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Can a "sola scriptura" approach find support for iconography?

IsmiLiora

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Hi all....

In the 3,483th discussion with my in-laws about Orthodoxy, their latest issue is icons. They came to our apartment last week and saw our little makeshift icon corner. When I wasn't in the room, my husband told me that his mother said, "I hope you know how to really use those things," (something along those lines).

Well, after a recent phone call, they are apparently incensed that we have icons and are convinced that they are products of idol worship. We've tried to explain it to them and I offered literature about iconography, even literature written by Protestants.

"I don't care what man has to say about it," my MIL said. "If it's not in the Bible, I'm not interested."

Now, we are not going to bend over backwards and spend years trying to convince them. They are not interested in hearing our arguments, but my husband wanted to try using the Bible to find verses that, while not explicitly supportive, might help his case.

I personally think that at best, it would be a stretch, since the history of iconography is not something found in the book of James. There is a historical precedent for it going back many years...but his parents don't care about that.

If this is a losing battle, we're chalking this one up along with several others. I don't even like going the sola scriptura approach with this, but anyway...

What are your thoughts?


P.S. Christianity apparently did not exist between a few years of the death of Christ and Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses, so don't even try that kind of argument.
 

biro

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God commanded the making of the Ark of the Covenant, with its gold cherubim.
 

IsmiLiora

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biro said:
God commanded the making of the Ark of the Covenant, with its gold cherubim.
That was what I was thinking of, but that was the part that I think is still a stretch. I'm not aware of any other verses at the moment, so any suggestion will be welcome!
 

Pikhristos Aftonf

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They pretty much "cornered" you well and good. even if you find a verse in support, they will interpret it in their way and turn it into an irrelevant comment. you just got sola-scriptured!
try this:
"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."
ask her what it means, if she says it means that the bible doesn't contain everything the Lord ever said and did, then that's a start.
i would hate to argue against the Bible, but it was made into a single text in the 3-4 centuries AD. how then were the believers getting around? this can lead into Oral tradition of the Apostles:
"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
ask her, does that mean that the decisions of the Apostles would be enough to justify your point, as it is binding and legitimate?
if so then it makes it much easier, for St Luke drew icons, many of the Holy Virgin Mary. the Apostles also passed down to our Orthodox fathers who maintained it, thus it can be assumed that Icons were part of the Original church.
also if the Lord appointed the Apostles, shepherds of the flock, is it appropriate that after the time of the death of the last apostle, that the flock is shepherdess?
i will try to dig up a few quotes from early church fathers.
 

jewish voice

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Exodus 26:1 talks about the Cherubim embroidered on the Tent Cloth pretty much from Exodus 26 to Exodus 32 talks about the lay out of the Tent to the Priests Vestments 32:1 talks about how G-d hand pick the people to do the craft work and art work
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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I know your frustration!

I think it's good to try to provide biblical support for our beliefs and practices, but issues like these ultimately point to the fundamenal difference of Christian authority for Protestants and Orthodox. I have become much more blunt about pointing this out to Protestants, especially when they begin accusing us of "idol worship," etc. You can use Socratic reasoning, i.e. ask them a series of questions that will reveal the problems of their Sola Scriptura approach. Here is an example of how the conversation might go:

In Laws / Protestants: "The veneration of icons is not biblical."

Orthodox: "Neither is the word 'Trinity,' but you believe in the Trinity don't you?"

In Laws / Protestants: "Of course we believe in the Trinity. And even though the word 'Trinity' is not in the Bible, the concept of the Trinity is clearly presented in Scripture."

Orthodox: "But there are some Christian sects that reject the Trinity because they say that the concept is not found in the Bible."

In Laws / Protestants: “That’s because they don’t interpret the Bible accurately.”

Orthodox: “Well how do you know that you are interpreting the Bible accurately? There are a thousand different Protestant sects that claim to be based on the Bible, all claiming to interpret the Bible accurately. Whose right, and why?”

In Laws / Protestants: “The Holy Spirit guides us, and if we use proper hermeneutical principles then we will understand the Scriptures.”

Orthodox: “But this is basically what all Protestant denominations say, and yet they all come up with different doctrines. So doesn’t it seem obvious that basing your Christian authority on Sola Scriptura is problematic?”

Anyway, you get the gist. You just have to clearly point out to them that Protestants and Orthodox operate from two very different foundations. And you can also point out to them that Orthodoxy actually holds the Bible in a much higher regard than Protestantism, because we recognize that the Scriptures came to us in and through the Church, and therefore we don’t presume to individually interpret the Bible apart from the Church.

But I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. Just trying to add my own humble thoughts on the matter. I hope it helps.


Selam

 

ialmisry

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

No thank you.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

But Mr. Persson does not believe this Scripture.

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

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

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

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

MCE

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Pikhristos Aftonf said:
try this:
"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."
ask her what it means, if she says it means that the bible doesn't contain everything the Lord ever said and did, then that's a start.
i would hate to argue against the Bible, but it was made into a single text in the 3-4 centuries AD. how then were the believers getting around? this can lead into Oral tradition of the Apostles:
"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
ask her, does that mean that the decisions of the Apostles would be enough to justify your point, as it is binding and legitimate?
if so then it makes it much easier, for St Luke drew icons, many of the Holy Virgin Mary. the Apostles also passed down to our Orthodox fathers who maintained it, thus it can be assumed that Icons were part of the Original church.
also if the Lord appointed the Apostles, shepherds of the flock, is it appropriate that after the time of the death of the last apostle, that the flock is shepherdess?
i will try to dig up a few quotes from early church fathers.
Excellent, except for one thing. The uniting of the bible into one bound
volume format in the 300s or so was NOT the writing of the Bible. the
Gospels and Epistles were in circulation in writing from the time the
Apostles put pen to paper and being read and copied. If any priest
or bishop said something that didn't fit to that, it could be easily
corrected. While there is some early church evidence of comparative
lack of imagery there is also the testimony of Luke making that icon.

Oral tradition is the last thing to be trusted. Ever play the telephone
game? you whisper something to one person in line who whispers it
to the next. ten people down the line it is either changed or unrecognizeable.

that is why Justin Martyr and St. Irenaeus are important for all this,
because they wrote in the second century, and St. Irenaeus was the
disciple of St. Polycarp, the disciple of St. John the Apostle. that is
a short enough transmission line, and backed up with all the NT and
OT texts to correct any error, to trust whatever they say.

St. Irenaeus writings are online, just google them. you can find
the truth as taught by the earliest church leaders, both explicitly
stated and implied in the condemnation of the errors of the heretics
of the time.

those heresies there were mostly of the gnostic sort, extremely
relevant today to the New Age errors. certain heresies that were
redeveloped later as strictly Christological heresies are also
addressed, I think, insofar as some gnostics held them.

I forget if the issue of icons is brought up. But if you can't
depict The Invisible God, and He has become human and visible,
then you can depict Him, and there was aside from the Shroud
later of Turin and the image at Edessa, most likely a tradition
of what Jesus looked like in general by the time more specific
than symbolic and crude images were made of Him.
 

orthonorm

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IsmiLiora said:
biro said:
God commanded the making of the Ark of the Covenant, with its gold cherubim.
That was what I was thinking of, but that was the part that I think is still a stretch. I'm not aware of any other verses at the moment, so any suggestion will be welcome!
Never convincing to me. It is a stretch.

Sorry you have to go through this and I almost believe you have cataloged that precisely the number times these things have come up for you and your in-laws.

Truly sad.
 

Pikhristos Aftonf

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MCE,
i completely agree, i understand that it was merely the binding of all the chapter into a single book. however that has its own problems, such as choosing which books should be included and which shouldn't, the apocryphal books of nag hammadi and the ethiopian inclusion of Enoch.
i don't think Oral tradition is that unreliable, at a certain stage it became canons, also we as Orthodox must assume that the Church preserved the faith as it was handed down, this includes Oral tradition. the telephone example is not analogous because people don't dedicate their lives and entire existence to preserving a normal conversation, also the Holy spirit preserves the truth in our Church.

St Luke made several Icons, 3 of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, 1 of the Apostles Peter and Paul. it wasn't an isolated incident, he can be called the first Iconographer.
. But if you can't
depict The Invisible God, and He has become human and visible,
then you can depict Him, and there was aside from the Shroud
later of Turin and the image at Edessa, most likely a tradition
of what Jesus looked like in general by the time more specific
than symbolic and crude images were made of Him.
we can also depict the Holy spirit as Water, Wind, Dove or tongues of fire. the father is a no-go zone.
 

orthonorm

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MCE said:
Oral tradition is the last thing to be trusted. Ever play the telephone
game? you whisper something to one person in line who whispers it
to the next. ten people down the line it is either changed or unrecognizeable.
Paging Jeannie . . .
 

Riddikulus

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I don't know if this is helpful, but ask them where are scriptural instructions to end observation of the Sabbath and gather on the 1st day. I know that the NT implies a change, but from what I recall there is no explicit commandment to overthrow any commandment regarding the Sabbath in favour of the 1st day, though it is what happened over time. The change occurs within the Church, as does the support for iconography.
 

orthonorm

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Pikhristos Aftonf said:
i didn't get the reference.. :-[
Rejoice!

I tried listening these podcasts:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/searchthescriptures

He voice is like nails on chalkboard. Her delivery: matronizing. Decent content. Draws out to eternity the most obvious points.

One of which would be one of the three podcasts I suffered where she spent pointing out how "oral tradition" is nothing like the "telephone game".

Literally, like 30 minutes.

If you think the "oral tradition" is like playing telephone in any serious way, you need to suffer through her obvious observations, because it is a ridiculous statement.
 
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orthonorm said:
One of which would be one of the three podcasts I suffered where she spent pointing out how "oral tradition" is nothing like the "telephone game".
A lot of people really need to hear it at this level.
 

Pikhristos Aftonf

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sounds like a torturous situation, luckily i don't have to listen to it, because i highly value the way the church preserved the faith, even its Oral component.
on an unrelated note, maybe thats what happens to heretics when they pass away, maybe they have to listen to a boring lecture about their mistakes set on loop, i call it heretichell
 

MCE

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orthonorm said:
Pikhristos Aftonf said:
i didn't get the reference.. :-[
Rejoice!

I tried listening these podcasts:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/searchthescriptures

He voice is like nails on chalkboard. Her delivery: matronizing. Decent content. Draws out to eternity the most obvious points.

One of which would be one of the three podcasts I suffered where she spent pointing out how "oral tradition" is nothing like the "telephone game".

Literally, like 30 minutes.

If you think the "oral tradition" is like playing telephone in any serious way, you need to suffer through her obvious observations, because it is a ridiculous statement.
tell you what, you listen to that lecture TWICE, then you record your
effort to repeat it word for word, and then you see the differences.
then take your copy, have someone listen twice, and record their effort
to repeat your repeat word for word. compare it to the original.

you will eat your above words.

the faith can be transmitted that way, not entire books and not
the longer epistles. They were WRITTEN FROM THE START.
 

orthonorm

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MCE said:
orthonorm said:
Pikhristos Aftonf said:
i didn't get the reference.. :-[
Rejoice!

I tried listening these podcasts:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/searchthescriptures

He voice is like nails on chalkboard. Her delivery: matronizing. Decent content. Draws out to eternity the most obvious points.

One of which would be one of the three podcasts I suffered where she spent pointing out how "oral tradition" is nothing like the "telephone game".

Literally, like 30 minutes.

If you think the "oral tradition" is like playing telephone in any serious way, you need to suffer through her obvious observations, because it is a ridiculous statement.
tell you what, you listen to that lecture TWICE, then you record your
effort to repeat it word for word, and then you see the differences.
then take your copy, have someone listen twice, and record their effort
to repeat your repeat word for word. compare it to the original.

you will eat your above words.

the faith can be transmitted that way, not entire books and not
the longer epistles. They were WRITTEN FROM THE START.
Oh this will go nowhere but fun, for me. So I leave it.
 

Pikhristos Aftonf

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i have three things for you.
Holy Spirit
People dedicating their ENTIRE life to learning that lecture (if it was the apostles words)
endless practice of the lecture (the church practices the words of the apostles everyday, making it harder to change it)
 

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I had a similar problem with my step-mother when we started our icon corner.

This went back and forth until I visited her church for a social event.  Her church had several beautiful stained glass windows, most of them without people but a few with people including a window depicting the last supper.    We had a short conversation about it and conceded that it was ok to have them in a church.  From that I brought up the fact that peoples houses where some of the first churches.  She accepted that line of thought.  



 

Achronos

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orthonorm said:
Pikhristos Aftonf said:
i didn't get the reference.. :-[
Rejoice!

I tried listening these podcasts:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/searchthescriptures

He voice is like nails on chalkboard. Her delivery: matronizing. Decent content. Draws out to eternity the most obvious points.

One of which would be one of the three podcasts I suffered where she spent pointing out how "oral tradition" is nothing like the "telephone game".

Literally, like 30 minutes.

If you think the "oral tradition" is like playing telephone in any serious way, you need to suffer through her obvious observations, because it is a ridiculous statement.
LOL don't make Dr. Jeannie sign on to this board again.

Never did understand the chinese whispers argument really.
 

xariskai

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IsmiLiora said:
"I don't care what man has to say about it," my MIL said. "If it's not in the Bible, I'm not interested."
You are not asking them to be interested; they are trying to "prove" that *your* worship is heretical. As such, the burden of proof is on them, not you! Their first line of attack is on the basis of the Exclusionary Principle: "exclude everything that isn't in the Bible." This principle cannot survive its own demand (see further below).

A Calvinist friend, "SD," once presented me with the following Q and A contra the observation of Lent from a Presbyterian website (OPC.org); my friend could not find a good way to continue his argument after my response which follows the quote.

OPC.org said:
Question and Answer: Should We Observe Lent?

....As the Reformers began to plea for a purification of the church, the issue of authority became central. The question was: does the church have the authority to bind the conscience of the believer beyond what Scripture indicates? The Roman Catholic Church said yes, and the Reformers essentially said no. Some Reformers took a really strong stance on this. In time, the Reformation would give birth to different denominational branches, i.e., Lutheran, Anglican, and Reformed. In the area of worship, the former two have adopted a more conciliatory approach, and will allow the church to practice things (whether in worship or holidays), as long as the Bible does not explicitly or implicitly forbid them. This is often called the "normative principal" of worship. Those inheriting a Reformed theology (which would include the OPC) have adopted the stance that the church is only to practice in worship what the Bible actually establishes, often called the "regulative principle of worship." Many in the Reformed tradition would exclude the practice of Lent on this basis—it lacks scriptural warrant.  http://www.opc.org/qa.html?question_id=365
"Luther would allow whatever the Bible did not prohibit, whereas Zwingli would reject whatever the Bible did not allow" (Baintan, R. H., Christendom (NY: Harper & Row, 1960), p. 231).

The position SD's quote affirms is a variation of what is often called the Exclusionary Principle: "exclude what isn't in the Bible." There are variations of the Exclusionary Principle, for example in SD's quotation, "exclude what isn't in the Bible in regards to worship." There are two serious problems I see with the Exclusionary Principle as stated above.

First, it is self-defeating: it is not found in the Bible. The Bible never says "exclude from worship everything except what the Bible actually establishes" the way SD's quote does (in fact the Bible never refers to "the Bible" as a single complete book). It is an extra-biblical regulative principle for worship which isn't found in the Bible which claims extra-biblical regulative principles not found in the Bible are wrong. SD's quote forbids anything outside the Bible that "binds the conscience," while positing an extra-biblical Exclusionary Principle to "bind the conscience" of Christians.

Secondly it leads to the division and factionalism. Worship together with others who have a different Exclusionary Principle, or no Exclusionary Principle, becomes impossible, and resolution of the debate is subjective because it is an extra-biblical tradition and because it is completely unattested during the earliest centuries of Christianity when those directly taught by an apostle or their immediate successors were still alive. Hence the author of SD's quote concludes not only Anglican and Lutheran worship is wrong, but the worship of the vast majority of Christians on the planet is wrong, and the worship of every Christian on the planet before Zwingli invented the Exclusionary Principle.

=========

Accordingly, IsmiLiora, I would suggest since your in-laws to prove the Exclusionary Principle from the Bible if they are going to demand that you should exclude something not explicitly found in its pages.

If you can get that far, you might further suggest that a critique of any position is only credible when it shows a comprehensive understanding of the position it presumes to critique. Tell your in-laws that just as they would never accept a critique of the Bible by any person who had never even bothered to read the Bible that neither can you accept a critique of the Orthodox view of icons by any person who has not interacted extensively with the primary sources on iconography in the Orthodox Church. Require their position to be vigorously consistent with the usage of images in the OT mentioned in this thread. Remember, if they are the ones complaining, the burden of proof is on them, not you!
 

LBK

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Ismi, here's a start:

There was no outright prohibition of images for veneration in Jewish worship. There are numerous references in Scripture. Consider how prevalent they were in the Tabernacle and then later in the Temple. There were images of cherubim:

On the Ark—Ex. 25:18
On the curtains of the Tabernacle—Ex. 26:1
On the veil of the Holy of Holies—Ex. 26:31
Two huge Cherubim in the Sanctuary—1 Kings 6:23
On the walls—1 Kings 6:29
On the doors—1 Kings 6:32
And on the furnishings—1 Kings 7:29,36

In short, there were icons everywhere you turned.

Also, Jewish holy books have been illustrated as far back as we have them. They contain illustrations of Biblical scenes, much like those found at the synagogue of Dura Europos (and like the church found nearby) which was buried in the mid 3rd century when the Persians destroyed that city. It is noteworthy that the earliest icons of the Catacombs were mostly Old Testament scenes, and icons of Christ. The dominance of Old Testament scenes shows that this was not a pagan practice Christianised by converts, but a Jewish practice, adopted by the Christians.
 

biro

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If no one has already mentioned this, in Genesis there's the simple, "Let us make man in our image and likeness."  :angel:

Hope that helps.
 

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I wouldn't even play the game.  Exercise your right not to be engaged.  It is likely a no-win scenario. 
 

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This might be too provocative, but it *could* be worth a try: If icons are idols, merely painted wood, then what would be this woman's reaction to someone stomping on, or spitting on, or ripping up, a Bible? After all, it's *only* paper, ink, glue and cardboard.  ;)
 
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Maybe you could ask them if icons are idolatry, what is the so called "prosperity" gospel preached by some evangelicals?
 

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MCE said:
Oral tradition is the last thing to be trusted. Ever play the telephone
game? you whisper something to one person in line who whispers it
to the next. ten people down the line it is either changed or unrecognizeable.
As has been mentioned before, the telephone game doesn't have much resemblance to oral tradition. Oral cultures actually have a high degree of accuracy in transmission. I can look up the studies for you, if you want.
 

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Russell said:
I had a similar problem with my step-mother when we started our icon corner.

This went back and forth until I visited her church for a social event.  Her church had several beautiful stained glass windows, most of them without people but a few with people including a window depicting the last supper.    We had a short conversation about it and conceded that it was ok to have them in a church.  From that I brought up the fact that peoples houses where some of the first churches.  She accepted that line of thought.  
I agree, give this one a shot, Ismi :)
 

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Chances are that if they are that set against icons as idolatry, then finding an occasion of explicit icon veneration and the command to do so would not be enough to convince anyone of anything, especially in an argument where the goal isn't to find truth but to "win" by proving your point.

But if you're interested, get a concordance and look up the hebrew words for "image", "graven image" (two words in english but only one in hebrew), and "idol" ( don't forget variations of the same word - idols, idolatry, etc) and how and where they are used in the OT. You could also look at how and where "idol" is used in the NT. You won't find anything as explicit as most sola scripturists would like, but it will provide some context as to what exactly an "idol" is and what constitutes "idolatry".
 

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Thank you for your words, all. I have been referencing this and printed it out for further use.

They have also alleged that the Orthodox added books onto the Protestant canon (I know, I know), which we are thinking of tackling first.

Like I said, we are not going to go overboard but will discuss this once, and only once. Thanks again for everything. I may respond to individual points at a later time, but each and every post has been valuable.  :)
 

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KBN1 said:
I wouldn't even play the game.  Exercise your right not to be engaged.  It is likely a no-win scenario. 
Troof.
 

primuspilus

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They have also alleged that the Orthodox added books onto the Protestant canon (I know, I know), which we are thinking of tackling first
Then I would ask where the protestants were during the Council of Carthage in 397:

The Council of Carthage, called the third by Denzinger,[4] on 28 August 397 issued a canon of the Bible quoted as, "Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, 4 books of Kingdoms, 2 books of Chronicles, Job, the Davidic Psalter, 5 books of Solomon, 12 books of Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobias, Judith, Esther, 2 books of Ezra,[5] 2 books of Maccabees, and in the New Testament: 4 books of Gospels, 1 book of Acts of the Apostles, 13 letters of the Apostle Paul, 1 letter of his to the Hebrews, 2 of Peter, 3 of John, 1 of James, 1 of Jude, and one book of the Apocalypse of John
You caould also ask where the protestants were at 30 years prior when St. Athanasius laid down the new testament canon since its the same one we use today, a question should force it's way to the surface:

If you accept St. Athanasius' New Testament canon, who was Orthodox, why do you not also accept the canon laid down and that was followed for over a millennium before Protestantism was even a glimmer of a thought?

Also, I would state that Orthodoxy did not add book,s Luther tried to take them off, he even admitted to it.

PP
 

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I know, PP. I'm actually afraid about what they're going to respond. How could anyone THINK that Catholics/Protestants added books to the canon? I met evangelicals who kind of swept the issue under the rug. My mouth dropped open when the FIL said that.

Like I said, I think it's the easiest one to shoot down. But they don't even acknowledge that (and they might, but if not...) I'm going to wave the white flag of surrender and we'll just continue on our happy way to conversion.

But Mr. Ismi wants to get them to somewhat accept it, which I understand. I had converted myself when I was 18, so I'd been through it already once with my parents. He hasn't. Of course we will go ahead regardless, but we're praying that something changes...
 

primuspilus

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IsmiLiora said:
I know, PP. I'm actually afraid about what they're going to respond. How could anyone THINK that Catholics/Protestants added books to the canon? I met evangelicals who kind of swept the issue under the rug. My mouth dropped open when the FIL said that.

Like I said, I think it's the easiest one to shoot down. But they don't even acknowledge that (and they might, but if not...) I'm going to wave the white flag of surrender and we'll just continue on our happy way to conversion.

But Mr. Ismi wants to get them to somewhat accept it, which I understand. I had converted myself when I was 18, so I'd been through it already once with my parents. He hasn't. Of course we will go ahead regardless, but we're praying that something changes...
What denomination are your in-laws, if you dont mind the question.

PP
 

IsmiLiora

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Pentecostal. The extreme Pentecostals. And they are both ministers.

So I can't blame them for their zeal, but this is getting beyond frustrating.
 
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