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Christian Grave Sites
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Good Shepherd Image

Early Christian GravesChristian grave sites were at first the Church's only property before they even owned simple Christian buildings. Gravestones also provided the earliest examples of Christian sculptures. The favorite figure found on Christian grave sites was that of the Good Shepherd bringing home a sheep on his shoulders. This was of course reminiscent of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who cared individually for each of his sheep. Eusebius wrote in his "Ecclesiastical History" that "Aristides also, a faithful disciple of our religion, has left an Apology of the faith dedicated to Hadrian." Aristides of Athens, (unknown -c140 AD) an Athenian, about 125 AD gave us a description of a Christian funeral, "If any righteous person among us passes away from this world, we rejoice and give thanks to God, and follow his body as if he were moving from one place to another." Why did the New Testament Christians choose the Good Shepherd image to associate with death?

"Christian Grave Sites"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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