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Author Topic: God the Father in Iconography  (Read 31966 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #180 on: January 04, 2011, 10:19:12 AM »

I thought God the Father was never depicted in hagiography:

Many commentaries on this icon say that this icon depicts only the three angels who visited Abraham, a physical, historical event that is fair game for iconography. However, for the instruction of the faithful, the angels represent the relationship between the Persons of the Holy Trinity. Thus this can be "The Icon of the Holy Trinity" without directly depicting the Persons of the Trinity.

Could the old man with a rod then be Moses or another OT prophet and not God the Father, as God the Father would not be depicted directly in Iconography? So the Trinity depicted is the God of the OT, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #181 on: January 04, 2011, 10:31:45 AM »

Thank you re replies 7 & 8 ^( pt in thread where I began this post). I just want to further add that although this does  not personally cause me to have a faith crisis, it seems too often ignorance of faith can gain stock in some instances & produces baggage that damages & obscures what should be Orthopraxis.
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« Reply #182 on: January 04, 2011, 04:55:16 PM »

"What does that triangle around the head of God the Father symbolize?"

Apparently, he's a "cheesehead" (a Green Bay Packers fan).

Icons depicting God the Father are quaint 19th century blasphemies. No one has ever seen God. God's "face"--were He to possess one--is that of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, no one knows what God looks like. He most certainly is not an old man with white hair, regardless of what Michelangelo may think. I'd find another favorite.
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« Reply #183 on: January 04, 2011, 04:57:44 PM »

"What does that triangle around the head of God the Father symbolize?"

Apparently, he's a "cheesehead" (a Green Bay Packers fan).

Icons depicting God the Father are quaint 19th century blasphemies. No one has ever seen God. God's "face"--were He to possess one--is that of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, no one knows what God looks like. He most certainly is not an old man with white hair, regardless of what Michelangelo may think. I'd find another favorite.

Further, no one can know anything about God except through Jesus Christ.
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« Reply #184 on: January 04, 2011, 09:11:27 PM »

When is anything in Orthodoxy cut and dry? Smiley

In its polemics!
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« Reply #185 on: January 04, 2011, 11:13:52 PM »

Could the old man with a rod then be Moses or another OT prophet and not God the Father, as God the Father would not be depicted directly in Iconography? So the Trinity depicted is the God of the OT, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Many would say that this is the "Ancient of Days" rather than the Father.  Certain icons allude to this in the abbreviations.  

While I personally feel a lot more comfortable with this explanation, I'm not sure it is what the iconographers intended.  Most people at the parish I attend, (which is named Holy Trinity), believe, even if erroneously, that the Father is depicted in the various icons of the Trinity. The priests are currently trying to explain this to catechumens and, probably more cautiously, to the parishioners.

This issue was discussed here http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15773.0.html

Edit to add: Fascinating Icon, Ortho_Cat.  I had seen it before but not stopped to examine it more closely.
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« Reply #186 on: January 04, 2011, 11:57:54 PM »

So we have popular icons that portray the Father even though it is forbidden to do so?

Portraying God the Father.   Saint Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain, one of the Church's great canonists and a renowned theologian.

"It follows that the Beginningless Father (pater anarkhikos) must be represented in icons as He appeared to the Prophet Daniel, as the Ancient of Days."
-----------------------------------------

Seventh Ecumenical Council:

    "Eternal be the memory of those who know and accept
    and believe the visions of the prophets as the Divinity
    Himself shaped and impressed them, whatever the chorus
    of the prophets saw and narrated, and who hold to the written
    and unwritten tradition of the Apostles which was passed on
    to the Fathers, and on account of this make icons of the Holy
    things and honour them."

    "Anathema to those who do not accept the visions of the prophets
    and who reject the iconographies which have been seen by them
    (O wonder!) even before the Incarnation of the Word, but either
    speak empty words about having seen the unattainable and unseen
    Essence, or on the one hand pay heed to those who have seen these
    appearances of icons, types and forms of the truth, while on the other
    hand they cannot bear to have icons made of the Word become man
    and His sufferings on our behalf."


St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite, in his prolegomena to the Seventh Ecumenical
Council, sums up the Council's decrees on this subject as follows:

    "The present Council, in the letter which it sent to the Church
    of Alexandria, on the one hand blesses those who know and
    accept, and therefore make icons of and honour, the visions
    and theophanies of the Prophets, as God Himself shaped and
    impressed them on their minds. And on the other hand it
    anathematizes those who do not accept the iconographies
    of such visions before the incarnation of God the Word.
    It follows that the Beginningless Father must be represented
    in icons as He appeared to the Prophet Daniel, as the Ancient of Days."


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« Reply #187 on: January 05, 2011, 12:10:29 AM »

Could the old man with a rod then be Moses or another OT prophet and not God the Father, as God the Father would not be depicted directly in Iconography? So the Trinity depicted is the God of the OT, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Many would say that this is the "Ancient of Days" rather than the Father.  This issue was discussed here

WHO is the Ancient of Days? 

What do the holy Fathers think?


The term "Ancient of Days", like "God", is applicable to all Three Persons of the Holy Trinity.

Therefore there is no contradiction between allowing that Christ can be called "the Ancient of Days", as in the hymnology for the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord, and believing that "the Ancient of Days" in the vision of Daniel is God the Father.

Hieromartyr Hippolytus of Rome (P.G. 10, 37), St. Athanasius the Great (V.E.P. 35, 121), St. John Chrysostom (P.G. 57, 133; E.P.E. 8, 640-2), St. Gregory Palamas (Homilies 14, E.P.E. 9, 390), St. Cyril of Alexandria (P.G. 70, 1461), St. Symeon of Thessalonica (Interpretation of the Sacred Symbol, p. 412), and St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite (The Rudder, Zakynthos, 1864, p. 320; Chicago, 1957, p. 420) all agree in identifying “the Ancient of Days” in the vision of Daniel with God the Father.

They interpret the vision as portraying the Ascension of Christ ("the Son of Man") to God the Father ("the Ancient of Days"), from Whom He receives the Kingdom and the Glory, together with the power to judge the living and the dead. Thus St. Cyril of Alexandria writes: “Behold, again Emmanuel is manifestly and clearly seen ascending to God the Father in heaven… The Son of Man has appeared in the flesh and reached the Ancient of Days, that is, He has ascended to the throne of His eternal Father and has been given honor and worship…” (Letter 55, in The Fathers of the Church, vol. 77, Washington: CUA Press, 1987, pp. 28, 29)."

Source: Vladimir Moss, "THE ICON OF THE HOLY TRINITY"
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« Reply #188 on: January 05, 2011, 12:28:00 AM »

A subject of controversy  loved by inquirers, catechumens and recent converts . Roll Eyes
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« Reply #189 on: January 05, 2011, 12:37:39 AM »

I found the book below helpful:

Image of God the Father in Orthodox Theology and Iconography
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« Reply #190 on: January 05, 2011, 12:48:03 AM »

It would be difficult to say that Holy Trinity monastery at Jordanville is ignorant of the controversy about the Trinity icon --- 55 holy monks plus all the erudite seminary professors and seminarians.

And yet, there in the church, as its most revered patronal icon is the forbidden Trinity icon, kissed and venerated by pilgrims, kissed and venerated every day by the monks after Compline.

Ironically, the same monks in the bookstore who sell booklets which are anti this icon are also kissing it and prostrating before it every day!!

The photo below shows this icon on the right side of the church in its own free standing 'throne.'

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« Reply #191 on: January 05, 2011, 02:46:39 AM »

A subject of controversy  loved by inquirers, catechumens and recent converts . Roll Eyes

Tremendously insightful.  Roll Eyes How dare an inquirer, catechumen, or recent convert think this is an interesting subject.   I'll raise you a Roll Eyes
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« Reply #192 on: January 05, 2011, 03:01:31 AM »

WHO is the Ancient of Days? 
What do the holy Fathers think?


The term "Ancient of Days", like "God", is applicable to all Three Persons of the Holy Trinity.

Therefore there is no contradiction between allowing that Christ can be called "the Ancient of Days", as in the hymnology for the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord, and believing that "the Ancient of Days" in the vision of Daniel is God the Father.

Thanks very much for this information. 
Not to spin off an already spun off topic, but I wonder why the newly ordained priest at the parish I attend is so adamant about referring to "the Ancient of Days" rather than "the Father"?  It seems that his MDiv program must have stressed a different side of the argument.  For what it's worth, the priest is not a convert, nor does his parish have many converts.
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« Reply #193 on: January 05, 2011, 08:49:04 AM »

It would be difficult to say that Holy Trinity monastery at Jordanville is ignorant of the controversy about the Trinity icon --- 55 holy monks plus all the erudite seminary professors and seminarians.

And yet, there in the church, as its most revered patronal icon is the forbidden Trinity icon, kissed and venerated by pilgrims, kissed and venerated every day by the monks after Compline.

Ironically, the same monks in the bookstore who sell booklets which are anti this icon are also kissing it and prostrating before it every day!!

The photo below shows this icon on the right side of the church in its own free standing 'throne.'


Thank you for this information father. I only knew of the controversy around the Trinity icon so it seemed logical (I know that this word & Orthodoxy are basically incompatible) that representing the Father would be understood to be a problem. I also remember a thread a couple of years ago here surrounding an unconventional, but righteous, icon of the Christ child and Theotokos appearing as Asian which created volumes of commentary.

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« Reply #194 on: January 05, 2011, 09:17:26 AM »

Not to spin off an already spun off topic, but I wonder why the newly ordained priest at the parish I attend is so adamant about referring to "the Ancient of Days" rather than "the Father"?  It seems that his MDiv program must have stressed a different side of the argument. 

If you use the Search Engine here to run a search for the posts of LBK you will turn up some well argued posts against the New Testament Trinity.  Use the keywords icon and father.
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« Reply #195 on: January 05, 2011, 09:56:49 AM »

WHO is the Ancient of Days? 
What do the holy Fathers think?


The term "Ancient of Days", like "God", is applicable to all Three Persons of the Holy Trinity.

Therefore there is no contradiction between allowing that Christ can be called "the Ancient of Days", as in the hymnology for the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord, and believing that "the Ancient of Days" in the vision of Daniel is God the Father.

Thanks very much for this information. 
Not to spin off an already spun off topic, but I wonder why the newly ordained priest at the parish I attend is so adamant about referring to "the Ancient of Days" rather than "the Father"?  It seems that his MDiv program must have stressed a different side of the argument.  For what it's worth, the priest is not a convert, nor does his parish have many converts.

"In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." I suspect he has not changed this in you parish?
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« Reply #196 on: January 05, 2011, 10:23:21 AM »

I thought God the Father was never depicted in hagiography:
I don't know about hagiography, since that's a subject totally different from iconography. Hagiography has to do with the writing of the lives of the saints.
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« Reply #197 on: January 05, 2011, 11:21:55 AM »

This has probably been mentioned before but, how about the Kursk Root Icon? I had the priviledge to venerate this wonder working icon when it arrived at our parish recently. This icon depicts God the Father/Ancient of Days, yet it is a wonder working icon. Should this be seen as an exception, or normative?
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« Reply #198 on: January 05, 2011, 03:16:42 PM »

"In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." I suspect he has not changed this in you parish?

Of course not.  The idea that the Father can be depicted in iconography is clearly not universally accepted.  The priest is not anti-Trinitarian in any sense; he just does not believe that it is correct to depict the Father.  He approves showing the Ancient of Days, but believes there is a distinction between this and the Father.  You will see in some depictions of the Ancient of Days that it simply looks like an older version of Jesus; longer beard, gray hair, etc. but same facial features and sometimes bodily stance.  

I reread Daniel 7 and realize this is a very complicated topic.  However, it still seems that there is a great difference between the Ancient of Days revealing Himself to Daniel in a vision and Jesus walking amongst the people.    

ETA: PoorFoolNicholas, it's interesting you should bring up the Kursk Root Icon, as the same priest has spoken of its power and recommended that we venerate it.
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« Reply #199 on: January 05, 2011, 03:57:51 PM »

This has probably been mentioned before but, how about the Kursk Root Icon? I had the priviledge to venerate this wonder working icon when it arrived at our parish recently. This icon depicts God the Father/Ancient of Days, yet it is a wonder working icon. Should this be seen as an exception, or normative?

I also had the privilege of venerating this beautiful and wonder-working icon at my parish, and it does indeed have an icon of God the Father at the very top.

While those in favor of these types of depictions like to point this out as proof positive for the practice, the history that I have been aware of is that it is not part of the original wonder-working icon, but a later addition, along with many others. The original Kursk Root icon was simply the depiction of the Theotokos and the Christ-child. None of the other images are original to the icon, including the depiction of God the Father.

In spite of our mistakes, such as this addition, God still has mercy on us, as he does through the work of His Most Pure Mother by way of this icon.
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« Reply #200 on: January 05, 2011, 09:14:34 PM »

In spite of our mistakes, such as this addition, God still has mercy on us, as he does through the work of His Most Pure Mother by way of this icon.
Yes, thankfully God can bestow His grace in spite of our mistakes.  That said, for the Byzantines of old the Ancient of Days when depicted in icons, or in the liturgical prayers of the Church, is Christ, who at times is depicted polymorphically in a single icon as Pantokrator, Ancient of Days, and Immanuel, a practice that can be very confusing today because many people no longer understand how to read that type of icon correctly.
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« Reply #201 on: January 05, 2011, 09:49:14 PM »

"In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." I suspect he has not changed this in you parish?

Of course not.  The idea that the Father can be depicted in iconography is clearly not universally accepted.  The priest is not anti-Trinitarian in any sense; he just does not believe that it is correct to depict the Father.  He approves showing the Ancient of Days, but believes there is a distinction between this and the Father.  You will see in some depictions of the Ancient of Days that it simply looks like an older version of Jesus; longer beard, gray hair, etc. but same facial features and sometimes bodily stance.  

I reread Daniel 7 and realize this is a very complicated topic.  However, it still seems that there is a great difference between the Ancient of Days revealing Himself to Daniel in a vision and Jesus walking amongst the people.    

ETA: PoorFoolNicholas, it's interesting you should bring up the Kursk Root Icon, as the same priest has spoken of its power and recommended that we venerate it.

Thanks for the clarification, you hear about so much odd stuff these days, I just wanted to be sure.
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« Reply #202 on: January 09, 2011, 05:47:18 PM »

Found this. Got the trinity around the head. I think it's a beautiful icon though.

http://www.stsophia.org/photo/cathedral/
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« Reply #203 on: January 09, 2011, 05:56:20 PM »


While I have no problem with depicting God the Father in icons I thought that depicting Christ as a lamb is explicitly forbidded by Trullo.


Quote from: The Church
Canon 82

In some pictures of the venerable icons, a lamb is painted to which the Precursor points his finger, which is received as a type of grace, indicating beforehand through the Law, our true Lamb, Christ our God. Embracing therefore the ancient types and shadows as symbols of the truth, and patterns given to the Church, we prefer "grace and truth," receiving it as the fulfilment of the Law. In order therefore that "that which is perfect" may be delineated to the eyes of all, at least in coloured expression, we decree that the figure in human form of the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world, Christ our God, be henceforth exhibited in images, instead of the ancient lamb, so that all may understand by means of it the depths of the humiliation of the Word of God, and that we may recall to our memory his conversation in the flesh, his passion and salutary death, and his redemption which was wrought for the whole world.
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« Reply #204 on: January 09, 2011, 06:01:40 PM »

Very interesting, wonder how they would react to that?

That's a gorgeous cathedral btw
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« Reply #205 on: January 09, 2011, 07:09:11 PM »

My question is this: these icons continue to be written, in cathedrals, churches etc. You can even find them in icon shops online. Some of these icon shops are run by monks that I am sure are aware of the canons that relate to iconography. As well the bishops that see these icons when they are at these cathedrals and churches. What's the deal? Are they all ignorant, or are they ignoring the canons? Or as I suspect, is there another possible interpretation of the canons?
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« Reply #206 on: January 09, 2011, 09:05:42 PM »

TAOD is ICXC
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« Reply #207 on: January 09, 2011, 09:34:42 PM »

From memory, any liturgical references to the Ancient of Days, particularly plentiful in the vigil for the Nativity of the Lord, refer to Christ, not God the Father.

"Lives of the Holy Prophets" tells me that "While a small number believe that the Ancient of Days is God the Father, avoiding the incontrovertible evidence of Jesus Himself that 'no one hath seen the Father [cf. Jn. 6:46]"-- not even wise Daniel-- the overwhelming consensus of the holy Fathers is that He is Christ, the Son of Man.

The following statements by the Fathers are included, which urge the identity of the Ancient of Days with the Son of Man, and thus with Christ:

St. Ammonios: "(Daniel) prophesied the taking on of flesh of the Only-begotten, naming Him Son of Man Who is to be the Son of the holy Mary and become Man."

St. Irenaeos: "The Ancient of Days... seen by Daniel, received humanity."

St. Kyril of Jerusalem: "The Ancient of Days became a child."

St. Methodios of Olympos: "The righteous Symeon received in his elder's arms of embrace the Ancient of Days as an infant."

Seems like a pretty firm consensus.

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« Reply #208 on: January 09, 2011, 09:51:25 PM »

TAOD is ICXC

Messages 186 and 187
show otherwise.  The Ancient of Days can be any one of the Three Persons of the Trinity.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10122.msg515769.html#msg515769
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« Reply #209 on: January 09, 2011, 10:02:30 PM »


While I have no problem with depicting God the Father in icons I thought that depicting Christ as a lamb is explicitly forbidded by Trullo.
Quote
The Quinisext Council was convened in 692 by Justinian II in Constantinople. It is often referred to as the Council in Trullo because the sessions were held in the same domed room where the Sixth Council was conducted. Both the Fifth and the Sixth Councils had adjourned without drawing up disciplinary canons. The 692 council was convened with the intention to complete the work of the earlier councils in this respect, and it was from this aspect that it took the name Quinisext, i.e. Fifth-Sixth Council. (Latin:Concilium Quinisextum, Koine Greek:Penthekte Synodos).
Two hundred and eleven bishops attended the council, all from the Eastern Roman Empire. Basil of Gortyna in Illyria/Crete, however, belonged to the Church of Rome and claimed that he represented the Roman Church, though no evidence exists of his right to make this claim. In fact, Pope Sergius of Rome refused to sign the canons, citing them as “lacking authority”, when they were sent to him for signature. The Western Church never recognized the 102 disciplinary canons of this council, although later statements by some of the bishops of Rome, notably Popes Constantine and Hadrian I, seem to show an acceptance that could be summed up as expressed by Pope John VIII: that he accepted all those canons which did not contradict the true faith, good morals, and decrees of Rome. The Orthodox Churches consider this council as ecumenical and adds its canons to the decrees of the Fifth and Sixth Councils.

Many of the canons were reiterations of previously passed canons. However, most of the new canons exhibited an inimical attitude towards churches not in disciplinary accord with Constantinople, especially the Western Churches. Their customs are anathematized and "every little detail of difference is remembered to be condemned" (Fortescue).

Among the practices of the Western Church thus condemned were the practice of celebrating liturgies on weekdays in Lent (rather than having pre-sanctified liturgies); of fasting on certain Saturdays during the year; of omitting the "Alleluia" in Lent; of depicting Christ as a lamb; and the discipline of celibacy for all bishops, priests and deacons. This last merits further elaboration: not content merely to condemn the discipline of celibacy in the case of priests and deacons, the Council declared that anyone who tries to separate a priest or deacon from his wife is to be excommunicated. Likewise any cleric who leaves his wife because he is ordained is also to be excommunicated.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Quinisext_Council
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« Reply #210 on: January 10, 2011, 05:46:56 AM »


Even though a case may be made that the Council was biased against the West it doesn't really matter since it's considered authoritative within the EO Church and I was commenting an EO icon within an EO cathedral.
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« Reply #211 on: January 10, 2011, 05:52:20 AM »

Even though a case may be made that the Council was biased against the West it doesn't really matter since it's considered authoritative within the EO Church and I was commenting an EO icon within an EO cathedral.

It is intriguing that this is a canon which has never been received by the Church and this icon is common throughout all the Orthodox Churches in every century.
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« Reply #212 on: January 10, 2011, 06:50:17 AM »

^Well that's an interesting point, Father. I've never before seen Christ depicted as a lamb in our iconography but then again I'm rather new to Orthodoxy. I don't know much about application of canons so maybe I shouldn't say much about this. I guess this wouldn't be the first canon which has become moot.
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« Reply #213 on: January 10, 2011, 07:03:31 AM »

I guess this wouldn't be the first canon which is basically just ignored.

Canon 15 of the First Ecumenical Council (and it's reiteration in Canon 21 of the Council of Antioch in 341) would seem to fall into that category.
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« Reply #214 on: January 10, 2011, 08:11:50 AM »

^Well that's an interesting point, Father. I've never before seen Christ depicted as a lamb in our iconography but then again I'm rather new to Orthodoxy. I don't know much about application of canons so maybe I shouldn't say much about this. I guess this wouldn't be the first canon which has become moot.

Apologies.  I was not thinking of the Lamb but of God the Father.
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« Reply #215 on: January 10, 2011, 10:24:24 AM »

The quality of the photo is not very good, but you can till distinguish Christ represented as a lamb on the ceiling of this church, at the center of the photography: http://lh3.ggpht.com/_h3S8vqr-Lvw/Snbh8dcHm2I/AAAAAAAACIk/EfAqIpXcrKI/DSCN0079.JPG
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« Reply #216 on: January 10, 2011, 07:08:50 PM »

augustin where is that Church?
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« Reply #217 on: January 10, 2011, 07:37:26 PM »

augustin where is that Church?
It's in Romania:http://www.timisoara.org/catedrala/
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« Reply #218 on: January 10, 2011, 07:57:53 PM »

Forgive the sensitive nature of this question and correct any inaccuracies, but how then do we create an image of the Father?  From Daniel 7, all we have of the Ancient of Days' description is that "his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool." (RSV) Do iconographers then just have to imagine what the Father would look like?

I understand that Icons are not intended to be focused on the accuracy of the depiction, but with Christ we have tradition and people who saw Him and reported what He looked like.  From Daniel, we seem to just have a vague description from a vision, and the Hebrews clearly did not make Icons from this vision.  I also understand that we don't necessarily know what Prophets and Saints looked like, but this still seems very different, trying to recreate what men and women who walked among us looked like, as opposed to what God the Father does.
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« Reply #219 on: January 10, 2011, 08:02:15 PM »

CONTEXT NOTE: The following discussion started as a response to this post: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,32603.msg515353.html#msg515353 -PtA


Christ is in the middle, from the other icons that depict him wearing the same colors. I don't know about the other two.

This is my favorite icon of the Holy Trinity:



This icon is on the roof of the portico of only entrance into the monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos.   (that is, it's not in a church, but it's in a prominent place in the monastery.   Right past this is the guardhouse where you register with the monks, and past there is the door to the gift shop and then the courtyard of the monastery itself).   It's a centerpiece of a broader icon which is a "hymn of praise" to the Theotokos, with angels surrounding the Trinity and with sages of antiquity (Aristotle, Plato, etc.) pointing to a separate icon of the Theotokos.  

It was painted in 1856 the monk Nikiphoros, apparently of the monastery.  Several other icons from the time also show "western" influence, though this is the most egregious.  While I was at Vatopedi I never had the opportunity to ask them why a Western-style Holy Trinity was there in contradiction of the canons (it's a somewhat rude question if not asked carefully), but a monk at another monastery explained that while the icon's wrong, that doesn't mean that you destroy it or paint it over.  

Source: "The Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi" Volume A p. 305-7 - a beautiful two-volume picture book published by said monastery.  I got mine from Orthodoxpress.org, IMO the best place to get it.  
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« Reply #220 on: January 10, 2011, 08:51:18 PM »

Even though a case may be made that the Council was biased against the West it doesn't really matter since it's considered authoritative within the EO Church and I was commenting an EO icon within an EO cathedral.

It is intriguing that this is a canon which has never been received by the Church and this icon is common throughout all the Orthodox Churches in every century.

I would hardly say that the depiction of Christ as the Lamb is common; I've only seen it once in my (albeit brief) lifetime.  All the iconographers that I've met are keenly aware of the canonical and traditional prohibition against symbolic representation of Christ (e.g. depicting Him as the Lamb, etc.).

(Oh, I've just seen your later note of clarification.  Apologies.)
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« Reply #221 on: August 21, 2011, 01:53:27 PM »

The argument that "New Testament Trinity" images are inappropriate rests on the fact that the Father and Spirit are not incarnate and that the Spirit may only be portrayed in the specific contexts in which He appeared (as a dove at the Theophany and as tongues of fire at Pentecost).

My question is, why is it that most icons of the Bodiless Powers do not violate the same principle? Unless I'm mistaken, nobody ever saw the Synaxis of the Archangels nor is it described in Tradition. Similarly the Archangels, et al. do not permanently exist in the form of men, they only appear as such sometimes (much like the Spirit as a dove or flames). How can portrait icons of them be justified?
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« Reply #222 on: August 21, 2011, 06:18:52 PM »

Angels have been revealed in human form (having the appearance of human beings) numerous times in both the OT and NT periods. God the Father has never been revealed in human form, only as a voice (such as at the Baptism of Christ and at His Transfiguration). Iconography is concerned with the revelation of God, not with speculation or imagination.
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« Reply #223 on: August 21, 2011, 07:53:32 PM »

Angels have been revealed in human form (having the appearance of human beings) numerous times in both the OT and NT periods.
So you'd have no problem with, for example, icons of Pentecost that portray the Spirit as a dove even though He only appeared as one at Theophany? What if an iconographer used the angel from St. Andrei Rublev's Trinity icon as a symbolic stand in for the Father in some other icon?

God the Father has never been revealed in human form, only as a voice (such as at the Baptism of Christ and at His Transfiguration). Iconography is concerned with the revelation of God, not with speculation or imagination.
The Ancient of Days in Daniel is clearly the Father and clearly a man with white hair and beard.
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« Reply #224 on: August 21, 2011, 08:04:55 PM »

God the Father has never been revealed in human form, only as a voice (such as at the Baptism of Christ and at His Transfiguration). Iconography is concerned with the revelation of God, not with speculation or imagination.
The Ancient of Days in Daniel is clearly the Father and clearly a man with white hair and beard.

You will be told differently in this thread, I promise.
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