OrthodoxChristianity.net
October 30, 2014, 11:22:16 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: When were icons first introduced & can be proven?  (Read 8659 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Nephi
Monster Tamer
Section Moderator
Protokentarchos
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-Chalcedonian Byzantine
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch
Posts: 4,630



« Reply #45 on: June 15, 2013, 11:26:48 PM »

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.

How do you define "earliest church?" Your likely answer, combined with the implied assumption that the "earliest church" is the criterion of faith, would cause problems as even if one were to grant that icons weren't part of the "earliest church," other things like the completed New Testament itself wouldn't be part of the "earliest church." Since hey, no writings saying these 27 works are the dogmatic compilation of post-OT Scripture are found from time of the apostles. Right?
Logged
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,278


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #46 on: June 15, 2013, 11:28:20 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.

Refuted no.  Murdered and excommunicated, yes.

I'm not an iconoclast by the way, I just would not use them in worship or bring them in my home.
Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
Jason.Wike
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,046


« Reply #47 on: June 15, 2013, 11:29:29 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.
Logged
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,278


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #48 on: June 15, 2013, 11:29:51 PM »

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.

How do you define "earliest church?" Your likely answer, combined with the implied assumption that the "earliest church" is the criterion of faith, would cause problems as even if one were to grant that icons weren't part of the "earliest church," other things like the completed New Testament itself wouldn't be part of the "earliest church." Since hey, no writings saying these 27 works are the dogmatic compilation of post-OT Scripture are found from time of the apostles. Right?

I mostly focus on 1st and 2nd century Christianity.
Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 17,928


The Pope Emeritus reading OCNet


WWW
« Reply #49 on: June 15, 2013, 11:36:25 PM »

So the cross performed miracles means that people venerated it?

I don't know which came first.  I presume that people venerated the Cross because it was the Cross, but also because it was closely associated with the ministry and martyrdom of St Thomas.  But it was considered miraculous pretty early on.  Did that feed the veneration?  Sure.  Did that start it?  I can't say. 
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


Mor Ephrem > Justin Kissel
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,928



« Reply #50 on: June 15, 2013, 11:40:00 PM »

There's no need to attack the guy. I don't think there's necessarily any evidence of icon veneration in the way we practice it today in the first century. That doesn't bother me, because a lot of things were in their infancy in that period. But it does bother him. It's a dangerous thing to ask someone to violate their conscience.

I would assume that there were likely depictions on frescoes on the walls, but I doubt people showed acts of reverence to them. They were just up on SOME of the walls in SOME regions.

I'm at peace with icon veneration and think that our faith affirms it as a practice. But my gauge on what is acceptable is based on different criteria than his. He really seems to think that it needs to have been taught by the apostles and passed on. I really can't say that I believe iconography was a part of the initial preaching and teaching. I may be wrong, but it seems like it's a developed teaching that necessarily grows out of the apostolic deposit and is consistent with it.

Almost all Christians employ imagery quite naturally and without concern. Evangelicals illustrate their bibles and sometimes have portraits of Christ in their home. There is no fundamental issue with depictions of biblical figures and scenes, Christians saints of the past, etc. Even Syriacs who are not known for imagery usually have some kind of illustrations, such as on their gospel books, even if the walls aren't covered in them. Non-Orthodox Christians seems to get suspicious and weirded out when there's talk of actually kissing a painting or bowing in front of it.

I personally think that the early Christians had paintings on the walls in Rome and some other places, and that this gradually spread. The idea of visually seeing the departed saints on the walls and asking for their prayers seems to go to the earliest times to me. The issue of veneration of images seems to come as a response to iconoclasm which sought to banish all imagery. After the long battles people began to increase physical reverence in the East to physically affirm their support of imagery in the Christian experience.

I've honestly never gotten the impression that people were adoring the images as God or as a manifestation of God Himself. It's about honoring the person depicted. I also bow to other congregants at appropriate times during services, and liturgically there is the kiss of peace between brethren, which is mentioned in scripture. So bowing and kissing others as signs of respect and affection is perfectly natural and appropriate. It's just an extension of this to the persons depicted in the paintings. It's the same honor I show to the other congregants, only it's intensified in that these images depict persons whose holiness far exceeds our own.

Probably nothing new for you, but just some honest reflections and arrangement of thoughts. Maybe something was helpful? I hope you find your peace.
Logged
Jason.Wike
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,046


« Reply #51 on: June 15, 2013, 11:45:21 PM »

There's no need to attack the guy. I don't think there's necessarily any evidence of icon veneration in the way we practice it today in the first century. That doesn't bother me, because a lot of things were in their infancy in that period. But it does bother him. It's a dangerous thing to ask someone to violate their conscience.

Quite a bit better than the "Let them who do not venerate the holy and venerable images be anathema!" response... heck, I still have icons but having to believe that is the real issue for me.
Logged
William
Muted
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,354


« Reply #52 on: June 16, 2013, 12:03:44 AM »

I think the first known example of Christian icon-veneration is when the apostles bowed down before Christ (Matthew 28:9), the icon of God the Father (Colossians 1:15).

There's also the Alexamenos graffito, which is a satire of a Christian venerating a cross (which has the same theological justification as venerating an icon).
Logged

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant
TheTrisagion
Armed Feline rider of Flaming Unicorns
Merarches
***********
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 8,871



« Reply #53 on: June 16, 2013, 12:21:09 AM »

When was the idea of Christ introduced and can it be proven?  I don't want legends from the so-called gospels or later additions to Josephus or made-up tradition.  DNA evidence is preferable.  If you have videotapes of any of his miracles, that would help me out too.  I also accept live-streaming of any of his sermons. Also, it might help me out if we could get Jesus' thoughts on calling His mom the Theotokos, anybody have any recordings on that?  Roll Eyes
Logged

Have you considered the possibility that your face is an ad hominem?
Somebody just went all Jack Chick up in here.
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,928



« Reply #54 on: June 16, 2013, 12:55:53 AM »

When was the idea of Christ introduced and can it be proven?  I don't want legends from the so-called gospels or later additions to Josephus or made-up tradition.  DNA evidence is preferable.  If you have videotapes of any of his miracles, that would help me out too.  I also accept live-streaming of any of his sermons. Also, it might help me out if we could get Jesus' thoughts on calling His mom the Theotokos, anybody have any recordings on that?  Roll Eyes

I'm usually all for mocking as a way to get a point across, but in this case it seems like he has serious questions and really wants to be able to be Orthodox. There is nothing wrong asking for reasonable evidence to back the claim that icon painting comes directly from Christ and the apostles. I would claim no such thing. But maybe I'm wrong in that. If it needs to be proven as true and we have enough historical evidence to verify other practices, it seems reasonable to be able to provide some evidence for this. I think that the framework is there for imagery in worship settings in the temple and at early Christian gathering sites, but he seems to want evidence of people bowing before and kissing images in the early centuries. I personally don't think anyone's gonna find it because I don't think anyone was doing it.

Paintings on the walls? Sure. An occasional statue of Christ? Sure. Sign of the cross and bowing? Sure. Sign of the cross and bowing before an image of the cross? Maybe. Bowing before and kissing a painting? Maybe but probably not. But who knows, maybe St. Luke was really busy painting icons and whatever, I just really don't think that seems true. No big deal though. I'll kiss an icon without issue.
Logged
Romaios
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Romanian
Posts: 2,933



« Reply #55 on: June 16, 2013, 01:18:23 AM »

There is the tradition of the acheiropoieta (icons "made without hand"), like the Mandylion of Edessa, the veil of Veronica or the shroud.     

Logged
NicholasMyra
Avowed denominationalist
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian/Greek
Posts: 5,985


When in doubt, say: "you lack the proper φρόνημα"


« Reply #56 on: June 16, 2013, 02:31:36 AM »

When were icons first introduced & can be proven?

Genesis 1:26
Genesis 3:24
« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 02:31:57 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.
Ansgar
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: More than an inquirer, less than a catechumen
Jurisdiction: Exarchate of orthodox churches of russian tradition in western Europe
Posts: 2,995


Keep your mind in hell and do not despair


« Reply #57 on: June 16, 2013, 02:54:06 AM »

There are the Dura-Europos Church which is from the think century. I also find this interesting (without being able to say anything about it's Scientific value:
Quote
A general assumption that Early Christianity was generally aniconic, opposed to religious imagery in both theory and practice, has been challenged by Paul Corby Finney's analysis of Early Christian writing and material remains (1994). This distinguishes three different sources of attitudes affecting Early Christians on the issue: "first that humans could have a direct vision of God; second that they could not; and, third, that although humans could see God they were best advised not to look, and were strictly forbidden to represent what they had seen". These derived respectively from Greek and Near Eastern pagan religions, from Ancient Greek philosophy, and from the Jewish tradition and the Old Testament. Of the three, Finney concludes that "overall, Israel's aversion to sacred images influenced early Christianity considerably less than the Greek philosophical tradition of invisible deity apophatically defined", so placing less emphasis on the Jewish background of most of the first Christians than most traditional accounts.[8] Finney suggests that "the reasons for the non-appearance of Christian art before 200 have nothing to do with principled aversion to art, with other-worldliness, or with anti-materialism. The truth is simple and mundane: Christians lacked land and capital. Art requires both. As soon as they began to acquire land and capital, Christians began to experiment with their own distinctive forms of art".[9]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Christian_art_and_architecture
« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 02:54:45 AM by Ansgar » Logged

Do not be cast down over the struggle - the Lord loves a brave warrior. The Lord loves the soul that is valiant.

-St Silouan the athonite
Cyrillic
Merarches
***********
Online Online

Posts: 9,598


Cyrillico est imperare orbi universo


« Reply #58 on: June 16, 2013, 05:38:05 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

200.000? I find that hard to believe.
Logged

"And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin
is pride that apes humility."
-Samuel Coleridge
Jovan
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Great Britain and Scandinavia
Posts: 515



« Reply #59 on: June 16, 2013, 08:33:16 AM »

Skepticism is a way of urging for truth, keep your energy up yeshuaisiam, God will provide answer. I hope you´re ready to accept them in the end. When you posted the 2nd commandment and your interpretation, which you have no basis to even provide, then I see your standpoint.

Don´t just use that to condemn all the prophets and Gods holy ones who lived before Christ. As I couldn´t consider church tradition in answering your question and concern about iconography,  so you couldn´t answer my question with the criteria I had.

I state again with great love and respect. What would someone do when he/she couldn´t find any historical record of Christians before the 5th century who prayed 24 hours a day? Without stopping. The person seeking wouldn´t at least conclude that it is something wrong with praying 24 hours a day. Truth is outside time and space, so you need no "proof" to an early icon, we all need to realize why it is not heretical but truthful to venerate the icons.

If you mean that "original" Christianity is something that has to be early, and not proven with traditions. Then you would need to drop the canonical scriptures and not take from the orthodox church what they mainly kept through writings AND tradition.

The disciple John wrote this:
25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Just because thing were not written down doesn´t mean that they were "lost". Masturbation and abortion are things not explained through the holy scriptures. Were therefore "original" Christianity positive about masturbating and doing abortions? No, the church always said and will always say NO through the tradition of the church. That´s because the truth stands truthful without "early" proof. Same standard goes with everything.

People can´t assert that Orthodox christians violate the 2d commandment based on their own interpretation, as if someone can take the "church role" and play the game "I´m the true theologian" on people.
Logged

“Belatedly I loved thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new, belatedly I loved thee. For see, thou wast within and I was without, and I sought thee out there."
biro
Excelsior
Site Supporter
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 14,166


Και κλήρονομον δείξον με, ζωής της αιωνίου

fleem
WWW
« Reply #60 on: June 16, 2013, 08:36:47 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
Logged

Charlie Rose: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Fran Lebowitz: Everything. There is not one thing with which I am satisfied.

spcasuncoast.org
Jovan
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Great Britain and Scandinavia
Posts: 515



« Reply #61 on: June 16, 2013, 08:52:44 AM »

Quote
Refuted no.  Murdered and excommunicated, yes.

I'm not an iconoclast by the way, I just would not use them in worship or bring them in my home.

I would say that the struggle here is not that we don´t want to help our brother yeshuaisiam on the matter. I think it becomes a problem when someone states a question and already decided the true answer before even reading some responds.

In other words, we will help you dear brother. But we hope that if you find the ark of the covenant out in the wilderness one day. Bring it home to you with great respect and reverence, and not as if it was a ordinary table for you to make sandwiches on  ^^
« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 08:53:19 AM by Jovan » Logged

“Belatedly I loved thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new, belatedly I loved thee. For see, thou wast within and I was without, and I sought thee out there."
mike
Stratopedarches
**************
Offline Offline

Posts: 21,467


WWW
« Reply #62 on: June 16, 2013, 09:34:00 AM »

The issue of veneration of images seems to come as a response to iconoclasm which sought to banish all imagery. After the long battles people began to increase physical reverence in the East to physically affirm their support of imagery in the Christian experience.

Actually iconoclasm was a responce to the wrong overveneration of icons so icon veneration must had started before it.
Logged

Byzantinism
no longer posting here
genesisone
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antioch
Posts: 2,506



« Reply #63 on: June 16, 2013, 02:51:42 PM »

Really, all we have to do is look inside a Christian church building that was constructed for that purpose in the first century.
Logged
Cyrillic
Merarches
***********
Online Online

Posts: 9,598


Cyrillico est imperare orbi universo


« Reply #64 on: June 16, 2013, 03:09:12 PM »

Really, all we have to do is look inside a Christian church building that was constructed for that purpose in the first century.

Time to dust off my time machine.
Logged

"And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin
is pride that apes humility."
-Samuel Coleridge
Cyrillic
Merarches
***********
Online Online

Posts: 9,598


Cyrillico est imperare orbi universo


« Reply #65 on: June 16, 2013, 03:12:26 PM »

2) Disobeying the 1st Commandment, making an image in the likeness of things in heaven - Check

According to your weird interpretation a drawing of a bird would be a violation of the first commendment.
Logged

"And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin
is pride that apes humility."
-Samuel Coleridge
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,973


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #66 on: June 16, 2013, 05:05:32 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.

Refuted no.  Murdered and excommunicated, yes.

I'm not an iconoclast by the way, I just would not use them in worship or bring them in my home.

To my knowledge, the iconoclasts were not murdered. And you don't have to smash an icon to be considered an iconoclast. Believing them to be idols as you do is enough.
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
Cyrillic
Merarches
***********
Online Online

Posts: 9,598


Cyrillico est imperare orbi universo


« Reply #67 on: June 16, 2013, 05:18:30 PM »

Refuted no.  Murdered and excommunicated, yes.

The Iconodules weren't refuted but murdered and excommunicated.
Logged

"And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin
is pride that apes humility."
-Samuel Coleridge
Dpaula
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian w/ Romanian background
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 295


« Reply #68 on: June 16, 2013, 07:07:21 PM »



I believe the only reason there's no writings, nor a so-called "proof" of having them, is that people still had the image of our Lord Jesus Christ in their minds during that 1st century. As that generation started to perish, I believe a need was born to preserve the memory of the image of Jesus and all the important events of those times.

I have no photo of my grand-grand-grand-grand father....and I wish I had one. Nobody in my family doesn't know how he looked like, not even a simple description of him. I lost my father 4 years ago, but I have photos of him to keep his image alive. I hope my grand-grand-grand children will have a photo of me.
I would feel so lonely without my photos and my icons.

And to be clear...I'm not venerating the material those icons are made of, like we are being accused of doing. When I look at an icon I see the person depicted in that icon. I see Jesus, Himself. How wonderful is this? If not for icons, we will have no clue how Jesus looked like. What other proof do people need to understand how important icons are?

Logged

Not posting anymore due to the rudeness on this site.
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,278


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #69 on: June 16, 2013, 10:00:37 PM »

When was the idea of Christ introduced and can it be proven?  I don't want legends from the so-called gospels or later additions to Josephus or made-up tradition.  DNA evidence is preferable.  If you have videotapes of any of his miracles, that would help me out too.  I also accept live-streaming of any of his sermons. Also, it might help me out if we could get Jesus' thoughts on calling His mom the Theotokos, anybody have any recordings on that?  Roll Eyes

I know you are poking at me, but I was willing to accept writings about icon veneration.   That is fair.  Unfortunately, there are no writings that I can find.
Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,278


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #70 on: June 16, 2013, 10:01:48 PM »

Refuted no.  Murdered and excommunicated, yes.

The Iconodules weren't refuted but murdered and excommunicated.

He was speaking of iconoclasts and comparing me to one.  Iconoclasts were murdered by iconodules.
Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,278


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #71 on: June 16, 2013, 10:03:07 PM »



I believe the only reason there's no writings, nor a so-called "proof" of having them, is that people still had the image of our Lord Jesus Christ in their minds during that 1st century. As that generation started to perish, I believe a need was born to preserve the memory of the image of Jesus and all the important events of those times.

I have no photo of my grand-grand-grand-grand father....and I wish I had one. Nobody in my family doesn't know how he looked like, not even a simple description of him. I lost my father 4 years ago, but I have photos of him to keep his image alive. I hope my grand-grand-grand children will have a photo of me.
I would feel so lonely without my photos and my icons.

And to be clear...I'm not venerating the material those icons are made of, like we are being accused of doing. When I look at an icon I see the person depicted in that icon. I see Jesus, Himself. How wonderful is this? If not for icons, we will have no clue how Jesus looked like. What other proof do people need to understand how important icons are?



I understand this logic, but there are icons of David, Moses, etc., and those who existed thousands of years before God became man.  Icons were not used with them, nor venerated.
Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,278


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #72 on: June 16, 2013, 10:05:26 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.

Refuted no.  Murdered and excommunicated, yes.

I'm not an iconoclast by the way, I just would not use them in worship or bring them in my home.

To my knowledge, the iconoclasts were not murdered. And you don't have to smash an icon to be considered an iconoclast. Believing them to be idols as you do is enough.

Not all iconoclasts were murdered, but iconodules did murder some iconoclast groups.   I do believe that icons are similar to idols, although with a twist.   All things considered, the photo I posted is pretty compelling.  If you really look at what is going on, consider the early Christians DID NOT do this, and consider the "propaganda" promoted for icon usage, candles in front of them, it's pretty rough...
Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,048


"My god is greater."


« Reply #73 on: June 16, 2013, 10:08:00 PM »

There's no need to attack the guy. I don't think there's necessarily any evidence of icon veneration in the way we practice it today in the first century. That doesn't bother me, because a lot of things were in their infancy in that period. But it does bother him. It's a dangerous thing to ask someone to violate their conscience.

I would assume that there were likely depictions on frescoes on the walls, but I doubt people showed acts of reverence to them. They were just up on SOME of the walls in SOME regions.

I'm at peace with icon veneration and think that our faith affirms it as a practice. But my gauge on what is acceptable is based on different criteria than his. He really seems to think that it needs to have been taught by the apostles and passed on. I really can't say that I believe iconography was a part of the initial preaching and teaching. I may be wrong, but it seems like it's a developed teaching that necessarily grows out of the apostolic deposit and is consistent with it.

Almost all Christians employ imagery quite naturally and without concern. Evangelicals illustrate their bibles and sometimes have portraits of Christ in their home. There is no fundamental issue with depictions of biblical figures and scenes, Christians saints of the past, etc. Even Syriacs who are not known for imagery usually have some kind of illustrations, such as on their gospel books, even if the walls aren't covered in them. Non-Orthodox Christians seems to get suspicious and weirded out when there's talk of actually kissing a painting or bowing in front of it.

I personally think that the early Christians had paintings on the walls in Rome and some other places, and that this gradually spread. The idea of visually seeing the departed saints on the walls and asking for their prayers seems to go to the earliest times to me. The issue of veneration of images seems to come as a response to iconoclasm which sought to banish all imagery. After the long battles people began to increase physical reverence in the East to physically affirm their support of imagery in the Christian experience.

I've honestly never gotten the impression that people were adoring the images as God or as a manifestation of God Himself. It's about honoring the person depicted. I also bow to other congregants at appropriate times during services, and liturgically there is the kiss of peace between brethren, which is mentioned in scripture. So bowing and kissing others as signs of respect and affection is perfectly natural and appropriate. It's just an extension of this to the persons depicted in the paintings. It's the same honor I show to the other congregants, only it's intensified in that these images depict persons whose holiness far exceeds our own.

Probably nothing new for you, but just some honest reflections and arrangement of thoughts. Maybe something was helpful? I hope you find your peace.

This is how I feel about the question as well.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 17,928


The Pope Emeritus reading OCNet


WWW
« Reply #74 on: June 16, 2013, 10:21:26 PM »

I agree with Alveus.  You really can't take icon veneration as executed today and find it in the first century.  Most likely, when churches were built or buildings were converted into churches, there was some religious art employed in adorning the space.  Eventually, people began to look at them not simply as decoration or as "books for the illiterate", but as aids to prayer, helping them connect with those depicted...at this point, "veneration" is born, even if it took different forms from what we're used to.  When this becomes controversial and iconoclasts and iconodules fight it out, the latter win, and both the theology and the praxis become essential in affirming the reality of the Incarnation.  But even this holds most specifically for the Chalcedonians: the non-Chalcedonians didn't really have an issue with icons, and so to this day you'll see varying practices, with Coptic churches that look pretty much like Byzantine churches, and Syriac churches with many, few, or even no icons (the focus always being the altar, the Cross, and the Gospel), but no one has any doubts re: the Incarnation.  

But I object to the idea that if something doesn't originate in the first century, it's an illegitimate innovation.  Even if the canonical books of the NT were from the first century, the canon itself wasn't established till much later.  In spite of the fact that everyone basically agrees on the 27 books of the NT commonly accepted as canonical Scripture, technically, the NT canon is an open question (e.g., in a catechetical work for the Orthodox in India, St Dionysius Vattaseril lists the books of the NT canon--Revelation is not included, but two epistles of St Clement appear in the list).  

More importantly, however, Christianity is not something you can investigate in impartial sources, reconstruct what the first generation of Christian movement(s) looked like, and re-create that today.  There is no Christianity apart from the Church, the Body of Christ: the Church is a living, breathing, growing thing.  You're not a human being if and only if you maintain those ideas and behaviours which pertained to you between the ages of 0-12 months.  That's foolishness.  So is trying to re-create some "pristine" Christianity...it's an ideology, but it's not what Christ founded on the Rock of St Peter's confession.        
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


Mor Ephrem > Justin Kissel
Seraphim98
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 566



« Reply #75 on: June 16, 2013, 11:30:37 PM »

Just sort of shotgunning here are a number of responses:

(1) 1st. Century Images: Given the stretches of time involved the survival of such artifacts to this day are unlikely, though not impossible.  There are at least 4 or 5 images of the Theotokos that are reputed to be originals from the hand of St. Luke.  Be that as it may, as ancient as these images are they bear the marks of numerous touch ups and repairs across the centuries…so ascertaining the how much of the original work is left may not be possible.
 
We must also bear in mind the ravages of the iconoclasts. We have no way of knowing how much from the most ancient times they destroyed, or how much of that deposit was later destroyed under the rule of image hating Islamists.  

That said there are a few documents that bear witness to some very ancient images that were known to the authors of these accounts. In the History of the Church compiled by Eusebius he recounts seeing with his own eyes the double bronzes images set upon the gate posts of the house of the woman healed of the issue of blood. One was of a woman kneeling in posture of supplication, the other was of a man with the features of Jesus, wearing a double cloak about his shoulders and with his hand extended towards the woman supplicant.  This set of images was reputedly raised by the healed woman herself. (Book 7 chapter 18).

Eusebius said he had also seen old images/portraits of Christ and of Sts. Peter and Paul. Given that Eusebius was an active Bishop in the early 4th century, that would strongly suggest at a minimum the images he had seen belonged to the third century if not sooner. St. Gregory of Nyssa, also from the early to mid 4th century mentions very moving representations of the Passion of Christ and the Sacrifice of Issac.

As to the sign of the cross, here is a passage from Tertullian from the 2nd Century:
Quote
"Caro abluitur ut anima maculetur; caro ungitur ut anima consecretur; caro signatur ut et anima muniatur; caro manus impositione adumbratur ut et anima spiritu illuminetur; caro corpore et sanguine Christi vescitur ut et anima de Deo saginetur" (The flesh is washed, in order that the soul may be cleansed; the flesh is anointed, that the soul may be consecrated; the flesh is signed [with the cross], that the soul, too, may be fortified; the flesh is shadowed with the imposition of hands, that the soul also may be illuminated by the Spirit; the flesh feeds on the body and blood of Christ, that the soul likewise may have its fill of God — "Deres. Carnis.", viii). (from: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14520c.htm)
From the same source:
Quote
The cross was originally traced by Christians with the thumb or finger on their own foreheads. This practice is attested by numberless allusions in Patristic literature, and it was clearly associated in idea with certain references in Scripture, notably Ezekiel 9:4 (of the mark of the letter Tau); Exodus 17:9-14; and especially Apocalypse 7:3, 9:4 and 14:1. Hardly less early in date is the custom of marking a cross on objects — already Tertullian speaks of the Christian woman "signing" her bed (cum lectulum tuum signas, "Ad uxor.", ii, 5) before retiring to rest—and we soon hear also of the sign of the cross being traced on the lips (Jerome, "Epitaph. Paulæ") and on the heart (Prudentius, "Cathem.", vi, 129). Not unnaturally if the object were more remote, the cross which was directed towards it had to be made in the air.

2. The origin of icons of the saints and martyrs in Egyptian funerary customs: There are a number of reference works on the history of iconography that mention this. One of note is Iconostasis by St. Pavel Florensky, the physicist, iconographer and martyr of the early 20th century. One may see examples of the early types of these portraits in encaustic in the Fayoum images: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fayum_mummy_portraits

3.
Quote
Bible and Image: 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.  

Let's examine your argument: No first century proof. Well, if you read above some proof is provided from the time of Eusebius that 1st century images existed. Granted the particular 1st century image he mentions was a statue and while it was cherished by the Christian community of his time, there is no particular reference to it's veneration or of it being treated like icons came to be treated in the Church. Historically, I believe the last mention of these bronzes was in the 6th century. Still, it establishes that images of Christ were known in the Church of the 1st Century…not that such a thing should matter too much. The mention of portraits of Christ known to Eusebius and to St. Gregory put the use of flat images/portraits easily within the 3rd century, and strongly suggests they these must rest on earlier 1st century models….that was not the sort of thing honest Christians would just make up or other honest Christians take up unless such things had roots in Apostolic times.  The reason such an assertion can be made is because it was these same men in the 4th century testifying of images in the Church who were responsible for compiling the Scriptures of the New Testament and joining them with the other attested works of the Old Testament as Scripture for the Church?

Where did the Lord ever give the command that any of His Apostles should compose narrations of His life and Crucifixion and Resurrection? Where did the Lord or the 12 ever command that the Letters of St. Paul or any of their own letters should be collected and compiled together with the Gospel accounts as new Scripture for Christians. Nowhere. So how did these writings become Scripture? They were preserved in the churches for whom and to whom they were first written. They were treasured, shared, copied and passed from one Church to the other….this is enough to grant they were very inspirational writings, but by what authority were they edited here and there to stitch in missing bits of the respective apostolic tradition (like the end of the Gospel of St. Mark), and by what authority were they raised to the level of and used in the Churches as Scripture? It can only be the authority of the Church itself, which is the Bride of Christ, the Church of whom St. Paul says that it is the pillar and foundation of all truth; the same church that he directs to keep both the written and the unwritten tradition in his epistles.  

If that God given, God ordained authority is sufficient to establish the authority and use of NT Scripture in the Church for it's teaching and edification, then why is it somehow insufficient to establish the use of images to teach the same things in line and colors as it did in words scribed in pen and ink? You cannot accept the testimony of the Scriptures and at the same time refuse icons, for it is the same Church working by the same Holy Spirit given authority that gives us them both.

It does not matter than no first century evidence of icons remains anymore than it matters that no first century autographs of the Gospels remain. The form the Scriptures had attained by the 3rd and 4th centuries when authoritative collections were listed and gathered to counter the false writings of the heretics…that is the form that matters most, for that is the form that gives us the present text of our New Testament Scriptures.  The various local image traditions of the first generations of the Church matter mostly as historical footnotes. The images that matter are those sanctified and established in the Church when their content had matured and standardized across the Church so that it embodied visually the fullness of the theological teaching and life of the Church.  

You cannot have the Bible and reject the Church that gave it to you, nor can you have it and reject the Divine Liturgy, the veneration of the Saints, nor the use and veneration of the icons of those same Saint.  You might as well say you accept water but reject wetness. It's all the same fountain.

Violation of the first commandment: It is true God said not to make an image of Himself in His commandments to Moses. Was there a reason?
Why could Moses and Aaron use symbols of various beasts and plants and make images of angels, but not of God?  Might not it be that God had not yet revealed His own image in time and history.  Do you believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate? Do you believe Jesus if both fully God and fully man?  Do you believe if brownie instamatics or video cameras had existed in the first century that anyone who got close enough could have taken a photograph or made a home movie of Christ talking to his disciples, walking down a road, feeding the multitudes, or crucified one day on a Roman cross?  Unless angels would have interfered in some way or a pillar of fire interposed between your camera and your subject…then an image of Christ in the world would have been possible.  And if a photographed image is possible, then a sketched or painted one is possible as well.  So what then does it mean with respect to images that Christ would be seen and photographed or drawn?  Does it not mean at least that while He was not with us, there was no image we had for reference, but after He came, He supplied His own image in Himself.  And thereafter that image could be recorded just as were His words, and just like His words, treasured and passed down among the faithful?  The commandment is not broken. It is fulfilled.  In the OT times God was heard, and His words recorded by the Prophets. In the NT God dwelt among us and was seen, heard, and handled of men, thus His words and His image were recored by His followers. In the OT an image of God would have been a blasphemy for no Image had been given. In the NT an image is not blasphemy if it is modeled on the Image God gave of Himself, rather it is a testimony to the fact of the Incarnation, that God indeed became man and dwelt among us.

Veneration of images. What gestures of respect/reverence are permissible to the faithful and what are not?  What about the flag. We salute the flag and it's not an image…and technically not even a symbol. It is a sign of our country. Are you saluting colors and patterns on cloth? No, you are saluting what those colors and patterns point to.  What if we saluted icons but didn't bow to them would that be okay?  Why can't a bow serve as a type of salute. It is not our custom…but it is the custom in various Asian cultures.  They are no more worshiping their flags by bowing than we are by saluting…but they are honoring their country which is represented by their flags.  

Given that icons, the culture that they originated in and the customs of that culture are both far more ancient and far more eastern in mindset than Western Europe and European style saluting (which came into existence with knights raising their visors to be recognized.) bowing then as a gesture of respect may not be so far fetched.  What given that in places Scripture forbids bowing to idols, yet has numerous examples of people bowing to kings (if they weren't being persecuted for their faith)…when is a bow showing such honor as may be shown a human in high authority, and bowing to some thing believed to be a god allowed or distinguished?

The Church answered that question in the 7th council (which right to hold authoritative councils is established in the 15th chapter of Acts). It said the veneration shown to an icon is the same as may be shown unto a man. It is not the worship reserved for God alone. It further says the honor shown to the icon is not to it's image as an image or to it's material components, but rather to it's prototype, the person depicted.  If an icon grows too marred for recognition and hence for veneration it may as well be burned like firewood. So given the body has a limited physical vocabulary so to speak to show reverence or any other thing…some gestures have to do double duty…and people are trusted to have the brains to distinguish what is to be understood by that gesture.  

I recall one day a few years ago a Protestant came to visit one of our services that just happened to be one of the feasts of the Holy and life giving Cross.  The point came in the service where the people began to kiss and prostrate before cross starting with the priest, wave after wave of the faithful falling on their faces, in reverence.  This young man literally collapsed like he was struck with a two by four. He could not stand…he just dropped to his knees trembling and weeping. When his friends (some of whom were members there) got him outside to compose himself, he sat on the front steps almost emptied of words, tears running down his face, saying over and over again…"It was so beautiful. It was so beautiful."
« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 11:37:08 PM by Seraphim98 » Logged
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,278


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #76 on: June 17, 2013, 06:35:12 PM »

Just sort of shotgunning here are a number of responses:

(1) 1st. Century Images: Given the stretches of time involved the survival of such artifacts to this day are unlikely, though not impossible.  There are at least 4 or 5 images of the Theotokos that are reputed to be originals from the hand of St. Luke.  Be that as it may, as ancient as these images are they bear the marks of numerous touch ups and repairs across the centuries…so ascertaining the how much of the original work is left may not be possible.
 
We must also bear in mind the ravages of the iconoclasts. We have no way of knowing how much from the most ancient times they destroyed, or how much of that deposit was later destroyed under the rule of image hating Islamists.  

That said there are a few documents that bear witness to some very ancient images that were known to the authors of these accounts. In the History of the Church compiled by Eusebius he recounts seeing with his own eyes the double bronzes images set upon the gate posts of the house of the woman healed of the issue of blood. One was of a woman kneeling in posture of supplication, the other was of a man with the features of Jesus, wearing a double cloak about his shoulders and with his hand extended towards the woman supplicant.  This set of images was reputedly raised by the healed woman herself. (Book 7 chapter 18).

Eusebius said he had also seen old images/portraits of Christ and of Sts. Peter and Paul. Given that Eusebius was an active Bishop in the early 4th century, that would strongly suggest at a minimum the images he had seen belonged to the third century if not sooner. St. Gregory of Nyssa, also from the early to mid 4th century mentions very moving representations of the Passion of Christ and the Sacrifice of Issac.

As to the sign of the cross, here is a passage from Tertullian from the 2nd Century:
Quote
"Caro abluitur ut anima maculetur; caro ungitur ut anima consecretur; caro signatur ut et anima muniatur; caro manus impositione adumbratur ut et anima spiritu illuminetur; caro corpore et sanguine Christi vescitur ut et anima de Deo saginetur" (The flesh is washed, in order that the soul may be cleansed; the flesh is anointed, that the soul may be consecrated; the flesh is signed [with the cross], that the soul, too, may be fortified; the flesh is shadowed with the imposition of hands, that the soul also may be illuminated by the Spirit; the flesh feeds on the body and blood of Christ, that the soul likewise may have its fill of God — "Deres. Carnis.", viii). (from: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14520c.htm)
From the same source:
Quote
The cross was originally traced by Christians with the thumb or finger on their own foreheads. This practice is attested by numberless allusions in Patristic literature, and it was clearly associated in idea with certain references in Scripture, notably Ezekiel 9:4 (of the mark of the letter Tau); Exodus 17:9-14; and especially Apocalypse 7:3, 9:4 and 14:1. Hardly less early in date is the custom of marking a cross on objects — already Tertullian speaks of the Christian woman "signing" her bed (cum lectulum tuum signas, "Ad uxor.", ii, 5) before retiring to rest—and we soon hear also of the sign of the cross being traced on the lips (Jerome, "Epitaph. Paulæ") and on the heart (Prudentius, "Cathem.", vi, 129). Not unnaturally if the object were more remote, the cross which was directed towards it had to be made in the air.

2. The origin of icons of the saints and martyrs in Egyptian funerary customs: There are a number of reference works on the history of iconography that mention this. One of note is Iconostasis by St. Pavel Florensky, the physicist, iconographer and martyr of the early 20th century. One may see examples of the early types of these portraits in encaustic in the Fayoum images: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fayum_mummy_portraits

3.
Quote
Bible and Image: 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.  

Let's examine your argument: No first century proof. Well, if you read above some proof is provided from the time of Eusebius that 1st century images existed. Granted the particular 1st century image he mentions was a statue and while it was cherished by the Christian community of his time, there is no particular reference to it's veneration or of it being treated like icons came to be treated in the Church. Historically, I believe the last mention of these bronzes was in the 6th century. Still, it establishes that images of Christ were known in the Church of the 1st Century…not that such a thing should matter too much. The mention of portraits of Christ known to Eusebius and to St. Gregory put the use of flat images/portraits easily within the 3rd century, and strongly suggests they these must rest on earlier 1st century models….that was not the sort of thing honest Christians would just make up or other honest Christians take up unless such things had roots in Apostolic times.  The reason such an assertion can be made is because it was these same men in the 4th century testifying of images in the Church who were responsible for compiling the Scriptures of the New Testament and joining them with the other attested works of the Old Testament as Scripture for the Church?

Where did the Lord ever give the command that any of His Apostles should compose narrations of His life and Crucifixion and Resurrection? Where did the Lord or the 12 ever command that the Letters of St. Paul or any of their own letters should be collected and compiled together with the Gospel accounts as new Scripture for Christians. Nowhere. So how did these writings become Scripture? They were preserved in the churches for whom and to whom they were first written. They were treasured, shared, copied and passed from one Church to the other….this is enough to grant they were very inspirational writings, but by what authority were they edited here and there to stitch in missing bits of the respective apostolic tradition (like the end of the Gospel of St. Mark), and by what authority were they raised to the level of and used in the Churches as Scripture? It can only be the authority of the Church itself, which is the Bride of Christ, the Church of whom St. Paul says that it is the pillar and foundation of all truth; the same church that he directs to keep both the written and the unwritten tradition in his epistles.  

If that God given, God ordained authority is sufficient to establish the authority and use of NT Scripture in the Church for it's teaching and edification, then why is it somehow insufficient to establish the use of images to teach the same things in line and colors as it did in words scribed in pen and ink? You cannot accept the testimony of the Scriptures and at the same time refuse icons, for it is the same Church working by the same Holy Spirit given authority that gives us them both.

It does not matter than no first century evidence of icons remains anymore than it matters that no first century autographs of the Gospels remain. The form the Scriptures had attained by the 3rd and 4th centuries when authoritative collections were listed and gathered to counter the false writings of the heretics…that is the form that matters most, for that is the form that gives us the present text of our New Testament Scriptures.  The various local image traditions of the first generations of the Church matter mostly as historical footnotes. The images that matter are those sanctified and established in the Church when their content had matured and standardized across the Church so that it embodied visually the fullness of the theological teaching and life of the Church.  

You cannot have the Bible and reject the Church that gave it to you, nor can you have it and reject the Divine Liturgy, the veneration of the Saints, nor the use and veneration of the icons of those same Saint.  You might as well say you accept water but reject wetness. It's all the same fountain.

Violation of the first commandment: It is true God said not to make an image of Himself in His commandments to Moses. Was there a reason?
Why could Moses and Aaron use symbols of various beasts and plants and make images of angels, but not of God?  Might not it be that God had not yet revealed His own image in time and history.  Do you believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate? Do you believe Jesus if both fully God and fully man?  Do you believe if brownie instamatics or video cameras had existed in the first century that anyone who got close enough could have taken a photograph or made a home movie of Christ talking to his disciples, walking down a road, feeding the multitudes, or crucified one day on a Roman cross?  Unless angels would have interfered in some way or a pillar of fire interposed between your camera and your subject…then an image of Christ in the world would have been possible.  And if a photographed image is possible, then a sketched or painted one is possible as well.  So what then does it mean with respect to images that Christ would be seen and photographed or drawn?  Does it not mean at least that while He was not with us, there was no image we had for reference, but after He came, He supplied His own image in Himself.  And thereafter that image could be recorded just as were His words, and just like His words, treasured and passed down among the faithful?  The commandment is not broken. It is fulfilled.  In the OT times God was heard, and His words recorded by the Prophets. In the NT God dwelt among us and was seen, heard, and handled of men, thus His words and His image were recored by His followers. In the OT an image of God would have been a blasphemy for no Image had been given. In the NT an image is not blasphemy if it is modeled on the Image God gave of Himself, rather it is a testimony to the fact of the Incarnation, that God indeed became man and dwelt among us.

Veneration of images. What gestures of respect/reverence are permissible to the faithful and what are not?  What about the flag. We salute the flag and it's not an image…and technically not even a symbol. It is a sign of our country. Are you saluting colors and patterns on cloth? No, you are saluting what those colors and patterns point to.  What if we saluted icons but didn't bow to them would that be okay?  Why can't a bow serve as a type of salute. It is not our custom…but it is the custom in various Asian cultures.  They are no more worshiping their flags by bowing than we are by saluting…but they are honoring their country which is represented by their flags.  

Given that icons, the culture that they originated in and the customs of that culture are both far more ancient and far more eastern in mindset than Western Europe and European style saluting (which came into existence with knights raising their visors to be recognized.) bowing then as a gesture of respect may not be so far fetched.  What given that in places Scripture forbids bowing to idols, yet has numerous examples of people bowing to kings (if they weren't being persecuted for their faith)…when is a bow showing such honor as may be shown a human in high authority, and bowing to some thing believed to be a god allowed or distinguished?

The Church answered that question in the 7th council (which right to hold authoritative councils is established in the 15th chapter of Acts). It said the veneration shown to an icon is the same as may be shown unto a man. It is not the worship reserved for God alone. It further says the honor shown to the icon is not to it's image as an image or to it's material components, but rather to it's prototype, the person depicted.  If an icon grows too marred for recognition and hence for veneration it may as well be burned like firewood. So given the body has a limited physical vocabulary so to speak to show reverence or any other thing…some gestures have to do double duty…and people are trusted to have the brains to distinguish what is to be understood by that gesture.  

I recall one day a few years ago a Protestant came to visit one of our services that just happened to be one of the feasts of the Holy and life giving Cross.  The point came in the service where the people began to kiss and prostrate before cross starting with the priest, wave after wave of the faithful falling on their faces, in reverence.  This young man literally collapsed like he was struck with a two by four. He could not stand…he just dropped to his knees trembling and weeping. When his friends (some of whom were members there) got him outside to compose himself, he sat on the front steps almost emptied of words, tears running down his face, saying over and over again…"It was so beautiful. It was so beautiful."

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

Eusebius writing of a statue, who lived in the 4th century.

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.

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).

I've already answered about Moses, as they were commanded to.  Also the images were not venerated.



Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
TheTrisagion
Armed Feline rider of Flaming Unicorns
Merarches
***********
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 8,871



« Reply #77 on: June 17, 2013, 06:54:32 PM »

It is very difficult to say what was and what was not going on in the first 3 centuries of the church.  Christians were being persecuted and killed at such a rate that the focus was more on survival than on creating things that would have a lasting presence.  We don't even have all the writings of the Apostles much less details on all the practices and traditions of the early Church.  We do know, however, that icons were the default position in the 8th century and the attempt to destroy them caused a great uproar.  Icons were known by Irenaeus, but not condemned.  If there was such a controversy in moving away from iconography, why was there never a similar controversy when moving towards it from the "iconoclastic" 1st & 2nd century Christianity that you are proposing?  

Surely we would have more Bishops and Christians speaking out against it.  Instead we have one local synod, the synod of Elvira that condemned it, but we don't know the context.  It is possible that people were misusing icons and they decided to ban them out of an abundance of caution.  Other than that, there are almost no other references of opposition to iconography.  Why is that?  You might say that I am arguing from silence, but you are as well.  Every argument you have made is that you do not see evidence of iconography or veneration, but the fact is, we don't have much evidence of anything because it was destroyed.  It is unfortunate, but it is the way it is.

To say that some practices are different does not mean that it is a different church.  Baptists in the 1940s were much different than Baptists today, yet they are still Baptists.  Even the anabaptist Amish do not keep everything completely consistent.  Each year the make rulings on what will be allowed and disallowed in their fellowship.  Otherwise, all Christians should still be worshiping in catacombs.

To accuse the clergy in the photo of breaking the 1st commandment is no different than if you go out and cut the grass on Saturday.  You are breaking the Sabbath, how are you any different than they?  Is it because the Sabbath is now Sunday?  Why? What basis do you have for that?  You make an exception or explanation for yourself, but will not apply a similar exception or understanding to the veneration of icons?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 06:57:12 PM by TheTrisagion » Logged

Have you considered the possibility that your face is an ad hominem?
Somebody just went all Jack Chick up in here.
DuxI
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Macedonian Orthodox Church
Posts: 140



« Reply #78 on: June 17, 2013, 07:47:44 PM »


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

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ce/Good_shepherd_02b_close.jpg

That is from the mid 3rd century.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Good_shepherd_01_small.jpg

Also from the 3rd century.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b0/Dura-europos-paralytic.jpg

From Dura Europos, dated around 235 AD

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/Madonna_catacomb.jpg

The Theotokos, 2nd century.

And, very important, one of the earlier proofs of the cross being symbol of Christians is this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexamenos_graffito

Logged
Brigidsboy
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Armenian
Posts: 343



« Reply #79 on: June 17, 2013, 07:48:23 PM »

When was the idea of Christ introduced and can it be proven?  I don't want legends from the so-called gospels or later additions to Josephus or made-up tradition.  DNA evidence is preferable.  If you have videotapes of any of his miracles, that would help me out too.  I also accept live-streaming of any of his sermons. Also, it might help me out if we could get Jesus' thoughts on calling His mom the Theotokos, anybody have any recordings on that?  Roll Eyes

+1
Logged

"I don't think I've ever eaten anything Armenian I didn't like.  I even drink my non-Armenian coffee out of a St Nersess Seminary coffee mug because it is better that way." --Mor Ephrem
DuxI
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Macedonian Orthodox Church
Posts: 140



« Reply #80 on: June 17, 2013, 07:53:14 PM »

s speaking out against it.  Instead we have one local synod, the synod of Elvira that condemned it, but we don't know the context.

Not all canons of the council are believed to be brought on that synod. Some are later additions.
Logged
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,973


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #81 on: June 17, 2013, 10:18:50 PM »

Refuted no.  Murdered and excommunicated, yes.

The Iconodules weren't refuted but murdered and excommunicated.

He was speaking of iconoclasts and comparing me to one.  Iconoclasts were murdered by iconodules.

You use the plural. Surely you have more examples than St. Theodosia (and she didn't murder), but was murdered.
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
Jason.Wike
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,046


« Reply #82 on: June 17, 2013, 10:25:49 PM »

Refuted no.  Murdered and excommunicated, yes.

The Iconodules weren't refuted but murdered and excommunicated.

He was speaking of iconoclasts and comparing me to one.  Iconoclasts were murdered by iconodules.

You use the plural. Surely you have more examples than St. Theodosia (and she didn't murder), but was murdered.

If an iconoclast shook an iconodule off a ladder they would be the devil themselves, though.
Logged
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,973


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #83 on: June 17, 2013, 10:32:18 PM »

Refuted no.  Murdered and excommunicated, yes.

The Iconodules weren't refuted but murdered and excommunicated.

He was speaking of iconoclasts and comparing me to one.  Iconoclasts were murdered by iconodules.

You use the plural. Surely you have more examples than St. Theodosia (and she didn't murder), but was murdered.

If an iconoclast shook an iconodule off a ladder they would be the devil themselves, though.

No. Why be idiotic?
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
Jason.Wike
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,046


« Reply #84 on: June 17, 2013, 10:38:24 PM »

Refuted no.  Murdered and excommunicated, yes.

The Iconodules weren't refuted but murdered and excommunicated.

He was speaking of iconoclasts and comparing me to one.  Iconoclasts were murdered by iconodules.

You use the plural. Surely you have more examples than St. Theodosia (and she didn't murder), but was murdered.

If an iconoclast shook an iconodule off a ladder they would be the devil themselves, though.

No. Why be idiotic?

Be careful, I said the same thing a while back and got moderated for a week.
Logged
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 17,928


The Pope Emeritus reading OCNet


WWW
« Reply #85 on: June 18, 2013, 01:43:03 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. 

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.   
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


Mor Ephrem > Justin Kissel
Salpy
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Armenian Church
Posts: 12,757


Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #86 on: June 18, 2013, 01:57:49 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.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 02:05:00 AM by Salpy » Logged

john_mo
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antioch
Posts: 804



« Reply #87 on: June 18, 2013, 04:35:00 AM »

yeshuaism:  I can understand your questioning: If Orthodoxy is the original Church, then where did they practice iconography in the 1st century? 

We as Orthodox however, don't claim that each and every practice we have existed explicitly in the 1st century.  I can't think of any reason why Iconography as it's practiced today MUST HAVE been practiced in the same way since the Church began.  In fact, it doesn't quite make sense that it would have.

To put it another way; the Gospels weren't always there.  The Apostles first instinct wasn't to record the Gospels, nevertheless as circumstances changed, this is what happened in response.  Certainly some skeptics assert, using the same logic, that the Gospels were a post 1AD creation.
Logged

Love is not blind; that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.

—G.K. Chesterton
DuxI
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Macedonian Orthodox Church
Posts: 140



« Reply #88 on: June 18, 2013, 06:04:18 AM »


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

St. Constantine did not murder with his own hands, but waged wars in which people died. What could he do? Leave Licinius to wipe Christians our of the Eastern part of the Empire? Or maybe leave the barbarian tribes into entering the borders of the Empire and plundering and massacring the people? Other Emperors left the barbarians doing that....and the Western part of the Empire descended into chaos.  If what St. Constantine the Great did is murder, then how can we call Moses, King David, many prophets in the Bible righteous and saints?
One of the many flaws of sola scriptura belief is that it is co contradictory to logic, reason and history.

Logged
Cyrillic
Merarches
***********
Online Online

Posts: 9,598


Cyrillico est imperare orbi universo


« Reply #89 on: June 18, 2013, 06:22:51 AM »

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.

Icons from the first century are likely decomposed by now so that's silly. Documents from first century Christianity are sparse and did not deal with matters of worship. Only St. Justin Martyr in the 2nd century dealt with worship but he only used one or two lines for it. So how could one prove icons with such meagre sources?

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?
Logged

"And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin
is pride that apes humility."
-Samuel Coleridge
Tags: icons 
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.205 seconds with 73 queries.