Coptic Icons

In a part of the world where illiteracy rates reach 72 percent in some countries, learning about Jesus and the Bible through audio and television is extremely effective. Coptic Icons explores how, long before television and radio were invented, Christians communicated the stories of the Bible through images and icons.

Coptic icons are important cultural symbols of the Middle East’s Christian heritage. They explain the spread of the Christian faith in the region and throughout its different people over the years. This fascinating program explains the history of Coptic icons, their development, and their role in the Christian societies of the Middle East. It explains how each icon tells a complete story from the Bible. For example, an icon of the birth of Jesus Christ carries in it all the characters who participated in the event as well as the star in heaven.

In the program, a voice-­over reads the passage from the Bible that is represented in an icon before introducing the icon itself. An expert explains the history and significance of the icon discussed in that episode. The program also discusses the art of mosaic icons and drawing on glass.

Icons have been the subject of much opposition for fear of idolatry. However, this program explains how Coptic icons must meet very specific standards in order to be an accurate reflection of Christian faith and history. Experts on the program explain the characteristics of a Coptic icon, describing how it must be educational, symbolic, and painted with natural colours. An icon is different from any other painting in that Jesus is the only source of light shown. No other element in the icon can emit light but Jesus.

An icon is a book for those unable to read. It reminds us of the history of salvation, of God’s work and the secrets of His divine arrangement. John the Damascene,

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