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Author Topic: Strange icons  (Read 41523 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #540 on: July 14, 2014, 10:58:45 PM »

Wow.  I had not seen the Otechestvo, but yes that is disturbing on SO many levels.

Why do you find it disturbing, Anna? 
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« Reply #541 on: July 14, 2014, 11:10:42 PM »

Wow.  I had not seen the Otechestvo, but yes that is disturbing on SO many levels.

Why do you find it disturbing, Anna?  

Well, I am absolutely NO expert. I've only studied a limited number of icons. But ...

1. The biggest thing, by far, for me, is the positioning of "Joseph". I've never seen an icon of anyone but the Theotokos in this position with Christ, and it's so obviously similar. It just seems highly inappropriate.

2. The age of Joseph is far off. He appears to be a relatively young man, in contrast to all the teaching we have about him. It would undermine much other teaching about the Theotokos, and make her ever-virginity seem suspect, at best.

3. A minor point, but the resemblance between the two figures. The Joseph looks more like Christ - than Christ does. Somehow this seems to imply, on an unconscious level, that Joseph would be Jesus' biological father.

4. The dove - as mentioned - the whole Father-Son-dove iconography puts me in mind of the Trinity, and icons depicting the Trinity in this way are considered not canonical? Further, even if they were, putting Joseph in the position of God the Father is ... A problem, IMO.

Those are my main problems with it. But it's difficult for me to find something praiseworthy in it, in the face of all the issues it feels like it stirs in me.

Forgive me, I can be off in something. I'm just learning all this. And I hope nothing I've said is inadvertently offensive to anyone. But what I've gotten from Orthodoxy so far, makes me think of these issues.
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« Reply #542 on: July 14, 2014, 11:13:42 PM »

Wow.  I had not seen the Otechestvo, but yes that is disturbing on SO many levels.

Why do you find it disturbing, Anna?  

Ohhhh! You meant the Otechestvo? I'm sorry, it does sound like that's what I was disturbed by.

No, I'm sorry, I was relating the Otechestvo to the Joseph and Jesus icon, and upset about the Joseph one. My apologies. I have not looked closely at the Otechestvo. All I know is those types I have been told are not strictly canonical, as it is not permitted to portray The Father. And I wondered who the people are. I don't have much to comment on that one though. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Smiley
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« Reply #543 on: July 14, 2014, 11:19:28 PM »

More accurately, one portrays the Father whenever one portrays the Son (John 14:9).
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« Reply #544 on: July 14, 2014, 11:21:38 PM »

Wow.  I had not seen the Otechestvo, but yes that is disturbing on SO many levels.

Why do you find it disturbing, Anna?  

Ohhhh! You meant the Otechestvo? I'm sorry, it does sound like that's what I was disturbed by.

No, I'm sorry, I was relating the Otechestvo to the Joseph and Jesus icon, and upset about the Joseph one. My apologies. I have not looked closely at the Otechestvo. All I know is those types I have been told are not strictly canonical, as it is not permitted to portray The Father. And I wondered who the people are. I don't have much to comment on that one though. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Smiley

No worries.  Yes, I had in mind the Otechestvo, not the various St Joseph icons.  I saw an opportunity: I wanted to see what someone "relatively unfamiliar" with Orthodoxy thought when seeing such images.  I wanted to know your unfiltered, original thoughts, as opposed to thoughts based on what you might have learned, what you might have been told/taught to believe or think about such images, etc.  
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« Reply #545 on: July 14, 2014, 11:22:15 PM »

More accurately, one portrays the Father whenever one portrays the Son (John 14:9).

Not exactly.
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« Reply #546 on: July 14, 2014, 11:24:09 PM »

More accurately, one portrays the Father whenever one portrays the Son (John 14:9).

Not exactly.

Smiley Come on, spit it out. I know you have something to say about all this.
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« Reply #547 on: July 14, 2014, 11:24:47 PM »

More accurately, one portrays the Father whenever one portrays the Son (John 14:9).

Not exactly.

Smiley Come on, spit it out. I know you have something to say about all this.

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« Reply #548 on: July 14, 2014, 11:26:19 PM »

You're taking icons and calling them "strange" ...
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« Reply #549 on: July 14, 2014, 11:28:30 PM »

Wow.  I had not seen the Otechestvo, but yes that is disturbing on SO many levels.

Why do you find it disturbing, Anna?  

Ohhhh! You meant the Otechestvo? I'm sorry, it does sound like that's what I was disturbed by.

No, I'm sorry, I was relating the Otechestvo to the Joseph and Jesus icon, and upset about the Joseph one. My apologies. I have not looked closely at the Otechestvo. All I know is those types I have been told are not strictly canonical, as it is not permitted to portray The Father. And I wondered who the people are. I don't have much to comment on that one though. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Smiley

No worries.  Yes, I had in mind the Otechestvo, not the various St Joseph icons.  I saw an opportunity: I wanted to see what someone "relatively unfamiliar" with Orthodoxy thought when seeing such images.  I wanted to know your unfiltered, original thoughts, as opposed to thoughts based on what you might have learned, what you might have been told/taught to believe or think about such images, etc.  

Oh, I have a handful of questions. Generally reserving judgement until I know more.

I will say this - a very quick glance makes me think it teaches something like - "The Father produced the Son, and from the Son came the Holy Spirit". I see a problem, maybe subliminally, with "rank" here as well. That's my quick impression, and unvarnished and untaught, lol.
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« Reply #550 on: July 14, 2014, 11:28:47 PM »

We should have an icon of St. Joseph teaching Jesus how to pee while standing, to demonstrate Christ's full humanity in an area he couldn't quite learn from Mary. angel
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« Reply #551 on: July 14, 2014, 11:30:36 PM »

I really like the otechestvo, even though I can see how one could learn bad theology from it.
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« Reply #552 on: July 14, 2014, 11:31:08 PM »

We should have an icon of St. Joseph teaching Jesus how to pee while standing, to demonstrate Christ's full humanity in an area he couldn't quite learn from Mary. angel

Who says he urinated?  The Gospels say nothing of this.
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« Reply #553 on: July 14, 2014, 11:31:53 PM »

You're taking icons and calling them "strange" ...

Is that an icon of Luther in your avatar?
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« Reply #554 on: July 14, 2014, 11:32:52 PM »

We should have an icon of St. Joseph teaching Jesus how to pee while standing, to demonstrate Christ's full humanity in an area he couldn't quite learn from Mary. angel

There's something strangely profound in this strangely shallow suggestion.
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« Reply #555 on: July 14, 2014, 11:33:26 PM »

I really like the otechestvo, even though I can see how one could learn bad theology from it.

It could also teach proper theology insofar as Christ still sent the Holy Spirit, and/or the fact that the Spirit eternally rests in and upon the Son. Etc.
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« Reply #556 on: July 14, 2014, 11:36:31 PM »

Wow.  I had not seen the Otechestvo, but yes that is disturbing on SO many levels.

Why do you find it disturbing, Anna? 

I get a "little disturbance" in my mind over religious imagery.
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« Reply #557 on: July 14, 2014, 11:38:05 PM »

I'm also looking at the red winged wheels near the footstool, and reminded about enemies being made into His footstool, but the only winged wheel I can recall was seen by Elijah, right?

The Father holds a scroll, but Christ doesn't. One of the men in the towers does. And I don't know why the towers, who those men are, and who the one on the ground is. That just makes me wonder. That's all I've got.


But our Creed says the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. I just started looking into what that actually means, because apparently I had always misunderstood "proceed" in the Creed.
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« Reply #558 on: July 14, 2014, 11:41:27 PM »

I really like the otechestvo, even though I can see how one could learn bad theology from it.

It could also teach proper theology insofar as Christ still sent the Holy Spirit, and/or the fact that the Spirit eternally rests in and upon the Son. Etc.
I had considered that part of it, though I think some might object and say the icon displays some kind of "ranking" of the Trinity. This same objection could not be made in icons of the Trinity where they are shown equally enthroned, however.

Regardless, I definitely like the otechestvo.
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« Reply #559 on: July 14, 2014, 11:41:51 PM »

Ezekiel, I think you mean, but he was not the only one. At any rate, the wheels drive the throne of God.
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« Reply #560 on: July 14, 2014, 11:43:03 PM »

I'm also looking at the red winged wheels near the footstool, and reminded about enemies being made into His footstool, but the only winged wheel I can recall was seen by Elijah, right?
Those are cherubim, and the orthodoxy of their presence in such icons is undisputed.
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« Reply #561 on: July 14, 2014, 11:52:21 PM »

I really like the otechestvo, even though I can see how one could learn bad theology from it.

It could also teach proper theology insofar as Christ still sent the Holy Spirit, and/or the fact that the Spirit eternally rests in and upon the Son. Etc.
I had considered that part of it, though I think some might object and say the icon displays some kind of "ranking" of the Trinity. This same objection could not be made in icons of the Trinity where they are shown equally enthroned, however.

Regardless, I definitely like the otechestvo.

The two major icons I can imagine that show them equal would be the Visitation of Abraham or the Ethiopian "Three Old Men"-style Trinity. Almost all other New Testament Trinity icons perhaps suggest, or could at least, a ranking by virtue of the Holy Spirit just being a bird. That said, the specific locations of each person does seem to be a "biggest-to-smallest" ranking of descending importance in this one, but Idk.

I have a guilty pleasure of liking New Testament Trinity icons myself, but this one I don't like nearly as much for some reason that I can't put my finger on.
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« Reply #562 on: July 14, 2014, 11:57:11 PM »

I really like the otechestvo, even though I can see how one could learn bad theology from it.

It could also teach proper theology insofar as Christ still sent the Holy Spirit, and/or the fact that the Spirit eternally rests in and upon the Son. Etc.
I had considered that part of it, though I think some might object and say the icon displays some kind of "ranking" of the Trinity. This same objection could not be made in icons of the Trinity where they are shown equally enthroned, however.

Regardless, I definitely like the otechestvo.

The two major icons I can imagine that show them equal would be the Visitation of Abraham or the Ethiopian "Three Old Men"-style Trinity. Almost all other New Testament Trinity icons perhaps suggest, or could at least, a ranking by virtue of the Holy Spirit just being a bird. That said, the specific locations of each person does seem to be a "biggest-to-smallest" ranking of descending importance in this one, but Idk.

I have a guilty pleasure of liking New Testament Trinity icons myself, but this one I don't like nearly as much for some reason that I can't put my finger on.
I hadn't thought of this.
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« Reply #563 on: July 15, 2014, 12:00:44 AM »

Ezekiel, I think you mean, but he was not the only one. At any rate, the wheels drive the throne of God.

Oh, thank you, you are right!

Now I did not remember them connected with the throne of God. That makes much more sense then. Thank you. All I could see was that they seemed connected with a footstool.

I think this is why we need icons explained. I don't like to assume too much!

And especially since I'm not that strong in the OT. I suppose I should concentrate more on it, but it's difficult to get away from my more favorite parts of Scripture.

Thanks for the correction though. Can't believe I confused Elijah with Ezekiel, lol.
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« Reply #564 on: July 15, 2014, 12:03:41 AM »

I'm also looking at the red winged wheels near the footstool, and reminded about enemies being made into His footstool, but the only winged wheel I can recall was seen by Elijah, right?
Those are cherubim, and the orthodoxy of their presence in such icons is undisputed.

Thank you. Smiley

I had figured they must be angels. My problem was connecting them with the footstool, which if they are angels, makes no sense to me. Peter has kindly corrected me though, and I get that part now. Smiley

Thank you for the correction as well.
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« Reply #565 on: July 15, 2014, 12:04:32 AM »

In the second, he usurps all the rights and beauties of the Theotokos.
Even worse, I'm seeing shades of father, son, and holy spirit. (lack of capitalization intended)

Quite right. The artist has appropriated an existing uncanonical composition, known as Otechestvo (Paternity), and further compounded the heresy:





Wow.  I had not seen the Otechestvo, but yes that is disturbing on SO many levels.

Who is the figure in the lower right of the Otechestvo? I feel like I shouldn't even be asking, but I would like to know?

The three small figures are of two pillar-dwelling saints, the third is possibly of one of the younger apostles (Thomas, John or Philip). Their presence simply points to this image having been painted to include these three saints, who are very likely patron-saints of members of the household which commissioned it.
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« Reply #566 on: July 15, 2014, 12:10:20 AM »

I really like the otechestvo, even though I can see how one could learn bad theology from it.

It could also teach proper theology insofar as Christ still sent the Holy Spirit, and/or the fact that the Spirit eternally rests in and upon the Son. Etc.

No, it does not. It ranks the Persons of the Trinity as unequal; it depicts God the Father as an old man, where He has only ever been revealed as a voice and as a rushing wind, and never as incarnate; and it depicts the Holy Spirit as a dove, when the Spirit is not a dove by nature. The Holy Spirit as a dove is only permissible in icons of Theophany (Baptism of the Lord), as it is in this form that the Spirit was manifest at that particular time and place.

Time and again, the Church has denounced such imagery, yet they continue to be painted, whether through honest ignorance, or stubborn pride.
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« Reply #567 on: July 15, 2014, 12:14:33 AM »

We should have an icon of St. Joseph teaching Jesus how to pee while standing, to demonstrate Christ's full humanity in an area he couldn't quite learn from Mary. angel

You disgust me, Nephi. I expected better from you.  Angry Angry
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« Reply #568 on: July 15, 2014, 12:18:14 AM »

Beep beep, all aboard the bus to Hell. I laughed.
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« Reply #569 on: July 15, 2014, 12:32:35 AM »

...it depicts God the Father as an old man, where He has only ever been revealed as a voice and as a rushing wind, and never as incarnate; and it depicts the Holy Spirit as a dove, when the Spirit is not a dove by nature. The Holy Spirit as a dove is only permissible in icons of Theophany (Baptism of the Lord), as it is in this form that the Spirit was manifest at that particular time and place.

1.  Leaving aside the appearance to Abraham, the visions of the prophet Daniel, etc., if you claim that the Father "has only ever been revealed as a voice and as a rushing wind", does this mean that the Father could be depicted as a voice or as a wind if there was an iconographic convention for painting these things?  Why or why not?  

2.  The Spirit is not a dove by nature, but can be depicted as such in the Theophany icon because you say that it was in that particular form that He manifested "at that particular time and place".  Leaving aside the fact that it is not clear from the Gospels whether the Spirit manifested in the form of a dove or merely descended like a dove, what does this principle mean for other iconographic conventions that are not strictly limited to "particular time and place" (e.g., depictions of the child Jesus as a miniature thirty year old in the arms of his Mother or appearing as if entombed in the Nativity icon)?  
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« Reply #570 on: July 15, 2014, 12:37:19 AM »

Beep beep, all aboard the bus to Hell. I laughed.

not a bus..its a handbasket...and i am clearly in it....since I not only snickered, I thought of at least two good follow on quips.


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« Reply #571 on: July 15, 2014, 12:40:02 AM »

...it depicts God the Father as an old man, where He has only ever been revealed as a voice and as a rushing wind, and never as incarnate; and it depicts the Holy Spirit as a dove, when the Spirit is not a dove by nature. The Holy Spirit as a dove is only permissible in icons of Theophany (Baptism of the Lord), as it is in this form that the Spirit was manifest at that particular time and place.

1.  Leaving aside the appearance to Abraham, the visions of the prophet Daniel, etc., if you claim that the Father "has only ever been revealed as a voice and as a rushing wind", does this mean that the Father could be depicted as a voice or as a wind if there was an iconographic convention for painting these things?  Why or why not?  
In the icon of the theophany at my church, the Father is "depicted" as a voice. Is this uncommon?
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« Reply #572 on: July 15, 2014, 12:48:12 AM »

In the icon of the theophany at my church, the Father is "depicted" as a voice. Is this uncommon?

What does "the voice" look like when painted as an image?
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« Reply #573 on: July 15, 2014, 12:49:17 AM »

In the icon of the theophany at my church, the Father is "depicted" as a voice. Is this uncommon?

What does "the voice" look like when painted as an image?

Hopefully not someone like Yanni. *shudder*
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« Reply #574 on: July 15, 2014, 12:54:12 AM »

In the icon of the theophany at my church, the Father is "depicted" as a voice. Is this uncommon?

What does "the voice" look like when painted as an image?

I was going to ask the same thing.  Huh

As for asking if it is uncommon, I would go as far as to say it's practically non-existent. I have never seen any instance of it in the many, many icons of this feast I have seen.
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« Reply #575 on: July 15, 2014, 12:56:02 AM »

I am now imagining an odd mash up of the maroon5 dude and ceelo green


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Mor Ephrem
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« Reply #576 on: July 15, 2014, 01:01:58 AM »

Please, not her.  We want Shakira. 
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« Reply #577 on: July 15, 2014, 01:19:36 AM »

In the icon of the theophany at my church, the Father is "depicted" as a voice. Is this uncommon?

What does "the voice" look like when painted as an image?
"This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased."
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Mor Ephrem
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« Reply #578 on: July 15, 2014, 01:23:24 AM »

In the icon of the theophany at my church, the Father is "depicted" as a voice. Is this uncommon?

What does "the voice" look like when painted as an image?
"This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased."

Are you saying that those words are painted onto the icon? 
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« Reply #579 on: July 15, 2014, 01:23:57 AM »

In the icon of the theophany at my church, the Father is "depicted" as a voice. Is this uncommon?

What does "the voice" look like when painted as an image?
"This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased."

Words are not made of anything. God the Father remains invisible and bodiless.
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Antonis
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« Reply #580 on: July 15, 2014, 01:27:02 AM »

In the icon of the theophany at my church, the Father is "depicted" as a voice. Is this uncommon?

What does "the voice" look like when painted as an image?
"This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased."

Are you saying that those words are painted onto the icon? 
Yes, in Greek, in a small orb above the Holy Spirit descending as a dove.
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« Reply #581 on: July 15, 2014, 01:27:29 AM »

In the icon of the theophany at my church, the Father is "depicted" as a voice. Is this uncommon?

What does "the voice" look like when painted as an image?
"This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased."

Words are not made of anything. God the Father remains invisible and bodiless.
And yet that wasn't the point.
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« Reply #582 on: July 15, 2014, 01:30:24 AM »

In the icon of the theophany at my church, the Father is "depicted" as a voice. Is this uncommon?

What does "the voice" look like when painted as an image?
"This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased."

Words are not made of anything. God the Father remains invisible and bodiless.
And yet that wasn't the point.

It is very much the point. God the Father, as He has revealed Himself, remains invisible and bodiless. A voice has no form or shape, and it certainly doesn't look like a bearded old man.
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Mor Ephrem
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« Reply #583 on: July 15, 2014, 01:32:34 AM »

...it depicts God the Father as an old man, where He has only ever been revealed as a voice and as a rushing wind, and never as incarnate; and it depicts the Holy Spirit as a dove, when the Spirit is not a dove by nature. The Holy Spirit as a dove is only permissible in icons of Theophany (Baptism of the Lord), as it is in this form that the Spirit was manifest at that particular time and place.

1.  Leaving aside the appearance to Abraham, the visions of the prophet Daniel, etc., if you claim that the Father "has only ever been revealed as a voice and as a rushing wind", does this mean that the Father could be depicted as a voice or as a wind if there was an iconographic convention for painting these things?  Why or why not?  

2.  The Spirit is not a dove by nature, but can be depicted as such in the Theophany icon because you say that it was in that particular form that He manifested "at that particular time and place".  Leaving aside the fact that it is not clear from the Gospels whether the Spirit manifested in the form of a dove or merely descended like a dove, what does this principle mean for other iconographic conventions that are not strictly limited to "particular time and place" (e.g., depictions of the child Jesus as a miniature thirty year old in the arms of his Mother or appearing as if entombed in the Nativity icon)?
 
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« Reply #584 on: July 15, 2014, 01:34:51 AM »

In the icon of the theophany at my church, the Father is "depicted" as a voice. Is this uncommon?

What does "the voice" look like when painted as an image?
"This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased."

Words are not made of anything. God the Father remains invisible and bodiless.
And yet that wasn't the point.

It is very much the point. God the Father, as He has revealed Himself, remains invisible and bodiless. A voice has no form or shape, and it certainly doesn't look like a bearded old man.
Whose point, yours? I was making no point, merely commenting on Mor's post. I wasn't addressing you.
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