The Apostate Christ: form and image of pantokrator

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 04, 2011 11:15 PM GMT
    This has been an interesting topic in modern Christianity. I will wait to get to my point until a few have replied.

    How do you picture or characterize Christ? Would Christ have refused his image that has been perpetuated today?

    Note: pantokrato is Greek for "Ruler of All" It represents Christ as God's representation on earth. The Bible uses it in reference to both Christ and God.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 04, 2011 11:33 PM GMT
    Oh, I like someone like Brandon Boyd, the lead singer of Incubus, to be my image.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8295rOMvtQI

    Edit: on RJ in think someone like Greenhopper.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 05, 2011 1:10 AM GMT

    I think he looked like the people of that time and place.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 05, 2011 4:02 AM GMT
    The face endures as a testament for truth, accountability, and a deeper (antagonistic or intimate) relationship.

    For the past millennium or so, Christ has been pictured as a handsome man who looks like you, whatever you look like. Most people picture a light skinned brunet, brown-eyed man, if not a blue-eyed, blond-haired angel. He is attractive, pristine, and heroic. In response to him, the idea of a holy fool has originated. If any one is interested, I can describe that.

    The depiction of Christ's face reveals whom Christians follow and who they are as his disciples. Thus, how Christ is depicted shows what beliefs Christians follow.

    The Bible is silent about the face of Christ. As an analogy, Helen of Troy , the face that launched 10,000 ships, is not described in the Odessey or the Iliad. It is as if a depiction will take that which is sacred, away. Thus, the face becomes a myth until there is only the idea of a person, all that is left are principles, teachings, and values. Can we really even have faith in a real man? A real face alienates. I can remember an article I read in a newspaper once. A black boy drew the picture of a black Christ. The community was in uproar. And then at the end, this boy says to a white woman something to the effect of "Don't worry. Christ will save you too."

    The Church has promoted faith based on triumphal mission work and a deeply rooted Western domination. The Church has failed to depict a man who is wounded for transgressions and bruised for iniquities as Isiah states. Christians seek to follow this humble man, but they ignore his servility, his emptiness of self. By depicting Jesus as sublime and stately, Christians often ignore his sacrifice.

    Is this a disservice that the Western church has done to congregations? If we view him as sublime and stately, have we failed to see him?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 05, 2011 4:34 AM GMT


    "If we view him as sublime and stately, have we failed to see him?"


    Perhaps it's more likely that some of us see what he stood for as sublime and stately. How he acted on what he believed. Because of that, I see christ as an embodiment of wonderful principles, no matter what he looked like. He could have been a hare-lip, or have a club foot, or any number of disfigurements, but what he stood for was who he was, how he expressed it, and what I admire.

    -Doug

    PS I think that many depictions of christ are an attempt to relate him visually to a specific audience, and there are many audiences, so consequently many different depictions, all trying to imbue a sense of portentious feeling of an impending glory to their message.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 06, 2011 5:25 PM GMT
    meninlove said

    "If we view him as sublime and stately, have we failed to see him?"


    Perhaps it's more likely that some of us see what he stood for as sublime and stately. How he acted on what he believed. Because of that, I see christ as an embodiment of wonderful principles, no matter what he looked like. He could have been a hare-lip, or have a club foot, or any number of disfigurements, but what he stood for was who he was, how he expressed it, and what I admire.

    -Doug

    PS I think that many depictions of christ are an attempt to relate him visually to a specific audience, and there are many audiences, so consequently many different depictions, all trying to imbue a sense of portentious feeling of an impending glory to their message.

    You think of Christ as how godly we think he is. And that we too could become noble and regal if we followed in his footsteps. I do believe that.

    But do you not think that depiction of this noble Christ are deceptive? Do you not think that his image confuses people especially those countries where the missionaries were prominent like Japan and Africa? The real Christ emptied himself, he was servile to God. He was friends to prostitutes, tax collecters, lepers, and the unwanted. This is the idea of the Holy Fool. That it is the last who shall be first. The real Christ was a man of sorrow, his face should show it. It was to bear Christian sins that he was sacrificed. It was to bear sins that he was here.

    The Christ of Sunday school is unbearably angelic. This image is not present in the Bible. Having seen that Christ throughout their lives, could people have forgotten the cost of their sins? Self-righteousness is rampant, where is servility and humility? Certainly not in the Catholic church and not in the Baptist church. Church has become traditions with pomp and circumstance, we have forgotten what it means to be a Christian in the time of conflict.

    I do not know what I would have been like in the early centuries of Christianity. Would I have been stronger of faith like the martyrs, or would I have balked at the notion of sacrifice?



  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Oct 06, 2011 10:35 PM GMT
    Interesting topic to post.
    A BBC programme a few years ago tried to reconstruct Jesus Christ`s face from the available evidence.They came up with a guy who looked much like the people in Israel do now,only shorter in height and less well fed.
    I take your point about how people react to a specific Western image and how it can affect their faith.Apparently,people only starting reporting stigmata after they began to appear in Medieval paintings.
    The Western Church`s representations of Christ mostly seem to emphasise his divinity over his humanity;a triumphant image;paternity over maternity.It`s a selective image at best,misguiding maybe at worst.
    But it demonstrates the difficulty of showing (pictorially) the ultimate mystery of the Divine.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 07, 2011 12:23 PM GMT
    Lincsbear saidInteresting topic to post.
    A BBC programme a few years ago tried to reconstruct Jesus Christ`s face from the available evidence.They came up with a guy who looked much like the people in Israel do now,only shorter in height and less well fed.
    I take your point about how people react to a specific Western image and how it can affect their faith.Apparently,people only starting reporting stigmata after they began to appear in Medieval paintings.
    The Western Church`s representations of Christ mostly seem to emphasise his divinity over his humanity;a triumphant image;paternity over maternity.It`s a selective image at best,misguiding maybe at worst.
    But it demonstrates the difficulty of showing (pictorially) the ultimate mystery of the Divine
    .

    Lincsbear, Google Shroud of Veronica. It has become part of the Christian culture since the beginning. Apparently, the shroud that Mary Magdalene placed over the face of Christ as he laid on the stone in the cave bore his image- it is considered to be a miracle by the Church. Many researchers from the Vatican and other religious scholars have tried to find the real Shroud if it exists, and have tried to reconstruct Christ's face, but as you said, the only image we can come up with is what the Israelis looked like in the time of Christ.

    Do we need a divine godly image? Would a humanly image of Christ take away from his glory and the perceived justice we will get from God? Would Christ be as popular if he wasn't " God on earth?"

    As for the ultimate mystery, you are correct, many have tried. The earliest image of Christ pantokrator is :Pantocrator01.jpg
    Notice the difference between his left side compared to the right one.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 07, 2011 12:46 PM GMT
    Carminea said: Do we need a divine godly image?

    I don't need a divine godly image for Jesus any more than I need one for God.

    "By their fruits ye shall know them." Matt. 7:20
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 08, 2011 12:27 PM GMT

    Perhaps try think like an artist. How would you visually depict a beautiful soul? icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 08, 2011 6:02 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    Perhaps try think like an artist. How would you visually depict a beautiful soul? icon_wink.gif


    While art is a large part of religion, religion is not art, and should not be subjected to beautiful standards.

    Before I reply further to you, what do you think Christ would think of these depictions?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 09, 2011 1:15 PM GMT
    I think christ would think very little about depictions.
    They are merely that, attempts to visualize something spiritually wonderful externally. icon_wink.gif
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Oct 09, 2011 7:23 PM GMT
    I think Christ wouldn`t have been very interested in any pictorial representations of himself,etc.;like so much else in the history of Christianity.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 10, 2011 7:42 PM GMT
    meninlove said I think christ would think very little about depictions.
    They are merely that, attempts to visualize something spiritually wonderful externally. icon_wink.gif

    Let's go beyond them being mere visualization and let us interpret them as the Church uses them particularly in missionary strategies in Africa, East Asia, and South America. They forget the God and Christ of Bible and Christ becomes a skeleton form of their own gods.

    Artists can depict what they want. But I am speaking of the Church advertising these depictions as the true Christ. When the Church puts enough of these depictions, that is what people believe happens, we forget the sorrow. If all we depicted were beautiful souls, what can the rest of us un-beautiful people do? If we have a pristine and regal Christ, God becomes esoteric, unapproachable. We lose the love offered through Christ's salvation. The Church forgets that a fieldworker, a slave, a prostitute, the unwanted will never be able to approach this angelic and robust god. How can they be as worthy as those of rank and privilege whom Christ resembles when Christ looks nothing like them? And Christ said "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you."

    Certainly, the duty of the Church is to stay true to the Bible and the teachings of Christ, neither promote the handsome stately, regal Christ, thus I titled the topic "the Apostate Christ." For if Christ suffered beside us, then he would have refused these depictions.

    There was a French artist by the name of Georges Rouault in the early 20th Century. Rouault saw the face of human suffering in Christ and he showed the crises of his time. In his paintings there is no charm and there is no softening, only painful nakedness of spirit:
    Georges-Rouault-A-Clown-25760.jpg
    Georges_Rouault.jpg
    Georges_Rouault_Christ_on_Cross.jpg

    But I guess I wouldn't want to see this Christ either. Rouault said "Nous croyons rois"- We think we are kings. But in reality "Ne sommes-nous pas forçats?"- Are we not convicts?

    Lincsbear, perhaps not the depictions, but what about the form and image that we hold?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 10, 2011 8:15 PM GMT
    Also I want to thank you for responding. I have been thinking quite a bit about this and you have helped me greatly.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 10, 2011 8:31 PM GMT
    Carminea, when you say The Church, which church do you mean? I ask this because I attend no church, and haven't in quite some time.

    My feeling is that if any church is stating Man is made in god's image and only a certain depiction is god's image, then that church is plain wrong.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 2:00 AM GMT
    meninlove said Carminea, when you say The Church, which church do you mean? I ask this because I attend no church, and haven't in quite some time.

    My feeling is that if any church is stating Man is made in god's image and only a certain depiction is god's image, then that church is plain wrong.


    Yes! That is what I am trying to get at and not being successfulicon_redface.gif It is not necessarily about man being made in god's image as much as misrepresentation of God's spirit on earth in the form of Jesus.
    In mainstream Christianity, the passion of Christ has become scandalous.

    People don't understand the true nature of Christ. Christ was not the soap opera star of his day. Christ was not a demi-god as we have made him. We romanticize his story, but Jesus was here to be the face of human suffering. In the Bible, there is a peculiar passage about the form of Jesus, and his "emptying" of self in servility to God. Do people know about this?

    The Church as in the Catholic Church and all the others branches of Christianity that came after the Schism. They all use these wonderful pictures, especially with missionaries in foreign churches. I had a recent trip overseas in Nicaragua. All we saw in the churches was this white, pristine, regal Jesus that I described earlier.

    I had a talk with a priest. While he is not a professor, he was certainly enlightening. What I gathered and interpreted from him was that Christians need a good image for them. Only beautiful pictures gather large masses to churches.

  • twilight2010

    Posts: 307

    Oct 11, 2011 6:21 AM GMT
    Exodus 20:3-5
    New International Version (NIV)
    3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me.

    4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God

    Image is defined as Noun:
    A representation of the external form of a person or thing in sculpture, painting, etc.

    If you are going to go by the Bible the Word of Yahweh then you are going to know that all such things are not permitted. For Yahweh has given His Command.

    When you use the word church you have to be careful because there i only one church and that is the one Yahshua started Himself and it comprises of all denominations. When we look at the churches of today and the doctrines they teach we see one thing. The Catholic Church is the mother of all churches. All the break aways can be traced back to her. They even bare likeness to their mother, we see this by their doctrines they teach. The true church is not a man made denomination but it is the Church of Yahshua the King and made up of every believer in Him.

    It is quite amazing that the Catholic Church does not have the commandment in its Ten Commandments that we must not make graven images(statues, pictures,etc) they delete the second Commandment all together.

    directly from the Catholic Catechism

    2132 The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, "the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype," and "whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it."[70] The honor paid to sacred images is a "respectful veneration," not the adoration due to God alone:

    Second Commandment [CD]

    You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain. (CATHOLIC)

    Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. (YAHWEH's COMMAND)

    the Catholics delete the second Commandment and split the Tenth Commandment into two. So they still have the Ten. but not the ones Yahweh gave.

    The pope has ordered that the name of the Almighty Father must not be used, YAHWEH is to be taken out of Catholic mass as well as prayers.

    The question is why delete the second commandment? So they can worship their idols like Mary and the saints.

    I was Catholic for a long time, I know the Church well.

    The Jesus they present to the world is not the Son of Yahweh but an impostor. There is no way that the Son of Yahweh could ever be called Jesus, the letter J did not even exist. My King James Bible says the name of Jesus is Joshua.

    So if a person wants to go by the Word of Yahweh and follow His commands then ALL images in heaven and earth anywhere are not to be made at all. Including crucifix and cross and angels etc.



  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 2:37 PM GMT
    Carminea said, "I had a talk with a priest. While he is not a professor, he was certainly enlightening. What I gathered and interpreted from him was that Christians need a good image for them. Only beautiful pictures gather large masses to churches."

    I think he has a point. However, he forgets that to embody a beautiful spirituality in an image that speaks to the beholder is to display depictions that the beholder can identify with it.

    Black is beautiful, Asian is beautiful, so is short, tall, plump, thin, etc. The particular church's choice in depictions should tell you a lot about the veracity of that particular faith they are promulgating, and whether it is truly christian in its intent or just dross.

    We could easily have this same discussion around music. icon_wink.gif


    ...as for donovan, you're being rather silly; we're not speaking of worshipping an image.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 3:46 PM GMT
    For Carminea,

    http://mattstone.blogs.com/photos/asian_icons/index.html


    ...and this one is the forensic impression:

    forensic-jesus-bbc-son-of-god.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 9:26 PM GMT
    For Doug, meninlove:

    So what do you think of Brandon Boyd of Incubus?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 12, 2011 1:43 PM GMT
    vincent7 saidFor Doug, meninlove:

    So what do you think of Brandon Boyd of Incubus?



    Don't laugh, but I don't know who he is at all. I'll go look him up on google.

    Wait.....


    do you mean this fellow?


    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRFOoZlNwKnoayqPS6dDWY
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 12, 2011 1:48 PM GMT

    If his appearance reminds you of christ, then it does.

    I prefer the forensic christ myself (a couple of posts back), though I do appreciate the beautiful depictions done throughout various cultures, and history.

    -Doug
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 12, 2011 11:00 PM GMT
    Doug, see my post at the top of this thread and go into the You Tube link.
    I didn't know how to post it where you can just click on it. Your picture rather looks like the same person, but a little older. Blessings!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 13, 2011 1:31 AM GMT
    meninlove said For Carminea,

    http://mattstone.blogs.com/photos/asian_icons/index.html

    ...and this one is the forensic impression:

    forensic-jesus-bbc-son-of-god.jpg


    They are all so beautifully done! Jesus was a practicing Jew. He would have longer beard.

    They also show what I meant about saying that Christianity changes once it goes to another country. As is shown in those pictures, Christ is not the Christ of the Bible. The Japanese Christ is now a skeleton of their own gods. We forget that there was a real person, Jesus becomes a myth here.

    Now the pictures are about intent. There is intention of connecting the audience to Jesus by making him look like them, by giving him individual features of a culture.

    Is intent more important than truth/reality of the universal characteristics of Jesus?

    I could not have this discussion about Jesus with music. I mean only the face. It is the face of Christ that shows the passion of Christ and what he endured. Music is a way of reflection of an experience. The Face of Christ is a representation of the suffering of humanity. How we depict him shows how we relate to him, how we follow in his steps, how he relates us to God.

    It is the characteristics of the Christ depictions that I am interested in. It is the characteristic of suffering on his face that is necessary, not what his individual features were.
    vincent7 saidDoug, see my post at the top of this thread and go into the You Tube link.
    I didn't know how to post it where you can just click on it. Your picture rather looks like the same person, but a little older. Blessings!

    Vincent7, why do you picture Brandon Boy as Jesus? Do you a memory attached to him that lets you picture him as Jesus?