23 votes
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Why does this Greek Orthodox monastery in Israel fly the English flag?

The red cross on a white background is the Cross of St George. St George is the patron saint of England and his flag is the flag of England. (The Union Flag, which many outside the British Isles may ...
davidlol's user avatar
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20 votes
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Biblical significance of the gifts given to Jesus

Biblical References to Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh: Gold is a highly valued commodity – not just for its beauty and use in jewellery and decorations, but also for its status. The Bible describes the ...
Anne's user avatar
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14 votes
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What does the letters 'JHS' mean?

It's one of many shorthand names for "Jesus" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christogram In the Latin-speaking Christianity of medieval Western Europe (and so among Catholics and many ...
Simon Sarris's user avatar
11 votes

How did the four living creatures become associated with the Gospel writers?

This connection was made by fathers as early as Irenaeus (d. 202). Here's a table showing the views of several fathers whose writings we have on this subject: Lion Ox ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
11 votes
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What is the biblical basis of the "goats are evil" trope?

The Overall Significance of Goats in the Bible Goats in the Bible generally have a good significance. They were among the clean animals that could be eaten (see Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14:3-21), ...
Lee Woofenden's user avatar
10 votes
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What does the abbreviation "RNIO" mean in a painting of the Virgin and Child?

There seems to be two views on what the letters "RNIO" mean in the Carlos Crivelli painting. I only have one reference for the answer: Dr. Liliana Leopardi, an expert in Italian Renaissance art, ...
hernan43's user avatar
  • 701
7 votes
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Why is the Ichthys symbol almost always facing left?

Why is the Ichthys symbol almost always facing left? No theological or symbolic reason seems to available as an answer. But I suspect that it may have to do something with the simple direction of ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
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6 votes

What does this possibly Catholic symbol mean?

What does this possibly Catholic symbol mean? I believe this to be a sort of pantheon of symbols of the Santería culture as practiced by certain individuals living in the Americas. It seems most ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
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6 votes
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Prior to 1900 were there any depictions of Satan in Christian art as a woman/female?

Lucas Cranach the Elder (c.1472 – 16 October 1553), a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and , made the following woodcut in 1523.It depicts Satan as half serpent and half woman! ...
Scribe of the Kingdom's user avatar
6 votes

Meaning of cross with Jesus on both sides

A double-sided crucifix has the same religious significance as a single-sided one. It is an artistic device that enables the image of Jesus to been seen from two sides. This is particularly useful in ...
Dan Fefferman's user avatar
5 votes
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Is there a historical reason why the liturgical colour purple eventually replaced black to symbolize penance?

Is there a historical reason why the liturgical colour purple eventually replaced black to symbolize penance? Having dived into this question for some time now, I would like to simply postulate a ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
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5 votes

Biblical significance of the gifts given to Jesus

I think there is more to the gifts than the symbolism of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Particularly within the Bible. Recently I was preaching on Isaiah 60, and verse 6 struck me: Herds of camels ...
Phill Sacre's user avatar
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5 votes
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Could the intentional killing of civilians in primarily Christian Ukraine be included in symbolism within the book of Revelation?

Only time will tell. The ethnic and religious statistics are interesting. With regard to the religious element, it is worth noting that there are two distinct denominations that claim to be the "...
Lesley's user avatar
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5 votes

Is literary symbolism blasphemy?

Is literary symbolism blasphemy? The short answer is no. A Christ figure is a legitimate manner of expression, as long as the author makes no claim that the literary figure is indeed Christ in person, ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
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4 votes

How did the cross come to be a symbol for Christianity?

Long before the cross was the staple of Christianity, Heraldic symbolism was used to help identify units on the battlefield. The two places in which the symbol of the cross featured most prominently ...
Tavrock's user avatar
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4 votes

Nuns wearing wedding bands?

Do all nuns wear these symbolic wedding bands? If not, is this practice limited to certain religious orders? Rings may be worn by some members of female Catholic religious institutions or Religious ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
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4 votes
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Why do Popes have seven candlesticks on the altar at Mass?

The seventh candle seems to be the jurisdiction candle. The number of candles "at a pontifical high Mass, celebrated by the ordinary, seven candles are lighted. The seventh candle should be somewhat ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
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4 votes
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Lutherans: Shells, baptism, why?

Faith Lutheran Church - Symbols and Meaning on Page 12 The Scallop Shell – (at six points around the edge of the bowl). John is said to have baptized Jesus with water from a scallop shell and it has ...
Herkfixer's user avatar
  • 301
4 votes
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Why is beating one's breast used to show sadness and guilt?

The basic idea is that of "smiting oneself." As Howard Marshall puts it, commenting on Luke 18:13: The breast or heart is regarded as the seat of sin, and hence the act is one of grief or ...
Susan's user avatar
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4 votes

What does the letters 'JHS' mean?

Jesus Hominum Salvator (Latin: Jesus Savior of Mankind) JHS. this is the direct explanation to your picture. Merry Christmas!
USER27's user avatar
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4 votes
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Ancient imagery beasts used in Christian symbolisms?

In mythology gargoyles were believed to frighten away evil spirits. They are often used to guard cathedrals or castles. Sometimes they are depicted as vessels for demonic possession. Of course, ...
Lesley's user avatar
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3 votes

Why are there Sibyls and Prophetesses in the Sistine Chapel?

Why are there Sybils and Prophetesses in the Sistine Chapel? For a short answer: They were the ancient pagan prophetesses of old who predicted the coming of Jesus into the world. A Sibyl was an ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 71.4k
3 votes

What is the significance of what Jesus ate after his resurrection?

Dont read to much into it. Simple is always right, then build from there. Look at the accounts of the last supper in Luke 22:15-29, Mark 14:24-25, and Matthew 26:27-29. Jesus said you would not see ...
Eric Fondren's user avatar
3 votes

Why is the interlocking-squares (gammadia) a symbol of the Melchizedek Priesthood?

Why is the square a symbol of the Melchizedek Priesthood? Short answer is because it's on the altar cloth with Melchizedek on the mosaic. I've been unable to find any ancient reference to the eight ...
depperm's user avatar
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3 votes

Prior to 1900 were there any depictions of Satan in Christian art as a woman/female?

I'm a high school art teacher with a particular interest in a similar question that may shed some light on yours. I've been researching the development of the image of satan in early, medieval, and ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 39
3 votes
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Chimera Image on my leather jacket?

The Chimera is of pagan origins, but the interpretation as to what it may symbolize in a Christian perspective is an open question. The mythological Chimera is a terrifying creature that features a ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
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3 votes
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Is there a Christian equivalent of Mandala (word or symbol)?

Is there a Christian equivalent for the use of a mandala (word or symbol) in Church architecture? Some Christians simply call them mandalas. Different denominations have adopted different terms for ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 71.4k
3 votes

Biblical significance of the gifts given to Jesus

I know I've answered this elsewhere, but when teaching Catechism, I love to remind kids of this symbolism because it exemplifies the 3-fold office of Priest, Prophet and King which is shown in the ...
Peter Turner's user avatar
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