Thursday, January 10, 2008
Is the Usage of Graven Images Sinful?

St. Luke was a famous painter. He wrote one of the Gospels and painted a famous image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. If making images of the saints were a sin, surely a Gospel writer would not have done so!

Scriptural References to counter the claim that making an image is sinful:
  • Numbers 21:8 God commands Moses to make the bronze serpent which we learn is a symbol of Jesus Christ (John 3:14). It is only destroyed after it is worshiped (2 Kings 18:4), the making of it was not a sin.
  • Numbers 8:4, 1 Kings 6:18 Images are carved
  • 1 Kings 7:25,29 Images of lions and bulls are carved to support the base of the temple
  • There were images of the cherubim angels in the temple (1 Kings 6:23-31) and God blessed the temple (1 Kings 9:3).
  • Exodus 20:5 We are forbidden to worship images or serving them. But by praying in front of a statue of a saint or a crucifix, we do not pray or worship the image, our thoughts are gazed upwards from them towards God.
There are many other passages to counter the notion that our Divine God somehow prohibits the images of our Savior, the saints, et cetera.  This is not a new debate.  This debate first arose in the 7th century and was crushed as a heresy against the Christian religion.  

If you are sincerely seeking to understand the Catholic claims that images are not sinful, I ask for you to read the writings of the Early Church Father St. John Damascus.  His Three Treatises on the Divine Images (available also in a Kindle Version) is as useful today as it was back in the 7th century to show - using Sacred Scripture - why the use of images is permitted and blessed by God!

1 comment(s):

del_button January 11, 2008 at 10:56 AM
Cskaaren said...

Thanks for these scripture verses, they will be useful in debate.

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