The subject of the piece below is not the Beatles’ song, but the Book of Jude, which has many similarities with 2 Peter. Both books denounce the false teachers who have infiltrated the church.
It has been often remarked by commentators on the Bible that the miracle on the Day of Pentacost (Acts 2), when people of all nations could understand the Apostles in their own language, is a sort of reversal of the Tower of Babel story related in Genesis 11. The assemblage below is an attempt to picture this contrast. The Genesis incident appears in the inside of the box and the events in Acts are shown inside the door.
Between the similar passages Matthew 5:23-26 and I Corinthians 6:1-8, Christians are taught both the practical and theological reasons for settling their disputes within a church setting rather than resorting to the civil courts. I know from personal experience that this can be a very effective means of resolving problems that could have resulted in a rather messy, time-consuming and expensive legal procedure.
This assemblage was constructed inside the remains of an antique vending machine (probably for magazines or newspapers). The one metallic wall was covered on the inside with an inspiration collage. The items in the collage were then duplicated in three dimensions using a found piece of pottery, a wooden foundry mold, an old player piano roll, and shards of polymer clay. The seven characters inhabiting this barren land were molded out of polymer clay and represent the Seven Deadly Sins. See if you can identify them all. They are each in a prison of their own making. As C. S. Lewis said, “The gates of hell are locked from the inside.”
Years before settling in on biblical subjects for my art, I took other literary works for my inspiration. Two examples are shown below:
Early American folk artist Edward Hicks (1790-1849) is best known for his series of paintings around the theme sounded in Isaiah 11:6-9: “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” (NRSV)
I am currently leading a home Bible study through the intriguing Book of Daniel. Its literary structure is a bit puzzling since the first six chapters consist of stories and the last six of visions. However, chapters 1 and 8-12 are written in Hebrew while chapters 2-7 are in Aramaic. The best explanation is that Chapter 1 is written in Hebrew since it introduces the whole book while Aramaic is used for chapters 2-6 since they portray the Jews living in a foreign land. Before reverting to the Hebrew language for the universal messages of the last half, Chapter 7 was also written in Aramaic to help tie together the two halves of the book.
One type of medium I enjoy working in is a combination of wood sculpture, assemblage and collage. The piece below began with an old hat mold, a shoe mold, and several wooden spools.
As part of Jesus’ “Little Apocalypse” recorded in Luke 17:20-37, he states that conditions right before the Second Coming will be like the days of Noah just before the flood. This has caused some commentators to turn immediately to Genesis and note that the people on earth at that time were evil beyond measure. They then draw the parallel to today’s world and conclude that Jesus is bound to come within a very short time span. What they fail to note is that Jesus goes on in Luke’s account to explain that the people in Noah’s time were carrying on their daily activities of life without a clue that judgment was about to hit them. In fact, one could almost draw the logical conclusion from these verses that the more people talk about our living in the last generation, the less likely it is to be true.
Here is another piece utilizing Japanese playing cards; this one illustrates the Book of Numbers: