MANCHESTER, England – A man in England drew a picture of Jesus Christ he believes is most accurate due to scientific research – and his depiction is now going viral.
According to Popular Mechanics, Richard Neave, a retired medical artist from The University of Manchester in England, drew a sketch of Jesus based on forensic anthropologic research, the same tactic investigators often use to solve crimes in which the victim is otherwise unidentifiable. Neave’s recreation differs dramatically from some traditional depictions, which often show the religious figure as a light-skinned, svelte man with flowing hair. Neave’s image shows a dark-skinned man with dark eyes, a wide nose, a short beard and short, curly hair.
Neave’s depiction has since gone viral, and has been heralded by some as more true to what the religious figure looked like based on the time and region in which he lived.
Neave teamed up with Israeli archaeologists to analyze ancient Semite skulls to recreate Jesus’ face. He and his team then used computer programs to recreate the skins and muscle overlaying the skulls.
The team recreated the hair using depictions in the Bible as well as the opinions of many Biblical scholars: that his hair was likely dark, short and curly. They also gave him a beard “in keeping with Jewish tradition.
Neave is no stranger to recreating historic and legendary figures. Notes Popular Mechanics:
The co-author of Making Faces: Using Forensic And Archaeological Evidence, Neave had ventured in controversial areas before. Over the past two decades, he had reconstructed dozens of famous faces, including Philip II of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great, and King Midas of Phrygia. If anyone could create an accurate portrait of Jesus, it would be Neave.
Neave’s findings were first published in Popular Mechanics back in January, but the story became a trending topic this week, with many outlets picking up on the momentum and social media users sharing the photo for debate.
Said Alison Galloway, professor of anthropology at the University of California in Santa Cruz, “This is probably a lot closer to the truth than the work of many great masters.”