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Author Topic: When were icons first introduced & can be proven?  (Read 8502 times) Average Rating: 0
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primuspilus
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« Reply #90 on: June 18, 2013, 06:24:28 AM »

Here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Christian_art_and_architecture#Christian_Art_prior_to_313

As for veneration, and documentation, the early Christians were a little busy getting eaten by lions or being attached to anchors and thrown into the sea to document everything.

Quote
But then again, why would you trust Arrian that a battle did happen at Gaugamela at which Alexander crushingly defeated the Persians when Arrian wrote 400 years after the supposed battle but disbelieve Eusebius who wrote 200 years after the apostles that icons were indeed used in the apostolical era?
For the same reason every other iconoclast does....it does not fit their narrative, so its thrown out. Then again, alot of us (people in general) are guilty of that.

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« Reply #91 on: June 18, 2013, 07:56:50 AM »

I know your answer is long, but most of it consists of legends.   "Theotokos icons from St. Luke", where Luke never wrote about them.

St Luke never wrote, as far as I know, about his parents.  So did he grow out of the earth like corn? 

Quote
And you are WRONG, as the EO church did not give us the scriptures, they may have voted in the official books, but the books already existed.  (Of course RC's say the same that THEY gave us the bible).  The EO did not exist in the 1st & 2nd century.  So many of the practices are different.

There are several layers of conflation here. 
Jimi
In the first place, terms like "RC", "EO", "OO", etc. are not original to the Church; they were devised in order to distinguish between "factions" which became clearly distinguished after various schisms.  When the NT was canonised, there were no major divisions like that.  There was "the Church", which used the terms "Orthodox" and "Catholic" almost interchangeably.  EO and OO refer to their Churches as "Catholic", and in the Roman Canon (the main anaphora of the RC's), the first prayer commemorates the Bishop of Rome, the local bishop, and "all the Orthodox who hold and profess the Catholic and Apostolic faith" (or however the Latin translates).  If you want to argue that there was no such thing as "EO" in the first and second centuries, you're only right in the sense that there were not the divisions back then that exist now and for which we require new terms.  But you're dead wrong if you think that what is now called EO cannot claim a historical continuity with the Church of the first and second centuries. 

So many practices may have changed, adapted, or been introduced since the earliest days: for example, we haven't had to seriously worry about being crucified for our faith in a long time.  But changes don't automatically indicate that it's a whole new religion anymore than you are a whole new person with every year you've aged.  The Church on earth lives in time.  Stuff happens in that time.  But it is the same Church because it is the same Body of Christ. 

When the NT was canonised, the books that "made it in" already existed, but so many other books existed as well.  In the sense that the Church did the sifting and determined what is Scripture and what is not, yes, the Church gave us the NT (never mind that it was members of the Church, founders even, who wrote the NT, giving those writings to the Church).  Your post makes it seem like "voting in the official books" wasn't that big a deal.  If so, that's preposterous.     

Quote
If there were icons in the 1st/2nd century, there would be writings about them at least, or several evidences of them.  The EO church has an abundance of them in every church, yet they were non-existent, non-commanded, nor required by the earliest Christians.   (I say required, because I don't believe you could be EO without venerating icons).

Why would there have to be writings?  Because while people were converting in secret and running for their lives to avoid being crucified, tarred, burnt, or fed to hungry animals for the sake of Christ, they had an obligation to write books about art?  Art is something that can take off once you don't have to worry about persecution; art takes off when there is money, properties, patronage, etc.  Frankly, I'm impressed that there are any examples at all of Christian art in the catacombs. 

Some examples of early art have been posted, but you're not going to find a first century church that looks like St John the Baptist in Washington, DC.  It's anachronistic to expect that the 21st century EO churches full of iconography you see around you should've existed in the first century if it was a truly legitimate practice.   

I agree with you that current EO practice regarding icons doesn't in all respects reflect earlier practice, that now you can't be EO without accepting the veneration of icons as a matter of faith, whereas before it would not have been mandated or required in the same way.  My own tradition follows what I believe is the older tradition.  But you can't understand the EO position on icons without factoring in the history of iconoclasm and how and why icons "won".  What may not have been a theological matter before became a theological matter because both the iconoclasts and the iconodules made theological arguments for and against icons; when the iconodules "won", it was because their theological arguments were sound, and the iconoclast arguments were against the faith.  After it's "gone there", you can't ever return back to the time when icons "weren't a big deal".  You could if you were never part of the argument (like the OO); but even for us, while iconoclasm wasn't our fight, we agree wholeheartedly with the theology of the icon as expressed by the EO.   

+1 A most thoughtful, well structured and well reasoned argument. Thank you.
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« Reply #92 on: June 18, 2013, 09:28:55 AM »


The problem with that is no one really knows whose church the one in Dura-Europos was. For all anyone can really claim, it might've been a gnostic sect.

It wouldn't be Gnostic.  The Gnostics believed matter to be fallen or evil, and had a problem with depicting Christ in the flesh.  There was a thread about this recently, about how many Gnostics were actually docetist and believed Christ's body was not even real.

Probably the first defense of icons was written by the Armenian monk Vrtanes in the early 600's, before the iconoclastic movement ever came to Constantinople.  Vrtanes was arguing against Gnostics who objected to icons.  They believed that Christ was like an angel, without a real body, and therefore should not be depicted.  

That of course illustrates why icons are not a problem for Christians.  They remind us of how Christ revealed Himself to us in the flesh.  With the incarnation, God was no longer invisible;  After He was born, He could be seen and touched.  During the time of the Old Testament, it made sense to forbid painting pictures of God, since He was not incarnate.  After the incarnation, however, it became possible, and venerating icons became a confession of faith in the incarnation.  

In fact, if you look at the early controversies surrounding icons, the people objecting to them tended to be people who had problems with the incarnation, such as Gnostics or Nestorians.  Even the Iconoclast movement in Constantinople is thought by some historians to have been influenced by Islam, which was a growing force at that time.

There was no one Gnostic religion. Irenaeus wrote about Gnostics that used images of Christ and set them alongside images of Pythagoras.
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« Reply #93 on: June 18, 2013, 09:30:09 AM »

There was no one Gnostic religion. Irenaeus wrote about Gnostics that used images of Christ and set them alongside images of Pythagoras.

That was one of the Roman Emperors, not the gnostics.
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« Reply #94 on: June 18, 2013, 09:32:21 AM »

There was no one Gnostic religion. Irenaeus wrote about Gnostics that used images of Christ and set them alongside images of Pythagoras.

That was one of the Roman Emperors, not the gnostics.

Didn't know Marcellina and the Carpocratians were emperors.
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« Reply #95 on: June 18, 2013, 09:35:03 AM »

There was no one Gnostic religion. Irenaeus wrote about Gnostics that used images of Christ and set them alongside images of Pythagoras.

That was one of the Roman Emperors, not the gnostics.

Didn't know Marcellina and the Carpocratians were emperors.

But Emperor Alexander Severus was an emperor.
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« Reply #96 on: June 18, 2013, 09:37:13 AM »

There was no one Gnostic religion. Irenaeus wrote about Gnostics that used images of Christ and set them alongside images of Pythagoras.

That was one of the Roman Emperors, not the gnostics.

Didn't know Marcellina and the Carpocratians were emperors.

But Emperor Alexander Severus was an emperor.

Which is beyond the point. It was gnostics, not just the emperor.
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« Reply #97 on: June 18, 2013, 09:47:53 AM »

There was no one Gnostic religion. Irenaeus wrote about Gnostics that used images of Christ and set them alongside images of Pythagoras.

That was one of the Roman Emperors, not the gnostics.

Nope, it was the gnostics. Jason is right.

Irenaeus, (c. 130–202) in his Against Heresies (1:25;6) says scornfully of the Gnostic Carpocratians, "They also possess images, some of them painted, and others formed from different kinds of material; while they maintain that a likeness of Christ was made by Pilate at that time when Jesus lived among them. They crown these images, and set them up along with the images of the philosophers of the world that is to say, with the images of Pythagoras, and Plato, and Aristotle, and the rest. They have also other modes of honouring these images, after the same manner of the Gentiles [pagans]". St. Irenaeus on the other hand does not speak critically of icons or portraits in a general sense, only of certain gnostic sectarians use of icons.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icon
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« Reply #98 on: June 18, 2013, 09:56:39 AM »

If you read the context, Irenaeus seems to be primarily offended that Christ is being placed on the same level as all the other philosophers and that some of them feel that they themselves are not inferior to Christ.

Here is my question.  If people are so offended by kissing an icon, are they also offended in kissing the hand of a priest? Is the veneration any different?
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« Reply #99 on: June 18, 2013, 10:05:56 AM »

Here is my question.  If people are so offended by kissing an icon, are they also offended in kissing the hand of a priest? Is the veneration any different?

I'm fairly sure that YiIA objects to both, so in this case I don't think this is the right question to ask.
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« Reply #100 on: June 18, 2013, 10:47:18 AM »

YiM, do you object to kissing a priest's hand?  In another thread you acknowledged that the Eucharist is the very Body and Blood of Christ.  How can you not kiss the hand that prepares that?
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« Reply #101 on: June 18, 2013, 11:19:49 AM »

I never though I'd say this, but paging Dr. Isa, we have another one who didn't read the thread with Alfred Persson...  Roll Eyes


I was thinking the same thing Biro. I believe it was this one:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29148.msg459378.html#msg459378

It's got maps and everything.
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« Reply #102 on: June 18, 2013, 11:32:18 AM »

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

Have you read "Defending Constantine" by Peter Leithart yet? If not, why not before making all these pronouncements about St. Constantine the Great?
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« Reply #103 on: June 18, 2013, 12:39:22 PM »

I never though I'd say this, but paging Dr. Isa, we have another one who didn't read the thread with Alfred Persson...  Roll Eyes


I was thinking the same thing Biro. I believe it was this one:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29148.msg459378.html#msg459378

It's got maps and everything.

I miss 'ole Alfred Smiley

PP
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« Reply #104 on: June 18, 2013, 02:38:38 PM »

If you read the context, Irenaeus seems to be primarily offended that Christ is being placed on the same level as all the other philosophers and that some of them feel that they themselves are not inferior to Christ.

Which is again not the point in this discussion. The point was simply Gnostics did use icons as well so the fact that there are icons cannot be taken either as evidence that the Dura-Europos church was orthodox or that it wasn't gnostic. Based on the available evidence we can't do as everyone does and assume it simply must be orthodox. We have no references to anything about the church or the people there, either within the site its self or anywhere else.
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« Reply #105 on: June 18, 2013, 02:47:46 PM »

If you read the context, Irenaeus seems to be primarily offended that Christ is being placed on the same level as all the other philosophers and that some of them feel that they themselves are not inferior to Christ.



I agree with you. My point with that was just to prove that even in Early Christianity, images were used, and they did not suddenly appeared, as many claim, after 325 AD. That is why st. Irenaeus does not seem to be offended by the image of Christ, but of the way that the Gnostics "venerate" His image.
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« Reply #106 on: June 18, 2013, 02:49:39 PM »

I never though I'd say this, but paging Dr. Isa, we have another one who didn't read the thread with Alfred Persson...  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #107 on: June 18, 2013, 02:55:22 PM »

Sorry for not being clear. I was agreeing with your point, DuxI.

In regards to Dura-Europos, I believe it has a clear connection to Orthodoxy as opposed to gnosticism in that the inscription states:

“That you may know that the Son of Man has power to forgive sins: rise up, take up your bed and walk.”

Gnosticism placed no emphasis on sins and considered the goal of salvation to save from ignorance, not sin.  Sin was just a side effect of ignorance according to gnostic teaching. On the contrary, the church emphasized repentance of sin. I think it is quite clear that gnostics did use images, but this particular image would not be considered gnostic.
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« Reply #108 on: June 18, 2013, 03:10:28 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.  
New Testaments from the 1st Century do not exist either.  Maybe it wasn't written.

Icons covering every inch of the Church did not come into vogue until after the experience of the Iconoclast persecution.  It's amazing how people value something more after it has been taken from them.

This is the inside of the Holy Trinity Chapel at Fort Ross:

So we can conclude that during the 19th century (Fort Ross was founded in 1811 and evacuated in 1841) the Russian Orthodox Church was iconoclastic or at least minimalist when it comes to icons in Church.

Not.
(Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, conceived and erected in the same era as Holy Trinity chapel at Fort Ross).

But what's this?

The Orthodox of Holy Trinity Cathedral in near by San Francisco coming to exercise their right to have DL there (something that the State of CA, to which the Fort passed and is now a State Park, has allowed since the 1920's.  The Church had been trying to recover the chapel since at least the 1880's).  They bring their icons and liturgical items with them-leaving them in the care of the state would break canons.

When the congregation evacuated on January 1, 1842 (including local the local Amerindian Kashaya Pomo Orthodox) to go to New Archangel/Sitka, they took their icons and liturgical items with them:


Not all left CA, though: some left for San Francisco, where the remnants of the Orthodox community (including two of the governors of Fort Ross) founded Holy Trinity Cathedral:


One day, decades ago, I was walking down Fullerton Avenue and saw this:

Obviously an Orthodox Church, I went to go take a peek.  Alas!  It had been founded as an Orthodox Church in 1914, but had been sold to the Baptists

I can't find a picture of the apse, but it was also all whitewashed with no iconostasis, with stands for the choir.  I say was because recently a Romanian (Old Calendarist) Orthodox parish has since taken it over:

Since this picture was taken, they have put icons of the Feasts on the sides, and a Pantocrator on the ceiling.

From its website:
Quote
Each year, the church organizes a course for painting Traditional Romanian Glass Icons for young between the ages of 9-15.
http://www.bisericasfandrei.com/Church.html

From the same site we learn that the iconstasis and icons did not reappear on the walls:
Quote
The small church is painted in the Byzantine and the Neo-classical style by Romanian artists, Costel Iarca, Mircea Ciornei and Mugur Simionov, residing in Chicago.

But I already knew that, as I saw that the original parish, St. Michael's Carpatho-Russian (who sold their deconsecrated building to the Baptists), had take them to their new location in Niles (a suburb of Chicago) and put them up there:


But according to your logic, the State Park system of CA and the Central Baptist Church (Iglesia Bautista Central) must be original Christianity.
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« Reply #109 on: June 18, 2013, 03:38:34 PM »

leaving them in the care of the state would break canons.

What?
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« Reply #110 on: June 18, 2013, 03:51:55 PM »


The problem with that is no one really knows whose church the one in Dura-Europos was. For all anyone can really claim, it might've been a gnostic sect.

It wouldn't be Gnostic.  The Gnostics believed matter to be fallen or evil, and had a problem with depicting Christ in the flesh.  There was a thread about this recently, about how many Gnostics were actually docetist and believed Christ's body was not even real.

Probably the first defense of icons was written by the Armenian monk Vrtanes in the early 600's, before the iconoclastic movement ever came to Constantinople.  Vrtanes was arguing against Gnostics who objected to icons.  They believed that Christ was like an angel, without a real body, and therefore should not be depicted.  

That of course illustrates why icons are not a problem for Christians.  They remind us of how Christ revealed Himself to us in the flesh.  With the incarnation, God was no longer invisible;  After He was born, He could be seen and touched.  During the time of the Old Testament, it made sense to forbid painting pictures of God, since He was not incarnate.  After the incarnation, however, it became possible, and venerating icons became a confession of faith in the incarnation.  

In fact, if you look at the early controversies surrounding icons, the people objecting to them tended to be people who had problems with the incarnation, such as Gnostics or Nestorians.  Even the Iconoclast movement in Constantinople is thought by some historians to have been influenced by Islam, which was a growing force at that time.

There was no one Gnostic religion. Irenaeus wrote about Gnostics that used images of Christ and set them alongside images of Pythagoras.

Interesting.  I guess you are right about there being so many variations of Gnostics.  It's kind of like Protestants with so many different belief systems. 

Regarding their rejection of icons, it could be some accepted them, but the ones with the docetist or adoptionist tendencies tended to reject them.  The ones in Armenia rejected icons, hence Vrtanes' early defense of icons. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulicianism
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« Reply #111 on: June 18, 2013, 04:11:05 PM »

But according to your logic, the State Park system of CA and the Central Baptist Church (Iglesia Bautista Central) must be original Christianity.

What an unexpected way to end the story, all the big pictures distracted me...LOL!
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« Reply #112 on: June 18, 2013, 04:12:56 PM »

Probably the first defense of icons was written by the Armenian monk Vrtanes in the early 600's, before the iconoclastic movement ever came to Constantinople.  Vrtanes was arguing against Gnostics who objected to icons.  They believed that Christ was like an angel, without a real body, and therefore should not be depicted.  

That of course illustrates why icons are not a problem for Christians.  They remind us of how Christ revealed Himself to us in the flesh.  With the incarnation, God was no longer invisible;  After He was born, He could be seen and touched.  During the time of the Old Testament, it made sense to forbid painting pictures of God, since He was not incarnate.  After the incarnation, however, it became possible, and venerating icons became a confession of faith in the incarnation.

Armenians...defending icons before it was cool to defend icons.  Awesome! 
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« Reply #113 on: June 18, 2013, 04:14:43 PM »

But let's go with the logic of jesusiamism.

They tell us that among the Wonders of the World was an enormous idol of Zeus at Olympia.

I've been to Olympia.  I didn't see it:


Another was the great Temple of Artemus

I've been to Ephesus. I didn't see it.


Another was the Mauseleum (the tomb and shrine of Mausolus) of Halicarnassus:

I've been to Halicarnassus. I didn't see it.


Another was the Colossus of Helios/Apollo of Rhodes:

I haven't been to Rhodes, but it doesn't matter: I wouldn't see it.


Another was the Lighthouse of Pharos in Alexandria, topped by an image of Poseidon/Neptune:

I've been to Alexandria.  I didn't see it.


The Pharoahs, who were worshipped as gods, built the oldest wonder of the world (and the only ones still standing), the Pyramids, to enshrine their relics:

I've been inside the Great Pyramid.  No royal mummy to be seen.

Herodotus, who made up the list of the Wonders, visited in the Fifth cent. BC.  He describes the pyramids, but doesn't say a thing about the Great Sphinx.

I guess it wasn't there in the Fifth Century BC.  Which is odd, given that it is carved out of a limestone outcropping that predates the pyramids, and between its paws lies an image of Thutmoses (1401–1391 BC) a millenium before worshiping it.


Soooo, using your "logic," I must conclude that the ancient pagans didn't worship idols, or have images.  After all, if their most famous examples don't exist, why should I believe they ever existed?
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« Reply #114 on: June 18, 2013, 04:18:09 PM »

I have learned from this thread that I need to become better friends with ialmisry and maybe I will get invited to go on super cool trips.
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« Reply #115 on: June 18, 2013, 04:18:27 PM »

leaving them in the care of the state would break canons.

What?
consecrated objects are not supposed to be turned over to profane hands.
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« Reply #116 on: June 18, 2013, 04:22:40 PM »

Soooo, using your "logic," I must conclude that the ancient pagans didn't worship idols, or have images.  After all, if their most famous examples don't exist, why should I believe they ever existed?

I love you. 
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« Reply #117 on: June 18, 2013, 04:33:08 PM »

Soooo, using your "logic," I must conclude that the ancient pagans didn't worship idols, or have images.  After all, if their most famous examples don't exist, why should I believe they ever existed?

I love you. 

+1

We have had a severe lack of pictures and maps lately...
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« Reply #118 on: June 18, 2013, 04:38:36 PM »

Soooo, using your "logic," I must conclude that the ancient pagans didn't worship idols, or have images.  After all, if their most famous examples don't exist, why should I believe they ever existed?


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« Reply #119 on: June 18, 2013, 05:17:27 PM »

Soooo, using your "logic," I must conclude that the ancient pagans didn't worship idols, or have images.  After all, if their most famous examples don't exist, why should I believe they ever existed?
Aaaahahahahahahaha!!
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« Reply #120 on: June 18, 2013, 07:14:42 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.
Sola Scriptura can't be proven to be part of the original Church, yet is a major part of the jesusiamist "faith."
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« Reply #121 on: June 18, 2013, 07:55:01 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.
No, simplistic.

For example, every Roman emperor had official portraits made, which were copied and distributed throughout the empire, to all levels of society).

out of the thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of portraits made for each of the nearly one hundred emperors from Augustus to Constantine, only this one has survived.


Given that these state sponsored images did not survive, how do you expect those images whose possession was a capital offense should survive in profusion?

Then there is the question of those which survive being "restored," like this one in San Marco, going from something like this

to this in a Renaissance "restoration"
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« Reply #122 on: June 18, 2013, 07:56:52 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 #123 on: June 18, 2013, 08:51:34 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.
 
I see you saying it. I just don't see you meaning it.

But I can't accept icons as original until I see something.
OK Thomas.

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.
well, you have your choice: either Christ meant it when He said the gates of hell will never prevail over the Church and He is with the Church always-lit. all the days-even unto the end of the age, or He is a liar.  In which latter case, we need not worry about anything he said.
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« Reply #124 on: June 18, 2013, 09:21:46 PM »

A veritable blitzkrieg of masterful argument!
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« Reply #125 on: June 18, 2013, 09:24:50 PM »

YiM, go home buddy, you're through.
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« Reply #126 on: June 18, 2013, 09:30:31 PM »

Professor, you have a PhD, correct? So can we call you doctor?
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« Reply #127 on: June 18, 2013, 09:33:43 PM »

A veritable blitzkrieg of masterful argument!

Not really. All you guys have ever done for years now is say the above. "We're right, its clear!" as if that really meant something.
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« Reply #128 on: June 18, 2013, 10:14:27 PM »

Not really. All you guys have ever done for years now is say the above. "We're right, its clear!" as if that really meant something.

I don't know what happened during the years of my absence from this forum, but from my total time here, I don't know if this is an entirely fair assessment.  Many different people seem to have offered answers to this and similar questions from different angles to try and present a comprehensive answer (I myself learned some new things from this discussion).  But the only answer that seems like it would satisfy the questioner is something outrageous along the lines of "Here is a photo of an icon from the first century, along with a treatise written by the Apostle Silas describing the apostolic theology of icons and how to venerate them...you'll notice the same procedure outlined in the Jordanville Prayer Book nineteen centuries later".  Absent this, his attitude seems to be that icons are just plain old idolatry.  All manner of Youtube videos making outrageous claims with flimsy evidence are acceptable when they fit his narrative, but the moment something doesn't, the only way to prove it is to pull a first century example out of your hat.  Nonsense. 
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« Reply #129 on: June 18, 2013, 10:28:33 PM »

A veritable blitzkrieg of masterful argument!

Not really. All you guys have ever done for years now is say the above. "We're right, its clear!" as if that really meant something.

We keep giving the same answers because people keep asking the same questions.
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« Reply #130 on: June 18, 2013, 10:51:11 PM »

Not really. All you guys have ever done for years now is say the above. "We're right, its clear!" as if that really meant something.

I don't know what happened during the years of my absence from this forum, but from my total time here, I don't know if this is an entirely fair assessment.  Many different people seem to have offered answers to this and similar questions from different angles to try and present a comprehensive answer (I myself learned some new things from this discussion).  But the only answer that seems like it would satisfy the questioner is something outrageous along the lines of "Here is a photo of an icon from the first century, along with a treatise written by the Apostle Silas describing the apostolic theology of icons and how to venerate them...you'll notice the same procedure outlined in the Jordanville Prayer Book nineteen centuries later".  Absent this, his attitude seems to be that icons are just plain old idolatry.  All manner of Youtube videos making outrageous claims with flimsy evidence are acceptable when they fit his narrative, but the moment something doesn't, the only way to prove it is to pull a first century example out of your hat.  Nonsense. 

Exactly. In this case the style of argument I complemented was an appropriate, and long overdue, response to a poster who has rejected the Orthodox church, which is his right, but who keeps coming back here asking variants of the same question repeatedly.
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« Reply #131 on: June 19, 2013, 12:11:19 AM »

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....
No, the one St. (II) Peter (3) warned about:
Quote
1This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts...14Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen

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

Deuteronomy 4:
9Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;
10Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.
11And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness.
12And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice.
13And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.
14And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.
15Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:
16Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

So let's see:
Yes. Let's.

1) No proof of 1st century Christians venerating or using icons in the church - Check
1) Proof of 1st century Christians believing that they saw not only the image and similtude, but the Face of He Who spoke out of the darkness and fire of Horeb:
"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." I Corinthians 10:1-4


"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not...And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1.

"Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 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?" John 14:3-9

"Jesus said to them "Amen! Amen! I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." John 8:58

Check.

2) Disobeying the 1st Commandment, making an image in the likeness of things in heaven - Check
2) Obeying the 1st Commandment, having no other god before God, and obeying the 2nd Commandment seeing the image ("ICON") of Him Whom the Heavens could not hold.

"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Colossians 2:6-9

"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son:  In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness of deity dwell" Colossians 1:12-19

Check.
(btw, the prohibition against idolatry is the 2nd commandment)

3) Disobeying the 1st Commandment and serving them - Check
3) Obeying the 1st Commandment and serving Him.

"And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light.And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face," Matthew 2-5

Check.

4) Disobeying the 1st Commandment and bowing down to them - Check
4) Obeying the 1st Commandment and bowing down to Him.

"And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him." Matthew 2:11.

Check.

Only proves we cannot go far from the apostles, if we are to learn what they  believed.

Because what they received, what they taught, what they passed on, what we stand firm in, what raditions we hold which were taught by the Apostles, whether by word, or by letter (II Thessalonians 2:15), what we-remembering them in all things, receiving their praise-hold firm, what traditions, even as the Apostles delivered to us (I Corinthians 11:2), because THAT differs from what those who walketh disorderly millennia after, and not after the Tradition which he received of the Apostles-Or rather, such novelties differ from the 'Faith of the Apostles-because of that differnce we are to hide our eyes from the unbroken cloud of witness which surround the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church, so we can don the veil of Moses and walk in the way of the Pharisees? So we can follow someone who not only has not seen the light of Christ, but refuses to behold the radience of God's glory and look in the face of Christ, the icon of the invisible God and the express image of His person, and see the Father? (John 14:9; 2Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3)?

No thank you.

Mat. 15:14  "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." Or into hellfire, whose gates shall never, by the divine word of God the Word, prevail against the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church.

2Cor. 4:4But even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the icon of God, should shine on them. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

So, for us who have received the Apostles, we withdraw, as the Apostles commanded, from those that walk disorderly, and from those who do not walk after the Tradition which were received of the Apostles. II Thessalonians 3:6.

Since Mr. Persson wears the veil of Moses, he is not able to see beyond it, not even able to see the identification in the OT of Samuel on this side of the veil between this world and the next. Yet he fancies himself a Dante, mapping out the next world as if he had insider information. But (Mat. 13:)"35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
      “ I will open My mouth in parables;
       I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world."
...All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them,...(13:)9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” 10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you [i.e. His Church, taught by the successors of the Apostles, the bishops] to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given...33 Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”

The leaven of Apostolic dogma has risen in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which is all leavened and fills all the earth. But Mr Persson has not“take[n] heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees," (Mat. 16:6, 12) citing their Talmud here as elsewhere, and prefering their Masoretic Text, not heading the Apostles' warning (I Corin. 5:) that "6[his] glorying is not good...not know[ing] that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?" and that he should "7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that [he] may be a new lump." The Apostles are "indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit,"-having passed on the Spirit of prophecy in the laying on of their hands on the Orthodox Catholic bishops-"have already judged (as though [they] were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." "For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us" something the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church centers our year on but I fear Mr. Persson does not celebrate "8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." The invitation is open, but Mr. Persson chooses to reject Scripture and turn down the invitation. "8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is." Gal. 5.

29The Spirit told Philip [who, like the bishops, had the Apostles hand laid on him, Acts 6:5-6; II Timoty 1:6-7; Titus 1:5-6], "Go to that chariot and stay near it."

 30Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked.

 31"How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?"

But Mr. Persson does not believe this Scripture.
 
He reads and does not believe what he reads, so he doesn't have a clue what the Bible says.

We read the Bible and believe what the Church which wrote, canonized and preserved the Bible says, and the Fathers who testified for the Church in explaining the Scripture, standng firm and holding fast to the Traditions taught by the Apostles, whether by word or letter (II Thess. 2:15), so we know what the Bible says.

With God all things are possible, but the man Alfred Persson kicks against the goads, trying to make it impossible with his man made tradition, making God's way difficult, holding fast to any crooked ways, putting every obstacle to God reigning in his heart as Sovereign...one of the many voices sent by those preaching another Gospel.

Paul we know, and Christ we know, but, as Marc and the rest of Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church ask "who are you again?"

But I am the fool.
But not Christ's.

I really hope you see my cause of concern here.  Simply look at that photo & READ THE COMMANDMENT.
"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."

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.
Just every Church ever discovered before the 4th century has them.

And the catacombs, which are full of them, went out of use in the 4th century.  By the 10th century, they were all but forgotten, a hidden surprise for the iconoclast Protestants a century after the Reformation.

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?
"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."

You are following the Pharisee Saul, not St. Paul.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 12:17:21 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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ialmisry
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« Reply #132 on: June 19, 2013, 01:39:38 AM »


The problem with that is no one really knows whose church the one in Dura-Europos was. For all anyone can really claim, it might've been a gnostic sect.
Hardly.  Fragments of Eucharist prayers comparable to those of the Didache were found.  And the gnostics had a big problem with the Eucharist, as St. Ignatius and others attest.
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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,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
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 #133 on: June 19, 2013, 02:19:59 AM »

But let's go with the logic of jesusiamism.

They tell us that among the Wonders of the World was an enormous idol of Zeus at Olympia.

I've been to Olympia.  I didn't see it:


Another was the great Temple of Artemus

I've been to Ephesus. I didn't see it.


Another was the Mauseleum (the tomb and shrine of Mausolus) of Halicarnassus:

I've been to Halicarnassus. I didn't see it.


Another was the Colossus of Helios/Apollo of Rhodes:

I haven't been to Rhodes, but it doesn't matter: I wouldn't see it.


Another was the Lighthouse of Pharos in Alexandria, topped by an image of Poseidon/Neptune:

I've been to Alexandria.  I didn't see it.


The Pharoahs, who were worshipped as gods, built the oldest wonder of the world (and the only ones still standing), the Pyramids, to enshrine their relics:

I've been inside the Great Pyramid.  No royal mummy to be seen.

Herodotus, who made up the list of the Wonders, visited in the Fifth cent. BC.  He describes the pyramids, but doesn't say a thing about the Great Sphinx.

I guess it wasn't there in the Fifth Century BC.  Which is odd, given that it is carved out of a limestone outcropping that predates the pyramids, and between its paws lies an image of Thutmoses (1401–1391 BC) a millenium before worshiping it.


Soooo, using your "logic," I must conclude that the ancient pagans didn't worship idols, or have images.  After all, if their most famous examples don't exist, why should I believe they ever existed?

LOL!

Classic.
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« Reply #134 on: June 19, 2013, 02:24:07 AM »

A veritable blitzkrieg of masterful argument!

Really just one post was excellent (up to your post), let's not get crazy. I have a feeling though I have a few more from Isa to laugh with.
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