GOD THE FATHER is a title given to
God in various religions, most
Christianity . In mainstream trinitarian Christianity,
God the Father is regarded as the first person of the
followed by the second person
God the Son (
Jesus Christ) and the third
God the Holy
Spirit . Since the second century, Christian
creeds included affirmation of belief in "
God the Father (Almighty)",
primarily as his capacity as "Father and creator of the universe".
Christianity the concept of
God as the father of
goes metaphysically further than the concept of
God as the Creator and
father of all people, as indicated in the Apostle\'s
Creed where the
expression of belief in the "Father almighty, creator of heaven and
earth" is immediately, but separately followed by in "
his only Son, our Lord", thus expressing both senses of fatherhood.
* 1.1 Overview
* 1.2 History
* 1.5 Trinitarian
* 1.6 Nontrinitarian
* 2 Other religions
* 2.1 Bahá\'í
* 2.3 Islam
* 2.4 Judaism
* 3 In Western art
* 4 See also
* 5 References
A figurative drawing of God, in the old German prayer books
(Waldburg-Gebetbuch), about 1486 Main article:
Patriology (Christianity) and Name of
An image of
God the Father by Julius Schnorr , 1860.
God is addressed as the Father, in part because of
his active interest in human affairs, in the way that a father would
take an interest in his children who are dependent on him and as a
father, he will respond to humanity, his children, acting in their
best interests. Many believe they can communicate with
come closer to him through prayer – a key element of achieving
communion with God.
In general, the title _Father_ (capitalized) signifies God's role as
the life-giver, the authority , and powerful protector, often viewed
as immense, omnipotent , omniscient , omnipresent with infinite power
and charity that goes beyond human understanding. For instance, after
completing his monumental work _
Summa Theologica _, Catholic St.
Thomas Aquinas concluded that he had not yet begun to understand
God the Father’. Although the term "Father" implies masculine
God is usually defined as having the form of a
spirit without any human biological gender, e.g. the Catechism of the
Catholic Church #239 specifically states that "_
God is neither man nor
woman: he is God_". Although
God is never directly addressed as
"Mother", at times motherly attributes may be interpreted in Old
Testament references such as Isa 42:14, Isa 49:14–15 or Isa
New Testament , the Christian concept of
God the Father may be
seen as a continuation of the Jewish concept, but with specific
additions and changes, which over time made the Christian concept
become even more distinct by the start of the
Middle Ages . The
conformity to the
Old Testament concepts is shown in Matthew 4:10 and
Luke 4:8 where in response to temptation
Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:13
and states: "It is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and
him only shall you serve." 1 Corinthians 8:6 shows the distinct
Christian teaching about the _agency of Christ_ by first stating:
"there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto
him" and immediately continuing with "and one Lord,
through whom are all things, and we through him." This passage
clearly acknowledges the Jewish teachings on the uniqueness of God,
yet also states the role of
Jesus as an agent in creation. Over time,
Christian doctrine began to fully diverge from Judaism through the
teachings of the
Church Fathers in the second century and by the
fourth century belief in the
Trinity was formalized. According to
Mary Rose D'Angelo and James Barr, the Aramaic term _Abba _ was in the
early times of the
New Testament neither markedly a term of endearment
, nor a formal word; but the word normally used by sons and
daughters, throughout their lives, in the family context.
Since the second century, creeds in the
Western Church have included
affirmation of belief in "
God the Father (Almighty)", the primary
reference being to "
God in his capacity as Father and creator of the
universe". This did not exclude either the fact the "eternal father
of the universe was also the Father of
Jesus the Christ" or that he
had even "vouchsafed to adopt as his son by grace".
Creeds in the
Eastern Church (known to have come from a later date)
began with an affirmation of faith in "one God" and almost always
expanded this by adding "the Father Almighty, Maker of all things
visible and invisible" or words to that effect.
By the end of the first century,
Clement of Rome
Clement of Rome had repeatedly
referred to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and linked the Father to
creation, 1 Clement 19.2 stating: "let us look steadfastly to the
Father and Creator of the universe". Around AD 213 in _Adversus
Praxeas_ (chapter 3)
Tertullian is believed to have provided a formal
representation of the concept of the
Trinity , i.e. that
God exists as
one "substance" but three "Persons": The Father, the Son and the Holy
Spirit, and with
God the Father being the Head.
discussed how the Holy
Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.
While the expression "from the Father through the Son" is also found
Creed , which dates to 325, states that the Son (Jesus
Christ) is "eternally begotten of the Father", indicating that their
_divine_ Father-Son relationship is seen as not tied to an event
within time or human history.
There is a deep sense in which Christians believe that they are made
participants in the eternal relationship of Father and Son, through
Jesus Christ. Christians call themselves _adopted_ children of God:
But when the fullness of time had come,
God sent forth his Son, born
of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons,
God has sent the
Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba!
Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then
an heir through God. — Galatians 4:4–7
Christianity the concept of
God as the Father of
Jesus is distinct
from the concept of
God as the Creator and Father of all people, as
indicated in the Apostle\'s
Creed . The profession in the creed
begins with expressing belief in the "Father almighty, creator of
heaven and earth" and then immediately, but separately, in "Jesus
Christ, his only Son, our Lord", thus expressing both senses of
fatherhood within the creed.
According to Marianne Meye Thompson, in the
Old Testament ,
called "Father" with a unique sense of familiarity. In addition to the
sense in which
God is "Father" to all men because he created the world
(and in that sense "fathered" the world), the same
God is also
uniquely the law-giver to his chosen people . He maintains a special,
covenantal father-child relationship with the people, giving them the
Shabbat , stewardship of his prophecies , and a unique heritage in the
things of God, calling Israel "my son" because he delivered the
descendants of Jacob out of slavery in Egypt according to his
covenants and oaths to their fathers,
Isaac and Yaacov . In
the Hebrew Scriptures , in Isaiah 63:16 (JP) it reads: "For You are
our father, for Abraham did not know us, neither did Israel recognize
us; You, O Lord, are our father; our redeemer of old is your name." To
God, according to Judaism, is attributed the fatherly role of
protector. He is titled the Father of the poor, of the orphan and the
widow, their guarantor of justice. He is also titled the Father of the
king, as the teacher and helper over the judge of Israel. According
to Alon Goshen-Gottstein, in the
Old Testament "Father" is generally a
metaphor ; it is not a proper name for
God but rather one of many
titles by which Jews speak of and to God. In
is taken in a more literal and substantive sense, and is explicit
about the need for the Son as a means of accessing the Father, making
for a more metaphysical rather than metaphorical interpretation.
A depiction of the
Trinity consisting of
God the Father along
God the Son (
Jesus ) and
God the Holy
To Trinitarian Christians (which include Roman Catholics , Eastern
Oriental Orthodox , and most but not all Protestant
God the Father is not at all a separate god from God
the Son (of whom
Jesus is the incarnation ) and the Holy
Spirit , the
Hypostases of the Christian Godhead . In Eastern Orthodox
God the Father is the _arche_ or _principium_
("beginning"), the "source" or "origin" of both the Son and the Holy
Spirit, and is considered the eternal source of the Godhead. The
Father is the one who eternally begets the Son, and the Father
eternally breathes the Holy Spirit.
As a member of the Trinity,
God the Father is one with, co-equal to,
co-eternal, and con-substantial with the Son and the Holy Spirit, each
Person being the one eternal
God and in no way separated: all alike
are uncreated and omnipotent. Because of this, the
Trinity is beyond
reason and can only be known by revelation.
The Trinitarian concept of
God the Father is not pantheistic in that
he is not viewed as identical to the universe or a vague notion that
persists in it, but exists fully outside of creation, as its Creator.
He is viewed as a loving and caring God, a Heavenly Father who is
active both in the world and in people's lives. He created all
things visible and invisible in love and wisdom, and created man for
his own sake.
The emergence of Trinitarian theology of
God the Father in early
Christianity was based on two key ideas: first the shared identity of
Yahweh of the
Old Testament and the
Jesus in the New
Testament , and then the self-distinction and yet the unity between
Jesus and his Father. An example of the unity of Son and Father is
Matthew 11:27: "No one knows the Son except the Father and no one
knows the Father except the Son", asserting the mutual knowledge of
Father and Son.
The concept of fatherhood of
God does appear in the Old Testament,
but is not a major theme. While the view of
God as the Father is
used in the Old Testament, it only became a focus in the New
Jesus frequently referred to it. This is manifested in
the Lord\'s prayer which combines the earthly needs of daily bread
with the reciprocal concept of forgiveness. And Jesus' emphasis on
his special relationship with the Father highlights the importance of
the distinct yet unified natures of
Jesus and the Father, building to
the unity of Father and Son in the Trinity.
The paternal view of
God as the Father extends beyond
Jesus to his
disciples, and the entire Church, as reflected in the petitions Jesus
submitted to the Father for his followers at the end of the _Farewell
Discourse _, the night before his crucifixion . Instances of this in
Farewell Discourse are John 14:20 as
Jesus addresses the
disciples: "I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you" and in
John 17:22 as he prays to the Father: "I have given them the glory
that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one."
Nontrinitarianism Mormon depiction of
Father and the Son
A number of Christian groups reject the doctrine of the Trinity, but
differ from one another in their views regarding
God the Father.
In Mormon theology , the most prominent conception of
God is as a
divine council of three distinct beings:
Elohim (the Father), Jehovah
(the Son, or Jesus), and the Holy
Spirit . The Father and Son are
considered to have perfected, physical bodies, while the Holy Spirit
has a body of spirit. Mormons believe that
God the Father presides
over both the Son and Holy Spirit, where
God the Father is greater
than both, but they are one in the sense that they have a unity of
purpose. Mormons do not distinguish
God as a separate ontological
species from humans, a concept they believe was originated by
post-apostolic theologians who incorporated elements of Greek
philosophy into Christian doctrine. Mormons teach that the title of
Father is not figurative, because humans are literally the spirit
God (Acts 17:28-29, Hebrews 12:9). In this sense, they
Jesus Christ their older brother (John 20:17), as He is the
first born, or first begotten of God's children (Colossians 1:15,
Hebrews 1:26; 12:23). Biblical references to Christ as the "only
begotten", in contrast, refer to
God being the Father of Christ's
mortal body, born of the virgin Mary. The terms "Father" and "Son"
imply a lineage of beings in Mormonism and in all non-symbolic usage
of these words. In the Mormon hymn, "
If You Could Hie to Kolob ",
there is no beginning to the lineage of exalted, resurrected
personages that are in perfect unity.
In Jehovah\'s Witness theology, only
God the Father (
Jehovah ) is the
one true almighty God, even over his Son
Jesus Christ. They teach that
the pre-existent Christ is God's First-begotten Son, and that the Holy
Spirit is God's active force (projected energy). They believe these
three are united in purpose, but are not one being and are not equal
in power. While the Witnesses acknowledge Christ's pre-existence,
perfection, and unique "Sonship" from
God the Father, and believe that
Christ had an essential role in creation and redemption, and is the
Messiah, they believe that only the Father is without beginning. They
say that the Son was the Father's only direct creation, before all
God the Father is emphasized in
Jehovah's Witness meetings and
services more than Christ the Son, as they teach that the Father is
greater than the Son.
Pentecostalism teaches that
God is a singular spirit who is
one person, not three divine persons, individuals or minds.
Father is the title of the Supreme Creator. The titles of the Son and
Spirit are merely titles reflecting the different personal
manifestations of the One True
God the Father in the universe.
Although similarities exist among religions, the common language and
the shared concepts about
God and his title _Father_ among the
Abrahamic religions is quite limited, and each religion has very
specific belief structures and religious nomenclature with respect to
the subject. While a religious teacher in one faith may be able to
explain the concepts to his own audience with ease, significant
barriers remain in communicating those concepts across religious
God in the Bahá\'í
In the Bahá\'í faith
God is also addressed as father. The Bahá'í
God is essentially monotheistic .
God is the imperishable,
uncreated being who is the source of all existence.
Krishna in the
Bhagavad Gita , chapter 9,
verse 17, stated: "I am the Father of this world, the Mother, the
Dispenser and the Grandfather", one commentator adding: "
God being the
source of the universe and the beings in it, He is held as the Father,
the Mother and the Grandfather". A genderless
Brahman is also
considered the Creator and Life-giver, and the
Shakta Goddess is
viewed as the divine mother and life-bearer.
God in Islam
The Islamic concept of
God differs from the Christian and Jewish
views, the term "father" is not formally applied to
God by Muslims,
and the Christian notion of the
Trinity is rejected in Islam. Also
Wali means "custodian", "protector" and
"helper". In Quran 9:23, Allah is more preferred to Father. Also,
Allah is called as
Rahim means both "Merciful, Compassionate"
and "Womb, Uterus".
Islamic theology ,
God is the all-powerful and all-knowing
creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe.
Even though traditional Islamic teaching does not formally prohibit
using the term "Father" in reference to God, it does not propagate or
encourage it. There are some narratives of the Islamic prophet
Muhammad in which he compares the mercy of
God toward his worshipers
to that of a mother to her infant child,
Islamic teaching rejects the Christian Father-Son relationship of God
Jesus , and states that
Jesus is a prophet of God, not the Son of
Islamic theology strictly reiterates the Absolute Oneness of
God, and totally separates him from other beings (whether humans,
angel or any other holy figure), and rejects any form of
Trinitarianism . Chapter 112 of the Qur'an states:
"Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He
begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him."
(Sura 112:1–4, _Yusuf Ali_)
God in Judaism and Names of
God in Judaism See also:
God is described as "Father" as he is seen as the
absolute one, indivisible and incomparable, transcendent, immanent,
God of creation and history. The
God in Judaism
is the giver of the sabbath and the two torahs—written , oral ,
mystical tradition —to his chosen people . In Judaism, the use of
the "Father" title is generally a metaphor , referring to the role as
Life-giver and Law-giver, and is one of many titles by which Jews
speak of and to God.
The Jewish concept of
God is similar to the Christian view, being
Christianity has Jewish roots, though there are some differences,
regarding things like the role of a Mediator. And also the concept of
God the Father" in Biblical Judaism is generally more metaphorical.
The Jewish concept of
God is that
God is non-corporeal, transcendent
and immanent, the ultimate source of love, and a metaphorical
Torah declares: "
God is not a man (איש : ) that He
should lie, nor is He a mortal (בן–אדם : ) that He should
Book of Numbers 23:19 Hebrew : לא אישׁ אל ויכזב
ובן־אדם ויתנחם ההוא אמר ולא יעשׂה ודבר
The Aramaic term for father (Hebrew : אבא , _abba _) appears
Jewish liturgy and Jewish prayers to
God (e.g. in the
According to Ariela Pelaia, in a prayer of
Rosh Hashanah , Areshet
Sfateinu, an ambivalent attitude toward
God is demonstrated, due to
His role as a Father and as a King. Free translation of the relevant
sentence may be: "today every creature is judged, either as sons or as
slaves. If as sons, forgive us like a father forgives his son. If as
slaves, we wait, hoping for good, until the verdict, your holy
majesty." Another famous prayer emphasizing this dichotomy is called
Avinu Malkeinu , which means “Our Father Our King” in Hebrew.
Usually the entire congregation will sing the last verse of this
prayer in unison, which says: "Our Father, our King, answer us as
though we have no deed to plead our cause, save us with mercy and
God is considered uncompromisingly monotheistic , as
symbolized by _
Ik Onkar _ (one Creator), a central tenet of Sikh
Guru Granth consistently refers to the creator as "He"
and "Father". This is because the Granth is written in north Indian
Indo-Aryan languages (mixture of Punjabi and dialects of Hindi) which
have no neutral gender. Since the Granth says that the
God has no gender according to Sikhism.
God in the Sikh scriptures has been referred to by several names,
picked from Indian and Semitic traditions. He is called in terms of
human relations as father, mother, brother, relation, friend, lover,
beloved, husband. Other names, expressive of his supremacy, are
_thakur_, _prabhu_, _svami_, _sah_, _patsah_, _sahib_, _sain_ (Lord,
IN WESTERN ART
God the Father in Western art Depiction of God
the Father (detail),
Pieter de Grebber , 1654.
For about a thousand years, no attempt was made to portray
Father in human form, because early Christians believed that the words
of Exodus 33:20 "Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man
see Me and live" and of the
Gospel of John
Gospel of John 1:18: "No man hath seen God
at any time" were meant to apply not only to the Father, but to all
attempts at the depiction of the Father. Typically only a small part
of the body of Father would be represented, usually the hand, or
sometimes the face, but rarely the whole person, and in many images,
the figure of the Son supplants the Father, so a smaller portion of
the person of the Father is depicted.
In the early medieval period
God was often represented by Christ as
the _Logos _, which continued to be very common even after the
separate figure of
God the Father appeared. Western art eventually
required some way to illustrate the presence of the Father, so through
successive representations a set of artistic styles for the depiction
of the Father in human form gradually emerged around the tenth century
By the twelfth century depictions of a figure of
God the Father,
essentially based on the
Ancient of Days in the
Book of Daniel had
started to appear in French manuscripts and in stained glass church
windows in England. In the 14th century the illustrated Naples Bible
had a depiction of
God the Father in the
Burning bush . By the 15th
Rohan Book of Hours included depictions of
God the Father
in human form or anthropomorphic imagery. The depiction remains rare
and often controversial in
Eastern Orthodox art, and by the time of
Renaissance artistic representations of
God the Father were freely
used in the Western Church.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to GOD THE FATHER _.
Eugenia Elisabetta Ravasio
Jesus Christ the Father
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by Karl Barth (Sep 23, 2010) ISBN 0567012859 pages 15–17
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God the Father_ (3rd ed.).
2012. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-9837152-8-3 .
* ^ Floyd H. Barackman, 2002 _Practical Christian Theology_ ISBN
0-8254-2380-5 page 117
* ^ _Calling
God "Father"_ by John W. Miller (Nov 1999) ISBN
0809138972 page 51
* ^ _Church Dogmatics, Vol. 2.1, Section 31: The Doctrine of God_
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* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion
and Ancient Jewish Monotheism_ by Larry W. Hurtado (Oct 25, 2003) ISBN
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pages 72–75 and 90
* ^ James Barr, "Abba isn't 'daddy'", Journal of Theological
* ^ "The Aramaic Blog: Abba Isn\'t Daddy – The Traditional
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Dec 2003) ISBN 0521524954 pages 116–117
Tertullian _Adversus Praxeas_ 4 (ANF 3:599–600): "I believe
Spirit to proceed from no other source than from the Father
through the Son"
Tertullian _Adversus Praxeas_ 5 (ANF 3:600–601).
* ^ O\'Collins & Farrugia 2015 , p. 157.
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O?Grady (May 1992) ISBN 080913327X page 162
* ^ Marianne Meye Thompson _The promise of the Father:
God in the New Testament_ ch.2
God as Father in the
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Second Temple Judaism p35 2000 "Christian theologians have often
accentuated the distinctiveness of the portrait of
God as Father in
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* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _
God Our Father_ by John Koessler (Sep 13, 1999)
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* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _The Trinity: Global Perspectives_ by Veli-Matti
Kärkkäinen (Jan 17, 2007) ISBN 0664228909 pages 10–13
* ^ _Global Dictionary of Theology_ by William A. Dyrness,
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Bromiley 1988 ISBN 0-8028-3785-9 page 571-572
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0521003539 pages 26–27
* ^ _
Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13–17 by Daniel B.
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* ^ "Godhead", _True to the Faith_, The Church of
Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, 2004 . See also: "
God the Father", _True to the
Faith_, The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2004 .
* ^ "ONE. See God, Godhead; Unity", _Guide to the Scriptures_, The
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2005 .
* ^ "The only true
Jesus Christ whom He hath sent",
_Jeffrey R Holland_, The Church of
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* ^ _A_ _B_ Saints, The Church of
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* ^ Anderson, Elder Joseph. "A Testimony of Christ – Elder Joseph
* ^ _Insight on the Scriptures_. 2. 1988. p. 1019.
* ^ James Roberts – Oneness vs. Trinitarian
Theology – Westland
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* ^ See also David Bernard, _A Handbook of Basic Doctrines_, Word
Aflame Press, 1988. ISBN 0-932581-37-4 needs page num
* ^ _A_ _B_ _The Names of
God in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam:
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144115356X pages 2–3
* ^ "The Bhagavad Gita" by Srimath Swami Chidbhavananda 2009 ISBN
81-8085-147-8 page 501
* ^ _Gods, Goddesses, and Mythology Set_ by C. Scott Littleton 2005
ISBN 0-7614-7559-1 page 908
* ^ _Fundamentals of the Faith_ by Peter Kreeft 1988 ISBN
0-89870-202-X page 93
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* ^ _Christian Theology: An Introduction_ by Alister E. McGrath
(Oct 12, 2010) ISBN 1444335146 pages 237–238
* ^ Gerhard Böwering, _
God and his Attributes_, Encyclopedia of
* ^ John L. Esposito, _Islam: The Straight Path_, Oxford University
Press, 1998, p.22
* ^ "
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(صلى الله عليه و سلم)". _sunnah.com_.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Berger, David; Wyschogrod, Michael (1978). _Jews
and "Jewish Christianity"_. : KTAV Publ. House. ISBN 0-87068-675-5 .
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responsibility in Jewish law and ethics_ ISBN 0-88125-862-8 page 1
Rashi : "
God is not a man that He should lie": He has already
promised them to bring them to and give them possession of the land of
the seven nations, and you expect to kill them in the desert? "Would
He say…": Heb. הַהוּא. This is in the form of a question. And
the Targum renders "who later relent". They reconsider and change
* ^ Singer, Tovia. "Monotheism". Retrieved 19 August 2013.
* ^ Spiro, Ken (Rabbi, Masters Degree in History). "JEWISH
FOLLOWERS OF JESUS". _Seeds of Christianity_. Simpletoremember.com.
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Year of Rosh HaShanah – Rosh HaShanah Liturgy – About.com –
Judaism. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
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like? – Real
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* ^ Adolphe Napoléon Didron, 2003 _Christian iconography: or The
Christian art in the middle ages_ ISBN 0-7661-4075-X pages
* ^ George Ferguson, 1996 _Signs ;background:none
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