• The commandment isn't specifically against making pictures or statues. It is against worshiping the images themselves. For example, in the book of Exodus, the Israelites created a golden calf when Moses went up the mountain. The problem wasn't that they created the image, but the fact that they were worshiping it as their god. So the statues of Jesus are ok because they are not worshiped directly, only used to get spiritually closer to Jesus.
    • Jenny_Rizzo
      Quote: "The commandment isn't specifically against making pictures or statues." Think again. Exodus 20:4 "[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."
    • Thinker
      Jenny, it isn't the making as Falcon said, it is the worshiping of the image or making the image a god. Roman Catholicism comes very close to this with some of their statues.
    • mushroom
      Roman orders to erect a statue of Caligula within the Temple gates led to Judean insurrection and the eventual siege of Jerusalem by Titus.
      @Jenny: #1 - Don't stop there. Keep reading. . . . #2 - Then, please read Exodus 25.
  • I quote Exodus chapter 20 verse 4 "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". A statue of Jesus reflects him as he was on the earth, which is acceptable.
  • Revelator is wrong (again...and as usual with regard to the Catholic Church) This is exactly what the commandment says about images in Deuteronomy 5:8-9, "8 Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any things, that are in heaven above, or that are in the earth beneath, or that abide in the waters under the earth. 9 Thou shalt not adore them, and thou shalt not serve them." The other version reads this way: (Exodus 20: 4-5) "4 Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. 5 Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them:" The clear prohibition is against the worship of any created image...NOT the making of such images... If this was so then God is inconsistent in His laws since He told Moses to make the image of the brass serpent and lift it up...which is used as a type of Christ in the NT (John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up:) Also: If all images are wrong then again, why did God TELL the Jews to adorn the top of the Ark of the Covenant with statues of 2 angels? Exodus 25:18 Thou shalt make also two cherubims of beaten gold, on the two sides of the oracle. 19 Let one cherub be on the one side, and the other on the other. 20 Let them cover both sides of the propitiatory, spreading their wings, and covering the oracle, and let them look one towards the other, their faces being turned towards the propitiatory wherewith the ark is to be covered. God inconsistent? Of course not! Is man stupid about some things? Indeed he is... Where did the whole iconoclastic heresy come from? The Moslems! Yeah, that's right...the whole heresy is Islamic...NOT Christian at all. (Look into one of the most opressive aspects of the Talliban rule in Afghanistan.) It dates from about the 9th century or so and for the whole story on it go here and see the history. Then when you're through being embarrased for believing something that is completely can go down to the nearest Catholic Book store and get yourself a nice statue of Jesus or a Crucifix. See ya at Mass! Pax vobiscum,
  • Comcerning "icons" the Catechism of the Catholic Church has this to say: Holy images 1159 The sacred image, the liturgical icon, principally represents Christ. It cannot represent the invisible and incomprehensible God, but the incarnation of the Son of God has ushered in a new "economy" of images: Previously God, who has neither a body nor a face, absolutely could not be represented by an image. But now that he has made himself visible in the flesh and has lived with men, I can make an image of what I have seen of God . . . and contemplate the glory of the Lord, his face unveiled.27 1160 Christian iconography expresses in images the same Gospel message that Scripture communicates by words. Image and word illuminate each other: We declare that we preserve intact all the written and unwritten traditions of the Church which have been entrusted to us. One of these traditions consists in the production of representational artwork, which accords with the history of the preaching of the Gospel. For it confirms that the incarnation of the Word of God was real and not imaginary, and to our benefit as well, for realities that illustrate each other undoubtedly reflect each other's meaning.28 1161 All the signs in the liturgical celebrations are related to Christ: as are sacred images of the holy Mother of God and of the saints as well. They truly signify Christ, who is glorified in them. They make manifest the "cloud of witnesses"29 who continue to participate in the salvation of the world and to whom we are united, above all in sacramental celebrations. Through their icons, it is man "in the image of God," finally transfigured "into his likeness,"30 who is revealed to our faith. So too are the angels, who also are recapitulated in Christ: Following the divinely inspired teaching of our holy Fathers and the tradition of the Catholic Church (for we know that this tradition comes from the Holy Spirit who dwells in her) we rightly define with full certainty and correctness that, like the figure of the precious and life-giving cross, venerable and holy images of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, our inviolate Lady, the holy Mother of God, and the venerated angels, all the saints and the just, whether painted or made of mosaic or another suitable material, are to be exhibited in the holy churches of God, on sacred vessels and vestments, walls and panels, in houses and on streets.31 1162 "The beauty of the images moves me to contemplation, as a meadow delights the eyes and subtly infuses the soul with the glory of God."32 Similarly, the contemplation of sacred icons, united with meditation on the Word of God and the singing of liturgical hymns, enters into the harmony of the signs of celebration so that the mystery celebrated is imprinted in the heart's memory and is then expressed in the new life of the faithful. 27 St. John Damascene, De imag. 1, 16: PG 96: 1245-1248. 28 Council of Nicaea II (787): COD 111. 29 ⇒ Heb 12:1. 30 Cf. ⇒ Rom 8:29; ⇒ 1 Jn 3:2. 31 Council of Nicaea II: DS 600. 32 St. John Damascene, De imag. 1, 27: PG 94, 1268A, B.
  • Did God not command Moses to have made....images of the Cherubim to be place on the Arc of the Covenant? Did not God command that the staff of Aaron be made into the likeness of a serpent? Do you people not have pictures of family in your homes? Ceramic figurines of all kinds? Look on your there no design made? On your dishes? No pictures of flowers or anything? Do you worship these things?
  • I am amazed by the people who have the ability to look into a persons heart and judge them as worshipping a statue because they my be kneeling in front of one. Should I be concerned because my son bows to his Karate teacher.
  • Shouldn't you honor Jesus more than Mary? Why not put a statue of him up in your yard? After all he is the one who died for you!
  • Because, the statue of Jesus is God Himself, not what He created. Not like the graven images that is in Exodus 20:4. There's a difference between a statue of Jesus ( who is God Himself ) than the statues of animals or any kind, that God created. Central Kansas
      What you're describing is the very definition of idolatry. When you treat a statue as God himself, that is idolatry.
    • dalcocono
      No, that statue is not God. It is simply a way to focus our minds on God and Holy things. We all know they are not gods, they are simply man made items with no power or authority. They are there to draw our minds and our hearts to prayerful meditation.
  • I don't have a bible next to me and sorry if I am wrong, but, Isnt the third commandment about "Honoring the Sabbath". I think the Idol Worship is the 2nd commandment.
      Different groups number the Ten Commandments differently...and commonly, even here in the West. You can't rely on a number to accurately identify ***any*** of the Ten Commandments.
  • Your question is misinformed. All statues that have any likeness of Heaven are forbidden. Jesus sat at the right hand of God after His resurrection. Therefore, having a statue of Jesus is an abomination. Exodus 20:4 "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." The key words are: "You shall not make."
  • Protestant sects are in that wave of thinking!
  • They are so regarded. However: by those Christians who make use of such, they are not regarded as the type of graven image that is forbidden. And if that puzzles you, please realize that in the Bible, God ***clearly and plainly allows graven images for use in religion***. In fact, in The Book of Exodus, where we learn that God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, just five chapters later we see that God COMMANDED Moses to produce several graven images for use in the tabernacle, including for use in "the holy of holies".;NRSV . . . . So: clearly what you call "the Third Commandment" (different groups number the commandments differently) does NOT ban ALL graven images. The author himself (or God himself, if you prefer) teaches us otherwise in that very same document.
  • Looks like there are a bunch of iconoclasts here on the forum. Answering about Catholic things with no real knowledge of it. In the OT, God instructed Moses to put heavenly images on the Ark of the Covenant, angels to be exact. That shoots down the idea that nothing heavenly can be represented in art. When God became angry with the Hebrews in the wilderness and He sent venomous snakes to punish them, Moses prayed and asked for mercy and God told Moses to make an image of a serpent and mount it on a pole, and to touch the victims of the snake bites and they would be healed. He also instructed Moses to use that image as an istrument of Divine power in a battle with one Cannanite tribe or another. God also approved of the images described in the building of Solomon's temple. It was full of statues and images according to the bible. The proscription is only against making an image and worshipping it as though it had life and was a god, like the did with their golden calf. Having pictures or statues of holy people from our Cathilc history is not idolatry, it is Catholic family history. We believe they are alive and living in heaven with God, and that they care about us. We ask them to pray for us and with us. The bible tells us the "prayers of the righteous avails much." So, we are breaking no commandments and by our religious art.
  • If your statue of Jesus is simply for artwork it's not a graven image unless you pray to it for reverence it like an idol. But if you keep it around for worship purposes then it's an idol
  • Well, in fact, over the centuries, some Christians have protested against religious paintings and sculptures for this reason. These people are called "iconoclasts". However, more mainstream Christians use these objects simply to help increase spiritual fervor, to encourage meditation. They do not actually worship them.
  • Because those statues are not worshipped as God. They are art that elevates our minds to God. There are several instances of God instructing the use of graven images in the OT. See the ark of the covenant, the effigy commanded when the Hebrews were afflicted by snakes in the wilderness and the description of the temple of Solomon.

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