Originally published in Christian Today
Early pictures depicting Jesus Christ with short hair and without beard, dating back to the 4th century A.D. has been unearthed in the town of Cástulo, Spain. The image, according toBreitbart, strikes resemblance to those found in the Roman catacombs, where Christ is shown as a clean-shaven shepherd.
The discovery of the images of Jesus by Spanish archeologists at the Forum MMX excavation project, engraved on a green glass paten, which is an 8.6-inch glass plate, used to hold bread for the Holy Eucharist, has raised many questions. While many archeologists were surprised to find the ‘beardless’ depiction of Jesus, many historians were also interested to know about how and when Christianity arrived in Spain.
While all depiction of Jesus Christ in the 4th century shows Jesus with long beard and flowing locks, the image found at the site of a religious building in the ancient town in Spain looks very different with Jesus dressed in a philosopher’s toga, surrounded by a halo. He is flanked by two other people, who, according to researchers, are Jesus’ two apostles – Peter and Paul, also depicted with halos. The trio is depicted as standing between two palm trees.
“The scene takes place in the celestial orb, framed between two palm trees, which in Christian iconography represent immortality, the afterlife, and heaven, among other things,” The Week quoted the archaeologists as saying in a statement.
The artifact is in good condition, and the archeologists have already managed to piece together 81 per cent of the paten.
“We were wary about presenting the paten as a 4th century piece in case it clashed with previous studies into the chronology of Christianity in Spain,” Huffington Post quoted Marcelo Castro, the project’s head archaeologist as saying. “We know it dates back to the 4th century, in part because popes in the following centuries ordered all patens to be made out of silver,” Castro added.