Jehovah`s Witness/Pictures of Jesus
hello brother Abdijah,
You seem to be very knowledgeable and I'm sure you will be appreciated on this forum.
There has been some debate in our Sunday School class about whether its OK or not OK to have pictures of Jesus in our homes.
My take is that we have to be careful that the picture is not an object of worship, right? But there is nothing in the New Testament (as far as I know) that forbids us of having a picture of Jesus. I look at a picture of Jesus (I could be wrong) as a reminder to pray, not to himself but to His Father. Even though most of the people in my Sunday School class believes in the Trinity but I have learned through this forum that the Trinity doctrine is nothing more than a false doctrine.
And, of course, even the most beautiful representation of Jesus is nothing more than one artist's conception of what our precious Lord looked like.
Anyways, I'd like to hear your comments.
Have a blessed day,
Hello, Phillip, and thank you for your kind words.
You seem to have the correct attitude toward this.
I hope you will find the following information, which is taken from the April 15, 1993 issue of the Watchtower
, pages 26-27, to be of help. The name of the article is “The Use and Misuse of Religious Pictures” and the subheading of interest is “As Decorative Teaching Aids.” That part is quoted here for you:
<quote>This does not mean that the mere possession of a picture of some Biblical scene is idolatrous. This magazine makes good use of pictures of Biblical events as teaching aids. Also, scenes of Biblical events can be used to decorate the walls of houses and buildings. Yet, a true Christian would not want to display a picture that is known to be venerated by others, nor would he hang on his wall a picture that misrepresents the Bible
. — Romans 14:13
Most of Christendom’s icons portray a circle of light around the heads of Jesus, Mary, angels, and “saints.” This is called a halo. Where did the halo originate? “Its origin was not Christian,” admits The Catholic Encyclopedia (1987 edition), “for it was used by pagan artists and sculptors to represent in symbol the great dignity and power of the various deities.” Furthermore, the book The Christians, by Bamber Gascoigne, contains a photograph obtained from the Capitoline Museum in Rome of a sun-god with halo. This god was worshiped by pagan Romans. Later, explains Gascoigne, “the sun’s halo” was “borrowed by Christianity.” Yes, the halo is connected with pagan sun worship.
Are pictures that mix Biblical events with symbols of pagan idol worship fit to be hung on the wall of a Christian home? No. The Bible counsels: “What agreement does God’s temple have with idols? . . . ‘“Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,” says Jehovah, “and quit touching the unclean thing”; “and I will take you in.”’”—2 Corinthians 6:16, 17.
As time went by, professed Christians began to ignore such counsel. An apostasy developed, as had been foretold by Jesus and his apostles. (Matthew 24:24; Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Peter 2:1) Early in the fourth century C.E., the Roman emperor Constantine made apostate Christianity the State religion. Now a stream of pagans began to declare themselves “Christians.” A common practice among them was the worship of images of the emperor. They also used to hang up pictures of their ancestors and other famous people. “In accordance with the cult of the emperor,” explains John Taylor in his book Icon Painting, “people worshipped his portrait painted on canvas and wood, and from thence to the veneration of icons was a small step.” Thus, pagan worship of pictures was replaced by the veneration of pictures of Jesus, Mary, angels, and “saints.”</quote>
In short, they seem to be OK as decorative teaching aids and reminders as long as they are reasonably accurate and do not promote wrong beliefs, and are not an object of worship or veneration, or a stumbling block to a weaker person.