What Did Jesus Look Like? Answered!

By Charalampos •  Updated: 03/16/23 •  6 min read

Many people wonder what Christ looked like. Do the generally accepted images and icons of Christ look similar to his real appearance?

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most widely accepted theories about Jesus’ physical appearance and present evidence from Scripture that helps paint a clearer picture.

What Do We Know About The Appearance of Jesus?

Jesus's appearance

There is no concrete evidence to suggest what Jesus actually looked like, many artists and writers have attempted to depict him based on various sources, including the Bible and historical records.

The Book of Revelation

One of the most widely accepted descriptions of Jesus comes from the New Testament book of Revelation, where it describes Jesus as having hair “white like wool, as white as snow,” eyes “like blazing fire,” and feet “like bronze glowing in a furnace” (Revelation 1:14-15).

However, the description corresponds to the ascension of Christ, that is, after his death, and not during his lifetime. Also, the description from the passage is filled with metaphors, which means it doesn’t have to be taken literally.

In Psalm 44:2-3 the Messiah is described as “more beautiful than the sons of men”.

Most likely, Christ really was very beautiful and stood out from the crowd.

In fact, the New Testament doesn’t have any direct physical descriptions of Jesus, and it is unclear what his actual physical appearance may have been. Additionally, the description in Revelation may have been intended to represent Jesus’ divinity rather than his physical features.

Read Also: What Did Jesus Wear?

Ethnicity of Jesus

Ethnicity of Jesus

The Bible doesn’t hide that Christ was a Jew, his entire genealogy is known and the fact that the Messiah will be born among the Jewish people was predicted in the Old Testament.

When the Samaritan woman called him a Jew (John 4:9) He didn’t deny his belonging to the Jewish community.

At that time, being a Jew meant practicing Judaism, and Jesus also observed all Jewish traditions.

Jews of those times had dark, often curly hair, the skin could also have a Mediterranean hue. Light eyes are also uncharacteristic of the Jewish people, although there may be exceptions.

Despite the lack of concrete evidence, many people have attempted to piece together what Jesus may have looked like. 

For example, it’s likely that Jesus would have looked similar to other Jewish men of his time and place. Some scholars suggest that he may have had dark skin and curly hair, as this is common among people of Middle Eastern descent.

Jesus As A Carpenter

In addition, in the Bible is written that Jesus was a carpenter before He began his ministry. This means that He had a strong and muscular build, as well as strong hands and arms because of working with wood.

There are also some cultural factors that influenced Jesus’ appearance. For example, during the time that Jesus lived, it was common for Jewish men to wear beards and long hair.

This was considered a symbol of their faith and devotion to God. Additionally, Jewish men typically wore tunics or robes, which were simple and modest in design.

Overall, while there is no definitive answer to what Jesus looked like, it’s likely that He had a physical appearance that was typical of Jewish men in the first century.

He may have had dark or olive skin, curly long hair, and a strong build, and he would have likely dressed in modest clothing.

Also in the Bible, the clothes of other people are shown, for example, the clothes of John the Baptist, which were very modest but practical. We can assume that Christ used the same clothes.

How Do People Depict Jesus?

Jesus in a mosaic

Artists, writers, and scholars continue to imagine what Jesus may have looked like, based on their own interpretations of history and culture.

One famous example is the painting “The Head of Christ” by Warner Sallman. This painting, which was first created in 1940, depicts Jesus with long brown hair, a neatly trimmed beard, and gentle, compassionate eyes. The painting has become an iconic image of Jesus in Western culture, and it continues to be reproduced and used in churches and homes.

In this picture, we can see that Christ has some Jewish facial features, but often in Western countries, Christ is depicted as blue-eyed, with light almost blonde hair and with light skin.

In general, the image of Christ similar to the ethnic origin of the people where this image is located is traditional. For example, in Africa, Christ could be depicted as an African. In Armenia, Christ is depicted either as in the West or they draw him with obvious Armenian facial features.

Read Also: Did Jesus Have A Tattoo?

Orthodox Point of View on Jesus’s Appearance

Orthodoxy in this regard doesn’t succumb to this influence and most of the icons show Jesus realistically, He has dark hair, dark skin, and dark eyes. The same applies to the depiction of the Virgin Mary and all saints in Orthodoxy, their ethnic origin has never been hidden.

An example of an image of Christ is an icon of the Christ Pantocrator of St. Catherine’s Monastery at Sinai where Jesus has very dark hair and black eyes. He also has a beard and mustache. His skin has an olive hue. This is one of the oldest icons and it was an example of the image of Christ for all other traditions of depiction.

Another famous example is the “Shroud of Turin,” which is believed by some to be a burial cloth that was used to wrap Jesus’ body after his crucifixion.

The shroud features an image of a man with long hair and a beard, which some people believe to be a physical representation of Jesus.

The height of Christ was calculated as about 178-180 centimeters, which was tall for that time.

Final Thoughts

The physical appearance of Jesus is not as important as his teachings and message. Regardless of what he looked like, Jesus’ teachings of love, compassion, and forgiveness continue to inspire and guide millions of people around the world.

We can say for sure that Jesus was a Jew, which means he was unlikely to be blond and didn’t have very white skin or light eyes.

We can also be sure that his hair was long enough, at least to his shoulders, his physique wasn’t weak, and he also had a beard.


Charalampos is an Orthodox Christian who wants to help others learn about Christianity. His main goal is to help people understand the Bible and how to apply its teachings in their everyday lives. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, and hiking.

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