FACE TO FAITH

By com­par­ing im­ages of Je­sus it is pos­si­ble to trace the de­vel­op­ment of Chris­tian be­lief into the na­ture of Christ

All About History - - KINGS OF KINGS -

Alex­a­menos Graf­fito

Per­haps the ear­li­est image of Je­sus, this is not a flat­ter­ing one. The graf­fito shows a man rais­ing his hands to a cru­ci­fied fig­ure – a man with the head of a don­key. Un­der­neath is writ­ten “Alex­a­menos wor­ships his god”.

The Good Shepherd

In the cat­a­combs of Rome can be found paint­ings of Je­sus as a beard­less youth car­ry­ing a sheep dat­ing from the 3rd cen­tury. Pos­si­bly not meant to rep­re­sent the his­tor­i­cal Je­sus but as an al­le­gory of his role.

Heal­ing the Par­a­lytic

A wall paint­ing from Syria dated to around 230 CE shows Je­sus in the act of per­form­ing a mir­a­cle laid out in much the same way as a mod­ern comic strip. Un­for­tu­nately the de­tails of Je­sus him­self are dif­fi­cult to dis­cern.

Tomb of Com­mod­illa

This 4th cen­tury mu­ral of Je­sus is the ear­li­est yet dis­cov­ered which show him with a beard and long hair, a style not na­tive to Rome. This would be­come the pro­to­typ­i­cal image of Je­sus in art over the fol­low­ing cen­turies.

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