Jesus and the two fingered salute

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Jesus and the two fingered salute

Is anybody aware of the origins of the hand gesture Jesus is often depicted as making in many artistic representations?

I'm talking about the little finger and ring finger being pressed to the palm while the other two fingers are held together and the palm is pointing in the general area of the place to be blessed.

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:

Little Jebus doing his thing from an early age:

http://images-cdn01.associatedcontent.com/image/A4180/41800/300_41800.jpg

 

Freaky Byzantine Christ:  http://mattstone.blogs.com/photos/celtic_icons/christ_byzantinec550.jpg

 

A slightly smaller image:

 

http://www.holyland-wholesale.com/prodimages/Jesus%20blessing%20icon_tn.gif

 

Why this particular hand configuration?

 


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It's a Coptic hand position

It's a Coptic hand position meaning the artist probably was also.

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Anyone have a picture of

Anyone have a picture of Jesus giving the finger?


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sign language

 

     In North American Sign Language that  hand gesture means,  the number three (3),  since  it is religious art I would grant  that it refers to the holy trinity.

     This is not mere speculation,  standardized sign language was invented by cloistered monks under a vow of silence.    A normal (3) would be three fingers,  but monks would do two fingers and a thumb for the purpose of granting a blessing.

   Four btw is  four (4) fingers   --  no thumb.  Five (5) uses the thumb.

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MattShizzle wrote:Anyone

MattShizzle wrote:

Anyone have a picture of Jesus giving the finger?

Might be one somewhere, but I heard he had a hard time getting it up.


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That reminds me of that "he

That reminds me of that "he is risen" online game where you keep feeding Jesus Viagra until his dick explodes.

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MattShizzle wrote:That

MattShizzle wrote:

That reminds me of that "he is risen" online game where you keep feeding Jesus Viagra until his dick explodes.

Funny! I haven't seen that on-line game and I couldn't find it with a brief search. Can you recall the website, Matt? I'd like to check that out.


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It's HERE.You have to click

It's HERE.

You have to click on "games" and then "he is risen."


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When education was

When education was restricted to the wealthy few, yet the churches wanted to have large congregations to fill the offering, they had graphical symbolism to help the congregation recognise characters in illustrations. Some people often had a lamb with them; Mary is often depicted in blue though she would almost certainly have worn brown; apostles or saints usually had halos behind their heads. As Joseph was a carpenter and Jesus only began his ministry at 30 he likely would have had a similar trade and so one way to set him apart (other figures of disciples, etc, had been fishermen or tax collectors, etc) was to consistently show his right hand with Dupuytren's contracture as it can be caused by sustained irritation and trauma to the tendons of the hand, specifically the right hand when using planes, saws, and other carpentry tools.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dupuytren%27s_contracture#Risk_factors_and_possible_causes

 


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What a great question. I was

What a great question. I was pondering this the other night when BBC FOUR had a feature on religious art.


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i've always heard it was

i've always heard it was just a traditional gesture of blessing.  it's probably one of those things whose origin is untraceable, but people have hundreds of theories about it.

as regards it being a symbol of the trinity, it is interesting to note that in central europe to this day counting on the hands starts with the thumb and not the index finger like in america.  so this would definitely signify three to a central european, but whether or not that was the original intention is another question.  it's important to recall that religious art was heavily regulated by the church from the earliest byzantine icons down to modern cheap jesus air fresheners, so it's probably impossible to say for sure why this gesture began to be painted.

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Blessing Gesture

It may be linked to the hand position in Jewish blessing (which you might recognize as Spock's Vulcan salutation) - with a slight variation to show that Jesus is not the same as the Jewish priests or Kohans.


ManuAndres44
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 I knew this symbol was

 I knew this symbol was meaning HISPANIA in Latin, which is the ancient name for Spain. It meant "land of rabbits". You know Spain has a very strong catholic tradition and if you check closely those fingers, they look like a skipping rabbit. It's possible most of Jesus pictures were designed in Spain. Also I think this is the reason why in America there's the legend of the Easter Rabbit.

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not quite.....

ManuAndres44 wrote:

 I knew this symbol was meaning HISPANIA in Latin, which is the ancient name for Spain. It meant "land of rabbits". You know Spain has a very strong catholic tradition and if you check closely those fingers, they look like a skipping rabbit. It's possible most of Jesus pictures were designed in Spain. Also I think this is the reason why in America there's the legend of the Easter Rabbit.

 

 

                      Easter is  an ancient fertility festival celebrated by meny cultures,[under various names] probably since the onset of farming.  Easter and estrogen are from the same base word, meaning "female reproduction".  Rabbits  are symbolic of fertility,   "breed like a rabbit" is a saying more ancient then farming.  Interesting take on the meaning of Hispania; is that what the Romans called it or is that only the Roman word for what the locals called it?

 

 

                     I still think the sign is 2 fingers and a thumb representing the holey trinity.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

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p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

I think that it is an archaic version of heavy metal horns.

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 Theodoret (393–457)

 Theodoret (393–457) gave the following instruction:

This is how to bless someone with your hand and make the sign of the cross over them. Hold three fingers, as equals, together, to represent the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. These are not three gods, but one God in Trinity. The names are separate, but the divinity one. The Father was never incarnate; the Son incarnate, but not created; the Holy Ghost neither incarnate nor created, but issued from the Godhead: three in a single divinity. Divinity is one force and has one honor. They receive on obeisance from all creation, both angels and people. Thus the decree for these three fingers.

"Dogmatic Sarcophagus", 350 A.D., Earliest known depiction of the Trinity[2]Vatican Museums, Rome, Italy.

You should hold the other two fingers slightly bent, not completely straight. This is because these represent the dual nature of Christ, divine and human. God in His divinity, and human in His incarnation, yet perfect in both. The upper finger represents divinity, and the lower humanity; this way salvation goes from the higher finger to the lower. So is the bending of the fingers interpreted, for the worship of Heaven comes down for our salvation. This is how you must cross yourselves and give a blessing, as the holy fathers have commanded.

 

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sign_of_the_Cross

 


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Anachronism alert!

The phenomenon of institutionalised Christianity adopting trinitarianism from myriad long-established pagan traditions only came about in the third century.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinitarianism#History

Monotheism was a central tenet of the Torah (and the entire Old Testament).

For an itinerant prophet preacher with no qualms about offending the religious leaders (Jews) or political / military authorities (Romans) of his day you'd think he'd make a big deal about introducing this new concept of identity multiplicity. But you don't find that in any of His teachings. If anything, the opposite is the case: the centurion witnessing His execution was a Roman (a society in which polytheism was fine) and yet he says Jesus was the son of God (singular) promoting monotheism:

http://bible.cc/matthew/27-54.htm

Sure I know some people will insist that you can believe in three-in-one monotheism but that "mystery" is not found in the teachings of Jesus. The Dupuytren's contracture explanation makes the most sense. One saint is depicted with weights and scales; another with a lamb; etc. etc. ways of distinguishing them from each other by trade. They are all depicted with the sun behind their heads (or moon for Mary, Queen of Heaven) to be familiar to followers of the Nimrodian traditions. Every character with their particular signature trait, and Jesus illustrated with injuries from carpentry and from execution with a crown of thorns -- the suffering servant.