Protestants & and Catholics who were former Protestants only

Many bibles come with pictures in them. For instance the picture of Jesus sitting by the wayside with a group of children. Or Jesus on Easter Sunday morning appearing to Mary Magdelene. Although cameras didn’t exist then, we have no way of knowing from the Bible what Jesus looked like. Yet it seems that when someone is shown a picture of Jesus in a holy card, he is recognized. Which leads me to this question: how do people really react to the picture of Jesus? And I am more interested in the real Protestant reaction since so many of their bibles have picture scenes of Jesus in them.

So if you are Protestant, I know what the Protestant inclination to such pictures are, but really how do you personally feel about such pictures of Jesus, which includes portrate pictures of him?

I would like to also include catholics who have been former protestants and hear their reactions when they were protestant. So please vote if so.

As a test, you wake up one morning and go out to get the newpaper and there you find on your front stoop a picture of Jesus, 4 1/2 inches by 6 inches in an envelope.

What would you really do with that picture of Jesus?

Catholics, if you have ever been Protestant, please answer like you would if you were still Protestant.

Im going to be honest my dads mother is very protestant and she has pictures of Jesus in her home not the sacred heart or him crucified but a beautiful peaceful jesus and growing up I was taught that Jesus pictures were ok just not mary or saints so I can honestly say Id display it

Display it somewhere.

I was raised Anglican, and my parish church (in Australia) had stained glass windows with images of Jesus, and my Bible had the kind of pictures you describe, so I never had a problem with images of Jesus.

I would probably have seen the picture in the envelope as a message from God.

Towards the end of my Protestantism, at age 21, I became more “fundamental” and if that phase had continued, I might have become iconoclastic, however in a short time I veered towards Catholicism.

Once I started thinking about Catholicism I never had the slightest problem with statues and pictures, because I saw quite intuitively that these were a sign of the rightness of Catholicism, rather than an error. I sensed then, what is described in the CCC: “2131 Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate Word, the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787) justified against the iconoclasts the veneration of icons - of Christ, but also of the Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints. By becoming incarnate, the Son of God introduced a new “economy” of images.”.

The verse which, more than any other, propelled me into Catholicism was 1 John 4:2 “This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh be longs to God,…”.

Um, :hmmm:

If he’s got silky brown hair, weak eyes, foppish hands and a halo, Ill probably throw it away. Then again, if he looks like Che Guevara I’d probably still throw it away.

Um, :hmmm:

If, on the other hand, he looked like a real man was supposed to look like …? :knight1: Heck, I dunno Fred. How do you draw a picture that combines meek with powerful?

I would still probably throw it away. I don’t like clutter. If I kept everything that was attached to my door or cards that people gave me I would have to rent a storage building.

Are you talking about a photograph, or a painting? Is it realistic or “sweet”? (I’ve never liked sentimental pictures, of Jesus or anyone else.) I am an informed voter; therefore I can’t vote yet.

Also, there’s all kinds of Protestants, and each one has their own individual tastes…whether images are allowed or not, whether sappy stuff is allowed or not…does it match the couch…:smiley:

My response would have then to go and pick the pictures of family and friends off the wall and throw them away. When they yell at me, I would say that she said that if pictures of saints aren’t okay, then pictures of family wouldn’t be okay either.

Where are all the proddies around here? I feel like a pork chop in a synagogue. :o

  1. You might want to do a Google Image search and post the picture you mean.
  2. Just wondering the reason for the question?


I am a Protestant and I don’t have any problem with pictures and images of Jesus or other biblical persons.

But still, I would probably throw it out since its a newspaper picture and they are usually of low quality.

But if the picture was really awesome, I would probably keep it.

I had pictures in my first Bible (when I was 8), and there were pictures in our family Bible (more like lithographs), but I haven’t owned a Bible with pictures in it since I’ve been an adult (with the exception of my first Bible, which was stolen from my car years ago). If someone left a picture in an envelope on my door, with no explanation of who it was, who left it, or why it was there, I would definitely throw it away. I don’t know what the real Jesus looked like, so how could I be sure that’s who it was supposed to be? (I went to school with a few guys named Jesus, but they pronounced it with a Spanish accent) I don’t have a problem with photos or portraits of family and friends (I know them in some way, and can be sure the pictures are reasonably accurate).

I’d probably display it somewhere.

This poll gives kind of a false image of Protestants, though. Most Protestants do not reject the concept of depicting Jesus, but instead reject the veneration of that image. They are completely different things.

Most attempts at portraying Jesus are just too cheezy for me.

The sketch made from the Shroud is the only one I really like.

Former Protestant in RCIA

I think now and before, it would depend in what it was.

Is it a picture on the cover of The Watchtower magazine?


If it was just a small clean picture it would probably sit on my counter with other papers for a while and eventually end up in a drawer or maybe my Bible.

Although, now I do keep a “prayer bulletin board”. We cut the pictures out of all the families from our Christmas cards and pin them on the board along with a few bible verses. We then use the board to remember people to pray for. Then as the year goes on funeral cards and other things get added to the board do maybe I would pin it on there.

Reply about the picture of Jesus I had in mind to:

House Harkonnen
Randy Carson
Jon S

Here is the picture

By the way I want to thank you for your replies. I picked this one because I thought it would be about what type of man he would look like. I need your input because I would like to give these to people to inspire their thoughts and hearts toward Jesus. I thought this would be a picture to do this. Everyone needs some incouragement from time to time and a little reminder to think of him. But if more people would reject this picture than to accept and use it, then I might think of something else to help them. I’m not particularly aiming this at Protestants only, but catholics as well. But I feel I already know what reaction catholics would have to this.

So again thanks for your answers.

I like it!

I wold probably be more likely to keep something like that. One thing to remember about Protestants (speaking from my evangelical background) is that it is all about that "mental/spiritual relationship with Christ. They don’t engage the physical body in the relationship with God as much as Catholics. So they are less likely to feel the need for visual reminders or prescribed prayers. So I doubt many Protestants would keep something like this.

That said, I am sure most would read it and get a little something from it, even if it ends up in the trash.

Maybe you do a test area. Distribute the cards and then a few days later knock on some doors, not to evangelize per say, but just to get feedback on what they thought of the card.

Im not sure concerning the pros and cons of the shroud of Turin, but its a rather nice picture IMHO.

I would not use it to help pray though. Just knowing he is the Son of God is enough for me.

Interesting question Fred! I grew up Baptist and we didn’t really have any images of Jesus. But at the church vestibule there was a big panting of the well known portrait of Jesus which is perhaps the most common in Protestant churches. I just googled it and the painter was Warner Salman and over 500,000 copies have been produced. Here’s a link to see:

I’ve been Catholic now for 15 years and here’s an interesting thing that happened once… About 5 or so years ago, my not-yet-Catholic step-mom drew an image of Jesus. She was raised Church of Christ and has been Baptist since she married my dad. The amazing thing is that she drew this image from a dream she had and she said but it doesn’t “look like Jesus” and when we went to visit them she showed us and I was amazed! It is VERY similar to that ancient icon, I think it’s the oldest image of Jesus ever done and I think it was by St Luke. So I told her and she was shocked. So we bought her that icon and sent it to her. She was amazed! It’s that image where Jesus has one eye slightly bigger than the other. I just googled it and here’s what it looks like:

It says its the oldest icon of Christ and is at the monetary in Sinai Egypt.

I checked out the link of the image you showed. I really like it! That one from the shroud of Turin I think would appeal and be easily recognize able to all. Plus you have the miraculous historical background behind it too!

On a side note, have you also seen the one of Jesus that if you look closely you can see scenes from his ministry? It’s pretty cool too and some of my Protestant family has that one up in their homes.

Also, have you seen the black and white one that looks like a photo negative that if you stare at it for like 20 sec then close your eyes you see him with your eyes closed. Very cool also and youth like that.

Best wishes with your mission to make Jesus better known!


I am a non-Catholic Christian (Protestant) who grew up with pictures of Jesus in our Bibles and other literature about salvation. I think that pictures of Jesus are to be revered in awe and love for the sacrifice He made for us. It is a reminder of who we are supposed to be living our lives to be like.

To me, it would be a sign from God, so I would probably remove it from the envelope, go find a frame, and hang it in a prominant place in my home, so when people ask about it, I can tell them all about Jesus and his great love for us.


When I was a Protestant images of Christ etc. didn’t bother me much. But I didn’t become a Christian in the full sense till i was 28, and at no time did I fall under fundamentalist influence. So I had no strong feelings about the issue either way.

And our family was not religious, so I didn’t come pre-loaded with family likes or dislikes about religious art and icons.

My wife is Baptist, but she had no problem with putting a copy of Michangelo’s “Last Supper” on our bedroom wall, even though none of us know what Christ looked like, including Michelangelo (he’d know now though).

I suppose the most extreme example of iconoclasm I’ve heard about was when my old pastor mentioned some Protestant church somewhere in Germany, which had nothing but a table up the front, plus some wooden pews. The walls were white washed, and the only music instrument was a tuning fork.

His comment was that they’d gotten art mixed up with idolatory.

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