Protestants and Icons

Rafa999

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Cite Eastern Syriac ahem. (show Eastern and Western Peshittas, and translation with literal renderings).
 

ialmisry

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Rafa999 said:
Cite Eastern Syriac ahem. (show Eastern and Western Peshittas, and translation with literal renderings).
Original:
Καὶ ὁ Λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο
And the Word Flesh became (middle aorist, i.e. agent does to/for self at one point in time).

Peshitta
ܘ ܡ ܠ ܬ ܐ ܒ ܤ ܪ ܐ ܗ ܘ ܐ ܘ ܐ ܓ ܢ ܒ ܢ

and-Word-the flesh-the was and descended/rested/dwellt in/by-us

And the Word was Flesh and dwelt among us.
 

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Rafa999 said:
OK, maybe it was an error to ask for a Jewish icon. Maybe I needed to ask for an icon made by a pious Jew for his own house and edification who did not adopt hellenistic Greek practices. Some Jews reversed their circmucision to compete in the olympics to be cool with their Greek neighbors, maybe this mosaic thing was a "loophole" some liberal individuals adopted which did not reflect the mainstream of judaism.

Further, Menorah like the Cross in the COE and the Cherubim is an "approved" symbol they could depict only because God gave permission.

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. I John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 2 John 1:7.
I'm not a docetist muslim. I believe Jesus Christ came in the flesh, his divinity and humanity side by side. This verse was intended for Ebionites sabotaging the Christian faith or gnostics.
Why are you speculating? Too many assumptions increases the chance of error.
 

deusveritasest

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Rafa999 said:
Oh and here's something on John Damascus which caught my eye:

Abbot Theodore Aeliotes told of a holy hermit on the Mount of Olives, who was much troubled by the demon of fornication. One day when he was sorely tempted, the old man began to complain bitterly. "When will you let me alone?" he said to the devil "be gone from me! you and I have grown old together." The devil appeared to him, saying, [91] "Swear to me that you will keep what I am about to tell you to yourself, and I will not trouble you any longer." And the old man swore it. Then the devil said to him, "Do not worship this image, and I will not harass you." The image in question represented Our Lady, the holy Mother of God, bearing in her arms our Lord Jesus Christ. You see what those who forbid the worship of images hate in reality, and whose instruments they are. The demon of fornication strove to prevent the worship of Our Lady's image rather than to tempt the old man to impurity. He knew that the former evil was greater than fornication.
So let me see...a demon tormented a monk with lustful thoughts, then the monk said "stop bothering me" and the demon replied "if you worship the icon I will stop bothering you" and this is a great "proof" that its ok to worship icons? That a demon told a man that if he worshipped an icon he would be ok? Plus this "holy monk" sweared and broke his word.


Oh, and that "synagogue" you showed as proof for icons was built by samaritans.
No, somehow you got the grammar mixed up there. The demon is telling him that if he refrains from worshiping the icon that he will leave him alone.
 

deusveritasest

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Rafa999 said:
If somebody can show me a pre-christian jewish use of iconography I will..."reconsider" my opinion on icons. But nobody can because icons were prohibited and only the samaritans built them. And its not ok to "baptise" idols and then re-use them.

Edited out comparison images from website I consider unorthodox in its beliefs and theology
So you actually don't at all consider the possibility that the Word becoming physical and visible (essentially the Word's humanity was the first Christian icon) changes the acceptability of iconography?
 

deusveritasest

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Rafa999 said:
No, show me a synagogue with icons as proof, that way I know the existing tradition allowed icons. But no icons.
You're actually suggesting that you think that modern synagogues are a proper representation of the ancient temple of Jersualem?

That's absolutely laughable.
 

deusveritasest

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Rafa999 said:
5) Good you remembered: God is not "incarnate" flesh, he does not have blood. Thus it is still forbidden to depict spirits with images. Worship the Father in spirit and in truth.
You're denying that the Logos has flesh and blood that He took from Mary?
 

deusveritasest

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Rafa999 said:
Still waiting for my Jewish Icon, surely all those jews must have had at least ONE icon.
I'm still wondering why what Jews do is seemingly more important to you than what Christians do...
 

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DennyB said:
In my disscussions with open-minded Protestants about the Orthodox Faith,the one thing that seems to be a hang-up with them are the use of Icons,I've been disscussing with one,who quotes Early Church Fathers,such as Irenaeus,in such a way as to condemn their use,I've read the quotes and I take from the quotes that He is condemning their mis-use,not an outright condemnation. Any suggestions on how to better explain their use in the Early Church?
It took me years to get over the Iconoclastic hump. It got real bad back when I followed David Bercot's ministry. From how I see it, from what I knew then, as well as what I know now and in how I finally came over the hump back in 2003 or 2004. I will say that you will find a number of early christian writers argue against it, but you will also find christians doing it regardless, and so, you will find christians on both sides of the issue. Christians of both sides always had icons of signs and symbols, but they did argue about human image icons. It took the church centuries to lay the issue at rest, and that came about when the issue of the INCARNATION was brought into it. When I finally accepted human image Icons, I started to see how they are a more consistant continuation of the signs and symbol Icons. If people want to be "strict" adherents of the command found in exodus, then we will see that christians broke that "strict" interpretation from the jump, for if you can't make an image of anything under the ocean, then we can't make "fish" icons, if we can't make images on anything on land, then we can't make crosses, and if we can't make any images of anything in the air, then we can't make birds, and ancient christians made alot of bird images, and so, we never really followed the command from that kind of interpretation anyway.

If you can make an image of a fish, tree, fruit, or a bird, then why can't you make an image of God INCARNATE? It only makes perfect sense to me. And so, anyone who picks on you about icons just let them know that they are not being consistent themselves. Anyone who watches tv is watching 20 to 30 icons per second. If you go to the theatre, then you are watching hundreds of icons per second. We have icons all over the place on Microsoft windows and the internet in general. We have them in books, and so, modern iconoclasts are just being hypocrits.



But the truth of the matter is the Reformed branch of the protestant Reformation, including England for she is also seen as being part of the "Reformed" tradition. But the Reformed tradition always had a "NESTORIAN" tendency, and I think this played into their ICONOCLAISM as well. Even today, many calvinists have a hard time saying that God INCARNATE died on the cross. They really have a hard time with that, And many have a hard time seeing baby Jesus as God INCARNATE,.....they just really have a hard time with the manger scene in that way.





ICXC NIKA

 

deusveritasest

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Rafa999 said:
He came in the flesh, did not become flesh or else the divinity suffers and dies which is the "M-word" heresy nobody except Copts and OO sympathize with. "As Surely as YHWH Lives" First words a Jewish scribe would write on a scroll before asking for the blessing that his work be an accurate rendering of scriptures. The good scribes too.
Are you comfortable saying that the Logos took on flesh as His own and perfectly subsisted in it without mention of Him being converted to be flesh?
 

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This discussion is fascinating and I'm hesitant to break the flow, so please feel free to ignore this. But I'm looking at all of these pictures people have posted and this question of whether or not Jews had icons, whether an icon of Christ is an image of the Father ... what I'd like to know is, what is the difference between a picture and an icon? I know icons are made in a special way, blessed (is that right?) and venerated in a special way. And they are meant to conform to particular representational rules, aren't they?

But still ... at what point does an icon take on something that differentiates it from a religious picture?
 

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Liz said:
This discussion is fascinating and I'm hesitant to break the flow, so please feel free to ignore this. But I'm looking at all of these pictures people have posted and this question of whether or not Jews had icons, whether an icon of Christ is an image of the Father ... what I'd like to know is, what is the difference between a picture and an icon? I know icons are made in a special way, blessed (is that right?) and venerated in a special way. And they are meant to conform to particular representational rules, aren't they?

But still ... at what point does an icon take on something that differentiates it from a religious picture?
A picture is "secularism"
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-439856437001382026&ei=oxxHS8vOMY-OqAKvvriFAg&q=the+protestant+revolution&hl=en# (The Protestant Revolution Part 3: A Reformation of the Mind)

Also, if you read the book, "The Bible, Protestantism, and the rise of natural science" then you will see some of the connections of why the modern age in the west is mostly Atheistic. This will also help you understand why the ancient world saw things(nature) differently.



Just as the ancients had a 3 or 4 tier system of Biblical interpretation, they also had a multi-layered interpretation in regards to nature as well.



ICXC NIKA
 

ozgeorge

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Liz said:
what is the difference between a picture and an icon?
In Greek, there is no difference. The word for icon is "Εικονα" ("eikona", pronounced "Ee-ko-nah") and means simply "image".
A painting or photograph of a tree is an "eikona" (image) of a tree.
 

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ozgeorge said:
Liz said:
what is the difference between a picture and an icon?
In Greek, there is no difference. The word for icon is "Εικονα" (Ee-ko-na) and means simply "image".
A painting or photograph of a tree is an "eikona" (image) of a tree.
This explanation is incomplete and not very useful, as it does not allow for context. Taking the word icon as used in modern English, does this mean that a computer icon is an image worthy of veneration? Of course not.
 

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jnorm888 said:
Liz said:
This discussion is fascinating and I'm hesitant to break the flow, so please feel free to ignore this. But I'm looking at all of these pictures people have posted and this question of whether or not Jews had icons, whether an icon of Christ is an image of the Father ... what I'd like to know is, what is the difference between a picture and an icon? I know icons are made in a special way, blessed (is that right?) and venerated in a special way. And they are meant to conform to particular representational rules, aren't they?

But still ... at what point does an icon take on something that differentiates it from a religious picture?
A picture is "secularism"
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-439856437001382026&ei=oxxHS8vOMY-OqAKvvriFAg&q=the+protestant+revolution&hl=en# (The Protestant Revolution Part 3: A Reformation of the Mind)

Also, if you read the book, "The Bible, Protestantism, and the rise of natural science" then you will see some of the connections of why the modern age in the west is mostly Atheistic. This will also help you understand why the ancient world saw things(nature) differently.



Just as the ancients had a 3 or 4 tier system of Biblical interpretation, they also had a multi-layered interpretation in regards to nature as well.



ICXC NIKA
Thanks, Jnorm. I'll try to get to that book but, obviously, if I were to do this properly I'd need to spend a year or so reading not just that book, but lots of others - something I should do, but maybe not yet! I'm familiar with interpretation in the 4 types, but I don't understand exactly how this explains icons?
 

ozgeorge

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LBK said:
ozgeorge said:
Liz said:
what is the difference between a picture and an icon?
In Greek, there is no difference. The word for icon is "Εικονα" (Ee-ko-na) and means simply "image".
A painting or photograph of a tree is an "eikona" (image) of a tree.
This explanation is incomplete and not very useful, as it does not allow for context. Taking the word icon as used in modern English, does this mean that a computer icon is an image worthy of veneration? Of course not.
No, my non-Greek friend. But by the same token, an icon on a computer screen desktop is called an icon in English just an an image of Christ is called an icon. The word simply means "image". Now if you want to venerate an image of a fox such as this firefox icon, go right ahead:

What makes the images that Orthodox Christians venerate is not how they are made, but rather, the hypostasis they depict. Both of these things below are icons, but Orthodox Christians will only venerate one of them (guess which one ;) ):


 

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ozgeorge said:
No, my non-Greek friend. But by the same token, an icon on a computer screen desktop is called an icon in English just an an image of Christ is called an icon. The word simply means "image". Now if you want to venerate an image of a fox such as this firefox icon, go right ahead:
I'm disappointed with your post, ozgeorge. You seem have misunderstood what I wrote. Or chose to do so.  ::)
 

ialmisry

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Liz said:
This discussion is fascinating and I'm hesitant to break the flow, so please feel free to ignore this. But I'm looking at all of these pictures people have posted and this question of whether or not Jews had icons, whether an icon of Christ is an image of the Father ... what I'd like to know is, what is the difference between a picture and an icon? I know icons are made in a special way, blessed (is that right?) and venerated in a special way. And they are meant to conform to particular representational rules, aren't they?

But still ... at what point does an icon take on something that differentiates it from a religious picture?
The icon has a symbolic component in it (e.g. the halo) that has to be conveyed. It's the reason why a photograph of say, St. Tikhon, is not an icon of St. Tikhon.  St. John is shown with wings (since he is greater than any man born of a woman, with the obvious exception) although no one believes he had them.  Sort of liking seeing, but on all the wavelengths.  A picture wouldn't have the halo or the wings.  A religious picture can portray how someone sees a certain scene or person, the icon shows how the Church sees the scene or person.  (compare the pictures of the Healing of the paralytic I've posted above with this)

And with a less common icon


Btw, on this there is an interesting spot on the roof around Galilee:
http://www.ritmeyer.com/2007/03/
 

ozgeorge

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LBK said:
I'm disappointed with your post, ozgeorge. You seem have misunderstood what I wrote. Or chose to do so. 
Perhaps you missed the rest of it (or chose to):

ozgeorge said:
What makes the images that Orthodox Christians venerate is not how they are made, but rather, the hypostasis they depict. Both of these things below are icons, but Orthodox Christians will only venerate one of them (guess which one ;) ):

 

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But, Ialmisry, a picture can be symbolic too, surely? You say that:

A religious picture can portray how someone sees a certain scene or person, the icon shows how the Church sees the scene or person.
But pictures aren't just quasi-photographic records, are they? That's a very small slice out of art history.

 

ozgeorge

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ialmisry said:
The icon has a symbolic component in it (e.g. the halo) that has to be conveyed. It's the reason why a photograph of say, St. Tikhon, is not an icon of St. Tikhon.  
What about the Icon "Not-Made-With-Hands" (the Holy Mandylion)? This criterion you suggest would exclude it from being an Icon: http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/1107/5642iid.jpg

ialmisry said:
St. John is shown with wings (since he is greater than any man born of a woman, with the obvious exception) although no one believes he had them.
Actually, St. John the Baptist is depicted with wings because of Matthew 11:10, Mark 1:2 and Luke 7:27:
‘ Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,Who will prepare Your way before You.’
In Greek "messenger" is "aggelos" (Angel).
 

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I'm not sure anyone knows exactly what the cherubim looked like in the Temple.
 
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Liz said:
But, Ialmisry, a picture can be symbolic too, surely? You say that:

A religious picture can portray how someone sees a certain scene or person, the icon shows how the Church sees the scene or person.
But pictures aren't just quasi-photographic records, are they? That's a very small slice out of art history.
Of course pictures and religious paintings can contain symbolism. Anyone who's taken an "Intro to Art" class will agree with you on that point.

So what makes an icon an icon, and not just another religious painting? The first thing would be that the iconographer (the person "writing" the icon) is following the canons established by the VII Ecumenical Council. This includes the two-dimensional style figures, and that no shadows are included in the icon. (An icon is to give off light, not receive light.) Another element to iconography is that the icon is not to be a reflection of the iconographer's personal ego or "style" but is to be consistant with the icons painted before him. Now while it is true that each iconographer will have his own little twist on things (after all, we are human) it's not to be immediately apparant.

For example, when one sees a painting by Caravaggio, one immediately knows "Oh, that's a painting by Caravaggio, and not Michelangelo." With iconography, it's not about the artist -- it's about the subject matter. One is focused on what is being potrayed, not who is potraying it.

Icons are not to be signed. (This made my paper on Andrei Rublev this past semester extremely difficult btw! lol)

A really good book to read (that isn't that long) is Pavel Florensky's Iconostasis. It's only about 300 pages long, and unlike many other books on Orthodoxy, the text is not dry, and is extremely interesting to read. The other good thing is that it's available in Paperback, so it's not too pricey. (I checked, and it's available on amazon.co.uk)

I hope this helps clarify some things.  :)
 

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Tallitot said:
I'm not sure anyone knows exactly what the cherubim looked like in the Temple.
Do you know? Do any of your Rabbis know? Does your tradition say anything?

But surely, there is/are Cherubim right? And those Cherubim were not regarded as idols most certainly.
 

ozgeorge

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yochanan said:
Just to ask: what exactly does the Cherubim look like in Jewish temples?  :-\
What we know about them comes from Exodus 24:18-22 and Exodus 25:40 (LXX). There were two carved statues of cherubim on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant which faced each other and their wings stretched towards each other. So we know that they had faces and wings. There were also ten curtains which hung at the entrance of the Holy of Holies, and each curtain had a cherubim on it.
 

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ozgeorge said:
yochanan said:
Just to ask: what exactly does the Cherubim look like in Jewish temples?  :-\
What we know about them comes from Exodus 24:18-22 and Exodus 25:40 (LXX). There were two carved statues of cherubim on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant which faced each other and their wings stretched towards each other. So we know that they had faces and wings. There were also ten curtains which hung at the entrance of the Holy of Holies, and each curtain had a cherubim on it.
Were they subject to veneration? :eek:
Does the Talmud or "Jewish Fathers" say anything?
 

ozgeorge

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yochanan said:
ozgeorge said:
yochanan said:
Just to ask: what exactly does the Cherubim look like in Jewish temples?  :-\
What we know about them comes from Exodus 24:18-22 and Exodus 25:40 (LXX). There were two carved statues of cherubim on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant which faced each other and their wings stretched towards each other. So we know that they had faces and wings. There were also ten curtains which hung at the entrance of the Holy of Holies, and each curtain had a cherubim on it.
Were they subject to veneration? :eek:
The Ark of the Covenant and its contents was the most holy object in the Temple and the Holy of Holies where it sat was the most sacred place on Earth.
 

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ozgeorge said:
The Ark of the Covenant and its contents was the most holy object in the Temple and the Holy of Holies where it sat was the most sacred place on Earth.
Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  ;)
 

ozgeorge

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Asteriktos said:
Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  ;)
LOL! Thats right. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and only on one day of the year (Yom Kippur- The Day of Atonement).
I didn't know about the rope thing!
 

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Asteriktos said:
ozgeorge said:
The Ark of the Covenant and its contents was the most holy object in the Temple and the Holy of Holies where it sat was the most sacred place on Earth.
Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  ;)
Is that in the Bible?
 

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Actually, after looking around the net for info on it, the rope things appears to just be a legend.  :angel:
 

ozgeorge

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yochanan said:
Asteriktos said:
ozgeorge said:
The Ark of the Covenant and its contents was the most holy object in the Temple and the Holy of Holies where it sat was the most sacred place on Earth.
Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  ;)
Is that in the Bible?
Yes Exodus 30:10, Leviticus 23:27-32, Leviticus 25:9, Numbers 29:7-11, Leviticus 16:1-34 .
 
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yochanan said:
Asteriktos said:
ozgeorge said:
The Ark of the Covenant and its contents was the most holy object in the Temple and the Holy of Holies where it sat was the most sacred place on Earth.
Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  ;)
Is that in the Bible?
Although bells were attached to the priest, there is no verse in the Bible that says a rope was tied to his foot. I'm not sure if the "rope theory" is oral tradition or a biblical assumption.
 

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HandmaidenofGod said:
yochanan said:
Asteriktos said:
ozgeorge said:
The Ark of the Covenant and its contents was the most holy object in the Temple and the Holy of Holies where it sat was the most sacred place on Earth.
Wasn't that the place where only one guy in the entire world could go in, and they tied a rope to him in case he died inside, so they could pull him out? That must have been some heavy duty venerating!  ;)
Is that in the Bible?
Although bells were attached to the priest, there is no verse in the Bible that says a rope was tied to his foot. I'm not sure if the "rope theory" is oral tradition or a biblical assumption.
:)
 

ozgeorge

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Sorry. I didn't realize you were asking about the rope yochanan, I thought you were asking whether the High Priest was the only one alowed to enter the Holy of Holies.
 

yochanan

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ozgeorge said:
Sorry. I didn't realize you were asking about the rope yochanan, I thought you were asking whether the High Priest was the only one alowed to enter the Holy of Holies.
No problem. Hey, where did you get the idea of the rope? Can you give me a link? It would surely support icon-veneration. Its a very strong argument because its from the OT: a direct command from the LORD.  ;D
 

ozgeorge

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yochanan said:
ozgeorge said:
Sorry. I didn't realize you were asking about the rope yochanan, I thought you were asking whether the High Priest was the only one alowed to enter the Holy of Holies.
No problem. Hey, where did you get the idea of the rope? Can you give me a link? It would surely support icon-veneration. Its a very strong argument because its from the OT: a direct command from the LORD.  ;
It wasn't my idea. I'd never heard of it before:
ozgeorge said:
LOL! Thats right. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and only on one day of the year (Yom Kippur- The Day of Atonement).
I didn't know about the rope thing!
 

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HandmaidenofGod said:
Liz said:
But, Ialmisry, a picture can be symbolic too, surely? You say that:

A religious picture can portray how someone sees a certain scene or person, the icon shows how the Church sees the scene or person.
But pictures aren't just quasi-photographic records, are they? That's a very small slice out of art history.
Of course pictures and religious paintings can contain symbolism. Anyone who's taken an "Intro to Art" class will agree with you on that point.

So what makes an icon an icon, and not just another religious painting? The first thing would be that the iconographer (the person "writing" the icon) is following the canons established by the VII Ecumenical Council. This includes the two-dimensional style figures, and that no shadows are included in the icon. (An icon is to give off light, not receive light.) Another element to iconography is that the icon is not to be a reflection of the iconographer's personal ego or "style" but is to be consistant with the icons painted before him. Now while it is true that each iconographer will have his own little twist on things (after all, we are human) it's not to be immediately apparant.

For example, when one sees a painting by Caravaggio, one immediately knows "Oh, that's a painting by Caravaggio, and not Michelangelo." With iconography, it's not about the artist -- it's about the subject matter. One is focused on what is being potrayed, not who is potraying it.

Icons are not to be signed. (This made my paper on Andrei Rublev this past semester extremely difficult btw! lol)

A really good book to read (that isn't that long) is Pavel Florensky's Iconostasis. It's only about 300 pages long, and unlike many other books on Orthodoxy, the text is not dry, and is extremely interesting to read. The other good thing is that it's available in Paperback, so it's not too pricey. (I checked, and it's available on amazon.co.uk)

I hope this helps clarify some things.  :)
Ah, should have know to ask you first off! But, I work with medieval Books of Hours. I think the pictures aren't always considered to be icons, exactly - especially those that show non-Biblical, traditional scenes. And the illuminators don't usually sign their work, nor can you easily tell which pictures are by whom. You certainly can't look and say, 'Oh, yes, that's the Master of the Douai Psalter' - you can make a guess, but I suspect it's as easy as telling what was by Rublev and what wasn't. So why aren't these pictures icons? Or are they?

Btw - Maureen, you won't have seen this since it was in the UK, but did anyone else catch the documentary series on the art of Russia over Christmas?
 
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