With the assistance of Israeli archaeologists, scientists in the UK have produced what they describe as the most accurate depiction of Jesus’ face to date. The team, led by retired medical artist Richard Neave from The University of Manchester, employed forensic anthropology procedures similar to those used by police to solve crimes. They also analysed cultural references from the Bible to pinpoint specific elements of Jesus’ appearance.

The scientists utilised skulls they had collected from the area around Jerusalem, the home of Jesus’s life and ministry, to gauge Jesus’ characteristic Galilean Semitic features. Israeli archaeology specialists supplied this information and shared these skulking computer programmes and three remarkably preserved specimens from Jesus’ period; scientists were able to generate a three-dimensional image of the man. They were still unable to identify Jesus’s exact physical features, such as his hair colour, length, and style, even after using the skulls.

They turned to additional sources to fill in these blanks, including the Bible and drawings discovered at first-century archaeological sites. According to Jewish custom, Jesus was bearded and had dark eyes, as suggested by the paintings. The Bible confirmed that Jesus had long hair.

One point of contention among academics has been the length of Jesus’ hair. Many biblical historians think that Jesus’ hair was short with tight curls, even though certain religious painters have depicted him with long hair. This idea, however, is at odds with what many consider to be the most accurate portrayal of Jesus’ face. This is the image found on the Shroud of Turin, a cloth many believe to be used to shroud Jesus’ body after his death.

There is disagreement on the shroud’s authenticity, but it unmistakably shows a person with long hair. The apostle Paul wrote a book called 1 Corinthians, which the shroud’s detractors cite. In it, Paul claims to have seen Jesus and later calls long hair on a man unworthy. Neave and his colleagues used this verse to determine that Jesus would have worn short hair, consistent with first-century depictions of Jesus and acceptable for men of the time.

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