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Author Topic: Protestants and Icons  (Read 18512 times) Average Rating: 0
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DennyB
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« on: April 30, 2008, 09:40:30 AM »

 In my disscussions with open-minded Protestants about the Orthodox Faith,the one thing that seems to be a hang-up with them are the use of Icons,I've been disscussing with one,who quotes Early Church Fathers,such as Irenaeus,in such a way as to condemn their use,I've read the quotes and I take from the quotes that He is condemning their mis-use,not an outright condemnation. Any suggestions on how to better explain their use in the Early Church?
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2008, 10:12:49 AM »

DennyB

I am no exert on Orthodoxy, nor do I claim to be!!

Being a former Protestant (Baptist, then Fundamentalist, Happy Clapper (Pentecostal), then back and forward, this seminary, then that seminary - you get my drift - when I also started being interested in Orthodoxy, it was when I was given a Russian Icon by my father - a devout Protestant minister, after he went to Russia on a trip.

I too struggled with having an icon, let alone praying before one. There is a great write up in the book "The Law of God", and many others on the internet (type in 'icons/icon corners'). The understanding I have is that they are not idols, and they are not idols we pray to - they are a reminder of the faith of these people, and they are no more an idol than having a photo of a loved one with you, and when you look at it, you say 'I love you'. We don't adore or worship/pray to the piece of wood/plastic, but the image is a reminder of that person (ie Jesus/Mary/a saint), and we use the icon as a symbol! Look, I am no Orthodox theologian, and I may be wrong here, but when I pray in front of an icon, it's not to the icon, but to whom it represents. The icon just makes me feel closer to God, Jesus, and the saints whom I pray to to intercede for me.

Read 'Becoming Orthodox' by Peter Gillquist, an ex Protestant who overcame this and many other "orthodox theologies" and joined the Church.

If I have erred in my understanding, I apologise, and am open to correction.
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2008, 10:59:04 AM »

at its simplest, the idea is that these are pictures of family members, the family of the church.

then explain the difference between worship and veneration.  and how inanimate objects were routinely made sacred in the Bible. 

I am convinced at the power of icons as I watch my nephew, who is not even a year old, be mesmerized by them in church and in our homes. 
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2008, 11:01:55 AM »

On a personal basis, since I became Orthodox I have found the passage in Matthew 2:11 (as the wise men approached the Theotokos & Christ child) to really illuminate my understanding of the icons. "And when they came into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him." The icon of this passage is our most preeminent & it almost seems to instruct us to proper worship & veneration. Since the wise men gentiles knew to worship Him and our Saviour later instructed us to venerate His (& our) mother per John 19:27. St. Paul clarifies that He "Who is the image (icon) of the invisible God,the first born of every creature." (Colossians 1:15) & Christ instructs us knowing & seeing the Father per Him in John 14:7. As a catechism (c. 1949) from the Antiochian OC, then under Met. Antony Bashir, stated, "We are not allowed to pray to the holy Ikons but we may pray before them, that they may serve to remind us of God and increase our devotion to Him."
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2008, 11:12:46 AM »

In teacher terms, all students begin learning in what is called concrete operations. They need the wood blocks to work out simple math problems. Then, as they grow and develop, they no longer need the blocks because they become more adept at abstract thinking. Some end up being supremely skilled at abstract thinking (Einstein), and others always remain somewhat in the concrete stage, and everything in between.

Some people find it easy to remember God, the Saints, and significant events without any assistance. But for others, that real, tangible chunk of wood with a picture makes all the difference in being able to remember and understand God, the saints, and events. It is something like the illustrations in a book. Many books will have an illustration at each chapter heading.
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2008, 12:44:09 PM »

I don't think the OP is concerned about the theology of the matter. I think he's more concerned with the fact that certain Church Fathers seem to condemn the use of images. Does anyone have a good response to this?
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2008, 08:11:39 PM »

In my disscussions with open-minded Protestants about the Orthodox Faith,the one thing that seems to be a hang-up with them are the use of Icons,I've been disscussing with one,who quotes Early Church Fathers,such as Irenaeus,in such a way as to condemn their use,I've read the quotes and I take from the quotes that He is condemning their mis-use,not an outright condemnation. Any suggestions on how to better explain their use in the Early Church?

You are right. St Irenaeus speaks against the Gnostic misuse of icons, not their use. It might pay to get the names of the other Early Church Fathers your friends are quoting and thoroughly check what they are saying. People do have a tendancy to find "proof texts" in the fathers without going into context.

The Catholic Encyclopaedia has an interesting article at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07664a.htm

Hope this helps.
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2008, 04:48:26 PM »

Hey, Brother DennyB
Seems the folks on that "other forum" are a bit testy:
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Dear Aristokles,

You have received a warning at CARM.ORG - Christian Discussion Forums.

Reason:
-------
Signature, Link or Image Rule Violation: 20 Points Within 30 days Results in Suspension

Link to RCC dogma
-------

Original Post:
Link removed to conform to OUR rules
Quote:
DennyB,
To quote Han Solo, "Let the wooki win". It matters not.
However, for YOU, see: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis...us-images.html

Log off, read it, say your prayers, and go to sleep secure.

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Warnings serve as a reminder to you of the forum's rules, which you are expected to understand and follow.

All the best,
CARM.ORG - Christian Discussion Forums

Ain't that a hoot! CAFism is spreading. Link to RCC dogma...clueless.
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008, 04:51:54 PM »

Hang on here.  At that forum you can't even link to an explanation of your position if it's at a Roman Catholic site?

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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2008, 04:54:22 PM »

Hang on here.  At that forum you can't even link to an explanation of your position if it's at a Roman Catholic site?



The site is neither EO nor RC. I guess the content police are involved.





{Edited before our grammar marms notice}
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2008, 04:55:05 PM »

The Protestant issues towards icons stem from the use of 3D images by the Catholic Church.  No Orthodox icon is 3D; hence, not a solid image.  Orthodox icons depict saints who lived and continue to live in the eternal kingdom.

Some Catholics are slowly reintroducing 2D icons vs. 3D statues.
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2008, 04:56:52 PM »

Regardless of its official or unofficial religious affiliation, how the heckfire are you supposed to have discourse on a topic if you can't put forth an explanation for your position by providing a link to information that might explain your position better than you could?
  
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2008, 04:59:23 PM »

The Protestant issues towards icons stem from the use of 3D images by the Catholic Church.  No Orthodox icon is 3D; hence, not a solid image.  Orthodox icons depict saints who lived and continue to live in the eternal kingdom.

Some Catholics are slowly reintroducing 2D icons vs. 3D statues.

Why are you trying to frame this as a Catholic vs. Orthodox concept?  Protestant opposition to iconography transcends East vs. West/statues vs. icons.  It's the depiction itself, 3D or 2D, that gives them the willies and makes them think of God's proscription against graven images.
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2008, 05:06:07 PM »

Why are you trying to frame this as a Catholic vs. Orthodox concept?  Protestant opposition to iconography transcends East vs. West/statues vs. icons.  It's the depiction itself, 3D or 2D, that gives them the willies and makes them think of God's proscription against graven images.

The lack of icons in Protestant churches is counter to the restoration of icons by the 7th Ecumenical Council - which the Protestants (along with Holy Tradition and everything else) threw out with their Reformation.  Simple answer.
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2008, 05:10:12 PM »

The lack of icons in Protestant churches is counter to the restoration of icons by the 7th Ecumenical Council - which the Protestants (along with Holy Tradition and everything else) threw out with their Reformation.  Simple answer.

True, but your post made it sound as if Western Catholicism used more 2d images instead of 3d images then Protestant iconoclasm would never have happened. 
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2008, 05:10:30 PM »

Regardless of its official or unofficial religious affiliation, how the heckfire are you supposed to have discourse on a topic if you can't put forth an explanation for your position by providing a link to information that might explain your position better than you could?
 

Exactly. I guess a 43 page refutation of iconoclasm by our saint doesn't qualify as fair?
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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2008, 05:12:04 PM »

Exactly. I guess a 43 page refutation of iconoclasm by our saint doesn't qualify as fair?

I suppose they want you to use up their bandwidth with the ol' cut & paste (so long as you cite it properly)! Wink
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2008, 05:16:47 PM »

Oh yes
Here's the link they minced:

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/johndamascus-images.html


Dangerous stuff  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2008, 05:17:20 PM »

I suppose they want you to use up their bandwidth with the ol' cut & paste (so long as you cite it properly)! Wink

Against their rules.
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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2008, 05:18:36 PM »

Could you post something like "I suggest you read "In defense of holy images" by John of Damascus (Google it)" or is THAT against their rules?
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2008, 05:26:29 PM »

True, but your post made it sound as if Western Catholicism used more 2d images instead of 3d images then Protestant iconoclasm would never have happened. 

I forget that the Internet could fog the intent of speech unless one elaborates thoroughly on the point.  I thought that what I initially wrote was pretty good given that the Catholics were already using 3D statues by the Reformation and that the Protestants revolted against the use of such "heresy" in addition to revolting against all the other corruptions of the Catholic church.  I hope that I explained myself better.  Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2008, 05:27:56 PM »

I forget that the Internet could fog the intent of speech unless one elaborates thoroughly on the point.  I thought that what I initially wrote was pretty good given that the Catholics were already using 3D statues by the Reformation and that the Protestants revolted against the use of such "heresy" in addition to revolting against all the other corruptions of the Catholic church.  I hope that I explained myself better.  Smiley

Gotcha Smiley  I, as a Catholic, may be a bit oversensitive at times, as well.  Please forgive any exasperation I may have caused you in regards to this.
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« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2008, 05:29:46 PM »

Oh yes
Here's the link they minced:

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/johndamascus-images.html


Dangerous stuff  Roll Eyes

That's Paul Halsall's site. It is a staple for most medieval history/Western Civ courses across the world. Many a student and professor have benefited from this resource.
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« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2008, 05:32:31 PM »

Gotcha Smiley  I, as a Catholic, may be a bit oversensitive at times, as well.  Please forgive any exasperation I may have caused you in regards to this.

No exasperation - just a little more work required to explain something which was mutually understood.   Cheesy
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« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2008, 06:34:21 PM »

Howdy!

The big Protestant hangup is that they can not get past the concept that one is praying to an Icon.
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« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2008, 06:15:11 PM »

Oh yes
Here's the link they minced:

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/johndamascus-images.html


Dangerous stuff  Roll Eyes

Good gravy!  That real primary documents are a threat somehow and that Halsall's site is counter to their rules appalls me.  Posting someones real words, the truth of what he said isn't allowed?!?   Huh Roll Eyes Sad

Not good.

Ebor
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« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2010, 11:28:20 AM »

The Old Testament showed the use of icons:

"And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover." (Exodus 25:18-20)

Icon veneration was never idolatry and was never intended for that purpose. It was intended for the unlearned that though words may not make them understand, the colors of the icon may give to them comprehension about the life of our Lord and Savior and His saints. It also gives glory to the True Incarnation of our Lord in the world. For how could we make a picture of Him if He did no truly come?

"Woe to the iconoclasts! (i.e. icon-breakers) It is the worst of heresies, as it subverts the incarnation of our Saviour." Council of Nice

Cool
and besides, it makes us feel like were in heaven when were in Church.
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« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2010, 12:06:14 PM »

Here is a great book about the 7th Ecumenical Council where the issue was finally decided:

Images of the Divine: The Theology of Icons at the Seventh Ecumenical Council - Revised Edition (Studies in the History of Christian Thought) by Ambrosios Giakalis and Henry Chadwick (Hardcover - Jun 30, 2005)

It's a bit pricey but it goes through the entire debate both pro and con.
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« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2010, 01:46:56 PM »

I don't think the OP is concerned about the theology of the matter. I think he's more concerned with the fact that certain Church Fathers seem to condemn the use of images. Does anyone have a good response to this?


Interesting how the sola scripturist is worried about what the Church Fathers say (or allegedly say).

saint John should suffice.
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« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2010, 02:38:57 PM »

Indeed. In fact, some people say that there's nothing John of Damascus can't answer! Roll Eyes
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« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2010, 03:28:57 PM »

Indeed. I always like to point out that veneration was also done in ancient Judaism. Jews have always kissed the Scriptures in reverence and many Jews will kiss a Mezuzah (a case which contains a parchment of verses from the Torah) which is fixed outside the doors of homes. Are they worshiping these things? No. Many Protestants will say that the honor of Saints takes away from the worship of God but I would disagree and would say that it brings us closer to God. Remembering the Saints helps remind us of the mercy of God. Icons in the churches and at home remind us of this mercy that God has shown us. Early on, icons were used for teaching the faith for those who could not read but even for us who are able to read the Scriptures and the Fathers, they still serve as a reminder of God's presence here on earth. The Ark of the Covenant was an image of God's mercy shown to the Israelites of old and reverence was shown to it since no one would dare touch it. The Ark was no idol, just as icons aren't either. They are physical images that show us God's love and mercy to us. Icons remind us of the reality that God became incarnate as a man and died for our sake and then rose from the dead and death was thereby destroyed and showing the icons of the Saints remind us that they are not just pictures of dead people but through God's promise, they are alive though Christ's Resurrection.

Howdydave made a good point that the reason why Protestants get all hung up on icons is that they think we worship and pray to the icons. As you can see, this is a very terrible misunderstanding. We pray in front of icons since as I said, they are a reminder of God’s mercy to us and they bring us closer to God. When we ask a Saint to pray for us, this also helps us draw closer to God since through the Resurrection, they are alive in Christ.
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« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2010, 04:17:36 PM »

This year when I went home for Christmas, I had a few encounters with "protestants and icons."  My entire family is protestant and my father is a baptist minister.  I brought an icon of Christ home for my 91 year old grandmother who's in the nursing home and she was quite happy to receive it.  (She's presbyterian, by the way).  Before that, when my dad came and picked me and my girlfriend up from the airport, he took us by his office (the Georgia Baptist headquarters) and inside there was a giant mural on the ceiling of God the Father, the Holy Spirit and Christ.  There was also statues of St. Peter (or just "Peter" as the statue said at the bottom) and Christ with the children.  Also, there was another mural on the ceiling with many faces of people and Christ.  Lastly, my other grandmother (raised Church of God and later started attending a Baptist Church), has had a large painting of Christ as the good shepherd at the foot of her bed since as long as I can remember.

However, when my dad went to an Orthodox Church with me and my girlfriend and I was telling him about what to expect at one point he said, "I'm not kissing any icons."  However, he had no objection to me doing so.  He didn't kiss the cross at the end either, but just walked up and shaked the priest's hand.
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« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2010, 05:22:45 PM »

Indeed. In fact, some people say that there's nothing John of Damascus can't answer! Roll Eyes
Then there is that catacomb problem.


Gee, wonder what they are doing with their armed raised.
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« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2010, 05:57:10 PM »

I find icons difficult. I don't think I'm missing the theology though; I just don't find it illuminates the practice much for me. I just don't really get it.
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« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2010, 07:58:02 PM »

I find icons difficult. I don't think I'm missing the theology though; I just don't find it illuminates the practice much for me. I just don't really get it.
Its interesting how our different experiences color our understanding of the faith. As a Catholic I couldn't imagine practicing the faith without icons and images. The lack of such would feel very manicheean to me.
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« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2010, 09:44:40 PM »

I find icons difficult. I don't think I'm missing the theology though; I just don't find it illuminates the practice much for me. I just don't really get it.

Hey! Doesn't the Anglican Church have icons too? Your Anglican right?
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« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2010, 10:26:28 PM »

Protestantism, especially the more radical forms of it, is iconoclastic, suspicious of any sense but that of hearing, taking too literally the verse that says "Faith cometh by hearing," and equally mistaking the Word of God for a book, when it is, in fact, a Person (see John 1:1-3).
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« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2010, 10:32:52 PM »

Quote
mistaking the Word of God for a book, when it is, in fact, a Person (see John 1:1-3).

I agree
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« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2010, 12:02:50 AM »

Is it OK though Isa? I once saw a first century catacomb depiction of either Jesus or Peter where the artist just copied an apollo statue and substituted something the idol was carrying for a lamb (Christian symbol) to make it more "kosher". The whole thing about idolatry is that it "degrades" God. You make God conform to what you want him to be when you draw a picture of him.

Oh and here's something on John Damascus which caught my eye:

Quote
Abbot Theodore Aeliotes told of a holy hermit on the Mount of Olives, who was much troubled by the demon of fornication. One day when he was sorely tempted, the old man began to complain bitterly. "When will you let me alone?" he said to the devil "be gone from me! you and I have grown old together." The devil appeared to him, saying, [91] "Swear to me that you will keep what I am about to tell you to yourself, and I will not trouble you any longer." And the old man swore it. Then the devil said to him, "Do not worship this image, and I will not harass you." The image in question represented Our Lady, the holy Mother of God, bearing in her arms our Lord Jesus Christ. You see what those who forbid the worship of images hate in reality, and whose instruments they are. The demon of fornication strove to prevent the worship of Our Lady's image rather than to tempt the old man to impurity. He knew that the former evil was greater than fornication.

So let me see...a demon tormented a monk with lustful thoughts, then the monk said "stop bothering me" and the demon replied "if you worship the icon I will stop bothering you" and this is a great "proof" that its ok to worship icons? That a demon told a man that if he worshipped an icon he would be ok? Plus this "holy monk" sweared and broke his word.


Oh, and that "synagogue" you showed as proof for icons was built by samaritans.
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« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2010, 12:34:39 AM »

Is it OK though Isa? I once saw a first century catacomb depiction of either Jesus or Peter where the artist just copied an apollo statue and substituted something the idol was carrying for a lamb (Christian symbol) to make it more "kosher". The whole thing about idolatry is that it "degrades" God. You make God conform to what you want him to be when you draw a picture of him.
So even the first century Church was in error? We are all doomed! Cheesy
Seriously though, the Church "baptised" many practices- both Jewish and Pagan. It doesn't mean they are not Christian practices.
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« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2010, 12:38:23 AM »

I once saw a first century catacomb depiction of either Jesus or Peter where the artist just copied an apollo statue and substituted something the idol was carrying for a lamb (Christian symbol) to make it more "kosher".

Can you prove that?

Regardless, so now any image of a person in a particular pose holding an object is automatically a copy of a pagan god, and is therefore idolatry? That's kind of ridiculous.

So an icon of Christ enthroned must be a ripoff of the Lincoln Memorial - they're both sitting down! Shocked

You make God conform to what you want him to be when you draw a picture of him.

If they had cameras in the 1st century, would taking a photograph of Christ "limit" him?

It's all about the incarnation. God became a human. He voluntarily took his limitless self, and without compromising that limitlessness, became a limited being, subject to all realities of the flesh, including being able to be depicted. If you have a problem with that, perhaps you should take it up with God instead of iconographers.
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« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2010, 12:38:29 AM »

If somebody can show me a pre-christian jewish use of iconography I will..."reconsider" my opinion on icons. But nobody can because icons were prohibited and only the samaritans built them. And its not ok to "baptise" idols and then re-use them.

Edited out comparison images from website I consider unorthodox in its beliefs and theology
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« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2010, 12:40:55 AM »

If somebody can show me a pre-christian jewish use of iconography I will..."reconsider" my opinion on icons. But nobody can because icons were prohibited and only the samaritans built them. And its not ok to "baptise" idols and then re-use them.
The two Cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant and on the curtain of the Holy of Holies.
Icons, I might add, which were Commanded by God to be made.
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« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2010, 12:44:17 AM »

But...God ordered it. The big difference.
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« Reply #44 on: January 08, 2010, 12:47:41 AM »

But...God ordered it. The big difference.
This is what you said: "If somebody can show me a pre-christian jewish use of iconography I will..."reconsider" my opinion on icons. "
I just showed you a pre-Christian Jewish use of Iconography, and you won't reconsider.
And if God commanded Icons to be made, how can you say Icons are wrong? Did God make a mistake?
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« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2010, 12:52:24 AM »

Quote
But...God ordered it. The big difference.
This is what you said: "If somebody can show me a pre-christian jewish use of iconography I will..."reconsider" my opinion on icons. "
I just showed you a pre-Christian Jewish use of Iconography, and you won't reconsider.
And if God commanded Icons to be made, how can you say Icons are wrong? Did God make a mistake?

No, because there is a "fluidity" in the instruction, the Torah of God. So he can say whatever he wants, whenever he likes and we must obey. Yesterday he asked for animal sacrifices, today he has provided something different for instance. He said idols degrade him (second command) but he on a very specific ocasion asked for a specific representation in the Ark of the Covenant.
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« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2010, 12:55:29 AM »

Quote
But...God ordered it. The big difference.
This is what you said: "If somebody can show me a pre-christian jewish use of iconography I will..."reconsider" my opinion on icons. "
I just showed you a pre-Christian Jewish use of Iconography, and you won't reconsider.
And if God commanded Icons to be made, how can you say Icons are wrong? Did God make a mistake?

No, because there is a "fluidity" in the instruction, the Torah of God. So he can say whatever he wants, whenever he likes and we must obey. Yesterday he asked for animal sacrifices, today he has provided something different for instance.
So now you are rejecting Icons because they are a pre-Christian Jewish practice.
Make up your mind! Cheesy
Here's what you said:
If somebody can show me a pre-christian jewish use of iconography I will..."reconsider" my opinion on icons.
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« Reply #47 on: January 08, 2010, 01:00:05 AM »

No, show me a synagogue with icons as proof, that way I know the existing tradition allowed icons. But no icons. There's even a story in either the bible or the talmud which tells of each of the fathers of the 12 tribes asking for some stones God used to represent them, so a bunch of little shrines could be made, and God said "No". Also the Story on Moses having to be buried in secret. Plus only Samaritans built icons, and they disobeyed in a bunch of stuff. So please provide evidence it is ok to build idols in contravention to what St.Paul ordered in Jerusalem as the MINIMUM standard the faithful should adhere to.
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« Reply #48 on: January 08, 2010, 01:11:09 AM »

Where's my Jewish icon man? I'm anxious for it so I can go to the local icon shop and "reconsider" my opinion now that icons are ok with God and not idols. Please find it.
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« Reply #49 on: January 08, 2010, 01:21:05 AM »

No, show me a synagogue with icons as proof, that way I know the existing tradition allowed icons. But no icons. There's even a story in either the bible or the talmud which tells of each of the fathers of the 12 tribes asking for some stones God used to represent them, so a bunch of little shrines could be made, and God said "No". Also the Story on Moses having to be buried in secret. Plus only Samaritans built icons, and they disobeyed in a bunch of stuff. So please provide evidence it is ok to build idols in contravention to what St.Paul ordered in Jerusalem as the MINIMUM standard the faithful should adhere to.

On the day of Our Lord's Nativity...perhaps you should put more study into the meaning of the Incarnation of the Lord.

If you are looking for us to produce ikons of people written by people prior to the Incarnation, it won't happen. The whole point of having an ikon at all is to reflect the New Humanity, the New Adam that is Christ Jesus. The old humanity was dragged down into sin by Old Adam.

"Behold the man! Behold Adam, but not the Adam who sinned against God and dragged down the Creation in his rebellion, but the second Adam, the new Adam, the last Adam, who obeyed God and exalted the whole Creation in his rising. Behold the man, Adam as he was meant to be. Behold the New Adam who is even now transforming the Old Adam's failure into glory!

Behold the man! Behold the first-born of the dead. Behold, as in the icon of the Resurrection, the man who descends to reach Adam and Eve and raise them up in his ascent. Behold the man who will enter the realm of the dead and forever crush death's power to keep people down."
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« Reply #50 on: January 08, 2010, 01:28:58 AM »

Oh, and that "synagogue" you showed as proof for icons was built by samaritans.

Do you have proof for this?
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« Reply #51 on: January 08, 2010, 01:30:40 AM »

No, show me a synagogue with icons as proof, that way I know the existing tradition allowed icons.
What, you mean the Icons of the Cherubim in the First and Second Temple (the centre of Jewish worship) aren't good enough as proof? What else can I say then?
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« Reply #52 on: January 08, 2010, 01:32:24 AM »

Depictions of God the Father are forbidden in Orthodoxy since He was unseen. God however became incarnate and was an image of the Father. He was here on earth and seen with human eyes and thus became depictable.
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« Reply #53 on: January 08, 2010, 01:45:56 AM »

Depictions of God the Father are forbidden in Orthodoxy.
Not this again. Cheesy
Even if depictions of the Father were "forbidden" we still have them, even on Wonderwoking Icons like the Kursk Root Icon. The only Canon which "forbids" depictions of God the Father is a local Canon of Moscow (which even Moscow ignores). Here is the interior of the main dome of Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow:
http://www.xxc.ru/english/foto/inside/s01/f003.htm


God the Logos however became incarnate and was an image of the Father. He was here on earth and seen with human eyes and thus became depictable.
So why were the Cherubim able to be depicted in the Temple? Were they incarnate? The point of the depiction of Christ in Icons is that God can be depicted in Icons. An Icon depicts an hypostasis, so an Icon of the Incarnate Christ is an Icon of the Hypostasis of the Second Person of the Trinity.
An Icon of God the Father as the Ancient of Days is based on the vision of Daniel where the "Son of Man" ascends to the Presence of the Ancient of Days. The fact that Christ is also shown as the Ancient of Days in Scripture doesn't mean that Both the Father and the Son cannot be the understood as "The Ancient of Days". Whoever has seen Christ has seen the Father.
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« Reply #54 on: January 08, 2010, 01:55:22 AM »

Is it OK though Isa?

Quite OK.  The gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church.


Quote
I once saw a first century catacomb depiction of either Jesus or Peter where the artist just copied an apollo statue and substituted something the idol was carrying for a lamb (Christian symbol) to make it more "kosher".

Solomon didn't build the Temple: Hiram of Tyre's masons did.  As it is clear they did so according to the Phoenician (i.e. pagan) idea of what a Temple should be: Moses left no instructions on building a Temple.  And yet at the Temple's dedication the Divine Presence came to dwell in it.

You are aware that many of the earliest Churches are build out of older Temples, the Parthenon perhaps the best known example, the name now not refering to Athena but to the Holy Theotokos.

Moses didn't institute the monarchy: the Sons of Israel pestered Samuel for a king so they could have one just like the pagans. And yet God blessed the monarchy into a Throne which lasts forever, upon which sits the Anointed (in Aramaic/Hebrew/Greek?).

Such a statue wouldn't be more "kosher," just Christian:Christians don't worship Apollo.



Quote
The whole thing about idolatry is that it "degrades" God. You make God conform to what you want him to be when you draw a picture of him.

"He who has seen Me has seen the Father."  We don't have to make up a picture of God, as "we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father."

Quote
Oh and here's something on John Damascus which caught my eye:

Quote
Abbot Theodore Aeliotes told of a holy hermit on the Mount of Olives, who was much troubled by the demon of fornication. One day when he was sorely tempted, the old man began to complain bitterly. "When will you let me alone?" he said to the devil "be gone from me! you and I have grown old together." The devil appeared to him, saying, [91] "Swear to me that you will keep what I am about to tell you to yourself, and I will not trouble you any longer." And the old man swore it. Then the devil said to him, "Do not worship this image, and I will not harass you." The image in question represented Our Lady, the holy Mother of God, bearing in her arms our Lord Jesus Christ. You see what those who forbid the worship of images hate in reality, and whose instruments they are. The demon of fornication strove to prevent the worship of Our Lady's image rather than to tempt the old man to impurity. He knew that the former evil was greater than fornication.

So let me see...a demon tormented a monk with lustful thoughts, then the monk said "stop bothering me" and the demon replied "if you worship the icon I will stop bothering you" and this is a great "proof" that its ok to worship icons? That a demon told a man that if he worshipped an icon he would be ok? Plus this "holy monk" sweared and broke his word.

The story you have posted says the demon would leave him alone if the monk STOPPED venerating the icon (NOT if he started to venerate it).  As this icon was "Our Lady, the Holy Mother of God, bearing in her arms Our Lord Jesus Christ," consult Matthew 2:11.

Btw, swearing oaths to demons is like minors signing contracts: they have no validity.


Quote
Oh, and that "synagogue" you showed as proof for icons was built by samaritans.
REALLY?  That's interesting, as several of the icons, a couple of which I showed, are scenes that are not in the Samaritan Bible.  So, what makes you think it was Samaritan?
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« Reply #55 on: January 08, 2010, 01:57:14 AM »

I once saw a first century catacomb depiction of either Jesus or Peter where the artist just copied an apollo statue and substituted something the idol was carrying for a lamb (Christian symbol) to make it more "kosher".

Can you prove that?

Regardless, so now any image of a person in a particular pose holding an object is automatically a copy of a pagan god, and is therefore idolatry? That's kind of ridiculous.

So an icon of Christ enthroned must be a ripoff of the Lincoln Memorial - they're both sitting down! Shocked
and have a beard.  And a Hebrew first name.

You make God conform to what you want him to be when you draw a picture of him.

If they had cameras in the 1st century, would taking a photograph of Christ "limit" him?

It's all about the incarnation. God became a human. He voluntarily took his limitless self, and without compromising that limitlessness, became a limited being, subject to all realities of the flesh, including being able to be depicted. If you have a problem with that, perhaps you should take it up with God instead of iconographers.
I think we are going to have another "Blood of God" problem.
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« Reply #56 on: January 08, 2010, 01:58:33 AM »

This is not an issue of icons, this is a Church authority issue, IMO.
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« Reply #57 on: January 08, 2010, 02:05:12 AM »

But...God ordered it. The big difference.
This is what you said: "If somebody can show me a pre-christian jewish use of iconography I will..."reconsider" my opinion on icons. "
I just showed you a pre-Christian Jewish use of Iconography, and you won't reconsider.
And if God commanded Icons to be made, how can you say Icons are wrong? Did God make a mistake?

It is rather interesting that Rafa makes such a big deal about the Doctrine of Addai/Letter of Abgar,
King Abgar spoke Aramaic. The Didache was in Aramaic (our Syriac version=correct). I have proof, Eusebius in his history says he translated the letters and other documents from the Edessene Archive.
Well, if Eusebius said this and you have proof that he did, I'm sure you can post this proof here so we can read it ourselves.  Otherwise, you speak as a person with no credibility.

D'oh!  I forgot.  You guys burn evidence.

here:
Quote
The 4th century church historian Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, records a tradition[5] concerning a correspondence on this occasion, exchanged between Abgar of Edessa and Jesus. Eusebius was convinced that the original letters, written in Syriac, were kept in the archives of Edessa. Eusebius also states that in due course, after Christ's ascension, Thaddeus, namely Addai (called Addaï), or one of the seventy-two Disciples, called Thaddeus of Edessa, was sent by Thomas the Apostle in AD 29. Eusebius copies the two letters into the text of his history.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abgar_V_of_Edessa#Liturgical_use_of_the_letter_of_Abgar

the passage is in Historia Ecclesiastica, I, xiii

when its main point is the creation of the Icon not made by the hands of man.
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« Reply #58 on: January 08, 2010, 02:09:43 AM »

No, show me a synagogue with icons as proof, that way I know the existing tradition allowed icons. But no icons. There's even a story in either the bible or the talmud which tells of each of the fathers of the 12 tribes asking for some stones God used to represent them, so a bunch of little shrines could be made, and God said "No". Also the Story on Moses having to be buried in secret. Plus only Samaritans built icons, and they disobeyed in a bunch of stuff. So please provide evidence it is ok to build idols in contravention to what St.Paul ordered in Jerusalem as the MINIMUM standard the faithful should adhere to.

Btw, God never commanded the Jews to build synagogues.

The story you cite may come from the Talmud, but since we walk according to the Apostles and not the Pharisees, why should we care what they say?

Where do you get this idea about the Samaritans?

I think you are confusing St. Paul with St. James, which has nothing to do with venerating Icons (even IF they were idols, we don't sacrifice animals to them).
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« Reply #59 on: January 08, 2010, 02:17:01 AM »

Where's my Jewish icon man? I'm anxious for it so I can go to the local icon shop and "reconsider" my opinion now that icons are ok with God and not idols. Please find it.
First show us a pre-Christian synagogue.
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« Reply #60 on: January 08, 2010, 02:25:01 AM »

Lots of good points but I have lots of problems here with these explanations Isa:

1)We have the Temple scroll, there was a pre-specified plan for the temple, not a random pagan design. Absurd to say God would allow pagan contamination where he placed his presence.

2)The Mandylion was MADE by God, it is the image of God, the presence of God shining on the clothe (Jewish concept of the Shekinah, like on Moses when he descended the mountain). So its OK. So Mar Mari and Addai can ask us to revere the Mandylion.

3)I don't know if the story was in the talmud, plus even though much of the talmud is gunk, much of it is useful and contains legends and knowledge which the apostles drew on. We don't use the book of Enoch but Jude quoted it. Plus Moses was buried in secret because God did not want his tomb turned into a shrine full of iconography.

4) Samaritans used icons:
http://cojs.org/cojswiki/Earliest_Samaritan_Synagogue,_3rd-4th_century_CE

don't be a samaritan  Wink

5) Good you remembered: God is not "incarnate" flesh, he does not have blood. Thus it is still forbidden to depict spirits with images. Worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

6) OK, as soon as I read the words "Icon" and "Demon" in the same story I became suspicious of demonic attempts at making people worship idols. I'm still suspicious, maybe the demon wanted to give the impression that it is ok to use icons. If he was worshipping a holy icon why was he demonically possessed with lustful thoughts?

7)No Jewish icon as of yet, only samaritan ones. The Samaritan Torah is very similar to the original except they switched Mount Zion to another mountain associated with Joseph and a couple other things.
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« Reply #61 on: January 08, 2010, 02:32:14 AM »

don't be a samaritan
I thought Christ was a good Samaritan and commanded us to be the same. Smiley
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« Reply #62 on: January 08, 2010, 02:50:56 AM »

Well, its a parable oz. I see Isa has escaped...seems my doubts were too much for our learned elder. Still waiting for my Jewish Icon, surely all those jews must have had at least ONE icon.
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« Reply #63 on: January 08, 2010, 02:59:24 AM »

Lots of good points but I have lots of problems here with these explanations Isa:

2)The Mandylion was MADE by God, it is the image of God, the presence of God shining on the clothe (Jewish concept of the Shekinah, like on Moses when he descended the mountain). So its OK. So Mar Mari and Addai can ask us to revere the Mandylion.

For the sake of consistency, wouldn't you need to say it's the image of the man in whom God chose to dwell?

Quote
These aren't even icons.  This is just a mosaic.  And you have not said what gives you reason to believe that the synagogue at Dura Europas was Samaritan.

Quote
5) Good you remembered: God is not "incarnate" flesh, he does not have blood. Thus it is still forbidden to depict spirits with images. Worship the Father in spirit and in truth.
Besides the obvious problems anyone EO, RC or OO would have with this christological statement, it seems to contradict you're previous statement that the mandylion was an image of God.  If it's forbidden to depict spirits with images, then why would God demand the depiction of cherubim in the temple?  And what about the fact that your own church had images for at least 14 centuries?

Quote
6) OK, as soon as I read the words "Icon" and "Demon" in the same story I became suspicious of demonic attempts at making people worship idols. I'm still suspicious, maybe the demon wanted to give the impression that it is ok to use icons. If he was worshipping a holy icon why was he demonically possessed with lustful thoughts?
The demon was attempting to get him to worship an idol.  He was attempting to get him to stop worshipping an icon.  Why was he having lustful thoughts if he was worshipping a holy icon?  Why so many continue to struggle with sin when they partake of the very body and blood of Christ?

Quote
7)No Jewish icon as of yet, only samaritan ones. The Samaritan Torah is very similar to the original except they switched Mount Zion to another mountain associated with Joseph and a couple other things.
Proof that the Dura Europas synagogue is Samaritan is still yet to come.
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« Reply #64 on: January 08, 2010, 03:02:18 AM »

I consider it Samaritan. Even if not, maybe proselytes made the frescoes (in one synagogue Roman proselytes made King David look like Orpheus).

Church of the East didn't have icons, proof is muslims copied East Syriac Christianity practices including iconoclasm. Not our fault Mohammed was a heretic though.

Mosaic=image=idol

While my Christology is obvious to you guys, I always refer to the person of the Messiah as God instead of talking of the divine nature and human nature sperately which causes confusion.
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« Reply #65 on: January 08, 2010, 03:02:53 AM »

God is not "incarnate" flesh, he does not have blood. Thus it is still forbidden to depict spirits with images. Worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

God the Father is not incarnate flesh, but God the Son is. And he who has seen the Son has seen the Father, thus we have pictures of God.
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« Reply #66 on: January 08, 2010, 03:04:16 AM »

surely all those jews must have had at least ONE icon.

They did. The Cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant and the Cherubim on the Curtain of the Holy of Holies.

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« Reply #67 on: January 08, 2010, 03:11:29 AM »

Lots of good points but I have lots of problems here with these explanations Isa:

1)We have the Temple scroll, there was a pre-specified plan for the temple, not a random pagan design. Absurd to say God would allow pagan contamination where he placed his presence.

This isn't a Masons' Treasure, is it?  What "Temple scroll" are you talking about.

Quote
2)The Mandylion was MADE by God, it is the image of God, the presence of God shining on the clothe (Jewish concept of the Shekinah, like on Moses when he descended the mountain). So its OK. So Mar Mari and Addai can ask us to revere the Mandylion.

Go with that Apostolic thought.

Quote
3)I don't know if the story was in the talmud, plus even though much of the talmud is gunk, much of it is useful and contains legends and knowledge which the apostles drew on.


No, they didn't.  Consult Council of Jerusalem.

Quote
We don't use the book of Enoch but Jude quoted it. Plus Moses was buried in secret because God did not want his tomb turned into a shrine full of iconography.

Well, that didn't work out.


What do you base you assertion on?

Btw, interesting that Satan wanted Moses' body. Why?

Quote

Interesting link. Underlines the problem:pre-Christian synagogues have n't survived.

Since you are going that late, not out of bounds would be these Jewish Synagogues:




Quote
don't be a samaritan  Wink

Lent is coming, and I hope to be a Good one.

Quote
5) Good you remembered: God is not "incarnate" flesh, he does not have blood. Thus it is still forbidden to depict spirits with images. Worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. I John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 2 John 1:7.

Quote
6) OK, as soon as I read the words "Icon" and "Demon" in the same story I became suspicious of demonic attempts at making people worship idols.
Why should that be suspicious? The demons are expert at citing Scripture.

Quote
I'm still suspicious, maybe the demon wanted to give the impression that it is ok to use icons. If he was worshipping a holy icon why was he demonically possessed with lustful thoughts?

II Corinthians 12:9.

Quote
7)No Jewish icon as of yet, only samaritan ones. The Samaritan Torah is very similar to the original except they switched Mount Zion to another mountain associated with Joseph and a couple other things.
The icons of Dura Europas are Jewish: there are scenes not from the Torah, and the Samaritans only accept the Torah (edited for Mount Gerezim).'

I haven't seen any Samaritan icons on this thread yet, except the one on your link. See the Jewish version above, similar in age.
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« Reply #68 on: January 08, 2010, 03:11:44 AM »

No guys, just show me an icon made by...a sanhedrin member. For his house, private edification and worship of God. Nothing which God made himself counts because God does whatever he wants, He will be what He will be (that is his name).
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« Reply #69 on: January 08, 2010, 03:13:49 AM »

I consider it Samaritan. Even if not, maybe proselytes made the frescoes (in one synagogue Roman proselytes made King David look like Orpheus).

Let me summarize...
When shown in the Bible where God commanded images to be put in the temple, you said He's God and can do whatever he wants- but say this is no proof that God is actually ok with iconography.

When the mandylion is brought up, you say its ok to reverence it cause its an image of God, yet you deny that God became flesh.

When shown pictures of 2nd and third century iconography, you asked "but does that make it right?"

When shown Jewish iconography, you deny its Jewish for no other reason than that you "consider it Samaritan."

When shown compelling evidence that your very own church had iconography for at least 1400 years, you barely even comment.

Does it not seem to you that you're evading and dismissing all evidence?

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« Reply #70 on: January 08, 2010, 03:26:33 AM »

No, because God made the Mandylion so its ok, much like he asked for the Cherubim. Plus The COE couldn't control what every single person did in its jurisdiction, why sometimes Chinese converts engaged in ancestor worship even though its forbidden. The same goes for the Jews- they couldn't control people who converted who wanted to draw king David as Orpheus. Plus I already showed that Samaritans loved iconography and mosaics (mosaic big Greek Hellenistic thing too, many bad Jews who sided with the Seleucids and engaged in forbidden practices). Also we don't know where Moses is buried, and Satan wanted the body for desecration or to incentivate some sort of idolatry most probably.
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« Reply #71 on: January 08, 2010, 03:27:40 AM »

Well, its a parable oz. I see Isa has escaped...seems my doubts were too much for our learned elder. Still waiting for my Jewish Icon, surely all those jews must have had at least ONE icon.
LOL.  I actually do have a life off of the net (in fact, I should be spending more there and less here).  You've been given several Jewish icons, and I just posted some more.

Again, what makes you say the Dura Europos icons are Samaritan, as they are demonstrably not.
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« Reply #72 on: January 08, 2010, 03:36:04 AM »

OK, maybe it was an error to ask for a Jewish icon. Maybe I needed to ask for an icon made by a pious Jew for his own house and edification who did not adopt hellenistic Greek practices. Some Jews reversed their circmucision to compete in the olympics to be cool with their Greek neighbors, maybe this mosaic thing was a "loophole" some liberal individuals adopted which did not reflect the mainstream of judaism.

Further, Menorah like the Cross in the COE and the Cherubim is an "approved" symbol they could depict only because God gave permission.

Quote
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. I John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 2 John 1:7.

I'm not a docetist muslim. I believe Jesus Christ came in the flesh, his divinity and humanity side by side. This verse was intended for Ebionites sabotaging the Christian faith or gnostics.
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« Reply #73 on: January 08, 2010, 03:39:06 AM »

I consider it Samaritan.

WELL. Rome (or Babylon) has spoken I guess.  Ex cathedra?


Quote
Even if not, maybe proselytes made the frescoes (in one synagogue Roman proselytes made King David look like Orpheus).

That's an iconoclast's wishful interpretation.  The Cherubim on the Mercy seat resembled the one on the throne here:


Quote
Church of the East didn't have icons, proof is muslims copied East Syriac Christianity practices including iconoclasm. Not our fault Mohammed was a heretic though.

Islam wasn't iconoclast until their second civil war (c. 700): the sources are clear that the Kaaba had an icon of the Theotokos (which MUhammad covered with his body to protect as his followers destroyed the idols there) and the Sacrifice of Isaac.

Quote
Mosaic=image=idol

1=1=0

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While my Christology is obvious to you guys,
Roll Eyes
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I always refer to the person of the Messiah as God instead of talking of the divine nature and human nature sperately which causes confusion.
We Orthodox are quite clear that Christ is God.
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« Reply #74 on: January 08, 2010, 03:41:10 AM »

No guys, just show me an icon made by...a sanhedrin member. For his house, private edification and worship of God. Nothing which God made himself counts because God does whatever he wants, He will be what He will be (that is his name).
Show us ANYTHING made by a sanhedrin member.  You would be shocked how much doesn't survive.
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« Reply #75 on: January 08, 2010, 03:46:02 AM »

No, because God made the Mandylion so its ok, much like he asked for the Cherubim. Plus The COE couldn't control what every single person did in its jurisdiction, why sometimes Chinese converts engaged in ancestor worship even though its forbidden. The same goes for the Jews- they couldn't control people who converted who wanted to draw king David as Orpheus. Plus I already showed that Samaritans loved iconography and mosaics (mosaic big Greek Hellenistic thing too, many bad Jews who sided with the Seleucids and engaged in forbidden practices). Also we don't know where Moses is buried, and Satan wanted the body for desecration or to incentivate some sort of idolatry most probably.
Or he wanted to deprive us of his relics.  Like he wanted to deny us St. Polycarp's.
Quote
17:1
But the jealous and envious Evil One, the adversary of the family of the righteous, having seen the greatness of his martyrdom and his blameless life from the beginning, and how he was crowned with the crown of immortality and had won a reward which none could gainsay, managed that not even his poor body should be taken away by us, although many desired to do this and to touch his holy flesh.

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So he put forward Nicetes, the father of Herod and brother of Alce, to plead with the magistrate not to give up his body, "lest," so it was said, "they should abandon the crucified one and begin to worship this man" -- this being done at the instigation and urgent entreaty of the Jews, who also watched when we were about to take it from the fire, not knowing that it will be impossible for us either to forsake at any time the Christ who suffered for the salvation of the whole world of those that are saved -- suffered though faultless for sinners -- nor to worship any other.

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For Him, being the Son of God, we adore, but the martyrs as disciples and imitators of the Lord we cherish as they deserve for their matchless affection towards their own King and Teacher. May it be our lot also to be found partakers and fellow-disciples with them.

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The centurion therefore, seeing the opposition raised on the part of the Jews, set him in the midst and burnt him after their custom.

18:2
And so we afterwards took up his bones which are more valuable than precious stones and finer than refined gold, and laid them in a suitable place;

18:3
where the Lord will permit us to gather ourselves together, as we are able, in gladness and joy, and to celebrate the anniversary of his martyrdom for the commemoration of those that have already fought in the contest, and for the training and preparation of those that shall do so hereafter.

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« Reply #76 on: January 08, 2010, 03:49:53 AM »

OK, maybe it was an error to ask for a Jewish icon. Maybe I needed to ask for an icon made by a pious Jew for his own house and edification who did not adopt hellenistic Greek practices. Some Jews reversed their circmucision to compete in the olympics to be cool with their Greek neighbors, maybe this mosaic thing was a "loophole" some liberal individuals adopted which did not reflect the mainstream of judaism.

Lots of luck.  Again, I don't think you realize how little material we have to go on, and what we have, supports us, an embarrassment for Protestants, who chorttled on in the 1800s with the iconoclast views, as the ancient synagogues had not yet been discovered.

Quote
Further, Menorah like the Cross in the COE and the Cherubim is an "approved" symbol they could depict only because God gave permission.

Oh, when did He do that?

Quote
Quote
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. I John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 2 John 1:7.

I'm not a docetist muslim. I believe Jesus Christ came in the flesh,
except without Blood.
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« Reply #77 on: January 08, 2010, 03:52:27 AM »

He came in the flesh, did not become flesh or else the divinity suffers and dies which is the "M-word" heresy nobody except Copts and OO sympathize with. "As Surely as YHWH Lives" First words a Jewish scribe would write on a scroll before asking for the blessing that his work be an accurate rendering of scriptures. The good scribes too.
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« Reply #78 on: January 08, 2010, 03:53:42 AM »

Plus The COE couldn't control what every single person did in its jurisdiction, why sometimes Chinese converts engaged in ancestor worship even though its forbidden.

And that ancestor worship worked its way all up to the Patriarch of the COE?  And how did the Muslims inherit iconoclasm from the COE when it was the COE who was defending iconography against the Muslims.
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« Reply #79 on: January 08, 2010, 03:58:46 AM »

He came in the flesh, did not become flesh or else the divinity suffers and dies which is the "M-word" heresy nobody except Copts and OO sympathize with. "As Surely as YHWH Lives" First words a Jewish scribe would write on a scroll before asking for the blessing that his work be an accurate rendering of scriptures. The good scribes too.

The Word became flesh and dwellt among us.
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« Reply #80 on: January 08, 2010, 04:00:14 AM »

Cite Eastern Syriac ahem. (show Eastern and Western Peshittas, and translation with literal renderings).
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« Reply #81 on: January 08, 2010, 04:14:45 AM »

Cite Eastern Syriac ahem. (show Eastern and Western Peshittas, and translation with literal renderings).

Original:
Καὶ ὁ Λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο
And the Word Flesh became (middle aorist, i.e. agent does to/for self at one point in time).

Peshitta
ܘ ܡ ܠ ܬ ܐ ܒ ܤ ܪ ܐ ܗ ܘ ܐ ܘ ܐ ܓ ܢ ܒ ܢ

and-Word-the flesh-the was and descended/rested/dwellt in/by-us

And the Word was Flesh and dwelt among us.
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« Reply #82 on: January 08, 2010, 06:18:31 AM »

http://hiram7.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/relics-of-the-second-temple-of-jerusalem-and-king-solomon-uncovered-for-the-first-time/ (Relics of the 2nd temple)

A bowl used in the 2nd Temple:




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« Reply #83 on: January 08, 2010, 06:24:38 AM »

OK, maybe it was an error to ask for a Jewish icon. Maybe I needed to ask for an icon made by a pious Jew for his own house and edification who did not adopt hellenistic Greek practices. Some Jews reversed their circmucision to compete in the olympics to be cool with their Greek neighbors, maybe this mosaic thing was a "loophole" some liberal individuals adopted which did not reflect the mainstream of judaism.

Further, Menorah like the Cross in the COE and the Cherubim is an "approved" symbol they could depict only because God gave permission.

Quote
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. I John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 2 John 1:7.

I'm not a docetist muslim. I believe Jesus Christ came in the flesh, his divinity and humanity side by side. This verse was intended for Ebionites sabotaging the Christian faith or gnostics.

Why are you speculating? Too many assumptions increases the chance of error.
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« Reply #84 on: January 08, 2010, 06:37:21 AM »


Oh and here's something on John Damascus which caught my eye:

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Abbot Theodore Aeliotes told of a holy hermit on the Mount of Olives, who was much troubled by the demon of fornication. One day when he was sorely tempted, the old man began to complain bitterly. "When will you let me alone?" he said to the devil "be gone from me! you and I have grown old together." The devil appeared to him, saying, [91] "Swear to me that you will keep what I am about to tell you to yourself, and I will not trouble you any longer." And the old man swore it. Then the devil said to him, "Do not worship this image, and I will not harass you." The image in question represented Our Lady, the holy Mother of God, bearing in her arms our Lord Jesus Christ. You see what those who forbid the worship of images hate in reality, and whose instruments they are. The demon of fornication strove to prevent the worship of Our Lady's image rather than to tempt the old man to impurity. He knew that the former evil was greater than fornication.

So let me see...a demon tormented a monk with lustful thoughts, then the monk said "stop bothering me" and the demon replied "if you worship the icon I will stop bothering you" and this is a great "proof" that its ok to worship icons? That a demon told a man that if he worshipped an icon he would be ok? Plus this "holy monk" sweared and broke his word.


Oh, and that "synagogue" you showed as proof for icons was built by samaritans.

No, somehow you got the grammar mixed up there. The demon is telling him that if he refrains from worshiping the icon that he will leave him alone.
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« Reply #85 on: January 08, 2010, 06:39:18 AM »

If somebody can show me a pre-christian jewish use of iconography I will..."reconsider" my opinion on icons. But nobody can because icons were prohibited and only the samaritans built them. And its not ok to "baptise" idols and then re-use them.

Edited out comparison images from website I consider unorthodox in its beliefs and theology

So you actually don't at all consider the possibility that the Word becoming physical and visible (essentially the Word's humanity was the first Christian icon) changes the acceptability of iconography?
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« Reply #86 on: January 08, 2010, 06:42:13 AM »


No, show me a synagogue with icons as proof, that way I know the existing tradition allowed icons. But no icons.

You're actually suggesting that you think that modern synagogues are a proper representation of the ancient temple of Jersualem?

That's absolutely laughable.
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« Reply #87 on: January 08, 2010, 06:45:43 AM »


5) Good you remembered: God is not "incarnate" flesh, he does not have blood. Thus it is still forbidden to depict spirits with images. Worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

You're denying that the Logos has flesh and blood that He took from Mary?
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« Reply #88 on: January 08, 2010, 06:46:42 AM »


Still waiting for my Jewish Icon, surely all those jews must have had at least ONE icon.

I'm still wondering why what Jews do is seemingly more important to you than what Christians do...
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« Reply #89 on: January 08, 2010, 06:48:27 AM »

In my disscussions with open-minded Protestants about the Orthodox Faith,the one thing that seems to be a hang-up with them are the use of Icons,I've been disscussing with one,who quotes Early Church Fathers,such as Irenaeus,in such a way as to condemn their use,I've read the quotes and I take from the quotes that He is condemning their mis-use,not an outright condemnation. Any suggestions on how to better explain their use in the Early Church?

It took me years to get over the Iconoclastic hump. It got real bad back when I followed David Bercot's ministry. From how I see it, from what I knew then, as well as what I know now and in how I finally came over the hump back in 2003 or 2004. I will say that you will find a number of early christian writers argue against it, but you will also find christians doing it regardless, and so, you will find christians on both sides of the issue. Christians of both sides always had icons of signs and symbols, but they did argue about human image icons. It took the church centuries to lay the issue at rest, and that came about when the issue of the INCARNATION was brought into it. When I finally accepted human image Icons, I started to see how they are a more consistant continuation of the signs and symbol Icons. If people want to be "strict" adherents of the command found in exodus, then we will see that christians broke that "strict" interpretation from the jump, for if you can't make an image of anything under the ocean, then we can't make "fish" icons, if we can't make images on anything on land, then we can't make crosses, and if we can't make any images of anything in the air, then we can't make birds, and ancient christians made alot of bird images, and so, we never really followed the command from that kind of interpretation anyway.

If you can make an image of a fish, tree, fruit, or a bird, then why can't you make an image of God INCARNATE? It only makes perfect sense to me. And so, anyone who picks on you about icons just let them know that they are not being consistent themselves. Anyone who watches tv is watching 20 to 30 icons per second. If you go to the theatre, then you are watching hundreds of icons per second. We have icons all over the place on Microsoft windows and the internet in general. We have them in books, and so, modern iconoclasts are just being hypocrits.



But the truth of the matter is the Reformed branch of the protestant Reformation, including England for she is also seen as being part of the "Reformed" tradition. But the Reformed tradition always had a "NESTORIAN" tendency, and I think this played into their ICONOCLAISM as well. Even today, many calvinists have a hard time saying that God INCARNATE died on the cross. They really have a hard time with that, And many have a hard time seeing baby Jesus as God INCARNATE,.....they just really have a hard time with the manger scene in that way.





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« Reply #90 on: January 08, 2010, 06:51:18 AM »


He came in the flesh, did not become flesh or else the divinity suffers and dies which is the "M-word" heresy nobody except Copts and OO sympathize with. "As Surely as YHWH Lives" First words a Jewish scribe would write on a scroll before asking for the blessing that his work be an accurate rendering of scriptures. The good scribes too.

Are you comfortable saying that the Logos took on flesh as His own and perfectly subsisted in it without mention of Him being converted to be flesh?
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« Reply #91 on: January 08, 2010, 07:44:22 AM »

This discussion is fascinating and I'm hesitant to break the flow, so please feel free to ignore this. But I'm looking at all of these pictures people have posted and this question of whether or not Jews had icons, whether an icon of Christ is an image of the Father ... what I'd like to know is, what is the difference between a picture and an icon? I know icons are made in a special way, blessed (is that right?) and venerated in a special way. And they are meant to conform to particular representational rules, aren't they?

But still ... at what point does an icon take on something that differentiates it from a religious picture?
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« Reply #92 on: January 08, 2010, 08:00:43 AM »

This discussion is fascinating and I'm hesitant to break the flow, so please feel free to ignore this. But I'm looking at all of these pictures people have posted and this question of whether or not Jews had icons, whether an icon of Christ is an image of the Father ... what I'd like to know is, what is the difference between a picture and an icon? I know icons are made in a special way, blessed (is that right?) and venerated in a special way. And they are meant to conform to particular representational rules, aren't they?

But still ... at what point does an icon take on something that differentiates it from a religious picture?

A picture is "secularism"
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-439856437001382026&ei=oxxHS8vOMY-OqAKvvriFAg&q=the+protestant+revolution&hl=en# (The Protestant Revolution Part 3: A Reformation of the Mind)

Also, if you read the book, "The Bible, Protestantism, and the rise of natural science" then you will see some of the connections of why the modern age in the west is mostly Atheistic. This will also help you understand why the ancient world saw things(nature) differently.



Just as the ancients had a 3 or 4 tier system of Biblical interpretation, they also had a multi-layered interpretation in regards to nature as well.



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« Reply #93 on: January 08, 2010, 08:38:07 AM »

what is the difference between a picture and an icon?
In Greek, there is no difference. The word for icon is "Εικονα" ("eikona", pronounced "Ee-ko-nah") and means simply "image".
A painting or photograph of a tree is an "eikona" (image) of a tree.
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« Reply #94 on: January 08, 2010, 08:47:04 AM »

what is the difference between a picture and an icon?
In Greek, there is no difference. The word for icon is "Εικονα" (Ee-ko-na) and means simply "image".
A painting or photograph of a tree is an "eikona" (image) of a tree.

This explanation is incomplete and not very useful, as it does not allow for context. Taking the word icon as used in modern English, does this mean that a computer icon is an image worthy of veneration? Of course not.
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« Reply #95 on: January 08, 2010, 08:59:39 AM »

This discussion is fascinating and I'm hesitant to break the flow, so please feel free to ignore this. But I'm looking at all of these pictures people have posted and this question of whether or not Jews had icons, whether an icon of Christ is an image of the Father ... what I'd like to know is, what is the difference between a picture and an icon? I know icons are made in a special way, blessed (is that right?) and venerated in a special way. And they are meant to conform to particular representational rules, aren't they?

But still ... at what point does an icon take on something that differentiates it from a religious picture?

A picture is "secularism"
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-439856437001382026&ei=oxxHS8vOMY-OqAKvvriFAg&q=the+protestant+revolution&hl=en# (The Protestant Revolution Part 3: A Reformation of the Mind)

Also, if you read the book, "The Bible, Protestantism, and the rise of natural science" then you will see some of the connections of why the modern age in the west is mostly Atheistic. This will also help you understand why the ancient world saw things(nature) differently.



Just as the ancients had a 3 or 4 tier system of Biblical interpretation, they also had a multi-layered interpretation in regards to nature as well.



ICXC NIKA

Thanks, Jnorm. I'll try to get to that book but, obviously, if I were to do this properly I'd need to spend a year or so reading not just that book, but lots of others - something I should do, but maybe not yet! I'm familiar with interpretation in the 4 types, but I don't understand exactly how this explains icons?
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« Reply #96 on: January 08, 2010, 09:01:07 AM »

what is the difference between a picture and an icon?
In Greek, there is no difference. The word for icon is "Εικονα" (Ee-ko-na) and means simply "image".
A painting or photograph of a tree is an "eikona" (image) of a tree.

This explanation is incomplete and not very useful, as it does not allow for context. Taking the word icon as used in modern English, does this mean that a computer icon is an image worthy of veneration? Of course not.
No, my non-Greek friend. But by the same token, an icon on a computer screen desktop is called an icon in English just an an image of Christ is called an icon. The word simply means "image". Now if you want to venerate an image of a fox such as this firefox icon, go right ahead:

What makes the images that Orthodox Christians venerate is not how they are made, but rather, the hypostasis they depict. Both of these things below are icons, but Orthodox Christians will only venerate one of them (guess which one Wink ):


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« Reply #97 on: January 08, 2010, 09:39:00 AM »

No, my non-Greek friend. But by the same token, an icon on a computer screen desktop is called an icon in English just an an image of Christ is called an icon. The word simply means "image". Now if you want to venerate an image of a fox such as this firefox icon, go right ahead:

I'm disappointed with your post, ozgeorge. You seem have misunderstood what I wrote. Or chose to do so.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #98 on: January 08, 2010, 09:44:45 AM »

This discussion is fascinating and I'm hesitant to break the flow, so please feel free to ignore this. But I'm looking at all of these pictures people have posted and this question of whether or not Jews had icons, whether an icon of Christ is an image of the Father ... what I'd like to know is, what is the difference between a picture and an icon? I know icons are made in a special way, blessed (is that right?) and venerated in a special way. And they are meant to conform to particular representational rules, aren't they?

But still ... at what point does an icon take on something that differentiates it from a religious picture?
The icon has a symbolic component in it (e.g. the halo) that has to be conveyed. It's the reason why a photograph of say, St. Tikhon, is not an icon of St. Tikhon.  St. John is shown with wings (since he is greater than any man born of a woman, with the obvious exception) although no one believes he had them.  Sort of liking seeing, but on all the wavelengths.  A picture wouldn't have the halo or the wings.  A religious picture can portray how someone sees a certain scene or person, the icon shows how the Church sees the scene or person.  (compare the pictures of the Healing of the paralytic I've posted above with this)

And with a less common icon


Btw, on this there is an interesting spot on the roof around Galilee:
http://www.ritmeyer.com/2007/03/
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« Reply #99 on: January 08, 2010, 09:48:44 AM »

I'm disappointed with your post, ozgeorge. You seem have misunderstood what I wrote. Or chose to do so. 

Perhaps you missed the rest of it (or chose to):

What makes the images that Orthodox Christians venerate is not how they are made, but rather, the hypostasis they depict. Both of these things below are icons, but Orthodox Christians will only venerate one of them (guess which one Wink ):



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« Reply #100 on: January 08, 2010, 10:03:06 AM »

But, Ialmisry, a picture can be symbolic too, surely? You say that:

Quote
A religious picture can portray how someone sees a certain scene or person, the icon shows how the Church sees the scene or person.

But pictures aren't just quasi-photographic records, are they? That's a very small slice out of art history.

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« Reply #101 on: January 08, 2010, 10:10:15 AM »

The icon has a symbolic component in it (e.g. the halo) that has to be conveyed. It's the reason why a photograph of say, St. Tikhon, is not an icon of St. Tikhon.  
What about the Icon "Not-Made-With-Hands" (the Holy Mandylion)? This criterion you suggest would exclude it from being an Icon: http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/1107/5642iid.jpg

St. John is shown with wings (since he is greater than any man born of a woman, with the obvious exception) although no one believes he had them.
Actually, St. John the Baptist is depicted with wings because of Matthew 11:10, Mark 1:2 and Luke 7:27:
‘ Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,Who will prepare Your way before You.’
In Greek "messenger" is "aggelos" (Angel).
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« Reply #102 on: January 08, 2010, 10:14:48 AM »

Just to ask: what exactly does the Cherubim look like in Jewish temples?  Undecided
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« Reply #103 on: January 08, 2010, 10:19:54 AM »

I'm not sure anyone knows exactly what the cherubim looked like in the Temple.
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« Reply #104 on: January 08, 2010, 10:22:05 AM »

But, Ialmisry, a picture can be symbolic too, surely? You say that:

Quote
A religious picture can portray how someone sees a certain scene or person, the icon shows how the Church sees the scene or person.

But pictures aren't just quasi-photographic records, are they? That's a very small slice out of art history.

Of course pictures and religious paintings can contain symbolism. Anyone who's taken an "Intro to Art" class will agree with you on that point.

So what makes an icon an icon, and not just another religious painting? The first thing would be that the iconographer (the person "writing" the icon) is following the canons established by the VII Ecumenical Council. This includes the two-dimensional style figures, and that no shadows are included in the icon. (An icon is to give off light, not receive light.) Another element to iconography is that the icon is not to be a reflection of the iconographer's personal ego or "style" but is to be consistant with the icons painted before him. Now while it is true that each iconographer will have his own little twist on things (after all, we are human) it's not to be immediately apparant.

For example, when one sees a painting by Caravaggio, one immediately knows "Oh, that's a painting by Caravaggio, and not Michelangelo." With iconography, it's not about the artist -- it's about the subject matter. One is focused on what is being potrayed, not who is potraying it.

Icons are not to be signed. (This made my paper on Andrei Rublev this past semester extremely difficult btw! lol)

A really good book to read (that isn't that long) is Pavel Florensky's Iconostasis. It's only about 300 pages long, and unlike many other books on Orthodoxy, the text is not dry, and is extremely interesting to read. The other good thing is that it's available in Paperback, so it's not too pricey. (I checked, and it's available on amazon.co.uk)

I hope this helps clarify some things.  Smiley
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« Reply #105 on: January 08, 2010, 10:24:55 AM »

I'm not sure anyone knows exactly what the cherubim looked like in the Temple.

Do you know? Do any of your Rabbis know? Does your tradition say anything?

But surely, there is/are Cherubim right? And those Cherubim were not regarded as idols most certainly.
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« Reply #106 on: January 08, 2010, 10:25:43 AM »

Just to ask: what exactly does the Cherubim look like in Jewish temples?  Undecided
What we know about them comes from Exodus 24:18-22 and Exodus 25:40 (LXX). There were two carved statues of cherubim on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant which faced each other and their wings stretched towards each other. So we know that they had faces and wings. There were also ten curtains which hung at the entrance of the Holy of Holies, and each curtain had a cherubim on it.
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« Reply #107 on: January 08, 2010, 10:31:15 AM »

Just to ask: what exactly does the Cherubim look like in Jewish temples?  Undecided
What we know about them comes from Exodus 24:18-22 and Exodus 25:40 (LXX). There were two carved statues of cherubim on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant which faced each other and their wings stretched towards each other. So we know that they had faces and wings. There were also ten curtains which hung at the entrance of the Holy of Holies, and each curtain had a cherubim on it.

Were they subject to veneration? Shocked
Does the Talmud or "Jewish Fathers" say anything?
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« Reply #108 on: January 08, 2010, 10:34:12 AM »

Just to ask: what exactly does the Cherubim look like in Jewish temples?  Undecided
What we know about them comes from Exodus 24:18-22 and Exodus 25:40 (LXX). There were two carved statues of cherubim on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant which faced each other and their wings stretched towards each other. So we know that they had faces and wings. There were also ten curtains which hung at the entrance of the Holy of Holies, and each curtain had a cherubim on it.

Were they subject to veneration? Shocked
The Ark of the Covenant and its contents was the most holy object in the Temple and the Holy of Holies where it sat was the most sacred place on Earth.
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« Reply #109 on: January 08, 2010, 10:39:22 AM »

The Ark of the Covenant and its contents was the most holy object in the Temple and the Holy of Holies where it sat was the most sacred place on Earth.

Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  Wink
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« Reply #110 on: January 08, 2010, 10:57:43 AM »

Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  Wink
LOL! Thats right. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and only on one day of the year (Yom Kippur- The Day of Atonement).
I didn't know about the rope thing!
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« Reply #111 on: January 08, 2010, 11:00:15 AM »

The Ark of the Covenant and its contents was the most holy object in the Temple and the Holy of Holies where it sat was the most sacred place on Earth.

Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  Wink

Is that in the Bible?
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« Reply #112 on: January 08, 2010, 11:04:58 AM »

Actually, after looking around the net for info on it, the rope things appears to just be a legend.  angel
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« Reply #113 on: January 08, 2010, 11:11:14 AM »

The Ark of the Covenant and its contents was the most holy object in the Temple and the Holy of Holies where it sat was the most sacred place on Earth.

Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  Wink

Is that in the Bible?
Yes Exodus 30:10, Leviticus 23:27-32, Leviticus 25:9, Numbers 29:7-11, Leviticus 16:1-34 .
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« Reply #114 on: January 08, 2010, 11:13:13 AM »

The Ark of the Covenant and its contents was the most holy object in the Temple and the Holy of Holies where it sat was the most sacred place on Earth.

Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  Wink

Is that in the Bible?

Although bells were attached to the priest, there is no verse in the Bible that says a rope was tied to his foot. I'm not sure if the "rope theory" is oral tradition or a biblical assumption.
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« Reply #115 on: January 08, 2010, 11:21:46 AM »

The Ark of the Covenant and its contents was the most holy object in the Temple and the Holy of Holies where it sat was the most sacred place on Earth.

Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  Wink

Is that in the Bible?

Although bells were attached to the priest, there is no verse in the Bible that says a rope was tied to his foot. I'm not sure if the "rope theory" is oral tradition or a biblical assumption.

 Smiley
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« Reply #116 on: January 08, 2010, 11:38:52 AM »

Sorry. I didn't realize you were asking about the rope yochanan, I thought you were asking whether the High Priest was the only one alowed to enter the Holy of Holies.
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« Reply #117 on: January 08, 2010, 11:47:08 AM »

Sorry. I didn't realize you were asking about the rope yochanan, I thought you were asking whether the High Priest was the only one alowed to enter the Holy of Holies.

No problem. Hey, where did you get the idea of the rope? Can you give me a link? It would surely support icon-veneration. Its a very strong argument because its from the OT: a direct command from the LORD.  Grin
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« Reply #118 on: January 08, 2010, 12:37:35 PM »

Sorry. I didn't realize you were asking about the rope yochanan, I thought you were asking whether the High Priest was the only one alowed to enter the Holy of Holies.

No problem. Hey, where did you get the idea of the rope? Can you give me a link? It would surely support icon-veneration. Its a very strong argument because its from the OT: a direct command from the LORD.  ;
It wasn't my idea. I'd never heard of it before:
LOL! Thats right. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and only on one day of the year (Yom Kippur- The Day of Atonement).
I didn't know about the rope thing!
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« Reply #119 on: January 08, 2010, 12:42:40 PM »

But, Ialmisry, a picture can be symbolic too, surely? You say that:

Quote
A religious picture can portray how someone sees a certain scene or person, the icon shows how the Church sees the scene or person.

But pictures aren't just quasi-photographic records, are they? That's a very small slice out of art history.

Of course pictures and religious paintings can contain symbolism. Anyone who's taken an "Intro to Art" class will agree with you on that point.

So what makes an icon an icon, and not just another religious painting? The first thing would be that the iconographer (the person "writing" the icon) is following the canons established by the VII Ecumenical Council. This includes the two-dimensional style figures, and that no shadows are included in the icon. (An icon is to give off light, not receive light.) Another element to iconography is that the icon is not to be a reflection of the iconographer's personal ego or "style" but is to be consistant with the icons painted before him. Now while it is true that each iconographer will have his own little twist on things (after all, we are human) it's not to be immediately apparant.

For example, when one sees a painting by Caravaggio, one immediately knows "Oh, that's a painting by Caravaggio, and not Michelangelo." With iconography, it's not about the artist -- it's about the subject matter. One is focused on what is being potrayed, not who is potraying it.

Icons are not to be signed. (This made my paper on Andrei Rublev this past semester extremely difficult btw! lol)

A really good book to read (that isn't that long) is Pavel Florensky's Iconostasis. It's only about 300 pages long, and unlike many other books on Orthodoxy, the text is not dry, and is extremely interesting to read. The other good thing is that it's available in Paperback, so it's not too pricey. (I checked, and it's available on amazon.co.uk)

I hope this helps clarify some things.  Smiley

Ah, should have know to ask you first off! But, I work with medieval Books of Hours. I think the pictures aren't always considered to be icons, exactly - especially those that show non-Biblical, traditional scenes. And the illuminators don't usually sign their work, nor can you easily tell which pictures are by whom. You certainly can't look and say, 'Oh, yes, that's the Master of the Douai Psalter' - you can make a guess, but I suspect it's as easy as telling what was by Rublev and what wasn't. So why aren't these pictures icons? Or are they?

Btw - Maureen, you won't have seen this since it was in the UK, but did anyone else catch the documentary series on the art of Russia over Christmas?
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« Reply #120 on: January 08, 2010, 12:52:25 PM »

This includes the two-dimensional style figures, and that no shadows are included in the icon. (An icon is to give off light, not receive light.)
Maureen, these are not Canons of the Seventh Ecumenical Council.
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« Reply #121 on: January 08, 2010, 12:54:25 PM »

Ah, should have know to ask you first off! But, I work with medieval Books of Hours. I think the pictures aren't always considered to be icons, exactly - especially those that show non-Biblical, traditional scenes. And the illuminators don't usually sign their work, nor can you easily tell which pictures are by whom. You certainly can't look and say, 'Oh, yes, that's the Master of the Douai Psalter' - you can make a guess, but I suspect it's as easy as telling what was by Rublev and what wasn't. So why aren't these pictures icons? Or are they?

Btw - Maureen, you won't have seen this since it was in the UK, but did anyone else catch the documentary series on the art of Russia over Christmas?

It's quite possible that what your are describing could be a form of iconography. After all, Orthodoxy does recognize that Christianity did have different forms of expression, even prior to the schism. (After all, I'm sure the Liturgy St. Patrick of Ireland used was a bit different than say, a saint in Greece at the same time.)

Usually what we refer to in Orthodoxy is in relation to Byzantine Iconography and it's child, Russian/Slavic Iconography. I know that within Western Rite Orthodoxy they do use statues, and have a more Western look to their religious artwork.

As I'm still in Atlanta I don't have my books on iconography with me, but I can check into it when I get back to NJ.
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« Reply #122 on: January 08, 2010, 12:56:07 PM »

But, Ialmisry, a picture can be symbolic too, surely? You say that:

Quote
A religious picture can portray how someone sees a certain scene or person, the icon shows how the Church sees the scene or person.

But pictures aren't just quasi-photographic records, are they? That's a very small slice out of art history.



We have examples of realistic art from the same time of ancient icons, but the Church chose iconography instead of such art.  So it is a much larger slice. The whole pie actually.

In religious art the artist expresses his own personal faith.  The iconographer has conventions he must attend to, because he expresses the Faith of the Church.

The are, of course, photographs that are said to be "iconic."  They still only portray the visible spectrum: iconic quality is envoked, rather than portrayed.
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« Reply #123 on: January 08, 2010, 12:59:46 PM »

Ah, should have know to ask you first off! But, I work with medieval Books of Hours. I think the pictures aren't always considered to be icons, exactly - especially those that show non-Biblical, traditional scenes. And the illuminators don't usually sign their work, nor can you easily tell which pictures are by whom. You certainly can't look and say, 'Oh, yes, that's the Master of the Douai Psalter' - you can make a guess, but I suspect it's as easy as telling what was by Rublev and what wasn't. So why aren't these pictures icons? Or are they?

Btw - Maureen, you won't have seen this since it was in the UK, but did anyone else catch the documentary series on the art of Russia over Christmas?

It's quite possible that what your are describing could be a form of iconography. After all, Orthodoxy does recognize that Christianity did have different forms of expression, even prior to the schism. (After all, I'm sure the Liturgy St. Patrick of Ireland used was a bit different than say, a saint in Greece at the same time.)

Usually what we refer to in Orthodoxy is in relation to Byzantine Iconography and it's child, Russian/Slavic Iconography. I know that within Western Rite Orthodoxy they do use statues, and have a more Western look to their religious artwork.

As I'm still in Atlanta I don't have my books on iconography with me, but I can check into it when I get back to NJ.

Thanks, Maureen. I think this is one of these things I just need to spend plenty of time thinking about. I don't 'get' icons on some level that isn't really to do with theology, and maybe I'm asking the wrong questions when I ask what is/isn't an icon. Mind you, I wish I could understand it better, then I'd understand my own thesis a whole lot more!
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« Reply #124 on: January 08, 2010, 01:03:54 PM »

But, Ialmisry, a picture can be symbolic too, surely? You say that:

Quote
A religious picture can portray how someone sees a certain scene or person, the icon shows how the Church sees the scene or person.

But pictures aren't just quasi-photographic records, are they? That's a very small slice out of art history.



We have examples of realistic art from the same time of ancient icons, but the Church chose iconography instead of such art.  So it is a much larger slice. The whole pie actually.

In religious art the artist expresses his own personal faith.  The iconographer has conventions he must attend to, because he expresses the Faith of the Church.

The are, of course, photographs that are said to be "iconic."  They still only portray the visible spectrum: iconic quality is envoked, rather than portrayed.

Sorry, I didn't express myself clearly. I meant, there's plenty of art that is non-realistic, whilst also being non-iconic. Is anything that expresses religious faith in a symbolic matter an icon?

What pictures were you thinking of when you said that artists express their own personal faith in religious art?

Btw, I love the idea that the 'iconic quality is evoked, rather than portrayed'. That makes a lot of sense.
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« Reply #125 on: January 08, 2010, 01:12:29 PM »

This discussion is fascinating and I'm hesitant to break the flow, so please feel free to ignore this. But I'm looking at all of these pictures people have posted and this question of whether or not Jews had icons, whether an icon of Christ is an image of the Father ... what I'd like to know is, what is the difference between a picture and an icon? I know icons are made in a special way, blessed (is that right?) and venerated in a special way. And they are meant to conform to particular representational rules, aren't they?

But still ... at what point does an icon take on something that differentiates it from a religious picture?

At its most fundamental there is nothing that differentiates an 'icon' from a religious picture. What differentiates a 'Holy Icon' from a computer icon (in English) or an eikona/image of Christ from an eikona/image of a tree in Greek is the subject matter.

The underlying principal is that the respect (or disrepect) shown to an image transfers to the subject of the image. So if I throw darts at an image of the President (whether that's a photograph or a somewhat abstracted sketch), I'm showing disrespect to the President. If I show honor to an image of Christ (whether its an semi-classical catacomb image, a 10th-century Byzantine 'icon', or a Baroque painting), I am showing honor to Christ.

Over its centuries of usage of 'religious pictures', the Orthodox Church has developed clear guidelines (or even rules) for the best or proper way to depict holy things, just as we have clear guidelines for what, for example, a church building should be. But a rented storefront with a small number of mass-produced icon prints nailed to the walls can still be a *real* temple, even if it is not close to the ideal you see in a Church custom-built to Orthodox standards with every internal surface hand-painted with traditional iconography. In the same way, an icon painted with specific imagery, in a specific style, and painted in a specific way is considered more proper (effective, etc) than said Baroque oil painting. But they are both images of the Holy which is the key issue.
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« Reply #126 on: January 08, 2010, 01:17:21 PM »

The icon has a symbolic component in it (e.g. the halo) that has to be conveyed. It's the reason why a photograph of say, St. Tikhon, is not an icon of St. Tikhon.  
What about the Icon "Not-Made-With-Hands" (the Holy Mandylion)? This criterion you suggest would exclude it from being an Icon: http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/1107/5642iid.jpg

As I could include other criteria to exclude it from being an icon, let's compare instead this:


So we are not looking at the original Mandylion, which in any case would be a relic, and venerated on that basis.  As to the resemblance to a photograph, the sources state that Abgar's artists could not made a portrait of Christ, i.e. couldn't take the photograph.

St. John is shown with wings (since he is greater than any man born of a woman, with the obvious exception) although no one believes he had them.
Actually, St. John the Baptist is depicted with wings because of Matthew 11:10, Mark 1:2 and Luke 7:27:
‘ Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,Who will prepare Your way before You.’
In Greek "messenger" is "aggelos" (Angel).


And the name Malachi (whom the Evangelists are quoting: the only thing I miss about the Protestant canon is how the OT ends on that note, and picks up a few pages later  in Matthew) means "my messenger/angel." That of course is true, and part of the Forerunner's exalted status.
Sergei Bulgakov, The Orthodox Church.
http://books.google.com/books?id=HAaNyj20KDYC&pg=PA125&dq=Bulgakov+Precursor+wings&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false
The meaning of icons By Léonide Ouspensky, Vladimir Lossky
http://books.google.com/books?id=EMa30wq4N4MC&pg=PA106&dq=icon+John+the+baptist+wings&cd=8#v=onepage&q=icon%20John%20the%20baptist%20wings&f=false

The "historicity" of this became an issue in the Nikonian "reforms"
Icon and devotion: sacred spaces in Imperial Russia By Oleg Tarasov, R. R. Milner-Gulland
http://books.google.com/books?id=Oy_TVfi47gcC&pg=PA190&dq=icon+John+the+baptist+wings&cd=6#v=onepage&q=icon%20John%20the%20baptist%20wings&f=false

Btw, portrayals in icon of St. John holding his severed head show that time, as well as space, is relative in iconography.
The mystical language of icons By Solrunn Nes
http://books.google.com/books?id=NMKZoy6EJfcC&pg=PA65&dq=icon+John+the+baptist+wings&cd=3#v=onepage&q=icon%20John%20the%20baptist%20wings&f=false
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« Reply #127 on: January 08, 2010, 01:23:09 PM »

Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  Wink
LOL! Thats right. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and only on one day of the year (Yom Kippur- The Day of Atonement).
I didn't know about the rope thing!

Yes, it's a Jewish tradition.
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« Reply #128 on: January 08, 2010, 01:30:57 PM »

Ah, should have know to ask you first off! But, I work with medieval Books of Hours. I think the pictures aren't always considered to be icons, exactly - especially those that show non-Biblical, traditional scenes. And the illuminators don't usually sign their work, nor can you easily tell which pictures are by whom. You certainly can't look and say, 'Oh, yes, that's the Master of the Douai Psalter' - you can make a guess, but I suspect it's as easy as telling what was by Rublev and what wasn't. So why aren't these pictures icons? Or are they?

Btw - Maureen, you won't have seen this since it was in the UK, but did anyone else catch the documentary series on the art of Russia over Christmas?

It's quite possible that what your are describing could be a form of iconography. After all, Orthodoxy does recognize that Christianity did have different forms of expression, even prior to the schism. (After all, I'm sure the Liturgy St. Patrick of Ireland used was a bit different than say, a saint in Greece at the same time.)

Usually what we refer to in Orthodoxy is in relation to Byzantine Iconography and it's child, Russian/Slavic Iconography. I know that within Western Rite Orthodoxy they do use statues, and have a more Western look to their religious artwork.

As I'm still in Atlanta I don't have my books on iconography with me, but I can check into it when I get back to NJ.

I think Liz is descrbing this type:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tr%C3%A8s_Riches_Heures_du_Duc_de_Berry

No, that wouldn't qualify as iconography, except political iconography perhaps.
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« Reply #129 on: January 08, 2010, 01:36:02 PM »

But, Ialmisry, a picture can be symbolic too, surely? You say that:

Quote
A religious picture can portray how someone sees a certain scene or person, the icon shows how the Church sees the scene or person.

But pictures aren't just quasi-photographic records, are they? That's a very small slice out of art history.



We have examples of realistic art from the same time of ancient icons, but the Church chose iconography instead of such art.  So it is a much larger slice. The whole pie actually.

In religious art the artist expresses his own personal faith.  The iconographer has conventions he must attend to, because he expresses the Faith of the Church.

The are, of course, photographs that are said to be "iconic."  They still only portray the visible spectrum: iconic quality is envoked, rather than portrayed.

Sorry, I didn't express myself clearly. I meant, there's plenty of art that is non-realistic, whilst also being non-iconic. Is anything that expresses religious faith in a symbolic matter an icon?

Do you mean, do other religions have their iconography? Yes.  I suspect all do, but I won't say that dogmatically, but having seen Buddhist, Hindu, etc. iconography, I know others exist.

Quote
What pictures were you thinking of when you said that artists express their own personal faith in religious art?


Perhaps the Cistine Chapel, but then there's the problem that Michelangelo included his personal vendettas in that as well.

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« Reply #130 on: January 08, 2010, 02:19:23 PM »

I guess I was thinking of images like this one:

http://www.holycross.edu/departments/visarts/projects/kempe/devotion/alphabet/ykasn05.jpg

(I hope that link works ok).

Or like this:

http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/dept/msspb/collection/images/Ms12.f12r.jpg


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« Reply #131 on: January 08, 2010, 02:51:04 PM »


As images of the holy, those would be icons in the 'Holy Icons' sense.
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« Reply #132 on: January 08, 2010, 11:49:02 PM »

Sorry. I didn't realize you were asking about the rope yochanan, I thought you were asking whether the High Priest was the only one alowed to enter the Holy of Holies.

No problem. Hey, where did you get the idea of the rope? Can you give me a link? It would surely support icon-veneration. Its a very strong argument because its from the OT: a direct command from the LORD.  ;
It wasn't my idea. I'd never heard of it before:
LOL! Thats right. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and only on one day of the year (Yom Kippur- The Day of Atonement).
I didn't know about the rope thing!


Oh. The who did?  Shocked

Oh, its actually Asteriktos. Haha.
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« Reply #133 on: January 08, 2010, 11:50:10 PM »

The Ark of the Covenant and its contents was the most holy object in the Temple and the Holy of Holies where it sat was the most sacred place on Earth.

Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  Wink

Hey, Asteriktos, where did you get the idea that they used the rope. Any texts about it? Thanks in advance.
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« Reply #134 on: January 08, 2010, 11:52:06 PM »

Oh. The who did?  Shocked

That was my mistake Wink This search at Google brings up a lot of relevant pages.
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« Reply #135 on: January 08, 2010, 11:54:23 PM »


Hey, Asteriktos, where did you get the idea that they used the rope. Any texts about it? Thanks in advance.

I don't recall the exact source where I got the idea from. I seem to remember learning about it while I was a Protestant, so we're talking about maybe 11 or 12 years ago. Apparently the source was wrong--though I'm certainly at fault as well, because I'm the one who bought into the idea to the point that I could remember that idea a dozen years later.  angel
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« Reply #136 on: January 09, 2010, 12:03:53 AM »

The Ark of the Covenant and its contents was the most holy object in the Temple and the Holy of Holies where it sat was the most sacred place on Earth.

Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  Wink

Hey, Asteriktos, where did you get the idea that they used the rope. Any texts about it? Thanks in advance.

I remember being told this, too - by a Messianic Jew, actually. 
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« Reply #137 on: January 09, 2010, 12:15:16 AM »


Hey, Asteriktos, where did you get the idea that they used the rope. Any texts about it? Thanks in advance.

I don't recall the exact source where I got the idea from. I seem to remember learning about it while I was a Protestant, so we're talking about maybe 11 or 12 years ago. Apparently the source was wrong--though I'm certainly at fault as well, because I'm the one who bought into the idea to the point that I could remember that idea a dozen years later.  angel

You're not the only one:
Quote
The entrance of the High Priest into the Holy of Holies was a perilous journey. A rope was tied to his feet, in case he didn't survive and had to be dragged back into this world.
http://www.rabbishefagold.com/YomKippurTeachings.html
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« Reply #138 on: January 09, 2010, 12:22:16 AM »


Hey, Asteriktos, where did you get the idea that they used the rope. Any texts about it? Thanks in advance.

I don't recall the exact source where I got the idea from. I seem to remember learning about it while I was a Protestant, so we're talking about maybe 11 or 12 years ago. Apparently the source was wrong--though I'm certainly at fault as well, because I'm the one who bought into the idea to the point that I could remember that idea a dozen years later.  angel

Hearsay and gossip  Roll Eyes

Haha, just messin'. ialmistry answered it.

Thanks  Grin
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« Reply #139 on: January 09, 2010, 01:09:44 AM »


Hey, Asteriktos, where did you get the idea that they used the rope. Any texts about it? Thanks in advance.

I don't recall the exact source where I got the idea from. I seem to remember learning about it while I was a Protestant, so we're talking about maybe 11 or 12 years ago. Apparently the source was wrong--though I'm certainly at fault as well, because I'm the one who bought into the idea to the point that I could remember that idea a dozen years later.  angel

You're not the only one:
Quote
The entrance of the High Priest into the Holy of Holies was a perilous journey. A rope was tied to his feet, in case he didn't survive and had to be dragged back into this world.
http://www.rabbishefagold.com/YomKippurTeachings.html

OK, so this is a Jewish belief, then... makes sense.
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« Reply #140 on: January 09, 2010, 09:48:07 AM »

This discussion is fascinating and I'm hesitant to break the flow, so please feel free to ignore this. But I'm looking at all of these pictures people have posted and this question of whether or not Jews had icons, whether an icon of Christ is an image of the Father ... what I'd like to know is, what is the difference between a picture and an icon? I know icons are made in a special way, blessed (is that right?) and venerated in a special way. And they are meant to conform to particular representational rules, aren't they?

But still ... at what point does an icon take on something that differentiates it from a religious picture?

A picture is "secularism"
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-439856437001382026&ei=oxxHS8vOMY-OqAKvvriFAg&q=the+protestant+revolution&hl=en# (The Protestant Revolution Part 3: A Reformation of the Mind)

Also, if you read the book, "The Bible, Protestantism, and the rise of natural science" then you will see some of the connections of why the modern age in the west is mostly Atheistic. This will also help you understand why the ancient world saw things(nature) differently.



Just as the ancients had a 3 or 4 tier system of Biblical interpretation, they also had a multi-layered interpretation in regards to nature as well.



ICXC NIKA

Thanks, Jnorm. I'll try to get to that book but, obviously, if I were to do this properly I'd need to spend a year or so reading not just that book, but lots of others - something I should do, but maybe not yet! I'm familiar with interpretation in the 4 types, but I don't understand exactly how this explains icons?

I see it as being related to the multiple meanings or interpretations of the "physical" world.
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« Reply #141 on: January 09, 2010, 10:06:12 AM »

Just to ask: what exactly does the Cherubim look like in Jewish temples?  Undecided
What we know about them comes from Exodus 24:18-22 and Exodus 25:40 (LXX). There were two carved statues of cherubim on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant which faced each other and their wings stretched towards each other. So we know that they had faces and wings. There were also ten curtains which hung at the entrance of the Holy of Holies, and each curtain had a cherubim on it.
Were they subject to veneration? Shocked
Does the Talmud or "Jewish Fathers" say anything?

The Jews bowed down in front of the footstool in the Temple(Psalm 99:1-5)
Psalm99:1-5
"The LORD reigns; Let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; Let the earth be moved! The LORD is great in Zion, And He is high above all the peoples. Let them praise Your great and awesome name— He is holy. The King’s strength also loves justice; You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His footstool— He is holy."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL2ReQgj_zg&feature=player_embedded (The Jews venerate the Torah as well as a few other things in the Synagogue ......not to mention the wailing wall.)

ICXC NIKA
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« Reply #142 on: January 09, 2010, 10:10:16 AM »

Just to ask: what exactly does the Cherubim look like in Jewish temples?  Undecided
What we know about them comes from Exodus 24:18-22 and Exodus 25:40 (LXX). There were two carved statues of cherubim on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant which faced each other and their wings stretched towards each other. So we know that they had faces and wings. There were also ten curtains which hung at the entrance of the Holy of Holies, and each curtain had a cherubim on it.
Were they subject to veneration? Shocked
Does the Talmud or "Jewish Fathers" say anything?

The Jews bowed down in front of the footstool in the Temple(Psalm 99:1-5)
Psalm99:1-5
"The LORD reigns; Let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; Let the earth be moved! The LORD is great in Zion, And He is high above all the peoples. Let them praise Your great and awesome name— He is holy. The King’s strength also loves justice; You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His footstool— He is holy."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL2ReQgj_zg&feature=player_embedded (The Jews venerate the Torah as well as a few other things in the Synagogue ......not to mention the wailing wall.)

ICXC NIKA

Isn't there a difference between venerating something considered holy for its content (eg. the Torah, items in the temple), and venerating something whose holiness derives in at least in part from what it represents or symbolizes? I'd have said this is one of the key problems of differentiating between idolatry and veneration.

Btw, Jnorm, when you refer to interpretation in the four types, are you saying icons are somehow a fifth type, close to communicating Truth? Or that they are some kind of allegory?
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« Reply #143 on: January 09, 2010, 10:15:56 AM »

Just to ask: what exactly does the Cherubim look like in Jewish temples?  Undecided
What we know about them comes from Exodus 24:18-22 and Exodus 25:40 (LXX). There were two carved statues of cherubim on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant which faced each other and their wings stretched towards each other. So we know that they had faces and wings. There were also ten curtains which hung at the entrance of the Holy of Holies, and each curtain had a cherubim on it.
Were they subject to veneration? Shocked
Does the Talmud or "Jewish Fathers" say anything?

The Jews bowed down in front of the footstool in the Temple(Psalm 99:1-5)
Psalm99:1-5
"The LORD reigns; Let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; Let the earth be moved! The LORD is great in Zion, And He is high above all the peoples. Let them praise Your great and awesome name— He is holy. The King’s strength also loves justice; You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His footstool— He is holy."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL2ReQgj_zg&feature=player_embedded (The Jews venerate the Torah as well as a few other things in the Synagogue ......not to mention the wailing wall.)

ICXC NIKA

Isn't there a difference between venerating something considered holy for its content (eg. the Torah, items in the temple), and venerating something whose holiness derives in at least in part from what it represents or symbolizes? I'd have said this is one of the key problems of differentiating between idolatry and veneration.

Btw, Jnorm, when you refer to interpretation in the four types, are you saying icons are somehow a fifth type, close to communicating Truth? Or that they are some kind of allegory?

I thought the Anglicans had icons. Are you High Church or Low Church?

Well this is what I know. From what I know you even have nuns. Right?

You're like Catholic w/o the Pope. Right?

No offense. This is really what I know of.
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« Reply #144 on: January 09, 2010, 10:18:36 AM »

The Ark of the Covenant and its contents was the most holy object in the Temple and the Holy of Holies where it sat was the most sacred place on Earth.

Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  Wink

Hey, Asteriktos, where did you get the idea that they used the rope. Any texts about it? Thanks in advance.

We learned it in our  protestant years. Well, at least I know I did.


ICXC NIKA
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« Reply #145 on: January 09, 2010, 10:41:02 AM »

Yochanan, I've PM'd you so as not to get off-topic (my besetting sin, that one).
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« Reply #146 on: January 09, 2010, 10:51:09 AM »

Just to ask: what exactly does the Cherubim look like in Jewish temples?  Undecided
What we know about them comes from Exodus 24:18-22 and Exodus 25:40 (LXX). There were two carved statues of cherubim on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant which faced each other and their wings stretched towards each other. So we know that they had faces and wings. There were also ten curtains which hung at the entrance of the Holy of Holies, and each curtain had a cherubim on it.
Were they subject to veneration? Shocked
Does the Talmud or "Jewish Fathers" say anything?

The Jews bowed down in front of the footstool in the Temple(Psalm 99:1-5)
Psalm99:1-5
"The LORD reigns; Let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; Let the earth be moved! The LORD is great in Zion, And He is high above all the peoples. Let them praise Your great and awesome name— He is holy. The King’s strength also loves justice; You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His footstool— He is holy."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL2ReQgj_zg&feature=player_embedded (The Jews venerate the Torah as well as a few other things in the Synagogue ......not to mention the wailing wall.)

ICXC NIKA

Isn't there a difference between venerating something considered holy for its content (eg. the Torah, items in the temple), and venerating something whose holiness derives in at least in part from what it represents or symbolizes? I'd have said this is one of the key problems of differentiating between idolatry and veneration.

Btw, Jnorm, when you refer to interpretation in the four types, are you saying icons are somehow a fifth type, close to communicating Truth? Or that they are some kind of allegory?

From reading the book, I saw that the ancients didn't interprete the natural world only in it's "literal" sense. Instead, they did so through both "literal" as well as through "Allegory/Typology....etc" And so I am saying that Icons(something that is physical and part of the natural world) is part of the 4 type tradition. The 3 or 4 modes of interpretations wasn't with just Scripture alone, but with Nature as well...the created world and so Icons can have a strictly Church based interpretation that makes it different from other forms of art.

But yes, Icons can be Theological as well. I saw Icons that were more political/National historical, and theological.....and so yes. In some sense, I see some of our Icons as a type of "semi-language". We do have rules, but not all of our rules are uniform and so everyone isn't always on the same page, but in general, I do see a type of theology in many of our Icons.  There is one in where you have two adams in the garden of Eden, one has a beard while the other doesn't. I love that Icon for it's rich theological depth. Infact, you could make a ton of sermons off that one Icon alone.
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« Reply #147 on: January 09, 2010, 11:00:18 AM »


Isn't there a difference between venerating something considered holy for its content (eg. the Torah, items in the temple), and venerating something whose holiness derives in at least in part from what it represents or symbolizes? I'd have said this is one of the key problems of differentiating between idolatry and veneration.

Btw, Jnorm, when you refer to interpretation in the four types, are you saying icons are somehow a fifth type, close to communicating Truth? Or that they are some kind of allegory?

From reading the book, I saw that the ancients didn't interprete the natural world only in it's "literal" sense. Instead, they did so through both "literal" as well as through "Allegory/Typology....etc" And so I am saying that Icons(something that is physical and part of the natural world) is part of the 4 type tradition. The 3 or 4 modes of interpretations wasn't with just Scripture alone, but with Nature as well...the created world and so Icons can have a strictly Church based interpretation that makes it different from other forms of art.

But yes, Icons can be Theological as well. I saw Icons that were more political/National historical, and theological.....and so yes. In some sense, I see some of our Icons as a type of "semi-language". We do have rules, but not all of our rules are uniform and so everyone isn't always on the same page, but in general, I do see a type of theology in many of our Icons.  There is one in where you have two adams in the garden of Eden, one has a beard while the other doesn't. I love that Icon for it's rich theological depth. Infact, you could make a ton of sermons off that one Icon alone.

I'm not sure I'm following you. May I go over what you said and see where I went wrong?

Interpretation in the four types can be applied to Scripture, the natural world, and other things, I agree. It's an interpretative strategy based on hermeneutics, which sits well with Christianity because God is necessarily hidden from our earthly sight. But, accepting that, how does it follow that
Quote
Icons can have a strictly Church based interpretation that makes it different from other forms of art.
. You could interpret any picture you chose according to the four types. You could also apply Orthodox theology to many non-Orthodox images, and construct an interpretation according to the four types that was consistent with Orthodox theology, too.

I'm really confused as to what this thing is that makes icons so different from other art... maybe I'll just 'see' it one day, I hope so.
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« Reply #148 on: January 09, 2010, 10:48:42 PM »

Yochanan, I've PM'd you so as not to get off-topic (my besetting sin, that one).

Thanks, now I know. Smiley
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« Reply #149 on: January 12, 2010, 09:01:06 PM »

Isn't there a difference between venerating something considered holy for its content (eg. the Torah, items in the temple), and venerating something whose holiness derives in at least in part from what it represents or symbolizes? I'd have said this is one of the key problems of differentiating between idolatry and veneration.

"The Holy Icons
I venerate holy icons in perfect accord with the second commandment of the Decalogue [Ten Commandments] and not in contradiction to it. For, before the Incarnation of God, before the Nativity of Jesus Christ, any representation of Him would have been the fruit of man's imagination, a conception of man's reasoning concerning God Who is by nature and in His essence incomprehensible, indescribable, immaterial, inexpressible and unfathomable. Every conception or imagination concerning God will, by necessity, be alien to His nature; it will be false, unreal, an idol. But when the time was fulfilled, the Indepictable One became depictable for my salvation. As the Apostle says, "we have heard Him, we have seen Him with our eyes, we have looked upon Him and have handled Him with our hands" (I John 1:1). When I venerate the holy icons I do not worship matter, but I confess that God Who is immaterial by nature has become material for our sakes so that He might dwell among us, die for us, be raised from the dead in His flesh and cause our human nature, which He took upon Himself, to sit at the right hand of the Father in the Heavens. When I kiss His venerable icon, I confess the relatively describable and absolutely historical reality of His Incarnation, His Death, His Resurrection, His Ascension into the Heavens, and His Second and Glorious Coming.

The Veneration and Worship of the Holy Icons
I venerate the holy icons by prostrating myself before them, by kissing them, by showing them a "relative worship" (as the definition of the Seventh Ecumenical Council says) while confessing that only the Most Holy Trinity is to be offered adoration. By the words "relative worship" I do not mean a second rate worship, but that they are worshipped because of their relation to God. God alone, Who is the cause and the final goal of all things, deserves our worship; Him alone must we worship. We worship the saints, their holy relics and their icons only because He dwells in them. Thus, the creatures that are sanctified by God are venerated and worshipped because of their relation to Him and on account of Him. This has always been the teaching of the Church: "The worship of the icon is directed to the prototype." Not to venerate the saints is to deny the reality of their communion with God, the effects of Divine sanctification and the grace which works in them; it is to deny the words of the Apostle who said, "I no longer live, but Christ liveth in me." (Gal. 2:20). I believe that icons are a consequence of and a witness to the Incarnation of Our Saviour and an integral part of Christianity; thus there is no question of a human custom or doctrine having been superimposed upon the Tradition of the Church, as though it were an afterthought. I believe and I confess that the holy icons are not only decorative and didactic objects which are found in Church, but also holy and sanctifying, being the shadows of heavenly realities; and even as the shadow of the Apostle Peter once cured the sick—as it is related in the Acts of the Apostles—so in like manner do the holy icons, being shadows of celestial realities, sanctify us."

From the back cover of the Orthodox Wall Calendar published by St. Nectarios Press, Seattle, Washington.
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« Reply #150 on: January 15, 2010, 01:08:49 PM »

I don't have a problem with icons. I have them everywhere. Home, Work in the car and on my Cell phone and on my MP3 player... They bring me comfort that the saints of the past are praying for me... I know my brother who is a KJV-only hell & brimstone Baptist and he with his family attended our wedding... I thought he was going to pee his pants or scream when he saw people kissing icons and crossing themselves.... Most Prots don't know that Dr. Luke is the first Icon writer who wrote the first Icon of the Theotokos
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« Reply #151 on: January 15, 2010, 01:48:57 PM »

If anyone has ever talked to a Hindu who worships idols, they will also tell you that the idol fashioned is not the deity him/herself, but rather a material depiction, and that the worship passes through the prototype to the actual essence of the deity.  People don't tend to think that the depiction "is the god", but rather than when summoned, the deity temporarily takes residence within the vessel to receive adoration.

Don't we also believe that the saints and Christ are "made present" in a special way thought the icons?

I think the notion that we are different by praying through rather than to icons is a false setup which caricatures the "others" in a way that is not honest.
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« Reply #152 on: January 15, 2010, 01:59:50 PM »

Orthodox don't claim that icons are that of a Deity. They are a representation of the actual person. Kinda like a picture of a loved one. If you look at the Hindus they actually worship the image. Orthodox don't do this. We use them as a constant reminder of the Saints who have gone after us.
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« Reply #153 on: January 15, 2010, 02:03:22 PM »

If you look at the Hindus they actually worship the image.

They worship what the image represents.  How many Hindus have you asked about this?
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« Reply #154 on: January 15, 2010, 02:14:49 PM »

Orthodox don't claim that icons are that of a Deity. They are a representation of the actual person. Kinda like a picture of a loved one. If you look at the Hindus they actually worship the image. Orthodox don't do this. We use them as a constant reminder of the Saints who have gone after us.

I know a lot of Hindus. No one I know thinks they worship an image! They worship the God represented by that image. I grant that Hinduism doesn't convince me at all, but we shouldn't misrepresent it.
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Faith: Church of England
Posts: 989



« Reply #155 on: January 15, 2010, 02:15:32 PM »

If you look at the Hindus they actually worship the image.

They worship what the image represents.  How many Hindus have you asked about this?

Oops, sorry ... I posted and immediately saw what you'd written.

That's what I meant.
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Tags: icons Protestant Christianity 
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