Thursday, January 10, 2008
Usage of Graven Images

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.

Conclusion: 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!


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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