Did Jesus have African heritage?

Anita Durairaj

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Throughout Western history in the form of art, writing, and sermon, Jesus has mostly been depicted as white. However, by the 19th century, writers were depicting Jesus as either white, black, Mediterranean, or some other race.

More recently, historians seem to conclude that Jesus was of Middle Eastern descent and looks. He is supposed to have darker olive skin with brown eyes and black hair. Basically, they conclude that Jesus might have looked like Middle Eastern Jews or a typical Galilean Semite of his day.

However, some authors and historians have taken it upon themselves to examine Jesus' ancestry and lineage in more detail. In their studies of Jesus' lineage, they provide a case for Jesus having black or African ancestry in his bloodline.

They hypothesize that Jesus' black ancestry can be traced from the Old Testament to the New Testament.

From biblical records, Jesus is one of the descendants of Abraham who in turn is descended from Noah.

Noah had two sons, Ham and Shem. Some theologians believe that Noah cursed Canaan, the son of Ham and this led to the origin of the black race. The descendants of Ham are purported to have settled in Africa and parts of the Arabian peninsula.

At some point, there was also intermarriage between Ham and Shem's lineage leading to a mixing of the races.

Abraham is descended from Shem and all of Jesus' male ancestors trace a line from Shem. The genealogy of Jesus from Abraham is purported to show at least two Canaanite ancestors according to some scholars. This would seem to indicate that Jesus had Canaanite or some black heritage.

However, without solid evidence, religious scholars are still in the dark about Jesus' ancestry and race.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.

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