A devout Catholic, the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens became the most influential exponent of Counter-Reformation painting in Northern Europe. Famous for his large-scale religious and history paintings, full of sensuous colour and drama, he socialized in the leading circles of European society as both an artist and diplomat. Despite the distance separating Rubens from the ordinary churchgoer, some of his Catholic pictures, like the celebrated triptych Descent from the Cross (Rubens) (1612), are intensely moving, and his impact on later painters was enormous. See also: Samson and Delilah (1610). Christian Gifts
In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the Lord. The house that King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high. The vestibule in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits long, equal to the width of the house, and ten cubits deep in front of the house. And he made for the house windows with recessed frames. He also built a structure against the wall of the house, running around the walls of the house, both the nave and the inner sanctuary. And he made side chambers all around. ... Christian Canvas Art

The house that I am to build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods. But who is able to build him a house, since heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain him? Who am I to build a house for him, except as a place to make offerings before him? So now send me a man skilled to work in gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and in purple, crimson, and blue fabrics, trained also in engraving, to be with the skilled workers who are with me in Judah and Jerusalem, whom David my father provided.

In general, the authors of the New Testament showed little interest in an absolute chronology of Jesus or in synchronizing the episodes of his life with the secular history of the age.[109] As stated in John 21:25, the gospels do not claim to provide an exhaustive list of the events in the life of Jesus.[110] The accounts were primarily written as theological documents in the context of early Christianity, with timelines as a secondary consideration.[111] In this respect, it is noteworthy that the Gospels devote about one third of their text to the last week of the life of Jesus in Jerusalem, referred to as the Passion.[112] Although the gospels do not provide enough details to satisfy the demands of modern historians regarding exact dates, it is possible to draw from them a general picture of the life story of Jesus.[89][109][111] Christian Gifts
From about 1520, as the Northern Renaissance felt the impact of Luther's revolt against the corrupt practices of the Roman Church, a new set of aesthetics took hold, in the form of Protestant Reformation Art, which reflected the Christian agenda of the Protestant movement, which rejected the humanist art and ideology of the High Renaissance, and celebrated a more austere religious experience, with minimal decoration. As a result, the amount of religious art commissioned by Protestant Church authorities was hugely reduced, and artists in Protestant countries were forced to switch to secular forms like genre painting, portrait art, landscape painting, and still lifes. Christian Canvas Art
A third type of Christian art which appeared in Ireland during the Middle Ages was High Cross Sculpture (c.750-1150 CE). Consisting of different-sized monuments, all based on the standard design of the Celtic-Cross. Decorated either with abstract patterns or narrative scenes from the bible (rarely both), these monuments constitute the most important set of free-standing sculpture produced between the fall of Rome (c.450) and the start of the Italian Renaissance (c.1400). Scripture Art
“Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whom the Lord has put skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the Lord has commanded.” And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work. And they received from Moses all the contribution that the people of Israel had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. They still kept bringing him freewill offerings every morning, so that all the craftsmen who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, each from the task that he was doing, and said to Moses, “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.” ... Christian Gifts
Around AD 30, Jesus and his followers traveled from Galilee to Jerusalem to observe Passover.[336] Jesus caused a disturbance in the Second Temple,[28] which was the center of Jewish religious and civil authority. Sanders associates it with Jesus' prophecy that the Temple would be totally demolished.[345] Jesus had a last meal with his disciples, which is the origin of the Christian sacrament of bread and wine. Jesus' words are recorded in the Synoptics and in Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians. The differences in the accounts cannot be completely reconciled, and it is impossible to know what Jesus intended, but in general the meal seems to point forward to the coming Kingdom. Jesus probably expected to be killed, and he may have hoped that God would intervene.[346] Christian Gifts

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me: ... Share Your Faith Products
^ Following the Apostolic Age, there was fierce and often politicized debate in the early church on many interrelated issues. Christology was a major focus of these debates, and was addressed at every one of the first seven ecumenical councils. Some early beliefs viewed Jesus as ontologically subordinate to the Father (Subordinationism), and others considered him an aspect of the Father rather than a separate person (Sabellianism), both were condemned as heresies by the Catholic Church.[43][402] The Church resolved the issues in ancient councils, which established the Holy Trinity, with Jesus both fully human and fully God.[43]
Thus says the Lord, “Go, buy a potter's earthenware flask, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the elders of the priests, and go out to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you. You shall say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind— ... Christian Canvas Art
“You shall make an altar on which to burn incense; you shall make it of acacia wood. A cubit shall be its length, and a cubit its breadth. It shall be square, and two cubits shall be its height. Its horns shall be of one piece with it. You shall overlay it with pure gold, its top and around its sides and its horns. And you shall make a molding of gold around it. And you shall make two golden rings for it. Under its molding on two opposite sides of it you shall make them, and they shall be holders for poles with which to carry it. You shall make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. ... Christian Canvas Art
As it was, Byzantine architecture achieved its distinctive forms during the life of Justinian, who built four major churches in Constantinople, including: the Basilica of Saints Sergius and Bacchus (begun 526); the Basilica of Saint Irene (begun 532); the Basilica of the Apostles (536-46) - whose design was replicated in St Mark's Cathedral in Venice - and the greatest of all, the Basilica of Hagia Sophia (1532-37) (converted to a mosque in 1453, now a museum). Crowned by a massive dome whose weight was carried to corner piers by revolutionary concave triangular sections of stone, called pendentives, and decorated throughout with gold mosaics and multicoloured marble, the Hagia Sophia was the culmination of Roman architecture and a huge inspiration for later buildings throughout the Middle East, including the Sultan Ahmed Mosque.
Designed and built by the Austrian architect and master mason Jakob Prandtauer, it combines Italian Baroque elements with traditional Austrian design. Set on high cliffs overlooking the Danube River, its abbey church combines a high dome and twin towers. The abbey's exterior is a mass of undulating surfaces and soaring turrets and towers, while its interiors and hallways were decorated by many of Austria's leading artists. It houses several famous features, including the Marble Hall, the Imperial Staircase and a library containing an extensive collection of rare medieval texts.
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. ... Scripture Art
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
After Jesus's life, his followers, as described in the first chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, were all Jews either by birth or conversion, for which the biblical term "proselyte" is used,[256] and referred to by historians as Jewish Christians. The early Gospel message was spread orally, probably in Aramaic,[257] but almost immediately also in Greek.[258] The New Testament's Acts of the Apostles and Epistle to the Galatians record that the first Christian community was centered in Jerusalem and its leaders included Peter, James, the brother of Jesus, and John the Apostle.[259]
The Roman Catholic Church responded to the Protestant Reformation with the Counter-Reformation. Catholic Counter-Reformation Art was designed to communicate the distinctive tenets of the Catholic liturgy and faith so as to strengthen the popularity of Catholicism. It was launched at the same time as Mannerist painting was taking hold in Italy - a highly expressive style that used distortion for effect, as exemplified in Parmigianino's picture Madonna with the Long Neck (1535, Uffizi). Concerned that Catholic art was attaching too much importance to decorative qualities, and not enough to religious values - thus negating its educational effects on churchgoers - the Catholic authorities decreed that Biblical art should be be direct and compelling in its narrative presentation, which itself should be accurate rather than fanciful, and should above all encourage piety. Nudity, and other inappropriate imagery was banned. For an example of a pious Mannerist artsist who adapted his style in line with the Church's teaching, see: Federico Barocci (1526-1612). Christian Canvas Art

Birth Nativity Mary Joseph Flight into Egypt Childhood Unknown years Baptism Temptation Apostles selecting Great Commission Ministry Sermon on the Mount/Plain Beatitudes Prayers Lord's Prayer Parables Miracles Transfiguration Homelessness Last Supper Farewell Discourse Passion arrest trial Crucifixion sayings on the cross Tomb Resurrection appearances Ascension Christian Gifts
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. ...
The Christ myth theory is the hypothesis that Jesus of Nazareth never existed; or if he did, that he had virtually nothing to do with the founding of Christianity and the accounts in the gospels.[s] Stories of Jesus' birth, along with other key events, have so many mythic elements that some scholars have suggested that Jesus himself was a myth.[381] Bruno Bauer (1809–1882) taught that the first Gospel was a work of literature that produced history rather than described it.[382] According to Albert Kalthoff (1850–1906) a social movement produced Jesus when it encountered Jewish messianic expectations.[382] Arthur Drews (1865–1935) saw Jesus as the concrete form of a myth that predated Christianity.[382] Despite arguments put forward by authors who have questioned the existence of a historical Jesus, there remains a strong consensus in historical-critical biblical scholarship that a historical Jesus did live in that area and in that time period.[383][384][385][386][387][388][389] Christian Gifts
As Jesus travels towards Jerusalem, in the Perean ministry, he returns to the area where he was baptized, about a third of the way down from the Sea of Galilee along the Jordan River (John 10:40–42).[148][149] The final ministry in Jerusalem begins with Jesus' triumphal entry into the city on Palm Sunday.[150] In the Synoptic Gospels, during that week Jesus drives the money changers from the Second Temple and Judas bargains to betray him. This period culminates in the Last Supper and the Farewell Discourse.[132][150][151] Christian Gifts
In the West, the Renaissance saw an increase in monumental secular works, but until the Protestant Reformation Christian art continued to be commissioned in great quantities by churches, clergy and by the aristocracy. The Reformation had a huge effect on Christian art, rapidly bringing the production of public Christian art to a virtual halt in Protestant countries, and causing the destruction of most of the art that already existed.
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Until the adoption of Christianity by Constantine Christian art derived its style and much of its iconography from popular Roman art, but from this point grand Christian buildings built under imperial patronage brought a need for Christian versions of Roman elite and official art, of which mosaics in churches in Rome are the most prominent surviving examples. Christian art was caught up in, but did not originate, the shift in style from the classical tradition inherited from Ancient Greek art to a less realist and otherworldly hieratic style, the start of gothic art. Christian Gifts
One important aspect of the study of the gospels is the literary genre under which they fall. Genre "is a key convention guiding both the composition and the interpretation of writings".[82] Whether the gospel authors set out to write novels, myths, histories, or biographies has a tremendous impact on how they ought to be interpreted. Some recent studies suggest that the genre of the gospels ought to be situated within the realm of ancient biography.[83][84][85] Although not without critics,[86] the position that the gospels are a type of ancient biography is the consensus among scholars today.[87][88]
In addition, goldsmithing and precious metalwork reappeared on the Continent, as did sculpture, although the medieval sculpture (at least under the Ottos) tended to focus on church furnishings - altars, tombs, doors, candlesticks, and sepulchres, rather than embellish church architecture. Some murals were also produced, such as The Raising of Jairus's Daughter and Healing of the Hemorrhaging Woman (c.980, Church of St George, Reichenau).
We are faced with a startling opportunity. We may think that we can’t walk this Christian path, but Peter tells us that we have all of the resources that we need in his “very great and precious promises”. When our circumstances cause insecurities and thoughts of despair to dance around our minds, God gives us a way out. We can escape this corruption by knowing God through Jesus Christ. How can we know God? By taking Him at His word! God has already provided for us and He is looking for people who will have the courage to replace their current thinking with God’s faithfulness. Are you looking for the thoughts of God? The Bible is God’s life support to us as we encounter a world of difficulty. Christian Gifts
Jesus, Thou art in the midst of us, and Thou knowest all men: if there is any here like that poor woman--if their minds are dark, their lives unholy--if they have come out not seeking Thee, not desiring to be taught; deal with them according to the free mercy which Thou didst show to her Speak to them, Lord, open their ears to my message, bring their sins to their minds, and make them thirst for that salvation which Thou art ready to give. Christian Gifts
^ Ehrman writes: ""In simpler terms, the historical Jesus did not exist. Or if he did, he had virtually nothing to do with the founding of Christianity." further quoting as authoritative the fuller definition provided by Earl Doherty in Jesus: Neither God Nor Man. Age of Reason, 2009, pp. vii–viii: it is "the theory that no historical Jesus worthy of the name existed, that Christianity began with a belief in a spiritual, mythical figure, that the Gospels are essentially allegory and fiction, and that no single identifiable person lay at the root of the Galilean preaching tradition."[380]
New Testament scholars face a formidable challenge when they analyze the canonical Gospels.[278] The Gospels are not biographies in the modern sense, and the authors explain Jesus' theological significance and recount his public ministry while omitting many details of his life.[278] The reports of supernatural events associated with Jesus' death and resurrection make the challenge even more difficult.[278] Scholars regard the gospels as compromised sources of information because the writers were trying to glorify Jesus.[89] Even so, the sources for Jesus' life are better than sources scholars have for the life of Alexander the Great.[89] Scholars use a number of criteria, such as the criterion of independent attestation, the criterion of coherence, and the criterion of discontinuity to judge the historicity of events.[279] The historicity of an event also depends on the reliability of the source; indeed, the gospels are not independent nor consistent records of Jesus' life. Mark, which is most likely the earliest written gospel, has been considered for many decades the most historically accurate.[280] John, the latest written gospel, differs considerably from the Synoptic Gospels, and thus is generally considered less reliable, although more and more scholars now also recognize that it may contain a core of older material as historically valuable as the Synoptic tradition or even more so.[281] Share Your Faith Products

According to Theissen and Merz, it is common for extraordinary charismatic leaders, such as Jesus, to come into conflict with their ordinary families.[313] In Mark, Jesus' family comes to get him, fearing that he is mad (Mark 3:20–34), and this account is likely historical because early Christians would not have invented it.[314] After Jesus' death, many members of his family joined the Christian movement.[313] Jesus' brother James became a leader of the Jerusalem Church.[315]


"The house which I am about to build will be great, for greater is our God than all the gods. "But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him? So who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except to burn incense before Him? "Now send me a skilled man to work in gold, silver, brass and iron, and in purple, crimson and violet fabrics, and who knows how to make engravings, to work with the skilled men whom I have in Judah and Jerusalem, whom David my father provided. Christian Gifts
Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Christian Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven, from where he will return.[30] Most Christians believe Jesus enables people to be reconciled to God. The Nicene Creed asserts that Jesus will judge the living and the dead[31] either before or after their bodily resurrection,[32][33][34] an event tied to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian eschatology.[35] The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of the Trinity. A minority of Christian denominations reject Trinitarianism, wholly or partly, as non-scriptural. The birth of Jesus is celebrated annually on December 25 (or various dates in January by some eastern churches) as Christmas. His crucifixion is honored on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter. The widely used calendar era "AD", from the Latin anno Domini ("in the year of the Lord"), and the equivalent alternative "CE", are based on the approximate birthdate of Jesus.[36][j]

The Jewish elders take Jesus to Pilate's Court and ask the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, to judge and condemn Jesus for various allegations, accusing him of blasphemy, perverting the nation, forbidding the payment of tribute, inciting sedition against Rome, sorcery, claiming to be the King of the Jews, the Son of God, and a savior to the world.[230] The use of the word "king" is central to the discussion between Jesus and Pilate. In John 18:36 Jesus states, "My kingdom is not from this world", but he does not unequivocally deny being the King of the Jews.[234][235] In Luke 23:7–15 Pilate realizes that Jesus is a Galilean, and thus comes under the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea.[236][237] Pilate sends Jesus to Herod to be tried,[238] but Jesus says almost nothing in response to Herod's questions. Herod and his soldiers mock Jesus, put an expensive robe on him to make him look like a king, and return him to Pilate,[236] who then calls together the Jewish elders and announces that he has "not found this man guilty".[238] Christian Gifts
Judaism rejects the idea of Jesus being God,[42] or a mediator to God, or part of a Trinity.[408] It holds that Jesus is not the Messiah, arguing that he neither fulfilled the Messianic prophecies in the Tanakh nor embodied the personal qualifications of the Messiah.[409] Jews argue that Jesus did not fulfill prophesies to build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26–28), gather Jews back to Israel (Isaiah 43:5–6), bring world peace (Isaiah 2:4), and unite humanity under the God of Israel (Zechariah 14:9).[410] Furthermore, according to Jewish tradition, there were no prophets after Malachi,[411] who delivered his prophesies in the 5th century BC.[412] Christian Canvas Art
The most famous Romanesque churches and religious buildings include: Cluny Church II (981, Burgundy); Monastery Church of S. Pedro de Roda (1022, Catalonia); Abbey Church of St Michael, Hildesheim (1033, Germany); Ely Cathedral (1080, England); Pisa Cathedral (after 1083, Italy); La Grand Chartreuse Abbey (1084, Grenoble); Durham Cathedral (after 1093, England); Speyer Cathedral (1106, Germany); Abbey Church of Sainte-Foy (1120, France); Baptistery of St Giovanni, Florence (1128, Italy); Cluny Church III (1130, France); Mainz Cathedral (1137, Germany); Krak des Chevaliers (after 1142, Homs, Syria); Abbey Church of Fontenay (1147, France); Worms Cathedral (1200, Germany); and the Church of the Madeleine (1215, Vezelay). Christian Gifts
Byzantine art, that is the art of the Eastern Orthodox Church - the form of Christianity that emerged in Constantinople (previously called Byzantium, now called Istanbul), headquarters of the Roman Empire in the east - was the first category of Christian art to really blossom. An expression of the theocratic state that it represented, Christian Byzantine art specialized in architecture, mosaic art, mural and icon painting. Byzantine artists also excelled at items of jewellery, goldsmithing and ivories, and produced the earliest illuminated manuscript, or codex. Christian Gifts

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me: ... Christian Gifts
Early Christian art survives from dates near the origins of Christianity. The oldest Christian sculptures are from sarcophagi, dating to the beginning of the 2nd century. The largest groups of Early Christian paintings come from the tombs in the Catacombs of Rome, and show the evolution of the depiction of Jesus, a process not complete until the 6th century, since when the conventional appearance of Jesus in art has remained remarkably consistent. Christian Canvas Art
Although born in Bethlehem, according to Matthew and Luke, Jesus was a Galilean from Nazareth, a village near Sepphoris, one of the two major cities of Galilee (Tiberias was the other). He was born to Joseph and Mary sometime between 6 bc and shortly before the death of Herod the Great (Matthew 2; Luke 1:5) in 4 bc. According to Matthew and Luke, however, Joseph was only legally his father. They report that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived and that she “was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18; cf. Luke 1:35). Joseph is said to have been a carpenter (Matthew 13:55)—that is, a craftsman who worked with his hands—and, according to Mark 6:3, Jesus also became a carpenter.
The Synoptics depict two distinct geographical settings in Jesus' ministry. The first takes place north of Judea, in Galilee, where Jesus conducts a successful ministry; and the second shows Jesus rejected and killed when he travels to Jerusalem.[25] Often referred to as "rabbi",[25] Jesus preaches his message orally.[24] Notably, Jesus forbids those who recognize him as the Messiah to speak of it, including people he heals and demons he exorcises (see Messianic Secret).[142] Christian Canvas Art

The name Yeshua appears to have been in use in Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus.[58] The 1st-century works of historian Flavius Josephus, who wrote in Koine Greek, the same language as that of the New Testament,[59] refer to at least twenty different people with the name Jesus (i.e. Ἰησοῦς).[60] The etymology of Jesus' name in the context of the New Testament is generally given as "Yahweh is salvation".[61]
Approximately thirty parables form about one third of Jesus' recorded teachings.[157][159] The parables appear within longer sermons and at other places in the narrative.[160] They often contain symbolism, and usually relate the physical world to the spiritual.[161][162] Common themes in these tales include the kindness and generosity of God and the perils of transgression.[163] Some of his parables, such as the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11–32), are relatively simple, while others, such as the Growing Seed (Mark 4:26–29), are sophisticated, profound and abstruse.[164] When asked by his disciples about why he speaks in parables to the people, Jesus replies that the chosen disciples have been given to "know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven", unlike the rest of their people, "For the one who has will be given more and he will have in abundance. But the one who does not have will be deprived even more.", going on to say that the majority of their generation have grown "dull hearts" and thus are unable to understand (Matthew 13:10–17). Scripture Art
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