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A question about icons symbology

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by MDuce, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. MDuce

    MDuce New Member

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    Hello. I found some icons of Saint Mary Mother of God (theotokos) with a Jesus child in her arms, and Jesus holds a papyrus.

    So, what calls my attention is the papyrus in the hand of Jesus child. Because Jesus adult holding a book is a common representation of Jesus Christ as Pantocrator. This image, as long I know, come from the Apocalypse.

    So, perhaps the Jesus child in those theotoko's icons means a prefiguration of Jesus as pantocrator. Isn't it? May somone give me a references about this way of representing Jesus child in the icons?

    Thank you very much
    (I couldn't insert the imagen of those icons, I'm sorry)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. gzt

    gzt The age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.07 billion years

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    Here is a suggestion from the great web-log, A Reader's Guide to Orthodox Icons: Icons of the Mother of God

     
  3. MDuce

    MDuce New Member

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    Thank you :)
     
  4. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    I think we would also say Christ is always Pantokrator, even when in Mary's Womb. the point of the book in an icon of Christ is the book of Judgement (in the left hand, while the right hand is blessing), because that icon symbolizes the Second Coming. Christ in the Mary's arms symbolizes His Incarnation and first coming.

    so you are correct from my understanding, I would only add that He is always Judge.
     
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  5. FenderTL5

    FenderTL5 Well-Known Member

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    (from last night's Bible study)
    Every encounter with God/Christ is either blessing/purification or condemnation.
    For example; we partake of the chalice with either a purifying fire or we bring the fire of judgement upon ourselves. Either way, Christ is always judge.
     
  6. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    FWIW ... the children in my class asked me a very similar question (meaning of the scroll in the hand) of an icon of Christ as a child. I have also seen scrolls in the hands of other Saints.

    I wanted to double-check myself so I could answer them properly. I did some quick research online (thankfully we had 2 adults in the room that week) and found several instances saying that the scrolls represented the Wisdom of God.

    So that's the answer I went with. I knew I had heard it before, but I want to be very careful when entrusted with the children. :)
     
  7. MDuce

    MDuce New Member

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    Thank you to all of you. Actually this dialogue help me to get a better understanding.

    But, as for the idea of Jesus as judge we have to consider this:

    47) ...I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48) The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day (John 12:47-48)

    It means, as I understand, that Jesus is not the judge but the Savior, and condemnation come from the own man because he doesn't accept the salvation.

    If this thought is right the book in hand of Jesus child is more the wisdom (as some of you said) than the book of judge.

    Just an opinion.
    Be well.
     
  8. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    that's the great thing about Christ as Judge. He is the judge Who judges by not judging. He pours out His love, mercy, truth, righteousness, and that is what judges our sin. Christ simply is that He is, and Who He is in the face of our sin is the judgment
     
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  9. MDuce

    MDuce New Member

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    Thanks. Then, as a consequence of that, to recognize Christ is more important than any moral. Someone can be moral (good father, good citizen, etc.) but also unbeliever.

    John starts his Gospel saying:

    "He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him"

    Recognize Him... what a big deal! :crossrc:
     
  10. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    yep, He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. which means salvation is a Person to be known, not a concept to be argued.
     
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