John's exegesis of De 4:15f is impossible.
Why did you ignore Isa
in regards to what he said about Saint John of Damascus?
God expressly rules out any kind of male human icon as imaging His similitude.
Deu 4:15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
16 lest ye transgress, and make to yourselves a carved image, any kind of figure (EIKWN), the likeness of male or female,-LXX, Brenton
God also expressly ruled out any kind of image of things in the air/outerspace/3rd heaven, on the ground/Earth, and in the water too! So why are you being inconsistent
Exodus 20: 4-5"You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,"The reality/facts on the ground for early Christianity is one of:
Likeness of things in the air:
(The Dove, the Eagle, Peacocks, Pelicans, The Phoenix.....etc)
Early Christian funerary art from the Roman catacombs depicting the Chi-Roh symbol Christ figure and dove 3rd-5th century CE
Likeness of things on the Earth/ground:
(The Lamb, people, trees, palm branches, Pomegranate, the Cross....etc)Likeness of things in the water:
The ancient Christians obviously saw things differently.
Also, if God can allow not only the images He specifically commanded:
Ex 25:17-22"Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you. There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites."
Ex 28:31-35""Make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, with an opening for the head in its center. There shall be a woven edge like a collar around this opening, so that it will not tear. Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the LORD and when he comes out, so that he will not die."
Ex 26:1-6"Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim worked into them by a skilled craftsman. 2 All the curtains are to be the same size—twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide. 3 Join five of the curtains together, and do the same with the other five. 4 Make loops of blue material along the edge of the end curtain in one set, and do the same with the end curtain in the other set. 5 Make fifty loops on one curtain and fifty loops on the end curtain of the other set, with the loops opposite each other. 6 Then make fifty gold clasps and use them to fasten the curtains together so that the tabernacle is a unit."But also the ones in which he didn't command....like:
1st Kings chapter 6:19-37He prepared the inner sanctuary within the temple to set the ark of the covenant of the LORD there. The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty wide and twenty high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold, and he also overlaid the altar of cedar. Solomon covered the inside of the temple with pure gold, and he extended gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, which was overlaid with gold. So he overlaid the whole interior with gold. He also overlaid with gold the altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary.
In the inner sanctuary he made a pair of cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high. One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long, and the other wing five cubits—ten cubits from wing tip to wing tip. The second cherub also measured ten cubits, for the two cherubim were identical in size and shape. The height of each cherub was ten cubits. He placed the cherubim inside the innermost room of the temple, with their wings spread out. The wing of one cherub touched one wall, while the wing of the other touched the other wall, and their wings touched each other in the middle of the room. He overlaid the cherubim with gold.
On the walls all around the temple, in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers. He also covered the floors of both the inner and outer rooms of the temple with gold.
For the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood with five-sided jambs. And on the two olive wood doors he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid the cherubim and palm trees with beaten gold. In the same way he made four-sided jambs of olive wood for the entrance to the main hall. He also made two pine doors, each having two leaves that turned in sockets. He carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers on them and overlaid them with gold hammered evenly over the carvings.
And he built the inner courtyard of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams.
The foundation of the temple of the LORD was laid in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv. In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it."
And Chapter 7:"The Temple's Furnishings
King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram, whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was a man of Tyre and a craftsman in bronze. Huram was highly skilled and experienced in all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him.
He cast two bronze pillars, each eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits around, by line. He also made two capitals of cast bronze to set on the tops of the pillars; each capital was five cubits high. A network of interwoven chains festooned the capitals on top of the pillars, seven for each capital. He made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars. He did the same for each capital. The capitals on top of the pillars in the portico were in the shape of lilies, four cubits high. On the capitals of both pillars, above the bowl-shaped part next to the network, were the two hundred pomegranates in rows all around. He erected the pillars at the portico of the temple. The pillar to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz. The capitals on top were in the shape of lilies. And so the work on the pillars was completed.
He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it. Below the rim, gourds encircled it—ten to a cubit. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea.
The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. It was a handbreadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held two thousand baths.
He also made ten movable stands of bronze; each was four cubits long, four wide and three high. This is how the stands were made: They had side panels attached to uprights. On the panels between the uprights were lions, bulls and cherubim—and on the uprights as well. Above and below the lions and bulls were wreaths of hammered work. Each stand had four bronze wheels with bronze axles, and each had a basin resting on four supports, cast with wreaths on each side. On the inside of the stand there was an opening that had a circular frame one cubit deep. This opening was round, and with its basework it measured a cubit and a half. Around its opening there was engraving. The panels of the stands were square, not round. The four wheels were under the panels, and the axles of the wheels were attached to the stand. The diameter of each wheel was a cubit and a half. The wheels were made like chariot wheels; the axles, rims, spokes and hubs were all of cast metal.
Each stand had four handles, one on each corner, projecting from the stand. At the top of the stand there was a circular band half a cubit deep. The supports and panels were attached to the top of the stand. He engraved cherubim, lions and palm trees on the surfaces of the supports and on the panels, in every available space, with wreaths all around. This is the way he made the ten stands. They were all cast in the same molds and were identical in size and shape.
He then made ten bronze basins, each holding forty baths and measuring four cubits across, one basin to go on each of the ten stands. He placed five of the stands on the south side of the temple and five on the north. He placed the Sea on the south side, at the southeast corner of the temple. 40 He also made the basins and shovels and sprinkling bowls.
So Huram finished all the work he had undertaken for King Solomon in the temple of the LORD :
the two pillars;
the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;
the two sets of network decorating the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;
the four hundred pomegranates for the two sets of network (two rows of pomegranates for each network, decorating the bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars
the ten stands with their ten basins;
the Sea and the twelve bulls under it;
the pots, shovels and sprinkling bowls.
All these objects that Huram made for King Solomon for the temple of the LORD were of burnished bronze. The king had them cast in clay molds in the plain of the Jordan between Succoth and Zarethan. Solomon left all these things unweighed, because there were so many; the weight of the bronze was not determined.
Solomon also made all the furnishings that were in the LORD's temple:
the golden altar;
the golden table on which was the bread of the Presence;
the lampstands of pure gold (five on the right and five on the left, in front of the inner sanctuary
the gold floral work and lamps and tongs;
the pure gold basins, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, dishes and censers;
and the gold sockets for the doors of the innermost room, the Most Holy Place, and also for the doors of the main hall of the temple.
When all the work King Solomon had done for the temple of the LORD was finished, he brought in the things his father David had dedicated—the silver and gold and the furnishings—and he placed them in the treasuries of the LORD's temple."
As you can see, King Solomon added images to the Temple of Jerusalem
that God didn't command in Exodus and Deuteronomy. And this was something 2nd Temple Judaism preserved for we have a decorated Temple artifact to prove it:
The Temple and things used in it were decorated with images. And so if the early Christians can make images of things in the air/Heavens, Earth/ground, and water.....eventhough the passage in Exodus says we can't, and if God allowed the ancient Jews to do the same in regards to images / decorations that He not only specifically commanded, but also the ones in which He didn't......as seen in 1st Kings! Then why can't the same be done in regards to the passage in Deuteronomy after
? It's consistent and it makes perfect reasonable sense!
Therefore, all who image the flesh of Jesus, and insist this does not contradict De 4:15f, thereby deny 1)He is God; 2)The Word became male human flesh.
I already explained why such a thing is not the case.
Moreover separating Transcendent Deity from His Flesh is Nestorianism. Both natures are united indivisibly in the One Person of the Eternal Son.
How in the world can you call us Nestorian? Don't you know that the nonchalcedonian OO's also embrace Icons?
Also, this is what we mean when we talk about such things:http://www.orthodoxunity.org/state01.php (Orthodox Unity document)Quote:
"When we speak of the one composite (synthetos) hypostasis of our Lord Jesus Christ, we do not say that in Him a divine hypostasis and a human hypostasis came together. It is that the one eternal hypostasis of the Second Person of the Trinity has assumed our created human nature in that act uniting it with His own uncreated divine nature, to form an inseparably and unconfusedly united real divine-human being, the natures being distinguished from each other in contemplation (theoria) only."
One cannot image the male human flesh of Jesus without thereby rending Him from His infinitude and making Him like His creation. It is deducible from God's commanding images of cherubim overshadowing the Mercy seat, that the reason for the prohibition is the transcendence of God not be undermined.
No one has seen God back then...at least not face to face..... that was the reason. He was truly seen later in time when He was Incarnate!
Therefore, any EIKONA of Jesus is violating not just the letter of Deu 4:15f, but also its spirit.
No it's not! The Old Testament also said that no one has seen God's face and still lived. People saw His face when He was Incarnate, and yes they still lived!
Contrary to John D's citing the images of cherubs etc as collaborative proof, their existence does the opposite as God never commanded these be venerated, nor are God's people shown venerating them anywhere in scripture, except in two instances by the Patriarchs,
Exodus says don't make images, but it also allowed it, and God allowed King Solomon to make more images that He never commanded.
Just face it! God allowed the Patriarchs to do it in the same manor as He allowed images to be made....both with as well as without His specific commands.
Also you forgot that the ancient Jews venerated the footstool:
The Jews bowed down in front of the footstool in the Temple(Psalm 99:1-5)
Psalm99:1-5"The LORD reigns; Let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; Let the earth be moved! The LORD is great in Zion, And He is high above all the peoples. Let them praise Your great and awesome name— He is holy. The King’s strength also loves justice; You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His footstool— He is holy."
They also bowed before the Kings of Israel:
1st Chronicles 29:20Then David said to the whole assembly, "Praise the LORD your God." So they all praised the LORD, the God of their fathers; they bowed low and fell prostrate before the LORD and the king.
Also, in modern times, Jews still venerate the Torah Scroll, they even venerate the Bible, and the Western Wall while praying and reading Scripture:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL2ReQgj_zg&feature=player_embedded (Jewish Prayer at the Western Wall, Old City of Jerusalem)
and it is evident from the Law's prohibition of this, that God did not approve. He clearly "winked" at their error (Ac 17:30):
God approved of it. Just like He did with the bowing down before the Kings of Israel and the footstool in the Temple. There are certain degrees/levels of respect/veneration.
The difference is the intent. What are the intentions.
Ok, I'm getting a little tired now. I may or may not deal with the rest at a later time.