For all of our doubting Toms / Protestant friends out there, we want you to know the facts about Biblical artwork. Most Orthodox theologians have not given you any answers but left you out in the cold. This is a first effort in history by the canonical Orthodox Church of the Culdees. Finally Protestants now have an answer from the Orthodox, in a published work on why churches must use good artwork. This has come as first disclosed from the Orthodox Church of the Culdees.
Please note, it was some of our estranged Neo Culdees who formed the movement that came to America. Every University and church in America (not connected to any state church) still used our Orthodox English Liturgy (BCP). Therefore it remains the responsibility of the Orthodox Culdees to guide them back to reintegration.
Stunning Biblical Mosaics Discovered in Ancient Synagogue by Steve Law | Jul 20, 2018 | Evidence, Moses Series | A mosaic from the 5th century synagogue in northern Israel depicting the Israelite spies returning from the land of Canaan. (Photo: Jim Haberman, U. North Carolina at Chapel Hill) And the…
Here are some of the many forms of Biblical Artwork For Churches
· Cherubims are commanded to be carved into the Sanctuaries. Many cherubims and surrounding artwork are decked throughout the temples of YAHWEH in the Bible (i.e. Moses’, Solomon’s and Ezekiel’s temples) with most cunning artwork depicted on the veil in Exodus 26:1 and 36:8. In 1Kings 6:23-29 they’re carved into all the walls of the house round about with cherubims, palm trees and open flowers, both within and without. With larger depictions and more decorations in 2Chronicles 3. In Ezekiel 41:18-20 it says they were also depicted “through all the house round about”.
· Wooden carved artwork is mentioned as being perpetually in all the sanctuaries in Psalms 74:4-9, and says in verse 6 “however”(strongs 6256), the wicked have sought to burn it down. · Cunning artwork of “gold, silver and brass” Exodus 31:3-4 · Beautification of the Temple Ezra 7:27 · It is also common to carve the “Ensigns of our Fathers house”, Coats of Arms and other commanded Biblical symbols we are to assemble under, as used for civil buildings, and for genealogical purposes in Numbers 2:2.
· Depictions of the Saints in the sanctuary as the “Most finest gold stones of the sanctuary” which are called “holy sons of Zion” and repeats “finest gold” that has become “esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter” and “are poured out in every street.” Lamentations 4:1-2 · Cherubim are depicted on ten carts and ten lavers 1Kings 7:29, 36
· Cherubim are associated with places His presence was manifested Psalms 80:1; 99:1. As David said He would always remain in the Temple, it may be that He brought depictions of the cherubim wherever he went. No doubt, this is one of the inspirations for decorating our “prayer closet”. · His Majestic Ornament (probably the cross) has been mis-used by the wicked Ezekiel 7:27. (Note, the Cross is very ancient as Yahshua was “slain from the foundation of the world” as it says in Revelation 13:8 and 1Peter 1:20 as our sacrificial Lamb. The Hebrew Passover lambs were always placed on a beam that looked like the cross. A dozen more reasons for decorating with, or wearing a cross can also be found.)
· Graven statue artwork of Crosses was used for remembering He is raised up as a serpent on a Cross, as our healer in Numbers 21:8. We must lift up the cross ensign for Israel, just as it was necessary for Moses to lift up the serpent on a rod.
John 3:14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:”
· THE CROSS. That sign we were sealed is the Tau or T Cross symbol, which was used at all Hebrew Baptisms “And YAHWEH said unto him(the cherub at the altar), Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark (tav) upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” (Ezekiel 9:4)
So there’s no doubt the Cherubim (or Seraphim) will accompany crosses, as the Seraphim did in their first Biblical appearance. The cross symbol reminds of Christ’s victory on the Cross (the primary aspect of the gospel) and the sealing His redeemed for their victory over evil. Revelation 5:9 it says these cherubim(now morphed to higher seraphim) are the redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and that there are hundreds of thousands of them “in the throne, on the throne and around the throne”. Therefore these depictions of cherubim are of those who are Saints. The main 4 cherubim are also called Matthew, Mark, Luke and John manifestations of Christ in their gospels. The cherubim of glory, winged symbols of Lion, Ox, Man and Eagle. These manifestations of Christ will be evident in the lives of His literal body, the Saintly church members.
In ancient times, before TV they only had icons, and so icons were used differently to animate them with lights / candles, etc, but not worship. They also would decorate them etc as found was Biblically commanded, as found in this article. Not only decorate but talk about their glorious works… and paint it for some who couldn’t read, and call it gemstones in His temple, as is commanded.
Watching TV would be much more blasphemous if applying the standards of those who are against icons. People who watch TV get a lot more emotional and yet it’s not worship, so we don’t condemn our friends who seek to keep all the commandments. We should all talk about the glorious works of the rest of the church which went on before us. Don’t fall into false stigmas.
Our English liturgy is primarily found in the Book of Common Prayer. In it is no mentions of icons, but there is always time for remembering the great witnesses and inspirations of those who were before us.
The Pictish Stones of Scotland (and those of Ireland) are great examples of churches following this Biblical principle of engraving sanctuaries with cherubim artwork and “lifting up crosses” the same way Moses lifted up the serpent rod.
more info at http://www.orthodoxchurch.nl