How do Christians interpret the 2nd commandment?

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posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 11:58 AM
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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: 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: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them

I'd just like to understand what the various sects of Christians make of this.


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1. Does it allows one to depict God in an image, as long as that image isn't worshiped?

2. What is your view of the depiction of God, in the Sistine Chapel. Is it in harmony with the second commandment?

and just out of curiosity....

3. Given how the Romans depicted the biblical God as a bearded, well built man, have you believe they modelled the depiction of the biblical God after their old gods such as...
Jupiter


Saturn


Neptune



EDIT : Please try and cover all 3 questions.


From what I understand, Catholics (or at least, some of them) accept the depiction of God (Creator of Adam), as seen in the Sistine Chapel for the reason that it is not worshipped.

My understanding of the 2nd commandment is that a depiction of God is forbidden, even if its not worshipped as an idol. As for images of " any thing that is in heaven above", God-fearing Israelites made winged cherubim on the ark of the covenant.... under Gods instructions.
The only time they made an image of something on the earth, was a brass serpent... also under Gods instructions.

Discuss.

edit on 17-10-2012 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)
edit on 17-10-2012 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 12:19 PM
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i say, just because people arent bowing down to artwork, dosnt mean they arent "worshiping" it.
do those of faith they feel enlightened and feel closer to god when looking at it? i think many do.

that would make the artwork a depiction of god, thus idol worship. even if the artist intended to depict the chrsitian god; artists can put their own spin on things. its very misleading.

many chrsitians pray to crucifix's. i think THAT is idle worship...
symbolism, even when representing your own god (or son of god), is a dangerous habbit.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 12:20 PM
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Moses made a bronze serpent for the people to look at when they were snakebitten to be cured (Numbers 21), he made an image of something of the earth, so obviously the second commandment refers to images that are worshipped, otherwise God would have taken Moses to the woodshed.
edit on 17-10-2012 by lonewolf19792000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 12:20 PM
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As you would expect me to say, from the previous thread on this same subject, yes, making a picture of God does not violate the Second Commandment, because there is no prohibition on it there -- it is either "no images of any kind" or it's "images are okay, so long as they're not worshipped."

Your conclusion that the Israelites produced two pieces of artwork in their multi-thousand year history is not a valid one.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 12:22 PM
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reply to post by lonewolf19792000
 



so obviously the second commandment refers to images that are worshipped, otherwise God would have taken Moses to the woodshed.


So is a depiction of God allowed under the second commandment, as long as its not consciously worshiped?



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 12:23 PM
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reply to post by Bisman
 


I have never seen anyone calling themselves a christian worship a crucifix, not any protestant ones at least, we'd be having words with their preacher if he allowed any of that.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 12:26 PM
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Originally posted by sk0rpi0n
reply to post by lonewolf19792000
 



so obviously the second commandment refers to images that are worshipped, otherwise God would have taken Moses to the woodshed.


So is a depiction of God allowed under the second commandment, as long as its not consciously worshiped?


You can't make an image of God, you don't know what he looks like, You can't even see the Father he's a Spirit and the Son you don't know what he looks like either he hasn't been seen in a long time so i don't think it's even possible to make an image of God. Now you can make images of other things and label them as God and worship them and yeah that is idolatry.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by lonewolf19792000
 




You can't make an image of God, you don't know what he looks like, You can't even see the Father he's a Spirit and the Son you don't know what he looks like either he hasn't been seen in a long time so i don't think it's even possible to make an image of God.


I agree.

But I was referring to the depiction of God in the Sistine Chapel.... a christian building.

Does that violate the 2nd commandment in any way?



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 12:40 PM
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Originally posted by sk0rpi0n
reply to post by lonewolf19792000
 




You can't make an image of God, you don't know what he looks like, You can't even see the Father he's a Spirit and the Son you don't know what he looks like either he hasn't been seen in a long time so i don't think it's even possible to make an image of God.


I agree.

But I was referring to the depiction of God in the Sistine Chapel.... a christian building.

Does that violate the 2nd commandment in any way?


No it does not.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 12:42 PM
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I don't think so......

I view it simply as an artistic representation of a story/event..........

I view the 2nd amendment as straight up...."don't make an image of say, a golden calf, and worship it". Metaphysically, many Christians take it as far as not to let anything get in the way of your relationship with God. In that manner, video games, sports, a girlfriend, a hobby, money, etc..can become your idol. I agree with that to a degree, but that get's a little subjective. How much of an outside influence gets in the way of distracting you from God that it becomes an "idol" is probably very debatable from a human or earthly perspective.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 12:46 PM
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Originally posted by lonewolf19792000
reply to post by Bisman
 


I have never seen anyone calling themselves a christian worship a crucifix, not any protestant ones at least, we'd be having words with their preacher if he allowed any of that.


praying is worshiping...

and like EVERY sect does this.its not something taught and encouraged by the church(s), but we see it going on all the time.
dont many latin catholics traditionally hang them above doorways, some families have traditions of tapping it when they leave the room.
and catholic nuns kissing small pocket crucifix's like they are candy.

those are all idols, and this is all worship. the commandment dosnt say anything about idols being ok if they represent the jewish/chrsitian god. it says idols.
edit on 17-10-2012 by Bisman because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 01:02 PM
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Originally posted by Bisman

Originally posted by lonewolf19792000
reply to post by Bisman
 


I have never seen anyone calling themselves a christian worship a crucifix, not any protestant ones at least, we'd be having words with their preacher if he allowed any of that.


praying is worshiping...

and like EVERY sect does this.its not something taught and encouraged by the church(s), but we see it going on all the time.
dont many latin catholics traditionally hang them above doorways, some families have traditions of tapping it when they leave the room.
and catholic nuns kissing small pocket crucifix's like they are candy.

those are all idols, and this is all worship. the commandment dosnt say anything about idols being ok if they represent the jewish/chrsitian god. it says idols.


I have a small crucifix in the corner of my bedroom bath, which was used at my wife's funeral Mass. Every morning, I look at it and make a short prayer to Christ before I begin my day. I don't pray to the crucifix, it is just a reminder to pray to the one that I do pray to, God.

In that sense, it's as much of an idol as a piece of paper on which you've written "don't forget to pray today."

Though I am a recent convert to Catholicism, I've been hanging around them most of my life, and I can't recall ever seeing anyone "tap it" when leaving a room -- I think that you're confusing it with a Jewish ritual when they leave their houses (see here). Most of the Catholics that I know have one or two crucifixes, usually on the wall in a bedroom or kitchen.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 01:50 PM
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This is mostly repetitive of others', but I thought you wanted a survey, so here's my opinion.

I put an "and" in the Second Commandment so that it means, "Don't make an image and serve it." Without the "and" it would say you can't make a picture or sculpture of any object in the universe.

So, yes, you can make a depiction, but don't worship the depiction. I don't know of any "image" that is worshipped in Christianity. The general purpose is to turn your mind towards God, so that you can worship Him.

The Romans, and Christians in general, haven't believed you can draw an accurate picture of God. The best anyone cn do is make a symbol that illustrates a characteristic of God. It's not surprising that there are very few gods depicted as feeble, blind, decrepit, old women.

HEY ADJENSEN! I've got to go to a place called Lino Lakes. I noticed your avatar and wondered if you could give me any information. I'm going to attend a semi-annual exemplification of the 4th Degree of the Knights of Columbus. I'm pretty sure I could get you in, if you wanted. Or, maybe a beer afterward? If interested give me a U2U please.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 01:52 PM
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I'll respect your request made in the Roman-Christian thread, and move Second Commandment things here. So, for your three points here:

1 - The Second Commandment offers no special instructions regarding the depiction of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The instruction is not to pay worship to any image, period.

2 - There is nothing religiously special about the many depictions of God in the Sistine Chapel. The ceiling is a narrative, so the identification of who is God, and whether Father, Son or Spirit is intended can be inferred from knowing the story, and only from knowing the story.

You deny in the other thread that there would be any difficulty identifying an image of God. I think the Sistine Chapel ceiling is an excellent set of examples of how difficult it would be to identify such an image unless you understood the representational conventions used.

3- I am reminded of a remark a French teacher made about the decorative conventions of Parisian buildings. "The French," the teacher said, "depict Justice as a naked young woman. The French depict everything else as a naked young woman, too."

The Imperial era Romans were into virile mature men. So what? The Son is a mature man in almost all of the canonical Gospel narrative (including the entirety of two of the Gospels). If he's a mature man, then what is his father supposed to look like? Do you seriously suppose that there's something peculiarly "Roman" about depicting the father of a thrity-plus year-old man as an even older man, but someone still with an oar in the water?

Rhetorical question, because apparently you do.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 02:14 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen
As you would expect me to say, from the previous thread on this same subject, yes, making a picture of God does not violate the Second Commandment, because there is no prohibition on it there -- it is either "no images of any kind" or it's "images are okay, so long as they're not worshipped."

Your conclusion that the Israelites produced two pieces of artwork in their multi-thousand year history is not a valid one.


They had more than a few indeed. The old synogogues used to have frescoes depicting the cycles of the moon because they didn't go by days of the week to have sabbath on they went by cycles of the moon and so they required 2 credible witnesses to determine when the cycles of the moon were correct for sabbath.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 02:18 PM
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Originally posted by Bisman

Originally posted by lonewolf19792000
reply to post by Bisman
 


I have never seen anyone calling themselves a christian worship a crucifix, not any protestant ones at least, we'd be having words with their preacher if he allowed any of that.


praying is worshiping...

and like EVERY sect does this.its not something taught and encouraged by the church(s), but we see it going on all the time.
dont many latin catholics traditionally hang them above doorways, some families have traditions of tapping it when they leave the room.
and catholic nuns kissing small pocket crucifix's like they are candy.

those are all idols, and this is all worship. the commandment dosnt say anything about idols being ok if they represent the jewish/chrsitian god. it says idols.
edit on 17-10-2012 by Bisman because: (no reason given)


I'm sorry but no, we all do not do these things. I'm a missionary baptist and i can tell you for a fact we do not do any of those things , we do not even wave the sign of the cross in the air.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by sk0rpi0n
reply to post by lonewolf19792000
 




You can't make an image of God, you don't know what he looks like, You can't even see the Father he's a Spirit and the Son you don't know what he looks like either he hasn't been seen in a long time so i don't think it's even possible to make an image of God.


I agree.

But I was referring to the depiction of God in the Sistine Chapel.... a christian building.

Does that violate the 2nd commandment in any way?


If it's being worshipped or glorified in any manner yeah it does violate the second commandment, but i don't trust many of the "icons" the R.C.C. or the E.O.C. have, especially the ones depicting Jesus still hanging on the cross, i find those offensive.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 02:50 PM
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reply to post by lonewolf19792000
 


especially the ones depicting Jesus still hanging on the cross, i find those offensive.
Good for you.
They're supposed to be offensive. The Crucifixion was a tremendously offensive act. It shows us, among other things, the depths of Christ's love for us and the suffering he had to undergo because of sin.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 03:04 PM
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reply to post by lonewolf19792000
 



If it's being worshipped or glorified in any manner yeah it does violate the second commandment,


But do you think the 2nd commandment allows one to paint an image to represent God as a decoration? (even if its not worshipped or glorified)



What are your thoughts on the well built, bearded man stereotype of Roman gods (see OP) being applied to the God of the bible.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 03:08 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 



Your conclusion that the Israelites produced two pieces of artwork in their multi-thousand year history is not a valid one.


Thats what the bible tells us.

The Israelites never produced an image of God on their own, without being instructed to by God.





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