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John of Damascus' exegesis of De 4:15 is impossible

Alfred Persson

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jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Deu 4:15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
This isn't talking about the Incarnation. This is talking about the Ancient Jews not seeing similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to them in Choreb on the mountain out of the midst of the fire.
If the incarnate body is not the "similitude of God" this verse is irrelevant to icons, which destroys the rational for making icons...that the incarnation made the similitude of God sensible and therefore can be imaged.

You can't have both as true, you must choose; either

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ



If you pick #1, then: the icon's prototype is not 1)God for the prohibition doesn't have an except if you seen it clause; 2)His similitude is not human flesh as it is expressly ruled out as an image of His similitude.

If you pick #2, then: John D's rational for making icons of God vanishes, the prohibition remains and you are all idolatrous.


Pick one.
What does "in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain" mean to you?

For that is the whole context of similitude in Deu 4:15

You can't take the issue of similitude outside of that context and in the way you are using it.



1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ
There is a difference in time. Why? Well, lets look at the passage again.

Deu 4:15
And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:


When did the Incarnation happen? Did it happen in the day in which the Lord spoke to them in Choreb?

If no, then you have no argument!

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ

Revelation is progressive and therefore it is not a contradiction. I already showed you in where we(Christians) depicted things in the air, Earth, and water in where Exodus says no, I also showed in where God later allowed the Jews to make such depictions.

But you ignore all this!


ICXC NIKA
Its irrelevant how you understand that...what is material is your choice of these 2 possibilities:

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ


Pick one.
 

jnorm888

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Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Deu 4:15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
This isn't talking about the Incarnation. This is talking about the Ancient Jews not seeing similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to them in Choreb on the mountain out of the midst of the fire.
If the incarnate body is not the "similitude of God" this verse is irrelevant to icons, which destroys the rational for making icons...that the incarnation made the similitude of God sensible and therefore can be imaged.

You can't have both as true, you must choose; either

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ



If you pick #1, then: the icon's prototype is not 1)God for the prohibition doesn't have an except if you seen it clause; 2)His similitude is not human flesh as it is expressly ruled out as an image of His similitude.

If you pick #2, then: John D's rational for making icons of God vanishes, the prohibition remains and you are all idolatrous.


Pick one.
What does "in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain" mean to you?

For that is the whole context of similitude in Deu 4:15

You can't take the issue of similitude outside of that context and in the way you are using it.



1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ
There is a difference in time. Why? Well, lets look at the passage again.

Deu 4:15
And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:


When did the Incarnation happen? Did it happen in the day in which the Lord spoke to them in Choreb?

If no, then you have no argument!

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ

Revelation is progressive and therefore it is not a contradiction. I already showed you in where we(Christians) depicted things in the air, Earth, and water in where Exodus says no, I also showed in where God later allowed the Jews to make such depictions.

But you ignore all this!


ICXC NIKA
Its irrelevant how you understand that...what is material is what does that cause you to chose:

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ


Pick one.
Its not irrelevant! And the fact that you think it is shows that you really don't care about truth! You made plenty of mistakes from your first post onward, and you refuse correction.

I also answered your two questions! If not most of your stuff.....in which you just keep ignoring!











ICXC NIKA
 

Alfred Persson

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jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Deu 4:15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
This isn't talking about the Incarnation. This is talking about the Ancient Jews not seeing similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to them in Choreb on the mountain out of the midst of the fire.
If the incarnate body is not the "similitude of God" this verse is irrelevant to icons, which destroys the rational for making icons...that the incarnation made the similitude of God sensible and therefore can be imaged.

You can't have both as true, you must choose; either

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ



If you pick #1, then: the icon's prototype is not 1)God for the prohibition doesn't have an except if you seen it clause; 2)His similitude is not human flesh as it is expressly ruled out as an image of His similitude.

If you pick #2, then: John D's rational for making icons of God vanishes, the prohibition remains and you are all idolatrous.


Pick one.
What does "in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain" mean to you?

For that is the whole context of similitude in Deu 4:15

You can't take the issue of similitude outside of that context and in the way you are using it.



1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ
There is a difference in time. Why? Well, lets look at the passage again.

Deu 4:15
And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:


When did the Incarnation happen? Did it happen in the day in which the Lord spoke to them in Choreb?

If no, then you have no argument!

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ

Revelation is progressive and therefore it is not a contradiction. I already showed you in where we(Christians) depicted things in the air, Earth, and water in where Exodus says no, I also showed in where God later allowed the Jews to make such depictions.

But you ignore all this!


ICXC NIKA
Its irrelevant how you understand that...what is material is what does that cause you to chose:

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ


Pick one.
Its not irrelevant! And the fact that you think it is shows that you really don't care about truth! You made plenty of mistakes from your first post onward, and you refuse correction.









ICXC NIKA

Prove its relevance...show how that destroys the need to pick one of these two possibilities:

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ

If you can't do that, you must pick one.
 

jnorm888

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Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Deu 4:15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
This isn't talking about the Incarnation. This is talking about the Ancient Jews not seeing similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to them in Choreb on the mountain out of the midst of the fire.
If the incarnate body is not the "similitude of God" this verse is irrelevant to icons, which destroys the rational for making icons...that the incarnation made the similitude of God sensible and therefore can be imaged.

You can't have both as true, you must choose; either

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ



If you pick #1, then: the icon's prototype is not 1)God for the prohibition doesn't have an except if you seen it clause; 2)His similitude is not human flesh as it is expressly ruled out as an image of His similitude.

If you pick #2, then: John D's rational for making icons of God vanishes, the prohibition remains and you are all idolatrous.


Pick one.
What does "in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain" mean to you?

For that is the whole context of similitude in Deu 4:15

You can't take the issue of similitude outside of that context and in the way you are using it.



1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ
There is a difference in time. Why? Well, lets look at the passage again.

Deu 4:15
And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:


When did the Incarnation happen? Did it happen in the day in which the Lord spoke to them in Choreb?

If no, then you have no argument!

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ

Revelation is progressive and therefore it is not a contradiction. I already showed you in where we(Christians) depicted things in the air, Earth, and water in where Exodus says no, I also showed in where God later allowed the Jews to make such depictions.

But you ignore all this!


ICXC NIKA
Its irrelevant how you understand that...what is material is what does that cause you to chose:

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ


Pick one.
Its not irrelevant! And the fact that you think it is shows that you really don't care about truth! You made plenty of mistakes from your first post onward, and you refuse correction.









ICXC NIKA

Prove its relevance...show how that renders the need to pick one of the two possibilities, unnecessary:

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ

If you can't do that, you must pick one.
I already answered your two choices! Your choices are flawed because they ignore a vital context of the Scripture mentioned.

And this wasn't the first flaw you made on the thread.







ICXC NIKA
 

Alfred Persson

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jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Deu 4:15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
This isn't talking about the Incarnation. This is talking about the Ancient Jews not seeing similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to them in Choreb on the mountain out of the midst of the fire.
If the incarnate body is not the "similitude of God" this verse is irrelevant to icons, which destroys the rational for making icons...that the incarnation made the similitude of God sensible and therefore can be imaged.

You can't have both as true, you must choose; either

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ



If you pick #1, then: the icon's prototype is not 1)God for the prohibition doesn't have an except if you seen it clause; 2)His similitude is not human flesh as it is expressly ruled out as an image of His similitude.

If you pick #2, then: John D's rational for making icons of God vanishes, the prohibition remains and you are all idolatrous.


Pick one.
What does "in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain" mean to you?

For that is the whole context of similitude in Deu 4:15

You can't take the issue of similitude outside of that context and in the way you are using it.



1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ
There is a difference in time. Why? Well, lets look at the passage again.

Deu 4:15
And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:


When did the Incarnation happen? Did it happen in the day in which the Lord spoke to them in Choreb?

If no, then you have no argument!

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ

Revelation is progressive and therefore it is not a contradiction. I already showed you in where we(Christians) depicted things in the air, Earth, and water in where Exodus says no, I also showed in where God later allowed the Jews to make such depictions.

But you ignore all this!


ICXC NIKA
Its irrelevant how you understand that...what is material is what does that cause you to chose:

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ


Pick one.
Its not irrelevant! And the fact that you think it is shows that you really don't care about truth! You made plenty of mistakes from your first post onward, and you refuse correction.









ICXC NIKA

Prove its relevance...show how that renders the need to pick one of the two possibilities, unnecessary:

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ

If you can't do that, you must pick one.
I already did!









ICXC NIKA
That documents why you should focus, leave the prattle about me out, otherwise I might miss your point, buried in all the ad hominem.

Repeat your proof, I don't have time to reread the whole thread, Glen Beck is on soon.
 

jnorm888

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Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Deu 4:15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
This isn't talking about the Incarnation. This is talking about the Ancient Jews not seeing similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to them in Choreb on the mountain out of the midst of the fire.
If the incarnate body is not the "similitude of God" this verse is irrelevant to icons, which destroys the rational for making icons...that the incarnation made the similitude of God sensible and therefore can be imaged.

You can't have both as true, you must choose; either

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ



If you pick #1, then: the icon's prototype is not 1)God for the prohibition doesn't have an except if you seen it clause; 2)His similitude is not human flesh as it is expressly ruled out as an image of His similitude.

If you pick #2, then: John D's rational for making icons of God vanishes, the prohibition remains and you are all idolatrous.


Pick one.
What does "in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain" mean to you?

For that is the whole context of similitude in Deu 4:15

You can't take the issue of similitude outside of that context and in the way you are using it.



1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ
There is a difference in time. Why? Well, lets look at the passage again.

Deu 4:15
And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:


When did the Incarnation happen? Did it happen in the day in which the Lord spoke to them in Choreb?

If no, then you have no argument!

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ

Revelation is progressive and therefore it is not a contradiction. I already showed you in where we(Christians) depicted things in the air, Earth, and water in where Exodus says no, I also showed in where God later allowed the Jews to make such depictions.

But you ignore all this!


ICXC NIKA
Its irrelevant how you understand that...what is material is what does that cause you to chose:

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ


Pick one.
Its not irrelevant! And the fact that you think it is shows that you really don't care about truth! You made plenty of mistakes from your first post onward, and you refuse correction.









ICXC NIKA

Prove its relevance...show how that renders the need to pick one of the two possibilities, unnecessary:

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ

If you can't do that, you must pick one.
I already did!

ICXC NIKA
That documents why you should focus, leave the prattle about me out, otherwise I might miss your point, buried in all the ad hominem.

Repeat your proof, I don't have time to reread the whole thread, Glen Beck is on soon.


Then re-read it after Glenn Beck is over!









ICXC NIKA
 

Alfred Persson

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jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
Deu 4:15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
This isn't talking about the Incarnation. This is talking about the Ancient Jews not seeing similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to them in Choreb on the mountain out of the midst of the fire.
If the incarnate body is not the "similitude of God" this verse is irrelevant to icons, which destroys the rational for making icons...that the incarnation made the similitude of God sensible and therefore can be imaged.

You can't have both as true, you must choose; either

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ



If you pick #1, then: the icon's prototype is not 1)God for the prohibition doesn't have an except if you seen it clause; 2)His similitude is not human flesh as it is expressly ruled out as an image of His similitude.

If you pick #2, then: John D's rational for making icons of God vanishes, the prohibition remains and you are all idolatrous.


Pick one.
What does "in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain" mean to you?

For that is the whole context of similitude in Deu 4:15

You can't take the issue of similitude outside of that context and in the way you are using it.



1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ
There is a difference in time. Why? Well, lets look at the passage again.

Deu 4:15
And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:


When did the Incarnation happen? Did it happen in the day in which the Lord spoke to them in Choreb?

If no, then you have no argument!

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ

Revelation is progressive and therefore it is not a contradiction. I already showed you in where we(Christians) depicted things in the air, Earth, and water in where Exodus says no, I also showed in where God later allowed the Jews to make such depictions.

But you ignore all this!


ICXC NIKA
Its irrelevant how you understand that...what is material is what does that cause you to chose:

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ


Pick one.
Its not irrelevant! And the fact that you think it is shows that you really don't care about truth! You made plenty of mistakes from your first post onward, and you refuse correction.









ICXC NIKA

Prove its relevance...show how that renders the need to pick one of the two possibilities, unnecessary:

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ

If you can't do that, you must pick one.
I already did!

ICXC NIKA
That documents why you should focus, leave the prattle about me out, otherwise I might miss your point, buried in all the ad hominem.

Repeat your proof, I don't have time to reread the whole thread, Glen Beck is on soon.


Then re-read it after Glenn Beck is over!









ICXC NIKA
I don't believe you had a point...you are evading you must choose:

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ


I'll be back...


If any see realize how foolish icons are and desire Christ indwelling, do as the apostle Paul said:

8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
(Rom 10:8-11 KJV)

Repent and confess Christ in public, before the eyes of men and angel, and the LORD will hasten to you.
 

ialmisry

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Alfred Persson said:
Melodist said:
Deu 4:15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
16 lest ye transgress, and make to yourselves a carved image, any kind of figure (EIKWN), the likeness of male or female,-LXX, Brenton

It says that the Israelites you could not use any form to represent God, who had not revealed himself to them in any form at that point. God did finally reveal Himself in Jesus Christ, who does have a form.
Thanks for responding to the argument.
you might return the favor:
ialmisry said:
Alfred Persson said:
You have a whole thread here for your views.
otherwise, we must apply the principle of qui tacet consentit, and accept your silence as an admission of defeat.
 

Robert W

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Alfread Pearson, you say that icons are Nestorian. Can you please answer yes or no to the following questions?

A photo is similar to a painting. Yes/no?
Photos are taken using light sensitive sensors.  Yes/no?
Eyes are composed of light sensitive sensors. Yes/no?
Looking at someone creates an image of the person they are beholding within their eyes. Yes/no?
The first nestorian was Virgin Mary, because she looked at her own child. Yes/no?

If icons are nestorian then I claim that Virgin Mary was the first nestorian.

This is the second time I post this.
 

ialmisry

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Alfred Persson said:
That documents why you should focus, leave the prattle about me out, otherwise I might miss your point, buried in all the ad hominem.
pointing out the shortcomings of your prattle isn't an ad hominem, a point you miss.


Repeat your proof, I don't have time to reread the whole thread,
Nor any of St. John, or the thread on your views
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.new.html#new
Glen Beck is on soon.
Are you a fellow Mormon?
 

ialmisry

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Alfred Persson said:
I don't believe you had a point...you are evading you must choose:

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ
I'll be back...
So will Christ. And we celebrate the Restoration of the Icons, the Triumph of Orthodoxy, because the Orhtodox Church has alone remained as Christ left her, neither adding nor subtracting anything, for pure and whole we must present her at His Second and Dread Coming.


If any see realize how foolish icons are and desire Christ indwelling, do as the apostle Paul said:
II Peter 3:15 Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Do as the apostle Paul said:"Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." II Thessalonians 2:15..."Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the traditions, as I delivered them to you." I Corinthians 11:2...."Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." II Thessalonians 3:6.


8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
(Rom 10:8-11 KJV)
we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour(Heb. 2:9)


Repent and confess Christ in public, before the eyes of men and angel, and the LORD will hasten to you.
The Lord's sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:)21Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.

The LORD said to His Church: "He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me." Having rejected the Church, upon what can you stand? Christ found His Church upon the Rock, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against her.  Your sand will sink you.

Glen Beck is over. Red Eye is on.

P.S. Cartago delenda est. Qui tacet consentit.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.msg459840/topicseen.html#msg459840
 

ialmisry

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theistgal said:
ialmisry said:
If this was CAF, his posts could be scrubbed clean, where they may never lead others astray, besides polluting the internet.  But since OC.net doesn't do that sort a thing (a policy I support. Pure gold fears no fire), a word or too is appropriate.
Well, I think it's probably a little too late to avoid polluting the Internet.  ;D

Also, if you Google the OP's name you'll find that he's been polluting an awful lot of other religious boards/blogs/discussions besides this one, for a few years, so one more isn't going to make that much difference. ::)  ;)
Does his "arguments" fall as flat elsewhere?  Hopefully someone would google his name and find this.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.msg459840/topicseen.html#msg459840
 

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Alfred Persson said:
You can't have both as true, you must choose; either

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ
There is a third option. NO SIMILITUDE WAS SEEN. That is why it could not be imaged. A similitude was not revealed, therefore could not be imaged, until the incarnation. At which point it could be imaged, because it was seen.

the prohibition doesn't have an except if you seen it clause
The prohibition is a "because you haven't seen it" clause. It says "for ye saw no manner of similitude". That means "you haven't seen it". This was on the day that the Lord spoke to them.

Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:

Things changed when God revealed a similitude to us that "we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth". As St John (the apostle) says elsewhere

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;"

Pick one.
I pick the third option. It's the one that says God became man and we saw Him.
 

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Alfred, you're the only one proving yourself to be an Arian.  Christ, True God of True God, Incarnate, was both God and Man, and dwelt among us.  Continuing the iconographic tradition that depicts Christ in the flesh is no more heretical than St. Peter looking upon Christ with his eyes, and beholding Incarnate God.  Deuteronomy 4:15 is right in its context, for God had not come down and dwelt among mankind.  But Christ, the Son of God, True God of True God, Incarnate, came into the world - and therefore, since He was truly seen, touched, and heard by mankind, He can be then seen (icon), touched (communion), and heard (the Gospel) by us now.  Those who claim that icons cannot be made because of the prohibition of Deut. 4:15 are thus also claiming that God did not dwell amongst us, for the prohibition was against creating an idol of an apparition, creating an image of an appearance or vision.  If you are here to chide us for icons of the Incarnate God, claiming that He cannot be imaged because of Deut. 4:15, then you deny the Incarnation and the very Creed you have stated you believe in (the original Nicean Creed).
 

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Fr. George said:
Alfred, you're the only one proving yourself to be an Arian.  Christ, True God of True God, Incarnate, was both God and Man, and dwelt among us.  Continuing the iconographic tradition that depicts Christ in the flesh is no more heretical than St. Peter looking upon Christ with his eyes, and beholding Incarnate God.  Deuteronomy 4:15 is right in its context, for God had not come down and dwelt among mankind.  But Christ, the Son of God, True God of True God, Incarnate, came into the world - and therefore, since He was truly seen, touched, and heard by mankind, He can be then seen (icon), touched (communion), and heard (the Gospel) by us now.  Those who claim that icons cannot be made because of the prohibition of Deut. 4:15 are thus also claiming that God did not dwell amongst us, for the prohibition was against creating an idol of an apparition, creating an image of an appearance or vision.  If you are here to chide us for icons of the Incarnate God, claiming that He cannot be imaged because of Deut. 4:15, then you deny the Incarnation and the very Creed you have stated you believe in (the original Nicean Creed).
If you don't mind, Father, I'll repost your post:
Fr. George said:
Alfred Persson,

You have yet to respond to the points of discussion directed to your assertions in the following thread:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.0.html

Have a nice day.
IIRC according to the canons, if one ignores a summons three times, the Word of the Lord's is fullfilled.
Mat.18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
 

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Alfred Persson said:
jnorm888 said:
I already did!









ICXC NIKA
That documents why you should focus, leave the prattle about me out, otherwise I might miss your point, buried in all the ad hominem.

Repeat your proof, I don't have time to reread the whole thread, Glen Beck is on soon.
Where in the Bible does it say that you should watch TV?  ???

Also, are you familiar with the term prelest?

In Christ,
Andrew
 

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ialmisry said:
If you don't mind, Father, I'll repost your post:
I don't mind at all.  Thank you for your work in these two threads, by the way.

ialmisry said:
IIRC according to the canons, if one ignores a summons three times, the Word of the Lord's is fullfilled.
Mat.18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
May the Lord have mercy on us all.
 

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I wanted to post this in a new thread, its a different argument...evidently that's not allowed. That's unfortunate, I hate to see these two distinct arguments get confused.


The "Apologia of St John Damascene Against Iconoclasts" is an argument by analogy: The similitude of God is like the Incarnate body of God:

"And the Lord spoke to you from the midst of the fire. You heard the voice of His words, but you saw not any form at all." (Deut. 4.12) And shortly afterwards: "Keep your souls carefully. You saw not any similitude in the day that the Lord God spoke to you in Horeb from the midst of the fire, lest perhaps being deceived you might make you a graven similitude, or image of male and female......
The Scripture says, "You have not seen the likeness of Him." (Ex. 33.20) What wisdom in the law-giver. How depict the invisible? How picture the inconceivable? How give expression to the limitless, the immeasurable, the invisible? How give a form to immensity? How paint immortality? How localise mystery? It is clear that when you contemplate God, who is a pure spirit, becoming man for your sake, you will be able to clothe Him with the human form. When the Invisible One becomes visible to flesh, you may then draw a likeness of His form. When He who is a pure spirit, without form or limit, immeasurable in the boundlessness of His own nature, existing as God, takes upon Himself the form of a servant in substance and in stature, and a body of flesh, then you may draw His likeness, and show it to anyone willing to contemplate it. Depict His ineffable condescension, His virginal birth, His baptism in the Jordan, His transfiguration on Thabor, His all-powerful sufferings, His death and miracles, the proofs of His Godhead, the deeds which He worked in the flesh through divine power, His saving Cross, His Sepulchre, and resurrection, and ascent into heaven. Give to it all the endurance of engraving and colour.-Apologia of St John Damascene Against Iconoclasts, I
"You have not seen the likeness of Him" paraphrases Deut 4:12, not Ex 33:20.

" When the Invisible One becomes visible to flesh, you may then draw a likeness of His form."-Ibid, I.

John's implied premise: God prohibits imaging the similitude of God because we have not seen it, therefore God would permit imaging the Incarnate body of God because we have seen it.


If this is not correct, John's argument fails. So the question is, "Did God say the Israelites could image His similitude had they seen it?" Was the fact its unlike anything in the experience of man the reason we cannot image it?

"So be careful to guard your souls, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb on the mountain from the midst of the fire. 16. Do not act lawlessly and make for yourselves a carved form of any image the likeness of male or female. 17. the likeness of any cattle on the earth, or the likeness of any winged bird that flies under heaven. 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, or in the likeness of any fish in the waters beneath the earth."-Deu 4:15-18 Orthodox Bible.

No because this context is Moses' exegesis of the second commandment, which adds infinite heaven, where every possible image would exist, to the list of areas containing forbidden likenesses of His similitude:

"You shall not make yourself an image, neither any likeness of anything in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth."-Deu 5:8 OB

God had revealed Himself in fire at Horeb, condescending to a Personal relationship with HIs people. It would be abhorrent to God if His children began to visualize Him as some dungy image as they communed with His Spirit.

"I am the Lord God; this is my Name. I will not give my glory to another, not My praise to carved images."-Isaiah 42:8 OB

When the transcendent God becomes a detestable image in the psyche of man, any personal relationship with God is defiled, driving God away:

"Then He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing? They commit great acts of lawlessness here to keep Me from My sanctuary."-Ezekiel 8:6 OP

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1Jo 5:21 NKJ)
 

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Do you think it's idolatry to carry a photo of a loved one in your pocket and occasionally take it out to look at it, perhaps even kiss it, because you love the person in the photo? 
 

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I have only just found this thread, and I have to say, as an outsider, Mr. Persson, you do not seem actually present to argue. There has been many attempts at a debate, however I've seen either a response by either ignoring the debating point or simply dismissing it (I presume because it places you at a disadvantage in the debate. Instead of arguing out of the disadvantage or in turn acknowledging it as such, you merely avoid it at all possibility.) Trying to maintain control of the convesationin this way does nothing for your position, and as such, you appear severely unconvincing.

I wrote this as an outsider in hopes that you wouldn't ignore me, as well.

God bless.  
 

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Melodist said:
Alfred Persson said:
You can't have both as true, you must choose; either

1)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is the "incarnate body" of Christ

OR

2)the "similitude" in Deu 4:15 is NOT the "incarnate body" of Christ
There is a third option. NO SIMILITUDE WAS SEEN. That is why it could not be imaged. A similitude was not revealed, therefore could not be imaged, until the incarnation. At which point it could be imaged, because it was seen.

the prohibition doesn't have an except if you seen it clause
The prohibition is a "because you haven't seen it" clause. It says "for ye saw no manner of similitude". That means "you haven't seen it". This was on the day that the Lord spoke to them.

Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:

Things changed when God revealed a similitude to us that "we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth". As St John (the apostle) says elsewhere

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;"

Pick one.
I pick the third option. It's the one that says God became man and we saw Him.
Excellent, but I anticipated some would think that, and refuted your third option as a possibility:

" When the Invisible One becomes visible to flesh, you may then draw a likeness of His form."-Ibid, I

John's implied premise: God prohibits imaging the similitude of God because we have not seen it, therefore God would permit imaging the Incarnate body of God because we have seen it.

If this is not correct, John's argument fails. So the question is, "Did God say the Israelites could image His similitude had they seen it?" Was the fact its unlike anything in the experience of man the reason we cannot image it?

"So be careful to guard your souls, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb on the mountain from the midst of the fire. 16. Do not act lawlessly and make for yourselves a carved form of any image the likeness of male or female. 17. the likeness of any cattle on the earth, or the likeness of any winged bird that flies under heaven. 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, or in the likeness of any fish in the waters beneath the earth."-Deu 4:15-18 Orthodox Bible.

No because this context is Moses' exegesis of the second commandment, which adds infinite heaven, where every possible image would exist, to the list of areas containing forbidden likenesses of His similitude:

"You shall not make yourself an image, neither any likeness of anything in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth."-Deu 5:8 OB

God had revealed Himself in fire at Horeb, condescending to a Personal relationship with HIs people. It would be abhorrent to God if His children began to visualize Him as some dungy image as they communed with His Spirit.

"I am the Lord God; this is my Name. I will not give my glory to another, not My praise to carved images."-Isaiah 42:8 OB

When the transcendent God becomes a detestable image in the psyche of man, any personal relationship with God is defiled, driving God away:

"Then He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing? They commit great acts of lawlessness here to keep Me from My sanctuary."-Ezekiel 8:6 OB

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1Jo 5:21 NKJ)
 

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Azurestone said:
I have only just found this thread, and I have to say, as an outsider, Mr. Persson, you do not seem actually present to argue. There has been many attempts at a debate, however I've seen either a response by either ignoring the debating point or simply dismissing it (I presume because it places you at a disadvantage in the debate. Instead of arguing out of the disadvantage or in turn acknowledging it as such, you merely avoid it at all possibility.) Trying to maintain control of the convesationin this way does nothing for your position, and as such, you appear severely unconvincing.

I wrote this as an outsider in hopes that you wouldn't ignore me, as well.

God bless.  
I don't respond to ad hominem, nor to tangents, or evasion.

Nor to folks who ignore my argument but want to make their own.

I would only respond to their argument, if they first addressed mine. Then after that was resolved, if their point was relevant, I'd discuss it.

I might treat their argument if they make a separate thread....

But not here...not until they answer my argument.


 

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Alfred Persson said:
Excellent, but I anticipated some would think that, and refuted your third option as a possibility:

" When the Invisible One becomes visible to flesh, you may then draw a likeness of His form."-Ibid, I

John's implied premise: God prohibits imaging the similitude of God because we have not seen it, therefore God would permit imaging the Incarnate body of God because we have seen it.

If this is not correct, John's argument fails. So the question is, "Did God say the Israelites could image His similitude had they seen it?" Was the fact its unlike anything in the experience of man the reason we cannot image it?

"So be careful to guard your souls, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb on the mountain from the midst of the fire. 16. Do not act lawlessly and make for yourselves a carved form of any image the likeness of male or female. 17. the likeness of any cattle on the earth, or the likeness of any winged bird that flies under heaven. 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, or in the likeness of any fish in the waters beneath the earth."-Deu 4:15-18 Orthodox Bible.

No because this context is Moses' exegesis of the second commandment, which adds infinite heaven, where every possible image would exist, to the list of areas containing forbidden likenesses of His similitude:

"You shall not make yourself an image, neither any likeness of anything in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth."-Deu 5:8 OB

God had revealed Himself in fire at Horeb, condescending to a Personal relationship with HIs people. It would be abhorrent to God if His children began to visualize Him as some dungy image as they communed with His Spirit.

"I am the Lord God; this is my Name. I will not give my glory to another, not My praise to carved images."-Isaiah 42:8 OB

When the transcendent God becomes a detestable image in the psyche of man, any personal relationship with God is defiled, driving God away:

"Then He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing? They commit great acts of lawlessness here to keep Me from My sanctuary."-Ezekiel 8:6 OB

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1Jo 5:21 NKJ)
From how I see it, the problem here is a lack of "shared mental model".

At the time of the OT, God has never revealed himself except by forces of nature (fire, smoke, sound, etc.) True?

However, the Orthodox perspective (if I may attempt) sees God as revealed as "three in one"/ "united in essence, though separate in person" as the nature of God.

Therefore, by the time of the NT, they see God revealed in three ways. God the Son, is revealed as Jesus Christ, God the Holy Spirit has only been described as "like a dove" (or after the great flood, a dove appeared with an olive branch, and God the Father has not revealed himself in any form.

Therefore, in concern of statues/icon of God. You will/should only witness God as Jesus Christ. You may see the Holy Spirit as a dove, and God the Father is almost never depicted(because we have never seen Him).

I say almost, because I have seen an icon before that attempted to depict the Divine Trinity. In which, it shown three identical angelic (winged) persons sitting at a table.

My point: Orthodox imagery attempt to portray God only as he has revealed himself to us. Anything else would do a severe disservice to the majesty of His Being.

Do you find this controversial as well?



::EDITED for correctness, because I type like have hooves.::
 

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Alfred Persson said:
I don't respond to ad hominem, nor to tangents, or evasion.
"I do not think it means what you think it means."

Ad Hominem: (From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem)
An ad hominem, also known as argumentum ad hominem  (Latin: "to the man"), is an attempt to link the validity  of a premise  to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise.[1]  The ad hominem is a classic logical fallacy.[2]  The argumentum ad hominem is not always fallacious, for in some instances questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue.
An ad hominem would be calling you an idiot, which no one here is doing.  Pointing out that you're arguing from a misinformed position, drawing faulty conclusions, and refusing to explore either of those principles, is not argumentum ad hominem, but rather pointing out the faulty starting position of your argument, which then weakens the conclusion until it is indefensible.

By the way, you have yet to address the arguments in the following thread, which are all focused on iconography: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.0.html

Alfred Persson said:
Nor to folks who ignore my argument but want to make their own.
You've ignored every point about iconography made in the following thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.0.html

You've also ignored many points made in this thread.  I don't have much hope that you'll catch up anytime soon.

Alfred Persson said:
I would only respond to their argument, if they first addressed mine. Then after that was resolved, if their point was relevant, I'd discuss it.

I might treat their argument if they make a separate thread....

But not here...not until they answer my argument.
So you want to enter discussion, but not if people don't keep the discussion in the direction you want it?  Then just provide a monologue and step back - once you create a discussion, you don't have much control on the direction it takes.  You create a debate by "proving" that St. John of Damascus' exegesis is incorrect; when others point out that his exegesis is supported by things he writes later in his treatises, you patently refuse to check that information out, and instead continue to insist that we comment on your "refutation," despite the fact that your refutation makes no sense in the larger context of what St. John has written.

You then are annoyed that others comment on your style of argumentation, and others still engage your essential debate (whether iconography is OK) without regard to your thus-far-faulty-"refutation" of St. John.  You'll have to "wake up" to reality, which is that you're facing a multi-faceted argument, all directed at your OP:

- You have misinterpreted St. John and the strength of his position
- You have misinterpreted scriptures in your zeal to reject iconography
- You have demonstrated an inability to engage in group dialogue, wishing to dictate the terms of discussion to an extreme degree

You should try and keep up with all three of those discussions, because a weakness or failure on any one of the above destroys the tenuous point you've made in your OP.

Enjoy.
 

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Fr. George said:
Alfred Persson said:
I don't respond to ad hominem, nor to tangents, or evasion.
"I do not think it means what you think it means."

Ad Hominem: (From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem)
An ad hominem, also known as argumentum ad hominem  (Latin: "to the man"), is an attempt to link the validity  of a premise  to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise.[1]  The ad hominem is a classic logical fallacy.[2]  The argumentum ad hominem is not always fallacious, for in some instances questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue.
An ad hominem would be calling you an idiot, which no one here is doing.  Pointing out that you're arguing from a misinformed position, drawing faulty conclusions, and refusing to explore either of those principles, is not argumentum ad hominem, but rather pointing out the faulty starting position of your argument, which then weakens the conclusion until it is indefensible.

By the way, you have yet to address the arguments in the following thread, which are all focused on iconography: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.0.html

Alfred Persson said:
Nor to folks who ignore my argument but want to make their own.
You've ignored every point about iconography made in the following thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.0.html

You've also ignored many points made in this thread.  I don't have much hope that you'll catch up anytime soon.

Alfred Persson said:
I would only respond to their argument, if they first addressed mine. Then after that was resolved, if their point was relevant, I'd discuss it.

I might treat their argument if they make a separate thread....

But not here...not until they answer my argument.
So you want to enter discussion, but not if people don't keep the discussion in the direction you want it?  Then just provide a monologue and step back - once you create a discussion, you don't have much control on the direction it takes.  You create a debate by "proving" that St. John of Damascus' exegesis is incorrect; when others point out that his exegesis is supported by things he writes later in his treatises, you patently refuse to check that information out, and instead continue to insist that we comment on your "refutation," despite the fact that your refutation makes no sense in the larger context of what St. John has written.

You then are annoyed that others comment on your style of argumentation, and others still engage your essential debate (whether iconography is OK) without regard to your thus-far-faulty-"refutation" of St. John.  You'll have to "wake up" to reality, which is that you're facing a multi-faceted argument, all directed at your OP:

- You have misinterpreted St. John and the strength of his position
- You have misinterpreted scriptures in your zeal to reject iconography
- You have demonstrated an inability to engage in group dialogue, wishing to dictate the terms of discussion to an extreme degree

You should try and keep up with all three of those discussions, because a weakness or failure on any one of the above destroys the tenuous point you've made in your OP.

Enjoy.
There is only one of me, and many of you....I can't discuss everything under the sun, don't have time.

I have time only to answer those who answer me.

29 But Jesus answered and said to them, "I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: (Mar 11:29 NKJ)

AND I don't respond to claims:

- You have misinterpreted St. John and the strength of his position
- You have misinterpreted scriptures in your zeal to reject iconography
- You have demonstrated an inability to engage in group dialogue, wishing to dictate the terms of discussion to an extreme degree

Only the first was relevant, but its a claim, not an argument...you offer no proof at all. Had you cited the precise words of John of Damascus that contradicted my argument, then I would respond.

But you just make claims...

I hope that gives you joy.
 

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Alfred Persson said:
Incorrect. It is elementary icons are inspiring heresy because:

1)If icons image the Incarnate flesh only, they are tearing His human nature from the divine, Nestorian.
2)If icons image the whole Christ, then they confuse the two natures in the one icon, Monophysite.
The problem I have with both of these, is it assumes the worst from the Christian. It would suppose that an individual is unable to be particular with their own worship. That is, the are required to be unable to determine the direction of their worship and the lack of importance they place in the actual icon.
 

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Alfred Persson said:
There is only one of me, and many of you....I can't discuss everything under the sun, don't have time.
You obviously do have the time to be on here.  There isn't that much for you to respond to.  Instead of responding to my post, you could have responded to one of the nearly-countless other posts that have addressed your arguments with arguments.

Alfred Persson said:
I have time only to answer those who answer me.
You haven't done that yet, so I have no reason to believe you.

Alfred Persson said:
AND I don't respond to claims:
I only summarized the arguments made here and in the other thread, not for you to respond to them, but so you could possibly understand what angles each of the arguments are hitting at.  Since you have not responded to most of the arguments made against your position here, I had to assume that you either did not understand their scope, or were not online; at least I know that the latter is untrue.

Alfred Persson said:
Only the first was relevant, but its a claim, not an argument...you offer no proof at all. Had you cited the precise words of John D that contradicted my argument, then I would respond.
Actually, proof had been offered to you beforehand:

ialmisry said:
Here.  I practically have to put the nipple in your mouth:
Three treatises on the divine images By John (of Damascus, Saint.), Andrew Louth
http://books.google.com/books?id=x_U1mtafEPMC&pg=PA90&dq=John+of+Damascus+on+the+divine+images+4:15&hl=en&ei=65hXTM3QBIyJnQfpnM3YCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
LBK said:
You are the one who has raised the "idolatry" allegation against the Orthodox, by invoking St John of Damascus. If you wish to have a truly objective discussion on this matter, then take the time to read and absorb what St John has written in the defense of icons, as linked to by ialmisry. Here's another link, to an HTML of the same document:

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/johndamascus-images.html#PART%20I
Also, again - "You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means."

Claim: (from dictionary.com)
n.
6. a demand for something as due; an assertion of a right or an alleged right: He made unreasonable claims on the doctor's time.
7. an assertion of something as a fact: He made no claims to originality.
8. a right to claim or demand; a just title to something: His claim to the heavyweight title is disputed.
9. something that is claimed, esp. a piece of public land for which formal request is made for mining or other purposes.
10. a request or demand for payment in accordance with an insurance policy, a workers' compensation law, etc.: We filed a claim for compensation from the company.
Argument: (also from dictionary.com)
1. an oral disagreement; verbal opposition; contention; altercation: a violent argument.
2. a discussion involving differing points of view; debate: They were deeply involved in an argument about inflation.
3. a process of reasoning; series of reasons: I couldn't follow his argument.
4. a statement, reason, or fact for or against a point: This is a strong argument in favor of her theory.
5. an address or composition intended to convince or persuade; persuasive discourse.
6. subject matter; theme: The central argument of his paper was presented clearly.
7. an abstract or summary of the major points in a work of prose or poetry, or of sections of such a work.
8. Mathematics.
a. an independent variable of a function.
b. Also called amplitude. the angle made by a given vector with the reference axis.
c. the angle corresponding to a point representing a given complex number in polar coordinates. Compare principal argument.
9. Computers. a variable in a program, to which a value will be assigned when the program is run: often given in parentheses following a function name and used to calculate the function.
10. Obsolete.
a. evidence or proof.
b. a matter of contention.
My points above are indeed arguments, thank you.

Alfred Persson said:
I hope that gives you joy.
What will give me joy is when the lost sheep returns to the fold.  Until then, I wait.
 

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I see you've added something to your post:

29 But Jesus answered and said to them, "I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: (Mar 11:29 NKJ)

I will accept that line viz-a-viz our discussion with you, but only once you have established yourself (a) as a knowledgeable teacher (which you haven't, since you've only made 1 assertion and it is based on faulty logic and incomplete research), or (b) as our Lord, which I don't forsee.
 

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Alfred Persson said:
AND I don't respond to claims:

- You have misinterpreted scriptures in your zeal to reject iconography
- You have demonstrated an inability to engage in group dialogue, wishing to dictate the terms of discussion to an extreme degree
How are these two not relevant to your argument? If either of these are true, you have no case!

Anyway, I maintain that your implicit presupposition, that somehow an individual can interpret the Old Testament apart from the Orthodox tradition, is wrong. The group that gave authority to the Bible interprets it. It's our book.
 

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samkim said:
Anyway, I maintain that your implicit presupposition, that somehow an individual can interpret the Old Testament apart from the Orthodox tradition, is wrong.
And, unfortunately, it will be a dividing point between his position and ours.  We will have the countless interpretations of scripture of the many saints of the Church - most of whom had memorized the scripture, and he will only have his own (flawed from our POV) perspective.
 

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Alfred Persson said:
I wanted to post this in a new thread, its a different argument...evidently that's not allowed. That's unfortunate, I hate to see these two distinct arguments get confused.
LOL.  I thought so: quick thinking on the part of the mods. You are confused about them being seperate: the loom of Orthodoxy both weaves the seamless garment of the Church, and takes the stray threads of heresy and brades them into a firm cord by which the lost sheep maybe lassoed.


The "Apologia of St John Damascene Against Iconoclasts" is an argument by analogy
No, not in the excerpt you quote.  He does not argue from particular to particular because, as St. John explicitely demonstrates the one particular-the depictable likeness (what you call similtude) of God before the Incarnation-does not exist.

The similitude of God is like the Incarnate body of God:
As much as you like the tread the oranges to make the apple juice (hard cider?), I'm going to clean up your terminology.
ialmisry said:
Alfred Persson said:
Deu 4:15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
16 lest ye transgress, and make to yourselves a carved image, any kind of figure (EIKWN), the llikeness of male or female,-LXX, Brenton
καὶ φυλάξεσθε σφόδρα τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν ὅτι οὐκ εἴδετε ὁμοίωμα ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ᾗ ἐλάλησεν κύριος πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν χωρηβ ἐν τῷ ὄρει ἐκ μέσου τοῦ πυρός
μὴ ἀνομήσητε καὶ ποιήσητε ὑμῖν ἑαυτοῖς γλυπτὸν ὁμοίωμα πᾶσαν εἰκόνα ὁμοίωμα ἀρσενικοῦ ἢ θηλυκοῦ

ἀλλὰ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν μορφὴν δούλου λαβών, ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος· καὶ σχήματι εὑρεθεὶς ὡς ἄνθρωπος  
Phillipians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance [σχῆμα:eek:utward appearance, form, shape] as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


The word you harp on in Deuteronomy is the same St. Paul uses in Phillipians: ὁμοίωμα that which is made like (something); likeness, form, appearance.  St. Paul addresses your usage in Romans 1:23 καὶ ἤλλαξαν τὴν δόξαν τοῦ ἀφθάρτου θεοῦ ἐν ὁμοιώματι εἰκόνος φθαρτοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ πετεινῶν καὶ τετραπόδων καὶ ἑρπετῶν.  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like [i.e. "in the likeness of the image of"] to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  Since the Church has used the terms "image" and "likeness" since she wrote the Bible, we should stick with them.  The question them becomes since Christ came in the likeness of man, was He a man, or not?  Was He in the likeness of a man before he came, or not?  Scripture answers those questions:
ὃς ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ, form of God
ἀλλὰ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν μορφὴν δούλου λαβών, ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος· καὶ σχήματι εὑρεθεὶς ὡς ἄνθρωπος form of servant

The Word was in the form of God, i.e. God; but he took the form of man. He became what He was not.  So "The similitude of God is" NOT "like the Incarnate body of God": as St. John points out.
These injunctions were given to the Jews on account of their proneness to idolatry. Now we, on the contrary, are no longer in leading strings. Speaking theologically, it is given to us to avoid superstitious error, to be with God in the knowledge of the truth, to worship God alone, to enjoy the fulness of His knowledge. We have passed the stage of infancy, and reached the perfection of manhood. We receive our habit of mind from God, and know what may be imaged and what may not. The Scripture says, ' You have not seen the likeness of Him.' What wisdom in the law-giver. How depict the invisible ? How picture the inconceivable ? How give expression to the limitless, the immeasurable, the invisible ? How give a form to immensity? How paint immortality? How localise mystery? It is clear that when you contemplate God, who is a pure spirit, becoming man for your sake, you will be able to clothe Him with the human form. When the Invisible One becomes visible to flesh, you may then draw a likeness of His form. When He who is a pure spirit, without form or limit, immeasurable in the boundlessness of His own nature, existing as God, takes upon Himself the form of a servant in substance and in stature, and a body of flesh, then you may draw His likeness, and show it to anyone willing to contemplate it. Depict His ineffable condescension, His virginal birth, His baptism in the Jordan, His transfiguration on Thabor, His all-powerful sufferings, His death and miracles, the proofs of His Godhead, the deeds which He worked in the flesh through divine power, His saving Cross, His Sepulchre, and resurrection, and ascent into heaven. Give to it all the endurance of engraving and colour.
http://books.google.com/books?id=nkZGAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA9&dq=John+Damascus+form+of+a+servant&hl=en&ei=wsRZTMjRMYXInAfpnLiNCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false
He bore the likeness of His Father from before the ages, but bore the likeness of His mother only after He (once she consented) took it, considerably after Moses put the veil on his face coming down from Sinai. The likeness of His incarnate body is ours, not His by nature. He still, by nature, bears the likeness of His Father.

"And the Lord spoke to you from the midst of the fire. You heard the voice of His words, but you saw not any form at all." (Deut. 4.12)

καὶ ἐλάλησεν κύριος πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐκ μέσου τοῦ πυρός φωνὴν ῥημάτων ὑμεῖς ἠκούσατε καὶ ὁμοίωμα οὐκ εἴδετε ἀλλ' ἢ φωνήν Of course they saw no form at all: God had no likeness to man.  In fact, having no likeness to man, God had no tongue and hence neither voice nor speech nor language. They heard only a verbal image created by God analogous to the images shown Moses on the mountain, created out of matter by the command of God .  As our Father St. John quotes our Father St. Leontios of Neapolis against the rabbis "In worshipping the book of the law, you are not worshipping parchment or colour, but God's words contained in it. So do I worship the image of Christ, neither wood nor colouring for themselves." St. John asks:

Answer me this question. Is there only one God? You answer, "Yes, there is only one Law-giver." Why, then, does He command contrary things? The cherubim are not outside of creation; why, then, does He allow cherubim carved by the hand of man to overshadow the mercy-scat? Is it not evident that as it is impossible to make an image of God, who is uncircumscribed and impassible, or of one like to God, creation should not be worshipped as God. He allows the image of the cherubim who are circumscribed, and prostrate in adoration before the divine throne, to be made, and thus prostrate to overshadow the mercy-seat. It was fitting that the image of the heavenly choirs should overshadow the divine mysteries. Would you say that the ark and staff and mercy-seat were not made? Are they not produced by the hand of man? Are they not due to what you call contemptible matter? What was the tabernacle itself? Was it not an image? Was it not a type and a figure? Hence the holy Apostle's words concerning the observances of the law, "Who serve unto the example and shadow, of heavenly things." As it was answered to Moses, when he was to finish the tabernacle: "See" (He says), "that thou make all things according to the pattern which was shown thee on the Mount." (Heb. 8.5; Ex. 25.40) But the law was not an image. It shrouded the image. In the words of the same Apostle, "the law contains the shadow of the goods to come, not the image of those things." (Heb. 10.1) For if the law should forbid images, and yet be itself a forerunner of images, what should we say? If the tabernacle was a figure, and the type of a type, why does the law not prohibit image-making? But this is not in the least the case. There is a time for everything. (Eccl. 3.1)
And in the fullness of time God the Word took flesh and dwelt among, taking the likeness of us men so that we beheld the likeness of His Father. We celebrate that this month

That's Moses, btw, on the right bearing witness to seeing on Tabor He Whom he could not see on Sinai (Exodus 33:20). But back to your false witness against St. John.

And shortly afterwards: "Keep your souls carefully. You saw not any similitude in the day that the Lord God spoke to you in Horeb from the midst of the fire, lest perhaps being deceived you might make you a graven similitude, or image of male and female......
The Scripture says, "You have not seen the likeness of Him." (Ex. 33.20) What wisdom in the law-giver. How depict the invisible? How picture the inconceivable? How give expression to the limitless, the immeasurable, the invisible? How give a form to immensity? How paint immortality? How localise mystery? It is clear that when you contemplate God, who is a pure spirit, becoming man for your sake, you will be able to clothe Him with the human form. When the Invisible One becomes visible to flesh, you may then draw a likeness of His form. When He who is a pure spirit, without form or limit, immeasurable in the boundlessness of His own nature, existing as God, takes upon Himself the form of a servant in substance and in stature, and a body of flesh, then you may draw His likeness, and show it to anyone willing to contemplate it. Depict His ineffable condescension, His virginal birth, His baptism in the Jordan, His transfiguration on Thabor, His all-powerful sufferings, His death and miracles, the proofs of His Godhead, the deeds which He worked in the flesh through divine power, His saving Cross, His Sepulchre, and resurrection, and ascent into heaven. Give to it all the endurance of engraving and colour.-Apologia of St John Damascene Against Iconoclasts
"You have not seen the likeness of Him" paraphrases Deut 4:12, not Ex 33:20.
Exodus 33:20 "But He said, "You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!"
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth....He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD....and then saith He....behold...and be not faithless, but believing. (20:20,27)

"My LORD and My God."

" When the Invisible One becomes visible to flesh, you may then draw a likeness of His form."

John's implied premise: God prohibits imaging the similitude of God because we have not seen it,
That's not St. John's implied premise, it is God's explicit statement.
9Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons; 10Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. 11And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. 12And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. 13And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. 14And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.

15Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: 16Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, 18The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: 19And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
therefore God would permit imaging the Incarnate body of God because we have seen it.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth....(Luke 24:39) Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have....He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD.  Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you...and then saith He....behold...and be not faithless, but believing.
My LORD and God.

If this is not correct, John's argument fails.
your putting words in his mouth is incorrect, and his argument succeeds:God prohibits imaging the likeness of God because we cannot see it, therefore God commands portraying the Incarnate body of God because we have seen it.

God could have appeared to Moses on Sinai in the manner He appeared to Abraham at Mamre, to Isaiah  on the Throne and to Ezekiel at Chebar. But
5 the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle...6 And He said, If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.

7My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude [δόξαν] of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?
Since God spoke not to Moses in a vision, but revealed Himself in His true appearance, i.e. formless, there was no likeness to see, no image to portray. Moses saw His glory not on Sinai, but on Tabor, as shown above. As St. John points out:
Our Lord called His disciples blessed, saying, "Many kings and prophets have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear and have not heard it. Blessed are your eyes which see and your ears which hear." (Mt. 13.16-17) The apostles saw Christ with their bodily eyes, and His sufferings and wonders, and they listened to His words. We, too, desire to see, and to hear, and to be blessed. They saw Him face to face, as He was present in the body. Now, since he is not present in the body to us, we hear His words from books and are sanctified in spirit by the hearing, and are blessed, and we adore, honouring the books which tell us of His words. So, through the representation of images we look upon His bodily form, and upon His miracles and His sufferings, and are sanctified and satiated, gladdened and blessed. Reverently we worship His bodily form, and contemplating it, we form some notion of His divine glory. For, as we are composed of [90] soul and body, and our soul does not stand alone, but is, as it were, shrouded by a veil, it is impossible for us to arrive at intellectual conceptions without corporeal things. just as we listen with our bodily ears to physical words and understand spiritual things, so, through corporeal vision, we come to the spiritual. On this account Christ took a body and a soul, as man has both one and the other. And baptism likewise is double, of water and the spirit. So is communion and prayer and psalmody; everything has a double signification, a corporeal and a spiritual.
So the question is, "Did God say the Israelites could image His similitude had they seen it?" Was the fact its unlike anything in the experience of man the reason we cannot image it?
is irrealis moadlity.
Irrealis modality is a modality that connotes that the proposition with which it is associated is nonactual or nonfactual
http://www.sil.org/linguistics/GlossaryOfLinguisticTerms/WhatIsIrrealisModality.htm

God did not say the Israelites could make an image of His likeness had they seen it, because they couldn not see Him. Your propositon is analgous to "If I were God...."  They could not image it because they could not experience it: they never got to like/unlike.

"So be careful to guard your souls, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb on the mountain from the midst of the fire. 16. Do not act lawlessly and make for yourselves a carved form of any image the likeness of male or female. 17. the likeness of any cattle on the earth, or the likeness of any winged bird that flies under heaven. 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, or in the likeness of any fish in the waters beneath the earth."-Deu 4:15-18 Orthodox Bible.

No because this context is Moses' exegesis of the second commandment, which adds infinite heaven, where every possible image would exist, to the list of areas containing forbidden likenesses of His similitude:
And?  Man do not see Cherubim either, but God commanded Moses to create images of them according to what He revealed to him on the Mount.  As St. John points out:
We know that it is impossible to look upon God, or a spirit, or a demon, as they are. They are seen in a certain form, divine providence clothing in type and figure what is without substance or material being, for our instruction, and more intimate knowledge, lest we should be in too great ignorance of God, and of the spirit world. For God is a pure Spirit by His nature. The angel, and a soul, and a demon, compared to God, who alone is incomparable, are bodies; but compared to material bodies, they are bodiless. God therefore, not wishing that we should be in ignorance of spirits, clothed them in type and figure, and in images akin to our nature, material forms visible to the mind in mental vision. These we put into form and shape, for how were the cherubim represented and described in image? But Scripture offers forms and images even of God.
"You shall not make yourself an image, neither any likeness of anything in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth."-Deu 5:8 OB

God had revealed Himself in fire at Horeb, condescending to a Personal relationship with HIs people. It would be abhorrent to God if His children began to visualize Him as some dungy image as they communed with His Spirit.
Agreed.  Therefore St. John tells us
First there is the natural image. In everything the natural conception must be the first, then we come to institution according to imitation. The Son is the first natural and unchangeable image of the invisible God, the Father, showing the Father in Himself. "For no man has seen God." (Jn. 1.18) Again, "Not that any one has seen the Father." (Jn. 6.46) The apostle says that the Son is the image of the Father: "Who is the image of the invisible God," (Col. 1.15) and to the Hebrews, "Who being the brightness of His glory, and the figure of His substance." (Heb. 1.3) In the Gospel of St John we find that He does show the Father in Himself. When Philip said to Him, "Show us the Father and it is enough for us,"  our Lord replied, "Have I been so long with you and have you not known Me, Philip? He who sees Me, sees the Father." (Jn. 14.8-9) For the Son is the natural image of the Father, unchangeable, in everything like to the Father, except that He is begotten, and that He is not the Father. The Father begets, being unbegotten. The Son is begotten, and is not the Father, and the Holy Spirit is the image of the Son. For no one can say the Lord Jesus, except in the Holy Spirit. (I Cor. 12.3) Through the Holy Spirit we know Christ, the Son of God and God, and in the Son we look upon the Father. For in things that are conceived by nature,* language is the interpreter, and spirit is the interpreter of language. The Holy Spirit is the perfect and unchangeable image of the Son, differing only in His procession. The Son is begotten, but does not proceed. And the son of any father is his natural image. Thus, the natural is the first kind of image.
Therefore, we see Him as He is, rather than visualize Him after our imagination.

"I am the Lord God; this is my Name. I will not give my glory to another, not My praise to carved images."-Isaiah 42:8 OB

When the transcendent God becomes a detestable image in the psyche of man, any personal relationship with God is defiled, driving God away:
When the transcendent God beame the image and likeness of man, He made a personal realtionship with God possible. It is because the veil of Moses still is over your heart, you cannot see the Lawgiver Who came to His own and His own did not receive Him.

"Then He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing? They commit great acts of lawlessness here to keep Me from My sanctuary."-Ezekiel 8:6 OP
56Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. John 8.
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1Jo 5:21 NKJ)
St. John the Theologian begins
1:1 That [rather "He"] which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full
Since you reject his words and his successor, you reject Him Who sent him.
 

Fr. George

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Alfred,

Sort through a few references, if you want to find the Orthodox position on Icons:

http://www.orthodoxconvert.info/Q-A.php?c=Icons-Is%20Venerating%20Icons%20Idolatry

http://www.saintkatherineorthodoxchurch.org/articles/icons.htm

Try, as a background, this section (titles "icons") from the Wiki article on the Orthodox Church:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_Church#Icons
The term 'icon' comes from the Greek word eikona, which simply means image. The Orthodox believe that the first icons of Christ and the Virgin Mary were painted by Luke the Evangelist. Icons are filled with symbolism designed to convey information about the person or event depicted. For this reason, icons tend to be formulaic, following a prescribed methodology for how a particular person should be depicted, including hair style, body position, clothing, and background details. Icon painting, in general, is not an opportunity for artistic expression, though each iconographer brings a vision to the piece. It is far more common for an icon to be copied from an older model, though with the recognition of a new saint in the church, a new icon must be created and approved. The personal and creative traditions of Western European religious art are largely lacking in Orthodox iconography before the 17th century, when Russian iconography began to be strongly influenced by religious paintings and engravings from both Protestant and Roman Catholic Europe. Greek iconography also began to take on a strong western influence for a period and the difference between some Orthodox icons and western religious art began to vanish. More recently there has been a trend of returning to the more traditional and symbolic representations.

Free-standing statues (three dimensional depictions) are almost non-existent within the Orthodox Church. This is partly due to the rejection of the previous pagan Greek age of idol worship and partly because icons are meant to show the spiritual nature of man, not the sensual earthly body. Bas reliefs, however, became common during the Byzantine period and led to a tradition of covering a painted icon in a silver or gold 'riza' in order to preserve the icon. Such bas relief coverings usually leave the faces and hands of the saints exposed for veneration.
The inside of an Orthodox church.

Icons are not considered by the Orthodox to be idols or objects of worship. The parameters of their usage were clearly spelled out by the 7th ecumenical council. Justification for their usage utilises the following logic: before God took human form in Christ, no material depiction was possible and therefore blasphemous even to contemplate. Once God became incarnate, depiction was possible. As Christ is God, it is justified to hold in one's mind the image of God-incarnate. Likewise, when one venerates an icon, it is not the wood or paint that are venerated but rather the individual shown, just as it is not the paper one loves when one might kiss the photograph of a loved one. As Saint Basil famously proclaimed, honour or veneration of the icon always passes to its archetype. Following this reasoning, the veneration of the glorified human saint made in God's image, is always a veneration of the divine image, and hence God as foundational archetype.

Icons can be found adorning the walls of churches and often cover the inside structure completely.[7] Most Orthodox homes have an area set aside for family prayer, usually an eastern facing wall, where are hung many icons. Icons have been part of Orthodox Christianity since the beginning of the church.[38]

Icons are often illuminated by a candle or oil lamp. (Beeswax for candles and olive oil for lamps are preferred because they are natural and burn cleanly.) Besides the practical purpose of making icons visible in an otherwise dark church, both candles and oil lamps symbolise the Light of the World, who is Christ.

Tales of miraculous icons are not uncommon, though it has always been considered that the message of such an event was for the immediate faithful involved and therefore does not usually attract crowds. Some miraculous icons whose reputations span long periods of time nevertheless become objects of pilgrimage along with the places where they are kept. As several Orthodox theologians and saints have explored in the past, the icon's miraculous nature is found not in the material, but in the glory of the saint who is depicted. The icon is a window, in the words of St Paul Florensky, that actually participates in the glory of what it represents.
How about this excerpt from the Wiki article on the 2nd Council of Nicea (7th Ecumenical):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Council_of_Nicaea
"Proof of the lawfulness of the veneration of icons was drawn from Exodus 25:19 sqq.; Numbers 7:89; Hebrews 9:5 sqq.; Ezekiel 41:18, and Genesis 31:34, but especially from a series of passages of the Church Fathers;[1]  the authority of the latter was decisive."
As a footnote, it references Gibbon, Edward. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. New York:Random House Inc., 1995. ISBN 0679601481, p.1693.

(Yes, this response is "mailing it in" - it wasn't an exhaustive search by any means.  But I think most of your misunderstanding about icons can be cured even with a quick trip to Wiki, maybe.)
 

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Alfred,

Are you just preparing to write an article for "Apologetics Press?"  Their material seems similarly shallow viz-a-viz rebuttal of Orthodox (and RC) positions to yours.  I would suggest that if you haven't already considered it, maybe you could contact them to discuss a deal.
 
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Its kind of interesting when one considers that in John 1:18 it is stated that no man has seen God, in John 14:9, Jesus Christ says that those who have seen Him have seen the Father & in Hebrews 11:1 it is stated that faith is the evidence of things not seen. So I guess our eyes are excluded from our faith according to the premise of this thread?
 

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Fr. George said:
Alfred,

Are you just preparing to write an article for "Apologetics Press?"  Their material seems similarly shallow viz-a-viz rebuttal of Orthodox (and RC) positions to yours.  I would suggest that if you haven't already considered it, maybe you could contact them to discuss a deal.
LOL. Did you think of that, Father, because of the similar deal we commeorate on Wednesday?
 

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ialmisry said:
Btw, since St. John deals with it, will you worship Him?

Not if he believes that so many of Jesus' followers left Him in John 6 over a symbolic dispute.
 

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Fr. George said:
samkim said:
Anyway, I maintain that your implicit presupposition, that somehow an individual can interpret the Old Testament apart from the Orthodox tradition, is wrong.
And, unfortunately, it will be a dividing point between his position and ours.  We will have the countless interpretations of scripture of the many saints of the Church - most of whom had memorized the scripture, and he will only have his own (flawed from our POV) perspective.
1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on your hearts, to be known and read by all men; 3 and you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, 6 who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit; for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 Now if the dispensation of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such splendor that the Israelites could not look at Moses' face because of its brightness, fading as this was, 8 will not the dispensation of the Spirit be attended with greater splendor? 9 For if there was splendor in the dispensation of condemnation, the dispensation of righteousness must far exceed it in splendor. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had splendor has come to have no splendor at all, because of the splendor that surpasses it. 11 For if what faded away came with splendor, what is permanent must have much more splendor. 12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not see the end of the fading splendor. 14 But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their minds; 16 but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. II Corinthians 3.


Unfortunately, he clings to the veil of Moses like a security blanket, walking in the way ("Halakhah") of the Pharisees, Sadduccees and Scribes, abandoning the Way of the Apostles, paying no heed to word of Holy Scripture "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." II Thessalonians 2:15..."Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the traditions, as I delivered them to you." I Corinthians 11:2...."Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." II Thessalonians 3:6.

II Peter 3:15 Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
 

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ialmisry said:
Alfred Persson said:
I wanted to post this in a new thread, its a different argument...evidently that's not allowed. That's unfortunate, I hate to see these two distinct arguments get confused.
LOL.  I thought so: quick thinking on the part of the mods. You are confused about them being seperate: the loom of Orthodoxy both weaves the seamless garment of the Church, and takes the stray threads of heresy and brades them into a firm cord by which the lost sheep maybe lassoed.


The "Apologia of St John Damascene Against Iconoclasts" is an argument by analogy
No, not in the excerpt you quote.  He does not argue from particular to particular because, as St. John explicitely demonstrates the one particular-the depictable likeness (what you call similtude) of God before the Incarnation-does not exist.

The similitude of God is like the Incarnate body of God:
As much as you like the tread the oranges to make the apple juice (hard cider?), I'm going to clean up your terminology.
ialmisry said:
Alfred Persson said:
Deu 4:15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
16 lest ye transgress, and make to yourselves a carved image, any kind of figure (EIKWN), the llikeness of male or female,-LXX, Brenton
καὶ φυλάξεσθε σφόδρα τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν ὅτι οὐκ εἴδετε ὁμοίωμα ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ᾗ ἐλάλησεν κύριος πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν χωρηβ ἐν τῷ ὄρει ἐκ μέσου τοῦ πυρός
μὴ ἀνομήσητε καὶ ποιήσητε ὑμῖν ἑαυτοῖς γλυπτὸν ὁμοίωμα πᾶσαν εἰκόνα ὁμοίωμα ἀρσενικοῦ ἢ θηλυκοῦ

ἀλλὰ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν μορφὴν δούλου λαβών, ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος· καὶ σχήματι εὑρεθεὶς ὡς ἄνθρωπος 
Phillipians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance [σχῆμα:eek:utward appearance, form, shape] as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


The word you harp on in Deuteronomy is the same St. Paul uses in Phillipians: ὁμοίωμα that which is made like (something); likeness, form, appearance.  St. Paul addresses your usage in Romans 1:23 καὶ ἤλλαξαν τὴν δόξαν τοῦ ἀφθάρτου θεοῦ ἐν ὁμοιώματι εἰκόνος φθαρτοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ πετεινῶν καὶ τετραπόδων καὶ ἑρπετῶν.  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like [i.e. "in the likeness of the image of"] to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  Since the Church has used the terms "image" and "likeness" since she wrote the Bible, we should stick with them.  The question them becomes since Christ came in the likeness of man, was He a man, or not?  Was He in the likeness of a man before he came, or not?  Scripture answers those questions:
ὃς ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ, form of God
ἀλλὰ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν μορφὴν δούλου λαβών, ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος· καὶ σχήματι εὑρεθεὶς ὡς ἄνθρωπος form of servant

The Word was in the form of God, i.e. God; but he took the form of man. He became what He was not.  So "The similitude of God is" NOT "like the Incarnate body of God": as St. John points out.
These injunctions were given to the Jews on account of their proneness to idolatry. Now we, on the contrary, are no longer in leading strings. Speaking theologically, it is given to us to avoid superstitious error, to be with God in the knowledge of the truth, to worship God alone, to enjoy the fulness of His knowledge. We have passed the stage of infancy, and reached the perfection of manhood. We receive our habit of mind from God, and know what may be imaged and what may not. The Scripture says, ' You have not seen the likeness of Him.' What wisdom in the law-giver. How depict the invisible ? How picture the inconceivable ? How give expression to the limitless, the immeasurable, the invisible ? How give a form to immensity? How paint immortality? How localise mystery? It is clear that when you contemplate God, who is a pure spirit, becoming man for your sake, you will be able to clothe Him with the human form. When the Invisible One becomes visible to flesh, you may then draw a likeness of His form. When He who is a pure spirit, without form or limit, immeasurable in the boundlessness of His own nature, existing as God, takes upon Himself the form of a servant in substance and in stature, and a body of flesh, then you may draw His likeness, and show it to anyone willing to contemplate it. Depict His ineffable condescension, His virginal birth, His baptism in the Jordan, His transfiguration on Thabor, His all-powerful sufferings, His death and miracles, the proofs of His Godhead, the deeds which He worked in the flesh through divine power, His saving Cross, His Sepulchre, and resurrection, and ascent into heaven. Give to it all the endurance of engraving and colour.
http://books.google.com/books?id=nkZGAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA9&dq=John+Damascus+form+of+a+servant&hl=en&ei=wsRZTMjRMYXInAfpnLiNCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false
He bore the likeness of His Father from before the ages, but bore the likeness of His mother only after He (once she consented) took it, considerably after Moses put the veil on his face coming down from Sinai. The likeness of His incarnate body is ours, not His by nature. He still, by nature, bears the likeness of His Father.

"And the Lord spoke to you from the midst of the fire. You heard the voice of His words, but you saw not any form at all." (Deut. 4.12)

καὶ ἐλάλησεν κύριος πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐκ μέσου τοῦ πυρός φωνὴν ῥημάτων ὑμεῖς ἠκούσατε καὶ ὁμοίωμα οὐκ εἴδετε ἀλλ' ἢ φωνήν Of course they saw no form at all: God had no likeness to man.  In fact, having no likeness to man, God had no tongue and hence neither voice nor speech nor language. They heard only a verbal image created by God analogous to the images shown Moses on the mountain, created out of matter by the command of God .  As our Father St. John quotes our Father St. Leontios of Neapolis against the rabbis "In worshipping the book of the law, you are not worshipping parchment or colour, but God's words contained in it. So do I worship the image of Christ, neither wood nor colouring for themselves." St. John asks:

Answer me this question. Is there only one God? You answer, "Yes, there is only one Law-giver." Why, then, does He command contrary things? The cherubim are not outside of creation; why, then, does He allow cherubim carved by the hand of man to overshadow the mercy-scat? Is it not evident that as it is impossible to make an image of God, who is uncircumscribed and impassible, or of one like to God, creation should not be worshipped as God. He allows the image of the cherubim who are circumscribed, and prostrate in adoration before the divine throne, to be made, and thus prostrate to overshadow the mercy-seat. It was fitting that the image of the heavenly choirs should overshadow the divine mysteries. Would you say that the ark and staff and mercy-seat were not made? Are they not produced by the hand of man? Are they not due to what you call contemptible matter? What was the tabernacle itself? Was it not an image? Was it not a type and a figure? Hence the holy Apostle's words concerning the observances of the law, "Who serve unto the example and shadow, of heavenly things." As it was answered to Moses, when he was to finish the tabernacle: "See" (He says), "that thou make all things according to the pattern which was shown thee on the Mount." (Heb. 8.5; Ex. 25.40) But the law was not an image. It shrouded the image. In the words of the same Apostle, "the law contains the shadow of the goods to come, not the image of those things." (Heb. 10.1) For if the law should forbid images, and yet be itself a forerunner of images, what should we say? If the tabernacle was a figure, and the type of a type, why does the law not prohibit image-making? But this is not in the least the case. There is a time for everything. (Eccl. 3.1)
And in the fullness of time God the Word took flesh and dwelt among, taking the likeness of us men so that we beheld the likeness of His Father. We celebrate that this month

That's Moses, btw, on the right bearing witness to seeing on Tabor He Whom he could not see on Sinai (Exodus 33:20). But back to your false witness against St. John.

And shortly afterwards: "Keep your souls carefully. You saw not any similitude in the day that the Lord God spoke to you in Horeb from the midst of the fire, lest perhaps being deceived you might make you a graven similitude, or image of male and female......
The Scripture says, "You have not seen the likeness of Him." (Ex. 33.20) What wisdom in the law-giver. How depict the invisible? How picture the inconceivable? How give expression to the limitless, the immeasurable, the invisible? How give a form to immensity? How paint immortality? How localise mystery? It is clear that when you contemplate God, who is a pure spirit, becoming man for your sake, you will be able to clothe Him with the human form. When the Invisible One becomes visible to flesh, you may then draw a likeness of His form. When He who is a pure spirit, without form or limit, immeasurable in the boundlessness of His own nature, existing as God, takes upon Himself the form of a servant in substance and in stature, and a body of flesh, then you may draw His likeness, and show it to anyone willing to contemplate it. Depict His ineffable condescension, His virginal birth, His baptism in the Jordan, His transfiguration on Thabor, His all-powerful sufferings, His death and miracles, the proofs of His Godhead, the deeds which He worked in the flesh through divine power, His saving Cross, His Sepulchre, and resurrection, and ascent into heaven. Give to it all the endurance of engraving and colour.-Apologia of St John Damascene Against Iconoclasts
"You have not seen the likeness of Him" paraphrases Deut 4:12, not Ex 33:20.
Exodus 33:20 "But He said, "You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!"
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth....He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD....and then saith He....behold...and be not faithless, but believing. (20:20,27)

"My LORD and My God."

" When the Invisible One becomes visible to flesh, you may then draw a likeness of His form."

John's implied premise: God prohibits imaging the similitude of God because we have not seen it,
That's not St. John's implied premise, it is God's explicit statement.
9Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons; 10Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. 11And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. 12And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. 13And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. 14And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.

15Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: 16Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, 18The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: 19And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
therefore God would permit imaging the Incarnate body of God because we have seen it.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth....(Luke 24:39) Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have....He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD.  Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you...and then saith He....behold...and be not faithless, but believing.
My LORD and God.

If this is not correct, John's argument fails.
your putting words in his mouth is incorrect, and his argument succeeds:God prohibits imaging the likeness of God because we cannot see it, therefore God commands portraying the Incarnate body of God because we have seen it.

God could have appeared to Moses on Sinai in the manner He appeared to Abraham at Mamre, to Isaiah  on the Throne and to Ezekiel at Chebar. But
5 the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle...6 And He said, If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.

7My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude [δόξαν] of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?
Since God spoke not to Moses in a vision, but revealed Himself in His true appearance, i.e. formless, there was no likeness to see, no image to portray. Moses saw His glory not on Sinai, but on Tabor, as shown above. As St. John points out:
Our Lord called His disciples blessed, saying, "Many kings and prophets have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear and have not heard it. Blessed are your eyes which see and your ears which hear." (Mt. 13.16-17) The apostles saw Christ with their bodily eyes, and His sufferings and wonders, and they listened to His words. We, too, desire to see, and to hear, and to be blessed. They saw Him face to face, as He was present in the body. Now, since he is not present in the body to us, we hear His words from books and are sanctified in spirit by the hearing, and are blessed, and we adore, honouring the books which tell us of His words. So, through the representation of images we look upon His bodily form, and upon His miracles and His sufferings, and are sanctified and satiated, gladdened and blessed. Reverently we worship His bodily form, and contemplating it, we form some notion of His divine glory. For, as we are composed of [90] soul and body, and our soul does not stand alone, but is, as it were, shrouded by a veil, it is impossible for us to arrive at intellectual conceptions without corporeal things. just as we listen with our bodily ears to physical words and understand spiritual things, so, through corporeal vision, we come to the spiritual. On this account Christ took a body and a soul, as man has both one and the other. And baptism likewise is double, of water and the spirit. So is communion and prayer and psalmody; everything has a double signification, a corporeal and a spiritual.
So the question is, "Did God say the Israelites could image His similitude had they seen it?" Was the fact its unlike anything in the experience of man the reason we cannot image it?
is irrealis moadlity.
Irrealis modality is a modality that connotes that the proposition with which it is associated is nonactual or nonfactual
http://www.sil.org/linguistics/GlossaryOfLinguisticTerms/WhatIsIrrealisModality.htm

God did not say the Israelites could make an image of His likeness had they seen it, because they couldn not see Him. Your propositon is analgous to "If I were God...."  They could not image it because they could not experience it: they never got to like/unlike.

"So be careful to guard your souls, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb on the mountain from the midst of the fire. 16. Do not act lawlessly and make for yourselves a carved form of any image the likeness of male or female. 17. the likeness of any cattle on the earth, or the likeness of any winged bird that flies under heaven. 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, or in the likeness of any fish in the waters beneath the earth."-Deu 4:15-18 Orthodox Bible.

No because this context is Moses' exegesis of the second commandment, which adds infinite heaven, where every possible image would exist, to the list of areas containing forbidden likenesses of His similitude:
And?  Man do not see Cherubim either, but God commanded Moses to create images of them according to what He revealed to him on the Mount.  As St. John points out:
We know that it is impossible to look upon God, or a spirit, or a demon, as they are. They are seen in a certain form, divine providence clothing in type and figure what is without substance or material being, for our instruction, and more intimate knowledge, lest we should be in too great ignorance of God, and of the spirit world. For God is a pure Spirit by His nature. The angel, and a soul, and a demon, compared to God, who alone is incomparable, are bodies; but compared to material bodies, they are bodiless. God therefore, not wishing that we should be in ignorance of spirits, clothed them in type and figure, and in images akin to our nature, material forms visible to the mind in mental vision. These we put into form and shape, for how were the cherubim represented and described in image? But Scripture offers forms and images even of God.
"You shall not make yourself an image, neither any likeness of anything in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth."-Deu 5:8 OB

God had revealed Himself in fire at Horeb, condescending to a Personal relationship with HIs people. It would be abhorrent to God if His children began to visualize Him as some dungy image as they communed with His Spirit.
Agreed.  Therefore St. John tells us
First there is the natural image. In everything the natural conception must be the first, then we come to institution according to imitation. The Son is the first natural and unchangeable image of the invisible God, the Father, showing the Father in Himself. "For no man has seen God." (Jn. 1.18) Again, "Not that any one has seen the Father." (Jn. 6.46) The apostle says that the Son is the image of the Father: "Who is the image of the invisible God," (Col. 1.15) and to the Hebrews, "Who being the brightness of His glory, and the figure of His substance." (Heb. 1.3) In the Gospel of St John we find that He does show the Father in Himself. When Philip said to Him, "Show us the Father and it is enough for us,"  our Lord replied, "Have I been so long with you and have you not known Me, Philip? He who sees Me, sees the Father." (Jn. 14.8-9) For the Son is the natural image of the Father, unchangeable, in everything like to the Father, except that He is begotten, and that He is not the Father. The Father begets, being unbegotten. The Son is begotten, and is not the Father, and the Holy Spirit is the image of the Son. For no one can say the Lord Jesus, except in the Holy Spirit. (I Cor. 12.3) Through the Holy Spirit we know Christ, the Son of God and God, and in the Son we look upon the Father. For in things that are conceived by nature,* language is the interpreter, and spirit is the interpreter of language. The Holy Spirit is the perfect and unchangeable image of the Son, differing only in His procession. The Son is begotten, but does not proceed. And the son of any father is his natural image. Thus, the natural is the first kind of image.
Therefore, we see Him as He is, rather than visualize Him after our imagination.

"I am the Lord God; this is my Name. I will not give my glory to another, not My praise to carved images."-Isaiah 42:8 OB

When the transcendent God becomes a detestable image in the psyche of man, any personal relationship with God is defiled, driving God away:
When the transcendent God beame the image and likeness of man, He made a personal realtionship with God possible. It is because the veil of Moses still is over your heart, you cannot see the Lawgiver Who came to His own and His own did not receive Him.

"Then He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing? They commit great acts of lawlessness here to keep Me from My sanctuary."-Ezekiel 8:6 OP
56Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. John 8.
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1Jo 5:21 NKJ)
St. John the Theologian begins
1:1 That [rather "He"] which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full
Since you reject his words and his successor, you reject Him Who sent him.



You forgot to prove John's premise:

John's implied premise: God prohibits imaging the similitude of God because we have not seen it, therefore God would permit imaging the Incarnate body of God because we have seen it.


God does NOT want veneration via an icon, and as Jesus is God, He doesn't want it either.

That is very clear in Deut 4:12ff

John of Damascus NEVER proved God wanted icons of His similitude, if only the Israelites had seen it.

THAT is what you must prove, otherwise John of Damascus' entire argument, FAIL

Ps: His argument is an analogy.

 
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