Ancient Jewish synagogues were filled with icons. While Scripture required the inside of the Jerusalem Temple to display icons of angels, the icons in Jewish synagogues depicted numerous scenes from Scripture, including:
- Abraham offering Isaac,
- The Rescue of Baby Moses,
- Moses and the Burning Bush,
- Moses parting the Red Sea,
- The Miracle of the Water,
- Aaron consecrating the Temple,
- Samuel annointing David,
- The Ark of the Covenant and the Philistine temple of Dagon,
- Esther and Mordecai,
- Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones,
- Various events in Elijah’s life,
- and many other scenes
The Early Church emerged from Israel, and we inherited the Israelite’s ancient love for icons. Like the early Jewish synagogues, the catacombs and the most ancient Christian Churches were filled with holy icons.
Nearly 1800 years after these Jewish icons were originally painted, a number of people are now acquiring icon reprints of these ancient paintings from Dura Europos.
In the next article, we will take a look at three-dimensional iconography in ancient Israel and the early Church.