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Ancient Jewish Icons

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Ortho_Cat, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    More than understand the sentiment. Some of it could have indeed been pictures with a didactic presence rather than actual icons...although I'm not for the mindset that would doubt them as being "icons" on some level. Ultimately, as weren't there, we'll never know if the pictures were done simply because they were Hellenized Jews who chose to use pictures/images as the surrounding culture---or if they were done because they truly believed in veneration and the pictures served a greater purpose. I think I'm more open to alot of things in light of being able to study more aspects of Jewish culture over the years--and actually hearing/seeing the testimonies of Jews involved in Jewish culture.

    As one said best, known as Byzantine Jewess:

    Do you feel that it is inappropriate to have any kind of image of Jesus, whether on a crucifix or a two-dimensional portrait?
    As a Jew who attends an Orthodox church (though still davens fairly regularly at shul), I’m obviously coming from a different place. I find non-liturgical Protestant worship rather baffling and unappealing, though I don’t think it’s “wrong” per se. For me, the liturgical life of a Catholic or Orthodox church truly captures something of what I believe must have been the feeling of temple worship.

    ..... I personally have reached the conclusion that a) kissing an icon is not fundamentally from kissing the Torah scroll when it’s carried by and b) the Incarnation changed some fundamental dynamics re: our ability to portray God (of course, not in all aspects!)....In my current understanding, having read works such St John of Damascus On Divine Images, I think both the icon and the physical presence of the Torah scroll point to God’s divine revelation and self-disclosure – the icon to God’s revelation in the flesh, the Torah to God’s revelation in Scripture

    There has been much discussion by those who're Jewish and involved within the world of Eastern Christianity.
    I agree. As shared before here in #7 , it's rather sad to see the ways that the Western world has hijacked a number of terms and made them mean something they never meant. "Idol" being one of them...as there was actually a discussion I remeber having once with someone where they were adamant that it was sinful to have pictures of the Messiah either in a church--or even in one's home--due to his understanding of "No graven images" ( Exodus 20). My mindset, as well as others, was that there was a context--and if no physical descriptions were to utilized, there'd be a host of theological issues with how much symbolism/imagery was throughout the Torah.
    .
     
  2. Philothei

    Philothei Love never fails

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    I agree and understand what you say but the funny part is that the western protestant mindset has penetrated that of the 'reformed" Jewish mindset so even if they see images...they reduce that to a picture ... either a mental or actual in a effort to 'diminish" its connotation. So even if archeological finding prove the "icon" versus the picture it will be still hard to establish the dinstinction of the two. Sadly we see today how many Messianic Jews deny the usage of icons in their practice... That was my motivation for saying what I said. And that mentality unfortunately will penetrate any further scholarship or archeological quest know what I mean?
     
  3. Ortho_Cat

    Ortho_Cat Orthodox Christian

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    great discussion! :thumbsup:
     
  4. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    I feel that. It'd be beneficial, I think, that those choosing to deem certain images as pictures as being beyond mere artwork. Not saying that doing artwork to the glory of Christ is something not worthy to be celebrated--but not all forms of art are the same. I agree with those in Orthodoxy who say that Icons are a type of Artwork sicne you actually have to do artisitic designs in order to make them a certain way---but the intention is not merely for design. It is of another level and for much HIGHER purposes of Worship/Veneration---such as saying that all ancient artifacts are valuable.....and yet, not all of them are of the same category. Some are of a much higher value/purpose, even though both may be a type of artificat....
    Sad to see, though thankfully it's not the same with all. At the fellowship I go to known as Mivdad /Congregation Miskan DAvid, we're very much open to what has occurred within Eastern Christianity (as the main leader is Sephardic Jewish and used to be an Eastern Orthodox Monk...as well as one who is an avid student of the Eastern Church/history). And the Messianic Jewish movement is truly a Mosaic---with some camps fighting against one another. In practical example, I cannot tell you how many debates have often arisen over those who are Hebrew Catholics or who've grown up within the Eastern Catholicism.....and how many say it's not "Messianic", even though being "Messianic Jewish" is simply about being a Jew who trusts in Yeshua:) Thankfully, not all Messianics are the same--and more was discussed on the matter here and here.

    Additionally, there was some discussion on the subject of Icons/Jewish culture in #19 from the thread entitled Symbols in Judaism versus Icons in Christianity. What is the difference... .. .Additionally, as discussed elsewhere ( i.e. 1 , #22 ), those who're Ethopian Jews involved within the Ethopian Orthodox church have long noted how what they do in the CHurch is very much connected with what synagouges were like during the 1st century.

    I see where you're coming from, as it's hard to either research or even appreciate research given when you start out not being open to it.

    And on the subject of venneration, it's interesting to consider since the same already occurs within the Protestant camp. In example, having a church named after a man known as Martin Luther--in regards to Lutherans--is one way of veneration whether people wish to see that or not......and yet, no one says anything on the issue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  5. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    :):D
     
  6. Philothei

    Philothei Love never fails

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  7. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    that is some interesting stuff.
     
  8. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    Cool to know , as there are many all around and always a trip to see others surprised they exist (i.e. those who are Messianics and deeply connected to Eastern Christianity). For those within Orthodoxy who have long worked with people outside of Orthodoxy such as Messianic Jewish fellowships/other camps it is a blessing...especially when there is cross-polinization of thought/exchanges in resources as well as mutual learning for the Gospel ( discussed here in #29 and #46 ).

    Not surprising, although it seems many often repeat what was said within the Protestant movement....and technically, it's not even full Protestant thought since many have a mindset where they're even against all within the Protestant camp and vehemently incensed against all things deemed "Christian." In many ways, as my friend said best:

    With the ICon issue, I really wonder at times what is so difficult to understand with the concept. Within OT Israel, the objects used in tabernacle (and later Temple ) worship were prayed over/sanctified before the Lord and all of it spoke to the Work of the Lord. If studying how the objects within the tabernacle looked (which one can go here or here for more on that), it's really powerful. There was a reverence to things rather than acting as if it was common. Things like the Showbread or the Golden Candlestick, within the Holy Place which provided light, and many other instruments had a Divine Purpose ( Exodus 27, Exodus 30:27-29, Exodus 31:8-10 , Exodus 35:15-17 . Exodus 35 , Numbers 4 , etc ).


    Leviticus 8:10-12/Leviticus 8
    Moses said to the assembly, “This is what the LORD has commanded to be done.” 6 Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and washed them with water. 7 He put the tunic on Aaron, tied the sash around him, clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him. He also fastened the ephod with a decorative waistband, which he tied around him. 8 He placed the breastpiece on him and put the Urim and Thummim in the breastpiece. 9 Then he placed the turban on Aaron’s head and set the gold plate, the sacred emblem, on the front of it, as the LORD commanded Moses.


    10 Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them. 11 He sprinkled some of the oil on the altar seven times, anointing the altar and all its utensils and the basin with its stand, to consecrate them. 12 He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him.
    Numbers 7:1
    [ Offerings at the Dedication of the Tabernacle ] When Moses finished setting up the tabernacle, he anointed and consecrated it and all its furnishings. He also anointed and consecrated the altar and all its utensils.
    Numbers 7:1-3 Numbers 7
    2 Chronicles 29:18
    Then they went in to King Hezekiah and reported: “We have purified the entire temple of the LORD, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the table for setting out the consecrated bread, with all its articles.
    2 Chronicles 29:17-19 2 Chronicles 29

    THis was the case with the imagery included in the tabernacle/temple as well...and the same concept is there with Icons.

    It has NEVER been an issue of bowing down in worship to anything apart from the Lord--for anyone truly wishing to listen (even if you disagree)--and for some good places to investigate, one can go here to the following:


    The Lord has often used Images to remind others of something of Himself---and thus, to say it was not always approrpriate is something I'm not certain that can be done. I'm always reminded of the staff was one made by Moses in Numbers 21:8-10 / Numbers 21 ....and interestingly enough, the staff had become something that was needing to be destroyed by the time of Hezekiah since people in his day began to worship it, as seen in 2 Kings 18:3-5 / 2 Kings 18 , yet the Lord references Himself in it in John 3 when discussing all looking unto Him, as they were commanded to do with the bronze serpent, were to be saved.
    John 3:14
    Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
    John 3:13-15 / John 3
    Iconographer David Mastroberte is the one who explains the theology of icons in this lecture (i..e "The Theology of Icons" ) given February 8, 2010 at Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The lecture is in mp3format and lasts about 50 minutes. What others often forget is that Icons by themselves are apart of the way Orthodox people worship since they're mindset is that worship is about all 5 senses being used--sight being one of them. As said best in the article entitled The Five Senses in Worship:



    In many ways, Christ can rightly be called the “icon” of the Father (cf. Jn. 1:14-18, 14:6-9). God made Himself known by actually coming among us in the flesh. This in no way precludes the use of sacred things. For what the New Covenant has done is change the central place of worship, which is now heaven itself around the throne of God. No longer do we travel once a year to Jerusalem for this purpose, but wherever we participate in divine worship, we enter right into heaven itself (cf. Jn. 4:21-24).



    Feeling ya, as school has been wild on my side as well. Whenever you have the chance/feel up to it. And praying for your school to go well too :)


    If it was a name they didn't want to have, they'd have given it up a LONG time ago. But as it defines them in some ways and there is honor of Luther, it's not surprising...nor an issue, IMHO.
    Glad to know you enjoyed the discussion as I have. It has actually been something I wasn't aware others from other boards were following, as there's now discussion of it happening on the Messianic boards (as seen here). Where it goes from there, who knows..but I'm thankful for what has been shared here. Shalom...
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  9. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    OrthoCat always something interesting to bring to the table:):D
     
  10. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    Just found out on this recently and thought you'd like it, as it's an icon-image of the Biblical character of Samson...very interesting to consider when it comes to examining the ways early Israel was very much for the concept of icons within fellowships and not against pictures. For more, one can go to the following:




    [​IMG]


    A 1,600-year-old mosiac found in Huqoq, Israel. Photos from Israel Antiquities Authority, photographer Jim Haberman, via Bloomberg.

    Also, for more:
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  11. Ortho_Cat

    Ortho_Cat Orthodox Christian

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    awesome, thanks Easy :)
     
  12. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassadors Supporter

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