How Yeshua Was Whitewashed – A Critical Analysis of The European Jesus Meme

How Yeshua Was Whitewashed - A Critical Analysis of The European Jesus Meme
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The following was written by Daniel Oliver, a Pan-African Alliance Media Correspondent. Daniel holds a B.A. in Sociology from Columbia University, and currently resides on the Arabian side of the Persian Gulf.

The popular West Asian and European icon that represents Jesus is a fake. According to their own sources, the awaited Messiah of Christians and Muslims is an Africoid man with long locks. But do they know this? And what are the wider implications for African theology?

“It doesn’t matter what Jesus looked like.”

This is an automatic response whenever the discussion is about someone being dark-skinned or African. Whenever that person is pale-skinned, the matter is taken at face value. That is the author’s opinion, but since the evidence is only anecdotal, we will explore this claim of colorblind religion according to the sources.

The authors of several books of the Old and New Testaments were very careful to describe the skin color and hair texture of Jesus. The founders of Christianity, who debated hotly about which books to include in the Bible, chose to include these descriptions. If Jesus’ skin color and hair texture didn’t matter in Christianity, the founders of the faith would have thrown these descriptions out.

Read Also: Why Black Christians May Be Shocked To Learn Who The Real Father of Christianity Is

And with regards to Islam, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) carefully described Jesus’ skin color and hair texture to his companions. These companions, in turn, were carefully recorded and related these statements.

In later centuries, entire sciences developed to check the authenticity of these narrations, and throughout, the skin color and hair of Jesus was deemed important and authentic enough to be kept in books.

In Christianity and Islam, skin color and hair texture are important. But why?

Both Christians and Muslims believe in the coming of a false messiah. In Christianity the false messiah is called Antichrist, and in Islam he is called Al-Masih ad-Dajjal. And according to those faiths, the arrival of false messiahs will be followed by the return of the true messiah. In order for the believers to not be deceived, it is important to know what the real and false messiah look like.

He [Jesus] is a Sign of the [Final] Hour. Have no doubt about it. But follow me. This is a straight path. (Qur-an, Suratu zZukhruf (43):61)

If the reader has a further interest in Islamic and Christian eschatology, they can most quickly be compared in these two Wikipedia articles:

Jesus & False Messiah – Islam
Jesus & False Messiah – Christianity

According to Islamic tradition, every prophet and messenger warned his followers about the false messiah, sometimes by describing him.

Once Allah’s Apostle stood amongst the people, glorified and praised Allah as He deserved and then mentioned the Dajjal saying, “l warn you against him (i.e. the Dajjal) and there was no prophet but warned his nation against him. (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 553)

It is important to digress here long enough to illustrate how Islamic scholarship has a stance on Jewish and Christian scriptures and literature that tends towards acceptance.

While, as the title indicates, the purpose of this paper is to prove the appearance of Jesus’ hair, it will be seen that particular attention must be paid to his skin color for the purposes of clarification. There are two basic descriptions of the hair of Jesus: either scanty and tightly-curled, or long.

All descriptions of his skin are either ambiguous or allude to a dark brown color. Ambiguous descriptions have been omitted. For example, the biblical verses describing his hair as “white like wool” or his feet “shining like bronze” are ambiguous as regards hair texture and skin color.

The Christian Bibile indicates that Jesus’ hair was short with tight curls

…and the hair of his head like pure wool… (Daniel 7.9)

Early Christian Historians

“At that time also there appeared a certain man of magic power … if it be meet to call him a man, [whose name is Jesus], whom [certain] Greeks call a son of [a] God, but his disciples [call] the true prophet who is supposed to have raised dead persons and to have cured all diseases. Both his nature and his form were human, for he was a man of simple appearance, mature age, black-skinned (melagchrous),… prognathous (lit. ‘with a long face [macroprosopos]), a long nose… with scanty & curly hair, but having a line in the middle of the head after the fashion of the Nazaraeans, with an undeveloped beard. (*Halōsis, ii.174).” (Flavius Josephus)[2]

Modern Bible Scholars

“While most religious artists have put long hair on Christ, most biblical scholars believe that it was probably short with tight curls…” [3]

Islamic Prophetic Narrations

Jesus was a curly-haired man of moderate height. (Prophet Muhammad) [4]

Jesus hair was also long, and parted at the middle

Early Christian Historians

with scanty, curly* hair [1], but having a line in the middle of the head [2]

Islamic Prophetic Narrations

“I saw in my dream a man of brown color the best one can see amongst brown color andhis hair was long that it fell between his shoulders. His hair was lank and water was dribbling from his head and he was placing his hands on the shoulders of two men while circumambulating the Kaba. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘This is Jesus, son of Mary.’” (Prophet Muhammad) [5]

No, By Allah, the Prophet did not tell that Jesus was of red complexion but said, “While I was asleep circumambulating the Ka’ba (in my dream), suddenly I saw a man of brown complexion and lank hair walking between two men, and water was dropping from his head. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ The people said, ‘He is the son of Mary.’ Then I looked behind and I saw a red-complexioned, fat, curly-haired man, blind in the right eye which looked like a bulging out grape. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘He is Ad-Dajjal.'[6]

So Which kind of hair did Jesus have: Tightly-Curled or Long?

Indeed both. A man can have short, tightly-curled hair, and long lank hair… if he’s an African with locks. Wool compares favorably in appearance to (“dread”)locks.

Scanty, Short, and Curly Hair & Short Locked Hair

Only the hair of Sub-Saharan (“black”) Africans, and others like Andamanese Islanders and aboriginal Southeast Asians (“Negritos”, Orang Asli) is (tightly) curled or ‘woolly’ when it is short. It also appears scanty or thin because of the parting of the hair into small knots (also known as ‘peppercorn’ hair texture):

These compare favorably with early depictions of Jesus Christ.

Read Also: What Do We REALLY Know About Christianity?

The locked hair of an African (or others with “Negroid”/“Africoid” features) is the only type of hair that can be both short and curly, and long hair. Short locks are initially spread apart (‘scanty’) and tightly-curled, but after growing, their weight causes them to be long and limp (‘lanky’).

Jesus Was Really Yeshua – Dreadlocked African Diasporan

Thus, the seeming contradiction is solved. Yeshua’s hair was sparse and tightly curled when short, and long and lank once it had grown into locks. These are descriptions of different stages of his locked hair.

African males compare favorably with phenotypical features common to Christian and Islamic sources, and also with those unique to each:

Characteristics of Yeshua common to both Christianity and Islam:

  • Brown skin
  • Woolly hair
  • Hair that is tightly curled when short
  • Hair that can be parted in the middle when long

Characteristics of Yeshua unique to Christianity:

  • Prognathous (having a projecting lower jaw or chin- common among many Sub-Saharan Africans)
  • An undeveloped beard (Many Sub-Saharan Africans do not grow full beards)

Characteristics of Yeshua unique to Islam:

  • Shoulder-length hair that can drip lots of water

Lastly, the peculiar Islamic description of copious water drops will be addressed in brief. This can’t be a description of long hair of thin strands, because that hair lays flat when wet, and dribbles down the back or shoulders. You would only see droplets if they shook their head violently.

Locks on the other hand, absorb copious amounts of water, and can drip visible droplets for quite some time.

Yeshua And The False Messiahs of the West

The awaited savior of Christian and Muslim prophecy is unmistakably an African man. Billions of people around the world believe that a Black man with dreadlocks will save the world in the end times. That is according to their authentic sources. However, pale (“white”) supremacists have long ago corrupted the teachings of these (and perhaps all) faiths. So if prophecy comes true, will they follow it?

For the reader who is not an adherent of Christianity or Islam, it is clear that both religions literary sources agree that Jesus was a member of an ancient Sub-Saharan African (“Negroid”, “Africoid”) diaspora.

Whatever their spirituality, Africans can reconcile their theology and faith with their identity and cause if they will recognize that everything, even religion, comes from Africans.


[1] As Eisler, Messiah Jesus, 421 points out, there are two alternatives in the manuscript tradition: ολιγόθριξ “scanty” and ουλόθριξ “curly.” Retrieved 2.5.2015 from

[2] Robert Eisler, The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist: According to Flavius Josephus’ recently rediscovered ‘Capture of Jerusalem’ and the other Jewish and Christian sources (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1931). From Muhammad, Wesley. “God’s Black Prophets: Deconstructing the Myth of the White Muhammad of Arabia and Jesus of Jerusalem”. Retrieved 2.5.2015 from

In 1931 Austrian Jewish Biblical scholar and art historian Robert Eisler published a classic in Josephus scholarship, his The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist: According to Flavius Josephus’ recently rediscovered ‘Capture of Jerusalem’ and the other Jewish and Christian sources. Through a meticulous analysis of extant manuscripts, Eisler endeavored to restore the original reading of a first century text that discusses John the Baptist, Jesus and the early Christians. This first century source is the Halosis or “Capture (of Jerusalem)” of Josephus (37-100 CE). Originally written in Aramaic, a Greek rewriting was published around 72 CE. This is an important text for the discussion of Christian origins, particularly given the section therein treating “the human form of Jesus and his wonderful works.” Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, is believed to have had access to official Roman records on which he based his history of the early ‘Jesus movement.’ He is thus a singularly contemporary witness.

While there was immediate scholarly backlash to Eisler’s conclusions (e.g. J.W. Jack, The Historic Christ [London: James Clarke & Co, 1933]) and most scholarship today refuses to concede his point, some scholars have taken another look at the issue and affirmed its basic correctness. See e.g. Arthur E. Palumbo, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Personages of Earliest Christianity (New York: Algora Publishing, 2004) who concludes: “It is likely that Eisler’s restoration of the Slavonic passage about Jesus does correspond as close as can be expected to what Josephus actually wrote and to what was recorded in the actual official Jewish and Roman documents. (230)” From Muhammad, Wesley. “God’s Black Prophets: Deconstructing the Myth of the White Muhammad of Arabia and Jesus of Jerusalem”. Retrieved 2.5.2015 from

[3] Mike Fillon, “The Real Face of Jesus: Advances in forensic science reveal the most famous face in history,” Popular Mechanics (December 2002): 70, 71, from Muhammad, Wesley. “God’s Black Prophets: Deconstructing the Myth of the White Muhammad of Arabia and Jesus of Jerusalem”. Retrieved 2.5.2015 from

[4] Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 608

Retrieved 2.5.2015 from & English Texts)

[5]Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 649

Retrieved 2.5.2015 from & English Texts)

[6] Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 650.

Retrieved 2.5.2015 from & English Texts)


The body of narrations originating from Judeo-Christian traditions, rather than from revealed books such as the Scrolls of Ibraaheem (Abraham), the Taura (Torah), Zabuur (Psalms) and Injeel (Gospel) are known as the Israa-eeliyaat in Islamic theology. They are mostly non-biblical explanatory stories and traditions (in Hebrew: midrashim) giving extra information or interpretation about events or individuals recorded in the Hebrew scriptures.

Muslims classify such narrations in three categories:

1) Those considered to be true because the Qur-aan or narrations of Muhammad confirm them.

2) Those considered to be false, because the Qur-aan or narrations of Muhammad reject them.

3) Those not known to be either true or false.

Therefore the Islamic position on Judeo-Christian narrations and what is left of the revealed books could be summed up with the following narrations of Prophet Muhammad:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr: The Prophet said, “Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single sentence, and tell others the stories of People of Israel (which have been taught to you), for it is not sinful to do so. And whoever tells a lie on me intentionally, will surely take his place in the (Hell) Fire.” (Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 3202)

Narrated Abu Huraira: The people of the Scripture (Jews) used to recite the Torah in Hebrew and they used to explain it in Arabic to the Muslims. On that Allah’s Messenger said, “Do not believe the people of the Scripture or disbelieve them, but say: “We believe in Allah and what is revealed to us.” (Qur-aan 2.136) (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 4125) (

As such, authentic Islamic and Christian source materials are more likely to agree than not to.

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