What images of God exist in the New Testament?

2
3
Fr. Robert E. Barron

It is in Jesus Christ that we have been given God himself. Fr. Barron examines the New Testament which reveals the love between the Father and the Son, and how that love is our ultimate hope of salvation. From Father Barron’s “Faith Clips” DVD – http://www.wordonfire.org

What images of God exist in the New Testament?

Comments

2 COMMENTS

  1. Exodus 20:4-5;-Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any ‘likeness of anything that is in Heaven above’, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
    5. Thou shall not bow down thy self to them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the father upon the children unto th third and fourth generation of them that hate Me;

    This is the Word of God..
    Thanks be to God Almighty.

  2. “Exodus 25:18-21, God commands Moses to make two statues of angels (cherubim) for the top of the Ark of the Covenant. Later in Numbers 21:8-9, God commands Moses to make a bronze serpent, so that the people who were bitten by snakes could look upon it and be healed.

    Now it is true that centuries later King Hezekiah destroyed it; however, this action was done because the people worshipped it as a god (2 Kings 18:4). In the Gospel, Jesus compared Himself to the bronze serpent (John 3:14). Continuing in the Old Testament, the inner sanctuary of the Temple contained two large statues of angels according to 1 Kings 6:23-28. In the following verses, Solomon also had the walls of the Temple decorated with carved images of angels, palm trees and flowers (1 Kings 6:29ff). During the Babylonian Captivity, Ezekiel had a vision from God about the design of the new Temple. According to Ezekiel 41:17-25, this new Temple contained graven images of angels and palm trees. These passages in the Bible indicate that God does not forbid the making of statues. If God truly condemned the making of graven images in the “Second Commandment”, then He must have changed His mind later in the Old Testament.

    The Catholic Church during the Council of Trent (1545-1563) issued a clear statement concerning images and statues. According to the 25th Session of this General Council:

    The images of Christ and of the Virgin Mother of God, and of the saints are to be had and retained particularly in churches, and due honor and veneration are to be given them; not that any divinity or virtue is believed to be in them on account of which they are to be worshipped, or that anything is to be asked of them, or that trust is to be reposed in images, as was of old by the Gentiles, who placed their hopes in idols; but because the honor which is shown them is referred to the prototypes which these images represent; so that we through the images which we kiss…or bend the knee, adore Christ and venerate the saints, whom they represent. [The Canons & Decrees of the Council of Trent (TAN Books, 1978) p. 215-6]

    The Church does NOT compel her members to kneel or pray before images. No one is allowed by the Church to pray to images since they have no ears to hear or power to help us. The Church allows for the veneration of images as long as the honor is directed towards Christ and His saints.

    On a related issue, some Christians may object to the veneration of images of the saints since they believe that honor should be directed towards God alone and not towards Mary or the saints (1 Tim. 1:17). This objection arises from a confusion between divine honor (adoration – supreme honor proper only for God) and respectful honor proper for men. According to the Bible, the people of God bowed down before King David to show him honor (2 Sam. 24:20; 1 Chron. 29:20; 21:21). Obadiah in 1 Kings 18:7 fell prostrate before Elijah showing him reverence for being a prophet of God. In the Ten Commandments, we are told to honor our mother and father (Deut. 5:16). Even Jesus defended and obeyed this Commandment (Mark 7:9-13; Luke 2:51). At least for Mary, our honor to her is in imitation of Jesus, her Son (1 Cor. 11:1). The Church allows for the veneration of the saints and their images as long as it remains honor proper for men. It is good to honor the saints for their love and trust in God (Matt. 22:31-32; Heb. 11:1-12:1).

    The Catholic Church has not altered the Ten Commandments of God. The Church has not dropped the “Second Commandment” as the booklet alleges. The Catholic numbering scheme may differ with the Protestant numbering scheme, but this is due to a difference in tradition and not an alteration of God’s Commandments. Unfortunately the Bible is not clear on how to divide or number the Ten Commandments. If this difference is scandalous, it would be interesting to know what the author of the booklet thought of Jesus Christ when He reduced God’s Commandments to the Two Great Commandments in Matt. 22:36-40.

    Finally the Church strictly condemns the adoration (divine worship) of statues, images or even the saints, since this is idolatry and in direct violation of the First Commandment. For Christians a crucifix should not be considered merely as a statue of Jesus hanging on a cross, but as a reminder of the high cost of our salvation as well as His words to us:

    “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” [Mark 8:34]

    (Catholic Response, Inc)

LEAVE A REPLY