Is having a crucifix and religious photos of Jesus and monuments against Exodus 20?


No. You don’t worship the photos or the monuments themselves, do you? If you do, then it would be a violation, but if not, then no.

I am YHWH, your God, who brought you out of Egypt, from the house of slaves.
There must not be for you other gods upon my face.
You shall not make for yourself a pesel
, or any temunah* that is in the heavens above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the waters below the earth.
You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I, YHWH your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the sons, and upon the third and upon the fourth of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.*”

Pesel: From the verb pasal, “to hew [into shape]”, “fashion by cutting” or “to carve”). Biblical usages of the word would suggest a sort of image hewn from stone or cut from wood (later, also those cast from metal). Most occurrences of the noun pesel in the Old Testament generally takes it to mean a sort of cultic image and occurs almost exclusively in the context of references to imagery, hence some modern translations choose to render this word as “idol”.

Temunah: Hebrew for “image”, “form” or “likeness” (cf. Deuteronomy 4:12, 15-16, 23, 25; Job 4:16), this refers to the mental pattern from which the pesel is constructed. If this is to stand as a second object to the verb, then the verb itself takes a slightly different nuance here. It would convey “you shall not make an idol, neither shall you conceive a form/likeness” for worship. Some simply make the second word qualify the first; i.e. “you shall not make an idol in the form of…”.

This was the topic of the second council of Nicaea in the eighth century. Their answer to your question: no.
From that article:
“Proof of the lawfulness of the veneration of icons was drawn from Exodus 25:19 sqq.; Numbers 7:89; Hebrews 9:5 sqq.; Ezekiel 41:18, and Genesis 31:34, but especially from a series of passages of the Church Fathers;[1] the authority of the latter was decisive.”

The argument made by the icondules against the iconclasts was that since God ordered the creation of religious statues at certain times, that it wasn’t always unlawful to create them. Catholics nowadays would say that God was saying that He didn’t want the Israelites to offer worship to images, create idols, or make false representations of God.

Good point! :slight_smile: A few examples of these are:

[LIST]*]The winged creatures, the cherubim, on the kapporet (aka “mercy seat”) of the Ark of the Covenant
*]The menorah, which had forms of almond blossoms and bulbs
*]The cherubim embroidered on the curtains of the Tabernacle
*]The brazen serpent, aka Nehushtan[/LIST]

Also, if we are to take the commandment in a very extreme manner - that we should NOT make or create anything carved, engraved, or hewn (‘graven’), then God would have also been guilty of violating His law when He wrote on the two tablets:

Moses turned and went down from the mountain, and the two tablets of the Testimony were in his hand, tablets written on both their sides - on one side and on the other were they written. And the tablets were the work of Elohim, and the writing was the writing of Elohim, engraved on the tablets.

-Exodus 32:15-16


BTW, if you know where we can get a real, authtentic photo of Jesus, please let us know.

I would not pick a single command in Exodus to go on if I wasn’t prepared to follow each and every command in the hebrew bible. I mean, why stop at Exodus 20? Take a look at some of the other ones in there, and I doubt you will decide to follow them.:o

I have one … I just do not know how to get it to you ! My computer skills are rudimentary at best.:shrug:

While that is a very nice painting of Jesus, I fail to see it being real or authentic in the way most people would use the words real or authentic.

If you are claiming it’s real to the person who painted it from their idea of what Jesus looked like, that is a different thing.

Myself, I like iconography of Jesus much better.

I’d like to see a painting of Jesus using the image on the Shroud of Turin.

I agree with StrawberryJam here. That is a very good painting, but that is hardly a ‘real and authentic photo’; i.e. a portrait showing the actual Jesus. IMHO, the Jesus of the painting has this faint resemblance to Robert Powell in Jesus of Nazareth - minus the rather (in)famous blue eyes that Robert has.

I know of at least one:

As an aside, have you ever heard about the Vignon Markings? These are a number of common characteristics visible in many early artistic pictures of Jesus - in some form they continue to be represented today in Eastern icons. French Shroud scholar Paul Vignon connected these with the image on the Shroud. For example, this page shows the purported similarities that a mid-6th century Pantocrator icon from St. Catherine’s at Sinai has with the Shroud in detail.

Why do we need photos of Jesus? He is in our heart, in our soul, if you truely believe you have no need of images, of icons. We were created in God’s image, so we know God.

It’s not a matter of need. All of us have different ways of learning also. Some of us are auditory learners, some visual. Others, combinatinons of both and there are even more examples, I think you get my point.

It’s not a need to have a bible either. It’s not a need to take a shower either. But, some find it helpful. It’s safe to do. Just as safe as it is to have a picture of your child or puppy or friend on the wall somewhere. If they are okay in church to have, why not at home?

This is correct. But, we humans do need visual reminders of some sort, in a sense. For one, we humans often tend to think lightly of something or someone we cannot see - I mean, this is the reason why backstabbing often happens when the calumniated is not present. This is also one of the reasons why it is so easy to sin and even to deny the existence of God: because, well, He’s invisible. We can’t normally see Him with our naked eyes. We can just ignore God, take Him for granted. “The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.

Yeah, I’ve heard/seen this one before but it just doesn’t hold any water, for several reasons, not the least of which is the glaring fact that we Catholics categorically DO NOT worship any statues, icons, pictures, or anyone but the Lord God Almighty and never have and never will. There is no document in the Church that ever teaches such a foolish thing, though there are apparently some a-Cs who dearly wish it were so.

You may find the following article on my blog of some help and feel free to PM me if you need anything else at all. :thumbsup:

Iconoclasm: Or: Catholics Worship Graven Images NOT

Christians who use Exodus 20 against Catholics are hypocrites, pure and simple.

“You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”

…or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth…

Show me a Christian who does not have, does not use, any likeness of anything on earth.

Bravo! You show an amazing amount of common sense.

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