H Ai L To Fae

"Slum us i he Father1? I '<> you nol believe that I am in the Fat her and the hthíi is in nie? l'ïic words that I say v(iU [ d^ nan speak on my own; b'.it ihL' Father who dwells in me does hs works."' According to these te \ i m , " s«i 11 ii' kLs li s is I su toa tn ipneher.l 11 li l- etcr u,i 1 a nd i nvi -.■¡It-I e Deily in some ^-ji^l". poiiibly in the same way that lieIilt biblical texts (as welt as early Christian literature) assert that the incomprehensible divine essence is known or even mediated through angels» prophetic utterances, ot heavenly signs and symbols. The <>[-í.liií:ih chapter of the Gospel of John says while no one has seen trod, the SlUI ha* made him known, using thi ( ¡reek verb exêgecmaï, "to explain oi interpret," rather than .i word like apakaíyptá reveal'dolio I 10). However, the text of lohn H contrasts the verbs girfpAfco and fio™ö,"to know" with "see," and so to "sec" Jesus to both see and know God. Thus, iIil^l- Gospel fvi* sages pre.Hcnt Jesus as more than .an angel or prophet. He ii the actual visual revelation dI'Mil- One who 'dwells'1 in him, whose face shows forth the glory of God -'2 Cov 4 :(■> :.

SLk'h arguments have immense implications fot Christian iconography. Jesus undoubtedly had .l human face that could he seen and re-cog niied m his lifetime, l or this reason, the représentation of Christ in symbolic form the Good Shepherd oi even as Lamb of God could be abandoned, in favor of the human representation. Tin." fundamental question j.^ whether the face or physical form of Jesus could be reproduced or copied into an even less "living" representation :a painting or sculpted image], li il "i captured only the external appearance and which, by nature, coutd not contain his inexpressible interior rtality— his essence. In light of the philosophical arguments regarding the limitations or even deception inherent in portraits of even ordinary humans, the visual portrayal of a divine human seems all the more p rob I ema t i c la en i i n pos sib II-. "I 'tu-1 ss ue of vi su ally re 11 nese n i i n jí l J i v i ci -Ity w.itlii- basis of Eusebiusns ostensible objections to (Konstantia in his alleged response to her request Mr a portrait of Christ. Although lIlltl1 is some doubt about the authenticity of the document, it> christological a rg n me n ^ d ea r i y ad d re ss the pi ob lern of divi ne re presentation:

Whin 1^1 .— .ij^' ol ( hriil .m' juu scikicvg? Is Lt the true JinJ unalterable une hi l h bears hi s e ssen tialr haracteristics, or I he one whkh he c*. ■ k up far our ÄJkej •v,hen hi *** 1 (ht furrti u f v servant | Phil 2:7 |____t : r,v: ted. be has two ft ii-ms. evci : ] do not th ink that your : 11 |i: til has io do with his dm ne form, , ,, Surely, then, you ¿re seeking his ima^e as ¿ servant, that Lit the flesh wh ich he pu i l>n lu t y ur sake. Bul thn L. :ur>, we ha1-* taught, was mlngJed with I he gbry nf hii divi nity so that t h ç momt pa 11 was sw x I : jw led up ty : i l

Al mrd i n k t« i h .i r^l j m l-ii t, any vis\l.i I y< irt| of C h ri ^ must be jnad ■ equate since it either avended ov attempted to portray rht- divine nature.


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