Early Jewish and Christian Art as Interpretive Resources

The most recent issue of Interpretation focuses on “Art and Exegesis.” It serves as a reminder that depictions of biblical events often reflect a history of interpretation. The article on “Art and the Liturgy” points to a scene from Sant Apollinare at Ravenna where the sacrifice of Abel, of Abraham/Isaac, and of Melchizedek are brought together as types of the sacrifice of Jesus. (It is not the same scene but a similar theme, again at Ravenna, is described here.) Most Christian art is relatively late–the Ravenna scenes are from the 6th century–but it may provide some resources for your work. Look here for links to biblical art sites. The first two listed on that page are probably the most helpful.

Published in: on October 29, 2007 at 12:42 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. It’s interesting that Melchizedek and Abel flank the altar, (both having offered sacrifices pleasing to God?) and that the prayer includes Melchizedek along with Abel and Abrahram. Is the spotless sacrifice referring to Abel, or all three?

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