Images of Christ

Images of Christ

Question

I'm in a Reformed church. Should drawn or painted images of Christ be used for Sunday School material?

Answer

Please note that this answer is my own personal point of view and does not represent Third Millennium Ministries. And though this question also concerns children, the answer will primarily be addressed to adults (cf. Deut. 4:1-9; 11:1, 8-9, 13, 16-17, 18-19, 20-21, 26-27, etc.; cf. Prov. 22:6).

Exodus 20:4-6 (Deut. 5:8-10): You shall not make for yourself a carved 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. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

The Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:2-17; Deut. 5:6-21) comprise the core of the Law of Moses, and all of the commandments are exceedingly important. As most readers know, the first four commandments teach about the proper love of God, while the remaining six instruct us about the proper love for others. In essence, the Ten Commandments are themselves an elaboration of the two great commands given to us by Christ which are to love the Lord our God and our neighbor (cf. Luke 10:27).

The Problem

This question about images deals with the second commandment and its biblical interpretation. For centuries the Reformed church faithfully interpreted the commandment according to various biblically based Confessions. [1] For instance, the WLC 109 states:

Q. 109. What sins are forbidden in the second commandment?

A. The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging to them; all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretense whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed.

In a nutshell, many affirm WLC 109, which prohibits any unauthorized representation of Jesus by an image (painting, drawing, statue, etc.) at all. While objecting to depicting Jesus in pictures in corporate worship, others would allow such pictures of him in educational resources, children’s Bibles, etc., and believe that images of Jesus outside of corporate worship are not a violation of the second commandment. They assert that only the worship of images—not the making of them—is prohibited in the second commandment.

It is my opinion that all unauthorized images of Jesus violate the second commandment. The only authorized pictures we have of Christ today are the sufficiency of God’s Word which includes the two sacraments of the church. I agree with the Second Helvetic Confession which states, "Although Christ assumed human nature, yet he did not on that account assume it in order to provide a model for carvers and painters."

What are some reasons for why I take this position? I'll first define what an idol is because this is essential to understand. Idols are handcrafted representations of gods. These representations may be in various forms - statue, painting, drawing, sketch or an internet image, for example. They are created so as to give an otherwise invisible deity a visible form and, in a sense, replace the true invisible god’s reality with a false visible physical form. As to how this pertains to images of God, idolatry occurs every time the truth about God is exchanged for a lie (Rom. 1:25).

The Making of Unauthorized Images of God is a Sin

God begins the Ten Commandments with a statement about who he is: "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt" (Exod. 20:2; Deut. 5:6). So, God reminds Israel about the all-powerful God that delivered them from their bondage in Egypt. He follows this with a warning that his covenant people were to have no other God but him (Exod. 20:3; Deut. 5:7).

The second commandment (Exod. 20:4-6; Deut. 5:8-10), which immediately follows the first, contains two imperatives concerning idols: (1) "you shall not make" (Exod. 20:4; Deut. 5:8) and (2) "you shall not bow down or serve" (Exod. 20:5; Deut. 5:9). So, a craftsman shouldn't make a statue or an artist paint a picture of a god. And neither are we to worship such images. Why does God say this? Because it is our natural tendency to bow down and worship what we consider to be divine. John Calvin wrote, "hominis ingenium perpetuam, ut ita loquar, esse idolorum fabricam" (the human heart is a perpetual idol factory," Inst. I.11.8).

Even objects God has authorized can be snares for his people. Man himself is an authorized image of God (Gen. 1:26), but when men worship other men (Rom. 1:23), it is idolatry (i.e. sin). The bronze serpent was a "lawful image" commanded by God (Num. 21:8-9). However, in 2 Kings we observe that King Hezekiah broke it into pieces because God’s covenant people were burning incense to it (2 Kings 18:4). What God meant for good (Num. 21:8; cf. John 3:14-15) was transformed into an idol by the evil imaginations of his people, so God providentially had it destroyed. And also consider that although the Lord's Supper is commanded in scripture, the Roman Catholic Church worships the literal elements in the what they call the Eucharist. This is idolatry.

As seen in the first commandment, the overall context of the Ten Commandments includes the fact that Israel was delivered out of Egypt by God himself (Exod. 20:2). The second commandment then says that Israel shouldn’t make images with "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." This is a general description of the pantheon of gods found in Egypt. So here God prohibits the making of images of the gods the people of Israel were exposed to while they lived in Egypt (cf. Ezek. 20:5-9)[2]. A simple glance at a pictorial history of Egypt’s gods reveals the type of abominations God was referring to. And if we look at the general descriptive language used by the Spirit, it includes all images of every other so-called god in every other religion. The commandment forbids the using of anything in God's creation as an image of a god. God forbade both their manufacture and their worship. However, while God did forbid all worship of anything but himself (Exod. 20:2), he did not forbid the making of normal images of his wondrous creation that are not images of gods. Both the tabernacle and temple were filled with such images [3].

Making images of God begins a downward sinful path. Much like the making of pornography leads to increased lust and more pornography, making of images of Christ leads to more idolatrous tendencies. As Jesus reminds us in Mark 7:21-23, "For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person."

Our idolatrous hearts are a problem. We are a fallen, sinful people. Images have never benefited those who have had them. Redemptive history affirms Israel was, for the most part, memorialized by them as we see in the books of the Judges, Kings, and the Prophets. God hates idolatry and throughout Scripture, we see his judgment of it (cf. Lev. 26:30).

The Worship of Images is a Sin

With respect to idols, the church today is no different from Israel. To think that one can make images of Christ while not worshipping him by them is absolutely erroneous. John Murray in his "Pictures of Christ" (Reformed Herald, February, 1961) stated:

Pictures of Christ are in principle a violation of the second commandment. A picture of Christ, if it serves any useful purpose, must evoke some thought or feeling respecting him and, in view of what he is, this thought or feeling will be worshipful. We cannot avoid making the picture a medium of worship. But since the materials for this medium of worship are not derived from the only revelation we possess respecting Jesus, namely, Scripture, the worship is constrained by a creation of the human mind that has no revelatory warrant. This is will-worship. For the principle of the second commandment is that we are to worship God only in ways prescribed and authorized by him. It is a grievous sin to have worship constrained by a human figment, and that is what a picture of the Saviour involves.

An image of Christ is a representation of God "formed by the art and imagination of man" (Acts 17:29). However, it's fictional to believe that the image won’t be used in worship because we are to worship God with all our heart, soul, and might (Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30). When the name of Christ is spoken from a pulpit, the mind and emotions - especially of children - will naturally travel back to its previous impressions concerning him including any man-made images of him. Thus, a false image is formed in the heart and mind and is being used in worship. It's natural for the mind to engage such a man-made image. And to unite ourselves with such an image of Christ is to become one in body with it. How alarming this is if you think of how this is not unlike the way a prostitute unites with the body (cf. 1 Cor. 6:15-17). Moreover, if a picture of Christ does not "stir up devotion, it is in vain; if it stir up devotion, it is a worshiping by an image or picture, and so a palpable breach of the second commandment" (Thomas Vincent, A Family Instructional Guide. E4 publishers, 2018).

The Image is a False One

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), a talented Spanish painter and sculptor, wrote in a letter in 1923 to Marius de Zayas, "We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies." (Pablo Picasso, Statement, in Theories of Modern Art: A Sourcebook by Artists and Critics. Herschel B. Chipp [Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1968], p. 264).

Those in Sunday school and other places won’t benefit from false images made with human hands (Psa. 135:15-18). As Habakkuk says, "a metal image, [is] a teacher of lies" (Hab. 2:18). Only when Jesus returns in glory will we truly see him as he is:

1 John 3:2: Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

Jesus has ascended into heaven and presently sits at the right hand of God the Father (Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11). Until Christ returns in glory or we pass away and are immediately ushered into his presence (2 Cor. 5:8), we can’t and won’t know what he actually looks like.

In the providence of God, the Bible contains no drawings. The Gospels offer us no complete visual details related to what Jesus looks like (present tense) as a "glorified" incarnate man. While we do know a few facts (a Semitic middle-aged male known to wear a robe), we don’t know his eye or hair color. We don’t know his facial features or even the exact tone of his skin, etc. So, any image of Jesus this side of glory is simply a guess. As well-intentioned as these may be, they are merely a fanciful figment of someone’s limited, uniformed, and vain imagination. Besides, any image we would make would be inanimate or lifeless (cf. Jer. 10:14). So, any image of Christ made by human hands is similarly lifeless and therefore false. But in Christ dwells all of the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 2:9). We serve the living God, so he shouldn’t be reproduced as a lifeless painting.

Jesus is now ascended into heaven. Like many before us, we - including our children - should continue to serve him by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7; cf. Heb. 11:6). The gospel tells us "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). Since we don’t entirely know what Jesus looks like, any image of him would be a false representation. It wouldn’t be "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." It wouldn’t stand up in a court of law this side of glory, much less the other side.

How could Jesus, who is "the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6), condone such a false image of himself? How could the Holy Spirit, who is "the Spirit of truth" (John 16:13), be honored by such? Why would a Christian choose inaccuracy over or in addition to the inspired, true, pure, inerrant, infallible and sufficient Scripture? Are we to add lies and/or misrepresentations to Scripture? (Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Josh. 1:7; cf. Rev. 22:18). These inaccurate images are meant to shape the thoughts of all who observe them. And they ultimately influence our worship, both individually and corporately. This is not only idolatry but vain worship. As Luke says in Acts 17:29, "Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man."

Any picture of the Lord that is based on man’s imagination is "will-worship" (cf. Col. 2:23). J.H. Thayer described will-worship as, "worship which one devises and prescribes for himself, contrary to the contents and nature of the faith which ought to be directed to Christ" (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. [Edinburgh, Scotland: T. & T. Clark, 1958], p. 168). In other words, will-worship sets up a human creation in the place of or alongside the biblical testimony concerning Christ. So, an unauthorized image of Christ is promoting another gospel (Gal. 1:8-9).

The church should rid itself of denominational Picasso philosophy and stop attempting to convince others of the truthfulness of Lying Art.

The Image is That of a Half-God

When the Son became incarnate, his human nature became inseparably united to his divine nature. This is known as the hypostatic union. However, an artist’s renderings focus only on Jesus’ human nature. An artist can’t paint the true God-man! The omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient God can’t be painted. Omnipresence in a stationary picture? Really? Unlike the pagan gods that can be represented by a stick or piece of metal, the Almighty can’t be so controlled or depicted.

A visual representation of Jesus—who is very God of very God—would necessarily need to convey his attributes that are inherently invisible (cf. Col. 1:15). But no person can draw, paint or properly represent God’s divinity. Even if someone had a perfectly preserved Polaroid from which to paint a perfect picture of Jesus’ humanity, they couldn’t properly display his deity. Such images remove Jesus’ majesty, glory and splendor from the mind and heart and replace them with a cheaper, weaker imitation. Images of Christ debase the true and living God and lessen the observer’s esteem of him. Such as it is, they attempt to paint a Half-God, who is no God at all (cf. Gal. 4:8). Images of Christ actually inhibit rather than strengthen the true worship of God.

False images of Christ don’t and can’t represent his divine nature. So, it’s impossible for them to properly teach us and our children the truth about God. We have the Word and sacraments (i.e., baptism and the Lord’s Supper) to inform us how we are to worship Christ, the Son of the living God "in spirit and truth." The sufficiency of Scripture shouldn’t be and can’t be replaced by a painting from Rome, or anywhere else.

An Image Leads to Christological Error

Nestorianism was formally condemned at the church councils of Ephesus (431 A.D.) and Chalcedon (451 A.D.). This teaching was guilty of dividing the Son up such that he was essentially two Sons. They essentially stressed the independence of the divine and human natures of Christ so much that they were two persons only loosely united together.

When someone paints an image of Christ, they paint a picture of a man, not the God-man. As noted above, the fact that Christ is also divine—very God of very God—cannot be portrayed visually. This division of Christ’s human and divine natures leads to the destruction of the unity of his two natures. This is heresy!

Appealing to the second commandment and other scriptures (Rom. 1:23, 25; John 4:24), an important church council in Constantinople (754 A.D.) denounced idolatry and declared:

If any person shall divide human nature, united to the Person of God the Word; and, having it only in the imagination of his mind, shall therefore, attempt to paint the same in an Image; let him be holden as accursed. If any person shall divide Christ, being but one, into two persons; placing on the one side the Son of God, and on the other side the son of Mary; neither doth confess the continual union that is made; and by that reason doth paint in an Image of the son of Mary, as subsisting by himself; let him be accursed. If any person shall paint in an Image the human nature, being deified by the uniting thereof to God the Word; separating the same as it were from the Godhead assumpted and deified; let him be holden as accursed.

Later, John Calvin commented on the Catholic Church’s use of images and said:

Behold, they paint and portray Jesus Christ, who (as we know) is not only man, but also God manifested in the flesh: and what a representation is that? He is God’s eternal Son in whom dwells the fullness of the God head, yea even substantially. Seeing it is said, substantially, should we have portraitures and images whereby only the flesh may be represented? Is it not a wiping away of that which is chiefest in our Lord Jesus Christ, that is to wit, of his divine Majesty? Yes: and therefore whensoever a Crucifix stands mopping & mowing in the Church, it is all one as if the Devil had defaced the son of God. (Calvin, Sermon 23 on Deuteronomy).

Martin Luther, who could be rather blunt, said this about images:

"Damno imagines." ("Sponte sua caderent, si populus institutus scieret eas nihil esse coram deo." To Nikolaus Hausmann, WABr 2 [No. 459], lines 23-24. Translation: LW 48, p. 401).

An encounter with the human nature of Jesus should rightly move us to consider his eternal identity as the Son of God. This should transport us to a sphere of engaging worship with the Almighty. The Lord alone must be worshipped, but he must be worshipped only as he desires. Will-worship, that is, doing our own worship thing our own way, is not permitted by God. Judges 21:25 states, "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." Today, Christians have a King. He sits at the right hand of God. We are not to do what is right in our own eyes, but what is right in his own eyes (Deut. 4:1-2, 9, etc.). He has instructed us not to make images of him. That should be all we need to hear!

If a false image of Christ stirs up devotion towards God, it violates the second commandment (Exod. 20:4; Deut. 5:8). However, if it doesn’t stir up proper devotion of the One we are to worship, then it is a vain image; it’s just another ordinary picture of another ordinary man. But Jesus is anything but ordinary! Isaiah 40:18 states, "To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him?"

Deuteronomy 4:15-24 and Idols

There are some who say that the context of the second commandment found in Deuteronomy 4:15-24 was from a venue in which there was no image of God provided for imitation: "Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire"(Deut. 4:15). From this, they agree an image of God the Father can’t and shouldn’t be made. However, they believe that since Christ appeared in human form, he can be represented.

This argument seeks to prove too much. In redemptive history, God provided theophanies of himself. In the simplest of terms, a theophany is an appearance of God, and there are many in Scripture. Examples are a burning bush (Exod. 3:4-6), a meeting with Moses (Exod. 4:24), fire by night and cloud by day (Exod. 13:21-22; 14:19-24; 40:34-38), the seventy elders (Exod. 24:9-11), God upon his throne (Isa. 6:1) and among the cherubim (Ezek. 1, 10), the Ancient of Days (Dan. 7:1, 9-10). So, how is it they can say we may make images of Christ but not of God? To be clear, they biblically maintain that God can’t be depicted by an image, but doesn't saying Christ can be represented by an image make Christ a lesser or even perhaps a greater God? Jesus is equally God with the Father and the Spirit. No member of the Trinity should be depicted by an image unless authorized by God himself.

God is sovereign. Theophanies are all images that God personally authorized, but only God has the authority to disclose himself in the manner he desires to reveal himself. We shouldn’t usurp God’s prerogatives in the revelation of himself. We shouldn’t attempt to make Christ visible in our own way. The only images of Christ authorized by God is the sufficiency of Scripture and the sacraments therein. Think of how the Lord’s Supper is a reminder of the incarnation. Scripture says the teaching and preaching of the word of God is a setting forth of Christ himself; it is the Spirit’s display of him (Rom. 10:13-17; 1 Cor. 1:17-31). One must ask just what benefit there can possibly be from images made with human hands (Psa. 135:15-18). Richard Sibbes richly addresses this:

Oh but to behold Christ in the glass of the word, with a spirit of faith, that is the best picture and representation that can be! It is scarce worth spending so much time, as to confute that foolery, to have any grace wrought in the heart by such abominable means as that is, as they use it. Take it at the best, it is but a bastardly help, and bastardly means breed a bastardly devotion. For will God work grace in the heart by means of man’s devising? If pictures be any teachers, they are ‘teachers of lies,’ saith the prophet, Isa. 9:15; and in the church of God, till pastors and teachers became idols, idols never became teachers. Then came the doctrine of idols teaching of simple people, when idols became teachers a thousand years after Christ. So that the best picture to see Christ in, is the word and sacraments; and the best eye to see him with, is the eye of faith in the word and sacraments. Keep that clear, and we need no crucifixes, no such bastardly helps of bastardly devotion, devised by proud men that would not be beholden to God for his ordinances. (The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 4 [Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; W. Robertson, 1863], p. 252).

Commenting on the Lord’s Supper, Stephen Charnock once wrote:

This is all the picture Christ hath left of himself; he never appointed any images or crucifixes, never imprinted the features of his face upon Veronica’s napkin. (The Complete Works of Stephen Charnock, vol. 4 [Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; W. Robertson; G. Herbert, 1864-1866], p. 406).

The Apostles and the Image of Christ

Some assert that the apostles themselves had mental images of Jesus. I think this is very true. But thinking about Christ from their perspective was not the same thing as physically creating an image of him in their minds. Regarding the second commandment, question 109 of the WLC speaks of "… the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind …" To frame this in modern and memorable terms, we aren’t supposed to make or put together Mr. Potato Head versions of Jesus in our minds.

The apostles themselves did not have to manufacture images because they beheld the complete person of Christ as he actually was (and is). And we don’t see within the pages of Scripture that any of the apostles ever made a drawing or statue of Christ. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John didn’t use a picture of The Last Supper to inform us of Christ. Rather, we have their written words via the Holy Spirit as contained in the living Word of the living God! (John 1:14; cf. 1 Cor. 4:15; Eph. 1:13; Jas. 1:18).

The thoughts and images the apostles had of Christ were far different than any Mr. Potato Head versions we may manufacture today. They had the Word living in their very midst. Their recollections were of the actual historical Christ, the God-man, during the days of his incarnation. They tell us of Christ in both his human and divine nature. They saw Jesus sleep, eat, walk and sweat. They watched him perform miracles, cast out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead and walk on water. Peter, James, and John were even witnesses to the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-8); they literally saw the risen Christ!

As John tells us, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life" (1 John 1:1). They experienced the living God in his very person. The phrase, "the word of life" speaks of both Christ’s divine and human nature. In other words, the apostles observed the entire person of Jesus Christ (John 1:14) and worshiped him "in spirit and truth" (John 4:24).

Christ has ascended to sit at the right hand of God (Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11). We now live in the post-resurrection and ascension era. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:16, "From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer." This is to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). To assert that Christ is no longer known "according to the flesh" is to comprehend what John said above. It’s to know Christ as the ascended God-man. This is unique to Christ alone. So, an image of only Christ’s human nature, that is "after the flesh," is herein condemned and should be cast down (2 Cor. 10:5).

God’s Sovereignty and Idols

When a child beholds the image of a beautiful sunset they may be stirred within to say, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork" (Psa. 19:1). Even adults are drawn into worship by such an image. And this is proper worship because the image is provided by God and our worship is being directed towards him and not the celestial bodies. Worship is for the Christ we observe by way of Scripture and the sacraments it affirms. Man-made images of Christ are nowhere authorized by the Trinity. Nor are such false images capable of invoking proper worship within the believer. They are useless and vain and violate the second commandment of God.

We shouldn’t exchange "the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man …" (Rom. 1:23). We shouldn’t exchange "the truth about God for a lie" (Rom. 1:25). God is jealous for his own glory. He will not share the worship that he rightly deserves with a painting!

"I am the LORD; that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise unto graven images" (Isa. 42:8).

Take the Lord’s blessing to heart. It’s real! "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29).

Notes

[1] Heidelberg Confession

Question 96.
What doth God require in the second commandment?

Answer. That we in no wise represent God by images, nor worship him in any other way than he has commanded in his word.

Question 97.
Are images then not at all to be made?

Answer. God neither can, nor may be represented by any means: but as to creatures; though they may be represented, yet God forbids to make, or have any resemblance of them, either in order to worship them or to serve God by them.

Question 98.
But may not images be tolerated in the churches, as books to the laity?

Answer. No: for we must not pretend to be wiser than God, who will have his people taught, not by dumb images, but by the lively preaching of his word.

[2] The gods of Egypt were numerous. The Egyptian pantheon was full of distorted unnatural images of animals from the land, air and water: cats to Bastet, ibises and baboons to Thoth, crocodiles to Sobek and Ra, fish to Set, mongoose, shrew and birds to Horus, dogs and jackals to Anubis, serpents and eels to Atum, beetles to Khepera, bulls to Apis. Wiki. "Animal Worship." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_worship). Last Accessed 24 July 2021.

The ten plagues of Egypt were in part meant to show the superiority of Yahweh over the numerous gods of Egypt. The swarm of flies conquered Khepri, the Egyptian god of creation and the movement of the Sun. Lice from the dust of the earth overpowered Geb, the god of the earth. The Nile was turned into blood revealing the defeat of Hapi, the god of the Nile, etc. See the Chart in "Is there one God or many gods?" below.

[3] Lampstands with flowering blossoms (Exod. 25:31-35); pomegranates on the priest’s garments (Exod. 28:33); angels on the Ark of the Covenant (Exod. 25:18-20), etc. Israel’s tabernacle and temple had wood carvings that gave it a garden-like ambiance (1 Kings 6:18, 29, 32, 35; 7:18-20).

Related Topics

Is there one God or many gods?
The Truth About Images of Jesus, Part 1
The Truth About Images of Jesus, Part 2
The Truth About Images of Jesus, Part 3
The Truth About Images of Jesus, Part 4
The Truth About Images of Jesus, Part 5

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).