1. Sunday, March 23, 2008

    Jesus through the eyes of Google 

    today being Easter, i thought it would be a good idea to blog a little about Jesus Christ, who many believe rose from the dead on this day (give or take) several centuries ago. thousands of years after his death, Jesus still remains one of the most influential and powerful men on Earth, and certainly in the USA.

    one cannot, for example, believe that they can win the election for President of the United States unless one is a Christian, which is a belief that Jesus was and is God. Indeed one of the ways that detractors of Barack Obama’s campaign are using to try to raise doubt among Americans is to suggest that the senator is an omg Muslim. meanwhile some believe that because one-time front-runner Mitt Romney believed in an unusual sect of Christianity, Mormanism, that thats what turned him off to many conservative americans.

    although it has only been around a few years, there are very few things online more influential than Google and its internet search. in this post i will be showing you the five top results when you type “Jesus” into Google and click the Image tab.

    above is the #1 result which i believe also typifies most people’s ideas about Jesus. in this image he has no real details, he appears to be in Heaven or ascending into Heaven, he’s dressed in white, all is calm, but still there appears to be something Bigger that he is in the presence of.

    this is Jesus the Son, as opposed to Jesus the Man or the Spirit or God. it’s an idea that many believers can probably feel comfortable with as it’s an overall approach to the subject, and one that probably best aligns with how they imagine the concept of Jesus.

    surprisingly the #2 Jesus on Google is the “Black Jesus” depiction.

    although there are very few physical descriptions of Jesus in the new testament, the one that many in the Jesus-was-Black corner lean on is from Revelation 1:15 that says: “And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters.”

    truth of the matter is Jesus was born in a part of the world that was the crossroads of the world, and much closer to Africa than Sweden. in fact days after he was born his parents hustled him to Egypt so he could escape King Herod who wanted him dead when word was sent to him that the King of Kings was about to be born.

    also there was the fact that when Jesus was in hiding in Africa he was never identified and never stood out. coincidence?

    did he look like the lenny kravitz dude in the painting to the right? probably not, but he also probably didn’t look like the blue eyed Jesus that we will see next.

    And Jesus probably did have some African links – after all the conventional theory is that he lived as a child in Egypt where, presumably, his appearance did not make him stand out.

    The New Nation takes it further: “Ethiopian Christianity, which pre-dates European Christianity, always depicts Christ as an African and it generally agreed that people of the region where Jesus came from looked nothing like Boris Johnson,” the paper says. As light-hearted evidence that Jesus was black, it adds that he “called everybody ‘brother’, liked Gospel, and couldn’t get a fair trial”. – BBC

    to the left we have the so-called Classic Jesus. looking far more like an American hippie than a Middle Eastern or Egyptian man, this Jesus is a shave and a haircut away for posing in any number of Abecrombie or Gap ads. Looking up as if listening to God, he is peaceful and confident, and ready for whatever order The Father has for him.

    the receding hairline doesn’t say 33 (the age he allegedly was when he was killed) as much as it says “im ready for my crown of thorns. lets do this thing”. but the long locks suggest sensitivity, rebellion, and anti-establishment.

    it’s hard to believe that this image doesnt rank higher in Google, but maybe it’s because it’s such a typical portrayal, and thus lacks any edge.

    speaking of soft, here’s the #4 return of Jesus on Google, the good shepard with his lamb.

    whats interesting here is the rudimentary photoshop spotlight around the subject – a sort of cheesy halo effect.

    whats missing is any middle eastern or north african features to the model. who needs history to tell you how to paint a historic figure?

    although Jesus was known more for his preaching, turning over of moneychanging tables, and carpentry, the idea that he loved to hold baby sheep is a curious staple of artist renditions.

    often you will see him with a sheep over his shoulder, or in this case as if it was an infant. never do we see him embrace the sick or the dead or the lost *people* of his life, it’s usually the barnyard crowd.

    for some reason.

    lastly we have the heart in sand with the word jesus image coming in at #5 on Google images.

    it’s not the sultry sacred heart jesus,

    it’s not the freaky and detailed heart of thorns jesus,

    it’s not any of the countless baby jesus with mary images,

    it’s not even the most famous of all the Jesus paintings – the last supper,
    instead we get this simple dealie that could have been done by anyone at any time.

    which might be exactly why people like it.

    happy easter!