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When were icons first introduced & can be proven?

john_mo

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TheMathematician said:
In the earliest Christian Church, as you put it, what need would there to be icons? The death of Christ was still recent, and many of the disciples still knew Him firsthand, so why write icons of someone that way in your midst(as a living breathing person, ignoring everything else).
Hey easy there, fella!  Don't forget that "Faith" is about finding the things you like from each religion and customizing it to suit your own individualistic taste(s).  Just jumble it all together!   It's basically a postmodernists wet-dream.  

In that respect, it's perfectly reasonable to assume that the things you don't like about Orthodoxy, never really happened at all!  After all, if something really happened, there would be well documented evidence to support it.  This is especially true for the first century Church, which had plenty of time and resources to leave a detailed, secure record of all their practices and the meaning behind them.  If they wanted us to venerate icons, they wouldn't have left it to mere Tradition, right?

Oh yeah, and the Church has no authority to introduce other forms of worship that were not around in the first two centuries.
 

Jason.Wike

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ialmisry said:
Jason.Wike said:
podkarpatska said:
A veritable blitzkrieg of masterful argument!
Not really. All you guys have ever done for years now is say the above. "We're right, its clear!" as if that really meant something.
Jason.Wike said:
That is what I find most annoying... the people that want change are never happy to change themselves and allow others to remain the same, they insist on forcing it on everyone else. I guess it is the only way they feel legitimate.
Jason.Wike said:
The Faith was created by God, and people have no right or ability to change it, we must accept it as it is.

The other alternative is it has been created by people, and we have the right to change it. The problem here is that if the Faith is created according to the form of people's desires, it has no authority, there is no reason to accept it because it is not the truth - it is based on their own desires and not truth (ahem... Jeremiah 17:9).


(Sorry I was really trying to stay out of this thread)
Nice to see you trolling around for stuff to troll and you spent three hours on it. :D
 

LBK

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Jason.Wike said:
ialmisry said:
Jason.Wike said:
podkarpatska said:
A veritable blitzkrieg of masterful argument!
Not really. All you guys have ever done for years now is say the above. "We're right, its clear!" as if that really meant something.
Jason.Wike said:
That is what I find most annoying... the people that want change are never happy to change themselves and allow others to remain the same, they insist on forcing it on everyone else. I guess it is the only way they feel legitimate.
Jason.Wike said:
The Faith was created by God, and people have no right or ability to change it, we must accept it as it is.

The other alternative is it has been created by people, and we have the right to change it. The problem here is that if the Faith is created according to the form of people's desires, it has no authority, there is no reason to accept it because it is not the truth - it is based on their own desires and not truth (ahem... Jeremiah 17:9).


(Sorry I was really trying to stay out of this thread)
Nice to see you trolling around for stuff to troll and you spent three hours on it. :D
They're your words ialmisry's quoting, Jason. Or are you denying you said them?
 

lovetzatziki

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Jovan said:
A more serious but necessary challenge could be. Prove me that there was even a church existing in the 1th century.  

"I´m a historian, so your religious, traditional and fairy tale bible is not proof". I want more than that.

Yet we instantly accept as christians the fact that the church existed in the 1th century, not because the historian say yes or no on the matter. But because Christ promised it and he is the truth.
I thought the Bible as any written manuscript from the 1st century / 2nd century qualifies as a certified historical artefact of that time.
 

lovetzatziki

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Alveus Lacuna said:
yeshuaisiam said:
I keep doing it, an NOBODY has EVER shown me an icon from the 1st century of the church.  Period.  Nor are there any writings of it on the 1st century of the church.
Can you point to a surviving manuscript from the New Testament from the first century? I don't think any manuscripts have survived from that period either.
I heard the same, that the original manuscripts of the New Testament did not survive. We don't have any original manuscripts of the Bible today. Just copies of copies.
 

Jason.Wike

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LBK said:
Jason.Wike said:
ialmisry said:
Jason.Wike said:
podkarpatska said:
A veritable blitzkrieg of masterful argument!
Not really. All you guys have ever done for years now is say the above. "We're right, its clear!" as if that really meant something.
Jason.Wike said:
That is what I find most annoying... the people that want change are never happy to change themselves and allow others to remain the same, they insist on forcing it on everyone else. I guess it is the only way they feel legitimate.
Jason.Wike said:
The Faith was created by God, and people have no right or ability to change it, we must accept it as it is.

The other alternative is it has been created by people, and we have the right to change it. The problem here is that if the Faith is created according to the form of people's desires, it has no authority, there is no reason to accept it because it is not the truth - it is based on their own desires and not truth (ahem... Jeremiah 17:9).


(Sorry I was really trying to stay out of this thread)
Nice to see you trolling around for stuff to troll and you spent three hours on it. :D
They're your words ialmisry's quoting, Jason. Or are you denying you said them?
I'm not denying I said them. Its just funny (sad) he trawled through 1044 posts to re-post a bunch of things in different threads in response to me making him mad and some weird vendetta that seems to be developing.
 

LBK

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Jason.Wike said:
LBK said:
Jason.Wike said:
ialmisry said:
Jason.Wike said:
podkarpatska said:
A veritable blitzkrieg of masterful argument!
Not really. All you guys have ever done for years now is say the above. "We're right, its clear!" as if that really meant something.
Jason.Wike said:
That is what I find most annoying... the people that want change are never happy to change themselves and allow others to remain the same, they insist on forcing it on everyone else. I guess it is the only way they feel legitimate.
Jason.Wike said:
The Faith was created by God, and people have no right or ability to change it, we must accept it as it is.

The other alternative is it has been created by people, and we have the right to change it. The problem here is that if the Faith is created according to the form of people's desires, it has no authority, there is no reason to accept it because it is not the truth - it is based on their own desires and not truth (ahem... Jeremiah 17:9).


(Sorry I was really trying to stay out of this thread)
Nice to see you trolling around for stuff to troll and you spent three hours on it. :D
They're your words ialmisry's quoting, Jason. Or are you denying you said them?
I'm not denying I said them. Its just funny (sad) he trawled through 1044 posts to re-post a bunch of things in different threads in response to me making him mad and some weird vendetta that seems to be developing.
He wouldn't have needed to trawl through your every post. All he would have needed to do is a search on a keyword or phrase he knows you've used, and do a search, specifying your user name in the search.
 

lovetzatziki

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After the death and resurrection of Christ the new faith spread rapidly throughout the Roman world and the Near East. The stories of the Apostles and early witnesses who had seen and known Christ Himself were eagerly listened to by the converts to the new faith. Naturally, people who had seen Christ asked for descriptions of His appearance. At some point people began to create and distribute paintings of Christ. This also included his disciples and the reall martyrs of the Christian faith. The earliest images we know of was a statue of Christ which Eusebius, an important early Christian bishop, says had been set up in Caesarea-Phillipi (Paneaus) by the woman healed by Christ of an issue of blood. He also notes that in his time there were very ancient images of Peter and Paul.

However, the church was somewhat divided about images of Christ.
Eusebius refused to send the wife of Caesar Callus an image of Christ, for he thought it is idolatrous and a violation of Biblical injunctions. Some regional churches were against images as well, a local Spanish synod in 305 said images in churches were forbidden. However, the number of examples of paintings of the nativity and allegories of the Good Shepherd from around 250 AD, show how common Christian paintings had already become. The growth of images was concurrent with the development of the doctrine of the Incarnation of Christ and is closely tied to the growing awareness of this essential element of the Christian faith.

In early Christian times there were two images of Christ that were more or less standardized. One was of a young, idealized and clean shaven "hero" type. The second was the image we are familiar with today - a man in his late 20's or early 30's with long hair tied at the back, a smooth beard,
 http://www.kurskroot.com/history_of_icons.html

The earliest surviving Christian art comes from the late 2nd to early 4th centuries on the walls of tombs belonging, most likely, to wealthy[6] Christians in the catacombs of Rome, although from literary evidence there may well have been panel icons which, like almost all classical painting, have disappeared.
Initially Jesus was represented indirectly by pictogram symbols such as the Ichthys (fish), the peacock, or an anchor (the Labarum or Chi-Rho was a later development). Later personified symbols were used, including Jonah, whose three days in the belly of the whale pre-figured the interval between Christ's death and Resurrection; Daniel in the lion's den; or Orpheus charming the animals.[7] The Tomb of the Julii has a famous but unique mosaic of Christ as Sol Invictus, a sun-god.[8] The image of "The Good Shepherd", a beardless youth in pastoral scenes collecting sheep, was the most common of these images, and was probably not understood as a portrait of the historical Jesus at this period.[9] It continues the classical Kriophoros, and in some cases may also represent the Shepherd of Hermas, a popular Christian literary work of the 2nd century.[10]
Among the earliest depictions clearly intended to directly represent Jesus himself are many showing him as a baby, usually held by his mother, especially in the Adoration of the Magi, seen as the first theophany, or display of the incarnate Christ to the world at large.[11] The oldest known portrait of Jesus, found in Syria and dated to about 235, shows him as a beardless young man of authoritative and dignified bearing. He is depicted dressed in the style of a young philosopher, with close-cropped hair and wearing a tunic and pallium – signs of good breeding in Greco-Roman society. From this, it is evident that some early Christians paid no heed to the historical context of Jesus being a Jew and visualised him solely in terms of their own social context, as a quasi-heroic figure, without supernatural attributes such as a halo (a fourth-century innovation).
From the 3rd century onwards, the first narrative scenes from the Life of Christ to be clearly seen are the Baptism of Christ, painted in a catacomb in about 200,[18] and the miracle of the Raising of Lazarus,[19] both of which can be clearly identified by the inclusion of the dove of the Holy Spirit in Baptisms, and the vertical, shroud-wrapped body of Lazarus. Other scenes remain ambiguous – an agape feast may be intended as a Last Supper, but before the development of a recognised physical appearance for Christ, and attributes such as the halo, it is impossible to tell, as tituli or captions are rarely used. There are some surviving scenes from Christ's Works of about 235 from the Dura Europos church on the Persian frontier of the Empire. During the 4th century a much greater number of scenes came to be depicted,[20] usually showing Christ as youthful, beardless and with short hair that does not reach his shoulders, although there is considerable variation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depiction_of_Jesus

Rome, Catacombs of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter – Noah in the Ark
There are also representations of the young people of Babylonia rescued from the flames of the furnace, Susan saved from the snares of the elders, Noah who escaped the flood, and Daniel who stayed unharmed in the lions’ den.

From the New Testament, the miracles are chosen of healing (the blind man, the paralytic, the hemorrhaging woman) and resurrection (Lazarus, the widow of Naim’s son, Jairus’ daughter), but also other episodes, such as the conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well and the multiplication of the loaves.

Rome, Catacombs of St. Sebastian – Funeral inscription with symbols
The art of the catacombs is also a symbolic art in the sense that some concepts which are difficult to express are represented in a simple way. To indicate Christ a fish is depicted; to signify the peace of heaven a dove is represented; to express firmness of faith an anchor is drawn. On the closing slabs of the loculi, symbols with different meanings are often engraved. In some cases, a tool is depicted which indicates the dead person’s trade in life. Some symbols, such as glasses, loaves of bread and amphorae, allude to the funeral meals consumed in honor of the deceased, the so-called refrigeria. Most of the symbols refer to eternal salvation, such as the dove, the palm, the peacock, the phoenix and the lamb.

Return to Index



Rome, Catacombs of Priscilla – Our Lady with the Prophet

The catacombs and the Mother of God. In the Roman catacombs the most ancient image is preserved of Our Lady who is depicted in a painting in the cemetery of Priscilla on the Via Salaria. The fresco, which can be dated back to the first half of the third century, depicts the Virgin with the Child on her knees in front of a prophet (perhaps Balaam or Isaiah) who is pointing to a star to refer to the messianic prediction. In the catacombs other episodes with Our Lady are also represented such as the Adoration of the Magi and scenes from the Christmas crib, but it is thought that prior to the Council of Ephesus, all these representations had a Christological and not a Mariological significance.

Return to Index



Rome, Catacombs of Priscilla – The Good Shepherd

The Good Shepherd in the catacombs. One of the images represented the most in the art of the catacombs is the Good Shepherd. While the model is taken from pagan culture, it immediately takes on a Christological significance inspired by the parable of the lost sheep. Christ is thus represented as a humble shepherd with a lamb on his shoulders as he watches over his little flock that is sometimes made up of only two sheep placed at his sides.
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_commissions/archeo/inglese/documents/rc_com_archeo_doc_20011010_cataccrist_en.html#Arte

The Catacombs of Rome (Italian: Catacombe di Roma) are ancient catacombs, underground burial places under Rome, Italy, of which there are at least forty, some discovered only in recent decades. Though most famous for Christian burials, either in separate catacombs or mixed together, they began in the 2nd century,[1] much as a response to overcrowding and shortage of land. Many scholars have written that catacombs came about to help persecuted Christians to bury their dead secretly. The soft volcanic tuff rock under Rome is highly suitable for tunnelling, as it is softer when first exposed to air, hardening afterwards. Many have kilometres of tunnels, in up to four storeys (or layers).
The Christian catacombs are extremely important for the art history of early Christian art, as they contain the great majority of examples from before about 400 AD, in fresco and sculpture.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catacombs_of_Rome
 

Jovan

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lovetzatziki, truly the best name ever here on this forum ;P
 

ialmisry

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Jason.Wike said:
ialmisry said:
Jason.Wike said:
podkarpatska said:
A veritable blitzkrieg of masterful argument!
Not really. All you guys have ever done for years now is say the above. "We're right, its clear!" as if that really meant something.
Jason.Wike said:
That is what I find most annoying... the people that want change are never happy to change themselves and allow others to remain the same, they insist on forcing it on everyone else. I guess it is the only way they feel legitimate.
Jason.Wike said:
The Faith was created by God, and people have no right or ability to change it, we must accept it as it is.

The other alternative is it has been created by people, and we have the right to change it. The problem here is that if the Faith is created according to the form of people's desires, it has no authority, there is no reason to accept it because it is not the truth - it is based on their own desires and not truth (ahem... Jeremiah 17:9).


(Sorry I was really trying to stay out of this thread)
Nice to see you trolling around for stuff to troll and you spent three hours on it. :D
I barely spent five minutes on it.
 

ialmisry

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LBK said:
Jason.Wike said:
LBK said:
Jason.Wike said:
ialmisry said:
Jason.Wike said:
podkarpatska said:
A veritable blitzkrieg of masterful argument!
Not really. All you guys have ever done for years now is say the above. "We're right, its clear!" as if that really meant something.
Jason.Wike said:
That is what I find most annoying... the people that want change are never happy to change themselves and allow others to remain the same, they insist on forcing it on everyone else. I guess it is the only way they feel legitimate.
Jason.Wike said:
The Faith was created by God, and people have no right or ability to change it, we must accept it as it is.

The other alternative is it has been created by people, and we have the right to change it. The problem here is that if the Faith is created according to the form of people's desires, it has no authority, there is no reason to accept it because it is not the truth - it is based on their own desires and not truth (ahem... Jeremiah 17:9).


(Sorry I was really trying to stay out of this thread)
Nice to see you trolling around for stuff to troll and you spent three hours on it. :D
They're your words ialmisry's quoting, Jason. Or are you denying you said them?
I'm not denying I said them. Its just funny (sad) he trawled through 1044 posts to re-post a bunch of things in different threads in response to me making him mad and some weird vendetta that seems to be developing.
He wouldn't have needed to trawl through your every post. All he would have needed to do is a search on a keyword or phrase he knows you've used, and do a search, specifying your user name in the search.
Odd that he should think I waste such time going through 1044 posts with such interest, when he doesn't devote such attention and interest to the Scriptures.
 

Schultz

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Jason.Wike said:
ialmisry said:
Jason.Wike said:
podkarpatska said:
A veritable blitzkrieg of masterful argument!
Not really. All you guys have ever done for years now is say the above. "We're right, its clear!" as if that really meant something.
Jason.Wike said:
That is what I find most annoying... the people that want change are never happy to change themselves and allow others to remain the same, they insist on forcing it on everyone else. I guess it is the only way they feel legitimate.
Jason.Wike said:
The Faith was created by God, and people have no right or ability to change it, we must accept it as it is.

The other alternative is it has been created by people, and we have the right to change it. The problem here is that if the Faith is created according to the form of people's desires, it has no authority, there is no reason to accept it because it is not the truth - it is based on their own desires and not truth (ahem... Jeremiah 17:9).


(Sorry I was really trying to stay out of this thread)
Nice to see you trolling around for stuff to troll and you spent three hours on it. :D
It's called research.  I half-remember things people write here all the time and then I go looking for it to a) make sure my memory is correct and b) quote it so others can remember it, as well.

It's not difficult to do, either.
 

katherineofdixie

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PeterTheAleut said:
Why are you so infatuated with first and second century Christianity?
At a guess, because we have so little from that time, that it allows one to claim authenticity and authority for one's own personal interpretations and pet beliefs.
 

Jason.Wike

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ialmisry said:
LBK said:
Jason.Wike said:
LBK said:
Jason.Wike said:
ialmisry said:
Jason.Wike said:
podkarpatska said:
A veritable blitzkrieg of masterful argument!
Not really. All you guys have ever done for years now is say the above. "We're right, its clear!" as if that really meant something.
Jason.Wike said:
That is what I find most annoying... the people that want change are never happy to change themselves and allow others to remain the same, they insist on forcing it on everyone else. I guess it is the only way they feel legitimate.
Jason.Wike said:
The Faith was created by God, and people have no right or ability to change it, we must accept it as it is.

The other alternative is it has been created by people, and we have the right to change it. The problem here is that if the Faith is created according to the form of people's desires, it has no authority, there is no reason to accept it because it is not the truth - it is based on their own desires and not truth (ahem... Jeremiah 17:9).


(Sorry I was really trying to stay out of this thread)
Nice to see you trolling around for stuff to troll and you spent three hours on it. :D
They're your words ialmisry's quoting, Jason. Or are you denying you said them?
I'm not denying I said them. Its just funny (sad) he trawled through 1044 posts to re-post a bunch of things in different threads in response to me making him mad and some weird vendetta that seems to be developing.
He wouldn't have needed to trawl through your every post. All he would have needed to do is a search on a keyword or phrase he knows you've used, and do a search, specifying your user name in the search.
Odd that he should think I waste such time going through 1044 posts with such interest, when he doesn't devote such attention and interest to the Scriptures.
So you have (broken) ESP now? Wow. Anyway, the fact that this turned into a veiled ad hominem by dredging up tons of old posts and calling me a 'burn out' just shows no one here can create a rational response. Address the topic, not the person and all that stuff, that everyone else is expected to follow.
 

lovetzatziki

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Concerning the teaching of icons
Venerating icons, having them in churches and homes, is what the Church teaches. They are "open books to remind us of God." Those who lack the time or learning to study theology need only to enter a church to see the mysteries of the Christian religion unfolded before them.

Concerning the doctrinal significance of icons
Icons are necessary and essential because they protect the full and proper doctrine of the Incarnation. While God cannot be represented in His eternal nature ("...no man has seen God", John 1:18), He can be depicted simply because He "became human and took flesh." Of Him who took a material body, material images can be made. In so taking a material body, God proved that matter can be redeemed. He deified matter, making it spirit-bearing, and so if flesh can be a medium for the Spirit, so can wood or paint, although in a different fashion.

I do not worship matter, but the Creator of matter, who for my sake became material and deigned to dwell in matter, who through matter effected my salvation... —St. John of Damascus

The seventh and last Ecumenical Council upheld the iconodules' postion in AD 787. They proclaimed: Icons... are to be kept in churches and honored with the same relative veneration as is shown to other material symbols, such as the 'precious and life-giving Cross' and the Book of the Gospels. The 'doctrine of icons' is tied to the Orthodox teaching that all of God's creation is to be redeemed and glorified, both spiritual and material.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Seventh_Ecumenical_Council

Proceedings of the Council

First Session (September 24, 787) -- Three bishops, Basilius of Ancyra, Theodore of Myra, and Theodosius of Amorium begged for pardon for the heresy of iconoclasm.

Second Session (September 26, 787) -- Papal legates read the letters of Pope Hadrian I asking for agreement with veneration of images, to which question the bishops of the council answered: "We follow, we receive, we admit".

Third Session (September 28, 787) -- Other bishops having made their abjuration, were received into the council.

Fourth Session (October 1, 787) -- 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.

Fifth Session (October 4, 787) -- It was claimed that the iconoclast heresy came originally from Jews, Saracens, and Manicheans.

Sixth Session (October 6, 787) -- The definition of the pseudo-Seventh council (754) was read and condemned.

Seventh Session (October 13, 787) -- The council issued a declaration of faith concerning the veneration of holy images:

Aya Sofya of Nicaea, where the Council took place; Iznik, Turkey. It was determined that "As the sacred and life-giving cross is everywhere set up as a symbol, so also should the images of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, the holy angels, as well as those of the saints and other pious and holy men be embodied in the manufacture of sacred vessels, tapestries, vestments, etc., and exhibited on the walls of churches, in the homes, and in all conspicuous places, by the roadside and everywhere, to be revered by all who might see them. For the more they are contemplated, the more they move to fervent memory of their prototypes. Therefore, it is proper to accord to them a fervent and reverent adoration, not, however, the veritable worship which, according to our faith, belongs to the Divine Being alone — for the honor accorded to the image passes over to its prototype, and whoever adores the image adores in it the reality of what is there represented."

Eighth Session (October 23, 787) -- The last session was held in Constantinople at the Magnaura Palace. The Empress Irene and her son were present and they signed the document.

The clear distinction between the adoration offered to God, and that accorded to the images may well be looked upon as a result of the iconoclastic reform. However sculpture in the round was condemned as "sensual". The twenty-two canons[7] drawn up in Constantinople also served ecclesiastical reform. Careful maintenance of the ordinances of the earlier councils, knowledge of the scriptures on the part of the clergy, and care for Christian conduct are required, and the desire for a renewal of ecclesiastical life is awakened.

The council also decreed that every altar should contain a relic, which remains the case in modern Catholic and Orthodox regulations (Canon VII), and made a number of decrees on clerical discipline, especially for monks when mixing with women.

The papal legates voiced their approval of the restoration of the veneration of icons in no uncertain terms, and the patriarch sent a full account of the proceedings of the council to Pope Hadrian I, who had it translated (the translation Anastasius later replaced with a better one).

This council is celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Eastern Catholic Churches of Byzantine Rite as "The Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy" each year on the first Sunday of Great Lent the fast that leads up to Pascha (Easter) and again on the Sunday closest to October 11 (the Sunday on or after October 8). The former celebration commemorates the council as the culmination of the Church's battles against heresy, while the latter commemorates the council itself.
http://www.tutorgigpedia.com/ed/Second_Council_of_Nicaea

xtracts from the Acts

Session 1

(Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. VII., col. 53.)

[Certain bishops who had been led astray by the Iconoclasts came, asking to be received back. The first of these was Basil of Ancyra.]

The bishop Basil of Ancyra read as follows from a book: Inasmuch as ecclesiastical legislation has canonically been handed down from past time, even from the beginning from the holy Apostles, and from their successors, who were our holy fathers and teachers, and also from the six holy and ecumenical synods, and from the local synods which were gathered in the interests of orthodoxy, that those returning from any heresy whatever to the orthodox faith and to the tradition of the Catholic Church, might deny their own heresy, and confess the orthodox faith.

Wherefore I, Basil, bishop of the city of Ancyra, proposing to be united to the Catholic Church, and to Hadrian the most holy Pope of Old Rome, and to Tarasius the most blessed Patriarch, and to the most holy apostolic sees, to wit, Alexandria, Antioch, and the Holy City, as well as to all orthodox high-priests and priests, make this written confession of my faith, and I offer it to you as to those who have received power by apostolic authority. And in this also I beg pardon from your divinely gathered holiness for my tardiness in this matter. For it was not right that I should have fallen behind in the confession of orthodoxy, but it arose from my entire lack of knowledge, and slothful and negligent mind in the matter. Wherefore the rather I ask your blessedness to grant me indulgence in God's sight.

I believe, therefore, and make my confession in one God, the Father Almighty, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, and in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life. The Trinity, one in essence and one in majesty, must be worshipped and glorified in one godhead, power, and authority. I confess all things pertaining to the incarnation of one of the Holy Trinity, our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, as the Saints and the six Ecumenical Synods have handed down. And I reject and anathematize every heretical babbling, as they also have rejected them. I ask for the intercessions (πρεσβείας) of our spotless Lady the Holy Mother of God, and those of the holy and heavenly powers, and those of all the Saints.
And receiving their holy and honourable relics with all honour (τιμῆς), I salute and venerate these with honour (τιμητικῶς προσκυνέω), hoping to have a share in their holiness. Likewise also the venerable images (εἰκόνας) of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the humanity he assumed for our salvation; and of our spotless Lady, the holy Mother of God; and of the angels like God; and of the holy Apostles, Prophets, Martyrs, and of all the Saints— the sacred images of all these, I salute and venerate— rejecting and anathematizing with my whole soul and mind the synod which was gathered together out of stubbornness and madness, and which styled itself the Seventh Synod, but which by those who think accurately was called lawfully and canonically a pseudo-synod, as being contrary to all truth and piety, and audaciously and temerariously against the divinely handed down ecclesiastical legislation, yea, even impiously having yelped at and scoffed at the holy and venerable images, and having ordered these to be taken away out of the holy churches of God; over which assembly presided Theodosius with the pseudonym of Ephesius, Sisinnius of Perga, with the surname Pastillas, Basilius of Pisidia, falsely called tricaccabus; with whom the wretched Constantine, the then Patriarch, was led (ἐματαιώθη) astray.

These things thus I confess and to these I assent, and therefore in simplicity of heart and in uprightness of mind, in the presence of God, I have made the subjoined anathematisms.

Anathema to the calumniators of the Christians, that is to the image breakers.

Anathema to those who apply the words of Holy Scripture which were spoken against idols, to the venerable images.

Anathema to those who do not salute the holy and venerable images.

Anathema to those who say that Christians have recourse to the images as to gods.

Anathema to those who call the sacred images idols.

Anathema to those who knowingly communicate with those who revile and dishonour the venerable images.

Anathema to those who say that another than Christ our Lord has delivered us from idols.

Anathema to those who spurn the teachings of the holy Fathers and the tradition of the Catholic Church, taking as a pretext and making their own the arguments of Arius, Nestorius, Eutyches, and Dioscorus, that unless we were evidently taught by the Old and New Testaments, we should not follow the teachings of the holy Fathers and of the holy Ecumenical Synods, and the tradition of the Catholic Church.

Anathema to those who dare to say that the Catholic Church has at any time sanctioned idols.

Anathema to those who say that the making of images is a diabolical invention and not a tradition of our holy Fathers.

This is my confession [of faith] and to these propositions I give my assent. And I pronounce this with my whole heart, and soul, and mind.

And if at any time by the fraud of the devil (which may God forbid!) I voluntarily or involuntarily shall be opposed to what I have now professed, may I be anathema from the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, and from the Catholic Church and every hierarchical order a stranger.

I will keep myself from every acceptance of a bribe and from filthy lucre in accordance with the divine canons of the holy Apostles and of the approved Fathers.

Tarasius, the most holy Patriarch, said: This whole sacred gathering yields glory and thanks to God for this confession of yours, which you have made to the Catholic Church.

The Holy Synod said: Glory to God which makes one that which was severed.

[Theodore, bishop of Myra, then read the same confession, and was received. The next bishop who asked to be received read as follows: (col. 60)]

Theodosius, the humble Christian, to the holy and Ecumenical Synod: I confess and I agree to (συντίθεμαι) and I receive and I salute and I venerate in the first place the spotless image of our Lord Jesus Christ, our true God, and the holy image of her who bore him without seed, the holy Mother of God, and her help and protection and intercessions each day and night as a sinner to my aid I call for, since she has confidence with Christ our God, as he was born of her. Likewise also I receive and venerate the images of the holy and most laudable Apostles, prophets, and martyrs and the fathers and cultivators of the desert. Not indeed as gods (God forbid!) do I ask all these with my whole heart to pray for me to God, that he may grant me through their intercessions to find mercy at his hands at the day of judgment, for in this I am but showing forth more clearly the affection and love of my soul which I have borne them from the first. Likewise also I venerate and honour and salute the relics of the Saints as of those who fought for Christ and who have received grace from him for the healing of diseases and the curing of sicknesses and the casting out of devils, as the Christian Church has received from the holy Apostles and Fathers even down to us today.

Moreover, I am well pleased that there should be images in the churches of the faithful, especially the image of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the holy Mother of God, of every kind of material, both gold and silver and of every colour, so that his incarnation may be set forth to all men. Likewise there may be painted the lives of the Saints and Prophets and Martyrs, so that their struggles and agonies may be set forth in brief, for the stirring up and teaching of the people, especially of the unlearned.

For if the people go forth with lights and incense to meet the laurata and images of the Emperors when they are sent to cities or rural districts, they honour surely not the tablet covered over with wax, but the Emperor himself. How much more is it necessary that in the churches of Christ our God, the image of God our Saviour and of his spotless Mother and of all the holy and blessed fathers and ascetics should be painted? Even as also St. Basil says: Writers and painters set forth the great deeds of war; the one by word, the other by their pencils; and each stirs many to courage. And again the same author How much pains have you ever taken that you might find one of the Saints who was willing to be your importunate intercessor to the Lord? And Chrysostom says, The charity of the Saints is not diminished by their death, nor does it come to an end with their exit from life, but after their death they are still more powerful than when they were alive, and many other things without measure. Therefore I ask you, O you Saints! I call out to you. I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. Receive me as God received the luxurious man, and the harlot, and the thief. Seek me out, as Christ sought out the sheep that was lost, which he carried on his shoulders; so that there may be joy in the presence of God and of his angels over my salvation and repentance, through your intervention, O all-holy lords! Let them who do not venerate the holy and venerable images be anathema! Anathema to those who blaspheme against the honourable and venerable images! To those who dare to attack and blaspheme the venerable images and call them idols, anathema! To the calumniators of Christianity, that is to say the Iconoclasts, anathema! To those who do not diligently teach all the Christ-loving people to venerate and salute the venerable and sacred and honourable images of all the Saints who pleased God in their several generations, anathema! To those who have a doubtful mind and do not confess with their whole hearts that they venerate the sacred images, anathema!

Sabbas, the most reverend hegumenus of the monastery of the Studium, said: According to the Apostolic precepts and the Ecumenical Synods he is worthy to be received back.

Tarasius, the most holy Patriarch, said: Those who formerly were the calumniators of orthodoxy, now have become the advocates of the truth.

[Near the end of this session, (col. 77)]

John, the most reverend bishop and legate of the Eastern high priests said: This heresy is the worst of all heresies. Woe to the iconoclasts! It is the worst of heresies, as it subverts the incarnation (οἰκονομίαν) of our Saviour.
Session 2

[The Papal Letters were presented by the Legates. First was read that to Constantine and Irene, but not in its entirety, if we may trust Anastasius the Librarian, who gives what he says is the original Latin text. Here follows a translation of this and of the Greek, also a translation of the Latin passage altogether omitted, (as we are told) with the consent of the Roman Legates.]

Part of Pope Hadrian's Letter.

[As written by the Pope.]

(Migne, Pat. Lat., Tom. XCVI., col. 1217.)

If you persevere in that orthodox Faith in which you have begun, and the sacred and venerable images be by your means erected again in those parts, as by the lord, the Emperor Constantine of pious memory, and the blessed Helen, who promulgated the orthodox Faith, and exalted the holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church your spiritual mother, and with the other orthodox Emperors venerated it as the head of all Churches, so will your Clemency, that is protected of God, receive the name of another Constantine, and another Helen, through whom at the beginning the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church derived strength, and like whom your own imperial fame is spread abroad by triumphs, so as to be brilliant and deeply fixed in the whole world. But the more, if following the traditions of the orthodox Faith, you embrace the judgment of the Church of blessed Peter, chief of the Apostles, and, as of old your predecessors the holy Emperors acted, so you, too, venerating it with honour, love with all your heart his Vicar, and if your sacred majesty follow by preference their orthodox Faith, according to our holy Roman Church. May the chief of the Apostles himself, to whom the power was given by our Lord God to bind and remit sins in heaven and earth, be often your protector, and trample all barbarous nations under your feet, and everywhere make you conquerors. For let sacred authority lay open the marks of his dignity, and how great veneration ought to be shown to his, the highest See, by all the faithful in the world. For the Lord set him who bears the keys of the kingdom of heaven as chief over all, and by Him is he honoured with this privilege, by which the keys of the kingdom of heaven are entrusted to him. He, therefore, that was preferred with so exalted an honour was thought worthy to confess that Faith on which the Church of Christ is founded. A blessed reward followed that blessed confession, by the preaching of which the holy universal Church was illumined, and from it the other Churches of God have derived the proofs of Faith. For the blessed Peter himself, the chief of the Apostles, who first sat in the Apostolic See, left the chiefship of his Apostolate, and pastoral care, to his successors, who are to sit in his most holy seat for ever. And that power of authority, which he received from the Lord God our Saviour, he too bestowed and delivered by divine command to the Pontiffs, his successors, etc.

[As read in Greek to the Council.]

(Migne, Pat. Lat., Tom. XCVI., col. 1218.)

If the ancient orthodoxy be perfected and restored by your means in those regions, and the venerable icons be placed in their original state, you will be partakers with the Lord Constantine, Emperor of old, now in the Divine keeping, and the Empress Helena, who made conspicuous and confirmed the orthodox Faith, and exalted still more your holy mother, the Catholic and Roman and spiritual Church, and with the orthodox Emperors who ruled after them, and so your most pious and heaven-protected name likewise will be set forth as that of another Constantine and another Helena, being renowned and praised through the whole world, by whom the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is restored. And especially if you follow the tradition of the orthodox Faith of the Church of the holy Peter and Paul, the chief Apostles, and embrace their Vicar, as the Emperors who reigned before you of old both honoured their Vicar, and loved him with all their heart: and if your sacred majesty honour the most holy Roman Church of the chief Apostles, to whom was given power by God the Word himself to loose and to bind sins in heaven and earth. For they will extend their shield over your power, and all barbarous nations shall be put under your feet: and wherever you go they will make you conquerors. For the holy and chief Apostles themselves, who set up the Catholic and orthodox Faith, have laid it down as a written law that all who after them are to be successors of their seats, should hold their Faith and remain in it to the end.

[The part which was never read to the Council at all.]

(Found in L. and C., Concilia, Tom. VII., col. 117.)

We greatly wondered that in your imperial commands, directed for the Patriarch of the royal city, Tarasius, we find him there called Universal: but we know not whether this was written through ignorance or schism, or the heresy of the wicked. But henceforth we advise your most merciful and imperial majesty, that he be by no means called Universal in your writings, because it appears to be contrary to the institutions of the holy Canons and the decrees of the traditions of the holy Fathers. For he never could have ranked second, save for the authority of our holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, as is plain to all. Because if he be named Universal, above the holy Roman Church which has a prior rank, which is the head of all the Churches of God, it is certain that he shows himself as a rebel against the holy Councils, and a heretic. For, if he is Universal, he is recognized to have the Primacy even over the Church of our See, which appears ridiculous to all faithful Christians: because in the whole world the chief rank and power was given to the blessed Apostle Peter by the Redeemer of the world himself; and through the same Apostle, whose place we unworthily hold, the holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church holds the first rank, and the authority of power, now and for ever, so that if any one, which we believe not, has called him, or assents to his being called Universal, let him know that he is estranged from the orthodox Faith, and a rebel against our holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

[After the reading was ended (col. 120)]

Tarasius the most holy patriarch said: Did you yourselves receive these letters from the most holy Pope, and did you carry them to our pious Emperor?

Peter and Peter the most beloved-of-God presbyters who held the place of Hadrian, the most holy pope of Rome, said: We ourselves received such letters from our apostolic father and delivered them to the pious lords.

John, the most magnificent Logothete, said: That this is the case is also known to the Sicilians, the beloved of God Theodore, the bishop of Catanea, and the most revered deacon Epiphanius who is with him, who holds the place of the archbishop of Sardinia. For both of these at the bidding of our pious Emperors, went to Rome with the most reverend apocrisarius of our most holy patriarch.

Theodore the God-beloved bishop of Catanea, standing in the midst, said: The pious emperor, by his honourable jussio, bid send Leo, the most god-beloved presbyter (who together with myself is a slave of your holiness), with the precious letter of his most sacred majesty; and he who reveres our [sic in Greek, your, in Latin] holiness, being the governor (στρατηγὸς) of my province of Sicily, sent me to Rome with the pious jussio of our orthodox Emperors.
And when we had gone, we announced the orthodox faith of the pious emperors.

And when the most blessed Pope heard it, he said: Since this has come to pass in the days of their reign, God has magnified their pious rule above all former reigns. And this suggestion (ἀναφορὰν) which has been read he sent to our most pious kings together with a letter to your holiness and with his vicars who are here present and presiding.

Cosmas, the deacon, notary, and chamberlain (Cubuclesius) said: And another letter was sent by the most holy Pope of Old Rome to Tarasius, our most holy and œcumenical Patriarch. Let it be disposed of as your holy assembly shall direct.

The Holy Synod said, Let it be read.

[Then was read Hadrian's letter to Tarasius of Constantinople, which ends by saying that, our dearly-loved proto-presbyter of the Holy Church of Rome, and Peter, a monk, a presbyter, and an abbot, who have been sent by us to the most tranquil and pious emperors, we beg you will deem them worthy of all kindness and humane amenity for the sake of St. Peter, coropheus of the Apostles, and for our sakes, so that for this we may be able to offer you our sincere thanks. The letter being ended (col. 128),]

Peter and Peter, the most reverend presbyters and representatives of the most holy Pope of Old Rome said: Let the most holy Tarasius, Patriarch of the royal city, say whether he agrees (στοιχεῖ) with the letters of the most holy Pope of Old Rome or not.

Tarasius the most holy patriarch said: The divine Apostle Paul, who was filled with the light of Christ, and who has begotten us through the gospel, in writing to the Romans, commending their zeal for the true faith which they had in Christ our true God, thus said: Your faith has gone forth into all the world. It is necessary to follow out this witness, and he that would contradict it is without good sense. Wherefore Hadrian, the ruler of Old Rome, since he was a sharer of these things, thus borne witness to, wrote expressly and truly to our religious Emperors, and to our humility, confirming admirably and beautifully the ancient tradition of the Catholic Church. And we also ourselves, having examined both in writing, and by inquisition, and syllogistically and by demonstration, and having been taught by the teachings of the Fathers, so have confessed, so do confess, and so will confess; and shall be fast, and shall remain, and shall stand firm in the sense of the letters which have just been read, receiving the imaged representations according to the ancient tradition of our holy fathers; and these we venerate with firmly-attached affection, as made in the name of Christ our God, and of our Spotless Lady the Holy Mother of God, and of the Holy Angels, and of all the Saints, most clearly giving our adoration and faith to the one only true God.

And the holy Synod said: The whole holy Synod thus teaches.

Peter and Peter, the God-loved presbyters and legates of the Apostolic See, said: Let the holy Synod say whether it receives the letters of the most holy Pope of Old Rome.

The holy Synod said: We follow, we receive, we admit them.

[The bishops then give one by one their votes all in the same sense.]

Session 3

(Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. VII., col. 188.)

Constantine, the most holy bishop of Constantia in Cyprus, said: Since I, unworthy that I am, find that the letter which has just been read, which was sent from the East to Tarasius the most holy archbishop and ecumenical patriarch, is in no sense changed from that confession of faith which he himself had before made, to these I consent and become of one mind, receiving and saluting with honour the holy and venerable images. But the worship of adoration I reserve alone to the supersubstantial and life-giving Trinity. And those who are not so minded, and do not so teach I cast out of the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and I smite them with anathema, and I deliver them over to the lot of those who deny the incarnation and the bodily economy of Christ our true God.

Session 4

[Among numerous passages of the Fathers one was read from a sermon by St. Gregory Nyssen in which he describes a painting representing the sacrifice of Isaac and tells how he could not pass it without tears.]

The most glorious princes said: See how our father grieved at the depicted history, even so that he wept.

Basil, the most holy bishop of Ancyra, said: Many times the father had read the story, but perchance he had not wept; but when once he saw it painted, he wept.

John the most reverend monk and presbyter and representative of the Eastern high priests, said: If to such a doctor the picture was helpful and drew forth tears, how much more in the case of the ignorant and simple will it bring compunction and benefit.

The holy Synod said: We have seen in several places the history of Abraham painted as the father says.

Theodore the most holy bishop of Catanea, said: If the holy Gregory, vigilant in divine cogitation, was moved to tears at the sight of the story of Abraham, how much more shall a painting of the incarnation of our Lord Christ, who for us was made man, move the beholders to their profit and to tears?

Tarasius the most holy Patriarch said: Shall we not weep when we see an image of our crucified Lord?

The holy Synod said: We shall indeed— for in that shall be found perfectly the profundity of the abasement of the incarnate God for our sakes.

[Post nonnulla a passage is read from St. Athanasius in which he describes the miracles worked at Berytus, after which there is found the following (col. 224),]

Tarasius, the most holy Patriarch, said: But perhaps someone will say, Why do not the images which we have work miracles? To which we answer, that as the Apostle has said, signs are for those who do not believe, not for believers. For they who approached that image were unbelievers. Therefore God gave them a sign through the image, to draw them to our Christian faith. But an evil and adulterous generation that seeks after a sign and no sign shall be given it.

[After a number of other quotations, was read the Canon of the Council in Trullo as a canon of the Sixth Synod (col. 233).]

Tarasius, the most holy Patriarch said: There are certain affected with the sickness of ignorance who are scandalized by these canons [viz. of the Trullan Synod] and say, And do you really think they were adopted at the Sixth Synod? Now let all such know that the holy great Sixth Synod was assembled at Constantinople concerning those who said that there was but one energy and will in Christ. These anathematized the heretics, and having expounded the orthodox faith, they went to their homes in the fourteenth year of Constantine. But after four or five years the same fathers came together under Justinian, the son of Constantine, and set forth the before-mentioned canons. And let no one doubt concerning them. For they who subscribed under Constantine were the same as they who under Justinian signed the present chart, as can manifestly be established from the unchangeable similarity of their own handwriting. For it was right that they who had appeared at an ecumenical synod should also set forth ecclesiastical canons. They said that we should be led as (by the hand) by the venerable images to the recollection of the incarnation of Christ and of his saving death, and if by them we are led to the realization of the incarnation of Christ our God, what sort of an opinion shall we have of them who break down the venerable images?

[At the close of the Session, after a number of anathematisms had been pronounced, the following was read, to which all the bishops subscribed (col. 317).]

Fulfilling the divine precept of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, our holy Fathers did not hide the light of the divine knowledge given by him to them under a bushel, but they set it upon the candlestick of most useful teaching, so that it might give light to all in the house— that is to say, to those who are born in the Catholic Church; lest perchance anyone of those who piously confess the Lord might strike his foot against the stone of heretical evil doctrine. For they expelled every error of heretics and they cut off the rotten member if it was incurably sick. And with a fan they purged the floor. And the good wheat, that is to say the word which nourishes and which makes strong the heart of man, they laid up in the granary of the Catholic Church; but throwing outside the chaff of heretical evil opinion they burned it with unquenchable fire. Therefore also this holy and ecumenical Synod, met together for the second time in this illustrious metropolis of Nice, by the will of God and at the bidding of our pious and most faithful Emperors, Irene a new Helena, and a new Constantine, her God-protected offspring, having considered by their perusal the teachings of our approved and blessed Fathers, has glorified God himself, from whom there was given to them wisdom for our instruction, and for the perfecting of the Catholic and Apostolic Church: and against those who do not believe as they did, but have attempted to overshadow the truth through their novelty, they have chanted the words of the psalm: Oh how much evil have your enemies done in your sanctuary; and have glorified themselves, saying, There is not a teacher any more, and they shall not know that we treated with guile the word of truth. But we, in all things holding the doctrines and precepts of the same our God-bearing Fathers, make proclamation with one mouth and one heart, neither adding anything, nor taking anything away from those things which have been delivered to us by them. But in these things we are strengthened, in these things we are confirmed. Thus we confess, thus we teach, just as the holy and ecumenical six Synods have decreed and ratified. We believe in one God the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, his only-begotten Son and Word, through whom all things were made, and in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life, consubstantial and coeternal with the same Father and with his Son who has had no beginning. The unbuilt-up, indivisible, incomprehensible, and non-circumscribed Trinity; he, wholly and alone, is to be worshipped and revered with adoration; one Godhead, one Lordship, one dominion, one realm and dynasty, which without division is apportioned to the Persons, and is fitted to the essence severally. For we confess that one of the same holy and consubstantial Trinity, our Lord Jesus Christ the true God, in these last days was incarnate and made man for our salvation, and having saved our race through his saving incarnation, and passion, and resurrection, and ascension into heaven; and having delivered us from the error of idols; as also the prophet says, Not an ambassador, not an angel, but the Lord himself has saved us. Him we also follow, and adopt his voice, and cry aloud; No Synod, no power of kings, no God-hated agreement has delivered the Church from the error of the idols, as the Judaizing conciliabulum has madly dreamed, which raved against the venerable images; but the Lord of glory himself, the incarnate God, has saved us and has snatched us from idolatrous deceit. To him therefore be glory, to him be thanks, to him be eucharists, to him be praise, to him be magnificence. For his redemption and his salvation alone can perfectly save, and not that of other men who come of the earth. For he himself has fulfilled for us, upon whom the ends of the earth have come through the economy of his incarnation, the words spoken beforehand by his prophets, for he dwelt among us, and went in and out among us, and cast out the names of idols from the earth, as it was written. But we salute the voices of the Lord and of his Apostles through which we have been taught to honour in the first place her who is properly and truly the Mother of God and exalted above all the heavenly powers; also the holy and angelic powers; and the blessed and altogether lauded Apostles, and the glorious Prophets and the triumphant Martyrs which fought for Christ, and the holy and God-bearing Doctors, and all holy men; and to seek for their intercessions, as able to render us at home with the all-royal God of all, so long as we keep his commandments, and strive to live virtuously. Moreover we salute the image of the honourable and life-giving Cross, and the holy relics of the Saints; and we receive the holy and venerable images: and we salute them, and we embrace them, according to the ancient traditions of the holy Catholic Church of God, that is to say of our holy Fathers, who also received these things and established them in all the most holy Churches of God, and in every place of his dominion. These honourable and venerable images, as has been said, we honour and salute and reverently venerate: to wit, the image of the incarnation of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, and that of our spotless Lady the all-holy Mother of God, from whom he pleased to take flesh, and to save and deliver us from all impious idolatry; also the images of the holy and incorporeal Angels, who as men appeared to the just. Likewise also the figures and effigies of the divine and all-lauded Apostles, also of the God-speaking Prophets, and of the struggling Martyrs and of holy men. So that through their representations we may be able to be led back in memory and recollection to the prototype, and have a share in the holiness of some one of them.

Thus we have learned to think of these things, and we have been strengthened by our holy Fathers, and we have been strengthened by their divinely handed down teaching. And thanks be to God for his ineffable gift, that he has not deserted us at the end nor has the rod of the ungodly come into the lot of the righteous, lest the righteous put their hands, that is to say their actual deeds, unto wickedness. But he does well unto those who are good and true of heart, as the psalmist David melodiously has sung; with whom also we sing the rest of the psalm: As for such as turn back unto their own wickedness, the Lord shall lead them forth with the evil doers; and peace shall be upon the Israel of God.

[The subscriptions follow immediately and close the acts of this session (col. 321-346).]

Session 6

(Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. VII., col. 389.)

Leo the most renowned secretary said: The holy and blessed Synod know how at the last session we examined various sayings of the God-forsaken heretics, who had brought charges against the holy and spotless Church of the Christians for the setting up of the holy images. But today we have in our hands the written blasphemy of those calumniators of the Christians, that is to say, the absurd, and easily answered, and self-convicting definition (ὅρον) of the pseudosyllogus, in all respects agreeing with the impious opinion of the God-hated heretics. But not only have we this, but also the artful and most drastic refutation thereof, which the Holy Spirit had supervised. For it was right that this definition should be made a triumph by wise contradictions, and should be torn to pieces with strong refutations. This also we submit so as to know your pleasure with regard to it.

The holy Synod said: Let it be read.

John, the deacon and chancellor [of the most holy great Church of Constantinople, in Lat. only] read.

[John, the deacon, then read the orthodox refutation, and Gregory, the bishop of Neocæsarea, the Definition of the Mock Council, the one reading the heretical statement and the other the orthodox answer.]
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3819.htm

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yeshuaisiam

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

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

I don't know if jesusisiamism accepts independent evidence as proof. (btw, at the LATEST, this grafitto dates two centuries after the Crucifixion, and might just be one century after, or even less).

Maybe jesusisiam can pitch his views here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jesus_Seminar
I can't believe you guys are using this as an example.

This is also called the "blasphemo", and was drawn by people mocking Christians worshiping their "God".

So the forum of Orthodox Christians uses art that mocked early Christians as an example to justify iconography.

I mean... guys - really?
 

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lovetzatziki said:
After the death and resurrection of Christ the new faith spread rapidly throughout the Roman world and the Near East. The stories of the Apostles and early witnesses who had seen and known Christ Himself were eagerly listened to by the converts to the new faith. Naturally, people who had seen Christ asked for descriptions of His appearance. At some point people began to create and distribute paintings of Christ. This also included his disciples and the reall martyrs of the Christian faith. The earliest images we know of was a statue of Christ which Eusebius, an important early Christian bishop, says had been set up in Caesarea-Phillipi (Paneaus) by the woman healed by Christ of an issue of blood. He also notes that in his time there were very ancient images of Peter and Paul.

However, the church was somewhat divided about images of Christ.
Eusebius refused to send the wife of Caesar Callus an image of Christ, for he thought it is idolatrous and a violation of Biblical injunctions. Some regional churches were against images as well, a local Spanish synod in 305 said images in churches were forbidden. However, the number of examples of paintings of the nativity and allegories of the Good Shepherd from around 250 AD, show how common Christian paintings had already become. The growth of images was concurrent with the development of the doctrine of the Incarnation of Christ and is closely tied to the growing awareness of this essential element of the Christian faith.

In early Christian times there were two images of Christ that were more or less standardized. One was of a young, idealized and clean shaven "hero" type. The second was the image we are familiar with today - a man in his late 20's or early 30's with long hair tied at the back, a smooth beard,
 http://www.kurskroot.com/history_of_icons.html

The earliest surviving Christian art comes from the late 2nd to early 4th centuries on the walls of tombs belonging, most likely, to wealthy[6] Christians in the catacombs of Rome, although from literary evidence there may well have been panel icons which, like almost all classical painting, have disappeared.
Initially Jesus was represented indirectly by pictogram symbols such as the Ichthys (fish), the peacock, or an anchor (the Labarum or Chi-Rho was a later development). Later personified symbols were used, including Jonah, whose three days in the belly of the whale pre-figured the interval between Christ's death and Resurrection; Daniel in the lion's den; or Orpheus charming the animals.[7] The Tomb of the Julii has a famous but unique mosaic of Christ as Sol Invictus, a sun-god.[8] The image of "The Good Shepherd", a beardless youth in pastoral scenes collecting sheep, was the most common of these images, and was probably not understood as a portrait of the historical Jesus at this period.[9] It continues the classical Kriophoros, and in some cases may also represent the Shepherd of Hermas, a popular Christian literary work of the 2nd century.[10]
Among the earliest depictions clearly intended to directly represent Jesus himself are many showing him as a baby, usually held by his mother, especially in the Adoration of the Magi, seen as the first theophany, or display of the incarnate Christ to the world at large.[11] The oldest known portrait of Jesus, found in Syria and dated to about 235, shows him as a beardless young man of authoritative and dignified bearing. He is depicted dressed in the style of a young philosopher, with close-cropped hair and wearing a tunic and pallium – signs of good breeding in Greco-Roman society. From this, it is evident that some early Christians paid no heed to the historical context of Jesus being a Jew and visualised him solely in terms of their own social context, as a quasi-heroic figure, without supernatural attributes such as a halo (a fourth-century innovation).
From the 3rd century onwards, the first narrative scenes from the Life of Christ to be clearly seen are the Baptism of Christ, painted in a catacomb in about 200,[18] and the miracle of the Raising of Lazarus,[19] both of which can be clearly identified by the inclusion of the dove of the Holy Spirit in Baptisms, and the vertical, shroud-wrapped body of Lazarus. Other scenes remain ambiguous – an agape feast may be intended as a Last Supper, but before the development of a recognised physical appearance for Christ, and attributes such as the halo, it is impossible to tell, as tituli or captions are rarely used. There are some surviving scenes from Christ's Works of about 235 from the Dura Europos church on the Persian frontier of the Empire. During the 4th century a much greater number of scenes came to be depicted,[20] usually showing Christ as youthful, beardless and with short hair that does not reach his shoulders, although there is considerable variation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depiction_of_Jesus

Rome, Catacombs of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter – Noah in the Ark
There are also representations of the young people of Babylonia rescued from the flames of the furnace, Susan saved from the snares of the elders, Noah who escaped the flood, and Daniel who stayed unharmed in the lions’ den.

From the New Testament, the miracles are chosen of healing (the blind man, the paralytic, the hemorrhaging woman) and resurrection (Lazarus, the widow of Naim’s son, Jairus’ daughter), but also other episodes, such as the conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well and the multiplication of the loaves.

Rome, Catacombs of St. Sebastian – Funeral inscription with symbols
The art of the catacombs is also a symbolic art in the sense that some concepts which are difficult to express are represented in a simple way. To indicate Christ a fish is depicted; to signify the peace of heaven a dove is represented; to express firmness of faith an anchor is drawn. On the closing slabs of the loculi, symbols with different meanings are often engraved. In some cases, a tool is depicted which indicates the dead person’s trade in life. Some symbols, such as glasses, loaves of bread and amphorae, allude to the funeral meals consumed in honor of the deceased, the so-called refrigeria. Most of the symbols refer to eternal salvation, such as the dove, the palm, the peacock, the phoenix and the lamb.

Return to Index



Rome, Catacombs of Priscilla – Our Lady with the Prophet

The catacombs and the Mother of God. In the Roman catacombs the most ancient image is preserved of Our Lady who is depicted in a painting in the cemetery of Priscilla on the Via Salaria. The fresco, which can be dated back to the first half of the third century, depicts the Virgin with the Child on her knees in front of a prophet (perhaps Balaam or Isaiah) who is pointing to a star to refer to the messianic prediction. In the catacombs other episodes with Our Lady are also represented such as the Adoration of the Magi and scenes from the Christmas crib, but it is thought that prior to the Council of Ephesus, all these representations had a Christological and not a Mariological significance.

Return to Index



Rome, Catacombs of Priscilla – The Good Shepherd

The Good Shepherd in the catacombs. One of the images represented the most in the art of the catacombs is the Good Shepherd. While the model is taken from pagan culture, it immediately takes on a Christological significance inspired by the parable of the lost sheep. Christ is thus represented as a humble shepherd with a lamb on his shoulders as he watches over his little flock that is sometimes made up of only two sheep placed at his sides.
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_commissions/archeo/inglese/documents/rc_com_archeo_doc_20011010_cataccrist_en.html#Arte

The Catacombs of Rome (Italian: Catacombe di Roma) are ancient catacombs, underground burial places under Rome, Italy, of which there are at least forty, some discovered only in recent decades. Though most famous for Christian burials, either in separate catacombs or mixed together, they began in the 2nd century,[1] much as a response to overcrowding and shortage of land. Many scholars have written that catacombs came about to help persecuted Christians to bury their dead secretly. The soft volcanic tuff rock under Rome is highly suitable for tunnelling, as it is softer when first exposed to air, hardening afterwards. Many have kilometres of tunnels, in up to four storeys (or layers).
The Christian catacombs are extremely important for the art history of early Christian art, as they contain the great majority of examples from before about 400 AD, in fresco and sculpture.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catacombs_of_Rome
So no icons from the 1st or 2nd century, no writings about venerating icons in the 1st or 2nd century, but all came 3rd or later.  But they are a tremendous part of the EO faith, involved in practically every form of EO worship.
 

yeshuaisiam

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katherineofdixie said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Why are you so infatuated with first and second century Christianity?
At a guess, because we have so little from that time, that it allows one to claim authenticity and authority for one's own personal interpretations and pet beliefs.
I disagree, we have a ton from that time.  Lot's of writings.  Lot's of history.  Lot's of artifacts.
If I have pet beliefs, why are my beliefs written about in the scriptures, documented from early Christianity, whereas iconography is not.    I mean, let's really consider who has a pet belief.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
yeshuaisiam said:
primuspilus said:
yeshuaisiam said:
Cyrillic said:
yeshuaisiam said:
Refuted no.  Murdered and excommunicated, yes.
The Iconodules weren't refuted but murdered and excommunicated.
He was speaking of iconoclasts and comparing me to one.  Iconoclasts were murdered by iconodules.
You are an iconoclast.

I mostly focus on 1st and 2nd century Christianity
Other than the parts you dont like.

PP
I just don't kiss paint and wood while saying "beam it up St. Peter".

And certainly I accept the 1st and 2nd Century stuff.  Why else do I ask for it so much?  Odd thing is, and the harsh reality, there were no icons used by the earliest Christians, or writings about icons.

Would love to see one writing from St. Polycarp stating "Veneration of images (or icons) will raise your kiss the that depicted in the image".    (or similar statement)

Nothing of the sort exists in early Christian writings....   Gah, and to think, this man worshiped on the Sabbath AND practiced the Jewish feasts.....  He's a saint too, but by EO canon, anathema.... Irony at its best.... You really can't make this stuff up.

There were no icons in use, nor venerated artificial images in the earliest Christian church.
Why are you so infatuated with first and second century Christianity?
Thank you for asking.

It's because at that time the church message was spread.  The original apostles most likely already deceased.      The 2nd century Christians would have adopted teachings and practices from the apostles themselves, without too many years going by for distortion. 

Also it's to not always be accused of "sola scriptura", as the scriptures were written by the 2nd century.  This is important as "sola scriptura" is a trigger for making it easy to shun somebody's point off.  The 2nd century Christians were truly a church, which practiced many things that the EO faith did not.  As stated in prior posts, St. Polycarp worshiped on the Sabbath, held the Jewish feasts, all now which are banned via canon.  I do this to try to look past many men who have been in charge for a long time.  God Bless. 

 

Brigidsboy

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Please cite a source for the worship practices of Saint Polycarp. Thank You.
 

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ialmisry said:
yeshuaisiam said:
primuspilus said:
yeshuaisiam said:
Cyrillic said:
yeshuaisiam said:
Refuted no.  Murdered and excommunicated, yes.
The Iconodules weren't refuted but murdered and excommunicated.
He was speaking of iconoclasts and comparing me to one.  Iconoclasts were murdered by iconodules.
You are an iconoclast.

I mostly focus on 1st and 2nd century Christianity
Other than the parts you dont like.

PP
I just don't kiss paint and wood while saying "beam it up St. Peter".

And certainly I accept the 1st and 2nd Century stuff.
No, you do not.
yeshuaisiam said:
Why else do I ask for it so much?
To feed your ego.

yeshuaisiam said:
Odd thing is, and the harsh reality, there were no icons used by the earliest Christians, or writings about icons.
Odd thing is, and the harsh reality, you depend on the earliest Christians who used icons and wrote the Scriptures for the Bible you claim to read.

yeshuaisiam said:
Would love to see one writing from St. Polycarp stating "Veneration of images (or icons) will raise your kiss the that depicted in the image".    (or similar statement)
The same St. Polycarp whose relics were gathered up for veneration immediately after his martyrdom?

yeshuaisiam said:
Nothing of the sort exists in early Christian writings....
Neither does a Biblical canon.

yeshuaisiam said:
Gah, and to think, this man worshiped on the Sabbath AND practiced the Jewish feasts.....  He's a saint too, but by EO canon, anathema.... Irony at its best.... You really can't make this stuff up.
And yet you continually do.

Btw, St. Polycarp worshiped on Sunday (and every day leading up to Saturday).  And no, he didn't practice the Jewish feasts.

yeshuaisiam said:
There were no icons in use, nor venerated artificial images in the earliest Christian church.
so Jesusisiam pontificates ex cathedra outside of the Church.  Today.
Look, I'm too old for pot shots, really don't care.

If you believe this about Polycarp, you need to seriously look into the Greek letters and the mistranslations of them, including the Didache.
 

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Basically in his hagiography it is said he was martyred on the Great Sabbath. From the adjective "great" some people make the leap that they observed Jewish rites.

The "Great Sabbath" ControversyAs an aside, some scholars have used the Martyrdom of Polycarp, which states that the bishop was taken on the day of the Sabbath and killed on the Great Sabbath, to demonstrate that the Smyrnaeans under Polycarp observed the seventh day as a Sabbath.

Historians such as William Cave who have written, "… the Sabbath or Saturday (for so the word sabbatum is constantly used in the writings of the fathers, when speaking of it as it relates to Christians) was held by them in great veneration, and especially in the Eastern parts honoured with all the public solemnities of religion."[13]

Conversely, some feel that the expression "the Great Sabbath" refers to the Christian Passover or another annual holy day. If so, then the martyrdom would have had to occur between one and two months later as Nisan 14 (the date that Polycarp observed Passover) cannot come before the end of March in any year. Other Great Sabbaths (if this is referring to what are commonly considered to be Jewish holy days, though observed by many early professors of Christ) come in the Spring, late summer, or Fall. None occur in the winter.[14]

These conjectures would be at odds with the Biblical evidence that suggests the common practice for Christians was in keeping the first day of the week (see Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2; Mark 16:9; etc.), though they could potentially be compatible with the Great Sabbath alluded to in the Gospel of John (John 7:37).[15] This is called the Last Great Day and is a stand-alone annual holy day immediately following the Feast of Tabernacles.
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Saint_Polycarp#The_.22Great_Sabbath.22_Controversy

The difference that having the Tradition of the Church makes. Where there is evidence of continuity, some want to see rupture.

Holy Week
From OrthodoxWiki


A worshiper prostrates before the cross at the Twelve Passion Gospels service at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts.Great and Holy Week is the week from the conclusion of Great Lent on the Saturday of Lazarus to the celebration of Pascha. It is emphasized that the services of Holy Week follow the ecclesiastical day, that is from sundown to sundown. Thus Saturday of Lazarus ends at sundown on Saturday.


(...)
Holy Saturday

Great and Holy Saturday Vespers and a Divine Liturgy of St. Basil are served, marked with readings of Psalms and Resurrection hymns that tell of Christ's descent into Hades, celebrated as the "First Resurrection" of Adam and the conquering of Death.


(...)


Brigidsboy said:
Please cite a source for the worship practices of Saint Polycarp. Thank You.
 

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yeshuaisiam said:
As stated in prior posts, St. Polycarp worshiped on the Sabbath, held the Jewish feasts
Proof?

The only extant letter he wrote mentions none of these, but has this to say about St. Ignatius of Antioch:

Letter of St. Polycarp to the Philippians said:
I urge all of you, therefore, to obey the teaching about righteousness and to exercise unlimited endurance, like that which you saw with your own eyes not only in the blessed Ignatius and Zosimus and Rufus but also in others from your congregation and in Paul himself and the rest of the apostles; be assured that all these “did not run in vain”, but in faith and righteousness, and that they are now in the place due them with the Lord, with whom they also suffered together.
Here's what the latter has to say about Judaizing:

Let us not, then, be insensible to his goodness! For if he imitates us in our actions, we no longer exist! Therefore let us become his disciples and learn to live according to Christianity. For one who is called by any name other than this, is not of God. Set aside, then, the evil leaven, old and sour, and turn to the new leaven, which is Jesus Christ. Be salted with him to keep anyone among you from being spoiled, since you will be convicted by your odor. It is ridiculous to profess Jesus Christ and to Judaize; for Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity, into which every tongue that has believed in God has been gathered together.
See also:

The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus said:
And next, I imagine that you are most desirous of hearing something on this point, that the Christians do not observe the same forms of divine worship as do the Jews. The Jews, then, if they abstain from the kind of service above described, and deem it proper to worship one God as being Lord of all, [are right]; but if they offer Him worship in the way which we have described, they greatly err. (...) But as to their scrupulosity concerning meats, and their superstition as respects the Sabbaths, and their boasting about circumcision, and their fancies about fasting and the new moons, which are utterly ridiculous and unworthy of notice,--I do not think that you require to learn anything from me.

Source
St. Justin Martyr (+165) said:
We hold our common assembly on Sunday because it is the first day of the week, the day on which God put darkness and chaos to flight and created the world, and because on that same day our Saviour Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For he was crucified on Friday and on Sunday he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught them the things that we have passed on for your consideration.
 

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Thank You Fabiola and Romaios.
 

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yeshuaisiam said:
ialmisry said:
yeshuaisiam said:
primuspilus said:
yeshuaisiam said:
Cyrillic said:
yeshuaisiam said:
Refuted no.  Murdered and excommunicated, yes.
The Iconodules weren't refuted but murdered and excommunicated.
He was speaking of iconoclasts and comparing me to one.  Iconoclasts were murdered by iconodules.
You are an iconoclast.

I mostly focus on 1st and 2nd century Christianity
Other than the parts you dont like.

PP
I just don't kiss paint and wood while saying "beam it up St. Peter".

And certainly I accept the 1st and 2nd Century stuff.
No, you do not.
yeshuaisiam said:
Why else do I ask for it so much?
To feed your ego.

yeshuaisiam said:
Odd thing is, and the harsh reality, there were no icons used by the earliest Christians, or writings about icons.
Odd thing is, and the harsh reality, you depend on the earliest Christians who used icons and wrote the Scriptures for the Bible you claim to read.

yeshuaisiam said:
Would love to see one writing from St. Polycarp stating "Veneration of images (or icons) will raise your kiss the that depicted in the image".    (or similar statement)
The same St. Polycarp whose relics were gathered up for veneration immediately after his martyrdom?

yeshuaisiam said:
Nothing of the sort exists in early Christian writings....
Neither does a Biblical canon.

yeshuaisiam said:
Gah, and to think, this man worshiped on the Sabbath AND practiced the Jewish feasts.....  He's a saint too, but by EO canon, anathema.... Irony at its best.... You really can't make this stuff up.
And yet you continually do.

Btw, St. Polycarp worshiped on Sunday (and every day leading up to Saturday).  And no, he didn't practice the Jewish feasts.

yeshuaisiam said:
There were no icons in use, nor venerated artificial images in the earliest Christian church.
so Jesusisiam pontificates ex cathedra outside of the Church.  Today.
Look, I'm too old for pot shots, really don't care.

If you believe this about Polycarp, you need to seriously look into the Greek letters and the mistranslations of them, including the Didache.
unlike you, I can read the original.  One reason why I stick to original Christianity.
 

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Romaios said:
yeshuaisiam said:
As stated in prior posts, St. Polycarp worshiped on the Sabbath, held the Jewish feasts
Proof?

The only extant letter he wrote mentions none of these, but has this to say about St. Ignatius of Antioch:

Letter of St. Polycarp to the Philippians said:
I urge all of you, therefore, to obey the teaching about righteousness and to exercise unlimited endurance, like that which you saw with your own eyes not only in the blessed Ignatius and Zosimus and Rufus but also in others from your congregation and in Paul himself and the rest of the apostles; be assured that all these “did not run in vain”, but in faith and righteousness, and that they are now in the place due them with the Lord, with whom they also suffered together.
Here's what the latter has to say about Judaizing:

Let us not, then, be insensible to his goodness! For if he imitates us in our actions, we no longer exist! Therefore let us become his disciples and learn to live according to Christianity. For one who is called by any name other than this, is not of God. Set aside, then, the evil leaven, old and sour, and turn to the new leaven, which is Jesus Christ. Be salted with him to keep anyone among you from being spoiled, since you will be convicted by your odor. It is ridiculous to profess Jesus Christ and to Judaize; for Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity, into which every tongue that has believed in God has been gathered together.
Just before this, St. Ignatius writes:
If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord's Day [i.e. Sunday], on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death— whom some deny, by which mystery we have obtained faith, and therefore endure, that we may be found the disciples of Jesus Christ, our only Master— how shall we be able to live apart from Him, whose disciples the prophets themselves in the Spirit did wait for Him as their Teacher? And therefore He whom they rightly waited for, having come, raised them from the dead. Matthew 27:52
 

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Your fair and full documentation of early Christianity my dear brother yeshuanism, doesn´t appear on the historical map until the 3rd century aswell. We sit in the same boat, if we use the same standards. Why do you use a specific standard regarding scripture, which as iconography, was well kept through tradition, not writings. If you wanna justify your faith without the church, you have to rely on manuscripts in the size of visa cards to trust what you believe.

Same standard, please.
 

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If you argue against, show me entire copies of a new testament book, and even the entire bible as a whole to prove your case. Or else I can´t trust your version of early Christianity :/
 

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yeshuaisiam said:
 Gah, and to think, this man worshiped on the Sabbath AND practiced the Jewish feasts..... 
So do we. Just not the post-revolt rabbinic interpretation of those feasts.
 

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

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

I don't know if jesusisiamism accepts independent evidence as proof. (btw, at the LATEST, this grafitto dates two centuries after the Crucifixion, and might just be one century after, or even less).

Maybe jesusisiam can pitch his views here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jesus_Seminar
I can't believe you guys are using this as an example.

This is also called the "blasphemo", and was drawn by people mocking Christians worshiping their "God".

So the forum of Orthodox Christians uses art that mocked early Christians as an example to justify iconography.

I mean... guys - really?
Lol.

Satirizing a practice shows that the practice existed.
 

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William said:
Lol.

Satirizing a practice shows that the practice existed.
Not that I'm one to agree with YiM on issues like this, but I do wonder if he has a point here.  Is the graffito depicting a man worshiping before or venerating an image of the Crucified, or is it ridiculing the idea of a man worshiping a crucified man as God?  What little reading I've done about depictions of the Crucifixion, the crucifix, etc. led me to believe that the development of the Cross as a religious image looks something like this:

"Empty" Cross --> Cross with a living Christ depicted as a king/priest --> Cross with the dead/dying Christ

If that's true, then this example of an image of a crucified man (albeit with an animal's head) is unique for its antiquity but doesn't really "fit" in the overall development.  Is there something else I'm missing?  I still think YiM's approach and most of his conclusions are nonsensical, but I wonder if this is a "stopped clock" moment...
 

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yeshuaisiam said:
lovetzatziki said:
After the death and resurrection of Christ the new faith spread rapidly throughout the Roman world and the Near East. The stories of the Apostles and early witnesses who had seen and known Christ Himself were eagerly listened to by the converts to the new faith. Naturally, people who had seen Christ asked for descriptions of His appearance. At some point people began to create and distribute paintings of Christ. This also included his disciples and the reall martyrs of the Christian faith. The earliest images we know of was a statue of Christ which Eusebius, an important early Christian bishop, says had been set up in Caesarea-Phillipi (Paneaus) by the woman healed by Christ of an issue of blood. He also notes that in his time there were very ancient images of Peter and Paul.

However, the church was somewhat divided about images of Christ.
Eusebius refused to send the wife of Caesar Callus an image of Christ, for he thought it is idolatrous and a violation of Biblical injunctions. Some regional churches were against images as well, a local Spanish synod in 305 said images in churches were forbidden. However, the number of examples of paintings of the nativity and allegories of the Good Shepherd from around 250 AD, show how common Christian paintings had already become. The growth of images was concurrent with the development of the doctrine of the Incarnation of Christ and is closely tied to the growing awareness of this essential element of the Christian faith.

In early Christian times there were two images of Christ that were more or less standardized. One was of a young, idealized and clean shaven "hero" type. The second was the image we are familiar with today - a man in his late 20's or early 30's with long hair tied at the back, a smooth beard,
 http://www.kurskroot.com/history_of_icons.html

The earliest surviving Christian art comes from the late 2nd to early 4th centuries on the walls of tombs belonging, most likely, to wealthy[6] Christians in the catacombs of Rome, although from literary evidence there may well have been panel icons which, like almost all classical painting, have disappeared.
Initially Jesus was represented indirectly by pictogram symbols such as the Ichthys (fish), the peacock, or an anchor (the Labarum or Chi-Rho was a later development). Later personified symbols were used, including Jonah, whose three days in the belly of the whale pre-figured the interval between Christ's death and Resurrection; Daniel in the lion's den; or Orpheus charming the animals.[7] The Tomb of the Julii has a famous but unique mosaic of Christ as Sol Invictus, a sun-god.[8] The image of "The Good Shepherd", a beardless youth in pastoral scenes collecting sheep, was the most common of these images, and was probably not understood as a portrait of the historical Jesus at this period.[9] It continues the classical Kriophoros, and in some cases may also represent the Shepherd of Hermas, a popular Christian literary work of the 2nd century.[10]
Among the earliest depictions clearly intended to directly represent Jesus himself are many showing him as a baby, usually held by his mother, especially in the Adoration of the Magi, seen as the first theophany, or display of the incarnate Christ to the world at large.[11] The oldest known portrait of Jesus, found in Syria and dated to about 235, shows him as a beardless young man of authoritative and dignified bearing. He is depicted dressed in the style of a young philosopher, with close-cropped hair and wearing a tunic and pallium – signs of good breeding in Greco-Roman society. From this, it is evident that some early Christians paid no heed to the historical context of Jesus being a Jew and visualised him solely in terms of their own social context, as a quasi-heroic figure, without supernatural attributes such as a halo (a fourth-century innovation).
From the 3rd century onwards, the first narrative scenes from the Life of Christ to be clearly seen are the Baptism of Christ, painted in a catacomb in about 200,[18] and the miracle of the Raising of Lazarus,[19] both of which can be clearly identified by the inclusion of the dove of the Holy Spirit in Baptisms, and the vertical, shroud-wrapped body of Lazarus. Other scenes remain ambiguous – an agape feast may be intended as a Last Supper, but before the development of a recognised physical appearance for Christ, and attributes such as the halo, it is impossible to tell, as tituli or captions are rarely used. There are some surviving scenes from Christ's Works of about 235 from the Dura Europos church on the Persian frontier of the Empire. During the 4th century a much greater number of scenes came to be depicted,[20] usually showing Christ as youthful, beardless and with short hair that does not reach his shoulders, although there is considerable variation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depiction_of_Jesus

Rome, Catacombs of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter – Noah in the Ark
There are also representations of the young people of Babylonia rescued from the flames of the furnace, Susan saved from the snares of the elders, Noah who escaped the flood, and Daniel who stayed unharmed in the lions’ den.

From the New Testament, the miracles are chosen of healing (the blind man, the paralytic, the hemorrhaging woman) and resurrection (Lazarus, the widow of Naim’s son, Jairus’ daughter), but also other episodes, such as the conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well and the multiplication of the loaves.

Rome, Catacombs of St. Sebastian – Funeral inscription with symbols
The art of the catacombs is also a symbolic art in the sense that some concepts which are difficult to express are represented in a simple way. To indicate Christ a fish is depicted; to signify the peace of heaven a dove is represented; to express firmness of faith an anchor is drawn. On the closing slabs of the loculi, symbols with different meanings are often engraved. In some cases, a tool is depicted which indicates the dead person’s trade in life. Some symbols, such as glasses, loaves of bread and amphorae, allude to the funeral meals consumed in honor of the deceased, the so-called refrigeria. Most of the symbols refer to eternal salvation, such as the dove, the palm, the peacock, the phoenix and the lamb.

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Rome, Catacombs of Priscilla – Our Lady with the Prophet

The catacombs and the Mother of God. In the Roman catacombs the most ancient image is preserved of Our Lady who is depicted in a painting in the cemetery of Priscilla on the Via Salaria. The fresco, which can be dated back to the first half of the third century, depicts the Virgin with the Child on her knees in front of a prophet (perhaps Balaam or Isaiah) who is pointing to a star to refer to the messianic prediction. In the catacombs other episodes with Our Lady are also represented such as the Adoration of the Magi and scenes from the Christmas crib, but it is thought that prior to the Council of Ephesus, all these representations had a Christological and not a Mariological significance.

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Rome, Catacombs of Priscilla – The Good Shepherd

The Good Shepherd in the catacombs. One of the images represented the most in the art of the catacombs is the Good Shepherd. While the model is taken from pagan culture, it immediately takes on a Christological significance inspired by the parable of the lost sheep. Christ is thus represented as a humble shepherd with a lamb on his shoulders as he watches over his little flock that is sometimes made up of only two sheep placed at his sides.
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_commissions/archeo/inglese/documents/rc_com_archeo_doc_20011010_cataccrist_en.html#Arte

The Catacombs of Rome (Italian: Catacombe di Roma) are ancient catacombs, underground burial places under Rome, Italy, of which there are at least forty, some discovered only in recent decades. Though most famous for Christian burials, either in separate catacombs or mixed together, they began in the 2nd century,[1] much as a response to overcrowding and shortage of land. Many scholars have written that catacombs came about to help persecuted Christians to bury their dead secretly. The soft volcanic tuff rock under Rome is highly suitable for tunnelling, as it is softer when first exposed to air, hardening afterwards. Many have kilometres of tunnels, in up to four storeys (or layers).
The Christian catacombs are extremely important for the art history of early Christian art, as they contain the great majority of examples from before about 400 AD, in fresco and sculpture.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catacombs_of_Rome
So no icons from the 1st or 2nd century, no writings about venerating icons in the 1st or 2nd century, but all came 3rd or later.   But they are a tremendous part of the EO faith, involved in practically every form of EO worship.
On the contrary plenty of icons in the 2nd century. The earliest surviving Christian art comes from the 2nd century. Plenty of biblical depiction in the Roman Catacombs. As someone else said, the first Christians were to busy being persecuted to draw christian art. Even so there is a lot of Christian art in all the centuries of Christianity, even from the beginning , if we are to consider the Acheiropoieta images. I read that this symbols of faith were also depicted in Christian homes and probably in Christian Churches (see the Dura-Europos church) , the underground Churches in Rome, etc. Even Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria speak of Christian art, the Shepherd on cups , seal rings , etc. Eusebius writes of an ancient statue of Christ in Caesarea-Phillipi of the woman with the issue of blood. So yes Christian art always existed. The role of icons was to represent the gospel in images and the symbols of our faith. There are also Church fathers that took defense on icons and venerating icons, even from the 4th century if not earlier. Sts Basil the Great and Chrysostomus come to mind. Veneration comes natural. It's the natural feeling of honour towards everything that is meek. The same is with icons and with everything that belongs to the Church. The Church is not called Orthodox for nothing.
 

ialmisry

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

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

I don't know if jesusisiamism accepts independent evidence as proof. (btw, at the LATEST, this grafitto dates two centuries after the Crucifixion, and might just be one century after, or even less).

Maybe jesusisiam can pitch his views here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jesus_Seminar
I can't believe you guys are using this as an example.

This is also called the "blasphemo", and was drawn by people mocking Christians worshiping their "God".

So the forum of Orthodox Christians uses art that mocked early Christians as an example to justify iconography.

I mean... guys - really?
Lol.

Satirizing a practice shows that the practice existed.
You just went over his head.
 

ialmisry

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yeshuaisiam said:
katherineofdixie said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Why are you so infatuated with first and second century Christianity?
At a guess, because we have so little from that time, that it allows one to claim authenticity and authority for one's own personal interpretations and pet beliefs.
I disagree, we have a ton from that time.  Lot's of writings.  Lot's of history.  Lot's of artifacts.
You can disagree to your heart's content: unfortunately, it doesn't multiply the evidence.  We don't even have a "ton from that time" on what the Caesars were doing, let alone the Christians.
yeshuaisiam said:
If I have pet beliefs, why are my beliefs written about in the scriptures, documented from early Christianity
They're not, as has been repeatedly shown to you, from your odd idea that we have to call Jesus "yeshua," mispronouncing the name in Aramaic, to the observance of the Kosher laws, questioning the Apostleship of St. Paul, etc.
yeshuaisiam said:
whereas iconography is not.  I mean, let's really consider who has a pet belief.
Yes, let's.  The Church, which was around in the 1st century, or you, who has no connection to the 1st century or Palestine.

Not a hard conclusion to make.
ialmisry said:
yeshuaisiam said:
Like a surviving icon or writings from the 1st century about icons and veneration.  Pretty simple.
No, simplistic.

For example, every Roman emperor had official portraits made, which were copied and distributed throughout the empire, to all levels of society).

out of the thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of portraits made for each of the nearly one hundred emperors from Augustus to Constantine, only this one has survived.


Given that these state sponsored images did not survive, how do you expect those images whose possession was a capital offense should survive in profusion?

Then there is the question of those which survive being "restored," like this one in San Marco, going from something like this

to this in a Renaissance "restoration"
 

yeshuaisiam

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ialmisry said:
yeshuaisiam said:
katherineofdixie said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Why are you so infatuated with first and second century Christianity?
At a guess, because we have so little from that time, that it allows one to claim authenticity and authority for one's own personal interpretations and pet beliefs.
I disagree, we have a ton from that time.  Lot's of writings.  Lot's of history.  Lot's of artifacts.
You can disagree to your heart's content: unfortunately, it doesn't multiply the evidence.  We don't even have a "ton from that time" on what the Caesars were doing, let alone the Christians.
yeshuaisiam said:
If I have pet beliefs, why are my beliefs written about in the scriptures, documented from early Christianity
They're not, as has been repeatedly shown to you, from your odd idea that we have to call Jesus "yeshua," mispronouncing the name in Aramaic, to the observance of the Kosher laws, questioning the Apostleship of St. Paul, etc.
yeshuaisiam said:
whereas iconography is not.  I mean, let's really consider who has a pet belief.
Yes, let's.  The Church, which was around in the 1st century, or you, who has no connection to the 1st century or Palestine.

Not a hard conclusion to make.
ialmisry said:
yeshuaisiam said:
Like a surviving icon or writings from the 1st century about icons and veneration.  Pretty simple.
No, simplistic.

For example, every Roman emperor had official portraits made, which were copied and distributed throughout the empire, to all levels of society).

out of the thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of portraits made for each of the nearly one hundred emperors from Augustus to Constantine, only this one has survived.


Given that these state sponsored images did not survive, how do you expect those images whose possession was a capital offense should survive in profusion?

Then there is the question of those which survive being "restored," like this one in San Marco, going from something like this

to this in a Renaissance "restoration"
I understand the point completely, if an icon happened to NOT survive, at least a writing of venerating icons should have survived.  If they are a large part of the EO worship, and if EO is "The church", then certainly there should at least be some kind of writing on the practice of venerating icons, and how it is the same as kissing the person/god portrayed in the icon.
 

Mor Ephrem

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yeshuaisiam said:
I understand the point completely, if an icon happened to NOT survive, at least a writing of venerating icons should have survived. 
If a painting doesn't happen to survive, a book certainly should?  On what basis?   
 

ialmisry

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Mor Ephrem said:
William said:
Lol.

Satirizing a practice shows that the practice existed.
Not that I'm one to agree with YiM on issues like this, but I do wonder if he has a point here.  Is the graffito depicting a man worshiping before or venerating an image of the Crucified, or is it ridiculing the idea of a man worshiping a crucified man as God?  What little reading I've done about depictions of the Crucifixion, the crucifix, etc. led me to believe that the development of the Cross as a religious image looks something like this:

"Empty" Cross --> Cross with a living Christ depicted as a king/priest --> Cross with the dead/dying Christ

If that's true, then this example of an image of a crucified man (albeit with an animal's head) is unique for its antiquity but doesn't really "fit" in the overall development.  Is there something else I'm missing?  I still think YiM's approach and most of his conclusions are nonsensical, but I wonder if this is a "stopped clock" moment...
The pagans had claimed that the Jews worshipped the ass, as Josephus has to protest:
However, I cannot but admire those other authors who furnished this man with such his materials; I mean Possidonius and Apollonius [the son of] Molo, who, while they accuse us for not worshipping the same gods whom others worship, they think themselves not guilty of impiety when they tell lies of us, and frame absurd and reproachful stories about our temple; whereas it is a most shameful thing for freemen to forge lies on any occasion, and much more so to forge them about our temple, which was so famous over all the world, and was preserved so sacred by us; for Apion hath the impudence to pretend that" the Jews placed an ass's head in their holy place;" and he affirms that this was discovered when Antiochus Epiphanes spoiled our temple, and found that ass's head there made of gold, and worth a great deal of money.
Tertullian towards the end of the second century responded to this calumny, and the extension of it (even by Jews) against the Christians:
In this matter we are (said to be) guilty not merely of forsaking the religion of the community, but of introducing a monstrous superstition; for some among you have dreamed that our god is an ass's head,--an absurdity which Cornelius Tacitus first suggested. In the fourth book of his histories, where he is treating of the Jewish war, he begins his description with the origin of that nation, and gives his own views respecting both the origin and the name of their religion. He relates that the Jews, in their migration in the desert, when suffering for want of water, escaped by following for guides some wild asses, which they supposed to be going in quest of water after pasture, and that on this account the image of one of these animals was worshipped by the Jews. From this, I suppose, it was presumed that we, too, from our close connection with the Jewish religion, have ours consecrated under the same emblematic form. The same Cornelius Tacitus, however,--who, to say the truth, is most loquacious in falsehood--forgetting his later statement, relates how Pompey the Great, after conquering the Jews and capturing Jerusalem, entered the temple, but found nothing in the shape of an image, though he examined the place carefully. Where, then, should their God have been found? Nowhere else, of course than in so memorable a temple which was carefully shut to all but the priests, and into which there could be no fear of a stranger entering. But what apology must I here offer for what I am going to say, when I have no other object at the moment than to make a passing remark or two in a general way which shall be equally applicable to yourselves? Suppose that our God, then, be an asinine person, will you at all events deny that you possess the same characteristics with ourselves in that matter? (Not their heads only, but) entire asses, are, to be sure, objects of adoration to you, along with their tutelar Epona; and all herds, and cattle, and beasts you consecrate, and their stables into the bargain! This, perhaps, is your grievance against us, that, when surrounded by cattle-worshippers of every kind we are simply devoted to asses!....Report has introduced a new calumny respecting our God. Not so long ago, a most abandoned wretch in that city of yours, a man who had deserted indeed his own religion--a Jew, in fact, who had only lost his skin, flayed of course by wild beasts, against which he enters the lists for hire day after day with a sound body, and so in a condition to lose his skin--carried about in public a caricature of us with this label: Onocoetes ["Ass-born"]. This (figure) had ass's ears, and was dressed in a toga with a book, having a hoof on one of his feet. And the crowd believed this infamous Jew. For what other set of men is the seed-plot of all the calumny against us? Throughout the city, therefore, Onocoetes is all the talk. As, however, it is less then "a nine days' wonder," and so destitute of all authority from time, and weak enough from the character of its author, I shall gratify myself by using it simply in the way of a retort. Let us then see whether you are not here also found in our company. Now it matters not what their form may be, when our concern is about deformed images. You have amongst you gods with a dog's head, and a lion's head, with the horns of a cow, and a ram, and a goat, goat-shaped or serpent-shaped, and winged in foot, head, and back. Why therefore brand our one God so conspicuously? Many an Onocoetes is found amongst yourselves.
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/tertullian06.html

In between Tertullian talks about the "worship" (i.e. veneration) of the Cross, which he doesn't deny, but rather shows the pagans worship the same: "As for him who affirms that we are "the priesthood of a cross," we shall claim him as our co-religionist. A cross is, in its material, a sign of wood; amongst yourselves also the object of worship is a wooden figure. Only, whilst with you the figure is a human one, with us the wood is its own figure. Never mind for the present what is the shape, provided the material is the same: the form, too, is of no importance, if so be it be the actual body of a god..."

Earlier, Marcus Cornelius Fronto (c. 100–170), the tutor of Marcus Aurelius, gave an anti-Christian oration c. 161, fragments which were incorporated within the century in the apology of Minucius Felix.  Among the charges against the Christians, Fronto rants
I hear that they adore the head of an ass, that basest of creatures, consecrated by I know not what silly persuasion,--a worthy and appropriate religion for such manners. Some say that they worship the virilia of their pontiff and priest, and adore the nature, as it were, of their common parent. I know not whether these things are false; certainly suspicion is applicable to secret and nocturnal rites; and he who explains their ceremonies by reference to a man punished by extreme suffering for his wickedness, and to the deadly wood of the cross, appropriates fitting altars for reprobate and wicked men, that they may worship what they deserve...I purposely pass over many things, for those that I have mentioned are already too many; and that all these, or the greater part of them, are true, the obscurity of their vile religion declares. For why do they endeavour with such pains to conceal and to cloak whatever they worship, since honourable things always rejoice in publicity, while crimes are kept secret? Why have they no altars, no temples, no acknowledged images? Why do they never speak openly, never congregate freely, unless for the reason that what they adore and conceal is either worthy of punishment, or something to be ashamed of?
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/octavius.html

Although murky, it does become clear, seeing the association of "ass-worship" (which the Christians, and Jews, denied) and the Cross (which the Christians did not deny), that Christian worship involved more than just ideas.
 

ialmisry

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yeshuaisiam said:
I understand the point completely, if an icon happened to NOT survive, at least a writing of venerating icons should have survived.
In the First Epistle to the Corinthians (I Cor. 5:9), the Third Epistle to the Corinthians (II Cor. 2:4; II Cor. 7:8-9), the First Epistle to the Ephesians (Eph. 3:3-4) and the Epistle to the Laodiceans (Col. 4:16)
;)
yeshuaisiam said:
If they are a large part of the EO worship, and if EO is "The church", then certainly there should at least be some kind of writing on the practice of venerating icons, and how it is the same as kissing the person/god portrayed in the icon.
St. Innocent, Archbishop of the Aleutians and Metropolitan of America, wrote the Catechism "The Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven," first in Aleut to evangelize this continent, and then translated into Russia, where it was very popular as a summary of Orthodoxy.
http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/kingdomofheaven.aspx
It doesn't have any "writing on the practice of venerating icons, and how it is the same as kissing the person/god portrayed in the icon."  Should I conclude that St. Innocent, Russia America and 19th century Moscow didn't venerate icons?

The earlier cathechism for this continent, the English translation of Met. St. Peter Movila's "Orthodox Confession of the Catholic and Apostolic Eastern Church"
http://books.google.com/books?id=Gs0HAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Orthodox+Confession+of+the+Catholic+and+Apostolic+Eastern+Church&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6Y3KUfWbMaK8yAHbqYHQBw&ved=0CDIQuwUwAA#v=onepage&q=image&f=false
translated in colonial Virginia, reprinted a century later when Orhodoxy was becoming established throughout the continent
http://archive.org/details/cu31924029363094

The original (in Latin) had been translated into Greek and approved by the Synod of Iasi and Jerusalem for use by all Orthodox.  It remained the standard Orthodox Catechism for two centuries.  Out of the 72 topics it covers, only two have "some kind of writing on the practice of venerating icons, and how it is the same as kissing the person/god portrayed in the icon."  And that was only because of the presence of Calvinist iconoclasm in St. Peter's native Romania, his jurisdiction of the Polish Lithuania Commonwealth and in Constantinople itself.

There were no iconoclast heretics in the 1st and 2nd centuries of the Church, hence no reason for "some kind of writing on the practice of venerating icons, and how it is the same as kissing the person/god portrayed in the icon," because the Orthodox knew that.
 

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yeshuaisiam said:
ialmisry said:
yeshuaisiam said:
katherineofdixie said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Why are you so infatuated with first and second century Christianity?
At a guess, because we have so little from that time, that it allows one to claim authenticity and authority for one's own personal interpretations and pet beliefs.
I disagree, we have a ton from that time.  Lot's of writings.  Lot's of history.  Lot's of artifacts.
You can disagree to your heart's content: unfortunately, it doesn't multiply the evidence.  We don't even have a "ton from that time" on what the Caesars were doing, let alone the Christians.
yeshuaisiam said:
If I have pet beliefs, why are my beliefs written about in the scriptures, documented from early Christianity
They're not, as has been repeatedly shown to you, from your odd idea that we have to call Jesus "yeshua," mispronouncing the name in Aramaic, to the observance of the Kosher laws, questioning the Apostleship of St. Paul, etc.
yeshuaisiam said:
whereas iconography is not.  I mean, let's really consider who has a pet belief.
Yes, let's.  The Church, which was around in the 1st century, or you, who has no connection to the 1st century or Palestine.

Not a hard conclusion to make.
ialmisry said:
yeshuaisiam said:
Like a surviving icon or writings from the 1st century about icons and veneration.  Pretty simple.
No, simplistic.

For example, every Roman emperor had official portraits made, which were copied and distributed throughout the empire, to all levels of society).

out of the thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of portraits made for each of the nearly one hundred emperors from Augustus to Constantine, only this one has survived.


Given that these state sponsored images did not survive, how do you expect those images whose possession was a capital offense should survive in profusion?

Then there is the question of those which survive being "restored," like this one in San Marco, going from something like this

to this in a Renaissance "restoration"
I understand the point completely, if an icon happened to NOT survive, at least a writing of venerating icons should have survived.  If they are a large part of the EO worship, and if EO is "The church", then certainly there should at least be some kind of writing on the practice of venerating icons, and how it is the same as kissing the person/god portrayed in the icon.
I am curious just how many writings about the veneration of icons there are from 787 till today?
 

LBK

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I am curious just how many writings about the veneration of icons there are from 787 till today?
Well, there's the hymnography for the Sunday of Orthodoxy, for starters ....  ;)
 
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