Debut author Anemelu presents a thorough investigation into the physical appearance of the historical Jesus Christ.
Over the course of 14 main chapters and nearly 400 pages, the author, a Bridgeport, Connecticut–based priest, articulates how one should approach and research the question of “What did Jesus look like?” To try to answer it, he provides a wealth of material from the point of view of a Christology rooted in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. However, Anemelu mentions at the outset that this question, though valid, should be only the starting point for a deeper understanding of Jesus and his teachings. To that end, the book provides readers with a treasure trove of information with great breadth. Readers can expect ample quotations from both the Old and New Testaments, as well as references to apocryphal letters from the early centuries of Christianity that describe Jesus’ appearance. The author doesn’t limit his discussions to ancient and medieval texts, though; he also addresses modern images of Jesus, with photos of some representations in an appendix. Anemelu wryly states that his project is “largely, if not almost entirely, hypothetical.” That said, readers should not expect dramatic revisions or deconstructions of the concept of Jesus here; it always steadfastly remains within the confines of the Catholic Church’s teachings. Indeed, the author’s fellow priests may be the audience that will get the most out of this book, given its liberal quotations in Latin and rigorous, academic tone. The book’s overall presentation, however, effectively attempts to move it beyond the seminary to “all readers of goodwill.”
A highly thorough exploration of Jesus’ appearance that also aims to guide Christian readers toward a journey of salvation and redemption.