King Solomon commissioning an artist for the Temple
THE CATHOLIC RESPONSE: 1. The Bible does not forbid image-making absolutely because God Himself commanded His people to make Images for His Holy Temple, Altar & Sanctuaries. Exodus 25:18-19 God commanded Moses to make statues of the Cherubims (Angels). [37:1-9/1 Kings 6:23-28/2 Chronicles 3:10-13/5:8]. Exodus 25:33-36 Almond Flowers and Fruits in the Candelabra of the Holy Tent. [37:17-21] Exodus 26:1,31 Curtains of the Tabernacle are embroidered with Images of Cherubims. [36:8,35] Exodus 28:33-34 Images of Pomegranate Fruits (Granada) & Bells in the ‘holy garment’ of priests [v.2] to be used in serving at the ‘holy place’ [v. 35]. [37:17-22/39:24-27] Exodus 39:14 Engraved image of a Signet Exodus 39: 15 Image of Chains in breastplate of priests
1 Kings 6:18 Cedar of the interior of the Temple was carved with Knops and Open Flowers. 1 Kings 6:29 The Temple Walls were carved with figures of Cherubims, Palm Trees & Open Flowers. 1 Kings 6:32 The two doors of the Temple were carved with Cherubims, Palm Trees & Open Flowers [v.35] 1 Kings 7:18-20,22 The capitals on top of the columns of the Temple were designed with Pomegranates and Lily flowers. Also of Knops [v. 24]. 1 Kings 7:25 Twelve Statues of Bulls [v. 44]. [2 Chronicles 4:3-4]. 1 Kings 7:26 The water basin is formed like a Cup with Flowers of Lilies. [2 Chron 4:5]. 1 Kings 7:29 Images of Lions, Oxens & Cherubims on bases. 1 Kings 7:30 The bases has Four Brazen Wheels [v. 32]. 1 Kings 7:42 Pomegranates fruits 1 Kings 7:49 Flowers, lamps and tongs of gold [2 Chronincles 4:21] 2 Chronicles 3:5 The ceiling of the Temple was adored with Images of Fir Tree, Palm Trees & Chains. 2 Chronicles 3:7 The Temple doors are adorned with the engraved Cherubims. 2 Chronicles 3:14 Temple veils are adorned with Cherubims. 2 Chronicles 3:16 The top of the Temple pillars are designed with Chains & a hundred Pomegranates (Granada). 2 Chronicles 4:13 Four hundred Pomegranates (Granada) forming Two Wreaths to cover the capitals upon pillars. Ezekiel 41:18-20 Ezekiel describes graven images in the temple consisting of carved likenesses of Cherubims with faces of Lions and Men. [These are similar to the images of the angels and saints in many Catholic churches.] Also images of Palm Trees. 2. God already appeared and revealed Himself in human or material forms. (Ps 17:15 MBB). Of course, in early history Israel was forbidden to make images of God because God didn’t yet reveal himself visibly “in the form of any figure”. Hence, had the Israelites depicted God not yet revealed, they might be tempted to worship Him in the form of a beast, bird, reptile or fish, which was a common error of the times. Exodus 3:2-3 Yahweh as Burning Bush Daniel 7:9 Vision of the Ancient One sitting on the throne of Glory [Revelation 4:2-3/22:1] Matthew 3:16 –The Spirit of God like a Dove [Mark 1:10/Luke 3:22/John 1:32] John 1:1,14 – God became man [Incarnation] John 1:36 – Christ referred as Lamb of God [Revelation 5:6] Acts 2:3 – The Spirit like Tongues of Fire Revelation 5:5 Christ referred as The Lion of Judah
6. David handed to Solomon the blueprint for the Altar with Images ahd testified that it is from God.
1 Chronicles 28:18-19 And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight, and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord. All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern. [In Ang Biblia: “sa makatuwid baga’y lahat ng gawain sa anyong ito.“] 7. God commanded to have Images in the Most Holy Place.
Exodus 26:34 And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the Ark of the Testimony in the most holy place.
1 Kings 8:6-7 And the priests brought in the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord unto His place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims. 8. God gifted Artists with Talents to be used for His glory and for His Temple. Exodus 31:1-9 God filled the sculptors and workmen with wisdom and understanding for artistic works. [36:1-4/ 38:22-23/ 2 Chronicles 4:11]
The Temple of Solomon
9. God did not condemn the presence of images in His Temple, rather He was Pleased.
1 Kings 9:3 And the LORD saith unto him [Solomon], I have heard thy prayer and they supplication, that thou hast made before Me: I have hallowed this house, which thou has built, to put My Name there for ever; and Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually. 10. God Himself created Images! Genesis 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him. Male and female He created them. [see v. 26]. 11. Only ONE Image worships by Catholics! Colossians 1:15 Jesus Christ, who is the “image” (eikon) of the invisible God. Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person…
The Holy of Holies
THE OFFICIAL TEACHING OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH:
Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC] # 2112 The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of “idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.” These empty idols make their worshippers empty: “Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them” [citing Ps 115:4-5, 8; cf. Is 44:44:9-20; Jer 10:1-16; Dan 14:1-30; Bar 6; Wis 13:1-15:19]. God, however, is the “living God” [Josh 3:10; Ps 42:3; etc.] who gives life and intervenes in history. CCC # 2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (i.g., Satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, “you cannot serve God and mammon” [Mt 6:24]. Many martyrs died for not adoring “the Beast” [Rev 13-14] refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God [citing: Gal 5:20; Eph 5:5].
The Holy Place
PROPHECY AGAINST THE ICONOCLASTS BORN-AGAIN, INC & ADD: Psalm 74:3-8 Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins; the enemy has destroyed everything in the SANCTUARY! Your foes have roared in the midst of your HOLY PLACE; they set up their own signs for signs. At the upper entrance they hacked the wooden trellis with axes. And then ALL ITS CARVED WOOD they broke down with hatchets and hammers. THEY SET YOUR SANCTUARY ON FIRE; to the ground THEY DESECRATED THE DWELLING PLACE OF YOUR NAME. They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”; THEY BURN ALL THE MEETING PLACES OF GOD IN THE LAND. [RSV-CE]
Itaas mo ang iyong mga paa sa mga walang hanggang guho, ang LAHAT NA KASAMAANG GINAWA NG KAAWAY SA SANTUARIO. Ang mga kaaway mo’y nagsisiangal sa gitna ng iyong kapulungan; kanilang itinaas ang kanilang mga watawat na pinakatanda. Sila’y tila mga tao na nangagtaas ng mga palakol sa mga kakahuyan. At ngayo’y LAHAT NG GAWANG INANYUAN DOON. KANILANG PINAGPUTOLPUTOL NG PALAKOL AT NG MGA PAMUKPOK. KANILANG SINILABAN NG APOY ANG IYONG SANTUARIO; KANILANG DINUMIHAN ANG TAHANANG DAKO NG IYONG PANGALAN HANGGANG LUPA. Kanilang sinabi sa kanilang puso, ATING GIBAIN PAMINSAN; KANILANG SINUNOG ANG LAHAT NA SINAGOGA NG DIOS SA LUPAIN. [Ang Biblia/ cf. Magandang Balita Biblia]