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Author Topic: John of Damascus' exegesis of De 4:15 is impossible  (Read 38392 times) Average Rating: 5
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Alfred Persson
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« on: August 02, 2010, 11:21:54 PM »

John's exegesis of De 4:15f is impossible. 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


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.

Moreover separating Transcendent Deity from His Flesh is Nestorianism. Both natures are united indivisibly in the One Person of the Eternal Son.

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.

Therefore, any EIKONA of Jesus is violating not just the letter of Deu 4:15f, but also its spirit.

Contrary to John of Damascus' 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, 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):

Abraham planted a grove

Gen 21:33 "Then Abraham planted a field at the Well of Oath, and there he called on the name of the Lord."-Orthodox Study Bible

33. Abraham planted a grove—Hebrew, “of tamarisks,” in which sacrificial worship was offered, as in a roofless temple.
[1]Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. (1997). A commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments. On spine: Critical and explanatory commentary. (Ge 21:33). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Jacob set up a pillar

Gen 18:16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "The Lord is in this place, and I did not know it."
Gen 18:17 So he was afraid and said "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."
Gen 18:18 Now Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone he put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it.-Orthodox Study Bible

This veneration was not acceptable to God as He later forbade both in Deuteronomy 16:21f

Deut 16:21 You shall not plant for yourself any grove or any tree near the altar of the Lord your God which you build for yourself.
Deut 16:22 You shall not set up a pillar the Lord your God hates.- Orthodox Study Bible.

« Last Edit: August 05, 2010, 04:49:58 PM by Fr. George » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2010, 11:48:08 PM »

I
Quote
believe they are why we were run out of the Middle East. Don't reply to that here, do so on the thread I will now post.
You were not run out of the Middle East for you and your heretical, restaurationist delusion  were never there, to begin with.
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2010, 11:48:37 PM »

John's exegesis of De 4:15f is impossible. 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


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.

Moreover separating Transcendent Deity from His Flesh is Nestorianism. Both natures are united indivisibly in the One Person of the Eternal Son.

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.

Therefore, any EIKONA of Jesus is violating not just the letter of Deu 4:15f, but also its spirit.

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, 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):

Abraham planted a grove

Gen 21:33 "Then Abraham planted a field at the Well of Oath, and there he called on the name of the Lord."-Orthodox Study Bible

33. Abraham planted a grove—Hebrew, “of tamarisks,” in which sacrificial worship was offered, as in a roofless temple.
[1]Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. (1997). A commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments. On spine: Critical and explanatory commentary. (Ge 21:33). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Jacob set up a pillar

Gen 18:16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "The Lord is in this place, and I did not know it."
Gen 18:17 So he was afraid and said "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."
Gen 18:18 Now Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone he put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it.-Orthodox Study Bible

This veneration was not acceptable to God as He later forbade both in Deuteronomy 16:21f

Deut 16:21 You shall not plant for yourself any grove or any tree near the altar of the Lord your God which you build for yourself.
Deut 16:22 You shall not set up a pillar the Lord your God hates.- Orthodox Study Bible.


I see your rantings, but I don't see any of the exegesis of our Father among the Saints, St. John of Damascus.  Maybe you should first read what you deny, so you don't look ridiculous.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2010, 11:51:18 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2010, 11:50:00 PM »

I
Quote
believe they are why we were run out of the Middle East. Don't reply to that here, do so on the thread I will now post.
You were not run out of the Middle East for you and your heretical, restaurationist delusion  were never there, to begin with.
You beat me to the punch.

Btw,us Orthodox, Alfred, are still there.
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 12:02:22 AM »

From the proselytising thread:

Quote
Look for my thread on icons. I view them as the Early Byzantines did, they are idolatrous.

Catacomb icons, anyone? The church at Dura Europos? the writings of Sts Basil the Great, Epiphanius of Cyprus, John Chrysostom, and many others, including one of the very earliest saints, Dionysius the Areopagite, all of whom defend iconography?

Your grasp of history is quite lacking, my dear Alfred.
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2010, 12:07:33 AM »

I see your rantings, but I don't see any of the exegesis of our Father among the Saints, St. John of Damascus.  Maybe you should first read what you deny, so you don't look ridiculous.

Not I who appears ridiculous.

Trust me, I've been called worse and it brings me joy:

 22 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake.
 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
 (Luk 6:22-23 NKJ)

Won't anyone address my argument?
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 12:10:31 AM by Alfred Persson » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2010, 12:12:47 AM »

I love the bottom line, and if I go off on tangents before reaching it, I feel so unsatisfied.
Well, I for one am still a bit confused on what your bottom line is.  You seem to be saying that you'd be Orthodox if it weren't for our generally negative view of proselytizing.  Is that about right?  But then you also mention all these other reasons you wouldn't be Orthodox.  Right?  So your bottom line seems to be merely informing us that you don't plan to be Orthodox.  Does that effectively sum it up?  You started a thread for this?  You joined a forum for this?

When I let my apologetic loose, I be proselytizing!!! I don't debate to lose

Yet I get a picture that you often have to take your tools and go home.


Quote
...If you can't handle that, ban me now.

Enough of the bravado. Actually say something, or take your martyr complex elsewhere.


Ok, you asked for it.
Roll Eyes LOL.

Quote

Look for my thread on icons. I view them as the Early Byzantines did, they are idolatrous.

Early Byzantines? Are those the characters the Humanists were thinking of when they invented the term "Byzantine," at the same time they were inveting your dogmas?

Quote
I believe they are why we were run out of the Middle East.
The iconoclasts came and went, and the Iconophiles, i.e. the Orthodox remained.  In fact, this was the Empire of the Romans under the iconoclasts:

and then under their successors, the Orthodox Macedonian Dynasty,
or with less detail

Hmm. That looks a tad bigger. If the Romans got kicked out of the Middle East, it had nothing to do with icons.  Quite the opposite.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 12:13:49 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2010, 12:18:34 AM »

Won't anyone address my argument?

I would, but I'm intimidated by your brilliance.
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2010, 12:21:42 AM »

Won't anyone address my argument?

I would, but I'm intimidated by your brilliance.

I apologize.

Perhaps this then:

I've heard folks get irrational when you attack their idols, they respond to reasoned argument with reviling etc.

Is that true?
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2010, 12:23:28 AM »

I see your rantings, but I don't see any of the exegesis of our Father among the Saints, St. John of Damascus.  Maybe you should first read what you deny, so you don't look ridiculous.

Not I who appears ridiculous.

Trust me, I've been called worse and it brings me joy:

 22 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake.
 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
 (Luk 6:22-23 NKJ)

Won't anyone address my argument?
St. John already has.  You invoked his name to smear him.  Numbers 12:8

Here.  I practically have to put the nipple in your mouth:
Three treatises on the divine images By John (of Damascus, Saint.), Andrew Louth
http://books.google.com/books?id=x_U1mtafEPMC&pg=PA90&dq=John+of+Damascus+on+the+divine+images+4:15&hl=en&ei=65hXTM3QBIyJnQfpnM3YCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2010, 12:30:12 AM »

I see your rantings, but I don't see any of the exegesis of our Father among the Saints, St. John of Damascus.  Maybe you should first read what you deny, so you don't look ridiculous.

Not I who appears ridiculous.

Trust me, I've been called worse and it brings me joy:

 22 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake.
 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
 (Luk 6:22-23 NKJ)

Won't anyone address my argument?
St. John already has.  You invoked his name to smear him.  Numbers 12:8

Here.  I practically have to put the nipple in your mouth:
Three treatises on the divine images By John (of Damascus, Saint.), Andrew Louth
http://books.google.com/books?id=x_U1mtafEPMC&pg=PA90&dq=John+of+Damascus+on+the+divine+images+4:15&hl=en&ei=65hXTM3QBIyJnQfpnM3YCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

Thanks anyway...

I didn't post for links.

I want reasoned response to my argument. That is intellectually stimulating and alone has the hope of leading the lost to Christ. Yes, I am proselytizing. I warned all:

NKJ  1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. (1Pe 3:15 NKJ)

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« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2010, 12:34:26 AM »

Won't anyone address my argument?

I would, but I'm intimidated by your brilliance.

I apologize.

Perhaps this then:

I've heard folks get irrational when you attack their idols, they respond to reasoned argument with reviling etc.

Is that true?

I don't know. You tell us.  Proverbs 12:15.

Jeremiah 7:24.  False dogma are also idols.
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« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2010, 12:36:51 AM »

Why do I feel like I'm watching The Princess Bride?
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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2010, 12:40:36 AM »

I see your rantings, but I don't see any of the exegesis of our Father among the Saints, St. John of Damascus.  Maybe you should first read what you deny, so you don't look ridiculous.

Not I who appears ridiculous.

Trust me, I've been called worse and it brings me joy:

 22 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake.
 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
 (Luk 6:22-23 NKJ)

Won't anyone address my argument?
St. John already has.  You invoked his name to smear him.  Numbers 12:8

Here.  I practically have to put the nipple in your mouth:
Three treatises on the divine images By John (of Damascus, Saint.), Andrew Louth
http://books.google.com/books?id=x_U1mtafEPMC&pg=PA90&dq=John+of+Damascus+on+the+divine+images+4:15&hl=en&ei=65hXTM3QBIyJnQfpnM3YCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

Thanks anyway...

I didn't post for links.

So you posted without knowing what you are talking about.

You brought up St. John.  You haven't addressed him.  If you wanted us to address your novel interpretations, you should have made a thread on that.

Quote
I want reasoned response to my argument. That is intellectually stimulating and alone has the hope of leading the lost to Christ. Yes, I am proselytizing. I warned all:

NKJ  1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. (1Pe 3:15 NKJ)

II Peter 3:15 Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2010, 12:42:34 AM »

Won't anyone address my argument?

I would, but I'm intimidated by your brilliance.

I apologize.

Perhaps this then:

I've heard folks get irrational when you attack their idols, they respond to reasoned argument with reviling etc.

Is that true?

I don't know. You tell us.  Proverbs 12:15.

Jeremiah 7:24.  False dogma are also idols.

15 The ways of fools are right in their own eyes; but a wise man hearkens to counsels. (Pro 12:15 LXE)

24 But they hearkened not to me, and their ear gave no heed, but they walked in the imaginations of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward; (Jer 7:24 LXE)

All the more reason to address my argument rationally, appealing to Scripture for insight, lest we not give the LORD our ear.

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« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2010, 12:43:06 AM »

I apologize.

Perhaps this then:

I've heard folks get irrational when you attack their idols, they respond to reasoned argument with reviling etc.

Is that true?

No, Alfred. Most of us try to be dispassionate and objective, using verifiable Orthodox tradition (scripture, the writings of the Fathers, the liturgical deposit of the Church, the resolutions of the Ecumenical Councils), as well as history.

There is nothing new under the sun. Iconoclasm is as old as Christianity itself, and keeps reinventing itself in the form of Calvinist prohibitions of images,  the Jehovah's Witnesses insistence that Christ was executed on a vertical pole, not on a cross, etc etc - yet iconography survives and thrives to this day.
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« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2010, 12:47:21 AM »

I apologize.

Perhaps this then:

I've heard folks get irrational when you attack their idols, they respond to reasoned argument with reviling etc.

Is that true?

No, Alfred. Most of us try to be dispassionate and objective, using verifiable Orthodox tradition (scripture, the writings of the Fathers, the liturgical deposit of the Church, the resolutions of the Ecumenical Councils), as well as history.

There is nothing new under the sun. Iconoclasm is as old as Christianity itself, and keeps reinventing itself in the form of Calvinist prohibitions of images,  the Jehovah's Witnesses insistence that Christ was executed on a vertical pole, not on a cross, etc etc - yet iconography survives and thrives to this day.

I did not see reasoned argument in that quote...only a claim.

I would truly enjoy a dispassionate objective, and verifiable Orthodox response, citing the scripture we both love dear, how you suppose it contradicts my argument.

« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 12:48:51 AM by Alfred Persson » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2010, 01:07:21 AM »

I did not see reasoned argument in that quote...only a claim.

I would truly enjoy a dispassionate objective, and verifiable Orthodox response, citing the scripture we both love dear, how you suppose it contradicts my argument.

You are the one who has raised the "idolatry" allegation against the Orthodox, by invoking St John of Damascus. If you wish to have a truly objective discussion on this matter, then take the time to read and absorb what St John has written in the defense of icons, as linked to by ialmisry. Here's another link, to an HTML of the same document:

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/johndamascus-images.html#PART%20I

If and when you have read St John's work, then we might be able to have a proper discussion on the matter.
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« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2010, 01:19:59 AM »

John's exegesis of De 4:15f is impossible. 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


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.

Moreover separating Transcendent Deity from His Flesh is Nestorianism. Both natures are united indivisibly in the One Person of the Eternal Son.

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.

Therefore, any EIKONA of Jesus is violating not just the letter of Deu 4:15f, but also its spirit.

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, 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):

Abraham planted a grove

Gen 21:33 "Then Abraham planted a field at the Well of Oath, and there he called on the name of the Lord."-Orthodox Study Bible

33. Abraham planted a grove—Hebrew, “of tamarisks,” in which sacrificial worship was offered, as in a roofless temple.
[1]Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. (1997). A commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments. On spine: Critical and explanatory commentary. (Ge 21:33). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Jacob set up a pillar

Gen 18:16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "The Lord is in this place, and I did not know it."
Gen 18:17 So he was afraid and said "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."
Gen 18:18 Now Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone he put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it.-Orthodox Study Bible

This veneration was not acceptable to God as He later forbade both in Deuteronomy 16:21f

Deut 16:21 You shall not plant for yourself any grove or any tree near the altar of the Lord your God which you build for yourself.
Deut 16:22 You shall not set up a pillar the Lord your God hates.- Orthodox Study Bible.



"Eh, the Bible says a lot of things"- Chief Wiggum from a "Treehouse of Horror" episode, in response to 'Judge not lest ye be judged', right before the attempted execution of a witch.

Seriously, the Bible says a lot of things.  Some of these things are contradictory (this does not mean that the Bible contradicts itself, paradox is an ancient tradition found in Eastern wisdom).  If you look into past threads on icons you will see this question brought up (comes up about once every few months in the Convert Issues forum) in a more respectful manner.  

We can cite many examples from the Old Testament of Jews venerating not only the Ark of the Covenant but the Temple, the Temple Mount, and even the city of Jerusalem itself.

As regards your passages from Deuteronomy, we must look at these in the greater context of the religious environment the Hebrew settlers were moving into.  Trees and groves by this time had become associated not just with a reverent attitude of worship but particular gods and goddesses of fertility.  A perfectly innocent practice of reverence in the time of Abraham had become something with a completely different meaning in the time of Moses and Joshua.  As for pillars... Well, I guess David and Solomon really messed up when they built the Temple, but then how else could they hold the roof up?  Again, it wasn't the practice of setting up any old pillar that the Hebrew were commanded against, but a specific type of pillar (much different from Jacob's pillow cum "pillar") which represented the phallic boast of Canaanite gods.

Now, to the actual task at hand- the Deuteronomy 4:15 passage.  I will bold the gaping hole in your logic.   "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"

By the way, the OSB, which you apparently own since you quoted it for your later texts renders this into a more modern grammatical structure as this: "So be careful to guard your souls, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb on the mountain from the midst of the fire. 16 Do not act lawlessly and make for yourselves a carved form of any image; the likeness of male or female"  It seems that you merely selected a translation that would appear to back your argument up

See, it was because God did not show Himself on Horeb that the Israelites were forbidden to make any figure.  The Israelites were not yet ready for the Incarnation, but they had symbols aplenty to prepare themselves for that event (the Passover being most obvious).  Once God took on the form of man such a prohibition was no longer applicable.  God had become man, a recordable and identifiable Jewish male, whose words could be written down and whose figure could be drawn and painted.

But, hey, as long as we're on the subject of idolatry, how about those abhorrent poles that got Solomon into so much trouble?  There's no way those could become acceptable, right?  It's not like God would ever get elevated on a pole, albeit with some sort of bar across the upper portion, not for any reason whatsoever....
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« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2010, 01:28:09 AM »

See, it was because God did not show Himself on Horeb that the Israelites were forbidden to make any figure.  The Israelites were not yet ready for the Incarnation, but they had symbols aplenty to prepare themselves for that event (the Passover being most obvious).  Once God took on the form of man such a prohibition was no longer applicable.  God had become man, a recordable and identifiable Jewish male, whose words could be written down and whose figure could be drawn and painted.

Thank you for this. As a new convert, this is the clearest, most detailed explanation I have seen and I appreciated reading it. I'd understood the part about the incarnation and the ability to have icons because of that, but I hadn't seen this explanation based on the passage in Deuteronomy.
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« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2010, 01:32:16 AM »

Now, to the actual task at hand- the Deuteronomy 4:15 passage.  I will bold the gaping hole in your logic.   "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"

By the way, the OSB, which you apparently own since you quoted it for your later texts renders this into a more modern grammatical structure as this: "So be careful to guard your souls, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb on the mountain from the midst of the fire. 16 Do not act lawlessly and make for yourselves a carved form of any image; the likeness of male or female"  It seems that you merely selected a translation that would appear to back your argument up


No, I want it clear the Septuagint forbids every kind of (EIKWN)

And you evaded my points:

1)John's exegesis of De 4:15f is impossible as 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


2)Moreover separating Transcendent Deity from His Flesh is Nestorianism. Both natures are united indivisibly in the One Person of the Eternal Son.

3)It is evident from all the other God approved images in the Temple, Ark, etc, that God has no problem with images at all....ONLY those that render the Transcendent Infinite God finite like His creatures. That violates the Holiness of God, His separateness from all creation.

There are more, but lets start with these, shall we?
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« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2010, 01:39:30 AM »

Now, to the actual task at hand- the Deuteronomy 4:15 passage.  I will bold the gaping hole in your logic.   "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"

By the way, the OSB, which you apparently own since you quoted it for your later texts renders this into a more modern grammatical structure as this: "So be careful to guard your souls, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb on the mountain from the midst of the fire. 16 Do not act lawlessly and make for yourselves a carved form of any image; the likeness of male or female"  It seems that you merely selected a translation that would appear to back your argument up


No, I want it clear the Septuagint forbids every kind of (EIKWN)

And you evaded my points:

1)John's exegesis of De 4:15f is impossible as 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


2)Moreover separating Transcendent Deity from His Flesh is Nestorianism. Both natures are united indivisibly in the One Person of the Eternal Son.

3)It is evident from all the other God approved images in the Temple, Ark, etc, that God has no problem with images at all....ONLY those that render the Transcendent Infinite God finite like His creatures. That violates the Holiness of God, His separateness from all creation.

There are more, but lets start with these, shall we?


It is patently obvious that you have not read St John of Damascus' treatise. Please read it first. It's not exactly honest to condemn someone's writings without having read and absorbed it first. Quoting and condemning one snippet of it is not objective discourse.
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« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2010, 01:47:53 AM »

Taking your points backwards then:

1) God rendered His own Transcendent infinitude into finity.  "Who being in the form of God and counting it not theft to be equal to God, emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, and being made in the likeness of man, and found in fashion as man" (Phil 2:6,7)  He bridged the separation from His creation.  To quote one of your supposed favorites, St Athanasius: "God became man so that man could become god."

2)  Both natures are indeed united, which is why

3) St John of Damascus can declare that Deut 4:15 no longer applies.  We can make pictures of God because God made Himself man.  (The Septuagint also forbids pork, shellfish, suffering a witch to live, and many other things we overlook because God became man)

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« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2010, 01:48:48 AM »

I see your rantings, but I don't see any of the exegesis of our Father among the Saints, St. John of Damascus.  Maybe you should first read what you deny, so you don't look ridiculous.

Not I who appears ridiculous.

Trust me, I've been called worse and it brings me joy:

 22 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake.
 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
 (Luk 6:22-23 NKJ)

Won't anyone address my argument?


What Argument?







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« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2010, 01:54:31 AM »

Since the OP doesn't want to address St. John (as his title suggests), but just malign him, I've started a thread where we can discuss the teaching of Pearsonism on icons, which the OP seems to want to bait and switch here.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.msg459415/topicseen.html#msg459415
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« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2010, 04:24:00 AM »

3)It is evident from all the other God approved images in the Temple, Ark, etc, that God has no problem with images at all....ONLY those that render the Transcendent Infinite God finite like His creatures. That violates the Holiness of God, His separateness from all creation.
(emphasis mine)
One of the reasons people respond to you by ridicule Alfred, is that this whole way of thinking is so foreign to Orthodox people. We believe that God indeed became man in every way you and me are men. We believe that God took on the form of the CREATED man. I don't know how to explain this fantastic mystery other than repeating it again and again. God became HUMAN and took on the form of CREATED FLESH!

It is incomprehensible to us that we are allowed to paint pictures of trees, animals, our relatives and anything we see, except Christ. Why were people even allowed to see Christ if they were forbidden to paint pictures of what they had seen?

As others have said Alfred, you are free to express your opinions here. Just don't expect too much "debate" or "dialogue" when your arguments are incomprehensible to us.  Cheesy

EDIT: Also, attacking the saints of the Church does not further your case either. Wink
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« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2010, 05:24:06 AM »

Won't anyone address my argument?

I would, but I'm intimidated by your brilliance.

I apologize.

Perhaps this then:

I've heard folks get irrational when you attack their idols, they respond to reasoned argument with reviling etc.

Is that true?

Hi.

Watch this: Angelos. What is that? It's a word represented in letters--it's literally an image of the word. It is not an image of the thing, but it is an image of the abstraction that is a word. Words themselves are representations even when spoken.

Is Angelos transcendental? Yes it is. Therefore the printed word Angelos is itself an image of something which exists in heaven.

The Bible itself is representation, and is composed of representations. We study it as an icon---an icon full of icons. We venerate the Bible.


Some people, however, have turned the Bible itself into an idol. Biblioatry I call it. Essentially, they use the Bible as a ouija board to extract answers that they themselves supply before they even open the book. St. John Chrysostom once said that anything at all can be justified by Scripture, and it has been proven by history to have been a correct hypothesis (mostly by the insanely conflict- and economics- crazy Protestant current of history...).

So what proof is this you offer? At best, your proof is a reinvention of the wheel! It is a proof that representations can lead us toward God.

But the Bible is not the Word of God. Christ is the Word of God. The big news here, really, is that you are the idolater and should repent.

But returning to the reinvention of the wheel... Do you not think it possible that these same arguments that you purvey in your shamelessly misnamed post were offered by better men than thou, and defeated by better men than thou at Ecumenical Council?

So anyway. We hope you enjoyed your visit to the bridge, and that you will remember for years to come your big opportunity at the helm. You're now an official Special Reserve Junior Captain! Here's your official Special Reserve Junior Captian button.  police ...There you go...

Bye now.
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« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2010, 05:34:13 AM »

Allow me to take a different approach:

Alfred, what would be your reaction to someone spitting, or stomping on, or burning a Bible?
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« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2010, 05:38:07 AM »

Allow me to take a different approach:

Alfred, what would be your reaction to someone spitting, or stamping, or burning a Bible?

Heavy.
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« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2010, 06:02:44 AM »

FormerReformer link

Taking your points backwards then:

3)It is evident from all the other God approved images in the Temple, Ark, etc, that God has no problem with images at all....ONLY those that render the Transcendent Infinite God finite like His creatures. That violates the Holiness of God, His separateness from all creation.

1) God rendered His own Transcendent infinitude into finity.  "Who being in the form of God and counting it not theft to be equal to God, emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, and being made in the likeness of man, and found in fashion as man" (Phil 2:6,7)  He bridged the separation from His creation.  To quote one of your supposed favorites, St Athanasius: "God became man so that man could become god."


Incorrect for it is written:

NKJ  John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. (Joh 1:18 NKJ)

As we have seen the human flesh of the Son, Gods' transcendent Deity remained transcendent:

NKJ  John 3:13 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. (Joh 3:13 NKJ)


###


2)Moreover separating Transcendent Deity from His Flesh is Nestorianism. Both natures are united indivisibly in the One Person of the Eternal Son

2)  Both natures are indeed united, which is why



Incorrect, as icons cannot image Divine Nature they tear the human nature of the Son from His divine Nature = Nesotrian error.


Moreover, icons manage the impossible by also inspiring Monophysite error among the illiterate. What else can they conclude when the two natures of Christ are in the One Icon, a monophysite confusion of natures.



##

1)John of Damascus' exegesis of De 4:15f is impossible as 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[/i]

3) St John of Damascus can declare that Deut 4:15 no longer applies.  We can make pictures of God because God made Himself man.  (The Septuagint also forbids pork, shellfish, suffering a witch to live, and many other things we overlook because God became man)



Incorrect:

If John of Damascus is right then then Is 40:25 no longer applies and God is unholy:

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

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.


If John of Damascus is right Christ's flesh is His similitude then Jesus is not God for it is written:

NKJ  John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. (Joh 1:18 NKJ)


If John of Damascus is correct Jesus incarnate body is the similitude of God  then the Word never became human flesh and His dwelling among us was in appearance only (Deu 4:15f).

But that is impossible as it is written:

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (Joh 1:14 NKJ)
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« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2010, 06:47:04 AM »

Alfred, it is increasingly obvious that you have not read St John of Damascus' essay in full. One you have done this, and only once you've done this, will most, if not all, of us, listen to what you have to say.
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« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2010, 06:57:08 AM »

I don't understand much of what is being said here but I do realize that when seeing the Icon of the Christ child with the Theotokos & reading how the wise men worshipped the Lord in Matthew 2:11 and then seeing the holy icon of Christ the pantocrator on the dome & reading Colossians 1:15-16 how am I worshipping idols? If I could not read but upon hearing the scriptures & seeing a holy illustration, what "idols" are being worshipped? If I know the cloud of heavenly witness of the saints (in Hebrews) & see a holy illustration how are idols being worshipped? They are not, this is worship of God in His holy house.
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« Reply #32 on: August 03, 2010, 07:20:55 AM »

As we have seen the human flesh of the Son, Gods' transcendent Deity remained transcendent:
Christ is no mere "avatar" remote controlled from heaven. Christ is the second person of the Trinity. Christ is God, and we have seen him. The Father remains unseen, but we have still seen God.

If depicting Christ is tearing Divinity from humanity and falling into nestorianism, then all who saw Christ were nestorians (I will stand or fall together with them). I fail to understand the difference between seeing Christ and depicting Christ.

EDIT: Mayby I should also read this essay, written by Saint John of Damascus, that you all talk about. Cheesy Thank you for the link LBK.
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« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2010, 08:41:44 AM »

As we have seen the human flesh of the Son, Gods' transcendent Deity remained transcendent:
Christ is no mere "avatar" remote controlled from heaven. Christ is the second person of the Trinity. Christ is God, and we have seen him. The Father remains unseen, but we have still seen God.

If depicting Christ is tearing Divinity from humanity and falling into nestorianism, then all who saw Christ were nestorians (I will stand or fall together with them). I fail to understand the difference between seeing Christ and depicting Christ.

EDIT: Mayby I should also read this essay, written by Saint John of Damascus, that you all talk about. Cheesy Thank you for the link LBK.

The OO nonchalcedonians also embrace Icons and so according to his logic this will make them Nestorians too!

The truth is, his argument is a Nestorian one, he just doesn't know it yet. I wonder if he is able to call our blessed Mother Theotokos?

His argument against Icons and the 7th council would have to be against the 3rd council as well.









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« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2010, 08:48:08 AM »

See, it was because God did not show Himself on Horeb that the Israelites were forbidden to make any figure.  The Israelites were not yet ready for the Incarnation, but they had symbols aplenty to prepare themselves for that event (the Passover being most obvious).  Once God took on the form of man such a prohibition was no longer applicable.  God had become man, a recordable and identifiable Jewish male, whose words could be written down and whose figure could be drawn and painted.

Thank you for this. As a new convert, this is the clearest, most detailed explanation I have seen and I appreciated reading it. I'd understood the part about the incarnation and the ability to have icons because of that, but I hadn't seen this explanation based on the passage in Deuteronomy.


I agree! Good job Mike!









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« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2010, 09:39:54 AM »

NKJ  John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. (Joh 1:18 NKJ)

You forgot the second half of that verse.
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

And also John 14:9
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

2Cor 4:4
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Col 1:15
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
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« Reply #36 on: August 03, 2010, 10:01:08 AM »

Alfred, does the Bible you use have any pictures in it?

If not, do you think it is OK for Bibles to use pictures?

Is it OK for a child in Sunday school to draw a picture of Jesus and hang it up in her room to look at?

Just curious - are you opposed to all religious artwork, always and everywhere?
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« Reply #37 on: August 03, 2010, 10:05:11 AM »

Why do I feel like I'm watching The Princess Bride?

Inconceivable!
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« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2010, 10:15:54 AM »

FormerReformer link




###


2)Moreover separating Transcendent Deity from His Flesh is Nestorianism. Both natures are united indivisibly in the One Person of the Eternal Son

2)  Both natures are indeed united, which is why



Incorrect, as icons cannot image Divine Nature they tear the human nature of the Son from His divine Nature = Nesotrian error.


Moreover, icons manage the impossible by also inspiring Monophysite error among the illiterate. What else can they conclude when the two natures of Christ are in the One Icon, a monophysite confusion of natures.






Our Special Reserve Junior Captain! Where's your button? ...Oh well, nevermind. Here's another one.  police ...There you go. How come you haven't been answering any of the stronger critiques and questions put to you? ...There, there now. Of course your in charge! You don't have to answer people if you don't want to.

It's pretty clear that you are wholly and entirely unfamiliar with the Iconoclast controversy, or you would know how this dialogue resolves itself.

And I am pretty sure that you don't understand the Monophysite heresy either (I'm sticking up for my "non-Chalcedonians" here--stay of my back please, boys). Monophysitism, as it was called, was "softened" into Monotheletism... which thesis also cannot be pictured in an icon, true enough. Did you know that we even had Monothelete emperors! And we had Iconoclast emperors too! The latter had a propensity for replacing holy icons with.... are you ready for this? .....portraits of themselves! Weird huh. Oops... you dropped your little pin with your picture on it...  police There you go. It's all about you.

Pay attention in school and pray, then maybe you can talk sensibly about this someday instead of--if I may borrow a rather unfortunate metaphor from Greek philosophy--reasoning about colors as one who's been purblind from birth.


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« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2010, 10:17:51 AM »

3)It is evident from all the other God approved images in the Temple, Ark, etc, that God has no problem with images at all....ONLY those that render the Transcendent Infinite God finite like His creatures. That violates the Holiness of God, His separateness from all creation.
(emphasis mine)
One of the reasons people respond to you by ridicule Alfred, is that this whole way of thinking is so foreign to Orthodox people. We believe that God indeed became man in every way you and me are men. We believe that God took on the form of the CREATED man. I don't know how to explain this fantastic mystery other than repeating it again and again. God became HUMAN and took on the form of CREATED FLESH!

It is incomprehensible to us that we are allowed to paint pictures of trees, animals, our relatives and anything we see, except Christ. Why were people even allowed to see Christ if they were forbidden to paint pictures of what they had seen?

As others have said Alfred, you are free to express your opinions here. Just don't expect too much "debate" or "dialogue" when your arguments are incomprehensible to us.  Cheesy

EDIT: Also, attacking the saints of the Church does not further your case either. Wink
Yes, St. John desposes of Perssonism's Nestroian arguments quite decisively, something AP would know if he read the words of our father among the saints.
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« Reply #40 on: August 03, 2010, 10:50:14 AM »

Quote
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?


 
Quote
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


3rd century






Likeness of things on the Earth/ground:
(The Lamb, people, trees, palm branches, Pomegranate, the Cross....etc)



















Likeness of things in the water: (fish, anchor.......etc)








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 6:19-37
He 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 the Incarnation? It's consistent and it makes perfect reasonable sense!



Quote
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.



Quote
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."


 


Quote
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!

Quote
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!




Quote
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 29:20
Then 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)  



Quote
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.










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« Reply #41 on: August 03, 2010, 01:24:19 PM »

As we have seen the human flesh of the Son, Gods' transcendent Deity remained transcendent:
Christ is no mere "avatar" remote controlled from heaven. Christ is the second person of the Trinity. Christ is God, and we have seen him. The Father remains unseen, but we have still seen God.

If depicting Christ is tearing Divinity from humanity and falling into nestorianism, then all who saw Christ were nestorians (I will stand or fall together with them). I fail to understand the difference between seeing Christ and depicting Christ.

EDIT: Mayby I should also read this essay, written by Saint John of Damascus, that you all talk about. Cheesy Thank you for the link LBK.

The OO nonchalcedonians also embrace Icons and so according to his logic this will make them Nestorians too!

The truth is, his argument is a Nestorian one, he just doesn't know it yet. I wonder if he is able to call our blessed Mother Theotokos?

His argument against Icons and the 7th council would have to be against the 3rd council as well.

ICXC NIKA

Incorrect. It is elementary icons are inspiring heresy because:

1)If icons image the Incarnate flesh only, they are tearing His human nature from the divine, Nestorian.
2)If icons image the whole Christ, then they confuse the two natures in the one icon, Monophysite.


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« Reply #42 on: August 03, 2010, 01:37:05 PM »

As we have seen the human flesh of the Son, Gods' transcendent Deity remained transcendent:
Christ is no mere "avatar" remote controlled from heaven. Christ is the second person of the Trinity. Christ is God, and we have seen him. The Father remains unseen, but we have still seen God.

If depicting Christ is tearing Divinity from humanity and falling into nestorianism, then all who saw Christ were nestorians (I will stand or fall together with them). I fail to understand the difference between seeing Christ and depicting Christ.

EDIT: Mayby I should also read this essay, written by Saint John of Damascus, that you all talk about. Cheesy Thank you for the link LBK.

The OO nonchalcedonians also embrace Icons and so according to his logic this will make them Nestorians too!

The truth is, his argument is a Nestorian one, he just doesn't know it yet. I wonder if he is able to call our blessed Mother Theotokos?

His argument against Icons and the 7th council would have to be against the 3rd council as well.

ICXC NIKA

Incorrect. It is elementary icons are inspiring heresy because:

1)If icons image the Incarnate flesh only, they are tearing His human nature from the divine, Nestorian.
2)If icons image the whole Christ, then they confuse the two natures in the one icon, Monophysite.





Our Special Reserve Junior Captain hasn't hit the books like he was told. Correcting his teachers indeed! Learn the word prosopon and then get back to us, Mr. Alban.



Aside: Good grief.


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« Reply #43 on: August 03, 2010, 02:07:47 PM »

Alfred,

I get the feeling you're missing the starting point: you've attributed in your OP a seemingly very shallow and not-scripturally-well-defended position to St. John of Damascus, and then "refuted" it, going so far as to quote St. John's name in the title of the thread in order to demonstrate your mastery over his logic.  And yet, judging by your argument, "proofs," and conclusions, you haven't actually read that much of St. John's work, and yet have taken the time to, in effect, smear him by claiming that he weakly espoused heresy in his support of iconography.

There are plenty of folks who will engage you on the Scriptural, patristic, conciliar, and traditional roots and proofs for the permissible existence of iconography in Christian worship, drawing on archeological evidence (the existence of iconography in Christian worship from the 1st century, and other Jewish iconographic depictions that pre-date that), scriptural and patristic evidence (the 7th Ecumenical Council liked using scripture, you know); however, your argument against St. John seems like a childish rant when you're not willing to read all of what he says on the matter, and insist on continuing a line of argumentation from a faulty starting point.
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« Reply #44 on: August 03, 2010, 02:18:59 PM »

Detailed instructions are given by God for the plan of the Ark: it is to be 2½ cubits in length, 1½ in breadth, and 1½ in height (as 21⁄2×11⁄2×11⁄2 royal cubits or 1.31×0.79×0.79 m). Then it is to be plated entirely with gold, and a crown or molding of gold is to be put around it. Four rings of gold are to be put into its four feet—two on each side—and through these rings staves of shittim-wood overlaid with gold for carrying the Ark are to be inserted; and these are not to be removed. A golden cover, adorned with golden cherubim, is to be placed above the Ark. The Ark is finally to be placed behind a veil (Parochet), a full description of which is also given.
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