Thursday 24 February 2005

About the boy

Using modelling software normally applied to solving crimes, scientists have come up with an image of how Jesus might have looked as a 12 year-old boy.

Do such images add anything to our understanding of Jesus? The temptation is to say no. They tell us precious little about God, God's work in the world, and spiritual truths. However, before writing off its value entirely, an image of Jesus is suggestive of i) his actual existence; ii) his true humanity; iii) something of his emotional make-up (there are at least some vague temperaments you can read from a face; and iv) his 'presence', something that the New Testament mentions briefly (e.g. Luke 2:40, 52).

So, without claiming too much, perhaps an image of Jesus' boyish face might have some value in attracting a person to the really valuable task of finding it who this boy grew up to be.

More images here and here.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It does depend if the shroud of turin is real or not... (don't know how to link the appropriate CASE article)

However, it certainly is interesting apologetically, in the same vein of the Da Vinci code, Passion of the Christ etc, as a piece of public interest which can create a link to the real Jesus (as opposed to a confrontational style apologetic). Has an interesting science/technology element involved too.

Other questions: How have images of Jesus been used in the past? Does this escape those uses, or, despite its scientific (as opposed to an artistic) background does it fall down in the same places?

Andrew Dunstall