Orthodox Icons and the Gospel of James

I think this is the right area to post this.

My question and correct me if I am wrong of course, is from What i have read, that Orthodox Christianity rejects the Gospel of James as scripture and as cannon. And from what I can tell the Gospel of James is suppose to be read beside the Gospel of Thomas, which is completely rejected.

—Why do the Orthodox Make icons from the Gospel of James if it is rejected?
(Icons are suppose to be scripture in pictures)

Also, why is Ezekiel 44:2 not normally mentioned in perpetual virginity of Mary conversation? I would think that would have more weight than the Gospel of James.

As you said, it’s “scripture in pictures”. They even insist that they are “writing” icons. Heh…

But think about it, not everyone was literate back in the day. This helped. Same with Catholics and stations of the cross art.

Orthodox just reject any Gnosticism outright… just for being Gnosticism. That’s kind of a whole thread in itself.

I think you are referring to the Protevangelium of James, which is not part of the canon. Just to clarify.

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Yes that book. Why make icons from it if its rejected

Wait a second, that isn’t even a Gnostic writing, is it? Therefore they could make icons.

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It is an Apocryphal book, at least 2nd century AD.

Yes, Apocryphal, but the OP said Gnostic like Thomas… which is totally different. I guess I could explain, but in short, a lot of the apocryphal texts aren’t blatantly heretical or anything.

Correct. My understanding is that this book is the first to name the parents of the Virgin Mary as Joachim and Anna, which is the Catholic tradition.


To my knowledge they reject it as scripture and not just rejecting it as canon. Just like they do with the gospel of thomas. As such i assume the orthodox consider the gospel of james book gnostic too.
Point being if it is rejected as scripture why are they making icons from it? Considering those icons are suppose to be scriptures in pictures.
Mostly waiting for orthodox to shed light on this.

No, no. Thomas is condemned for being overtly heretical. Some of those other tales don’t teach anywhere near the same things. They just don’t canonize them because they’re hard to verify.

Gnosticism is rejected for believing the Old Testament God and the Jesus’ Father were two different Gods. And Gnostics were so overly spiritual that they hated anything material or flesh based - and therefore proclaimed that Jesus was never a Man either… but a spirit of sorts. Orthodox also reject Gnosticism because it taught a rite of “secret knowledge” (gnosis) reserved for only an elite few. It was similar to old Greek mystery cults (Platonism and Pythagoreanism). In the Gospel of Thomas, this “elitism” was demonstrated everywhere, like when Jesus takes only certain disciples to the side to tell them the “truth”, while intentionally keeping everyone idiots. This is the same with the Gospels of Mary Magadalene…where Jesus turned all of the Apostles into fools, but took Mary to the side to give her the true “Gnosis”. The Church rejected this because it promoted equality… one gospel for all.

Ok. Why is the gospel of james rejected? Or is that misinformation?

It’s just rejected for apparently not being authentic.

It could be that the names of Mary’s parents are from an older tradition that both the church and the writer of James is relying on.

The Protoevangelium of James is Apocryphal, meaning it is not part of the canon, but is deemed to have partial truth to it. The gospel of Thomas on the other hand, is Gnostic, so it is deemed to be heretical.


Could there be such a thing as partial truth scripture?
I just dont get why icons are made from it if its not reliable or authentic or just partially true i guess.

The church predates these writings. Like I said, the church would have known Mary’s parents names, since she lived with them, was at Pentecost and further…

The writer of this particular gospel is just one stream that wasn’t authentic. It doesn’t mean it’s the only one.

Yeah i suppose they would. So i guess its all on tradition? There are a few icons made from that book though. Such as a cave vs a stable for the birth which i dont find a big deal… Just blurry.

I might have to look at it again. I have a copy, but it’s vague.

Like how the writings of St Ignatius of Antioch aren’t Scripture. Doesn’t mean it’s not true.

I dont think the orthodox makes icons from that though?

Ignatius simply isn’t accepted as canon because it isn’t Apostolic material. But the generation or two afterward. But the infancy gospels make a different claim – and fall short.

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