The Bible and Culture

Some of you may have heard reports immanating from Rome that the earliest pictures ever of Peter, Paul (and other apostles) have been found in the catacombs. Several things should be said about this: 1) the claim is these images are from the late 4th century.  If that is the claim there are likely earlier images in various places in Turkey, including in the cave church of Paul and Thecla (and interestingly some of these images were found near the Thecla Church); 2) the art work, in terms of color and display are already found plentifully in Capadoccia in various of the cave churches there, and indeed in some of the Constantinian churches above ground as well (see my forth coming blog posts on the cave churches).  So while I find this story (see below) interesting, it is hardly earth-shattering and the claims about what is ‘earliest’ are probably rather hyperbolic.

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