The Catacombs

Some of the earliest known examples of Christian art portraying biblical figures are actually underground. In miles of tunnels outside the walls of Rome, images carved and painted during the early centuries of Christianity mark the burial chambers of Christians. Images still visible in the catacombs include a shepherd, loaves and fish, and grapevines, all connected to imagery from Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament: “I am the good shepherd,” “I am the bread of life,” and “I am the true vine.” Old Testament narratives represented include Noah's ark, the sacrifice of Isaac, and the life of Jonah. Visitors to Rome would do well to see both the magnificent artwork in cathedrals above ground and biblical imagery captured in the underground art of the catacombs.


More Book Minute Features

September 16, 2019

The Mayflower Sets Sail

On this day, September 16, 1620, a merchant ship called the Mayflower set sail from England. Most of the 102 passengers were Pilgrims breaking ties wi...
September 09, 2019

National Teddy Bear Day

Let’s celebrate National Teddy Bear Day with a nod to President Theodore Roosevelt. On a hunting trip in 1902, “Teddy” had not bagged a bear, so an ai...
September 02, 2019

John Phillips’ Heart Shield Bible

Like many soldiers in World War II, John Phillips received a pocket-sized New Testament before shipping off to Europe – a gift from the President. Slo...