We have been discussing the ancient Church Fathers on images, and I wanted to gather the threads together in one place. Let's keep in mind that we're not opposing the existence of imagery as such (which was never the Anglican position), but merely the use of images in worship, which is what the 2nd Commandment is talking about (the use of graven images). And we've seen one Church Father after another affirm the Anglican position, over and above the modern Roman and Eastern Orthodox positions. So far we've seen quotes from: A big thread covering St. Augustine and his view of images: https://forums.anglican.net/threads/st-augustine-against-using-images-in-worship.4153/ St. Epiphanius (he should receive a whole thread!) https://forums.anglican.net/threads...-to-mary-in-the-roman-church.3830/#post-36965 Tertullian (also should receive his own thread) https://forums.anglican.net/threads/st-theodosia-of-constantinople-and-murder.4140/#post-42489 Eusebius of Nicomedia, "Oration in Praise of Constantine" / "Tricenallian Oration" (335-6 AD) and, Nazarius, "Panegyric of Constantine" (321) https://forums.anglican.net/threads/st-theodosia-of-constantinople-and-murder.4140/#post-42347 -these help to illuminate the mindset regarding statuary/imagery in the 4th century as a whole. --- Here I would like to list a bunch of other church fathers, whose views on this I've discovered since then: Athenagoras, "A Plea for Christians", ch.15 -"Because of the multitude, who cannot distinguish between matter and God, or see how great is the interval which lies between them, pray to idols made of matter, are we therefore, who do distinguish and separate the uncreated and the created, that which is and that which is not, that which is apprehended by the understanding and that which is perceived by the senses, and who give the fitting name to each of them, - are we to come and worship images? If, indeed, matter and God are the same, two names for one thing, then certainly, in not regarding stocks and stones, gold and silver, as gods, we are guilty of impiety. But if they are at the greatest possible remove from one another – as far asunder as the artist and the materials of his art, - why are we called to account." Melito of Sardis, Fragment 1 -"There are, however, persons who say: It is for the honour of God that we make the image: in order, that is, that we may worship the God who is concealed from our view. But they are unaware that God is in every country, and in every place, and is never absent, and that there is not anything done and He knoweth it not. Yet thou, despicable man! within whom He is, and without whom He is, and above whom He is, hast nevertheless gone and bought thee wood from the carpenter's, and it is carved and made into an image insulting to God. To this thou offerest sacrifice, and knowest not that the all-seeing eye seeth thee, and that the word of truth reproves thee, and says to thee: How can the unseen God be sculptured? Nay, it is the likeness of thyself that thou makest and worshippest. Because the wood has been sculptured, hast thou not the insight to perceive that it is still wood, or that the stone is still stone? The gold also the workman taketh according to its weight in the balance. And when thou hast had it made into an image, why dose thou weigh it? Therefore thou art a lover of gold, and not a lover of God." Clement of Alexandria (193-220), "Exhortation to the Heathen" -"how truly silly is the custom in which you have been reared, of worshipping the senseless works of men's hands." -"Anciently, the Scythians worshipped their sabres, the Arabs stones, the Persians rivers... hear at least your own philosopher, the Ephesian Heraclitus, upbraiding images with their senselessness: And to these images they pray, with the same result as if one were to talk to the walls of his house. For are they not to be wondered at who worship stones, and place them before the doors, as if capable of activity?" -https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/020804.htm Clement of Alexandria (193-220), "The Instructor", book 3 ch.2 -"Moses commanded men to make not an image to represent God by art ..." Irenaeus, "Against Heresies" -"They [the gnostic heretics] also possess images, some of them painted, and others formed from different kinds of material; while they maintain that a likeness of Christ was made by Pilate at that time when Jesus lived among them. They crown these images, and set them up along with the images of the philosophers of the world that is to say, with the images of Pythagoras, and Plato, and Aristotle, and the rest. They have also other modes of honoring these images, after the same manner of the Gentiles." -https://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.ii.xxvi.html Methodius (270-312), "Banquet of the Ten Virgins", discourse 2 ch.7 -"And those artificers who, to the destruction of men, make images in human form, not perceiving and knowing their own Maker, are blamed by the Word, which says, in the Book of Wisdom, a book full of all virtue, 'his heart is ashes, his hope is more vile than earth, and his life of less value than clay; forasmuch as he knew not his Maker, and Him that inspired into him an active soul, and breathed in a living spirit;' that is, God, the Maker of all men; therefore, also, according to the apostle, He 'will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.'" Lactantius, "The Divine Institutes", book 3 ch.18 -"I have shown that the religious rites of the gods are vain in a threefold manner: In the first place, because those images which are worshipped are representations of men who are dead; and that is a wrong and inconsistent thing, that the image of a man should be worshipped by the image of God, for that which worships is lower and weaker than that which is worshipped" St. Athanasius, "Against the Heathen", ch.21.1 -"For ye carve the figures for the sake of the apprehension of God, as ye say, but invest the actual images with the honor and title of God, thus placing yourselves in a profane position."