Jesus in Early Christian Art – Wizard Boy to Royal God!

Elpidio Valdes

Young, fresh-faced, boyish…The earliest images of Jesus look nothing like the Jesus we know today. And nothing like the Jesus in the Turin Shroud. Jesus, at first, is a happy, go-lucky character, curly haired and handsome.

Ceiling Mosaic of the Arian Baptistry, Ravenna, Italy. ca. end of the 5th century CE.Juan Fernández Navarrete, Baptism of Christ, Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain. 1567 CE

He was usually shown waving his wand around, performing remarkable miracles. What you never see in early Christian art is a suffering Jesus, in pain, covered in blood, etc. That Jesus doesn’t turn up in art for another 1,000 years or so. The tortured Jesus is an expression of the Middle Ages.


Marucs Claudianus Sarcophagus, ca 330-335 CE, Palazzo Massimo Rome. Jesus is the young man holding a wand performing miracles.

So, either Jesus deliberately mislead his followers as to what he actually…

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