Paintings of God and the Second Commandment?


Wait a moment. What’s in this image? Is that a picture of *gasp* God? And are these paintings of Jesus? Even though the second commandment says, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above?” Yes, well there’s an explanation behind our opening graphic.

When We Understand the Text began as an effort to share the gospel and teach the Bible in context, correcting many assumptions people have come to believe but the Bible doesn’t actually say. For example, the Bible does not say Jesus stands knocking at the door of your heart, waiting for you to invite Him in.

These images on the opening slide represent famous depictions of Bible stories. The logo is in a font called protest paint. So this opener was meant to be a protest against many common but false assumptions about the Bible.

This does not break the second commandment. God told Israel not to make a graven image of anything in heaven or on earth, but then He told Moses to fashion two angels on top of the ark of the covenant, and there were statues of angels in the temple.

Jesus is God born in the likeness of men, and the Bible describes His appearance. The Holy Spirit has appeared as a dove and as fire. Are these images lawless? The context of the second commandment forbids worshiping any graven image, which would make you an idolater.

That’s not permission to make a likeness of God who is spirit. Sufficient enough is the word of Christ, who didn’t look like a shampoo model. To guard your conscience, and not wanting to cause anyone to stumble, from now on, the opening slide will look like this. And we hope you’ll still be alright with sharing the older videos with the old opener. We are, when we understand the text.

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