an illegal to a legal position, without imposing the original penalty.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #122 Removed by Moderator

To: Nachum
LOS ANGELES - It's a familiar image for millions of Christians: Jesus Christ, with a crown of thorns, hanging from the cross. What color is he? In a controversial new film opening Friday, he is black.

So does this mean that suddenly chr*stianity is a "good" religion and liberals have to respect it?

123 posted on 10/25/2006 8:10:49 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator ('Elleh toledot Noach, Noach 'ish tzaddiq tamim hayah bedorotayv; 'et Ha'Eloqim hithallekh Noach.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
Jesus probably looked like THIS guy:


124 posted on 10/25/2006 8:12:09 PM PDT by Clemenza (I have such a raging clue!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
"It's very important because (the film) is going to provide an image of Jesus for African-Americans…

This is nothing new. I’ve seen images of Jesus as Black in African American churches for a long time.

I think image could be the operative word here. The New Testament, if taken as a purely historical document, it clearly states that Jesus was a Jew, not just religiously but also ethnically as descendent of the House of David.

But if the Christian concept of the Holy Trinity and man created in the image of God holds meaning to the faithful, then it would make sense for God; Father and Son to bear a physical resemblance common to the believer and I see nothing wrong with that.

"The message is that color, a colored Jesus Christ, doesn't matter," he says…

If he’s talking about image and perception based on spirituality and not a historical perspective, then he’s right. But if color doesn’t matter then what’s the point?

…is almost always white, like the fair-haired savior painted by Leonardo Da Vinci in "The Last Supper" in 1495.

Historically Jesus was a Jew and physically would have resembled the characteristics and features common among Jews of his time and geographical region. He would probably not have been blond and blue eyed but the historical Jesus probably didn’t look like a Namibian either.

Some believe that the Egyptians were Black including Cleopatra, but Cleopatra was neither Egyptian nor Black, she was actually Greek.

Yet if it is right for modern day Black Christians to express their image of Jesus as Black, then what is wrong with Europeans of the 15th Century expressing their image of Jesus as looking much like themselves?

…race has to be a factor because race is a big predicament in American life."

This is where he looses me. Race and religion was a factor from a historical perspective then but only because the historical Jesus posed a threat to the Jewish religious establishment and to a lesser extent the Roman ruling authority that supported the existing Jewish establishment who supported Roman rule; the Romans not really caring what religion anyone practiced as long as one paid taxes and paid homage to the State – much like today.

But as a Jew bucking the religious status quo and as a non-Roman, his following posed a threat to the established orders, but not because he was an African Black skinned person. He was not persecuted based only on the color of his skin.

I think it’s OK for Blacks to draw some spiritual analogies here, as they often do with the enslavement of the Isralites in Egypt, but I think it’s a stretch from a historical perspective to think that Jesus was executed because he had a Black skin. His execution was not a “lynching” of a Black man analogous to the lynching of Black men in the post Civil War in the US.
125 posted on 10/25/2006 8:13:10 PM PDT by Caramelgal (Too annoyed right now for a tagline. Check back later.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The_Reader_David

Thank you! May I know the source of the information, as I am a history enthusiast. Thanks again.


126 posted on 10/25/2006 8:13:12 PM PDT by hardworking (Just once, I'd like to vote for a candidate who's actually had to meet a payroll.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 99 | View Replies]

To: hardworking
Jesus was a Jew from the Middle East. Pretty easy to guess what color he was..

And man, imagine his NOSE!

That is the single funniest post I have read in a long time!!!

127 posted on 10/25/2006 8:17:32 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator ('Elleh toledot Noach, Noach 'ish tzaddiq tamim hayah bedorotayv; 'et Ha'Eloqim hithallekh Noach.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

This piece of commercial trash is nothing more than an "entertainment vehicle" aspitring to "blockbuster" status, whose script and pre-screenings have been focusgrouped to death, and which is targeted at a particular segment of the movie going audience that the bean counters in Hollyweird expect to respond and swallow the hook. Who might that be? I'd say, blacks (of course) but also guilt-ridden urban whites, religious and non-religious, as well as mindless new-agers (all of them white, as we know!) Whatever, that's only my guess, and you can bet that the money people have those expectations scientifically charted out.


128 posted on 10/25/2006 8:18:10 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Petronski

I am with you....It doesn't matter.

That said logically, he was most probably pigmented similarly to others native to that region. Thus not European or African or Asian, but Jewish. Yep, my Savior was a jew (what would OBL say?).

But to me, it is so much rubbish to worry about the skin color of the Son of God who died for my sins. I am just thankful he did.


129 posted on 10/25/2006 8:18:22 PM PDT by Lawdoc (Pray for our troops and our President. Also, Vote Early, Vote Often!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: RobbyS

The Romans weren't really racist in the modern sense. In fact, the City of Rome appears to have been founded by a mixed gang of exiles and outlaws from a number of different tribes. They had to invent their own tribes in the early years in order to run the city as they felt it should be run.

They took slaves, like everyone else, but it wasn't a racial issue. And eventually Britons and Gauls could become Romans.

The Jews were different because they were stubborn about their religion. And they wanted to crucify Jesus because they thought his claim to be the Messiah was blasphemous.

Pontius Pilate had to agree for political reasons, because if he didn't go along he would have lost his job, accused by the Jews of being soft on revolutionaries.


130 posted on 10/25/2006 8:18:40 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 106 | View Replies]

To: Cicero

P.S. Jews could become Roman citizens, too, and many of them were.

St. Paul was a Roman citizen, which was why he had to be taken back to Rome to be judged.


131 posted on 10/25/2006 8:20:09 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 130 | View Replies]

To: CWOJackson
Directed by Mel Gibson, starring Danny Glover as JC.

Lethal Weapon VI.

132 posted on 10/25/2006 8:21:57 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (But a new wind was about to blow...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
It's a familiar image for millions of Christians: Jesus Christ, with a crown of thorns, hanging from the cross. What color is he? In a controversial new film opening Friday, he is black.

Controversial? In Asia, he's Asian, In Africa, Black, (take your pick between tall slender East African or stocky thick built West African. In Europe, you have more choices -- blue eyed Scandinavian or olive skinned Mediterranean or many shades in between.

It's nothing new. Depictions to fit with the local culture is as old as Christianity. Christ has been depicted as virtually every race and ethnicity, and unlike Mohamed, Christ does not care if or how we depict Him. And if we care, we are totally missing His message.

133 posted on 10/25/2006 8:22:40 PM PDT by Ditto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jorge

White hair and skin, fire colored eyes...

Was Jesus an albino???


134 posted on 10/25/2006 8:23:37 PM PDT by stands2reason (Setec Astronomy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Nachum; mhking

BTTT.


135 posted on 10/25/2006 8:25:08 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (But a new wind was about to blow...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cicero

The Roman's weren't racist in the modern sense, but they certainly thought of the Jews as a separate race. But their slavery was a matter of taking the spoils of war. There were slaves of every race. In our culture, only the blacks were thought of as a servile race. Sort of the same way that the English though of the Irish.


136 posted on 10/25/2006 8:25:50 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 130 | View Replies]

To: NorCalRepub

I was joking...;)


137 posted on 10/25/2006 8:26:34 PM PDT by ECM (Government is a make-work program for lawyers.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 52 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

Jesus was a homeboy and dog is my copilot!


138 posted on 10/25/2006 8:26:37 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cicero
That's not a problem. But if the film pretends that Jesus was condemned because of racial tensions, then that's another matter. That would be a significant falsification, unless I misunderstand what theya are suggesting.

If they are saying that he was killed due solely or primarily to racial prejudice, that's a distortion. But most religious conflicts have, or develop, an ethnic component. The Romans almost certainly looked different from the Jews, and it wouldn't surprise me if the Pharisees were lighter-skinned, or otherwise had distinct features, from other groups of Jews. Most cultures with a caste system base it in part on appearance, because otherwise it would be too easy to "pass."

Not to mention that half of Jesus' genes came directly from God the Father, so there's no reason to believe he was the exact same hue as Mary. It's a detail as unimportant as whether he was short or tall. If Jesus didn't look like Jean-Claude LaMarre (pictured), he almost certainly didn't look like Jim Caviezel, either.

If the movie doesn't distort the central message of Christ's sacrifice, and helps bring it to a new audience, I don't see the problem. Just as I didn't have a problem with The Last Temptation of Christ or The Passion. Looking at the peripheral questions in new ways to find new insight or bring a new audience to the central message of the Gospels is as old as Christianity itself.

139 posted on 10/25/2006 8:33:10 PM PDT by ReignOfError
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Zionist Conspirator

That is the single funniest post I have read in a long time!!!

I must admit that, as a member of that heritage, and a parent who has paid for a nose job or two....I felt it was OK to make the comment ;)


140 posted on 10/25/2006 8:35:15 PM PDT by hardworking (Just once, I'd like to vote for a candidate who's actually had to meet a payroll.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 127 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

He would look the same dark color as the Jews in Israel today, he would not look like a Zulu IMO.

That said, makes no difference what color he was.


141 posted on 10/25/2006 8:38:04 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Ghost of FReepers Past

I agree...
Jesus is timeless, not of any one race, culture or country... Jesus was here for all mankind (and for those who need to hear it... womankind as well).
The point of Jesus' sacrifice is truly lost on those who would rather be consumed by debating the color of his skin.


142 posted on 10/25/2006 8:45:44 PM PDT by antceecee (Western countries really aren't up to winning this war on terror... it might offend the terrorists.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Prophet in the wilderness
Here is a painting done by a artist back in the 1930s who got his inspiration and image from the Shroud of Turin.

The shroud itself is far from authoritative. If it was fabricated -- or even embellished or interpreted -- solely by Europeans, there's an innate bias there. That said, that portrait looks as much Arab as European to me.

Jesus was a Jew... not African, nor Anglo, but, Jewish.

There's a lot of variation there. There are, in fact, African Jews, Anglo Jews and all manner of others.

Ethiopia had one of the oldest documented Jewish communities on Earth; most of them emigrated to Israel a few years back. Just in the last week or two, a colony of Jews in India was allowed to emigrate to Israel. They, also, have a long and documented history. The "lost tribes" aren't a new idea, and who are we to say where they'd turn up?

143 posted on 10/25/2006 8:46:05 PM PDT by ReignOfError
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

Comment #144 Removed by Moderator

Comment #145 Removed by Moderator

To: A CA Guy
He would look the same dark color as the Jews in Israel today, he would not look like a Zulu IMO.

Why on Earth would you think that? The Jewish population in Israel today is an admixture of every population the Jews blended into in the centuries when they lacked a homeland. You have Sephardic Jews who mingled with the Spanish and Portuguese, Ashkenazic Jews who were in Central Europe, and prominent figures like Natan Sharansky, whose first name as Anatoly before he escaped the USSR.

That said, makes no difference what color he was.

True. So if it wasn't a distortion to make him look like Ted Nugent, it's also not a distortion to make him look like Bob Marley.

146 posted on 10/25/2006 8:58:17 PM PDT by ReignOfError
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 141 | View Replies]

To: ReignOfError

Christ was a Jewish Rabbi, so he would have looked like them.
No matter where the various Jews came from today, they started in Israel and a lot more area like most of Egypt that used to be theirs as well.

The Middle Eastern Jews would be tan, not light skinned or black.


147 posted on 10/25/2006 9:11:42 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 146 | View Replies]

To: ReignOfError
Hey wait, Christ was Filipino.


148 posted on 10/25/2006 9:17:15 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 146 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
What next? A female Jesus so women will have someone to identify with? There is no black or white, male or female with Jesus. He is God.
149 posted on 10/25/2006 9:19:29 PM PDT by Drango (Earth first, we'll strip-mine the other planets later!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

In related news, Touchstone Pictures announced a new film about the life of Mohamed starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Although most of the world knows the image of the Prophet as a serious man with a bomb for a turban, immortalized in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, DiCaprio hopes to put a lighter, more feminine touch to the founder of the world's scariest religion. As for Touchstone, they just hope that the Prophet means Profit.


150 posted on 10/25/2006 9:33:36 PM PDT by adam_smith_76
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-206 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson