I’m NOT Dreaming of a White Jesus

Branson Parler

December 13, 2013

I think most people think of "white" in terms of Caucasian. Was Jesus white like milk? No. Was He white, as in Caucasian? Yes. Megyn was not incorrect, if this was her meaning.

Tyler Dykstra
December 13, 2013

"White" as an ethnicity typically refers to European descent. Jesus was not born or raised in Europe; neither was Saint Nicholas, who was born a Greek in Asia Minor. He served as a bishop in modern day Turkey. Wrong on both counts Megyn Kelly. I'm offended as a Christian. This type of over-generalizing makes my faith seem like a European fairy tale that was created by and for white people. This reinforces the stigma in many places that Jesus is the "white man's savior." That is historically false and unverified. God is the God of all peoples. Important bishops, like Saint Nic--were not all painted white, they were actually somewhat diverse.

December 14, 2013

I'm sorry to say that it is you, Professor Parler, who is the one that is factually challenged on this issue. Here is what I recently sent to Fox News about the white Jesus statement -

To Fox News re: Megyn Kelly - Jesus & St. Nicholas


The statement that Santa and Jesus were white men
(made by Megyn Kelly) is factually correct. St. Nicholas
was a Greek (and Greeks are/were white).

As far as Jesus goes we have both Biblical and historic
records to go by. The Bible describes Jesus -

"And his feet like unto fine brass, ..." Revelation 1:15

Any Marine has had to shine brass for inspections and we
know that fine brass is the color of the skin of white

Also we have the record of Pilate's Report to Tiberius
Caesar (Published in "The Archko Volume" or reprinted
as "The Acts of Pilate") which reads in part -

"I was told it was Jesus. This I could easily have
suspected, so great was the difference between him
and those listening to him. His golden-colored hair
and beard gave to his appearance a celestial aspect.
He appeared to be about thirty years of age. Never
have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance.
What a contrast between him and his hearers, with
their black beards and tawny complexions!"

The Acts of Pilate Edited by W.D. Mahan (1997 ed.),
Page 110.

So Megyn Kelly has no reason to reverse her
statement. Of course it is not popular in today's
culture to acknowledge white people in a favorable
light, but facts are facts.

Respectfully in Christ,

Ty Woznek
December 15, 2013

I think people are being slanderous towards Kelly. Her comments are taken grossly out of context. Frankly, the post is unchristian & bigoted towards Kelly. I don't even watch the show, but researching it, I'm appalled at articles such as this. Using bad examples to make good points is wrong. This post should be removed.

1) Foxnews frustrates me greatly, that is the perspective I come from. At the same time we must be accurate with data at hand. The media blitz on Megyn Kelly smells more of Foxnews bashing than a legitimate complaint. This is why I think it's a bad example.

2) My half-brother is black & dealt with discrimination. The matter of race & reconciliation is huge. Best friends of mine were also black. Using a bad example undermines credibility & hinders change.

3) Assuming the ignorance, or flat out labeling as ignorant Megyn Kelly is slanderous. Attributing anger to her is presumptuous at best. Kelly's response to the controversy points this out. Kelly's comment is apt: "People too often assume the worse." In the segment she states reading about the pain the author went through caused her to take a deeper look. Kelly was doing her job & dealing with an issue frankly I'm surprised Foxnews would take on. Instead, she's wrongly labeled as racist or ignorant.

4) If Kristin Powers, a defined liberal, is trying to witness to Megyn Kelly, what credibility does the article I question and others like it bring to the Gospel? Or, do these accusations undermine it, on top of also undermining a critical issue?

5) Isn't assuming the negative and acting on that assumption based on preconceived notions of source bigotry? People may dislike foxnews, but this 'scandal' seems more like bigotry towards Megyn Kelly than anything she's been accused of.

Hence, why I think the post is slanderous, unchristian and should be taken down.

Josh Larsen
TC Staff
December 16, 2013

Hi Ty - Josh, TC editor here. Not exactly sure how this post is "slanderous." Branson directly quotes what Kelly said. Are you sure you're not lumping us in with other media coverage of this story?

At any rate, we'd be more interested in what you think of Branson's main point. (He only references Kelly in the first two paragraphs.) Why do you think so many people insist on identifying Jesus as white, historical evidence to the contrary? Does this say something about the way we like to make God in our own image, rather than seek His?

Branson Parler
December 17, 2013


First, I think it's a mistake to try to conclude anything about Jesus' skin tone from the visions in Revelation. In apocalyptic literature, colors functions more like adjectives (Michael Gorman's way of putting it). In other words, white denotes purity or holiness; it's not trying to inform us about the literal tone of Jesus' skin. The next verse speaks of Jesus holding seven stars in his hand. Either Jesus has a really, really large hand, or this is not to be taken literally. To take this vision as though it's simply a snapshot picture of Jesus, rather than a vision about the meaning of who Jesus is, does injustice to the type of literature that Revelation is.

Second, the "Acts of Pilate" is apocryphal. I don't know of any serious, orthodox biblical scholars who see it as a reliable source of information about Jesus. So it is problematic to cite the "Acts of Pilate" to make the argument that "facts are facts."

Branson Parler
December 17, 2013

Ty - I'd be curious as well to know what exactly is slanderous here. Kelly said, "Jesus is white." It appears she did not know basic data that tells us he was not in fact white. Lack of knowledge is, by definition, ignorance.

Now, I did not say that she was distorting data. I did not say she was intentionally trying to exalt white people over other ethnicities. I simply took her as an example of the general ignorance about Jesus or the assumptions often made (in artwork or otherwise) that Jesus is white.

I'm curious: what word would you use for the lack of knowledge expressed in Kelly's original statement?

December 15, 2015

I think the most important part of this article is the ending paragraph. A safe Jesus. I'm not white so I've never really thought as Jesus as white. Because of the location of his birth I've always seen him as more olive-skinned. And maybe the whiteness of his skin is more of a raiment from God, not actually being the Caucasian skin colour. It's such a non-issue though. Typical of FOX News to bring it up. As for Santa, he was created by the Coca Cola company. Saying he should not be white is like saying the Easter Bunny's fur should not be white. The article had a nice point but it's far too late to turn Santa into a penguin. How funny it would be imagining a penguin slipping down the chimney, tumbling into someone's house and landing on his fat stomach, and then sort of shuffling his way over to the Christmas tree. It would also be animal abuse to feed him milk and cookies.

Rick Ludwig
December 19, 2015

"The U.S. Census Bureau must adhere to the 1997 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards on race and ethnicity which guide the Census Bureau in classifying written responses to the race question:
White – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa."


Walli Daniel
December 19, 2015

Jesus was Jewish with an olive complexion or even white skinned depending on his genetics. The Jewish judge next door and wife are as white skinned as I am. Psychologically speaking all races of people relate to others based on their perception, so it's natural for people to visualize and relate to Him as they relate to others in their environment. The Bible describes Him as not attractive. More important, what is your point? Another slam against Caucasians? God is Spirit. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us and the Holy Spirit has taken residence in the hearts of every believer. The NT admonishes there is neither Jew nor Greek, male or female. Race is irrelevent. He was Jewish. As a Caucasian I'm not offended whatever the race He is depicted. I believe as long as the individual is connected by faith - that is the only requirement for relationship with the Creator, Himself.

December 20, 2015

In fact, no one living knows the skin tone of Jesus or anyone else living in that time period. Geography insinuates that Jesus was probably olive or brown-skinned because people in that region today are mostly olive or brown-skinned. Again, we do not know and can only guess. All the artist renditions we have today are based on Renaissance portrayals that have been "Eurofied". (That's a word I made up!) They painted these historical figures to look like themselves and naturally so. What is white? Is anyone truly white or truly black? Almost everyone I see are shades of brown, lighter or darker, depending on the amount of melanin in their skin and their exposure to the sun's rays. Everyone is SO certain of their own correctness. Is there no room for doubt? Do you not question anything?

June 1, 2016

Jesus was white as opposed to black or yellow. What shade of white ? We don't know, nor is it important. For that matter, the fact that He was white is not important, except that He was "white as snow" in the sin department. It is only important that we acknowledge that we are sinners, and that we accept his forgiveness.

Wooje Jo
December 22, 2016

I think God left little physical description of Jesus (other than He wasn't physically attractive - Isa 53:2), because His physical attributes are really irrelevant. When He assumed a physical form, He could have become the most beautiful person on earth but He took on a form that wasn't physically attractive. Why? So people don't dwell on things that don't matter - like how He looked.

December 22, 2016

Thank you Wooje Jo. Exactly. And all we need to do is examine the climate and what the middle east looks like ethnically. He was a Jew who walked and worked in the hot sun. He was more than likely a tan Jew.
The surfboard California looking Jesus doesn't look like a tanned Jew.

This aspect is important since as a black man myself, I often have to put up with black skeptics claiming I worship the white man's Jesus. I inform them, "No, I worship the Jewish Jesus."

December 22, 2016

It doesn't matter what Jesus looked like. What matters is what he did. And he died on a cross bearing the sins of the world so that each one of us can get to the Father.

Merry Christmas

December 24, 2016

from wiki:

Under the U.S. Census definition and U.S. federal agency, individuals with ancestry from North Africa are considered white. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations also explicitly define white as "original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East."

I'm not really defending anything Megyn Kelly said, but, she is entirely correct in what she said, according to the US Census definition and the EEOC. So, she's just using terms AS THEY ARE USED here in the US.

But, yeh, Jesus was brown. He's not the "white-as-milk, Dutch-looking Jesus" in the photo of the stained-glass window.

Roxanne Kean
January 2, 2017

Technically speaking, if Jesus was a Jew, he was a Caucasian. That doesn't mean he was white, as in skin color. There are three main racial groups, Negroid, Caucasoid, and Mongoloid, or Blacks, Whites, and Asians. The subgroup of semites,(Jews) falls under the Caucasian/Caucasoid racial group. But none of this really matters because God made us all in His image...human.

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