Hello, what are Catholics opinion on graven images?
I am trying to learn about the Roman Catholic Church in some of my free time and one of the things I've noticed is that there are a lot of what God 
labels as "graven images".  

Exodus 20:4 KJV
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."

I am wondering how the RCC makes peace/gets around with this key commandment that God gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai?

Thank you
Hello Austin, that is a great question, and one that was hotly debated in the earlier centuries of the Church. For a sad hundred or so years in late antiquity, there were who we call Iconoclasts who opposed the veneration of images that had become so universal in the Church (here icon means any physical representation of Christ, the saints etc.). We have many great saints who spoke against the Iconoclast position and wrote many defenses of the use and veneration of images. At the heart of the veneration of images is the fact that Catholicism is incarnational in nature: the Word became flesh. This has a huge amount of implications for us, as Christ's incarnation did not change his nature, but it changed our nature, for human nature was elevated, the material and the physical are not absolutely separated, matter is not intrinsically evil, and spiritual things are not exclusively good. The many reasons why we venerate images, and why these are not the graven images spoken of in Old Testament is treated in the Second Council of Nicea. But perhaps St. John of Damascus most aptly summarizes the Catholic position, saying: "I do not worship matter, but the Creator of matter, who for my sake became material and deigned to dwell in matter, who through matter effected my salvation."
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Well I would hope that you do not worship the creation over the creator. But it still doesn't make sense, the commandment is to not make "any" graven image. Yet somehow it is justified through unorthodox almost gnostic type interpretations of scripture and view of Christs life and death as you said.
What comes to mind when I read your justifications of "venerating" graven images is when Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees and scribes about,
well here I'll just quote scripture.

Mark 7:6-13 KJV
"6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye."

I feel like there are no view points that should make Gods word of none effect, is that no what is going on here? Or am I seeing this wrong?
So God violated his own law when he told Moses to make a bronze serpent, and display it to the people?
Austin, may I presume you are coming from a Protestant background?

Would you agree with the statement that, even though the Scripture may appear to contradict itself, it never actually does?  

Do you agree that passages must be understood in proper context?

You quoted Exodus as follows:

Exodus 20:4 KJV

"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."

However, take a look at Exodus 36:6-10:

Then he made the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—from pure gold. It was 45 inches long and 27 inches wide.[b] He made two cherubim from hammered gold and placed them on the two ends of the atonement cover. He molded the cherubim on each end of the atonement cover, making it all of one piece of gold. The cherubim faced each other and looked down on the atonement cover. With their wings spread above it, they protected it.

Now also look at Exodus 26:31-33:

31 “For the inside of the Tabernacle, make a special curtain of finely woven linen. Decorate it with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and with skillfully embroidered cherubim. 32 Hang this curtain on gold hooks attached to four posts of acacia wood. Overlay the posts with gold, and set them in four silver bases. 33 Hang the inner curtain from clasps, and put the Ark of the Covenant[g] in the room behind it. This curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.

So here you have the Israelites commanded to make images of the cherubim for the ark of the covenant and for the curtain that divided the holy place from the most holy place.  If merely making such images is condemned, how is God able to command the Israelites to make these images.

Someone also mentioned the image of the serpent that Moses fashioned.  The Bible records what happened to that image after the Israelites arrived in Canaan.  It also records that, later, King Hezekiah had it destroyed:

2 Kings 18

Hezekiah King of Judah
18 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years.His mother’s name was Abijah[a] daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.[b])

Why did Hezekiah destroy it?  Because the Israelites were burning incense to it.  They were worshipping it.  God commanded Moses to fashion the serpent so that all the Israelites in the desert who had been bitten by the serpent might look upon it and be healed, and later it was seen as righteous when the King of Israel destroyed the same image because it was being worshipped instead of God.  So the commandment not to created any graven images does not mean the creation of any images at all is forbidden, but rather, it means it is forbidden to worship images as God.

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  • Justin Alphonsus
While Catholics do condemn worshipping graven images as gods, we believe it is fine and even good to honor God and his saints by making images of them not to worship the images themselves but rather to give honor to the one depicted. Before Christ came to earth it was forbidden to depict God in any form but because Christ took a physical form he himself became became an image, an icon if you will, of the Father so now it is no longer wrong to depict God as long as it is actually God being worshipped rather than the picture or statue.

It is considered a grave sin to actually worship an object as if it were God but by honoring the object as a representation of God we give honor to God Himself. 

Christians have been depicting God and the saints in murals and paintings since the times of the Roman persecutions or maybe earlier, why is it that all of a sudden the majority of Christians throughout history are wrong and even evil for doing these things? Is seems that someone would have said something but nobody did for hundreds of years until the iconoclasts who were effectively disproven.

Also this is nothing at all like Gnosticism which stated that matter was inherently evil and spirit was inherently good. Catholics believe God created the physical reality for His own glory, the Bible says that after He created everything He saw that it was "very too". After the sin of Adam, the world was tainted but because Christ entered the world it it was made holy.
Surréxit Dóminus vere, Alleluia!
Tertullian Against Marcion Book 2 ch 22 (160-240 ad)

"The brazen serpent and the golden cherubim were not violations of the Second Commandment. Their meaning. [+] Likewise, when forbidding the similitude to be made of all things which are in heaven, and in earth, and in the waters, He declared also the reasons, as being prohibitory of all material exhibition of a latent idolatry. For He adds: "Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor serve them." The form, however, of the brazen serpent which the Lord afterwards commanded Moses to make, afforded no pretext for idolatry, but was meant for the cure of those who were plagued with the fiery serpents? I say nothing of what was figured by this cure. Thus, too, the golden Cherubim and Seraphim were purely an ornament in the figured fashion of the ark; adapted to ornamentation for reasons totally remote from all condition of idolatry, on account of which the making a likeness is prohibited; and they are evidently not at variance with this law of prohibition, because they are not found in that form of similitude, in reference to which the prohibition is given."

John Chrysostom Homilies 10 Ephesians [347-407 AD]

"For like a conflagration indeed, or like a thunderbolt hurled from on high, have they lighted upon the roof of the Church, and yet they rouse up no one; but whilst our Father's house is burning, we are sleeping, as it were, a deep and stupid sleep. And yet who is there whom this fire does not touch? Which of the statues that stand in the Church? for the Church is nothing else than a house built of the souls of us men. Now this house is not of equal honor throughout, but of the stones which contribute to it, some are bright and shining, whilst others are smaller and more dull than they, and yet superior again to others. There we may see many who are in the place of gold also, the gold which adorns the ceiling. Others again we may see, who give the beauty and gracefulness produced by statues. Many we may see, standing like pillars. For he is accustomed to call men also also on account of their beauty, adding as they do, much grace, and having their heads overlaid with gold."

John Chrysostom Homilies 21 on the Statues par 10 [347-407 AD]

"Were your Statues thrown down? You have it in your power again to set up others yet more splendid."


Notice how these very early Christians I've quoted, as well as Florus in an earlier post, supported the use of statues/images in their churches. That's because having statues is not prohibited; worshipping them as gods, however, is.

I'd also like to say welcome to FishEaters forums! I hope you have all your questions answered here and get a better understanding of why Catholics believe what we do. :)
(07-17-2017, 12:57 AM)Dominicus Wrote: It is considered a grave sin to actually worship an object as if it were God but by honoring the object as a representation of God we give honor to God Himself. 

Which is why Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. Otherwise we would be condemning ourselves every time we go to Adoration.

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From FE: https://www.fisheaters.com/statues.html

[Image: duraeuropasynagogue.jpg]

God's prohibition against "graven images" (pecel is the relevant Hebrew word, which the Jews translated as "eidoloi", i.e. "idols," in the Septuagint) in the First Commandment (or Second Commandment, depending on your numbering system of the Decalogue) in no way prohibits art; it's a prohibition against the making of idols, i.e., false gods. This can be the ONLY interpretation of this Commandment for any other interpretation would make a liar out of God -- blasphemy! He commands Moses to make a fiery serpent (Numbers 21:8) and commands the Israelites to adorn the Ark of the Covenant with statues of gilded cherubim (Exodus 25 and Exodus 26). Solomon's Temple was dripping in ornateness -- carved cherubim, palm trees, open flowers (I Kings 6) -- and it was commanded to be so by God (1 Chronicles 28:18-19). Ezekiel's visionary Temple (Ezekiel 41) was likewise filled with statuary... And what to make of interior of the 3rd c. Dura Europus Synagogue, literally covered in frescoes (see picture above)? Or the decoration of the 4th c. Hammath Synagogues near Tiberias? From the very earliest times, Christians have used images to aid in worship. Here is how 19th c. archaeologist Rodolfo Lanciani describes his investigation of just one single area of the Christian Catacombs:
When, on December 19, I entered the cubiculum no. 54, in which the paintings are, and he began to point out to me the outlines of figures and objects, I thought he was laboring under an optical delusion; I could see nothing beyond a blackened and mouldy plaster surface. My eyes, however, soon became initiated to the new experience, and able to round the lines of this curious palimpsest. The dark spots soon grew into shape, and lovely groups, inspired by the purest Christian symbolism, appeared on the walls. There are thirteen pictures, representing the following-named subjects: the Annunciation, the three Magi following the star (which is shaped like the monogram Chi-Rho), their Adoration at Bethlehem, the Baptism of our Lord, the Last Judgment, the healing of the blind, the woman of Samaria, the Good Shepherd (twice), the Orantes (twice).

[Image: goodshepherd.jpg]
Christ as the Good Shepherd
from the Priscilla Catacombs

See the fresco of Christ as the Good Shepherd from the Priscilla Catacombs and the statue of Christ as the Good Shepherd, ca. A.D. 225, at right and below respectively.

Catholics use statuary and other icons in the same way most people use photographs of their children on their desks at the office: to remind them of someone. A statue of Christ reminds us where all salvation comes from. Seeing an icon of Mary reminds us of her humility before her Son and Savior and acts as a "window into Heaven". A statue of St. Francis of Asissi reminds us of his obedience. A statue of Thérèse of Lisieux reminds us that all of us can find sainthood even if we're "little" and "unimportant". And so on. [see Communion of Saints for more on the Saints themselves as opposed to representations of them]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes very clear the Catholic stance against idolatry:
2112 The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of "idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see." These empty idols make their worshippers empty: "Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them."God, however, is the "living God" who gives life and intervenes in history.

2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon." Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast" refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.

2114 Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man's innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who "transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God." [quoting Origen's Contra Celsum]
Another important thing to keep in mind when considering whether or not images displease God, which they obviously don't in themselves or He wouldn't have commanded the Israelites to make some, is to remember that God became flesh in the Person of Jesus Christ. Christ is an "icon" of the Father: "He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him Who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him Who sent Me" (John 12:44-45). Christ is "iconic" in the sense that there was God Himself, in a form that we can see. As St. John of Damascas (b. A.D. 676) wrote:

"It is obvious that when you contemplate God becoming man, then you may depict Him clothed in human form. When the invisible One becomes visible to flesh, you may then draw His likeness. When He who is bodiless and without form, immeasurable in the boundlessness of His own nature, existing in the form of God, empties Himself and takes the form of a servant in substance and in stature and is found in a body of flesh, then you may draw His image and show it to anyone willing to gaze upon it"

If you truly believe, though, that God doesn't want people making statues, icons, or other images at all, for any reason, be sure to contact the Louvre and have them throw out all the Bernini and Michelangelo sculpture and paintings by Rembrandt... We might have to get rid of the Lincoln Memorial and Mount Rushmore, also. Oh, and don't forget to toss out your daughter's dolls, your "Precious Moments" figurines, teddy bear refrigerator magnets, family pictures, and video collection, too! The Taliban awaits you.


Most statues in Catholic Churches aren't "graven" anyway; they come from plaster molds. I wouldn't have thought about getting persnickety about such things, but then I came across this conversation online (edited):

Tessy62 - what exactly is a graven image?
BrBob - Carved
decrease - it is like idol, Tessy.
BrBob - Like a statue
Tessy62 - what about crosses in churches, statues in catholic churches?
flick - does it have to be carved or just made by man?
DelaYah - graven......6459. pecel, peh'-sel; from H6458; an idol:--carved (graven) image.
BrBob - Yeah, Tessy
Tessy62 - those are wrong too?
Schmuel - yep they are graven images
decrease - yeah there are many relics, statue of Mary, etc in Catholic churches.
DelaYah - very wrong!
deemike - what if i carved a bear out of wood and sold it for a way to make my food
Tessy62 - gee.
BrBob - No problem with that
Tessy62 - as long u dont worship it right?
BrBob - Unless you worship the bear
Schmuel - or the food
claudia - deemike.....I think it is something you bow the knee to or worship
deemike - that is what i think also
Tessy62 - thats chilling. i bet people dont think about it..even crosses are wrong?
BrBob - Most don't care
BrTom - Sorry
Tessy62 - wow. u dont have any of that in ur churches?
Tessy62 - it makes one think.
BrBob - You should do a search on religious symboism
BrBob - You will be amazed
Tessy62 - what about necklaces?
BrBob - Wait till you find out what the Washington Monument is
deemike - i have some glass bears that my son gave me when he was a little boy
BrTom - The glass bears are OK

Hmmm, so: images of Mary and crosses are bad (whether they are truly "graven" or not); graven images of bears are OK, at least if you sell them for food; glass images of bears are most definitely OK, at least if given to you by your son. In fact all images -- even "graven" ones! -- seem to be OK unless they're Catholic or the Washington Monument (which probably is a Masonic thing).

It's either that sort of hypocrisy that's being shown above, or it's a simple matter of their not believing that Catholics don't worship plaster, wood, or marble, no matter how many Catholics tell them they don't, no matter how deeply the Catechism expresses the Church's abhorrence of idolatry. The only answer to that, I guess, is "whatever."
[Image: christcaAD225.gif]
Christ as the Good Shepherd,
ca. A.D. 225

Or is it the respect shown for sacred objects that's the problem? Catholics bow to icons and pray in front of (not to!) statues -- surely that's idolatry, eh? Nope. I don't know about you, but when the American flag comes out, my hand goes right over my heart. Am I worshipping cloth? I think not, and most Americans know the difference between respect shown for one's country through the flag and "cloth-worship." I also kiss pictures of family members (I can't help it; I'm Italian) but am not in love with photographs per se. And how much you want to bet that the owner of the glass bears above doesn't treat those bears with loving care? Is that "worship" of the glass bears or a simple expression of love for her son? Don't you have a special place in your house for Holy Scripture? Don't you treat that "mere paper" in a special way? I imagine that if you are like most Christians, the idea of throwing Scripture against the wall or spitting on it is nauseating. Does this mean you worship a book? The Ark of the Covenant with its carved cherubim and the stone tablets it contained were "things" that were treated with great reverence. Were the Israelites worshipping those objects? And if you still don't get it, would you mind if someone threw darts at pictures of your children? And if you were to mind, does that make you an idolator? I mean, really. Think about it.

There was a television show back in the day called "People are Funny," hosted by Art Linkletter. In an episode that aired on April 4, 1955, Mr. Linkletter invited a female champion skeet shooter on to the show, ostensibly to show off her skills with a gun. Pictures of various faces would drop down, and she was to shoot the images between the eyes. Unbeknownst to her, Mr. Linkletter arranged things such that one of the pictures that dropped was of the woman's husband. Here's how it went:
Mrs. Thompson: Ohhhhh no! (audience laughs)

Art Linkletter: Whats' the matter, Mrs. Thompson?

Mrs. Thompson: Well, that's my husband!

Art Linkletter: No, no, no, no, Mrs. Thompson, that is not your husband; --

Mrs. Thompson: Oh yes, it is!

Art Linkletter: --- that's a picture of your husband.

Mrs. Thompson: Oh, well, I still won't shoot him.

Art Linkletter: For forty dollars you won't shoot it?

Needless to say, Mrs. Thompson refused.
Because of the illogic and hypocrisy of some people's attitudes toward Catholics on this matter (similar Old Testament practices and post-Temple Jewish behaviors don't seem to bother these same people), I sometimes I think it all amount to bigotry against non-Jewish Mediterranean and Eastern cultures. Truly. The Pope kisses the ground of a country he visits, or a visitor to the Vatican kisses his ring (to honor his ministry, don't you know), and some Protestants have coronaries! Meanwhile, the Italian, the Spaniard, the Russian, the Pole, and the Greek "get it" just fine. I hate to break it to everyone, but the first Christians were Jews and Peter took his ministry to Rome, Italy, a place where the men kiss each other on the cheek, the women talk with their hands, and the children are above average. I can see how these physical, sometimes emotional displays can make someone who is not used to them uncomfortable, but -- well, we're perfectly fine with it, thanks. Just don't assume the worst ("They kiss the Pope's ring!!!!! They think he is God!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Devil-children, them Catlickers are!!!!).

Relevant Scripture

Genesis 1:31
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Exodus 13:19
And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.

Exodus 25:18-22
"And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the kapporeth. Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece with the kapporeth shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the kapporeth with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the kapporeth shall the faces of the cherubim be. And you shall put the kapporeth on the top of the ark; and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. There I will meet with you, and from above the kapporeth, from between the two cherubim that are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you of all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel."

Exodus 26:1
"Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen and blue and purple and scarlet stuff; with cherubim skilfully worked shall you make them."

Exodus 29:7
Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.

Exodus 30:25-31
And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense, And the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy. And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations.

Leviticus 2:13
And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.

Numbers 5:17
And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:

Numbers 21:8
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. [Note John 3:14 - "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up"]

Deuteronomy 6:4-8
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

1 Kings. 6:23-28
In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olivewood, each ten cubits high. Five cubits was the length of one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the length of the other wing of the cherub; it was ten cubits from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. The other cherub also measured ten cubits; both cherubim had the same measure and the same form. The height of one cherub was ten cubits, and so was that of the other cherub. He put the cherubim in the innermost part of the house; and the wings of the cherubim were spread out so that a wing of one touched the one wall, and a wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; their other wings touched each other in the middle of the house. And he overlaid the cherubim with gold.

1 Kings 6:29-30
And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without.

2 Kings 13:20-21
And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.

1 Chronicles 28:18-19
And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD. All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.

Ezekiel 9:4
And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

Ezekiel. 41:17-19
"And on all the walls round about in the inner room and the nave were carved likenesses of cherubim and palm trees, a palm tree between cherub and cherub. Every cherub had two faces: the face of a man toward the palm tree on the one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side. They were carved on the whole temple round about"

Matthew 26: 7-10
There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.

Mark 5:25
And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

Mark 6:13
And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

Mark 7:32-35
And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.

Mark 8:22-24
And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.

John 9:6
When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

Acts 5:15-16
Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

Acts 19:11-12
And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

Galatians 3:13-14
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

James 5:14
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

Revelation 7:3
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

Revelation 9:4
And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

Revelation 14:9-10
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb [the Antichrist has his sign, too!]

Vox Wrote:Behind all these sorts of questions is sola scriptura: https://www.fisheaters.com/solascriptura.html  You'll never understand Christianity properly if you go by the Bible alone unless you're an Historian who specializes in ancient Middle Eastern cultures, know the OT religion fluently, speak Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, understand typology, etc.  For ex., to see how Protestants get a radically skewed understanding of Mary because they grab their English-language Bibles and read them without the mind of the Church, see this from FE's page on Mary:

Some Protestants say that the use of the word "firstborn" proves that Mary had other children, but they are simply being ignorant of Jewish law, Pidyon ha-Ben in particular. Pidyon ha-Ben is the "Redemption of the Firstborn," who were to have been consecrated to God and serve as priests and Temple workers. The "firstborn" is the male child that "opens the womb". If the child that "opens the womb" is a female child, there is no "firstborn" for the family because the child that "opened the womb" is not a masculine child. If no more children are born after the firstborn, the firstborn still has the status and title of "firstborn." The relevant Torah verses are:


Exodus 13:2
Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.

Exodus 13:14-15
And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.

Numbers 18:15
Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the LORD, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be thine: nevertheless the firstborn of man shalt thou surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem.
Though the "Golden Calf" incident left the Temple roles to the Levites (see Numbers 8:14-18 and Numbers 18:15-16), the significance of the "firstborn" status remains to this day, and those who have this position must be "redeemed," which is done when the child is 31 days old by paying a small sum to a kohein (now a rabbi in the post-Temple Pharisaism known as Judaism). Luke 2:27 tells us of Jesus' Pidyon ha-Ben, "And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law..." Do a Google search for Pidyon ha-Ben to find out how the "Redemption of the Firstborn" is still practiced today (will open in a new browser window), or if you can't believe a Catholic, ask a Jew what "firstborn" means.
Vox Wrote:The Catholic Church is 2,000 years old and knows Scripture and how to understand it. In fact, it is the Church that made the Scripture we have today canonical (see https://www.fisheaters.com/septuagint.html). Pastor Joe-Bob down at the corner doesn't have a clue.
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  • In His Love, Justin Alphonsus
First, welcome to the forum! It is a pleasure having you! With In His Love, I would like to welcome you and hope you get the answers you are looking for!

I would second everything that Florus, Melkite and In His Love said, these are probably the better arguments for the use of icons and images of Our Lord and the Saints.  God Himself commanded the making of a "graven image" in the form of Cherubim, for the making of the Ark the Covenant, the most holy object to the Israelites.

I would also seriously encourage you to look into the Church Fathers, the first Christian leaders and thinkers after the Apostles had died.  Some of them were taught by the Apostles themselves or by men who had learned from the Apostles.  They are really useful when reading the Bible, and I would encourage you to use them in conjunction with one another, since the Bible can be very confusing. (Are icons okay for Christians (Exodus 20), is Jesus Christ really, truly present in the Eucharist and does he really want us to eat His Flesh and drink His Blood (John 6, Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-26, Luke 22:7-39), is the Bible the only authority, is Mary the Mother of God and Ever a Virgin, etc., etc.)  

At the bottom of this post, I will give you some links to Catholic and Protestant websites that have translations of their writings.  When you're reading them, remember that a lot of these guys are before Constantine and the Council of Nicaea.  

One last thing I will say is this.  If the Protestants are right, then there should be no fear in the reading what the earliest Christians wrote and everyone should become Protestant. If the Catholics are right, and the Church Fathers teach Catholic doctrine, well then we'd all better become Catholics.

I will leave that to you to decide! Hope we can answer any other questions you have! 

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, o Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Saviour and the Redeemer of our souls!

                                                      [Image: hailmary.jpg]
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  • In His Love

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