Quick Links

Daily Readings

Daily Scripture Readings, Troparion and Kontakion

Read More

Holy Fathers

Selected quotes and teachings of the Holy Fathers

Read More


Learn about the lives of the saints of the Orthodox Church

Read More


Description of Jesus

The Physiognomy of Jesus: A letter written to Tiberius Caesar,
Emperor of the Romans by Publius Lentulus, Governor of Judea

In the Library of Geranini in Rome, the following letter exists that speaks about Christ. It is a letter written by Publius Lentulus, who was the governor of Judea before Pontius Pilate. The letter was addressed to the Roman Emperor Tiberius.

"I heard O Caesar, that you wish to know these things which I am writing to you at present, about a certain Man of great virtue-whose name is Jesus Christ, whom the people esteem as a prophet of the truth. His disciples say that He is the Son of God, the Creator of everything in Heaven and on Earth...

Truly Caesar, every day amazing things of great wonder are heard about Him. He raises the dead and heals the sick with only one word. He is a tall man, well shaped, and of an amiable and reverent aspect, especially in his face, that all who gaze upon Him are compelled to love and fear Him.

His hair is the color of a ripe pecan which comes to his ears, and from there it falls into graceful waving curls that cover his shoulders, turning into a brilliant reddish earth color. It is parted in the center from the crown according to the fashion of the Nazarenes. His forehead is smooth and serene, his face is without wrinkle or spot, his nose and his mouth are formed in exquisite symmetry. His beard is thick; the same color as his hair, not long, and it is separated in the center. His eyes are exceptionally sweet and calm; they are serious and inspire fear; they have the power of the sun's rays. No one can stare straight into His eyes. When he reprimands, He creates fear; when He preaches, he pleases everyone, and He is loved by everyone. He is exceedingly pleasant but in a serious way.

The people say that He has never been seen smiling, but frequently crying. His arms and hands are delectable to behold. In his conversations, He satisfies everyone. He has the most perfect body in the whole world. He is a man of extraordinary beauty and divine perfection and exceeds in beauty all of the sons of men, as does his mother, who is the most beautiful woman ever seen in these parts.

If however, Your Majesty, O Caesar, wishes to see Him, as you have written to me sometime before, inform me of this and I will send Him to you immediately.

Everyone in Jerusalem marvels at his wisdom, although He never studied anything. He possesses knowledge of all the sciences. He walks barefoot and wears no cover on his head. Seeing Him many people laugh, but when they are before Him they tremble with fear and respect. The people say that never has a man so eloquent, wise and modest as He ever appeared in these parts. The truth is, as the Jewish people inform me, that no one ever gave advice or taught as this man teaches. Many of the Judeans believe Him to be God. Others again tell me that He is an enemy of your majesty, O Caesar, and in various ways the Jews annoy me. Many people say that He never offended anyone, but He has been fair and just to all.

All those who have become acquainted with Him say that He has helped them. Consequently, O Caesar, I am willing to obey Your Majesty and whatever you order me, it will be carried out."

(In Jerusalem Indiction 7, Moon 11, To Your Majesty faithfully and respectfully, Publius Lentulus, Governor of Judea)