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.

Share

More Book Minute Features

March 30, 2020

Nebuchadnezzar’s Inscription

The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned several times in the Bible including his dramatic story of repentance in the Book of Daniel, Chapter...
March 16, 2020

Miserere mei Deus - Psalm 51

Miserere mei Deus (“Have mercy on me, O God”) by Gregorio Allegri, using the words from Psalm 51, is one of the most beautiful compositions ever writt...
March 09, 2020

Walt Whitman and the Bible in Poetry

Walt Whitman is regarded as one of America’s most significant 19th-century poets. Whitman references the Bible in several of his works. Evident in an...