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A Brief Guide to Byzantine Icons

Eikona is a Greek term for Icons. The four subjects shown in Byzantine Icons are God, Jesus Christ, Virgin Mother, and the Saints and Martyrs. Byzantine refers to the Byzantine Empire where representations became an essential element of the Orthodox Faith.

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They are illustrated in vibrant colors and frequently gold tinted backgrounds. The intention of Byzantine art was the veneration of God, and Jesus. Icon creates an admiration in worship and serves as an existential link to God.

The Second Commandment relates to what God is not an idol and about idolatry. It teaches us about worshipping things that are not God. Idolatry is something that takes the place of God as the center of our lives. Anything that is greater than God in our precedence can be considered as an idol.

The Second Commandment says that we are not to make idols for ourselves, not to put anything other than God in the center of our lives. It situates that we should not build or adore any idols. The consequences are not good because the punishment for disregarding this Commandment is retribution for generations. But to those who comply with the Commandment is rewarded for a thousand generations.

Byzantine Icons exemplify an exceptional cultural victory. It uses Greek philosophical class and thoughts. European religious art generally represent a specific person or religious occasion. Each piece presents symbolism local to that religious party.

They attempt to revolutionize the ancient legacy from within and in radiance of the Gospel, bringing about the missionary mission of Christianizing their direct cultural background. The synthesis of Christianity within the Byzantine tradition has become a classic and significant for the whole history of the Church.

As justification that Byzantine Icons or art is not an idol, they are regarded as wonders functioning to present spiritual and secular blessings. They are respected as instruments of phenomenal intervention. They give courage and strength in a world full of misfortune and suffering. They grant joy because Icons remind us that we are sincerely loved by God.


PW de Ruyter. (2007 May 12). What are Byzantine Icons? The Visual and Spiritual Treasures of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Retrieved November 22, 2008, form http://www.iconsexplained.com/iec/byz_about_byzantine_icons.htm

Byzantine Sacred Art. (2008). Byzantine Icons. Retrieved November 22, 2008, from http://www.byzantinesacredart.com/byzantine-icons.html