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The Lamb of God


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For the first eight centuries of the evolution of Christianity, Christian art represented a lamb, and not a man, as suffering on the cross for the salvation of the world.

Neither the paintings in the Catacombs nor the sculptures on Christian tombs pictured a human figure on the cross. Everywhere a lamb was shown as the Christian symbol -- a lamb carrying a cross, a lamb at the foot of a cross, a lamb on a cross.

Some figures showed the lamb with a human head, shoulders and arms, holding a cross in his hands -- the lamb of God in process of assuming the human form -- the crucifixion myth becoming realistic.

At the close of the eighth century, Pope Hadrian I, confirming the decree of the sixth Synod of Constantinople, commanded that thereafter the figure of a man should take the place of a lamb on the cross.

It took Christianity eight hundred years to develop the symbol of its suffering Savior. For eight hundred years, the Christ on the cross was a lamb. But if Jesus was actually crucified, why was his place on the cross so long usurped by a lamb? In the light of history and reason, and in view of a lamb on the cross, why should we believe in the Crucifixion?

Someone should ask Paskewicz this question and write down his answers. AFter all, he is an "excellent" history teacher, and believer in Jesus.

Ask your pastors this Sunday these questions. Watch them squirm as they try to evade the obvious.

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For the first eight centuries of the evolution of Christianity, Christian art represented a lamb, and not a man, as suffering on the cross for the salvation of the world.

Neither the paintings in the Catacombs nor the sculptures on Christian tombs pictured a human figure on the cross. Everywhere a lamb was shown as the Christian symbol -- a lamb carrying a cross, a lamb at the foot of a cross, a lamb on a cross.

Some figures showed the lamb with a human head, shoulders and arms, holding a cross in his hands -- the lamb of God in process of assuming the human form -- the crucifixion myth becoming realistic.

At the close of the eighth century, Pope Hadrian I, confirming the decree of the sixth Synod of Constantinople, commanded that thereafter the figure of a man should take the place of a lamb on the cross.

It took Christianity eight hundred years to develop the symbol of its suffering Savior. For eight hundred years, the Christ on the cross was a lamb. But if Jesus was actually crucified, why was his place on the cross so long usurped by a lamb? In the light of history and reason, and in view of a lamb on the cross, why should we believe in the Crucifixion?

Someone should ask Paskewicz this question and write down his answers.  AFter all, he is an "excellent" history teacher, and believer in Jesus. 

Ask your pastors this Sunday these questions.  Watch them squirm as they try to evade the obvious.

Who gives a $hit !

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It took Christianity eight hundred years to develop the symbol of its suffering Savior. For eight hundred years, the Christ on the cross was a lamb. But if Jesus was actually crucified, why was his place on the cross so long usurped by a lamb? In the light of history and reason, and in view of a lamb on the cross, why should we believe in the Crucifixion?

What does it mean that Jesus is the Lamb of God?

Question: "What does it mean that Jesus is the Lamb of God?"

Answer: When Jesus is called the Lamb of God in John 1:29 and John 1:36, it is in reference to His being the perfect and ultimate sacrifice for sin. In order to understand who Christ was and what He did, we must begin with the Old Testament, which contains prophecies concerning the coming of Christ as an “offering for sin” (Isaiah 53:10). In fact, the whole sacrificial system established by God in the Old Testament set the stage for the coming of Jesus Christ, who is the perfect sacrifice that God would provide as atonement for the sins of His people (Romans 8:3; Hebrews 10).

The sacrifice of lambs played a very important role in the Jewish religious life and their sacrificial system. When John the Baptist referred to Jesus as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), the Jews who heard him might have immediately thought of any one of several important sacrifices. With the time of the Passover Feast being very near, the first thought might be the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb. The Passover Feast was one of the main Jewish holidays and a celebration in remembrance of when God delivered the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. In fact, the slaying of the Passover Lamb and the applying of the blood to door posts of the houses in order for the death angel to pass over those people who are “covered by the blood” (Exodus 12:11-13) is a beautiful picture of Christ’s atoning work on the cross.

Another important sacrifice involving lambs was the daily sacrifices at the Temple in Jerusalem. Every morning and evening, a lamb was sacrificed in the Temple for the sins of the people (Exodus 29:38-42). These daily sacrifices, like all others, were simply to point people towards the perfect sacrifice of Christ on the cross. In fact, the time of Jesus’ death on the cross corresponds to the time the evening sacrifice would have been being made in the Temple. The Jews at that time would have also been familiar with the Old Testament prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah, whose prophecies foretold the coming of one who would be brought “like a lamb to the slaughter" (Jeremiah 11:19; Isaiah 53:7) and whose sufferings and sacrifice would provide redemption for Israel. Of course, that person who was foretold by the Old Testament prophets was none other than Jesus Christ, “the Lamb of God.”

While the idea of a sacrificial system might seem strange to us today, the concept of payment or restitution is still one we can easily understand. We know that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and that our sin separates us from God. We also know that the Bible teaches that we are all sinners and that none of us is righteous before God (Romans 3:23). Because of our sin, we are separated from God, and we stand guilty before Him; therefore, the only hope we can have is if He will provide a way for us to be reconciled to Himself and that is what He did in sending His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross. Christ died to make atonement for sin and to pay the penalty of the sins of all who believe in Him.

It is through His death on the cross as God’s perfect sacrifice for sin and His resurrection three days later that we can now have eternal life if we believe in Him. The fact that God Himself has provided the offering that atones or pays for our sin is part of the glorious good news of the gospel that is so clearly declared in 1 Peter 1:18-21 - “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”

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For the first eight centuries of the evolution of Christianity, Christian art represented a lamb, and not a man, as suffering on the cross for the salvation of the world.

Neither the paintings in the Catacombs nor the sculptures on Christian tombs pictured a human figure on the cross. Everywhere a lamb was shown as the Christian symbol -- a lamb carrying a cross, a lamb at the foot of a cross, a lamb on a cross.

Some figures showed the lamb with a human head, shoulders and arms, holding a cross in his hands -- the lamb of God in process of assuming the human form -- the crucifixion myth becoming realistic.

At the close of the eighth century, Pope Hadrian I, confirming the decree of the sixth Synod of Constantinople, commanded that thereafter the figure of a man should take the place of a lamb on the cross.

It took Christianity eight hundred years to develop the symbol of its suffering Savior. For eight hundred years, the Christ on the cross was a lamb. But if Jesus was actually crucified, why was his place on the cross so long usurped by a lamb? In the light of history and reason, and in view of a lamb on the cross, why should we believe in the Crucifixion?

Someone should ask Paskewicz this question and write down his answers.  AFter all, he is an "excellent" history teacher, and believer in Jesus. 

Ask your pastors this Sunday these questions.  Watch them squirm as they try to evade the obvious.

Setting aside the fact that you are mistaken in stating that the ONLY works of art depicting the crucifixion in the first 800 years represented a lamb, there are many, many reasons why the use of the lamb existed. Many are extremely complex and relate to the history of early censorship, and the desires of early art patrons. Others are simplistic, such as the use of symbolism. But at the end of the day, you are really, REALLY reaching if you are trying to disprove the occurrence of the crucifixion from old art books.

Those of us who may or may not be on your side of the aisle humbly request that you do a little more homework before you try to represent our scientific beliefs from now on. It's hard enough to combat Christian fundamentalists who come up with illogical arguments, but to have to disspell myths from our own legion only hurts our cause. So while we applaud your passion, please step it up a notch or get out of the sandbox.

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you are really, REALLY reaching if you are trying to disprove the occurrence of the crucifixion from old art books.

When one realizes the fact that decades-old (four, at the very least) hearsay is the only evidence that Jesus even existed at all, one realizes it's barely a reach at all. I mean, crucifixion was a common punishment during those times, but THE crucifixion has been shown to be no different than any of the other myths of the time. Doesn't really get any simpler than that. There is no more evidence of Jesus having really existed than there is of Hercules having really existed.

For more info, The God Who Wasn't There is a good documentary that primarily deals with this, but there's also this, which is even more in-depth and textual, not to mention free (B)):

http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

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Those of us who may or may not be on your side of the aisle humbly request that you do a little more homework before you try to represent our scientific beliefs from now on. 

Scientific beliefs? You are calling the crucifixion a scientific belief?

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Setting aside the fact that you are mistaken in stating that the ONLY works of art depicting the crucifixion in the first 800 years represented a lamb, there are many, many reasons why the use of the lamb existed.  Many are extremely complex and relate to the history of early censorship, and the desires of early art patrons.  Others are simplistic, such as the use of symbolism.  But at the end of the day, you are really, REALLY reaching if you are trying to disprove the occurrence of the crucifixion from old art books.

Those of us who may or may not be on your side of the aisle humbly request that you do a little more homework before you try to represent our scientific beliefs from now on.  It's hard enough to combat Christian fundamentalists who come up with illogical arguments, but to have to disspell myths from our own legion only hurts our cause.  So while we applaud your passion, please step it up a notch or get out of the sandbox.

It's not completely his fault.

He's just plagiarizing indiscriminately from anti-Christian materials he finds elsewhere.

Check this out:

"On the theory that Christ was crucified, how shall we explain the fact that during the first eight centuries of the evolution of Christianity, Christian art represented a lamb, and not a man, as suffering on the cross for the salvation of the world? Neither the paintings in the Catacombs nor the sculptures on Christian tombs pictured a human figure on the cross. Everywhere a lamb was shown as the Christian symbol -- a lamb carrying a cross, a lamb at the foot of a cross, a lamb on a cross."

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical...eally_live.html

He doesn't bother to even look at the cautions that Internet Infidels provides in association with the materials, apparently:

The Historical Library contains writings written before 1970, only. For material written during or after 1970, please refer to the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.

This section is provided for those doing research into the history of nontheism. It is not intended to be--and should not be used as--a source of modern, up-to-date information regarding atheistic issues. Those looking for modern critiques of theism should go to the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.

IMPORTANT: In the past, we have been inundated with email addressed to, and feedback regarding, the articles and authors included here. All of these authors are dead--and in many cases have been so for several decades. We will not reply to email addressed to dead authors, and therefore any email addressed to these authors will be ignored. Similarly, we do not reply to feedback regarding faulty scholarship on the part of dead authors, nor do we correct spelling errors and/or typographical errors (most of which result from the scanning and OCR process) in their articles.

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/

Stop plagiarizing, GSUFC.

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Stop plagiarizing, GSUFC.

And stop changing the focus of the topic.

Whether copied elsewhere or not, the topic is the "faith by committee" that Christianity is. They had to convene a committee in the 300s to determine if Jesus was divine!

And roughly 800 years after supposed cruxifixion, a committee decided that a lamb on the cross wasn't graphic enough, so they decided to make a man being executed the focus of Christian symbolism. How appropriate for a failing religion - make the fear factor that much more obvious.

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Scientific beliefs?  You are calling the crucifixion a scientific belief?

You are S**K a jacka** with your head so far up your petootie that you don't realize when someone is saying that they don't believe in the crucifixion either. The poster was suggesting that - if you are going to take up a cause in which he (and apparently Strife and Calybos) believe - that you should at least base it on some real research or information.

Really, quit sniffing glue, it kills the brain cells.

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Guest Be Fair
When one realizes the fact that decades-old (four, at the very least) hearsay is the only evidence that Jesus even existed at all, one realizes it's barely a reach at all. I mean, crucifixion was a common punishment during those times, but THE crucifixion has been shown to be no different than any of the other myths of the time. Doesn't really get any simpler than that. There is no more evidence of Jesus having really existed than there is of Hercules having really existed.

For more info, The God Who Wasn't There is a good documentary that primarily deals with this, but there's also this, which is even more in-depth and textual, not to mention free (:D):

http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

Strife, someone uses misstatements and innuendo relating to centuries old artwork as their indisputable foundation to disproves the existence of Jesus, and you're okay with that?

I would think that you would hold those who would agree with your opinions to the same standards of proof as those who do not. C'mon, be honest, if one of these whacko fundamentalists came out you trying to prove the existence of Jesus because centuries old artwork depicts him, wouldn't you (and shouldn't you) be all over their case for such a tenuous argument.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and I'm just suggesting that the person starting the thread keep up with the rest of the class.

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Strife, someone uses misstatements and innuendo relating to centuries old artwork as their indisputable foundation to disproves the existence of Jesus, and you're okay with that?

Actually, I think the whole 'lamb' thing the OP wrote is needlessly 'involved,' and that the shakiness of the foundation for belief in the existence of Jesus Christ is evident enough when you take a look at it objectively. I was more speaking generally, to be honest, not so much defending the OP, because I never really heard about the stuff he wrote before.

I would think that you would hold those who would agree with your opinions to the same standards of proof as those who do not.

Well, in this case, 'my side' has nothing to prove. It's a ridiculous notion to prove non-existence--fact is that the closest thing Christians etc. have to evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ (much less his divinity) is 40-year-old (at the very, very least) hearsay.

C'mon, be honest, if one of these whacko fundamentalists came out you trying to prove the existence of Jesus because centuries old artwork depicts him, wouldn't you (and shouldn't you) be all over their case for such a tenuous argument.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and I'm just suggesting that the person starting the thread keep up with the rest of the class.

My suggestion to the OP is to not even bother 'disproving' the existence of Jesus Christ. Just point out the weakness of the so-called evidence on their side and let them flounder. Remind them why it's called faith.

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Guest Dingo Dave
pbrown 64 wrote: "In fact, the whole sacrificial system established by God in the Old Testament set the stage for the coming of Jesus Christ, who is the perfect sacrifice that God would provide as atonement for the sins of His people (Romans 8:3; Hebrews 10)."

A human sacrifice to appease the wrath of a vengeful diety. Very progressive thinking pbrown. How does this differ in essence from sacrificing a young virgin in the jungles of the Congo, in order to placate the wrath of some 3 headed volcano god?

pbrown 64 wrote: "In fact, the slaying of the Passover Lamb and the applying of the blood to door posts of the houses in order for the death angel to pass over those people who are “covered by the blood” (Exodus 12:11-13) is a beautiful picture of Christ’s atoning work on the cross."

The passover represented the cold blooded murder of thousands of innocent children. 'All the firstborn in Egypt. From the first born of the Pharaoh to the first born of the prisoner in the dungeon.' There is nothing beautiful about it. Just mass murder perpetrated on an entire people by the god Yahweh, in order to showcase his genocidal talents, "so that his name might be proclaimed in all the Earth." What a sadistic, egomaniac god you worship pbrown. You should be ashamed of yourself.

pbrown 64 wrote: "While the idea of a sacrificial system might seem strange to us today, the concept of payment or restitution is still one we can easily understand."

Not strange, simply barbaric. The concept of payment and restitution via the slaughter of an innocent party, in order to appease the vanity of a wrathful tyrant, runs counter to all that we consider to be just and fair in our modern society. A modern court of law would not even consider such a verdict, let alone carry it out. Just listen to yourself pbrown.

pbrown 64 wrote: "He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times...."

So the game was all rigged from the start was it? All this slaughter and mayhem was simply part of God's grand plan for the universe all along? The millions of innocent animals and people that were needlessly slaughtered and burned into oblivion were all sacrificed for God's entertainment, culminating in the ritual slaughter of the 'perfect' human sacrifice?

There is nothing more barbaric in the history of the most backward tribe from the depths of the Amazon rainforest, than there is in this story of needless bloodletting and revenge. You should blush to put such words to paper pbrown.

By the way, those last times that the Bible author wrote about, would they have been about 2000 years ago? Perhaps it's time to let go of your ancient, barberous superstitions and join the rest of us in the 21st century.

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And stop changing the focus of the topic.

I just pulled the rug out from under your sourcing. That's directly on-topic.

You tried to present it otherwise by only quoting my parting advice to you.

Whether copied elsewhere or not, the topic is the "faith by committee" that Christianity is.  They had to convene a committee in the 300s to determine if Jesus was divine!

Huh. I thought your topic was the whole "Lamb of God" thing.

Changed your mind, did you? How are you going to change the thread title to match the new topic?

And roughly 800 years after supposed cruxifixion, a committee decided that a lamb on the cross wasn't graphic enough, so they decided to make a man being executed the focus of Christian symbolism.  How appropriate for a failing religion - make the fear factor that much more obvious.

Whom are you plagiarizing via paraphrase, here?

:rolleyes:

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A human sacrifice to appease the wrath of a vengeful diety. Very progressive thinking pbrown. How does this differ in essence from sacrificing a young virgin in the jungles of the Congo, in order to placate the wrath of some 3 headed volcano god?

The passover represented the cold blooded murder of thousands of innocent children. 'All the firstborn in Egypt. From the first born of the Pharaoh to the first born of the prisoner in the dungeon.' There is nothing beautiful about it. Just mass murder perpetrated on an entire people by the god Yahweh, in order to showcase his genocidal talents, "so that his name might be proclaimed in all the Earth." What a sadistic, egomaniac god you worship pbrown. You should be ashamed of yourself. 

Not strange, simply barbaric. The concept of payment and restitution via the slaughter of an innocent party, in order to appease the vanity of a wrathful tyrant, runs counter to all that we consider to be just and fair in our modern society. A modern court of law would not even consider such a verdict, let alone carry it out. Just listen to yourself pbrown.

So the game was all rigged from the start was it? All this slaughter and mayhem was simply part of God's grand plan for the universe all along? The millions of innocent animals and people that were needlessly slaughtered and burned into oblivion were all sacrificed for God's entertainment, culminating in the ritual slaughter of the 'perfect' human sacrifice?

There is nothing more barbaric in the history of the most backward tribe from the depths of the Amazon rainforest, than there is in this story of needless bloodletting and revenge. You should blush to put such words to paper pbrown.

By the way, those last times that the Bible author wrote about, would they have been about 2000 years ago? Perhaps it's time to let go of your ancient, barberous superstitions and join the rest of us in the 21st century.

I would invite you to go back a read my post again. In doing so you will notice that I did not author what was posted. My post contained text to an article that I found interesting as well as a link to the site where I pulled it from.

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I just pulled the rug out from under your sourcing.

Your haughty attitude only makes your intentional dodging all the more annoying. Whether something is plagiarized, in and of itself, is wholly irrelevant to its validity. Stop doing your best fundie impression by pouncing on irrelevant details and actually address what was said, if you can.

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Your haughty attitude only makes your intentional dodging all the more annoying.

And you can prove your case without dodging?

Whether something is plagiarized, in and of itself, is wholly irrelevant to its validity.

No kidding? That must be why I cited the disclaimer that Internet Infidels attached to the information that GSUFTC injudiciously used.

I'll repost the relevant portion so that you won't stupidly miss/ignore it this time.

This section is provided for those doing research into the history of nontheism. It is not intended to be--and should not be used as--a source of modern, up-to-date information regarding atheistic issues. Those looking for modern critiques of theism should go to the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/

Does that help you out a bit, Strife?

Stop doing your best fundie impression by pouncing on irrelevant details and actually address what was said, if you can.

Why is it an irrelevant detail that Internet Infidels recognizes that its archive of older anti-theist materials contains outdated scholarship?

I'd love to hear your explanation, Strife.

This is so funny. Strife is ready to accept the OP argument at face value, expecting that it requires a point-by-point refutation.

Having done his part by plagiarizing outdated materials, GSUFTC has successfully placed the burden of proof on those who question the argument.

Priceless. Maybe we can get you two in a credit card commercial.

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Guest Dingo Dave
I would invite you to go back a read my post again. In doing so you will notice that I did not author what was posted. My post contained text to an article that I found interesting as well as a link to the site where I pulled it from.

You're quite correct pbrown, I must admit I hadn't recognised the link at the top of your post as being a link. However, would I be correct in surmising that you agree with the contents of that article? Otherwise why post it?

If you don't agree with the contents, then you have my sincere apologies. If you do agree with the contents, then I'm afraid my comments stand as posted.

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