One of the rare friends to whom I told my extremely moving, totally unexpected re-living of a very special moment in my life at the time of Jesus of Nazareth (see my previous post, ‘Meeting the Divine on the Road’, https://labofevolution.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/meeting-the-divine-on-the-road/), asked me immediately afterwards:
‘So, you saw him!… What did he look like?’
I was taken aback. I realized all of a sudden that I had not really seen what he was looking like. I had seen the tremendous Love emanating from him as Light, but I had not paid attention to his outer appearance.
So I had to tell my friend that I couldn’t answer her.
But then I kept thinking about it, and soon started doing my own research, to find out what Jesus-Christ looked like.
After some time I did gather quite a few very surprising documents, all agreeing with each other, although coming from widely different sources and periods. Here is my harvest:
1/ It first came back to my memory that long ago I had read in some Edgar Cayce book a description of Jesus, that had remained in my consciousness as something quite special. I patiently traced back that book, ‘Hidden History of Jesus’ by Kirk Nelson, and that text, p. 36 sqq:
‘A physical description of Jesus’
‘Few people are aware that in the archives of Rome there is a physical description of Jesus. It is contained in a report written during Jesus’ lifetime by a Roman, Publius Lentulus, to the Emperor Tiberias. It reads as follows:
‘There has appeared in Palestine a man who is still living and whose power is extraordinary. He has the title given him of Great Prophet; his disciples call him the Son of God. He raises the dead and heals all sorts of diseases.
He is a tall, well-proportioned man, and there is an air of severity in his countenance which at once attracts the love and reverence of those who see him. His hair is the color of new wine from the roots to the ears, and thence to the shoulders it is curled and falls down to the lowest part of them. Upon the forehead, it parts in two after the manner of Nazarenes.
His forehead is flat and fair, his face without blemish or defect, and adorned with a graceful expression. His nose and mouth are very well proportioned, his beard is thick and the color of his hair. His eyes are grey and extremely lively.
In his reproofs, he is terrible, but in his exhortations and instructions, amiable and courteous. There is something wonderfully charming in this face with a mixture of gravity. He is never seen to laugh, but has been observed to weep [Cayce tells us Jesus did laugh and quite often]. He is very straight in stature, his hands large and spreading, his arms are very beautiful. He taks little, but with a great quality, and is the handsomest man in the world.’
The above description agrees with the one contained in the Cayce Readings:
‘… a [picture of Jesus] as might be put on canvas [would] be entirely different from all these which have been depicted of the face, the body, the eyes, the cut of the chin and the lack entirely of the Jewish or Aryan profile. For these were clear, clean, ruddy, hair almost like that of David, a golden-brown, yellow-red…’ (5354-1)’
2/ Jess Stearn, the journalist and researcher who had investigated Edgar Cayce, suspiciously at first, and then had written two very positive best-sellers about him, published in 1973 a book about the past lives of celebrated author Janet Taylor Caldwell, who had accepted that what she would say under hypnosis be recorded. Fascinating memories surfaced at every session, showing how the writer known as Taylor Caldwell in that lifetime knew in such amazing detail the daily life prevalent in so many other historical periods, and could describe with such vivid precision the medical procedures and instruments used for example by Saint Luke in his time.
Towards the end of the book, in the transcription of the last lifetime evoked and recorded, it was the time of Jesus-Christ that came out through the very moving memories of the hypnotized Taylor Caldwell, from her life as Hannah, the mother of Mary-Magdalen/Miriam of Magdala. All of what is said is absolutely captivating, but quite long (from p. 226 to 241), so here I will keep only what is pertinent to our present question: what Jesus-Christ looked like.
Under hypnosis, ‘Hanna’, in her Magdala home, was speaking to her (unmarried yet) younger sister Halla, about her own baby-daughter, Miriam, her darling, so beautiful with her blue eyes and her golden hair:
‘Her voice suddenly lowered. “Halla, lean close. I must tell you of a strange dream. No one will listen to me but you. I dreamt the Messiah was born five years ago in the city of David, the House of Bread [Bethlehem]. Just as it was prophesized long ago. (…)”
Her voice grew tender again: “Oh, yes, I dreamt, too, that my darling, my beautiful baby, my Miriam, that no one will ever forget her name because she will look on the Messiah, and I will too in my dream. Only once I dreamed this, but I dreamt that my darling Miriam would be very close to him. I see her kneeling at his feet and he raises her up”. She sighed, happily. “But she is a woman then, a beautiful girl, and he raises her up and puts his arms around her. Like all of us Nazarenes, his hair is golden red, blue eyes, and in my dream he was born in the House of Bread, which is in our language the House of Bethlehem (…). He was born five years ago, but my dream did not tell me where he is now. His mother and father are from Nazareth.”
Asked by the hypnotist to go to fifteen years later, ‘Hannah’ actually saw at last the special being she had dreamed of; he was by then a young man of 20, but she didn’t realize it was him for he was not yet recognized as the announced Messiah, that some thought was not even born yet, so poor Hannah had lost all faith in her old dreams. She was profoundly sad anyway: her cherished daughter Miriam, now 15, rather than being married by her father to someone she didn’t love, had escaped to Jerusalem, and Hannah too had gone there in the hope of finding her. It is there, in the synagogue, from upstairs and behind a curtain as was a must for the women of that time, that she beheld one day that young man reading aloud from the holy books for the other men present at the ceremony:
‘There was a woman standing next to her whom she knew by name only: Miriam bat Joachim, daughter of Joachim, and her husband was Joseph ben David, son of one David and of the House of David. “I whispered, ‘What a beautiful voice he has’ to the woman, and she said, ‘He is my son.’ (…) “She is so young to be the mother of a man in the prime of his manhood, at twenty. What a beautiful face she has. She is a Nazarene like all of us. She is very fair. Her hair is almost white, like gold over which silver flows. Her eyes are blue like the sky, bluer even than ours are, bluer than the eyes of my Miriam.” She drew a deep breath. “They have the same name.”
Ten years later yet, her daughter was still missing, but like the rest of the city Hannah had heard of the young man who was challenging the greed and authority of the religious establishment – without connecting him yet to the man of her dream:
“Ah, yes, Yeshua ben Joseph (…) He is a Nazarene. I have not seen him since the synagogue. He was fair of hair, and blue eyes. His hair was red-gold like all the Nazarenes.” (…)
The hypnotist persisted: “Was he slender? Was he big?”
“You mean fat? No, he was not fat. How could a Nazarene be fat? The Romans take all our money and all our bread and food. No, he is thin.”
I have kept all the references to ‘from Nazareth’ on the one hand, and on the other hand ‘Nazarene(s)’, for obviously it is not the same thing, and the physical appearance of both Jesus and his mother (his father also probably) is explained precisely by the fact that they were part of those known as ‘Nazarenes’, who all had that same aspect.
It is to be noted that in the first document quoted above, Publius Lentulus too mentions those ‘Nazarenes’: in reference to Jesus’ hair, ‘parted in two’ on the forehead, ‘after the manner of the Nazarenes’. He doesn’t explain who they are, which shows that everybody knew at that time, even Emperor Tiberias.
From all the research I have done, nowadays nothing clear is said or known, it seems, about who exactly were those ‘Nazarenes’, but the document just quoted above indicates quite clearly that it meant something other than being from Nazareth as such. It certainly alludes to a common origin that gave those specific characteristics, but which common origin was it, I have not found any answer to that… until precisely yesterday night when finishing to type this. Here is the additional information I found (http://www.essene.org/Ancient_Essenes.htm):
‘In the book, Edgar Cayce’s Story of Jesus, edited by Jeffrey Furst, we read:
“… the Essenes… dedicated their lives, their minds, their bodies to a purpose, to a seeking for that which had been to them a promise of old…. Hence, there was the continued preparation and dedication of those who might be the channels through which this chosen vessel might enter — through choice — into this material realm. Thus in Carmel — where there were the chief priests and leaders of this faith — there were the maidens chosen who were dedicated to this purpose…. Among them was Mary, the beloved, the chosen one.”
Again from Cayce:
“The Essenes were dedicated to their purpose and made holy Mount Carmel their headquarters. This was the original place where the school of prophets was established during Elijah’s time….
“Here, the Essenes prepared themselves for several generations to open as it were a door into this realm for the Messiah…. And he became known as Jesus the Nazarene, for he was of the Essenian sect of Nazarenes in the region of Carmel.”
In regard to the above references to the Essene headquarters at Mount Carmel and Jesus being affiliated with the Essenian sect of Nazarenes in the region of Carmel, there is much supporting evidence. Indeed, it is quite clear that the headquarters of the entire Essene movement was Mount Carmel in Northern Israel, not Qumran in Southern Israel, and that Jesus was primarily associated with Carmel. Equally clear is the fact that the Northern Essenes in the region of Mount Carmel were called “Nazarenes”.’
So, here we are!… There was indeed a special group of Essenes originating from Northern Israel, in the area where the village of Nazareth too was, and who were known as the ‘Nazarenes’.
In her book ‘Beyond the Light’, NDE experiencer-cum-researcher PMH Atwater tells us about one of the three NDEs she had in 1977:
‘In my second near-death experience I was greeted by Jesus. He was tall, swarthy complexioned, had red-gold hair, and the softest blue eyes I had ever seen. This surprised me, as I didn’t think Jesus would look like that. The discrepancy in appearance didn’t matter at the time, for he was filled with compassion and love and so was I, just being near him. Later on the incident bothered me enough that I decided my time with him must have been “wish fulfilment” rather than any type of reality. After six years passed, however, I decided to do some research on tje historical Jesus. One of the books I picked up was ‘Portrait of Jesus?’ by Frank C. Tribbe. Towards the book’s end three communications of Jesus’ era are quoted: a letter written by Publius Lentulus, Governor of Judea, to the Roman Senate and to Tiberius Caesar; a report by Gamaliel, teacher of Saul of Tarsus, addressed to the Sanhedrin and quoting the philosopher Massalian; and a report by Pilate to the Emperor. All three stated that Jesus was quite tall and had a swarthy complexion, hair the color of new wine or sunburned gold, and soft blue or gray eyes. I was stunned!’
Last but not least, in ‘Soul Search’, a subject named Dolly made some unsolicited comments about the life of Christ during one regression, and in her next regression the psychiatrist pursued that line of enquiry; the material (several pages reduced here to only our topic) comes from Dolly’s Greater Self:
‘He was fair skinned. His hair was light brown – almost a gold – and his beard was darker. He was fairly tall, thin, lean.His eyes were a light sahade, not blue, not green, not grey – a combination of all of them.’
Obviously, this type of appearance was generally known at that time in Palestine, so it didn’t single out Jesus, people were used to it although it wasn’t like the common types one would meet usually there – except precisely in the area of Mount Carmel, with those Essenes practicing actually another religion than the Jews, and in this case, having another origin too: those called ‘the Nazarenes’…
Yesterday night I also found the document from Pontius Pilate. It is worth ending with it, for it is really amazing (http://ensignmessage.com/archives/letter.html):
This is a reprinting of a letter from Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar describing the physical appearance of Jesus. Copies are in the Congressional Library in Washington, D.C.
TO TIBERIUS CAESAR:
A young man appeared in Galilee preaching with humble unction, a new law in the Name of the God that had sent Him. At first I was apprehensive that His design was to stir up the people against the Romans, but my fears were soon dispelled. Jesus of Nazareth spoke rather as a friend of the Romans than of the Jews. One day I observed in the midst of a group of people a young man who was leaning against a tree, calmly addressing the multitude. I was told it was Jesus. This I could easily have suspected so great was the difference between Him and those who were listening to Him. His golden colored hair and beard gave to his appearance a celestial aspect. He appeared to be about 30 years of age. Never have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance. What a contrast between Him and His bearers with their black beards and tawny complexions! Unwilling to interrupt Him by my presence, I continued my walk but signified to my secretary to join the group and listen. Later, my secretary reported that never had he seen in the works of all the philosophers anything that compared to the teachings of Jesus. He told me that Jesus was neither seditious nor rebellious, so we extended to Him our protection. He was at liberty to act, to speak, to assemble and to address the people. This unlimited freedom provoked the Jews — not the poor but the rich and powerful.
Later, I wrote to Jesus requesting an interview with Him at the Praetorium. He came. When the Nazarene made His appearance I was having my morning walk and as I faced Him my feet seemed fastened with an iron hand to the marble pavement and I trembled in every limb as a guilty culprit, though he was calm. For some time I stood admiring this extraordinary Man. There was nothing in Him that was repelling, nor in His character, yet I felt awed in His presence. I told Him that there was a magnetic simplicity about Him and His personality that elevated Him far above the philosophers and teachers of His day.
Now, Noble Sovereign, these are the facts concerning Jesus of Nazareth and I have taken the time to write you in detail concerning these matters. I say that such a man who could convert water into wine, change death into life, disease into health; calm the stormy seas, is not guilty of any criminal offense and as others have said, we must agree — truly this is the Son of God.
Your most obedient servant,