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Graven Images... a no-no..

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posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 11:25 AM
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8 Thou shalt not make 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 waters beneath the earth:

9 thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: Ex. 34.17 Lev. 19.4 ; 26.1 Deut. 4.15-19 ; 27.15 for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

www.bartleby.com... (online bible searchable old and new testament.. if you'd like to look up those referanced footnotes)

I do not understand this... it seems graven images are everywhere, and accepted all the way up to the Vatican. Did you know that a potatoe chip company did an advert scheme that included Pope trading cards.. with their permission, South America I believe.

Yet we have plain crosses, jesus crosses, Mary statues, saint amulats.. etc.. all of which are held in high esteem, honered, catered too, called on for help or advice.... all of this will land just about every religious person in Hell for eternity.

So why do religions that claim to honor the ten commandments break such a huge rule?

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I believe the institution of the vatican and the pope is the true anti-christ. Leading people away from the true meaning of god laid out long ago and forgotten.. rewritten by Popes who were believed to be God incarnate or Gods right hand man. They have ordered many wars, put "heritics" to death, preached hate, and been the cause of murder in the name of the Lord since their inception.
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As to my Avatar which some have coined as offensive.. it is not a graven image nor to I give it and power.. so in the eyes of the Lord it is not a sin. However I suggest you take that cross off your wall.. and get rid of all those velvet Jesus pictures.




posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 11:52 AM
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Perhaps in the 'Teachers Edition' Bibles the Clergy are using have the correct 'Disclaimer Subtext' that everyone else isn't aware of, where it's written something like, "Ha Ha!! Tricked Ya!! I was only kidding about that whole Graven Image thing!! But shhhhh......Don't tell anybody else and see how long they'll go along with it. Ya know, just for laughs!! Kinda like that Celibacy Gag!! Ha Ha....Remeber that 'ol scam!! Ohhhh, you people will believe anything!!"

Roman Catholic Papal Pope worshiping and bowing down to an graven image of Mary the statue.


Something sure seems fishy doesn't it?



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 11:57 AM
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If one merely reads through the OT, it would seem like the clan god of Israel is a little inconsistent....or maybe just a little forgetful (and wishy-washy!!) about his apparent (toqebah) hatred of fetishes and idols of other gods than himself.

But wait a minute !!!!!!

I seem to remember Aaron (the "priestly cult brother" of Moses!!) making a golden calf out of some collection of earings and then falling down to worship it while his brother's back was turned----but I suppose the text rather chews him out a little later on for that one....

There must be another one.........I've got it..!!

Why don't you read Numbers 21:6-9 (part of the socalled Torah of Moses). You know, that touchy little subject no Rabbi wants you to know about....that bronze snake idol on the pole thingy that R. Yeshoshua once mentioned ("as Moses raised Nehushtan on a Pole, so shall the son of man be raised on a pole...")

Don't believe me? Then read it for yourself (Numbers 21:6-9)

Yahweh's alleged hatred of pagan idols didn't seem to stop him from ordering "his servant" Moses himself to make a Bronze Snake Idol (Nehushtan) for the people to worship and then (adding insult to injury) making the guy literally "stick it up on a pole" for the "sons of Israel" to "regard" (i.e. burn incense to) to save them from snake bite in the desert.

Sounds pretty idoloatrous to me. So idolatrous in fact Hezekiah decided it was "leading Israel astray" just before the Exile, and had the thing ground to powder and poured into a stream of running water, to "break the spell".

Why a Snake? Could it be that Moses' wife (a Midianitess from a priestly famiy of her own) had something to do it with this Snake Cult thing (the Midianites worshipped a Snake Goddess whom they placed on Fetish Poles....) ????

These are the Little Things that make you go Hmmmm. Just don't go and bring this up to any Rabbi....it tends to put them into a very bad mood.

So what was all that you mentioned about "You will have no other gods before my faces?" in the socalled Ten Commandments? Maybe he didn;t mind idols all that much...just as long as you put him FIRST in THE LINEUP...!

Presuambly the 10 Commandments (and all that " hear o Israel, YHWH is your clan god, YHWH alone" stuff was written AFTER the Exile, when the "Jews" became mono-thesists.

Before 520 BC when the northern shrines in Israel were still standing, it seems most of the socalled Israelites were NOT montothesists at all: they were merely "monalatrous" with Yahweh in front of a large pantheon (and they even worshipped his wife Asherah "this temple is dedicated to Yahweh and his Asherah..").

When the "hardline" 4 (of the original 24) Yahwistic priestly families returned from Babylon to Palestine to rebuild the temple of YHWH in Jerusalem during the Persian Period, it looks like these Yahiwstic "hard liners" took a much more conservative approach against idol worship, hence all the 10 commandment injunctions.

If you want to know what an idol worshipping religion ancient Israelite culture embraced BEFORE the Exile, check out Solomon's little activities including the worship of Baal and Chemosh, and building shrines to pagan gods for his foreign wives, across the street from the Temple of YHWH himself...!!



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 12:08 PM
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I tend to think this verse means no images of anything not even him..

"...or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above...."

I'm really not interested in any other idol "sins" other then the ones that involve the Vatican/Pope/Followers

or Hebrew idol "sins" that are occuring in the presant day.

Of the Jews I've known none seem to have any strange idol kicks.. the star of David seems more like a sign of recognition.. "like a secret handshake" .. when you pass on the street.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 12:08 PM
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I believe that there is a simple reason for the prohibiting of graven images and we have to go right back to ther birth of Judaism.

Basically, the Hebrew version of god was just finding his feet back then. We can see many instances in the Bible where the people were pulled first to worship one god and then another and then back to the first and so on.
By banning images, the early priests managed to close another door of contention amongst potential followers of the new god. If nobody was allowed to make an image of god, then there was no image to argue over - you didn't have one sect saying "This is what he looks like" and then another saying "No, he's like this", and then leading onto a schism within the religion.

In short, it was a unifying move.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 12:17 PM
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Most muslims still follow the Graven Image rule, and apply it to a much greater extent. For them it applies to the making of any likeness to anything.. (i.e. anything in heaven, on earth, or in the sea).

You very rarely see decorative pictures of things and places in Muslim homes. Decoration is normally abstract patterns and designs, and text. I think they allow certain pictures, like views of Mecca, and possibly family portraits, but not much else. That's one of the reasons Muslim art is the way it is.

In the west we had Martin Luther and the Reformation, which swept this and many other rules away.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 12:21 PM
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Muppet, I didn't know that.. interesting.

I would tend to hold the thought that an image is fine as long as we give it no power over us. It seems that is what the verse implies but as we all know like every other verse it is translated differently in the mind of every reader.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 01:02 PM
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It's an interesting rule certainly. I think it has to do with trying to limit the scope or direction of the people's reasoning. If you think about it, some of the most important ideas and concepts of post-reformation thinking needed images to be communicated. (or at least, images help the development of ideas). Imagine how much less we'd learn on the internet without pictures?

Images of anything can be a powerful thing. Abstract art doesn't carry an direct message normally, but as soon as the art references the real world in some way it also makes some sort of statement about it. Exactly WHAT statement is often down to the viewer or other circumstances, making the meaning of images a difficult thing to control. I think this made them dangerous to those who want to control the population through religion.

A great example of how an image of the real world can totally alter the human "intellect" permanently, is "The Last Supper". Not for it's religious content, but for it's radical use of perspective!. Compare this picture with EVERY other artistic representation that had previously been created. Artists throughout history have strived for realism, yet until then NONE had figured out the basic principle of accurately representing a 3d scene in 2d.

Once people SAW that picture, even the untrained eye knew it was somehow more "real" than the images gone before. Even a child can see it. That one picture allowed everyone to see the real world in a slightly different, more knowledgeable way.

At that moment the human mind moved up an notch on the path to "enlightenment", if you will.

There have been more examples in recent times. Photography being the obvious example. Then moving pictures. In famous early film, a train was shown pulling into a station platform. Theatre goers actually jumped up from their seats to escape, thinking a REAL train was about to hit them!! Only after that point were people able to conceive of something that looked real, and moved, yet wasn't real. Click! another notch!

Then came special effects, then digital special effects.. Think of Jurassic Park.. Stunningly real CG dinosaurs. We were all amazed when we say that for the first time they looked real... yet now we look at them and can recognize CG. We all just moved up another notch!

I think the religious leaders of the past, while obviously not predicting the Hollywood blockbuster, were well aware of the liberating properties of images, their meanings, and the way they impact on our understanding of the world. Plenty of reason for them to be suppressed!



[edit on 27-6-2004 by muppet]



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 01:25 PM
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That is a valid point of reason.. if in fact the The Ten Commandments were written by men and not God.

I can't say whether God commanded words to be written or men created God then imagined he wanted these words written, based on their culture and circumstances. I tend to believe the in my second theory but still wonder if any word in any bible was ever written by the command of God.. there could be a small chance.

It is really something if you watch the pattern and history of art and media. It seems for a long time no culture was capable of depicting man or beast in a form that was realistic, then all the sudden realism was everywhere.

I'm left to wonder if we painted and chizeled out little hearts out and made images in abstract because we believed these things to be holy and therefore did not depict them in our image or any true likeness, because they were ABOVE us.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 02:04 PM
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Originally posted by UnusualMe
I'm left to wonder if we painted and chizeled out little hearts out and made images in abstract because we believed these things to be holy and therefore did not depict them in our image or any true likeness, because they were ABOVE us.


I don't think this is the case. Non christian/jewish/muslim cultures also strived for realism, but non succeeded. The Greeks and Romans produced many stunningly real statues for example, so realism wasn't a moral issue in humanity generally. But statues are physical 3d forms like the subjects they represent, and didn't require any abstract understanding of the relationship between two and three dimensional space that we have now.

I'm sure in thousands of years, when humans look back, people will laugh at how we see the world today. They'll probably see us as primative!

As for whether man or God wrote the Bible, well, I'm not religious so obviously I go for the former, but even a religious person can't fail to notice that a LOT more is written about what God wants/doesn't want than can possibly be reconciled, so someone must be lying!

This is the whole principle behind Islam. the Koran is said to be the actual unedited word of God, as opposed to an interpretation, and for that reason muslims hold it as the highest of the scriptures, superseding the former. Judaism MkIII if you like (Mk II being Christianity).


[edit on 27-6-2004 by muppet]



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 02:39 PM
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So do you believe the representation of realistic art was more an evolution of the mind.. rather then a religious or cultural stipulation.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 02:52 PM
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Absolutely!


I think art is an incredible resource to see "inside" the minds of people in the past. We can read their writings, and that teaches us things art doesn't, but imagery provides something more.

It's the same for us today. Everything we "perceive" is basically an mental construct of the world based on the data received via our senses, and our "understanding" of how the world works. It's a feedback loop in a way. Better understanding leads to "truer" perception, and truer perception helps us to gain a better understanding.

EDIT : It is the history of art that tracks the progress of this mental enlightenment, much as archeology tracks the progress of tool making technology.

Plato was saying something similar I think, when he referred to the reality we perceive being like "shadows on the cave wall".. i.e. a version of reality that is derived from, but not the same as, the True nature of things.

[edit on 27-6-2004 by muppet]

[edit on 27-6-2004 by muppet]



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 02:59 PM
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Originally posted by muppet
Most muslims still follow the Graven Image rule, and apply it to a much greater extent. For them it applies to the making of any likeness to anything.. (i.e. anything in heaven, on earth, or in the sea).

You very rarely see decorative pictures of things and places in Muslim homes. Decoration is normally abstract patterns and designs, and text. I think they allow certain pictures, like views of Mecca, and possibly family portraits, but not much else. That's one of the reasons Muslim art is the way it is.

Just to add to that.

There is no question of "still following" or not, an image of God or a Prophet will never be accepted in Islam. Islam sees this as is one of the rules man has broken time after time only to anger God, so understandably it's a touchy subject. In the film "The Message," Muhammad's person was not shown in order to get the film "accepted."

Apart from God and Prophets, general drawings and photography for documentation, science and personal remembrance of living or non-living things is perfectly acceptable. When it comes to artistic work then one has to make the distinction between images of living and non-living things. Images of living things are not allowed to be displayed in a way that it might look like an object of worship. e.g. a Michael Jackson poster on the wall is a no-no, even a picture of your ancestor on the wall is technically wrong.

As for Christianity, my preferred theory is that original followers of Christ stuck to this rule but the Roman polytheist idolaters wanted control of the people so they had to mix Christ's religion with their own so that everyone could accept it, thus making Christianity. This is probably how there is a Trinity and idols in the Church.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 03:00 PM
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I believe it means that you should not worship a 'graven image'.
You can have something to remind you of the object of worship (for example an image of Jesus) but it is only to be used for that reason. The figure of Jesus should not be worshipped itself as god, but it can be used to help a Christian to connect and visualise Jesus.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 03:15 PM
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Originally posted by mithras
Apart from God and Prophets, general drawings and photography for documentation, science and personal remembrance of living or non-living things is perfectly acceptable. When it comes to artistic work then one has to make the distinction between images of living and non-living things. Images of living things are not allowed to be displayed in a way that it might look like an object of worship. e.g. a Michael Jackson poster on the wall is a no-no, even a picture of your ancestor on the wall is technically wrong.


Thanks for the clarification mithras. I was wondering, how does this apply to "imagined" scenes or people. Im thinking of things like fantasy landscapes or fictitious characters? I always understood that one of the issues was to do with not trying to "copy" or "improve" on God's creation. I can't think of any Islamic landscape pictures for example... (or not right now anyway)


[edit on 27-6-2004 by muppet]



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 03:32 PM
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Originally posted by UnusualMe
...Pope trading cards...

Yet we have plain crosses, jesus crosses, Mary statues, saint amulats.. etc.. all of which are held in high esteem, honered, catered too, called on for help or advice.... all of this will land just about every religious person in Hell for eternity.

So why do religions that claim to honor the ten commandments break such a huge rule?



This and many other things about "organized religon"(like the Church) bother me. I have chosen to become a non-denominational Christian for this very reason. This means I do not subscribe to one section of the religion(which God tells us not to do-not to split apart). I chose to follow the Bible and not the traditions The Church has set down.

As for the Pope and Vatiacan, I believe that they have been corrupted by all the stuff they are able to do in the "name of God". This is why the crusades happened as well.


Orginally posted by Amadeus
Yahweh's alleged hatred of pagan idols didn't seem to stop him from ordering "his servant" Moses himself to make a Bronze Snake Idol (Nehushtan) for the people to worship and then (adding insult to injury) making the guy literally "stick it up on a pole" for the "sons of Israel" to "regard" (i.e. burn incense to) to save them from snake bite in the desert.


As for the snake on the post, snakes began to bite the Isrealites when they began to complain to God. So Moses was told to They were not told to idolize it or worship it, as Amadeus said, only to look upon it to heal their snake bites. Numbers 21:4-9

(btw Amadeus, regard means "To look at attentively; observe closely" not "burn incense to" and Nehushtan, the name of the snake, has been said to sound like the Hebrew words for "bronze", "snake", and "unclean-thing")

It was destoyed when they began to make it an idol,like you said, therefore complying with the ten commandments.(2 kings 18:4). I dont know where you got "break the spell" from.


Orginally posted by Amadeus
Why a Snake?


Because snakes were biting the ppl....


Orginally posted by Amadeus
So what was all that you mentioned about "You will have no other gods before my faces?" in the socalled Ten Commandments? Maybe he didn;t mind idols all that much...just as long as you put him FIRST in THE LINEUP...!

There are two commandments you are refering to in that quote. the first one. Exodus 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before me.

and the second Exodus 20:4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol..."

If you are refering to the first one, he says "no other gods BEFORE me" which you could take to mean you could have other gods AFTER him.

The idol one says to not make a graven image, and there is not much loop-hole room in that.


Orginally posted by Amadeus
If you want to know what an idol worshipping religion ancient Israelite culture embraced BEFORE the Exile, check out Solomon's little activities including the worship of Baal and Chemosh, and building shrines to pagan gods for his foreign wives, across the street from the Temple of YHWH himself...!!


Yes, King Solomon did those things, but they were not condoned in the Bible, so I dont think that is a very good arguement. Solomon has also been guilty of breaking other commandments, such as Murder and Adultery.

---pineapple

P.S.

Orginally posted by mOjOm
Perhaps in the 'Teachers Edition' Bibles the Clergy are using have the correct 'Disclaimer Subtext' that everyone else isn't aware of, where it's written something like, "Ha Ha!! Tricked Ya!! I was only kidding about that whole Graven Image thing!! But shhhhh......Don't tell anybody else and see how long they'll go along with it. Ya know, just for laughs!! Kinda like that Celibacy Gag!! Ha Ha....Remeber that 'ol scam!! Ohhhh, you people will believe anything!!"


LOL!!!
thats great!



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 03:35 PM
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Originally posted by Pisky
I believe it means that you should not worship a 'graven image'.
You can have something to remind you of the object of worship (for example an image of Jesus) but it is only to be used for that reason. The figure of Jesus should not be worshipped itself as god, but it can be used to help a Christian to connect and visualise Jesus.


Yes, but some ppl go overboard on the objects. Not saying everyone does, but it happens.

---pineapple



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 03:40 PM
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MUPPET
I see.

I do believe that future evolutions of perception are just around the corner. I've stated this in a few other threads... based on current technologies that can artificialy enhance our perspective.... basically cybernetics.

See here
www.abovetopsecret.com...
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If it were true those images were simply reminders well then so be it. Although it does not seem to be the case. These "graven images" are given the power of, protect me, hear me, give me luck, show me the way, heal me... etc....

If I just wanted a reminder I wouldn't have an amulat of every saint, a statue of mary, a light up display of the crusifixtion.. Oooo Jesus's eyes glow!!! Nor would I pay thousands of dollars to visit a place that claimed to have a weeping statue of Mary.. and proceed to cower and kneel while begging for favors from it.
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I remember when I was very young I asked the priest what illuminated the cross behind the alter.. because to my little mind it was all glowy and mysterious looking. He told me it was the spirit of God. Wanting to see the spirit of God I took a peak when no one was watching.. and found the spirit of God was a light bulb.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 03:42 PM
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Originally posted by muppet
Thanks for the clarification mithras. I was wondering, how does this apply to "imagined" scenes or people. Im thinking of things like fantasy landscapes or fictitious characters? I always understood that one of the issues was to do with not trying to "copy" or "improve" on God's creation. I can't think of any Islamic landscape pictures for example... (or not right now anyway)

I think it gets tricky at this borderline and scholars would say different things, and perhaps it's best to side with caution. Personally I think displaying an imagined landscape should cause no problems (it could be seen as living but not in the animal-sense at least), but a displayed image of an imagined person could be problematic. My own belief is this would only apply to displays where there is no function, i.e. something purely made to be admired, as opposed to something to be used like a tea-cup. Anyway, by this reasoning, I think a picture of Merlin in a storybook should be alright but not a poster of him.

You have to be careful about what is called Islamic art. Art by a Muslim could be called "Islamic" but is not necessarily Islamic; for example the images made of Saddam.


[edit on 27-6-2004 by mithras]



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 03:43 PM
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Yahweh's alleged hatred of pagan idols didn't seem to stop him from ordering "his servant" Moses himself to make a Bronze Snake Idol (Nehushtan) for the people to worship and then (adding insult to injury) making the guy literally "stick it up on a pole" for the "sons of Israel" to "regard" (i.e. burn incense to) to save them from snake bite in the desert.


Your answer is right there. God ordered Moses to create the statue. He ordered. Whenever God orders you to do something you do it, no questions asked. This is why Abraham received God's highest blessing bestowed on any human being in the world. Abraham followed without questioning when he was about to murder his son.


Most muslims still follow the Graven Image rule, and apply it to a much greater extent. For them it applies to the making of any likeness to anything.. (i.e. anything in heaven, on earth, or in the sea).

You very rarely see decorative pictures of things and places in Muslim homes. Decoration is normally abstract patterns and designs, and text. I think they allow certain pictures, like views of Mecca, and possibly family portraits, but not much else. That's one of the reasons Muslim art is the way it is.


That is the most absurd thing I've ever heard, and it's incorrect.

In Islam, the skies and the clouds and the grass are signs of God's existence. Muslims don't bow down to portraits of a tree and pray for its guidance. Be careful of what you say.

Muslims don't even have a portrait of the Prophet Muhammad because Islam is very strict about the images that include suffering and any prophet of God.



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