>>529245 They did have icons but they were fundamentally early different. Because Christians were beign persecuted they had to smaller an discrete. They were made on tiny cards that could be easily hidden in one's pocket. Devote believers would have a large collection of such cards and would trade them among each other.
>>529301 I'm not Orthodox but you should realize the old church's ways were hidden and mysterious
Same time things like the IXTHUS and Chi rho were certainly venerated; as were whatever fragmentary pieces of Scripture (both new and old) Christian communities living underground could get their hands on.
Veneration also doesn't mean worship, it means accepting something as an image of God. In that sense even a fragment of Torah taught by a Jewish convert to Christianity could be an icon of veneration, and would have been according to Orthodox philosophy
>>529349 The Old Church was basically a secret society. They had a front, but core Christian doctrines were only for the initiated. The biggest one is that Chris is God...the Gospel of John, for instance, was only for the initiated, whereas the other Gospels were approved for catechumens. That was why catechumens for a long time still got expelled from a Church right before the Nicene Creed is said (which was a formulization of the original, secret Christian confession). The priest says, "The doors!" And the catechumens are supposed to leave (which they generally don't these days), and some Christians go to guard the doors so they can warn if someone is coming.
>>529408 Why would Christ fulfilling the covenant, do away with icons? Icons aren't just something used in worship, they are a fundamental element of theology. God made man in his own icon. An icon is a reflection, like in a mirror.
Note that the word "idol" comes from the Greek word for "form" (an important concept in Platonism). The word "icon" comes from the Greek word for "image", which means a reflection of something. When you are skyping with someone, you are talking with their icon.
>>529441 I'm saying veneration of icons predating Constantine quite a while, and isn't going to be present in many old churches because
A: Early Christians were low key and a secret society, iconography could be used to find them. Jews or Romans could barge in at any moment and demand to know what is going on, that is why Christians had to have guards outside the doors to alert everyone if Roman or Jewish cops were coming.
B: A great deal of early Church iconography got rekt by the iconoclasts.
“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.
49“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
>>529467 Well, in a way you're right, but none of the Gnostics were disciples of Jesus, whereas three of the Gospels were written by Christ's disciples, and the earliest Christian writings were by Paul, and his faction included the Apostles.
Christ was a Jewish rabbi (but not born into it) who knew the oral law backward and forward, and that's why he could crush other Pharisees (Christ himself was technically a Pharisee, that is, a supporter of the oral law, in contrast with the Sadduccees, who were sola scriptura) in debates. So Orthodox Christianity came out of Jews. Gnosticism, on the other hand, was a Platonist movement that came out of the Greeks and had zero to do with the ancient Jewish religion.
>>529461 or alternatively icons weren't sanctioned in the bible. christians calling the name of the lord could be used to find them but they still did it, and they were prepared for the consequences.
churches weren't a thing before constantine. early iconography was reserved for graves and catacombs and they generally avoided depicting christ. they instead would depict 'the good shepherd', the chi-ro, fish, old testament scenes.
here is one of the earliest icons ... tied up with the trappings of paganism, no less.
this stuff was all untouched by iconoclasm since it belongs in the former western empire, but it shows just how unchristian it was
>>529542 Well Gnosticism existed before Jesus, but Christian Gnosticism is a very special off-shoot.
>Simon Magus So with the new Christianity being popular the one they wanted a piece of the market, so they cast the Christian hero of Jesus as a Gnostic prophet. I guess the fact that his originally teachings were an esoteric secret allowed him to fit into the narrative pretty well.
I know there were unitities between Judaism and Gnosticism in the form of Kabbalahism. From my research it seems there were some branches of Gnostism that did not view material things being intrinsically evil but rather of being lesser, and a way to become distracted from the completely spiritual world. Abraxian Gnostism for instance solves the problem of evil by saying that the supreme God of the universe contains all elements of good and evil and it is reflected in creation.
>>529587 Uh, why not? There is a very important need for icons: they are how we worship with our eyes, just as incense is how we worship with our nose. To abolish them would be anti-material. The point of Christ was to *fulfill* the material, transform it from carnal to corporeal, not to do away with it. We should use all five senses to glorify God (and do, in Divine Liturgy).
>>529910 I think it is very possible. Jews venerated all sorts of powers above them, including parents, judges, elders, priests and kings, and the OT refers to Saint Michael as "the great prince"., and Psalms 91:11 says angels have charge over humanity. At the very least, they were venerated as the bronze snake was.
>And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
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