OrthodoxChristianity.net
November 21, 2014, 03:19:30 PM *
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   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Historicity of Icons  (Read 3073 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Truth_or_Bust
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 63



« on: December 29, 2005, 02:44:21 PM »

Greetings!

I am beginning a study of the history of Icons and have run into a claim (from my Protestant on-line friend)
that Icons were a late innovation in the church.  He is asserting, from texts he says will produce tomorrow,
that Icons were not introduced until the 4th century AD and with much rejection based on claims of idolatry. 
I am wanting to have a rebuttal to this claim ready if there is one.  Also of great interest is early Celtic
use of Icons.  My opponent is asserting that the early Celtic "Culdee" church (pre-RCC) was strongly against the
use of Icons.  I am trying to make the connection between EO and the early Celtic Church.  My friend's arguments
are heavily colored with a "romaphobic" bias and I am hoping to show him the difference between EO and RCC
ideas. 

Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated!

God Bless,
T
« Last Edit: December 29, 2005, 02:45:30 PM by Truth_or_Bust » Logged
SakranMM
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 327

Most Holy Theotokos, save us!


« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2005, 03:23:00 PM »

I'm not sure about the Celtic use of icons, but I can tell you that a Google search would bring up credible uses of Christian art in 1st century Roman catacombs...though not exactly in the style of Byzantine iconography that we know today, they certainly do function as predecessors of Orthodox Iconography.  Perhaps gently explaining the meaning of icons in our worship would aid to helping your friend understand the Orthodox point of view better?  Here are some links:

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8025.asp

http://www.ciucur.com/history.html


In Christ Who Was Born of a Virgin,

Michael
Logged

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us..."
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 20,109


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2005, 03:26:33 PM »

Greetings!

I am beginning a study of the history of Icons and have run into a claim (from my Protestant on-line friend)
that Icons were a late innovation in the church.  He is asserting, from texts he says will produce tomorrow,
that Icons were not introduced until the 4th century AD and with much rejection based on claims of idolatry. 
I am wanting to have a rebuttal to this claim ready if there is one.  Also of great interest is early Celtic
use of Icons.  My opponent is asserting that the early Celtic "Culdee" church (pre-RCC) was strongly against the
use of Icons.  I am trying to make the connection between EO and the early Celtic Church.  My friend's arguments
are heavily colored with a "romaphobic" bias and I am hoping to show him the difference between EO and RCC
ideas. 

Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated!

God Bless,
T

Well, hopefully the iconography that exists in the Roman catecombs should be helpful - it is most certainly pre-4th century, and while simple, was the jumping point for iconography in the Church.
Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
drewmeister2
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Hellenic Orthodox Traditionalist Church of America
Posts: 415


Christmas at St Markella's Cathedral, Astoria, NY


« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2005, 03:34:29 PM »

My friend's arguments
are heavily colored with a "romaphobic" bias and I am hoping to show him the difference between EO and RCC
ideas.ÂÂ  

I generally find that those who think statues in the RCC are heretical also think icons are heretical.  So if he doesn't like statues, it figures he doesn't like icons. 
Logged

Orthodoxia i Thanatos

IC    XC      ...and in ONE HOLY CATHOLIC
    +                   and APOSTOLIC CHURCH...
NI    KA

www.hotca.org | www.YouTube.com/GreekOrthodoxTV
Truth_or_Bust
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 63



« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2005, 04:38:11 PM »

Thanks guys. I have been able to construct a reply from what you all have pointed me towards.  There is evidence that there was Christian art well before the 4th Century.

God Bless,
T
Logged
Carpatho Russian
Site Supporter
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 285


Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory for ever!


« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2005, 04:45:30 PM »

Well, hopefully the iconography that exists in the Roman catecombs should be helpful - it is most certainly pre-4th century, and while simple, was the jumping point for iconography in the Church.
When I was in Rome several years ago, I visited the catacombs of St Priscilla.  There was a depiction of the Virgin Mary with Jesus and the prophet Isaiah, dating from the second half of the 2nd century.  I beleive it is the earliest known depiction of the Virgin.
Logged

Zastupnice christianov nepostydnaja, chodatajice ko Tvorcu nepreložnaja, ne prezri hr’išnych molenij hlasy, popredvari jako blahaja na pomošč nas, virno vopijuščich ti: Uskori na molitvu, i potščisja na umolenije, zastupajušči prisno Bohorodice, čtuščich t’a.
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 20,109


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2005, 04:57:40 PM »

Thanks guys. I have been able to construct a reply from what you all have pointed me towards.  There is evidence that there was Christian art well before the 4th Century.   

I'm glad you were able to find enough - now let's hope that your friend's heart is open to reason!
Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
Armando
Dead among the living
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 187

I gave up dreaming a long time ago...


« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2005, 05:08:27 PM »

Well I ceratinly do not agree with the current case of iconolatry in Greece (kissing icons in a MAD-like way!!).
First of all, I agree to the RC approach to icons... Times have changed. I mean, in my room I only have 2 icons
(one of St. Photius and one of Pope John Paul II) and the rest are holy cards (mostly Eastern Orthodox cards of
Our Lady).
Logged

Ten years have passed, the girl I loved
is now a woman, but I am still a child...
-Sad-ending fairytale, Miltos Paschalidis
Armando
Dead among the living
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 187

I gave up dreaming a long time ago...


« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2005, 05:12:51 PM »

Oh, by the way... I have some catholic icons (Pope JPII, Josephat Kuntsevich etc.) but
I just don't feel like throwing them away or hiding them. What should I do?
Logged

Ten years have passed, the girl I loved
is now a woman, but I am still a child...
-Sad-ending fairytale, Miltos Paschalidis
Truth_or_Bust
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 63



« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2005, 06:16:53 PM »

I'm glad you were able to find enough - now let's hope that your friend's heart is open to reason!

Here is one item that he has brought up.  Jerome's letter 12 completely condemning Icons.  How do we deal with this seeing as Jerome is a recognized Saint.  I have been scratching my head on that one.

God Bless,
T
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 30,151


Hello for now, my friend


« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2005, 08:50:32 PM »

It may seem overly simplistic, but the best answer is, "so what?"ÂÂ  GrinÂÂ  No one claims that Orthodox saints are infallible. St. Jerome acted incorrectly when he tore down the icon, and the people who HE scandalized were very forgiving and meek to act in the way that they did (though Jerome apparently didn't realise how wrong he had been, going on as he did about how OTHER people should stop scandalous behavior). Jerome was not only in the wrong theologically, he was also in the wrong as far as how he went about fixing what he believed was a problem. Jerome also thought that the Hebrew most clearly expressed what the Old Testament said. *shrugs* No one's perfect.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2005, 08:50:54 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin

Hey, so I'm in a pop-alt-punk-folk-prog band called "Affable Dregs" and we have a new album coming out, titled "Vicious Turnips Always Taste Most Delicious." We'd really appreciate your support!
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,432



« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2005, 10:06:17 PM »

No one claims that Orthodox saints are infallible.

I dunno.  I've seen a few postings in my time that seem to be saying that if an EO saint wrote/said something then it's True/Right/Correct. Depends on if the writer agrees with the thing, maybe.

Quote
Jerome also thought that the Hebrew most clearly expressed what the Old Testament said. *shrugs* No one's perfect.

It's true that no Human Being is perfect (save Jesus, Perfect Man/Perfect God)  But why wouldn't the original language express what something said?  Could you please explain?

Ebor
Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 30,151


Hello for now, my friend


« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2005, 10:18:06 PM »

Quote
I dunno.  I've seen a few postings in my time that seem to be saying that if an EO saint wrote/said something then it's True/Right/Correct. Depends on if the writer agrees with the thing, maybe.

Yeah, I'm sure I've made the same mistakes myself many times. But that doesn't make it right. I would agree (?), it's easy to just say "X said it, nyah!" when you agree with X. Prooftexting is a tempting practice. Smiley

Quote
It's true that no Human Being is perfect (save Jesus, Perfect Man/Perfect God)  But why wouldn't the original language express what something said?  Could you please explain?

Maybe the original language was deficient (e.g., in making a distinction in Genesis between image and likeness, where in the Hebrew the terms are synonymous but in Greek they each imply something different)? Maybe the original language could not adequately convey ideas to the larger world (e.g., Hebrew might get the point across to a Semitic audience, but not a Greek or Gallic one)? There have also been charges of intentional changes in the Hebrew texts (e.g., by St. Justin Martyr). But perhaps the most important thing, to me anyway, is that the New Testament writers themselves primarily used the Greek (rather than Aramaic Targums, Hebrew Manuscripts, etc.) to quote from (e.g., when Matthew quoted Isaiah regarding the Virgin Birth, he seemed to be quoting the Greek).
Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin

Hey, so I'm in a pop-alt-punk-folk-prog band called "Affable Dregs" and we have a new album coming out, titled "Vicious Turnips Always Taste Most Delicious." We'd really appreciate your support!
BJohnD
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 213


St. John of Damascus, pray for us.


« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2005, 01:31:25 PM »

Yeah, I'm sure I've made the same mistakes myself many times. But that doesn't make it right. I would agree (?), it's easy to just say "X said it, nyah!" when you agree with X. Prooftexting is a tempting practice. Smiley

This has become the EO version of Protestant proof-texting:  "Oh, yeah?  Well, St. ABC says, ...!"
Logged
Arystarcus
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Posts: 836


« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2006, 08:11:40 PM »

Oh, by the way... I have some catholic icons (Pope JPII, Josephat Kuntsevich etc.) but
I just don't feel like throwing them away or hiding them. What should I do?

Perhaps you could give them to a Catholic friend who would appreciate them..?
Logged
drewmeister2
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Hellenic Orthodox Traditionalist Church of America
Posts: 415


Christmas at St Markella's Cathedral, Astoria, NY


« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2006, 08:17:36 PM »

Oh, by the way... I have some catholic icons (Pope JPII, Josephat Kuntsevich etc.) but
I just don't feel like throwing them away or hiding them. What should I do?

E-bay Wink.

EDIT: I wouldn't think that it is absolutely necessary to give them away (or sell them).  I mean, as much as in one sense I don't agree with JP II from a Catholic point of view (too liberal in things like the Mass), and from an Orthodox point of view (as he is Catholic), but he was strong in some areas like denouncing abortion and birth control, and was against gay marriage and whatnot.  So he isn't totally wrong on everything he said.   
« Last Edit: January 01, 2006, 08:22:55 PM by drewmeister2 » Logged

Orthodoxia i Thanatos

IC    XC      ...and in ONE HOLY CATHOLIC
    +                   and APOSTOLIC CHURCH...
NI    KA

www.hotca.org | www.YouTube.com/GreekOrthodoxTV
drewmeister2
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Hellenic Orthodox Traditionalist Church of America
Posts: 415


Christmas at St Markella's Cathedral, Astoria, NY


« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2006, 08:18:07 PM »

Perhaps you could give them to a Catholic friend who would appreciate them..?

Or that too Smiley.
Logged

Orthodoxia i Thanatos

IC    XC      ...and in ONE HOLY CATHOLIC
    +                   and APOSTOLIC CHURCH...
NI    KA

www.hotca.org | www.YouTube.com/GreekOrthodoxTV
Addai
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


WWW
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2006, 07:25:20 PM »

Well, hopefully the iconography that exists in the Roman catecombs should be helpful - it is most certainly pre-4th century, and while simple, was the jumping point for iconography in the Church.


Yes I would also add the "Dura Europos" churches and synagogues to the list.

Dura-Europos synagogue
The world's oldest preserved Jewish synagogue was dated by an Aramaic inscription to 244. It was preserved, ironically, when it had to be infilled with earth to strengthen the city's fortifications against a Sassanian assault in 256. It was uncovered in 1935 by Clark Hopkins, who found that it contains a forecourt and house of assembly with frescoed walls depicting people and animals, and a Torah shrine in the western wall facing Jerusalem
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dura-Europos



As well of a mention by Eusebius that there were portraits of the Lord, that were known in his time.  (He disapproved of the practice of them).


And besides that "The legend of Addai"

The purely legendary tale of how Abgarus of Edessa and Jesus had corresponded was first recounted in the 4th century by the church historian Eusebius of Caesarea in his Ecclesiastical History. (i.13 and iii.1) and it was retold in elaborated form by Ephrem the Syrian. In the origin of the legend, Eusebius had been shown documents purporting to contain the official correspondence that passed between Abgar and Jesus, and he was well enough convinced by their authenticityto quote them extensively in his ecclesiastical history. By the time the legend had returned to Syria, the purported site of the miraculous image, it had been embroidered into a tissue of miraculous happenings (Bauer 1971, ch. i): the Doctrine of Addai is full of miracles, and anti-semitism in the garbled story of "Protonice" consort of Claudius, searching for the Cross, and Golgotha and the Holy Sepuchre, all of them in possession of the Jews.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addai
Logged

Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 30,151


Hello for now, my friend


« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2006, 03:13:37 AM »

Fwiw, I recently read that when St. Augustine of Canterbury first went to England to do missionary work, he carried a cross and a pole with a picture of Christ on it. Not the earliest example of a holy picture, but perhaps a more relevant one for English-speaking audiences.
Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin

Hey, so I'm in a pop-alt-punk-folk-prog band called "Affable Dregs" and we have a new album coming out, titled "Vicious Turnips Always Taste Most Delicious." We'd really appreciate your support!
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,828



WWW
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2006, 08:29:43 AM »

Two good articles are here and here.
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
Tags: icons 
Pages: 1   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 0.081 seconds with 46 queries.