New Testament scholars almost universally understand Zacchaeus to be “short in stature” (τῇ ἡλικίᾳ μικρὸς ἦν) in Luke 19:3. I argue that it is just as plausible, if not more so, to understand Jesus as “the short one” instead. I problematize three approaches scholars use to justify Zacchaeus as “the short one” in Luke 19: (a) that the canonical gospels do not contain physical descriptions of Jesus, unlike other ancient bioi; (b) that the syntactical and intratextual evidence in Luke 19 points incontrovertibly to Zacchaeus as the short one; and (c) that ancient physiognomic parallels related to Zacchaeus’s behavior confirm that he is the one described in Luke 19:3. I contend that readers cognizant of Luke’s portrayal of Jesus as an Aesopic fabulist or as a Socratic figure would have perceived Jesus as the one who was short. Early Christian reception of Jesus’s physical appearance, especially mediated through Origen’s report of Celsus, indicate that regarding Jesus as “the short one” in Luke 19 is plausible even in an ancient Christian context.

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