10 Jeremy Begbey, Ed. Beholding the Glory: Incarnation Through The Arts. [Jim Forest. Through Icons: Word And Image Together] (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), p. 84.
11 Ouspensky, 1992, p. 51.
12 Ouspensky and Lossky, 1983, p. 25.
13 This discussion is preserved in “…a fragment from the Testament of Epiphanius of Cyprus.” Ambrosios Giakalis. Images of the Divine: The Theology of Icons at the Seventh Ecumenical Council. (New York, NY: E. J. Brill, 1994), p. 25. also Georges Florovsky, Christianity And Culture. (Belmont, MA: Nordland Pub. Co., 1974), p. 108.
In any case; “By the time of Justinian it was accepted that iconography was to be used as a servant of the Christian faith.”14
Another legendary origin of the icon is the account of St. Luke painting icons of Mary and the Christ child.15 Orthodox tradition holds that Luke painted three of these icons.16 Again, we have no evidence of such occurrences. There is very little evidence that paintings or icons were used in the church prior to 250CE.17
14 John Baggley. Doors of Perception: Icons And Their Spiritual Significance. (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1988), p. 17.
15 Zibawi, 1993, p. 29.
16 Ouspensky, 1992, p. 60.
17 Baggley, 1988, p. 8.
The Development Of The Theology of Icons
It may be fair to say that the theology of the icon developed more in the context of reaction than independent of other circumstances. This may be said of much of the theology of the church. In other words, concise theology regarding practices appeared only when these practices were questioned. This seems to be true of the theology of the icon. Much of the doctrinal clarity regarding icons came out of the response to various iconoclasms designed to repudiate and remove icons from the church. This will be discussed in more detail in a later section, but it is important to point out that the use of icon was a natural development of the church in a primarily illiterate culture. Pictures and oral presentation of the gospel were normative. These were not primarily theological things but outworkings of faith. As the use of icon and images came into question, concise theological defenses were developed.