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Brother 6th December 2010 03:28 PM

Did Jesus condemn the making and venerating of images or statues of the just?

No. Surely not.

Not only that, but He also approved the veneration of the Saints and the making and decoration of their images as a recognition of the Kingdom of God and their fellowship with God.

[Matthew 23]
{23:29} Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites, who build the sepulchers of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the just.
{23:30} And then you say, ‘If we had been there in the days of our fathers, we would not have joined with them in the blood of the prophets.’

A "monument" is an image. What Jesus was actually condemning here is hypocrisy. Jesus condemned those people who are like the Pharisee, those who go to Chuch and yet, they judge the soul of others thinking that they are better than the rest.

myLivingBread 7th December 2010 07:32 AM

Hi Brother,
how about the image of God, what verse did it tell us to make images of God? is that verse applicable too? and they are also telling that the monument there is "tomb" in greek word "mnemeion"

sammy 7th December 2010 02:28 PM


Originally Posted by myLivingBread (Post 35223)
Hi Brother,
how about the image of God, what verse did it tell us to make images of God? is that verse applicable too? and they are also telling that the monument there is "tomb" in greek word "mnemeion"

God made an image of himself when he impressed an image of his face on Veronica's veil. Also, there is the Shroud of Turin. The Blessed Mother has given us the image of Guadalupe.

Brother 7th December 2010 04:23 PM


Originally Posted by myLivingBread (Post 35223)
Hi Brother,
how about the image of God, what verse did it tell us to make images of God? is that verse applicable too? and they are also telling that the monument there is "tomb" in greek word "mnemeion"

Hi MyLivingBread,

God never told us “not to make images at all” that would be absurd because practically everything that surround us are images. What God told us is not to make any created thing a “god”. If we love our children, our car, money, etc., more than God, then they become idols. There are Protestants who are like the Pharisee who condemn Catholics who pray to God in front of an image that represents His Kingdom, they say that they obey God by not making images and yet they worship money, their recognition (which is actually an “image” of themselves. Yes, God condemns literal images that are worshiped as if they were a god, but He also condemns spiritual images that we make up in our minds and hearts, of how our lives should be, our reputation, “the stars”, “the sun”, to become famous, etc., those images that we create in our minds and hearts are also idols because we are making a god out of ourselves and not letting God do His will in our lives.


what verse did it tell us to make images of God? is that verse applicable too?

Yes, I believe this verse is applicable too because God is the Just One.


{34:14} Do not be willing to worship any strange god. The jealous Lord is his name. God is a rival.

This verse is also telling us that we can make images of God but not of any “strange” gods because He is “Jealous” God. If we make images of the True God, or images that represent HIM, His Mercy, etc., how can God become “Jealous”?... If a wife tells her husband of how nice and beautiful he looks in a photo, is her husband going to become jealous of that?... of course, not. On the contrary, he is going to be happy. However, if the same wife, takes a photo of strange man and tells her husband of how nice beautiful that other man looks, is her husband going to become jealous?... obviously yes. Her husband is not going to be happy.

So yes, God is telling us in that particular passage that we can make images that represent Himself and venerate them.

Now, concerning the following passage:

[Leviticus 26]
{26:1} I am the Lord your God. You shall not make for yourselves an idol or a graven image. Neither shall you erect a monument, or set up a conspicuous stone in your land, in order that you may adore it. For I am the Lord your God.

{23:29}…build the sepulchers of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the just.

Again, what God is telling us is not to make images at all, but not to worship the images as if the images itself are a god, as if an image itself can save us.

Some graves had images, but particularly “the graves of the Just”, the were “special ones” because of the deeds of the Patriarchs, they had images or monuments as well, it could be of a cherub, etc., there is nothing wrong with making that in their honor.

God Himself told Moses to make images and permitted them to venerate them because of what they represented, not because of the image itself.

[Numbers 21]
{21:8} And the Lord said to him: “Make a bronze serpent, and place it as a sign. Whoever, having been struck, gazes upon it, shall live.”
{21:9} Therefore, Moses made a bronze serpent, and he placed it as a sign. When those who had been struck gazed upon it, they were healed.

To “gaze upon it” is a veneration. The people who venerated that image got cured because they know it came from God, not from that particular image.

By the way, that particular image was a foreshadow of the image of Christ on the Cross which at the same time represents His Love and Mercy.

The Ark of the Covenant had images as well, two Cherubs.

Salomon’s Temple had images inside and they were permitted by God. [2 Chronicles 3:7] [2 Chronicles 9:18-19]

Now, let’s look at this passage from the NT:

{9:20} And behold, a woman, who had suffered from a flow of blood for twelve years, approached from behind and touched the hem of his garment.
{9:21} For she said within herself, “If I will touch even his garment, I shall be saved.”

Do you think that this woman believed in “the garment” or in “Jesus”?... She was cured, not because she believed in the garment itsef, but because she believed in Jesus. There were many people surrounding and touching Jesus at that moment, but the difference is that this particular woman touched His garment with Faith that Jesus (not the garment) was going to cure her by just doing that. She didn’t even ask Jesus, she just had faith that by only touching His garment (an object), she was going to be cured.

myLivingBread 8th December 2010 01:28 PM

their question is When(what period) did God commanded us to make an image of God? why did the catholics makes an image of Christ.

Brother 8th December 2010 03:28 PM


Originally Posted by myLivingBread (Post 35236)
their question is When(what period) did God commanded us to make an image of God? why did the catholics makes an image of Christ.

God is the eternal Truth, and the Truth is the same yesterday, today and forever (I’m the Way, the Truth and the Life). God’s Truth is the same for all ages and time periods, and when the Church teaches us about a "new" dogma, it is actually a discovery of the same eternal Truth, so in reality, there is nothing "new" because the Truth is the same. Jesus Himself told His Apostles that there were some things that He was not going to tell them about that time, but that later on they will learn new things through the Holy Spirit (again, about the same unchangeable Truth). Therefore, the answer to your question relies in answering when did God command us NOT to make images of Himself? Never, in all time periods He never prohibited mankind about making images that represents His goodness and mercy, this implies that it was permissible and/or allowed by God to make images that represent Him since the very beginning.

We Catholics follow Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and Sacred Magisterium, which reveal us that it was permissible by God to make images of Him since the beginning of time. He doesn't necessarily have to tell us explicitly "I command you to make and image about Me" in order for us to understand that it was always permissible by His goodness. God gave us intelligence, and since He has never prohibited us to make images of Him, it is logical that if we do so out of love for Him, He will love that, just as when a child makes a drawing about his father, even if the drawing is "ugly", it is not on the eyes of his father, and he loves it, he even puts it in his office for everyone else to see. I give you this analogy because Jesus Himself gave us analogies comparing God goodness with the goodness of a father with a son and God's is obviously infinitely greater.

When God told Moses to make the image of the serpent on the pole, right there that image represented God's Goodness, Love, and Mercy with a people that were so bad and ungrateful with Him, but some people did not see that because of lack of faith. Now that image has been brought to a higher level, which is the Image of Christ on the Cross, that is the image of God Himself.

[John 3]
{3:14} And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so also must the Son of man be lifted up,
{3:15} so that whoever believes in him may not perish, but may have eternal life.

In recent times, Jesus told St. Faustina Kowalska to make an image of Him, of how she saw him in a vision, but He told her so out of love and mercy for all of us, and for out own good and many people who venerate that image with open hearts, God bless them with many graces.

Brother 8th December 2010 07:20 PM

{3:14} And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so also must the Son of man be lifted up

Jesus is God. What is "the serpent in the desert"? an image. He implies here that an image of Him can very well be lifted up too, just as Moses did in the OT. He is not condemning at all the making of any representation of Himself.

Pontifex 8th December 2010 11:24 PM

The Second Council of Nicaea - 787 A.D. is quite clear on the issue:

To summarize, we declare that we defend free from any innovations all the

written and unwritten
ecclesiastical traditions that have been entrusted to us.
{Council formulates for the first time what the Church has always believed regarding icons}

One of these is the production of representational art; this is quite in harmony with the history of the spread of the gospel, as it provides confirmation that the becoming man of the Word of God was real and not just imaginary, and as it brings us a similar benefit. For, things that mutually illustrate one another undoubtedly possess one another's message.

Given this state of affairs and stepping out as though on the royal highway, following as we are

the God-spoken teaching of our holy fathers and
the tradition of the catholic church --
for we recognize that this tradition comes from the holy Spirit who dwells in her--
we decree with full precision and care that,
like the figure of the honoured and life-giving cross,
the revered and holy images,
whether painted or
made of mosaic
or of other suitable material,
are to be exposed
in the holy churches of God,
on sacred instruments and vestments,
on walls and panels,
in houses and by public ways,
these are the images of
our Lord, God and saviour, Jesus Christ, and of
our Lady without blemish, the holy God-bearer, and of
the revered angels and of
any of the saintly holy men.
The more frequently they are seen in representational art, the more are those who see them drawn to remember and long for those who serve as models, and to pay these images the tribute of salutation and respectful veneration. Certainly this is not the full adoration {latria} in accordance with our faith, which is properly paid only to the divine nature, but it resembles that given to the figure of the honoured and life-giving cross, and also to the holy books of the gospels and to other sacred cult objects. Further, people are drawn to honour these images with the offering of incense and lights, as was piously established by ancient custom. Indeed, the honour paid to an image traverses it, reaching the model, and he who venerates the image, venerates the person represented in that image.

So it is that the teaching of our holy fathers is strengthened, namely, the tradition of the catholic church which has received the gospel from one end of the earth to the other.
So it is that we really follow Paul, who spoke in Christ, and the entire divine apostolic group and the holiness of the fathers, clinging fast to the traditions which we have received.
So it is that we sing out with the prophets the hymns of victory to the church: Rejoice exceedingly O daughter of Zion, proclaim O daughter of Jerusalem; enjoy your happiness and gladness with a full heart. The Lord has removed away from you the injustices of your enemies, you have been redeemed from the hand of your foes. The Lord the king is in your midst, you will never more see evil, and peace will be upon you for time eternal.
Therefore all those who dare to think or teach anything different, or who follow the accursed heretics in rejecting ecclesiastical traditions, or who devise innovations, or who spurn anything entrusted to the church (whether it be the gospel or the figure of the cross or any example of representational art or any martyr's holy relic), or who fabricate perverted and evil prejudices against cherishing any of the lawful traditions of the catholic church, or who secularize the sacred objects and saintly monasteries, we order that they be suspended if they are bishops or clerics, and excommunicated if they are monks or lay people.

Anathemas concerning holy images:

If anyone does not confess that Christ our God can be represented in his humanity, let him be anathema.
If anyone does not accept representation in art of evangelical scenes, let him be anathema.
If anyone does not salute such representations as standing for the Lord and his saints, let him be anathema.
If anyone rejects any written or unwritten tradition of the church, let him be anathema.

garabandalg 13th December 2010 03:01 PM

Our problem more than a problem itself
When we fear the making of images as dangerous, we are speaking more of our own weaknesses than anything else. These images are merely a reminder of the person venerated not as the focus of our veneration, but rather due to their status as a fitting role model for how we should try to live out our lives. We do not, for example, pretend that Mary is greater than Our Lord but, rather, we honor Her as the Mother of God and the First Tabernacle so everything is done with respect to God and not apart from Him.

Those who fear images are really saying that they fear their own inability to always see God as above all else and are so superficial as to allow themselves to be distracted by a statue.

Brother 5th January 2011 05:08 PM

An image or an object itself does not do evil or good because it is not a living thing. A miracle depends on the person’s Faith in God, the True God.

Since they are harmless objects themselves, God allows to place images in Churches.

[Jeremiah 10]
{10:5} They have been fabricated in the likeness of a palm tree, and they will not speak. They must be carried to be moved, because they do not have the ability to walk. Therefore, do not be willing to fear them, for they can do neither evil nor good.”

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