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Author Topic: When were icons first introduced & can be proven?  (Read 6937 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 15, 2013, 05:00:53 PM »

Not interested in "Legends" (St. Luke's icon that can't be proven), I am interested in the first iconography that was used & venerated by the Christians - that can be proven.

Can anybody cite when God, Yeshua(Jesus), or any of the original apostles used icons, or commanded the use of them?  (Including the Trinity icon, icons with Moses, Daniel, etc.)   

Also, I am not interested in Christian art, such as the fish which was not venerated, or wax sealers.  I'm interested in when they were implemented into the Liturgy and worship practice (veneration) of the Eastern Orthodox church.
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2013, 05:07:23 PM »

Yesterday, early afternoon.
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2013, 05:17:43 PM »

The first icons were painted on the walls of catacombs. Not very well preserved today, but there are traces of several OT scenes, images of Christ and his Mother.

The practice took off after Constantine ended the persecutions, allowing Christians to express their faith openly without hiding behind symbols.
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2013, 05:21:54 PM »

Not interested in "Legends" (St. Luke's icon that can't be proven)

What is proof? If someone asks me if the dishes are washed I could show them clean dishes as proof. If you want to proof that someone murdered the victim a positive dna test would suffice. But if you want to verify that a few thousand Greek soldiers fought the Persians at Gaugamela you could point to a passage in Arrian as proof. And yet Arrian wrote centuries after the Battle of Gaugamela. Does that reduce the Battle of Gaugamela to a mere legend which cannot be proven? Should the Battle of Gaugamela be reduced to an ahistoric fiction?
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2013, 05:26:52 PM »

The first icons were painted on the walls of catacombs. Not very well preserved today, but there are traces of several OT scenes, images of Christ and his Mother.

The practice took off after Constantine ended the persecutions, allowing Christians to express their faith openly without hiding behind symbols.

What years & was there veneration?

The only catacomb art that has dates that I can find were from the mid 4th century.
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/national_world/2010/06/23/catacomb-yields-early-christian-icons-of-apostles.html
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2013, 05:27:08 PM »

The matter is not about what was early or late in history. But rather what is true in the light of the church. There is no proof of icons besides tradition that dates back before the third century. But take the bible in this sense and it will not stands for long, small and very early manuscripts can´t prove the bible to be uncorrupt, but the church can. Living under persecution for 300 years and under the circumstances they had didn´t make icon first priority to safeguard the truth. But the truth didn´t exclude iconography just because it didn´t exist 20 minutes after the crucifixion.

The question should be one whether it´s true or not, not on dates and proofs. The trinity is really a truth, but didn´t take that explicit expression until 325. Same goes with iconography. If every icon on earth would disappear until year 2100, it wouldn´t make it false in year 3000 when some dude discovered some old icons.

Please forgive me dear brother/sister if i was negative in any way. Been working all day long so please forgive my attitude. Forgive and pray for me.
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2013, 05:31:49 PM »

The first icons were painted on the walls of catacombs. Not very well preserved today, but there are traces of several OT scenes, images of Christ and his Mother.

The practice took off after Constantine ended the persecutions, allowing Christians to express their faith openly without hiding behind symbols.

What years & was there veneration?

The only catacomb art that has dates that I can find were from the mid 4th century.
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/national_world/2010/06/23/catacomb-yields-early-christian-icons-of-apostles.html

Icons cover every inch of the inside of a church. In your opinion, are they venerated or not?

Catacombs by definition were used in the early years of the church, and preservation of sacred art was not high on people's priorities then. If you need something more specific, you need to find a specialist.
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2013, 05:31:59 PM »

This one might help.

http://silouanthompson.net/2008/11/paralytic-dura-europos/
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2013, 05:36:00 PM »

The matter is not about what was early or late in history. But rather what is true in the light of the church. There is no proof of icons besides tradition that dates back before the third century. But take the bible in this sense and it will not stands for long, small and very early manuscripts can´t prove the bible to be uncorrupt, but the church can. Living under persecution for 300 years and under the circumstances they had didn´t make icon first priority to safeguard the truth. But the truth didn´t exclude iconography just because it didn´t exist 20 minutes after the crucifixion.

The question should be one whether it´s true or not, not on dates and proofs. The trinity is really a truth, but didn´t take that explicit expression until 325. Same goes with iconography. If every icon on earth would disappear until year 2100, it wouldn´t make it false in year 3000 when some dude discovered some old icons.

Please forgive me dear brother/sister if i was negative in any way. Been working all day long so please forgive my attitude. Forgive and pray for me.

The phrase "trinity" was coined post 325, but the understanding of the trinity existed.


So basically my questions are "I just want proof of very early iconography and veneration".
You answer is "That should not matter because the church says so".

The question exists because iconography usage is absolutely a huge role in EO worship.

(No offense taken btw, religion & politics are touchy issues)

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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2013, 05:42:23 PM »


Thanks but not really.  The description on this art fills in gaps that were not existent with the art itself, such as quoting Christ.  Description states: Top center, Christ is saying, “That you may know that the Son of Man has power to forgive sins: rise up, take up your bed and walk.”

If this was Christ, there was no text.

More importantly, this was 200 years after the resurrection.  Very long time after the time of Christ to consider iconography as part of the original Christian church.
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2013, 05:44:53 PM »

The first icons were painted on the walls of catacombs. Not very well preserved today, but there are traces of several OT scenes, images of Christ and his Mother.

The practice took off after Constantine ended the persecutions, allowing Christians to express their faith openly without hiding behind symbols.

What years & was there veneration?

The only catacomb art that has dates that I can find were from the mid 4th century.
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/national_world/2010/06/23/catacomb-yields-early-christian-icons-of-apostles.html

Icons cover every inch of the inside of a church. In your opinion, are they venerated or not?

Catacombs by definition were used in the early years of the church, and preservation of sacred art was not high on people's priorities then. If you need something more specific, you need to find a specialist.

I know they cover every inch of the church....

Icon artifacts from the 1st Century do not exist, nor are there very early writings about them, nor are they written about in the bible.  Yet they are all over the EO church, which claims to be original Christianity. 
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2013, 05:52:48 PM »

What i wanted to say was just that the thing that helped me in my journey towards iconography was looking on the truth matter, not history matter. Iconography was coined publicly as the church got so thanks to Constantine, but the understanding was there before, even long way back to the ark of the covenant.

Back in the early church a priest/monk could worship and love God much more just by watching the waves of the sea. If was need icons today, and the church can declare and prove it truthful, then history does not matter.

Forgive me if i point out some examples or questions. But the bible and its content/message can´t withstand the test we many times put forth on iconography. The texts and its entirety was kept through tradition, or else someone need to give me a new testament written 10 years after Christs death for me to believe it. No rather the truth within it is what matters, not where I can find the earliest copy. Same standard goes with it all, including icons.

If the EO worship in 100 years only would consist of prayer, 24 hours a day, among 100% of EO believers. What would the one seeking for 100% praying Christians say when he/she couldn´t find that through history. Is praying 24 hours a day then wrong?
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2013, 05:59:21 PM »

Yet they are all over the EO church, which claims to be original Christianity.

Yes, they are. Yes, it is. Your point?
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2013, 06:01:50 PM »

Or how about this challenge. I want historical proof from the 1th century proving that Christ truly ascended into heaven.

Sometimes the measures can cause a problem, not the answer.

Is it not proof enough to at least point out the cherubims on the ark. Or do the jew now need to present the ark to prove that point to be a true one?

If we would find an icon from the 1th century, then suddenly the challenge could be what it depicted. If it was the sign of Jonah, and the orthodox church does not have that icon today, anywhere, then it all must be heresy right Tongue
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2013, 06:07:06 PM »

I know I've given my thoughts on this before, so I tried to do a search for what I had previously written, so as to quote it. I couldn't locate it, however, in the midst of the two dozen or more times you've brought this subject up. Which got me to thinking... perhaps you could go back and look at the hundreds(!) of answers people have previously given you regarding icons?
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« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2013, 06:07:35 PM »

A more serious but necessary challenge could be. Prove me that there was even a church existing in the 1th century.  

"I´m a historian, so your religious, traditional and fairy tale bible is not proof". I want more than that.

Yet we instantly accept as christians the fact that the church existed in the 1th century, not because the historian say yes or no on the matter. But because Christ promised it and he is the truth.
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« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2013, 06:17:52 PM »

Sometimes I think every believer needs to sketch themselves 2 huge cherubim angels, go to the goldsmith, make them in a large size. Put them on their dinner table and say out loud 100 times every day that God accepted this during old testament laws. Everyone would come to accept iconography and not reject it.

It is only when we take the issue of the 2 cherubims on the ark easy, that focus actually disappears from the topic.

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« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2013, 07:35:24 PM »

The earliest particular reference to icons that I recall are in the writings of the mid 4th century Church historian Eusebius.  He was personally ambivalent about them in private homes, but the manner of his discussion suggests they were well established if not as widely used as they later came to be in the Church. He also mentions the image reputed to have been made by Christ himself and kept in the city of Edessa.

The image of the Holy Mandylion, is based upon the image Christ made on the cloth and sent to the king of  Edessa. Some have suggested that the image as it currently exists was modeled more directly on the image placed upon the door of the chest/box in which the cloth image was kept.

The icons of the Saints derive from Palastinian and Egyptian funerary tradition.  It was the custom to make a portrait of the deceased and attach to the body, and then placed as a kind of grave marker at the crypt where the body was buried. There was a mystical connection that was believed to exist between the image and the deceased person. When the body had decomposed, the bones were gathered and placed in a ossuary and the image went with the bones.  As Christians from the region died both of natural causes and of martyrdom, their images were gathered with their bones as well.  But for martyrs, their bones were brought back into the temples for the veneration of the faithful, and so did their images which were mounted over or near their holy relics.  The idea of a connection between the prototype and the image remained and was refined within the context of Orthodox anthropology and theology with respect to liturgical practice. In short enough time visitors would copy the images of saints found in the temples of the place of their martyrdom and take them back to their temples and so the iconographic tradition of the images of the saints was born.

This particular phase was historically quite important for in it are found a number of the theological arguments for them which were used and refined by later generations.  If you examine such icons of master iconographers closely, one can see how much of the early Egyptian influence still remains, both materially, and in the geometries of the division of space in the plane of the icon. It has long been argued that Orthodox icons are the material and imagistic heirs of the hieroglyphs of the ancient Egyptians…that as icons they are in fact a species of hieroglyph.

With respect to image of Christ and others the interim phase of the 2nd century was marked by coded symbols sometimes drawn from/evocative of Greek mythology. For example, the later icon of Christ Enthroned borrows the seated posture of Zeus as sculpted in one of the major pagan temples of the time). Occasionally one also sees Apollos-like figures that are meant to point to Christ. These are not icons, but they are moving in that direction in that they served metaphorical roles for the faithful. This is the era of the fish symbol and the anchor and all that, but it was also the time of two particular and widespread anthropomorphic figures, one was called the "Orans" the worshiper. It is the figure of a woman with her arms uplifted in prayer. This is the image retained and symbolically enlarges as the icon we see in the apse of most Orthodox temples, the Theotokos with arms upraised and Christ appearing as a child in a mandorla from her bosom. This represents the moment of the incarnation where Christ took on human form in Mary's womb.  The second image is that of the good shepherd where in one sees a man with a flock gathered about him, or a man bearing a sheep upon his shoulders.  This of course references Christ.

What seems pretty certain from the record is that the use of the Cross as a venerable symbol of Christ and the faith happened pretty early…early enough to become a universal Christian symbol from the Mar Thoma Christians of India to the first Breton Churches in what is now Southern England. The other images, of Christ and the Theotokos, and the saints while present from very early days began and remained as a number of what were initially local/regional traditions (like certain feast days) that later gained acceptance throughout the rest of the Church.

As for the use of icons prominently in Church architecture, that was beginning around the time of Eusebius and was well underway by the time of St. John Chrysostom.  What happened was that the edict of toleration removed most to the threat associated with becoming a Christian…and indeed it became fashionable to become a Christian, and to baptize one's children, etc.  So fairly soon…less than a generation after the edict we had temples filled with not only Christians in good standing, but inquirers, catechumens, and lapsed Christians at every stage of repentance…we even had just the idly curious.  And since the end of the persecutions it had become more and more common for the Liturgy of the Word and the Divine Liturgy to be held one after the other at the same place with the same people in attendance.  Prior, when the Deacon has called out "The Doors, the Doors" the only ones left were baptized Christians in good standing. Essentially everyone there communed in the altar (or what would formally become the altar architecturally). That was not possible in the services with crowds in attendance, which meant unworthy eyes were left to gaze upon Holy Things originally belonging only to the knowledge of the faithful. (Holy Things for the Holy). So in order to assist the deaconate in guarding the altar, and still communicate the Holy mystery in ways permissible to the uninitiated, the guard rail of the altar grew into a framework which supported a curtain that could be drawn and pulled back at appropriate places in the service.  In Palestinian lands the embroidery on these early on became very detailed, and often iconographic.  In Greek Churches this curtain is still preserved above the Holy Doors, but the rest of the framework became a lattice, and then later a wall (by 15th century Russia). Upon this lattice/wall images of Christ, the Theotokos, the Forerunner, Archangels or Sainted Deacons, and the icon of the namesake of the temple were placed.  Then were added ranks of feast days, then ranks of prophets and apostles, and so on until the iconostas we know today came into existence.  In western Europe the frame (Roodscreen) never became an iconostasis and retained the function of bearing a curtain. This curtain was generally done away with by the 16th or 17th century under the influence of emerging Protestant sensibilities.
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« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2013, 08:50:34 PM »

What i wanted to say was just that the thing that helped me in my journey towards iconography was looking on the truth matter, not history matter. Iconography was coined publicly as the church got so thanks to Constantine, but the understanding was there before, even long way back to the ark of the covenant.

Back in the early church a priest/monk could worship and love God much more just by watching the waves of the sea. If was need icons today, and the church can declare and prove it truthful, then history does not matter.

Forgive me if i point out some examples or questions. But the bible and its content/message can´t withstand the test we many times put forth on iconography. The texts and its entirety was kept through tradition, or else someone need to give me a new testament written 10 years after Christs death for me to believe it. No rather the truth within it is what matters, not where I can find the earliest copy. Same standard goes with it all, including icons.

If the EO worship in 100 years only would consist of prayer, 24 hours a day, among 100% of EO believers. What would the one seeking for 100% praying Christians say when he/she couldn´t find that through history. Is praying 24 hours a day then wrong?

That inlays another problem for another thread.  Constantine.... Yes, St. Constantine - murdered over 200k people AFTER Nicea.  Go check other threads.
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« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2013, 08:51:38 PM »

Yet they are all over the EO church, which claims to be original Christianity.

Yes, they are. Yes, it is. Your point?

My point is, icons can't be proven to be part of the original church, yet are a major part of the EO faith.
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« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2013, 08:52:47 PM »

Or how about this challenge. I want historical proof from the 1th century proving that Christ truly ascended into heaven.

Sometimes the measures can cause a problem, not the answer.

Is it not proof enough to at least point out the cherubims on the ark. Or do the jew now need to present the ark to prove that point to be a true one?

If we would find an icon from the 1th century, then suddenly the challenge could be what it depicted. If it was the sign of Jonah, and the orthodox church does not have that icon today, anywhere, then it all must be heresy right Tongue

The difference is these things were WRITTEN about in the scriptures.

Icons at the time of the apostles were NOT written about.
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« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2013, 08:54:19 PM »

I know I've given my thoughts on this before, so I tried to do a search for what I had previously written, so as to quote it. I couldn't locate it, however, in the midst of the two dozen or more times you've brought this subject up. Which got me to thinking... perhaps you could go back and look at the hundreds(!) of answers people have previously given you regarding icons?

I keep doing it, an NOBODY has EVER shown me an icon from the 1st century of the church.  Period.  Nor are there any writings of it on the 1st century of the church.

Again, Orthodoxy claims to be original, yet iconography, a huge part of Orthodoxy, was not original Christianity.  I'm simply asking for a good 1st century icon & writings about them.
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« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2013, 08:57:39 PM »

The earliest particular reference to icons that I recall are in the writings of the mid 4th century Church historian Eusebius.  He was personally ambivalent about them in private homes, but the manner of his discussion suggests they were well established if not as widely used as they later came to be in the Church. He also mentions the image reputed to have been made by Christ himself and kept in the city of Edessa.

The image of the Holy Mandylion, is based upon the image Christ made on the cloth and sent to the king of  Edessa. Some have suggested that the image as it currently exists was modeled more directly on the image placed upon the door of the chest/box in which the cloth image was kept.

The icons of the Saints derive from Palastinian and Egyptian funerary tradition.  It was the custom to make a portrait of the deceased and attach to the body, and then placed as a kind of grave marker at the crypt where the body was buried. There was a mystical connection that was believed to exist between the image and the deceased person. When the body had decomposed, the bones were gathered and placed in a ossuary and the image went with the bones.  As Christians from the region died both of natural causes and of martyrdom, their images were gathered with their bones as well.  But for martyrs, their bones were brought back into the temples for the veneration of the faithful, and so did their images which were mounted over or near their holy relics.  The idea of a connection between the prototype and the image remained and was refined within the context of Orthodox anthropology and theology with respect to liturgical practice. In short enough time visitors would copy the images of saints found in the temples of the place of their martyrdom and take them back to their temples and so the iconographic tradition of the images of the saints was born.

This particular phase was historically quite important for in it are found a number of the theological arguments for them which were used and refined by later generations.  If you examine such icons of master iconographers closely, one can see how much of the early Egyptian influence still remains, both materially, and in the geometries of the division of space in the plane of the icon. It has long been argued that Orthodox icons are the material and imagistic heirs of the hieroglyphs of the ancient Egyptians…that as icons they are in fact a species of hieroglyph.

With respect to image of Christ and others the interim phase of the 2nd century was marked by coded symbols sometimes drawn from/evocative of Greek mythology. For example, the later icon of Christ Enthroned borrows the seated posture of Zeus as sculpted in one of the major pagan temples of the time). Occasionally one also sees Apollos-like figures that are meant to point to Christ. These are not icons, but they are moving in that direction in that they served metaphorical roles for the faithful. This is the era of the fish symbol and the anchor and all that, but it was also the time of two particular and widespread anthropomorphic figures, one was called the "Orans" the worshiper. It is the figure of a woman with her arms uplifted in prayer. This is the image retained and symbolically enlarges as the icon we see in the apse of most Orthodox temples, the Theotokos with arms upraised and Christ appearing as a child in a mandorla from her bosom. This represents the moment of the incarnation where Christ took on human form in Mary's womb.  The second image is that of the good shepherd where in one sees a man with a flock gathered about him, or a man bearing a sheep upon his shoulders.  This of course references Christ.

What seems pretty certain from the record is that the use of the Cross as a venerable symbol of Christ and the faith happened pretty early…early enough to become a universal Christian symbol from the Mar Thoma Christians of India to the first Breton Churches in what is now Southern England. The other images, of Christ and the Theotokos, and the saints while present from very early days began and remained as a number of what were initially local/regional traditions (like certain feast days) that later gained acceptance throughout the rest of the Church.

As for the use of icons prominently in Church architecture, that was beginning around the time of Eusebius and was well underway by the time of St. John Chrysostom.  What happened was that the edict of toleration removed most to the threat associated with becoming a Christian…and indeed it became fashionable to become a Christian, and to baptize one's children, etc.  So fairly soon…less than a generation after the edict we had temples filled with not only Christians in good standing, but inquirers, catechumens, and lapsed Christians at every stage of repentance…we even had just the idly curious.  And since the end of the persecutions it had become more and more common for the Liturgy of the Word and the Divine Liturgy to be held one after the other at the same place with the same people in attendance.  Prior, when the Deacon has called out "The Doors, the Doors" the only ones left were baptized Christians in good standing. Essentially everyone there communed in the altar (or what would formally become the altar architecturally). That was not possible in the services with crowds in attendance, which meant unworthy eyes were left to gaze upon Holy Things originally belonging only to the knowledge of the faithful. (Holy Things for the Holy). So in order to assist the deaconate in guarding the altar, and still communicate the Holy mystery in ways permissible to the uninitiated, the guard rail of the altar grew into a framework which supported a curtain that could be drawn and pulled back at appropriate places in the service.  In Palestinian lands the embroidery on these early on became very detailed, and often iconographic.  In Greek Churches this curtain is still preserved above the Holy Doors, but the rest of the framework became a lattice, and then later a wall (by 15th century Russia). Upon this lattice/wall images of Christ, the Theotokos, the Forerunner, Archangels or Sainted Deacons, and the icon of the namesake of the temple were placed.  Then were added ranks of feast days, then ranks of prophets and apostles, and so on until the iconostas we know today came into existence.  In western Europe the frame (Roodscreen) never became an iconostasis and retained the function of bearing a curtain. This curtain was generally done away with by the 16th or 17th century under the influence of emerging Protestant sensibilities.

Thank you for at least giving a mature thought out answer.

Lacks examples, but thank you.   I do find it interesting that you are admitting that Christ took the place/poster of Zues, and other Greek art.
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« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2013, 08:58:56 PM »

Sometimes I think every believer needs to sketch themselves 2 huge cherubim angels, go to the goldsmith, make them in a large size. Put them on their dinner table and say out loud 100 times every day that God accepted this during old testament laws. Everyone would come to accept iconography and not reject it.

It is only when we take the issue of the 2 cherubims on the ark easy, that focus actually disappears from the topic.



God told them EXACTLY how to make the ark of the covenant.

I'm still looking for egg tempera and halos (Eastern Mysticism).
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« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2013, 09:50:48 PM »

I know I've given my thoughts on this before, so I tried to do a search for what I had previously written, so as to quote it. I couldn't locate it, however, in the midst of the two dozen or more times you've brought this subject up. Which got me to thinking... perhaps you could go back and look at the hundreds(!) of answers people have previously given you regarding icons?

I keep doing it, an NOBODY has EVER shown me an icon from the 1st century of the church.  Period.  Nor are there any writings of it on the 1st century of the church.

Again, Orthodoxy claims to be original, yet iconography, a huge part of Orthodoxy, was not original Christianity.  I'm simply asking for a good 1st century icon & writings about them.

You've never heard of the catacombs?

This is getting embarrassing now. You've been told so many times and you still claim to have never gotten an answer.
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« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2013, 09:56:21 PM »

I know I've given my thoughts on this before, so I tried to do a search for what I had previously written, so as to quote it. I couldn't locate it, however, in the midst of the two dozen or more times you've brought this subject up. Which got me to thinking... perhaps you could go back and look at the hundreds(!) of answers people have previously given you regarding icons?

Lol. He does regurgitate these "questions" like it's nothing, and never actually considers the responses (see how he ignored Cyrllic's post) unless he thinks they confirm his current convictions (see how he responded to Seraphim98's post). He's just looking for an argument, it honestly seems.
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« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2013, 09:59:13 PM »

I'm not interested in any truth but that which fits into my narrow-minded view of what Early Christianity must have been.

FTFY
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« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2013, 10:15:29 PM »

I know I've given my thoughts on this before, so I tried to do a search for what I had previously written, so as to quote it. I couldn't locate it, however, in the midst of the two dozen or more times you've brought this subject up. Which got me to thinking... perhaps you could go back and look at the hundreds(!) of answers people have previously given you regarding icons?

I keep doing it, an NOBODY has EVER shown me an icon from the 1st century of the church.  Period.  Nor are there any writings of it on the 1st century of the church.

Again, Orthodoxy claims to be original, yet iconography, a huge part of Orthodoxy, was not original Christianity.  I'm simply asking for a good 1st century icon & writings about them.

You've never heard of the catacombs?

This is getting embarrassing now. You've been told so many times and you still claim to have never gotten an answer.

Biro, you did not read the thread at all.  It has been mentioned and discussed.
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« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2013, 10:16:46 PM »

Not interested in "Legends" (St. Luke's icon that can't be proven)

What is proof? If someone asks me if the dishes are washed I could show them clean dishes as proof. If you want to proof that someone murdered the victim a positive dna test would suffice. But if you want to verify that a few thousand Greek soldiers fought the Persians at Gaugamela you could point to a passage in Arrian as proof. And yet Arrian wrote centuries after the Battle of Gaugamela. Does that reduce the Battle of Gaugamela to a mere legend which cannot be proven? Should the Battle of Gaugamela be reduced to an ahistoric fiction?


Like a surviving icon or writings from the 1st century about icons and veneration.  Pretty simple.
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« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2013, 10:19:45 PM »

I know I've given my thoughts on this before, so I tried to do a search for what I had previously written, so as to quote it. I couldn't locate it, however, in the midst of the two dozen or more times you've brought this subject up. Which got me to thinking... perhaps you could go back and look at the hundreds(!) of answers people have previously given you regarding icons?

Lol. He does regurgitate these "questions" like it's nothing, and never actually considers the responses (see how he ignored Cyrllic's post) unless he thinks they confirm his current convictions (see how he responded to Seraphim98's post). He's just looking for an argument, it honestly seems.


I didn't ignore it, I thought it was already discussed.  I want to see an icon from the 1st century or writings about them in the 1st century, or at least VERY early 2nd century.

Obviously many texts survive, but nothing about icons.
Seraphim98's post mostly had reasons to flee from iconography, and also not citing his sources.  Such as "crosses were venerable".   Don't believe that length fully states point. 

I asked for simple proof.  Where is it?  Venerated icons, or writings about venerated icons in the 1st century.
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« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2013, 10:21:08 PM »

I'm not interested in any truth but that which fits into my narrow-minded view of what Early Christianity must have been.

FTFY

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« Reply #31 on: June 15, 2013, 10:44:32 PM »

I keep doing it, an NOBODY has EVER shown me an icon from the 1st century of the church.  Period.  Nor are there any writings of it on the 1st century of the church.

Just because it's not on the internet doesn't mean it's not true.   Wink

There may well be examples of icons from the first century, I don't know one way or another.  But even if there weren't any, I wouldn't think too much of it.  Given that they were too busy living and propagating a faith that was quickly deemed illegal and punishable by persecution and death, I wouldn't expect very many of them to take the time to paint pretty pictures.  Heck, I'm glad they left us with the New Testament, can you imagine if we only had the OT to work from?  We could still preach the gospel with only the OT, but how much more difficult would it be? 

The Cross did become a symbol of Christianity early on.  St Thomas is said to have carved one in stone while in India, and it was this Cross which he held on to as he was dying.  If I'm not mistaken, it still exists, and has been known to perform miracles (meaning both that people who pray before and venerate it have received miracles from God through the Apostle's intercession and that wonders have been exhibited by the Cross, such as the miraculous flowing of blood, which happened on the anniversary of his death every year until the 1700's).  The style of Cross he carved has become the prototype for most traditional Indian crosses. 

Seraphim, where can I read more about the relation of iconography to Palestian/Egyptian funerary tradition?  I've never heard of that before, but it was quite fascinating. 
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« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2013, 10:44:40 PM »

I keep doing it, an NOBODY has EVER shown me an icon from the 1st century of the church.  Period.  Nor are there any writings of it on the 1st century of the church.

Can you point to a surviving manuscript from the New Testament from the first century? I don't think any manuscripts have survived from that period either.
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« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2013, 10:49:00 PM »

I keep doing it, an NOBODY has EVER shown me an icon from the 1st century of the church.  Period.  Nor are there any writings of it on the 1st century of the church.

Just because it's not on the internet doesn't mean it's not true.   Wink

There may well be examples of icons from the first century, I don't know one way or another.  But even if there weren't any, I wouldn't think too much of it.  Given that they were too busy living and propagating a faith that was quickly deemed illegal and punishable by persecution and death, I wouldn't expect very many of them to take the time to paint pretty pictures.  Heck, I'm glad they left us with the New Testament, can you imagine if we only had the OT to work from?  We could still preach the gospel with only the OT, but how much more difficult would it be? 

The Cross did become a symbol of Christianity early on.  St Thomas is said to have carved one in stone while in India, and it was this Cross which he held on to as he was dying.  If I'm not mistaken, it still exists, and has been known to perform miracles (meaning both that people who pray before and venerate it have received miracles from God through the Apostle's intercession and that wonders have been exhibited by the Cross, such as the miraculous flowing of blood, which happened on the anniversary of his death every year until the 1700's).  The style of Cross he carved has become the prototype for most traditional Indian crosses. 

Seraphim, where can I read more about the relation of iconography to Palestian/Egyptian funerary tradition?  I've never heard of that before, but it was quite fascinating. 

Agree completely about the internet.  I'm willing to travel.  Smiley

So the cross performed miracles means that people venerated it?
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« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2013, 10:53:21 PM »

I keep doing it, an NOBODY has EVER shown me an icon from the 1st century of the church.  Period.  Nor are there any writings of it on the 1st century of the church.

Can you point to a surviving manuscript from the New Testament from the first century? I don't think any manuscripts have survived from that period either.

Fair enough.  Paper & paintings have different longevity.... 
Also of course the text was copied, none of which mentioned icons.  Undecided
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« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2013, 10:57:26 PM »

What i wanted to say was just that the thing that helped me in my journey towards iconography was looking on the truth matter, not history matter. Iconography was coined publicly as the church got so thanks to Constantine, but the understanding was there before, even long way back to the ark of the covenant.

Back in the early church a priest/monk could worship and love God much more just by watching the waves of the sea. If was need icons today, and the church can declare and prove it truthful, then history does not matter.

Forgive me if i point out some examples or questions. But the bible and its content/message can´t withstand the test we many times put forth on iconography. The texts and its entirety was kept through tradition, or else someone need to give me a new testament written 10 years after Christs death for me to believe it. No rather the truth within it is what matters, not where I can find the earliest copy. Same standard goes with it all, including icons.

If the EO worship in 100 years only would consist of prayer, 24 hours a day, among 100% of EO believers. What would the one seeking for 100% praying Christians say when he/she couldn´t find that through history. Is praying 24 hours a day then wrong?

That inlays another problem for another thread.  Constantine.... Yes, St. Constantine - murdered over 200k people AFTER Nicea.  Go check other threads.

And you keep killing that poor dead horse. How can you expect to be a saint?
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« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2013, 10:57:59 PM »

Yet they are all over the EO church, which claims to be original Christianity.

Yes, they are. Yes, it is. Your point?

My point is, icons can't be proven to be part of the original church, yet are a major part of the EO faith.

You ask for proof like an atheist.
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« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2013, 11:00:45 PM »

Or how about this challenge. I want historical proof from the 1th century proving that Christ truly ascended into heaven.

Sometimes the measures can cause a problem, not the answer.

Is it not proof enough to at least point out the cherubims on the ark. Or do the jew now need to present the ark to prove that point to be a true one?

If we would find an icon from the 1th century, then suddenly the challenge could be what it depicted. If it was the sign of Jonah, and the orthodox church does not have that icon today, anywhere, then it all must be heresy right Tongue

The difference is these things were WRITTEN about in the scriptures.

Icons at the time of the apostles were NOT written about.

Many, many things were not written about. St. Paul mentions this when he tells the people to hold to what he has taught in his epistles and by his words. Or do you imagine he only communicated in writing, even when he writes that for a long time he pleaded with people, warning them that heretics would appear who would say things like "God should not be depicted in holy icons."
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« Reply #38 on: June 15, 2013, 11:02:00 PM »

What i wanted to say was just that the thing that helped me in my journey towards iconography was looking on the truth matter, not history matter. Iconography was coined publicly as the church got so thanks to Constantine, but the understanding was there before, even long way back to the ark of the covenant.

Back in the early church a priest/monk could worship and love God much more just by watching the waves of the sea. If was need icons today, and the church can declare and prove it truthful, then history does not matter.

Forgive me if i point out some examples or questions. But the bible and its content/message can´t withstand the test we many times put forth on iconography. The texts and its entirety was kept through tradition, or else someone need to give me a new testament written 10 years after Christs death for me to believe it. No rather the truth within it is what matters, not where I can find the earliest copy. Same standard goes with it all, including icons.

If the EO worship in 100 years only would consist of prayer, 24 hours a day, among 100% of EO believers. What would the one seeking for 100% praying Christians say when he/she couldn´t find that through history. Is praying 24 hours a day then wrong?

That inlays another problem for another thread.  Constantine.... Yes, St. Constantine - murdered over 200k people AFTER Nicea.  Go check other threads.

And you keep killing that poor dead horse. How can you expect to be a saint?

Hey if a man who kills 200k people after his conversion to Christianity can be venerated on put on an iconostasis.......   Oh nevermind.  Tongue
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« Reply #39 on: June 15, 2013, 11:03:01 PM »

I keep doing it, an NOBODY has EVER shown me an icon from the 1st century of the church.  Period.  Nor are there any writings of it on the 1st century of the church.

Can you point to a surviving manuscript from the New Testament from the first century? I don't think any manuscripts have survived from that period either.

Bazinga!
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« Reply #40 on: June 15, 2013, 11:04:45 PM »

I keep doing it, an NOBODY has EVER shown me an icon from the 1st century of the church.  Period.  Nor are there any writings of it on the 1st century of the church.

Can you point to a surviving manuscript from the New Testament from the first century? I don't think any manuscripts have survived from that period either.

Fair enough.  Paper & paintings have different longevity.... 
Also of course the text was copied, none of which mentioned icons.  Undecided

Sure. If you say it enough, you will more and more convince yourself not to repent.
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« Reply #41 on: June 15, 2013, 11:06:17 PM »

Yet they are all over the EO church, which claims to be original Christianity.

Yes, they are. Yes, it is. Your point?

My point is, icons can't be proven to be part of the original church, yet are a major part of the EO faith.

You ask for proof like an atheist.

I'm sorry it must seem that way, but this involves Christianity in the context of historical proof within a church claiming originality.  

I say icons were not part of the earliest church at all, as I have never been able to find a record or writing of them from early on.   I've searched so many early writings.. Nothing.
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« Reply #42 on: June 15, 2013, 11:09:10 PM »

I keep doing it, an NOBODY has EVER shown me an icon from the 1st century of the church.  Period.  Nor are there any writings of it on the 1st century of the church.

Can you point to a surviving manuscript from the New Testament from the first century? I don't think any manuscripts have survived from that period either.

Fair enough.  Paper & paintings have different longevity.... 
Also of course the text was copied, none of which mentioned icons.  Undecided

Sure. If you say it enough, you will more and more convince yourself not to repent.

You mean in front of an icon?  Kind of circular.   I'm actually looking for clear cut sources.  Look if I'm wrong, I'm wrong... I can accept that.  But I can't accept icons as original until I see something.  If I ever rejoin the EO church, I must have clarification on things.  I can't just "venerate", and go on, when I feel it is sinful.
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« Reply #43 on: June 15, 2013, 11:19:00 PM »

Or how about this challenge. I want historical proof from the 1th century proving that Christ truly ascended into heaven.

Sometimes the measures can cause a problem, not the answer.

Is it not proof enough to at least point out the cherubims on the ark. Or do the jew now need to present the ark to prove that point to be a true one?

If we would find an icon from the 1th century, then suddenly the challenge could be what it depicted. If it was the sign of Jonah, and the orthodox church does not have that icon today, anywhere, then it all must be heresy right Tongue

The difference is these things were WRITTEN about in the scriptures.

Icons at the time of the apostles were NOT written about.

Many, many things were not written about. St. Paul mentions this when he tells the people to hold to what he has taught in his epistles and by his words. Or do you imagine he only communicated in writing, even when he writes that for a long time he pleaded with people, warning them that heretics would appear who would say things like "God should not be depicted in holy icons."

I know you are kind of being cute on this one, like saying I'm the heretic who Paul warned about....

Exodus 20:4-5
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


So let's see:
1) No proof of 1st century Christians venerating or using icons in the church - Check
2) Disobeying the 1st Commandment, making an image in the likeness of things in heaven - Check
3) Disobeying the 1st Commandment and serving them - Check
4) Disobeying the 1st Commandment and bowing down to them - Check

I really hope you see my cause of concern here.  Simply look at that photo & READ THE COMMANDMENT.  Icons in ornate served settings, being bowed to by clergy like that... The likenesses of things in heaven.   No proof in the 1st century, and very little proof of icons until the 4-5th century.  

Do you really think Paul warned about people trying to follow God's commands, or those who try to convince people to break God's commands?

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« Reply #44 on: June 15, 2013, 11:22:00 PM »

Or how about this challenge. I want historical proof from the 1th century proving that Christ truly ascended into heaven.

Sometimes the measures can cause a problem, not the answer.

Is it not proof enough to at least point out the cherubims on the ark. Or do the jew now need to present the ark to prove that point to be a true one?

If we would find an icon from the 1th century, then suddenly the challenge could be what it depicted. If it was the sign of Jonah, and the orthodox church does not have that icon today, anywhere, then it all must be heresy right Tongue

The difference is these things were WRITTEN about in the scriptures.

Icons at the time of the apostles were NOT written about.

Many, many things were not written about. St. Paul mentions this when he tells the people to hold to what he has taught in his epistles and by his words. Or do you imagine he only communicated in writing, even when he writes that for a long time he pleaded with people, warning them that heretics would appear who would say things like "God should not be depicted in holy icons."

I know you are kind of being cute on this one, like saying I'm the heretic who Paul warned about....

Exodus 20:4-5
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


So let's see:
1) No proof of 1st century Christians venerating or using icons in the church - Check
2) Disobeying the 1st Commandment, making an image in the likeness of things in heaven - Check
3) Disobeying the 1st Commandment and serving them - Check
4) Disobeying the 1st Commandment and bowing down to them - Check

I really hope you see my cause of concern here.  Simply look at that photo & READ THE COMMANDMENT.  Icons in ornate served settings, being bowed to by clergy like that... The likenesses of things in heaven.   No proof in the 1st century, and very little proof of icons until the 4-5th century.  

Do you really think Paul warned about people trying to follow God's commands, or those who try to convince people to break God's commands?



Do you really think your tired iconoclastic arguments were not brought up by your predecessors and refuted? Anyway, have fun reassuring yourself.
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