When you think of Christian Art, what do you think of?
The Jesus Painter
maybe if we are stretching it a bit even Kirk Cameron
Christian Art has been with us throughout the years. It has come in all different forms and styles. Christians didn’t really have their own art early on because much of it was destroyed in the early centuries. However, symbols began to emerge and over time as Christians started to develop their own cemeteries and places of worship, art began to take hold.
Why talk about art? This was supposed to be a series on people and the legacy that they have left. The art was developed by people, and the art tells a story of people. One of the earliest artistic symbols that has made it throughout the many years is the fish. The fish became very important to the Christian community because one of Jesus’ great miracles was to multiply the fish and the loaves and feed 5,000 people. Yet, even more than that miracle the fish became tied to the sacred time of communion. The fish was found in scenes throughout history and has taken on a symbolism of it’s own.
The Greek word for fish is ICHTHYS. This also was used as an acrostic for the phrase, “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior”. All of these things helped hold the Christian faith together. As the Church was forming and spreading throughout history, these symbols and more began to pop up all throughout art.
While in Israel, I took several pictures of some of the ancient art. Here are a few pictures…
As you can see, Christian Art has been around for centuries and will be for many more to come. It has played a pivotal role in the Christian faith.
So, here is a question for you. The Christian Fish has showed up all over the place. Where is the most interesting place that you have found the fish symbol? Tattoo, Bumper, T-shirt… what else?
~PeterA great resource to read up on Christian History is a book by Justo L. Gonzalez called, “The Story of Christianity”. You can purchase it at Amazon.com here. Other Posts in this series: 1. Augustine of Hippo 2. John Chrysostom