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Author Topic: John of Damascus' exegesis of De 4:15 is impossible  (Read 34348 times) Average Rating: 5
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« Reply #180 on: August 05, 2010, 05:40:36 PM »

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Non sequitur, Christ is not like one of the icons produced in your icon factories.

You mean monasteries?

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He is an icon of God in that He is the image of God, but this doesn't apply to His flesh, only to His Person.

Ummmm, going back to Genesis, the first chapter, of course His flesh was in the image of God, by the very fact of being human.  "And God created Man in His own image".

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Your icons cannot say that, therefore they are not the same.

We don't really expect our icons to say much, but when they do it's usually attributed as a miracle.

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the word icon may be the same as found in the Bible, but the meaning you give it has changed, to become detestable images Christ would barf at, if still on earth.

Hopefully He never looked in a mirror, or happened to see His reflection in the Jordan.

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As Jesus didn't want His similitude imaged in Moses' Day, He certainly wouldn't want His incarnate Body imaged.

Ok, yet again, it would have been impossible for Jesus' similitude to be imaged in Moses', because as Deuteronomy clearly tells us, "You saw no likeness".  Hence the prohibition.

Quote
Or don't you realize Jesus is YHWH, the Word of God, the One who comes to man, to reveal God, or as here, rain down fire upon Sodom from YHWH the Father:

You might want to be careful throwing those four letters around, there's a commandment about that.  

Quote
While I consider Stephanus 1550 as the Received Text, I thought you would prefer the Greek Orthodox Version, or is it the same text?

It doesn't matter, here's the link to the same verse from the Greek Orthodox Church's website.  It's at the beginning of the "versicle" formatting, and says the same thing

http://onlinechapel.goarch.org/biblegreek/?id=11&book=Col&chapter=1
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« Reply #181 on: August 05, 2010, 05:41:15 PM »

Alfred,

God said it plainly:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness {of any thing} that {is} in heaven above, or that {is} in the earth beneath, or that {is} in the water under the earth: Exodus 20:4

Thou shalt not make thee {any} graven image, {or} any likeness {of any thing} that {is} in heaven above, or that {is} in the earth beneath, or that {is} in the waters beneath the earth: Deuteronomy 5:8

Then, in several passages, He orders the making of graven images, on the very places of worship. On the very Ark. From between the statues of Cherubin, He will bless his people.

It is not about veneration or worship (although, they *were* in places of worship for some reason, and even in the Holy of Holies). It is about making or not making them.

So you have to accept that one of the following is true:

1) God is a liar and in contradiction;

2) There are more than one God in the Bible, one who tells us not to make images and another that tells us to;

3) The words in the commandment are not in the absolute, restrict sense.

If 1 or 2, you're no a Christian. If 3, then of course there are levels of meaning in those words. Because they are the ones in study, we have to look elsewhere to know what kind of attitudes towards images God allows and which one God forbids. This will be the limit of proper veneration and idolatry. Did God give us this reference? I believe He did in our saints and the way they dealt with images. But that will not do it for you, so let's look in the Holy Scriptures, which were selected and gathered by the icon venerating Fathers of the 1st Council:

And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, Exodus 30:26 (Remember there were cherubim statues on the Ark. So they were annointed as well, and I doubt that was done casually or without reverence)

So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. 2 Samuel 6:15  (They celebrate the presence of the Ark. With the Cherubin on it)

And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obededom and Jehiah {were} doorkeepers for the ark. 1 Crônicas 15:24 (Sacred rituals in the presence of the Ark. And the Cherubim on it).

And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken. 1 Samuel 4:22  (The Glory of God manifests through an object man-made with graven images on it. The Glory of God even departs for the simple taking of such object).

And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me? 2 Samuel 6:9
And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God {home} to me? 1 Chronicles 13:12 (It is a great honor to receive the object (with graven images) that bear the presence of the Lord. I also will say a halleluia for those who find out which other passage in the Bible we see this same sentence in reference to another Ark, which too, was bearing the presence of the Lord.)

And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for {his} error; and there he died by the ark of God. {error: or, rashness} 2 Samuel 6:7 (A disrespect toward the images ordained by God is so serious that even death may be the punishment. Graven images ordained by God are that sacred - and should be, since they were put in the Holy of Holies after all)

And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people. Josué 3:6 (Sacred objects are to be taken on procession before the people)


Now, after all this, God shows us the limit where veneration of images changes into idolatry:

Quote
Numbers 21

Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

First, God, as He usually does, orders the making of the graven image of a serpent wherein His healing Grace lies. Here we have a healing icon, like so many today. But even that can be corrupted. Later the serpent was indeed worshipped and God ordained its destruction.


In fact, one of the most astonishing punishments of God regards the dessacration of the objects from the Temple:

Daniel 5
1 Belshazzar the king held a great feast for a thousand of his nobles, and he was drinking wine in the presence of the thousand. 2 When Belshazzar tasted the wine, he gave orders to bring the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem, in order that the king and his nobles, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. 3 Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God which was in Jerusalem; and the king and his nobles, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. 4 They drank the wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone.

5 Suddenly the fingers of a man’s hand emerged and began writing opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, and the king saw the back of the hand that did the writing. 6 Then the king’s face grew pale, and his thoughts alarmed him; and his hip joints went slack, and his knees began knocking together. 7 The king called aloud to bring in the conjurers, the Chaldeans and the diviners. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, “Any man who can read this inscription and explain its interpretation to me will be clothed with purple, and have a necklace of gold around his neck, and have authority as third ruler in the kingdom.” 8 Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the inscription or make known its interpretation to the king. 9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed, his face grew even paler, and his nobles were perplexed.

Notice that in this passage, it is the act of treating the sacred objects (certainly not without graven images of lions, cherubins, oxen, palm trees and other things on them) as normal objects that causes a most amazing punishment.

God not only ordains the creating of graven images. He punishes their dessacration severily and teaches us the difference between veneration and worship.

Non sequitur, you failed to prove God wanted any of those images venerated as the orthodox venerate their images.

God has no problem with images at all, His objection was to being imaged and venerated via that image. It destroys His transcendence in the heart of the worshiper, replacing Him with a detestable likeness that utterly misrepresents God.



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« Reply #182 on: August 05, 2010, 06:15:58 PM »

Non sequitur, you failed to prove God wanted any of those images venerated as the orthodox venerate their images.

God has no problem with images at all, His objection was to being imaged and venerated via that image. It destroys His transcendence in the heart of the worshiper, replacing Him with a detestable likeness that utterly misrepresents God.
I'm confused about the type of iconoclasm you are teaching. Is it ok to make images of Christ, and just not venerate them? Should images of Christ be avoided completely? Is it just ok to make images of things other than Christ? Because the verses you use against us suggest a prohibition of all images (even non-religious), and if interpreted literally, God would contradict Himself when giving instruction for the Tabernacle. None of those verses say anything about veneration. There are however, Biblical instances where veneration was shown to beings other than God, including people and angels. For example, Joshua 5:14:
Quote
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?
The word "worship" is used here, newer translations say "reverence", but the meaning is clear. In older English, the word "worship" could mean either the worship due to God alone and it could also mean honor. Actually, in his "Against Those Who Decry Holy Images", St. John of Damascus cites several instances of this happening in the Bible, including the one I just cited. So if veneration is shown to others besides God, then why can't it be shown to holy images? How do you know the Israelites did not venerate the carved Cherubim, when by making them they were already violating a literal interpretation of the verses prohibiting idolatry? Reconcile what Joshua did with your previous statement:
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God demands exclusive devotion, no divided praise like that received by a prototype of an icon.
I could reword that:
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God demands exclusive devotion, no divided praise like that received by an angel.
Also, in the verse after Joshua 5:14, the angel implies that the ground Joshua is standing on deserves a type of veneration:
Quote
And the captain of the LORD's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.
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« Reply #183 on: August 05, 2010, 06:25:13 PM »

You keep repeating the argument, "As Jesus didn't want His similitude imaged in Moses' Day, He certainly wouldn't want His incarnate Body imaged," and you use the logic that, "since Jesus is God, and God is unchanging, therefore Jesus wouldn't want an image of His body" in order to support it.

I will not doubt that God is unchanging.  But God's unchanging-ness doesn't limit His ability to work changes in His creation.  To wit:

- He created time, space, and living beings, which were not there from the beginning.  In order to do this, He limited Himself.
- He created human beings in His image and likeness, and gave them free will.  In order to do this, He limited Himself.
- He flooded the world to rid it of evil, but then promised to Noah that He would never do it again.  In order to do this, He limited Himself.
- He took flesh, in the person of the Son.  In order to do this, He limited Himself.
- Even though the law said people could divorce, He said they shouldn't, and reminded them that the law (which was His law, mind you) was merciful for their hardness of heart.  He told us that He perfected the law in Himself - something that denotes change.

Thus, your assertion that, "Jesus wouldn't change what He said to us regarding images of Himself after His incarnation because He is God and God does not change" doesn't hold much water considering what took place in the history of our relationship to God.  God does not change in His Essence; but His activity in the world has changed, because of His voluntary self-limitation; He created the world, us, spoke to us, dwelt amongst us, sent His Spirit into the World in a unique and special way (even though He is everywhere present and filling all things).  I can hardly believe that someone with the apparent knowledge of the scripture could make such a mistake as to claim that God can't change His directives because He can't change.  It hardly makes any of your other assertions readable; if you're going to make a big mistake like this, I doubt the rest of your material is worth the time or effort to process.
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« Reply #184 on: August 05, 2010, 06:35:10 PM »

Forgive if I am mistaken, but is not this another example of what you are saying Fr. George?

Quote
Genesis 18:16-33

When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. Then the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him

Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know."

The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD. Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."

Then Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?"

"If I find forty-five there," he said, "I will not destroy it."

Once again he spoke to him, "What if only forty are found there?"

He said, "For the sake of forty, I will not do it."

Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?"

He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."

Abraham said, "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?"

He said, "For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it."

Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?"

He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."

When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.

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« Reply #185 on: August 05, 2010, 06:37:14 PM »

I can't believe that I hadn't noticed this in the midst of your other tomfoolery:

"God had revealed Himself in fire at Horeb, condescending to a Personal relationship with HIs people. It would be abhorrent to God if His children began to visualize Him as some dungy image as they communed with His Spirit."

So your conclusion is that an icon of Christ is visualizing God in a dungy image?

- God became a man in the person of the Son, Jesus Christ, no?
- Jesus was human being, true flesh, walking in the world, seen by human beings, no?
- His body was perceivable in the world (i.e. there was no part of His body that was invisible, beyond that which was covered by clothing, most of which was removed at His Crucifixion), no?

So His body, the body of the Son of God Incarnate, was seen fully amongst men.  He spoke amongst us; we wrote His words, and use them.  He touched us; our bodies were healed by Him, and remained in the world beyond His Ascension into Heaven.  He revealed Himself to us; we saw Him, we remembered Him, we now carry our images of Him to remind us of the true flesh He took.  They receive no praise - only He does.

If you cannot accept this, then you cannot be or claim to be a Nicean Christian, as they (a) had icons (amongst them ones painted by St. Luke!), (b) used icons, and (c) did not idolize the icons, and the icons did not "take," "distract," or otherwise "distort" the worship that went directly to God.
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« Reply #186 on: August 05, 2010, 06:37:48 PM »

Thankful,

Yes.  Thank you!
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« Reply #187 on: August 05, 2010, 06:49:52 PM »

While I consider Stephanus 1550 as the Received Text, I thought you would prefer the Greek Orthodox Version, or is it the same text?
My choice was simply a matter of expediency. There were three versions available for quick reference (i.e. copy & paste  Smiley) at www.biblegateway.com; all three versions were identical for this verse.

When you attribute quotations to "Orthodox Bible", which version actually is it?
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« Reply #188 on: August 05, 2010, 06:58:25 PM »

Alfred,

God said it plainly:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness {of any thing} that {is} in heaven above, or that {is} in the earth beneath, or that {is} in the water under the earth: Exodus 20:4

Thou shalt not make thee {any} graven image, {or} any likeness {of any thing} that {is} in heaven above, or that {is} in the earth beneath, or that {is} in the waters beneath the earth: Deuteronomy 5:8

Then, in several passages, He orders the making of graven images, on the very places of worship. On the very Ark. From between the statues of Cherubin, He will bless his people.

It is not about veneration or worship (although, they *were* in places of worship for some reason, and even in the Holy of Holies). It is about making or not making them.

So you have to accept that one of the following is true:

1) God is a liar and in contradiction;

2) There are more than one God in the Bible, one who tells us not to make images and another that tells us to;

3) The words in the commandment are not in the absolute, restrict sense.

If 1 or 2, you're no a Christian. If 3, then of course there are levels of meaning in those words. Because they are the ones in study, we have to look elsewhere to know what kind of attitudes towards images God allows and which one God forbids. This will be the limit of proper veneration and idolatry. Did God give us this reference? I believe He did in our saints and the way they dealt with images. But that will not do it for you, so let's look in the Holy Scriptures, which were selected and gathered by the icon venerating Fathers of the 1st Council:

And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, Exodus 30:26 (Remember there were cherubim statues on the Ark. So they were annointed as well, and I doubt that was done casually or without reverence)

So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. 2 Samuel 6:15  (They celebrate the presence of the Ark. With the Cherubin on it)

And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obededom and Jehiah {were} doorkeepers for the ark. 1 Crônicas 15:24 (Sacred rituals in the presence of the Ark. And the Cherubim on it).

And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken. 1 Samuel 4:22  (The Glory of God manifests through an object man-made with graven images on it. The Glory of God even departs for the simple taking of such object).

And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me? 2 Samuel 6:9
And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God {home} to me? 1 Chronicles 13:12 (It is a great honor to receive the object (with graven images) that bear the presence of the Lord. I also will say a halleluia for those who find out which other passage in the Bible we see this same sentence in reference to another Ark, which too, was bearing the presence of the Lord.)

And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for {his} error; and there he died by the ark of God. {error: or, rashness} 2 Samuel 6:7 (A disrespect toward the images ordained by God is so serious that even death may be the punishment. Graven images ordained by God are that sacred - and should be, since they were put in the Holy of Holies after all)

And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people. Josué 3:6 (Sacred objects are to be taken on procession before the people)


Now, after all this, God shows us the limit where veneration of images changes into idolatry:

Quote
Numbers 21

Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

First, God, as He usually does, orders the making of the graven image of a serpent wherein His healing Grace lies. Here we have a healing icon, like so many today. But even that can be corrupted. Later the serpent was indeed worshipped and God ordained its destruction.


In fact, one of the most astonishing punishments of God regards the dessacration of the objects from the Temple:

Daniel 5
1 Belshazzar the king held a great feast for a thousand of his nobles, and he was drinking wine in the presence of the thousand. 2 When Belshazzar tasted the wine, he gave orders to bring the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem, in order that the king and his nobles, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. 3 Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God which was in Jerusalem; and the king and his nobles, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. 4 They drank the wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone.

5 Suddenly the fingers of a man’s hand emerged and began writing opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, and the king saw the back of the hand that did the writing. 6 Then the king’s face grew pale, and his thoughts alarmed him; and his hip joints went slack, and his knees began knocking together. 7 The king called aloud to bring in the conjurers, the Chaldeans and the diviners. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, “Any man who can read this inscription and explain its interpretation to me will be clothed with purple, and have a necklace of gold around his neck, and have authority as third ruler in the kingdom.” 8 Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the inscription or make known its interpretation to the king. 9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed, his face grew even paler, and his nobles were perplexed.

Notice that in this passage, it is the act of treating the sacred objects (certainly not without graven images of lions, cherubins, oxen, palm trees and other things on them) as normal objects that causes a most amazing punishment.

God not only ordains the creating of graven images. He punishes their dessacration severily and teaches us the difference between veneration and worship.
Excellent use of Daniel.  I'd just add, God used an image to get His point across, and on the wall.  In fact, other than the Tablets of the Law, and Christ writining in the dirt, this is the only account of God writing anything directly.
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« Reply #189 on: August 05, 2010, 07:39:50 PM »

....Christ is not like one of the icons produced in your icon factories.
....Moreover, unlike your detestable images,
....Christ would barf at, if still on earth.
First of all, terms such as these are clearly there to inflame the emotions. Please be respectful.
Quote
As Jesus didn't want His similitude imaged in Moses' Day, He certainly wouldn't want His incarnate Body imaged.
But that's the whole point: His incarnate Body. You cannot image in physical form that which does not exist in physical form, and hence the prohibition.
Quote
Or don't you realize Jesus is YHWH, the Word of God, the One who comes to man, to reveal God, or as here, rain down fire upon Sodom from YHWH the Father:

KJV  Genesis 19:24 Then the LORD(YHWH) rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD(YHWH) out of heaven;
 (Gen 19:24 KJV)
I'm not sure that you realize that Jesus is a human being - just as much as He is God. Earlier you quoted Philippians 2:6. Look at verse 7: but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (NKJV) In what way was He (in a physical sense) different from us? Not at all.

You quoted Exodus 33:20: But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live." (NKJV) (I believe you will find that is how they wish to be cited.) You then say that it was Christ whom Moses saw. Well, what happened many generations later? MANY people saw His face.
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« Reply #190 on: August 05, 2010, 08:33:48 PM »

Whereas an icon would have misdirected attention away from Christ standing right there, with them.
Colossians 1:15: "He is the image of the invisible God" (NKJV) "ος εστιν εικων του θεου του αορατου" (1550 Stephanus New Testament). image = εικων (icon)
Something about your statement doesn't seem quite right: "an icon would have misdirected attention away from the icon standing right there". I hope you're not trying to convince me of anything here.

Non sequitur, Christ is not like one of the icons produced in your icon factories.

He is an icon of God in that He is the image of God, but this doesn't apply to His flesh, only to His Person. Context proves that, it speaks of the Icon creating all things, that was before He was incarnate.

You have not convinced me of anything just as the others have not convinced you of anything.

You're doing a poor job in trying to proselytize us to Mormonism.  Your arguments against the worship of graven images also exist at the website below:

The LDS Daily WOOL Archive - "No Graven Images"

Moreover, unlike your detestable images, Christ is Person, who functions in the divine economy as "the face of God," that "side" of infinite God that condescends to enter the realm of the finite, to reveal God:

Reveal God to whom - Joseph Smith, the modern day St. Constantine for the Mormon faith?   Huh
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« Reply #191 on: August 05, 2010, 09:47:20 PM »

Non sequitur, you failed to prove God wanted any of those images venerated as the orthodox venerate their images.

God has no problem with images at all, His objection was to being imaged and venerated via that image. It destroys His transcendence in the heart of the worshiper, replacing Him with a detestable likeness that utterly misrepresents God.
I'm confused about the type of iconoclasm you are teaching. Is it ok to make images of Christ, and just not venerate them? Should images of Christ be avoided completely? Is it just ok to make images of things other than Christ? Because the verses you use against us suggest a prohibition of all images (even non-religious), and if interpreted literally, God would contradict Himself when giving instruction for the Tabernacle. None of those verses say anything about veneration. There are however, Biblical instances where veneration was shown to beings other than God, including people and angels. For example, Joshua 5:14:
Quote
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?
The word "worship" is used here, newer translations say "reverence", but the meaning is clear. In older English, the word "worship" could mean either the worship due to God alone and it could also mean honor. Actually, in his "Against Those Who Decry Holy Images", St. John of Damascus cites several instances of this happening in the Bible, including the one I just cited. So if veneration is shown to others besides God, then why can't it be shown to holy images? How do you know the Israelites did not venerate the carved Cherubim, when by making them they were already violating a literal interpretation of the verses prohibiting idolatry? Reconcile what Joshua did with your previous statement:
Quote
God demands exclusive devotion, no divided praise like that received by a prototype of an icon.
I could reword that:
Quote
God demands exclusive devotion, no divided praise like that received by an angel.
Also, in the verse after Joshua 5:14, the angel implies that the ground Joshua is standing on deserves a type of veneration:
Quote
And the captain of the LORD's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.


Perhaps my claim to be an iconoclast is an exaggeration.

As God commanded images be made for the Temple, its clear He has no problem with images per se.

But images of Himself are forbidden, and those I object to....and any images that are venerated.

As for the Captain's veneration/worship, its irrelevant to God.

God forbade every kind of icon of Himself, what people do doesn't affect that at all.

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« Reply #192 on: August 05, 2010, 10:06:47 PM »

It begins with "you never saw my similitude", to paraphrase, "you better not misrepresent me."

They had no form with which to represent God because none had been revealed to them. We do because God revealed himself as a man.

Quote
God does not change, Jesus is God, therefore He does not want an image of His similitude either.

The prohibition was based on the fact that God had not revealed a form to the Israelites. This changed when God revealed Himself in Jesus Christ.

So you are saying:

If only the Israelites had seen God's similitude, which is unlike anything in creation, God would have wanted it imaged. Therefore, as God has revealed His similitude in the likeness of Jesus' incarnate Body, God wants it imaged.

So, if God didn't want His similitude imaged, then He wouldn't want His incarnate body imaged because God does not change (Mal 3:6) and Jesus is God (Joh 1:1; 12:41 cp Isa 6:1ff).

That interpretation is impossible, Deut 4:15ff forbade every possible image made by the hand of man, plus what their hand could not make existing in the heavens.

15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:
16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air,
18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:
19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
(Deu 4:15-19 KJV)

Moreover, the warning "take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves" connected to the categorical "(ye saw) no manner of similitude" ( כָּל־תְּמוּנָה, lit., "all; every; any" similitude), has the force of: "Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves, do not image God."

Inasmuch as the divine holiness is the separateness of the Divine Being from all finiteness of the creature, it includes the impossibility of forming an image of the Divine Being. For the connection of the two ideas compare the passage Isa. 40:25.- Oehler, G. F., & Day, G. E. (2009). Theology of the Old Testament. (111). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

KJV Isaiah 40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.
(Isa 40:25 KJV)

Also contradicting you is the fact Moses saw God's similitude yet didn't make an image of it: [/i]

TKJV Numbers 12:8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? (Num 12:8 KJV)

20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
(Exo 33:20-23 KJV)

Although this is a "reflex" of the divine form, according to John Damascene's rational, Moses should have imaged it, God would have wanted it so.

That your interpretation is impossible--- none reading Deut 4:15ff; 5:8; Ex 20:4, without icon spectacles comes away believing God wants to be imaged.

23 Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee.
24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
(Deu 4:23-24 KJV)

God demands exclusive devotion, no divided praise like that received by a prototype of an icon :

"I am the Lord God; this is my Name. I will not give my glory to another, not My praise to carved images."-Isaiah 42:8 Orthodox Bible

Replacing the imageless transcendent God with a detestable image in the psyche of man is an abomination of desolation, so defiling God's presence is impossible:

"Then He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing? They commit great acts of lawlessness here to keep Me from My sanctuary."-Ezekiel 8:6 OB

Hence the apostle warns:

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1Jo 5:21 NKJ)

Here's how it is.

Me:
I'm going to continue to point out that the prohibition was made explicitly because the Israelites saw no similitude for them to image. That is what is says in the text. That is exactly is what it says. It does not say anything else. Period. I'm going to continue to point out that we have seen God revealed in Jesus Christ in the incarnation. I'm going to say that by denying these things, you are denying 1) the incarnation that we saw God manifest in the flesh and He now has a revealed form and 2) you fail to see Christ as the fulfillment of the law because the reason for the prohibition is the lack of a revealed similitude which is now revealed in Christ (2Cor 3:13-16, Is 6:9-10).

You:
You're going to keep repeating that God commanded no image of Himself while ignoring why He gave the commandment. You're going to continue to falsely accuse the Orthodox of idolatry. You're going to ignore the reverence which was shown to the Ark, which had two angels representing God's presence in between them. You're also goint to ignore the reverence that the Israelites showed their kings who were anointed by God. You're going to ignore the reverence given to the temple where God dwelt among His people.

We are caught in a cycle of You, Me, repeat. Truth is truth regardless of one's ability to convince someone or a person's refusal to accept it as such. You can stick to your personal opinion on this matter and I'll stick with what Christianity has always taught going back to when liturgies were celebrated in catacombs.

Illuimine our hearts, O Master who loves mankind...
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« Reply #193 on: August 05, 2010, 10:22:52 PM »

It begins with "you never saw my similitude", to paraphrase, "you better not misrepresent me."

They had no form with which to represent God because none had been revealed to them. We do because God revealed himself as a man.

Quote
God does not change, Jesus is God, therefore He does not want an image of His similitude either.

The prohibition was based on the fact that God had not revealed a form to the Israelites. This changed when God revealed Himself in Jesus Christ.

So you are saying:

If only the Israelites had seen God's similitude, which is unlike anything in creation, God would have wanted it imaged. Therefore, as God has revealed His similitude in the likeness of Jesus' incarnate Body, God wants it imaged.

So, if God didn't want His similitude imaged, then He wouldn't want His incarnate body imaged because God does not change (Mal 3:6) and Jesus is God (Joh 1:1; 12:41 cp Isa 6:1ff).

That interpretation is impossible, Deut 4:15ff forbade every possible image made by the hand of man, plus what their hand could not make existing in the heavens.

15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:
16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air,
18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:
19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
(Deu 4:15-19 KJV)

Moreover, the warning "take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves" connected to the categorical "(ye saw) no manner of similitude" ( כָּל־תְּמוּנָה, lit., "all; every; any" similitude), has the force of: "Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves, do not image God."

Inasmuch as the divine holiness is the separateness of the Divine Being from all finiteness of the creature, it includes the impossibility of forming an image of the Divine Being. For the connection of the two ideas compare the passage Isa. 40:25.- Oehler, G. F., & Day, G. E. (2009). Theology of the Old Testament. (111). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

KJV Isaiah 40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.
(Isa 40:25 KJV)

Also contradicting you is the fact Moses saw God's similitude yet didn't make an image of it: [/i]

TKJV Numbers 12:8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? (Num 12:8 KJV)

20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
(Exo 33:20-23 KJV)

Although this is a "reflex" of the divine form, according to John Damascene's rational, Moses should have imaged it, God would have wanted it so.

That your interpretation is impossible--- none reading Deut 4:15ff; 5:8; Ex 20:4, without icon spectacles comes away believing God wants to be imaged.

23 Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee.
24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
(Deu 4:23-24 KJV)

God demands exclusive devotion, no divided praise like that received by a prototype of an icon :

"I am the Lord God; this is my Name. I will not give my glory to another, not My praise to carved images."-Isaiah 42:8 Orthodox Bible

Replacing the imageless transcendent God with a detestable image in the psyche of man is an abomination of desolation, so defiling God's presence is impossible:

"Then He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing? They commit great acts of lawlessness here to keep Me from My sanctuary."-Ezekiel 8:6 OB

Hence the apostle warns:

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1Jo 5:21 NKJ)

Here's how it is.

Me:
I'm going to continue to point out that the prohibition was made explicitly because the Israelites saw no similitude for them to image. That is what is says in the text. That is exactly is what it says. It does not say anything else. Period. I'm going to continue to point out that we have seen God revealed in Jesus Christ in the incarnation. I'm going to say that by denying these things, you are denying 1) the incarnation that we saw God manifest in the flesh and He now has a revealed form and 2) you fail to see Christ as the fulfillment of the law because the reason for the prohibition is the lack of a revealed similitude which is now revealed in Christ (2Cor 3:13-16, Is 6:9-10).

You:
You're going to keep repeating that God commanded no image of Himself while ignoring why He gave the commandment. You're going to continue to falsely accuse the Orthodox of idolatry. You're going to ignore the reverence which was shown to the Ark, which had two angels representing God's presence in between them. You're also goint to ignore the reverence that the Israelites showed their kings who were anointed by God. You're going to ignore the reverence given to the temple where God dwelt among His people.

We are caught in a cycle of You, Me, repeat. Truth is truth regardless of one's ability to convince someone or a person's refusal to accept it as such. You can stick to your personal opinion on this matter and I'll stick with what Christianity has always taught going back to when liturgies were celebrated in catacombs.

Illuimine our hearts, O Master who loves mankind...

You are in a cycle, not me. You ignore my arguments, keep repeating your own. Have fun, enjoy yourself.

You don't give me a reason to debate/dialogue/compare ideas, because you refuse to.

If someone treated you, as you do me, you would be angry....

I'm not, I consider it all joy.
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« Reply #194 on: August 05, 2010, 10:30:36 PM »

Whereas an icon would have misdirected attention away from Christ standing right there, with them.
Colossians 1:15: "He is the image of the invisible God" (NKJV) "ος εστιν εικων του θεου του αορατου" (1550 Stephanus New Testament). image = εικων (icon)
Something about your statement doesn't seem quite right: "an icon would have misdirected attention away from the icon standing right there". I hope you're not trying to convince me of anything here.

Non sequitur, Christ is not like one of the icons produced in your icon factories.

He is an icon of God in that He is the image of God, but this doesn't apply to His flesh, only to His Person. Context proves that, it speaks of the Icon creating all things, that was before He was incarnate.

You have not convinced me of anything just as the others have not convinced you of anything.

You're doing a poor job in trying to proselytize us to Mormonism.  Your arguments against the worship of graven images also exist at the website below:

The LDS Daily WOOL Archive - "No Graven Images"

Moreover, unlike your detestable images, Christ is Person, who functions in the divine economy as "the face of God," that "side" of infinite God that condescends to enter the realm of the finite, to reveal God:

Reveal God to whom - Joseph Smith, the modern day St. Constantine for the Mormon faith?   Huh

Congratulations, that took the prize for the most inept smear I have ever experienced.

No doubt you have realized the endless possibilities: "Alfred Persson prays, Muslims pray, he is Muslim!"; "Alfred Persson showers, Hitler showered, He is a Nazi"

I can't wait to see what I am guilty next.





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« Reply #195 on: August 05, 2010, 10:42:03 PM »

OK, so how about we just ask you directly:  are you a Mormon?
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« Reply #196 on: August 05, 2010, 10:51:40 PM »

While I consider Stephanus 1550 as the Received Text, I thought you would prefer the Greek Orthodox Version, or is it the same text?
My choice was simply a matter of expediency. There were three versions available for quick reference (i.e. copy & paste  Smiley) at www.biblegateway.com; all three versions were identical for this verse.

When you attribute quotations to "Orthodox Bible", which version actually is it?

Good question, I looked it up in the forward of "the Orthodox Study Bible," Thomas Nelson, for the OT it uses the St Athanasius Academy Septuagint by the St Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology, the NT used the same Majority Text as the NKJV.

That text differs from Stephanus 1550 in a few areas, and the ones used by the KJV, such as the Johannine comma, however I see they included it in translation, without the "critical" notes questioning its presence.

It is because Stephanus 1550 has the "Johannine Comma" that I think it among the best of the Byzantine family of mss.



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« Reply #197 on: August 05, 2010, 10:52:53 PM »

Quote
You are in a cycle, not me. You ignore my arguments, keep repeating your own. Have fun, enjoy yourself.

You don't give me a reason to debate/dialogue/compare ideas, because you refuse to.

If someone treated you, as you do me, you would be angry....

I'm not, I consider it all joy.


What in the world are you talking about? We answered you plenty of times! You are the one who refuse to look at the arguments of others. You are the one who refuse to look at the plain reading of the text. You are the one who refuse to look at the historical facts on the ground. You are the one who refuse to look at all the implications! You are the one who refuse to admit that the various arguments are connected and relate to the issue at hand.


You are also the one who made tons of mistakes all throughout this thread and yet refuse to admit that you made them.







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« Reply #198 on: August 05, 2010, 10:58:48 PM »

Whereas an icon would have misdirected attention away from Christ standing right there, with them.
Colossians 1:15: "He is the image of the invisible God" (NKJV) "ος εστιν εικων του θεου του αορατου" (1550 Stephanus New Testament). image = εικων (icon)
Something about your statement doesn't seem quite right: "an icon would have misdirected attention away from the icon standing right there". I hope you're not trying to convince me of anything here.

Non sequitur, Christ is not like one of the icons produced in your icon factories.

He is an icon of God in that He is the image of God, but this doesn't apply to His flesh, only to His Person. Context proves that, it speaks of the Icon creating all things, that was before He was incarnate.

You have not convinced me of anything just as the others have not convinced you of anything.

You're doing a poor job in trying to proselytize us to Mormonism.  Your arguments against the worship of graven images also exist at the website below:

The LDS Daily WOOL Archive - "No Graven Images"

Moreover, unlike your detestable images, Christ is Person, who functions in the divine economy as "the face of God," that "side" of infinite God that condescends to enter the realm of the finite, to reveal God:

Reveal God to whom - Joseph Smith, the modern day St. Constantine for the Mormon faith?   Huh
SolEX01, for once I do have to agree with Alfred.  Your attempt to connect him to Mormonism is one of the lamest, most illogical connections I've ever seen anyone make.  Seeing all the absurd interpretations of Scripture I've seen Alfred submit to this thread, that's saying something.  It does NOT follow that just because Alfred says, "X," and the Mormons also say, "X," that Alfred is a Mormon.  If you're going to try to refute Alfred Persson on this debate, you might try something more coherent than that.
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« Reply #199 on: August 05, 2010, 11:01:18 PM »

Quote
As Jesus didn't want His similitude imaged in Moses' Day, He certainly wouldn't want His incarnate Body imaged.

But that's the whole point: His incarnate Body. You cannot image in physical form that which does not exist in physical form, and hence the prohibition.

I noted that point and asked a relevant question: Given the gist of Deut 4:12ff; 5:8; Exod 20:4, what makes you think God WANTS to be imaged?

In other words,  icons are about your needs, wants, desires.

But when I read scripture, God's want and desire is no images of Him at all.

John of Damascus discusses his need for images...and while he cited passages showing God does not want images...it was only to misdirect away from them.



You were warned in an earlier post to refer to St. John of Damascus as "St. John of Damascus," "St. John the Damascene," "John of Damascus," or "John the Damascene," and NOT as "John D," which does not meet the minimum "academic level of discussion" we expect on this site.

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« Reply #200 on: August 05, 2010, 11:04:22 PM »

Quote
As Jesus didn't want His similitude imaged in Moses' Day, He certainly wouldn't want His incarnate Body imaged.

But that's the whole point: His incarnate Body. You cannot image in physical form that which does not exist in physical form, and hence the prohibition.

I noted that point and asked a relevant question: Given the gist of Deut 4:12ff; 5:8; Exod 20:4, what makes you think God WANTS to be imaged?
He made Himself incarnate.
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« Reply #201 on: August 05, 2010, 11:09:01 PM »

Quote
As Jesus didn't want His similitude imaged in Moses' Day, He certainly wouldn't want His incarnate Body imaged.

But that's the whole point: His incarnate Body. You cannot image in physical form that which does not exist in physical form, and hence the prohibition.

I noted that point and asked a relevant question: Given the gist of Deut 4:12ff; 5:8; Exod 20:4, what makes you think God WANTS to be imaged?
He made Himself incarnate.

BUT where in scripture does God say He wants to be imaged?
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« Reply #202 on: August 05, 2010, 11:24:05 PM »

Quote
As Jesus didn't want His similitude imaged in Moses' Day, He certainly wouldn't want His incarnate Body imaged.

But that's the whole point: His incarnate Body. You cannot image in physical form that which does not exist in physical form, and hence the prohibition.

I noted that point and asked a relevant question: Given the gist of Deut 4:12ff; 5:8; Exod 20:4, what makes you think God WANTS to be imaged?
He made Himself incarnate.

BUT where in scripture does God say He wants to be imaged?

Genesis 1:26 "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness."
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« Reply #203 on: August 05, 2010, 11:24:17 PM »

You are in a cycle, not me. You ignore my arguments, keep repeating your own. Have fun, enjoy yourself.

We both are. You have made your argument - God doesn't want images of Himself. I have made mine - that was because He never revealed Himself in a form that could be imaged, which is done in Christ. Neither one of us plans on changing.

Quote
You don't give me a reason to debate/dialogue/compare ideas, because you refuse to.

We have. We both stated and compared our positions and have reached our conclusions.

Quote
If someone treated you, as you do me, you would be angry....

I'm not, I consider it all joy.

I apologize if you feel I have unfairly mistreated you.
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« Reply #204 on: August 05, 2010, 11:28:46 PM »

Quote
As Jesus didn't want His similitude imaged in Moses' Day, He certainly wouldn't want His incarnate Body imaged.

But that's the whole point: His incarnate Body. You cannot image in physical form that which does not exist in physical form, and hence the prohibition.

I noted that point and asked a relevant question: Given the gist of Deut 4:12ff; 5:8; Exod 20:4, what makes you think God WANTS to be imaged?
He made Himself incarnate.

BUT where in scripture does God say He wants to be imaged?

Genesis 1:26 "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness."

That does not compute, God ruled out images in male human flesh.

He made us in His image, He imaged us...and forbade we image Him...including our using male human flesh.


So I ask again, where does God SAY He wants to be imaged BY US?
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« Reply #205 on: August 05, 2010, 11:34:42 PM »

You are in a cycle, not me. You ignore my arguments, keep repeating your own. Have fun, enjoy yourself.

We both are. You have made your argument - God doesn't want images of Himself. I have made mine - that was because He never revealed Himself in a form that could be imaged, which is done in Christ. Neither one of us plans on changing.

Quote
You don't give me a reason to debate/dialogue/compare ideas, because you refuse to.

We have. We both stated and compared our positions and have reached our conclusions.

Quote
If someone treated you, as you do me, you would be angry....

I'm not, I consider it all joy.

I apologize if you feel I have unfairly mistreated you.

Better than an apology would be a dialogue.

If you disagree with my statements, prove me wrong, that's better than telling me what you believe...that isn't dialogue, its not debate, its a tirade.

I give everyone great latitude...the discipline of NOT making claims, but actually treating an argument, is hard...takes time.

Most folks think its fine "you say your piece, I say mine". They are satisfied, but then the reasons for belief remain hidden.

I like discussing why people believe what they do...its the only way to discover if one is right or wrong.


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« Reply #206 on: August 05, 2010, 11:40:37 PM »

Quote
As Jesus didn't want His similitude imaged in Moses' Day, He certainly wouldn't want His incarnate Body imaged.

But that's the whole point: His incarnate Body. You cannot image in physical form that which does not exist in physical form, and hence the prohibition.

I noted that point and asked a relevant question: Given the gist of Deut 4:12ff; 5:8; Exod 20:4, what makes you think God WANTS to be imaged?
He made Himself incarnate.

BUT where in scripture does God say He wants to be imaged?

Genesis 1:26 "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness."

That does not compute, God ruled out images in male human flesh.


What does not compute?  God made man in His image.  Man sullied this image by the Fall.  So, any depiction of God as man before the Incarnation would be a depiction of a fractured image, like looking into a fun-house mirror.  Christ, the Second Adam and Incarnate God, redeemed Man from the Fall by His perfect sacrifice and Resurrection.

Where does God specifically say that we are no longer to dig holes in the ground for our excrement?  Where does God specifically state that the Jewish sacrifices are abolished?  Where does God specifically state that the death sentence for sexual infractions are abolished?  We only reach these things by inferences.  St Peter has a vision of unclean animals that refers specifically to spreading the Gospel to Gentiles, but it is acceptable for us to eat shellfish.  Our Lord's death and resurrection mean that grace has superseded the Law, so circumcision is no longer required, but God never specifically stated this, St Paul inferred it.  Our Lord stated "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." so we no longer cast stones (except in the cases of some who believe the death penalty is still a requirement for murder), but He never specifically says that stones are no longer to be cast.  What makes this one pronouncement any different?
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« Reply #207 on: August 05, 2010, 11:49:07 PM »

What does not compute?  God made man in His image.  Man sullied this image by the Fall.  So, any depiction of God as man before the Incarnation would be a depiction of a fractured image, like looking into a fun-house mirror.  Christ, the Second Adam and Incarnate God, redeemed Man from the Fall by His perfect sacrifice and Resurrection...

Impossible, that is a denial Jesus made Himself of no reputation, was like as we on all points, and clearly contradicted by prophecy and Jesus' neighbors:

 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (Phi 2:7 KJV)


NKJ  Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:15 NKJ)

NKJ  Isaiah 53:2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
 (Isa 53:2 NKJ)

Mar 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

There was nothing visible that distinguished the second Adam, from the first, save the first may have been more handsome.


NEVER does God say He wants us to image Him, NEVER.

That is the fundamental flaw in Orthodox argument...its all about their need for images...how these help them...never does anyone ask, Does God want to be imaged by us? Ok, where does He say that?

On the contrary, He forbade images of Himself, in very strong words.





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« Reply #208 on: August 05, 2010, 11:59:33 PM »

Perhaps my claim to be an iconoclast is an exaggeration.

As God commanded images be made for the Temple, its clear He has no problem with images per se.

But images of Himself are forbidden, and those I object to....and any images that are venerated.

As for the Captain's veneration/worship, its irrelevant to God.

God forbade every kind of icon of Himself, what people do doesn't affect that at all.
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« Reply #209 on: August 06, 2010, 12:01:20 AM »

Then you are left with one option:

All images of Christ must be condemned, whether or not veneration is offered to said image.  It's the only way to be true to the principles you proclaim.

Because I can tell you from experience, any young child whose first creed is "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so," is going to be stirred by an image of our Lord to feelings of love and devotion.

These images are obviously a deadly poison, corrupting us from our very youth.

Oh, won't somebody please think of the children?!!  Shocked

Seriously, it is an all or nothing proposition: strict adherence to the Law, or the sanctifying Grace.  If God proclaims in the Law that images of Himself are forbidden then there is no such thing as an innocent image in this regard

Quote
There was nothing visible that distinguished the second Adam, from the first, save the first may have been more handsome.

.

The Tranfiguration was quite visible, by the way.  The Ascension was very visible.  The glorified Lord seen by Sts Stephen, Paul, and John was far different in appearance from Adam.

I'm done for the evening.  Time for my prayers and bed.
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« Reply #210 on: August 06, 2010, 12:01:35 AM »

Quote
As Jesus didn't want His similitude imaged in Moses' Day, He certainly wouldn't want His incarnate Body imaged.

But that's the whole point: His incarnate Body. You cannot image in physical form that which does not exist in physical form, and hence the prohibition.

I noted that point and asked a relevant question: Given the gist of Deut 4:12ff; 5:8; Exod 20:4, what makes you think God WANTS to be imaged?
He made Himself incarnate.

BUT where in scripture does God say He wants to be imaged?
Where in Scripture does God say He wants us to follow the Scriptures ALONE?  Last I knew, Jesus Christ is the Word of God, not the Scriptures.
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« Reply #211 on: August 06, 2010, 12:04:40 AM »

Then you are left with one option:

All images of Christ must be condemned, whether or not veneration is offered to said image.  It's the only way to be true to the principles you proclaim.
.

Straw man.

Only images that are venerated have no scriptural warrant...God authorized images for the temple, but these were never venerated.

God NEVER says "image me", never. He does say "don't image me", often.

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« Reply #212 on: August 06, 2010, 12:07:08 AM »

BUT where in scripture does God say He wants to be imaged?

Where in Scripture does God say He wants us to follow the Scriptures ALONE?

You are changing the subject, fact is God NEVER says "image me please." Rather He very emphatically forbids the practice.

Iconophiles follow their own desires, not those of God, when they image Jesus.

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« Reply #213 on: August 06, 2010, 12:22:05 AM »

So when you pray, what (if anything) do you look at?  The sky?  The corner of your ceiling?  The roof of your taxicab?

An icon is fundamentally just a tool to help the person who's praying focus on the Person they're praying to - nothing more, nothing less?
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« Reply #214 on: August 06, 2010, 12:31:37 AM »

Alfred,

I admit I have not read every post in this thread, so forgive me if you already addressed this.  I'm just trying to understand where you are coming from.

Would you be offended if someone were to deliberately step on, tear up, spit on, or otherwise show contempt for an image of Christ, let's say this famous picture?



http://www.warnersallman.com/collection/images/head-of-christ/

Wouldn't that offend you?  If that were to offend you, aren't you in some way treating an image of Christ as something special?  Wouldn't you stop someone who was doing the above desecration?  Wouldn't that in a sense be showing respect for the image?
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« Reply #215 on: August 06, 2010, 12:39:54 AM »

Then you are left with one option:

All images of Christ must be condemned, whether or not veneration is offered to said image.  It's the only way to be true to the principles you proclaim.
.

Straw man.

Only images that are venerated have no scriptural warrant...God authorized images for the temple, but these were never venerated.

God NEVER says "image me", never. He does say "don't image me", often.



The Bible offers no distinction between venerated images and non-venerated images. You don't know if or if not the images in the temple were venerated. The underlying base of your argument is Sola Scriptura, in other words: "if it's not in the Bible, then it's not part of Christianity." You assume that since the Bible is silent on whether the temple images were venerated, then venerating them must have been forbidden. We will only be convinced if you can show us verses that contradict the Tradition that teaches us to venerate images. Like many have said, the verses you use from Deuteronomy forbid imaging God simply because He had not revealed Himself in a form that could be comprehended. Apparently you don't buy this, but you must have your reasons to believe this rule still applies? We have are reasons to interpret that verse the way we do, and that's where the role of church Tradition comes in.

Quote
Iconophiles follow their own desires, not those of God, when they image Jesus.
We follow the desires of God in accordance to Apostolic Tradition. If the iconodules were wrong, than most of Christian history was spent in idolatry and apostasy. You would be forced to admit that for most of Christian history, there was no Christianity. Christianity cannot be true if it completely fell into apostasy and had to be restored.
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« Reply #216 on: August 06, 2010, 12:40:37 AM »

You are in a cycle, not me. You ignore my arguments, keep repeating your own. Have fun, enjoy yourself.

We both are. You have made your argument - God doesn't want images of Himself. I have made mine - that was because He never revealed Himself in a form that could be imaged, which is done in Christ. Neither one of us plans on changing.

Quote
You don't give me a reason to debate/dialogue/compare ideas, because you refuse to.

We have. We both stated and compared our positions and have reached our conclusions.

Quote
If someone treated you, as you do me, you would be angry....

I'm not, I consider it all joy.

I apologize if you feel I have unfairly mistreated you.

Better than an apology would be a dialogue.

If you disagree with my statements, prove me wrong, that's better than telling me what you believe...that isn't dialogue, its not debate, its a tirade.

I give everyone great latitude...the discipline of NOT making claims, but actually treating an argument, is hard...takes time.

Most folks think its fine "you say your piece, I say mine". They are satisfied, but then the reasons for belief remain hidden.

I like discussing why people believe what they do...its the only way to discover is one is right or wrong.

You want  quote where God says "you can make an image when you see a form". God does not fully reveal Himself in the law. An image is not revealed under the law. Under the law, God never intended to reveal Himself in a form that can be imaged. Heb 10:1 says "For the law having a shadow of good things to come and not the very image of the things". That is why God never says in the law "you can make an image when...". This is done in Christ who fulfills the law. The invisible became visible. You refer to icons as "idols", but as I pointed out earlier, "idols" refer to false Gods. An icon of Christ images the person of Christ, who is our true God. I don't know where to find what you're looking for, but that doesn't make your assertions correct. The prohibition was made on account of the fact that they saw no form, and that has changed. We have something that they did not.
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« Reply #217 on: August 06, 2010, 01:28:27 AM »

Whereas an icon would have misdirected attention away from Christ standing right there, with them.
Colossians 1:15: "He is the image of the invisible God" (NKJV) "ος εστιν εικων του θεου του αορατου" (1550 Stephanus New Testament). image = εικων (icon)
Something about your statement doesn't seem quite right: "an icon would have misdirected attention away from the icon standing right there". I hope you're not trying to convince me of anything here.

Non sequitur, Christ is not like one of the icons produced in your icon factories.

He is an icon of God in that He is the image of God, but this doesn't apply to His flesh, only to His Person. Context proves that, it speaks of the Icon creating all things, that was before He was incarnate.

You have not convinced me of anything just as the others have not convinced you of anything.

You're doing a poor job in trying to proselytize us to Mormonism.  Your arguments against the worship of graven images also exist at the website below:

The LDS Daily WOOL Archive - "No Graven Images"

Moreover, unlike your detestable images, Christ is Person, who functions in the divine economy as "the face of God," that "side" of infinite God that condescends to enter the realm of the finite, to reveal God:

Reveal God to whom - Joseph Smith, the modern day St. Constantine for the Mormon faith?   Huh

Congratulations, that took the prize for the most inept smear I have ever experienced.

What smear - Joseph Smith is a Prophet to the Mormons.  Why not come clean about who you are since you know who we are....   Smiley

No doubt you have realized the endless possibilities: "Alfred Persson prays, Muslims pray, he is Muslim!"; "Alfred Persson showers, Hitler showered, He is a Nazi"

I can't wait to see what I am guilty next.

try ... obfuscation....  I see a lot of Mormon missionaries in public libraries and they don't waste their time talking to me.  Sounds to me like you were the one who drew the short straw to proselytize on this board.
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« Reply #218 on: August 06, 2010, 01:30:53 AM »

BUT where in scripture does God say He wants to be imaged?

Where in Scripture does God say He wants us to follow the Scriptures ALONE?

You are changing the subject, fact is God NEVER says "image me please." Rather He very emphatically forbids the practice.

Iconophiles follow their own desires, not those of God, when they image Jesus.

I've seen images of Christ along with scenes from the Bible inside the Mormon Temple Visitor's Center in Washington, DC.  They are artwork, not "graven images" that you've berated us with for over 200 posts now.  What desires did these "artists" follow when they imaged Jesus?
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« Reply #219 on: August 06, 2010, 01:41:54 AM »

SolEX01, for once I do have to agree with Alfred.  Your attempt to connect him to Mormonism is one of the lamest, most illogical connections I've ever seen anyone make.  

Alfred hasn't told us what he really believes.

Seeing all the absurd interpretations of Scripture I've seen Alfred submit to this thread, that's saying something.  It does NOT follow that just because Alfred says, "X," and the Mormons also say, "X," that Alfred is a Mormon.  

OK, I accept that Alfred can be an iconoclast without being a Mormon.  Smiley

If you're going to try to refute Alfred Persson on this debate, you might try something more coherent than that.

He started comparing himself to Muslims and Nazis ... to me, that was coherent enough since (1) if he was Muslim, he would cite the Koran and (2) if he cited from the Book of Mormon, that would give him away and (3) if he were a JW, he would use Jehovah rather than God....   angel
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« Reply #220 on: August 06, 2010, 02:02:31 AM »

Alfred,

I could see the change of your argument.

Since God did order the construction of graven images you have started to reply that God never asked an image of Himself.

I would like you to address though the other argument I made.

The prohibition in the commandment, unlike what you're saying, is not that we are forbidden to create images of the Lord God. The prohibition is towards *any* image of anything above or below heaven.

So if God prohibits the creation of graven images (He does not say veneration. He says creation.) *and* at the same time He ordered the creation of graven images in the temple, we only have 3 options:


1) God is a liar and in contradiction;

2) There are more than one God in the Bible, one who tells us not to make images and another that tells us to;

3) The words in the commandment are not in the absolute, restrict sense.

Which is your option?
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« Reply #221 on: August 06, 2010, 03:35:32 AM »

SolEX01, for once I do have to agree with Alfred.  Your attempt to connect him to Mormonism is one of the lamest, most illogical connections I've ever seen anyone make.  

Alfred hasn't told us what he really believes.

Seeing all the absurd interpretations of Scripture I've seen Alfred submit to this thread, that's saying something.  It does NOT follow that just because Alfred says, "X," and the Mormons also say, "X," that Alfred is a Mormon.  

OK, I accept that Alfred can be an iconoclast without being a Mormon.  Smiley

If you're going to try to refute Alfred Persson on this debate, you might try something more coherent than that.

He started comparing himself to Muslims and Nazis ... to me, that was coherent enough since (1) if he was Muslim, he would cite the Koran and (2) if he cited from the Book of Mormon, that would give him away and (3) if he were a JW, he would use Jehovah rather than God....   angel
Why even assume he's more than he says he is?  Don't you think your attempts to paint him according to a particularly restrictive image border on the ad hominem, since you're trying to discredit his arguments by bringing up irrelevant questions of his personal religious background?  Focus on the arguments he's put forward, and stop with the speculation into what he has not revealed of himself.
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« Reply #222 on: August 06, 2010, 03:45:21 AM »

BUT where in scripture does God say He wants to be imaged?

Where in Scripture does God say He wants us to follow the Scriptures ALONE?

You are changing the subject,
No, just attacking the sola scriptura foundation of your arguments...

fact is God NEVER says "image me please."
If you limit yourself to believing that God can speak only through the Bible, then maybe you have a case for saying that God NEVER said, "image me please."  However, you need to first convince us that God can speak only through the Bible and that we are fools to believe that He spoke fully and most clearly through Jesus Christ and continues to speak through the Church.

Rather He very emphatically forbids the practice.
Yes, He forbade the practice of creating images from our own imagination, but He actually commanded us to make images of those things which He had revealed to us.

Iconophiles follow their own desires, not those of God, when they image Jesus.
Another one of your judgments of motive that you have yet to prove.  Not a valid argument to back up any of your claims.
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« Reply #223 on: August 06, 2010, 07:55:21 AM »


Yes, He forbade the practice of creating images from our own imagination, but He actually commanded us to make images of those things which He had revealed to us.

Iconophiles follow their own desires, not those of God, when they image Jesus.

Another one of your judgments of motive that you have yet to prove.  Not a valid argument to back up any of your claims.

It is irrelevant God commands images be made of cherubim etc. He never commands images be made of Himself.

Iconophiles cannot produce one instance of God wanting to be imaged, Bible readers can find Him forbidding it in the strongest terms.

John of Damascus' gave his reasons for imaging God, "man's need":

In the same way, a man who wished to [11] build a house would first make and think out a plan. Again, visible things are images of invisible and intangible things, on which they throw a faint light. Holy Scripture clothes in figure God and the angels, and the same holy man (Blessed Denis) explains why. When sensible things sufficiently render what is beyond sense, and give a form to what is intangible, a medium would be reckoned imperfect according to our standard, if it did not fully represent material vision, or if it required effort of mind. If, therefore, Holy Scripture, providing for our need, ever putting before us what is intangible, clothes it in flesh, does it not make an image of what is thus invested with our nature, and brought to the level of our desires, yet invisible? A certain conception through the senses thus takes place in the brain, which was not there before, and is transmitted to the judicial faculty, and added to the mental store. Gregory, who is so eloquent about God, says that the mind, which is set upon getting beyond corporeal things, is incapable of doing it. For the invisible things of God since the creation of the world are made visible through images. (Rom. 1.20)-Part I

The fourth kind of image are the figures and types set forth by Scripture of invisible and immaterial things in bodily form, for a clearer apprehension of God and the angels, [96] through our incapacity of perceiving immaterial things unless clothed in analogical material form, as Dionysius the Areopagite says, a man skilled in divine things. Anyone would say that our incapacity for reaching the contemplation of intellectual things, and our need of familiar and cognate mediums, make it necessary that immaterial things should be clothed in form and shape. If, then, holy Scripture adapts itself to us in seeking to elevate us above sense, does it not make images of what it clothes in our own medium, and bring within our reach that which we desire but are unable to see? The spiritual* writer, Gregory, says that the mind striving to banish corporeal images reduces itself to incapability. But from the creation of the world the invisible things of God are made clear by the visible creation.Part III



When one asks, Does God want to be imaged, the answer is "no, never does God command, imply or hint 'image me.'"

God commands no images explaining He is jealous.

John of Damascus limits the reason for God's jealousy to idolatry with other gods (Ex 34:14), but GOD says He is jealous for other reasons also, that He wants exclusive devotion, He refuses to share glory even with an image:


 23 Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee.
 24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
 (Deu 4:15-24 KJV)


 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
 (Exo 20:4-5 KJV)


Notice how other gods and images are listed separately:

 7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me.
 8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:
 9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, (Deu 5:7-9 KJV)

The same is said differently here:

8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. (Isa 42:8 KJV)[/b]

Iconophiles define the worship they give to images as dulia, not latria. BUT that is irrelevant as God wants it all, exclusive devotion, ZERO % of praise to the image regardless how it is defined, that's what "exclusive devotion" means.






« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 08:28:39 AM by Alfred Persson » Logged

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« Reply #224 on: August 06, 2010, 08:21:25 AM »

So if in my own mind I see the Holy Spirit descending as a dove is this also idolatry?
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