Watchtower 1954 claims Jesus had nice short hair and NO BEARD....remember the pictures?

by Witness 007 24 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Witness 007
    Witness 007

    Flicking thru some old Watchtowers I was suprised to see pictures of Jesus clean shaven with short hair!!

    Wachtower 1954 p.511 "Why do Watchtower books now show Jesus with short hair and no beard? ...because he was shown that way in representations of him that are older then traditional EFFEMINATE looking pictures..." {Having a beard is not so effeminate may refer to long hair}

    Watchtower 1968 p.286 "Bible evidence and recent reviews show Jesus did have a beard..." So where did the clean shaven evidence come from?

  • Think About It
    Think About It

    Just another example of these weird ass WTS idiots trying to be different.

    Think About It

  • smiddy

    I became a witness in 1960,and in mid to late 60`s and periods of the 70`s & 80`s I went through stages where I wanted to grow a beard,I was jumped on and told it was worldly,associated with the hippy movement,and a sign of rebelliousness,get it off.I did and became a ministerial servant.since leaving ,approx.`93 I proudly sport a well kept short grey beard.I remember illustrations of jesus with no beard.A picture speaks a thousand words.It was a subtle ? message to the bros.DONT grow a beard


  • Simon

    He's not even slightly Jewish looking in the pictures they typically use, LOL

  • ProdigalSon

    I don't think there is any aspect of history that the Watchtower isn't willing to rewrite.

    If they could get away with it, they's have illustrations of Jesus giving talks in a Kingdom Hall.

    The ironic thing is, if Jesus really did come back in the flesh, they wouldn't recognize him and would DF him for practicing magic and spouting stuff that they think is demonic.

    Now where was that scene played out before?

  • cantleave

    Re-writing of history by the WTS is par for the course........

    remind me please; when was Jerusalem destroyed?

  • VM44

    It was thought at one time that a perfect man would not grow a beard!!

  • blondie

    It was strange that the WTS changed their position on Jesus' appearance in 1968, the middle of the hippie period. Since there are no pictures of Adam, how do they know he had a beard....

    *** w68 5/1 pp. 286-288 Questions From Readers ***

    When Jesus Christ was a man on earth, did he wear a beard?—K.A., U.S.A.

    Biblical evidence is the most reliable testimony to be found on this question, and a recent careful review of what it says indicates that Jesus did indeed have a beard.

    Jesus, born a Jew, "came to be under law" and he fulfilled the Law. (Gal. 4:4; Matt. 5:17) This was in order that he might pave the way for the abolishing of the Law and for release of the Jews from the curse of the Law, the condemnation of death that it brought against them. (Eph. 2:15; Gal. 3:13) Like all other Jews, Jesus was under obligation to keep the whole law. One of the commandments of the Law was: "You must not cut your side locks short around, and you must not destroy the extremity of your beard." (Lev. 19:27) God doubtless gave Israel this law because among some pagans it was the practice to cut the beard in a certain fashion in worship of their gods. (Jer. 9:26; 25:23) Nevertheless, that law did not mean that a beard was not to be well kept, for in the Near East a well-groomed beard was considered a symbol of dignity and respectability.—2 Sam. 19:24.

    During extreme grief, shame or humiliation, one might pluck hairs from his beard or leave the beard or the mustache untended. (Ezra 9:3) In several prophetic statements, the shaving off of the beard was used figuratively to illustrate great mourning because of calamity. (Isa. 7:20; 15:2; Jer. 48:37; Ezek. 5:1) Significantly, a prophecy concerning Jesus’ suffering states: "My back I gave to the strikers, and my cheeks to those plucking off the hair." (Isa. 50:6) Hanun the king of Ammon grossly insulted the ambassadors kindly sent by David by cutting off half of their beards. Because of their great humiliation, David told these men to dwell in Jericho until their beards grew abundantly. This act of Hanun was, of course, aimed at David as an insult, and provoked war.—2 Sam. 10:1-8; 1 Chron. 19:1-7.

    Also, it was generally customary for men to wear beards, even before the law covenant was made. While the Hebrews did not make monuments with figures of themselves, many monuments and inscriptions have been found in Egypt and Mesopotamia and other Near-Eastern lands in which Assyrians, Babylonians and Canaanites are pictured with beards, and some representations dated as far back as the third millennium B.C.E. show beards of varying styles. Among the above-named peoples eunuchs were the only ones depicted as beardless. Often boys were made eunuchs so that later they could be used to care for the king’s harem. (Matt. 19:12) This making eunuchs of men was not a practice in Israel, however, because the Law excluded eunuchs from the congregation of Israel. (Deut. 23:1) At the time Jesus was on earth, the Roman custom was beardlessness. Therefore, if Jesus had been beardless he might have been challenged as either a eunuch or a Roman.

    Men of ancient Semitic groups, as we have seen in our consideration of ancient monuments, wore beards, even prior to the time of the Mosaic law. Since a beard grows naturally on most men, it is reasonable to conclude that their forefathers also wore beards. Consequently, it seems evident that Noah, Enoch, Seth and Seth’s father Adam were likewise bearded men.

    It is appropriate, however, to give consideration toarguments advanced to the effect that Jesus wasbeardless. This idea has been largely based on theories built up by certain archaeologists with regard to the so-called "Chalice of Antioch." This is a large silver beaker or cup within a silver framework shell of vines and figures of men. On one side of the cup is a boy, with five men facing him, and on the other side a young but more mature man, beardless, with five others facing him. All appear to be seated. The cup, supposedly found by some natives in Antioch of Syria, was acclaimed as being of the second half of the first century C.E., and therefore the earliest pictorial representation of Christ.

    However, an analysis of the facts now makes it evident that the figures on the cup have been identified according to the imagination of the individuals interpreting them. The boy is considered to be Jesus at the age of twelve and the other central figure is said to be Jesus, possibly after his resurrection, or, again, it may be John the Baptist. The other ten figures have been interpreted variously to be ten of the apostles; or the apostles and evangelists; or, on one side the four evangelists with James the son of Zebedee, and on the other side Peter, Saul, James, Jude and Andrew.

    There are serious objections made by many archaeologists to these identifications. Really it has been guesswork, and it is impossible to say what is represented by the figures. Some even doubt the authenticity of the cup, believing that it may be a forgery. Most, however, acknowledge it as an authentic discovery but give it a much later date, from the fourth to the sixth century. So it is very doubtful that the cup is an early representation of Christ, if, indeed, it was intended to portray Christ at all.—See TheBiblicalArchaeologist, December 1941 and February 1942.

    Bearing directly on the question is the fact that the early Christian writers, Justin Martyr, Origen, Clement of Alexandria and others, clearly indicate that no satisfactory record of the physical likeness of Jesus and the apostles existed in their time. Augustine, writing about 400 C.E. (DeTrinitate, VIII, 4), said that each man had his own idea of Christ’s appearance, and the concepts were infinite.

    Evidence from the Roman catacombs has been adduced to bear on the subject. In catacombs thought by some to date from the second century C.E., but by others as no earlier than the third century, pictures have been found. The unusually extensive catacomb called the Catacomb of Priscilla contains wall pictures, one of which is thought to portray the resurrection of Lazarus. It is almost obliterated and is very difficult to make out, but in the center there is a figure that has been taken to be Christ, depicted as a young beardless man. But in the catacombs apocryphal and false religious ideas are also plentifully represented. For example, in the Catacomb of Priscilla, and of about the same date, is a scene of the apocryphal Story of Susanna. A ceiling painting dated a little later contains a Madonna with child, with a star above her head. In the Crypts of Lucina a ceiling painting dated as the middle of the second century includes a little winged person, known as Erotes or Amoretti, which, on pagan tombs, represented departed souls. Therefore, it has become evident to us that the catacomb representations of Jesus are seriously questionable as to authenticity.

    It is true that, beginning with the fourth century, the majority of pictures show Christ and his apostles with beards, having emaciated, sad, weak and effeminate "monastic" countenances, usually with a pagan nimbus or halo. These are surely no true representations of the man Jesus Christ, of whom Pontius Pilate said: "Look! The man!" or of him who overturned the tables of the money changers in the temple, and drove their cattle out, neither of the apostles, who vigorously preached God’s Word until it spread over all the Roman Empire. (John 19:1, 5; 2:14-17) No, these were strong, active and happy men, servants of the happy God Jehovah. (1 Tim. 1:11; 6:14, 15; Acts 20:35) The dreary religious pictures are products of the apostasy, which by the fourth century was in full bloom, pagan Emperor Constantine making a fusion of apostate Christianity with pagan religion the State religion.

    Nevertheless, as already shown, it is apparent that Jesus did wear a beard, and so artistic representations of him in future Watch Tower publications will harmonize with the Scriptural evidence to that effect.

    Doubtless the early Christians followed the custom of the time and locality in which they lived, with regard to the wearing of a beard. The Roman custom was beardlessness. Romans converted to Christianity would very likely continue in the Roman custom, while converts from the Jewish community would continue in the Jewish custom of wearing a beard.

    Today Christian ministers, like the early Christians, are concerned with neatness and cleanness, but they strive to dress inconspicuously, so that their appearance does not in any way detract from the dignity or the effectiveness of the message they bear. (2 Cor. 6:3, 4) In recent years in many lands a beard or long hair on a man attracts immediate notice and may, in the minds of the majority, classify such a person undesirably with extremists or as rebels against society. God’s ministers want to avoid making any impression that would take attention away from their ministry or hinder anyone from listening to the truth. They know that people are watching true Christians very critically and that to a great extent they judge the entire congregation and the good news by the minister’s appearance as a representative of the congregation.

    In paradise restored on earth it would not be out of order if men returned to wearing beards, in perfect fashion, like Adam in Eden.

  • jay88

    That was one thing that turned me off when I went to BK, for a tour when I was younger----- a clean shaved ,blond haired, blue-eyed Jesus, much like a Ken doll.

  • JimmyPage

    If they could get away with it, they's have illustrations of Jesus giving talks in a Kingdom Hall.

    I seem to recall a recent illustration in the publications showing first century christians going out in the door to door work with scrolls in hand.

    Didn't know whether to laugh or cry the way their modern activities are fictitiously shown to have Biblical precedence.

  • BluesBrother

    I do remember the old pics of Jesus being clean shaven, and the surprise that the Bro's felt when they changed to showing him bearded. I believe that they did not have a standard representation of him because they did not want a standard image of "our Jesus"..I am sure that I recall sometimes he was shown fair haired and of course clean shaven

    I guess they were just so determined to be different to "Christendom" that they went along with it............

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    love the ''recent careful review'' excuse they used! Like, ''we all had to do deeeeep bible research here at bethel''

    Any twit could have told them that as a jewish male Jesus would have a beard!

    i think there reason were two fold


    the 1933 letter to hitler placed them squarly as anti jew and well they couldnt very well have a jewish jesus ,

    and second, they found it a good way to control the 'look' of the organization coming out of the 30s.

    thats what i think anyway!


  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Jesus was beardless and had short hair in all my Witness years (and for a long time before I was born). Masterpieces of Medieval Art and into our own time portray Jesus, esp. at the crucifixion, in strikingly different ways. Italian art wins the award for over the top suffering of a gnarled body. What annoys me is all the time the Witnesses spent demeaning other Jesus depictions. They were true b/c God told them how Jeus looked. The world was bonkers for depicting Jesus any other way. Only they had the monopoly on truth. Personally, Jesus stories, sayings as in Q, actions, teachings, philosophy, and,most importantly, his death and resurrections matter to me. I don't care what kind of hair he had. Besides, we all know Jesus was a Royal Shakesperean actor who spoke Oxbridge English and had blond hair. His eyes sparked with Hollywood drops.

    The Society hammered its image all the time. Enough! They had no sources open to the public. One I've forgetten. The second was on a relatively early chalice. In our first trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a family which followed a school trip I took, we saw said chalice. It may have been on loan for a Vatican exhibit. The chalice did not emit special rays as in Hollywood films. It was one piece of art among hundreds of pieces of art, dating from the same period. Jesus was beardless.

    Now I realize all the legwork (particularly before the internet) that had to go into this reasoning. It illustrates something I realized about the Witness. My family was working class and descended from Witnesses for generations. I was quite the history student and poured over National Geographic. The WT and Awake adopted a similar style to National Geographic, esp. in opening paragraphs to any article. For someone with no sophistication, the WT and Awake sounded so impressive. Never attending a Bablyon the Great place for fear of immediate death, I was never exposed to other reasoning. I assumed the world was stupid and vacuous. My Roman Catholic friends believed they were wearing relics of the Virgin Mary's robes at the crucizion. There was not a middle class Protestant in my domain. Of course, since the trip to the Cloisters Branch of the Metropolitan Museum in upper, upper, upper Manhattan, I was fascinated by Medieval Art. I heartily recommend the Cloisters. Nelson Rockefeller assembled European monasteries and convents to act as a museum. It is chock full of Medieval Art. The centerpiece is the Unicorn Tapestries he had in his main home. The panaromic views of the Hudson are untarnished by commercial development. Looking at the Met (my hometown), the British Museum, the Vatican, and the Louvre collections proved to me that the Witnesses are idiots. The mind control involved in this manipulation of data is not idiotic. It is calculating.

    Further, someday someone is going to believe that religion needs consistency, even more than law needs consistency. Once clean-shaven, what difference does it make? I'm not aware of a single canonical, Gnostic or other gospel where his grooming is portrayed. Jesus would still be Christ with a bald head and body piercings (tho he would not be Jewish then). If Jesus' appearance were so important, why not mention it up front, right in the beginning of the Synoptic gospels. Why isn't similar attention paid to his fashion sense? This is slink down in your chair material. Since the gospels don't mention it, neither does Paul, even the chalice I eventually saw and the other "proof" were just figments of the artist;s imagination.

    This is off-track but I am also fascinated by depictions of the Virgin Mary in what can only be called Virgin Mary Blue. She is always in blue in art. I don't know when it started. I assume the color had a virtue assigned to it. It is so ha ha when Catholics do it and so spiritual when the Witnesses engage in it?

    I am buff of historical Jesus films. Maybe we could assign a former JW Oscar to the best actor portraying Jesus. I like the Italian actor in the The Passion of Matthew by the communist, Wilem Defoe in the Last Temptation of Christ and the film Jesus Christ Superstar.

    Did the brother who came up with clean-shaven have hurt feelings when his depiction was dumped? Maybe people could comprehend their main message if they did not always run off on tangents. They need a marketing consultant.


    When Rutherford took control of the WBT$..

    Rutherford wanted no Influence of Russel,left in the WBT$..

    C.T.Russel had a Beard..

    Not even Jesus was safe..

    ........................ ...OUTLAW

  • Witness 007
    Witness 007

    The evidence for no beard was so weak.....surely someone at bethel should have said something, it seems like a radical idea.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    My mom encouraged me to express my views after we left the Witnesses. I purchased a poster of a bored hippie in a middle class church and placed it on my wall. It wasn't as cool as other posters. He had long hair, sandals and was dressed in white garb. Months elapsed. One day we were discussing the poster and I referred to it as my hippie bored in church poster. My mom responded what hippie? Don't you realize that is Jesus? I ran upstairs and saw it in new light.

    My other poster I grabbed from the grape workers' union. It showed a bunch of grapes and a boycott logo. I was proud of it b.c it was hard to obtain in the East. I looked at it daily for years. One evening around twilight I had an epiphany. Those grapes had a skull inside! It had been hiding all the time. I was petrified of demons. As quickly as humanly possible, I asked my bro if he wanted my poster. He relied yes. The whole awareness and transfer took less than two minutes. He could not believe his good luck. I don't know if he saw the skull.

    Jesus and the skull are excessive. Perhaps my teenage brain had not matured enough to make such distinctions. My mom threw out my Woodstock poster that we were given in Bethel, NY one week before the event. Later, I showed her the going price for such posters in New York magazine. Shoe took my friend and myself to Woodstock since I was too young to drive through a couple of NY counties.

    I kept David McCallul's eye photo in my wallet for years. The joy and fun of being a teenage girl. All hard fought for against the Witnesses.

  • Paralipomenon

    I remember helping out an older brother in the hall clean out his basement and he had an old witness calender on the wall showing Jesus with short blond hair and no beard. I actually went over to check out what religion it was and was stunned to see it was put out by the WTBTS.

  • PSacramento

    Jesus probably looked like Chuck Norris, LOL !

  • cameo-d

    I think they are using this guy as the model. After all, his family are the official Bankers for God.

  • Haelcer

    From book "Things in Which It Is Impossible for God to Lie" (1965):

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