Author Topic: God the Father in Iconography  (Read 49642 times)

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Online Volnutt

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Re: Question about images of God the Father
« Reply #225 on: August 21, 2011, 08:09:29 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.
I've heard the view that The Ancient of Days in Daniel is Christ. It doesn't make any sense to me, though. Who then was the one like the Son of Man?


Nice avatar btw ;D!
« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 08:10:27 PM by Volnutt »
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: Question about images of God the Father
« Reply #226 on: August 21, 2011, 08:12:05 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.
I've heard the view that The Ancient of Days in Daniel is Christ. It doesn't make any sense to me, though. Who then was the one like the Son of Man?


Nice avatar btw ;D!

Thank you kindly!

Was your question re the Ancient of Days your one-thousand-three-hundred-and-thirthy-seventh post? Leet.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 08:12:29 PM by akimori makoto »
The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.

Offline Kasatkin fan

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Re: Question about images of God the Father
« Reply #227 on: August 21, 2011, 08:13:01 PM »
The only versions I can find online all look like Christ to me, and by look I mean they all have the IC XC and OWN.

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Re: Question about images of God the Father
« Reply #228 on: August 21, 2011, 08:14:26 PM »
1338, looks like.

I think my leet post was on the RC doctrine of the Assumption. :-\
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Online Volnutt

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Re: Question about images of God the Father
« Reply #229 on: August 21, 2011, 08:16:41 PM »
The only versions I can find online all look like Christ to me, and by look I mean they all have the IC XC and OWN.
I believe those are based on Revelation 1. I was always told the whole Trinity can be equally be called Ancient of Days (which is why I like Ethiopian Trinity icons).
Is that what they teach you at the temple volnutt-stein?

Actually, it's Volnutt-berg.

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Offline Kasatkin fan

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Re: Question about images of God the Father
« Reply #230 on: August 21, 2011, 08:19:42 PM »
The only versions I can find online all look like Christ to me, and by look I mean they all have the IC XC and OWN.
I believe those are based on Revelation 1. I was always told the whole Trinity can be equally be called Ancient of Days (which is why I like Ethiopian Trinity icons).
Most likely are. I have an icon of the Apocalypse which contains that icon, though it doesn't label it "Ancient of Days".

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Question about images of God the Father
« Reply #231 on: August 21, 2011, 08:26:01 PM »
The Fathers and the Seventh Ecumenical Council allow the Father to be portrayed as the Ancient of Days.

Please see messages 186 and 187
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10122.msg515769.html#msg515769

Online Volnutt

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Re: Question about images of God the Father
« Reply #232 on: August 21, 2011, 08:31:43 PM »
The Fathers and the Seventh Ecumenical Council allow the Father to be portrayed as the Ancient of Days.

Please see messages 186 and 187
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10122.msg515769.html#msg515769
I guess it depends on whether one would rather believe St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite or the 1666 Synod of the Hundred Chapters.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 08:31:57 PM by Volnutt »
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Actually, it's Volnutt-berg.

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Offline Kasatkin fan

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Re: Question about images of God the Father
« Reply #233 on: August 21, 2011, 08:35:51 PM »
The Fathers and the Seventh Ecumenical Council allow the Father to be portrayed as the Ancient of Days.

Please see messages 186 and 187
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10122.msg515769.html#msg515769
I guess it depends on whether one would rather believe St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite or the 1666 Synod of the Hundred Chapters.
The former was a local council, and dealt specifically with the running of the Russian Church. The 7th Ecumenical Council was, well ecumenical, and permitted the depiction. It does not force the depiction on any church.

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Re: Question about images of God the Father
« Reply #234 on: August 21, 2011, 08:43:04 PM »
I agree. It doesn't seem like everyone does though.
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Question about images of God the Father
« Reply #235 on: August 21, 2011, 08:45:02 PM »
The Fathers and the Seventh Ecumenical Council allow the Father to be portrayed as the Ancient of Days.

Please see messages 186 and 187
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10122.msg515769.html#msg515769
I guess it depends on whether one would rather believe St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite or the 1666 Synod of the Hundred Chapters.

The 1666 Moscow Council kind of looses out on a few of its major points which the Church has ignored.

1.  It forbids depictions of the Father as an old man

2.  It forbids depictions of the Spirit as a dove ( have I got that right?)

3.  It forbids the Baptism of Roman Catholics.

So.... an important Council but the Church has not implemented all its decrees.

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Re: Question about images of God the Father
« Reply #236 on: August 21, 2011, 08:48:17 PM »
Quote
2.  It forbids depictions of the Spirit as a dove ( have I got that right?)
You're asking me? I haven't read all it's decrees.
Quote
So.... an important Council but the Church has not implemented all its decrees.
Indeed.
Is that what they teach you at the temple volnutt-stein?

Actually, it's Volnutt-berg.

Rome doesn't care. Rome is actually very cool guy.

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Question about images of God the Father
« Reply #237 on: August 21, 2011, 08:50:39 PM »
It would be difficult to say that Holy Trinity monastery at Jordanville is ignorant of the controversy about the Trinity icon or about the 1666 Council --- 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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Re: Question about images of God the Father
« Reply #238 on: August 21, 2011, 08:54:34 PM »
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!!
Probably means they consider the matter a theolegoumenon.
Is that what they teach you at the temple volnutt-stein?

Actually, it's Volnutt-berg.

Rome doesn't care. Rome is actually very cool guy.

Offline Cyprian700

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Re: God the Father in Iconography
« Reply #239 on: April 17, 2016, 05:41:25 PM »
  I was always taught that since only Christ assumed flesh, he can be portrayed on icons, but never God the Father.

Whoever taught you this error must not be a very deep thinker.  The Holy Spirit has never assumed flesh, and He is depicted in icons.  Angels have no flesh, and yet they are depicted in icons.  The argument which says the Father must have taken on flesh in order to be depicted is fallacious and easily refuted.

St. John of Damascus - On the Divine Images, Third Apology:

If Holy Scripture clothes God in figures which are apparently material, and can even be seen, they are still immaterial. They were seen by the prophets and those to whom they were revealed, not with bodily but with intellectual eyes. They were not seen by all. In a word it may be said that we can make images of all the forms which we see. We apprehend these as if they were seen.

If it can be seen, it can be depicted.  That is why the Holy Spirit and angels are depicted in icons, even though they have never been incarnate.  The Father has been seen, so He can be depicted, and that is why images of the Father exist everywhere in the Church.

The Octoechos, Tone 5, Midnight Office Canon to the Holy and Life Creating Trinity, Ode 4, first troparion:

"Daniel was initiated into the mystery of the threefold splendour of the one Dominion when he beheld Christ the Judge going unto the Father while the Spirit revealed the vision."

St. Ephraim the Syrian
Select Works of S. Ephrem the Syrian: Volume II p.511

For when [God whom we have called] a mirror was incapable of old age, and the (Jewish) people incapable of the truth, He took to Himself old age for the instructing of the faithless: and since king and old man and child were become effeminate, He put on old age; as a venerable old man did He judge those iniquitous persons who were effeminate in sin. The Being that waxeth not old put on old age to teach by parables concerning His Son and His Beloved. By the mask of old age He shewed His Fatherhood to teach that He hath a Son, the Son of Man, Whom Daniel saw standing before the Ancient of Days, Who did away with mortal kings, and made Himself a King in the Son of the King Immortal. If it had been One only that was sitting, then had there been one seat; but for this reason he saw not one seat, but seats. He shewed that there was an Assessor with Him, and a Son to the Ancient of Days.

St. Epiphanius of Cyprus
Panarion Volume III

14,3 This Father, Son and Holy Spirit has always vouchsafed to appear in visions to his saints, as each was able to receive [the vision] in accordance with the gift which had been <given> him by the Godhead. This gift was granted to each of those who were deemed worthy, sometimes to see the Father as each was able, <sometimes> to hear his voice as well as he could. (4) When he said by the mouth of Isaiah, “My beloved servant shall understand,” this is the voice of the Father. And when Daniel saw “the Ancient of Days,” this is a vision of the Father. And again, when he says in the prophet, “I have multiplied visions and been portrayed by hands of the prophets,” this is the voice of the Son. And when, in Ezekiel, “The Spirit of God took me” and “brought me out unto the plain,” this refers to the Holy Spirit.

Offline Cyprian700

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Re: God the Father in Iconography
« Reply #240 on: April 17, 2016, 06:10:48 PM »
So, what is the "Ancient of Days" supposed to be?  I never understood that.

(2 February)
The Meeting of Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ

Great Vespers
Tone One
(by Anatolios)

"The Ancient of Days, who in times past gave Moses the Law on Sinai, appears this day as a babe."

Since the Ancient of Days gave Moses the Law on Sinai, the appellation obviously does not pertain to the human nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, since the Incarnation had not yet taken place in the time of Moses. Therefore, if the title Ancient of Days pertains to Christ's divinity, then it pertains to the Godhead, and the name is shared equally with the Father and the Spirit.

St. Dionysius the Areopagite lists the appellation "Ancient of Days" as one of the Divine Names which applies to the Godhead.  Anyone who supposes that Christ alone is exclusively called Ancient of Days, would do well to read St. Dionysius' work, On the Divine Names.

St. Dionysius the Areopagite - On the Divine Names:

"Now, this, we have thoroughly demonstrated elsewhere, that always, all the God-becoming Names of God, are celebrated by the Oracles, not partitively, but as applied to the whole and entire and complete and full Godhead, and that all of them are referred impartitively, absolutely, unreservedly, entirely, to all the Entirety of the entirely complete and every Deity. And verily as we have mentioned in the Theological Outlines, if any one should say that this is not spoken concerning the whole Deity, he blasphemes, and dares, without right, to cleave asunder the super-unified Unity."

and...

"But Almighty God is celebrated as "Ancient of days" because He is of all things both Age and Time,----and before Days, and before Age and Time."

again...

"But Almighty God we ought to celebrate, both as eternity and time, as Author of every time and eternity, and "Ancient of days," as before time, and above time; and as changing appointed seasons and times; and again as being before ages, in so far as He is both before eternity and above eternity and His kingdom, a kingdom of all the Ages. Amen."

Online Volnutt

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Re: God the Father in Iconography
« Reply #241 on: April 17, 2016, 06:40:13 PM »
Is the NT Trinity supposed to be the vision of Daniel, though? St. Ephrem says that the Spirit revealed the vision to Daniel, not that Daniel saw the Spirit as a dove.
Is that what they teach you at the temple volnutt-stein?

Actually, it's Volnutt-berg.

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Offline Cyprian700

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Re: God the Father in Iconography
« Reply #242 on: April 17, 2016, 07:06:36 PM »
Does anyone have any idea when and where we get the first mention of a "God the Father Icon"?

It depends on what exactly you mean by a "God the Father Icon".  Images of the Trinity and the Hospitality of Abraham have existed from the earliest of times.  I am not sure you would characterize some of these specifically as "God the Father Icons". 

Dogmatic Sarcophagus (320 - 350 A.D.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogmatic_Sarcophagus

Via Latina Catacomb (4th century)
http://www.stgeorgegreenville.org/Images/Trinity/fresco%204th%20c.jpg

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore - Fifth century mosaics
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_di_Santa_Maria_Maggiore#Fifth_century_mosaics

https://iconreader.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/rome_5th-century.jpg

http://www.christianiconography.info/staMariaMaggiore/hospitalityAbraham.jpg


Basilica of San Vitale  (6th century)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_San_Vitale

http://www.stgeorgegreenville.org/Images/Trinity/mosaic%206th%20c.jpg


If you are looking specifically for an earlier example of an image of the Father depicted as an old man with white hair, with the Son seated at His right hand, here is a Greek example from the 9th century, depicting the vision of the protomartyr Stephen:

https://flic.kr/p/FWRAFu

Offline Cyprian700

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Re: God the Father in Iconography
« Reply #243 on: May 02, 2016, 01:59:22 PM »
Here is the actual photograph of the image of the vision of the protomartyr Stephen with Christ at the right hand of the Father, from the 9th century Greek manuscript at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris:

https://ica.princeton.edu/millet/display.php?country=France&site=&view=country&page=92&image=6083

and here:

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b525013124/f83.item

Offline Cyprian700

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Re: God the Father in Iconography
« Reply #244 on: May 02, 2016, 02:11:21 PM »
Here is a "Paternity" or "Fatherhood" image from the 11th century in a Greek manuscript of the Ladder of St. John Climacus in the Vatican archives:

https://ica.princeton.edu/millet/display.php?country=Italy&site=&view=country&page=16&image=7878

Offline Cyprian700

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Re: God the Father in Iconography
« Reply #245 on: May 02, 2016, 02:16:12 PM »
In this brochure (pdf) one can see an image of Christ praying towards the Father in a Miniature from the Monastery of Dionysiou on Mount Athos (codex 587), painted in Constantinople, circa 1059.

https://holyhill.com/~holyhill/images/pdfs/2014/MarianShrinesBrochure012714A.pdf

It can also be viewed (another pdf) here:

http://www.chaldean.org.uk/mag111.pdf