From our Swindon Corespondent:
From the Guardian
Asked if there had to be rethink on the white image of Jesus, Welby said: “Yes of course it does, this sense that God was white … You go into churches [around the world] and you don’t see a white Jesus.
“You see a black Jesus, a Chinese Jesus, a Middle-Eastern Jesus – which is of course the most accurate – you see a Fijian Jesus.”
It does tickle me that as someone raised Anglican, with weekly trips to church, now an atheist, I could probably do this better than the Archbishop.
To be picky about this, we don’t actually know if Jesus was Middle Eastern, We can assume that Mary and Joseph are, but the bible tells us that this was a virgin birth, the work of the holy spirit, so presumably, had neither of his parent’s DNA. He could have looked like Jackie Chan, Richard Rowntree or Robert Powell.
But to be more serious, the point of Jesus is that he is both man and God. The story speaks to the search for the divine in us. The reason there is a Fijiian or a Chinese Jesus, is that it speaks to all. You, Swedish herring fisherman can be like Jesus. You, African coffee grower can be like Jesus. Shaping Jesus to local tastes is important.
If you’re going to worry about things like historic accuracy, you’re missing the point.