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A depiction of Jesus may have been found inside an Egyptian tomb. The image shows a curly haired man in a short tunic raising his hand in blessing. The painting was found in a city believed to worship the Egyptian god of the afterlife Osiris, and is believed to have been put there by Christians sometime around the 6th and 7th century. There’s no confirmation on whether the painting is indeed the Christ, however Coptic inscriptions found near the painting are currently being reviewed for confirmation.
While I’m sure these researchers have a great reason for reporting their claim, it makes me wonder how they can be so sure it’s Jesus. Say I was around in the 6th century and exploring an Egyptian city. My friend, Azzip is like “Dude this is awesome,” and I’m like “Yeah it is.” Azzip then realizes he wants people to remember him here in this moment and wants a picture but alas photographs are still 11 centuries away. So then I, being the God fearing Coptic christian that I am, paint Azzip on the walls waving to me so that others may see it and know he was there.
The painting probably isn’t a guy with a name that’s pizza spelled backwards, but you get what I’m saying. Sometimes I have to sit and wonder just how much of history we guess to be right only to find out we are wrong. Observational evidence of course would point to the fact that if a group of early Christians raided the city dedicated to the worship of an Egyptian god, it’s conceivable that they’d wish to spread the good news of their religion, as well. Plus, the room had several other paintings from the era and stuff. So, yeah, it’s possible it is a depiction of some religious figure.
I guess the painting with the short curly hair is what throws me off about it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an adult painting of Jesus that gave him a haircut similar to Jonah Hill. The long haired Jesus has been a staple of sorts for the art community; so, it seems odd that one of the earliest paintings of the messianic figure would depict him differently than artists of the future. Good find, but no where near the level of awesome Korean Jesus had in 21 Jump Street.
photo credit University of Barcelona