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    cla517's Avatar
    cla517 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Oct 16, 2006, 07:14 PM
    Contemporaneous portraits/statues of Jesus? Why not?
    Has there ever been any authenticated portrait/statue of Jesus that was made when Jesus was alive? If not, why would there not be? If we believe Jesus existed, here is a man performing miracles and gathering followers. Why would not one of them jot down a portrait or scupt a statue?
    RickJ's Avatar
    RickJ Posts: 7,762, Reputation: 864
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    #2

    Oct 17, 2006, 04:05 AM
    Just a couple thoughts...

    1. You could lose your head for being a Christian until the 4th century... so folks were rightly leery to have evidence of their faith in their homes or on their person

    2. Early Christianity was still very "Jewish" in many ways, so images were not popular.

    3. Archarologists are still discovering wonderful things from the days of early Christianity - it would not surprise me if we did find something one day.
    Starman's Avatar
    Starman Posts: 1,308, Reputation: 135
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    #3

    Oct 17, 2006, 05:54 PM
    The Shroud of Turin is believed by some to be a full-bodied representation of Jesus.
    http://av.rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A9ibyK5...hroud_of_Turin


    http://www.british-israel.ca/shroud.htm
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,305, Reputation: 7692
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    #4

    Oct 17, 2006, 06:43 PM
    First in general he while alive was to almost everyone just a great teacher and healer, who did some miricles, And in the latter ministry, he sent his 12 out also doing miricles and healing people,

    But it was not truly till after his death that even most of his followers truly understood the impotance of it all.

    But busts or pictures were not that popular among the jews and as mentioned it was illegal to be a Christian so having a statue of Jesus would have been a death sentence.

    Even the teachings of Christ were not written down till many years after his death.
    Starman's Avatar
    Starman Posts: 1,308, Reputation: 135
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    #5

    Oct 18, 2006, 04:09 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Fr_Chuck
    But busts or pictures were not that popular among the jews and as mentioned it was illegal to be a Christian so having a statue of Jesus would have been a death sentence.


    Illegal and a death sentence under the Roman Empire-correct?


    Excerpt:

    While Paul and other Christian missionaries were converting Greeks, Romans and the barbarian tribes in the west, there was equally a great movement of Christianity to the east -- Edessa, Persia, Arabia, Central Asia, China and India. The territory of the Roman Empire lay mainly in Europe and in that part of Asia to the west of Euphrates. But to the east of Euphrates, at the time when Rome was at the zenith of its power, there existed the Persian empire which extended to and included part of northern India. In this vast empire Christianity spread very rapidly. Beyond the borders of the Persian empire, there were Christian communities in Central Asia, China, Arabia, and India. As John Stewart observes:

    It is a surprise to most people to learn that there was a large and widespread Christian community throughout the whole of Central Asia in the first centuries of the present era and that such countries as Afghanistan and Tibet which are spoken of today as lands still closed to the Gospel message, were centres of Christian activity long before Muhammad was born. (John Stewart, Nestorian Missionary Enterprise, Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1928, p.xxix.)



    http://www.religion-online.org/showc...le=1553&C=1360
    Morganite's Avatar
    Morganite Posts: 863, Reputation: 86
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    #6

    Oct 19, 2006, 03:42 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by cla517
    Has there ever been any authenticated portrait/statue of Jesus that was made when Jesus was alive? If not, why would there not be? If we believe Jesus existed, here is a man performing miracles and gathering followers. Why would not one of them jot down a portrait or scupt a statue?

    There are no pictures, likenesses, statues, etc of Jesus of Nazareth made during his lifetime. Paleochristian art stems predominantly from classical graeco-roman art, and its period ranges from the first to the sixth century. The earliest examples of Christian art are to be found within the catacombs! The majority of marble sculptures for example, dated from the 3rd through the 5th centuries, are found on the sarcophagi of the catacombs.

    The decoration of tombs was common among ancient Mediterranean cultures. The funerary art depicts epic and mythical stories, historical episodes, religious rituals, signs and symbols. The tombs of the Egyptians, and those of the Etruscans, are two examples which demonstrate how important this type of art has been in unlocking the beliefs and ideas of lost civilizations.

    The funerary art of the catacombs reveals much about the early Christians, who they were and what they believed in. Christians who employed artists to decorate their tombs were trying to communicate messages, seeking to bring the light of the Gospel into a dark and cold funeral chamber, where their dead lay in "slumber" awaiting the final resurrection. With few colors and expressive brushstrokes, that somewhat resemble 18th century Impressionism, the frescoes of the catacombs have a vibrance of color and life. However, unlike impressionism, which tends to cloud the scene, the catacomb images evoke clarity and purpose.

    In order to interpret the full meaning of many Christian images, it sometimes becomes necessary to understand pagan art. We should not be surprised to find that Paleochristian art adhered to many classical rules of expression which governed the figurative arts. Understanding how pagan art expressed itself, often unlocks the rich meaning of the Christian images.

    The frescoes within the catacombs have been slowly deteriorating, while others have been lost forever. The alteration of air circulation and temperature is one factor that contributes greatly to the decay. It is not the passage of time, that has dealt a blow to the original splendor of the catacombs, as much as the actions of man in history which have taken their toll. The sculptures on the other hand do not face the arduos task of survival as do the ancient pigments of color on stucco. Sculptures are carved in stone, and have withstood the test of time quite well. The sculptures found in the catacombs can be divided into three main areas:

    * Sarcophagi
    * Statues
    * Inscriptions

    The sarcophagus is essentially antiquity's marble coffin. It has a variety of sizes ranging from infants to married couples. Some sarcophagi have sculptured reliefs on all four lateral panels, including the top cover slab, while others may be limited to three panels or just the frontal one.

    The sculptured images of the pagan sarcophagi represented for the most part mythological stories, while the christian sarcopgahi illustrated scenes from the life of Jesus, biblical episodes, and sometimes the image of the deceased.

    The statues found in the catacombs predominantly are of Jesus, represented as the Good Shepherd. The artistic model was the pagan figure of Orpheus, with the flute to his side and a lamb over his shoulder. Although the Christians did not adorn the catacombs with the miriad of statues the pagans had, they did adapt Orpheus to represent Jesus as the Good Sheperd: "I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep knows me." [Gospel of John, Ch.10 ver.14 ]

    Source: http://www.arsmar.com/ce_art.htm


    M:)RGANITE


    .
    Morganite's Avatar
    Morganite Posts: 863, Reputation: 86
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    #7

    Oct 19, 2006, 03:43 PM
    Ecxellent!
    md2000's Avatar
    md2000 Posts: 5, Reputation: 2
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    #8

    Oct 24, 2006, 07:54 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by cla517
    Has there ever been any authenticated portrait/statue of Jesus that was made when Jesus was alive? If not, why would there not be? If we believe Jesus existed, here is a man performing miracles and gathering followers. Why would not one of them jot down a portrait or scupt a statue?
    Firstly, not much survives from back then. Secondly, there wasn't a great "portrait" tradition, as far as I can tell. (Not a Historian). Craftsmen would cost a lot of money, and Jesus probably would have considered paying someone to paint or sculpt him a frivolity.

    Emperors were made into statues, but they had huge state-sponsored religions to pay for decorating temples. The Jews, (I think) were more into the "a representation can become an idol" view of art, much like the Muslims today, and did not encorage statues or pictures.

    Consider that we really don't have any contemporary paintings of George Washington. Here is surely the most historically significant man of that area and era, with the resources of a Republic, relatively rich and surrounded by rich people in an age when portraiture was most established as a form of preserving history. The most reliable picture is a copy of one that WAS made from life but burned in a fire, if I recall.

    Consider that da Vinci's "Last Supper", painted about 400 years ago, was painted on unprepared concrete. It was already deteriorating from seeping moisture in da Vinci's lifetime, and a few decades later was so badly decayed that the monks cut a door through the wall taking out Jesus' feet. They didn't realize the picture extended that far down, it was so faint and ragged (A recent restoration effort has made it a miracle to behold).

    The "Shroud of Turin", a 13th century forgery according to scientific tests, has chunks missing and patches sewed on. It was hit by molten lead dripping from a roof fire in the church it was in.

    The "Bayeux Tapestry", a record of William the Conqueror taking England in the local cathedral, was almost turned into ox-cart tarps during the French Revolution, when all things church were held in disregard. A quick-thinking merchant saved it by trading it for his stock of cloth.

    Most art from biblical times is either sculpture - very expensive to make; or painting, preserved by being buried, like Pompeii or the Goldem House of Nero. Sunlight, neglect, and weather will remove most decorations, and ignorant scavenging builders would steal the rest, since found bricks and blocks were easier than making your own - most of the Collosseum marble long ago vanished into local structures, as did the smoth limestome covering of the great pyramids of Egypt.

    The art treasures of our world can disappear so easily as I mention above. SO if someone were to unearth a human figurine from the rubble of the ancient mediterranean, what are the odds it would be recognized as Jesus unless so labelled? Nobody knows what he really looked like. The current image is an evolved "stylized" agreement from the early middle ages - Jesus and the beard, Peter and the bald head and bushy beard, John with no beard, Andrew with the funny cross, etc. These were as stylized as "black knight and white knight", and as historically accurate.

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