Friday, December 05, 2008

Symbols of the evangelists

Myths, symbolism, and folklore
symbols of the evangelists: In Christian art they are the attributes associated with the depictions of the Evangelists; these symbols may also stand for the Evangelists. The angel or human being is associated with Matthew, the lion with Mark, the steer with Luke, and the eagle with John. These associations derive from the vision of the Tetramorph described in the Apocalypse of John. The symbols of the Evangelists were originally interpreted in connection with Christ. Through birth, Christ became human; he died like a sacrificial steer; he arose from the grave like a lion; and rose to heaven at the Ascension like an eagle. Later another interpretation became common. The (often winged) human figure for Matthew was related to Christ's lineage and his birth (with the report of which the Gospel According to Matthew begins); the lion of Mark referred to the beginning of the Gospel According to Mark, which reports John's sermon in the wilderness; the steer (as sacrificial animal) of Luke was considered a sign of the beginning of the Gospel According to Luke, which commences with the sacrifice of Zechariah; and the eagle of John symbolized the spiritual heights of the Gospel According to John. (Herder)

No comments:

Post a Comment