Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Is Jesus, Hermes, or Orpheus on that ring?

ICONOGRAPHY: Does an Ancient Ring Found in a Shipwreck Depict Jesus Christ? The “Good Shepherd” ring caused a stir when it was unveiled last month, but things may not be so clear-cut (Candida Moss, Daily Beast).
The similarities between the bucolic images and the fact that the shepherd was a pagan motif meant that the ring’s interpretation was very much in the eye of the beholder. One person could look at it and see the Jesus of the Gospels, another might see Hermes. It’s a flexible and multivalent image. What this means of course, is that we cannot be certain that the ring’s owner was Christian we can only be sure that they were wealthy enough to purchase such an expensive luxury item.
For more on the Caesarea shipwrecks and the "Good Shepherd" ring, see here and here.

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