(Fig. 1) Ernst Barlach (1870–1938), 'The rocks', woodcut from the cycle The transformations of God, 1920.
Cf. 1. Mose 1,31: God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
(Fig. 2) Emil Nolde (1867–1956), 'The grand gardener', oil, 1940. Sprengel Museum / Hanover.
Cf. Matthew 6,28f: "See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these."
(Fig. 3) Tintoretto (1518–1594), 'The creation of the animals', oil, c. 1550. The Academy / Venice.
Cf. 1. Mose 1,20: And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”
(Fig. 4) Motif on a Hamburger stove, 'The animals in Paradise', c. 1730.
Cf. 1. Mose 1,30: "And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it — I give every green plant for food.”
(Fig. 5) Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564), 'The creation of Adam', ceiling fresco, 1511, Sistine Chapel / Rome.
Cf. 1. Mose 1,26: Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
(Fig. 6) Johann Hauser von Aach, 'The creation of Eve', oil, c. 1600.
Cf. 1. Mose 1,27: So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
(Fig. 7) Marc Chagall (1887–1985), 'Eve and the serpent', detail from The Creation, stained glass window, 1963, Metz Cathedral.
Cf. 1. Mose 3,6: When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.
(Fig. 8) Albrecht Dürer (1451–1528), 'Adam and Eve', modern gold lithograph on black high-tech diamond based on Albrecht Dürer's 1504 copperplate engraving.
Cf. 1. Mose 3,6: She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
(Fig. 9) Bischof Bernward (993–1022), 'The judgement in Paradise', bronze relief on Bernward Gate, 1015, Hildesheim Cathedral.
Cf. 1. Mose 3,9-13: But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" The man said, "The woman you put here with me — she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
(Fig. 10) Ernst Barlach (1870–1938), 'The cherub', woodcut from the cycle on Schiller's 'Song to Joy', 1927.
Cf. 1. Moses 3,24: After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
(Fig. 11) Rudolf Hausner (1914–1994), 'Adam mountain range', tempera / oil, 1968/69.
Cf. 1. Mose 3,23 in connection with 1. Moses 2,7: So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. – Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
(Fig. 12) Nikolaj Komarow (b. 1959), 'Cain and Abel', oil, 1996.
Cf. Mose 4,4-8: The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it." Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let’s go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
(Fig. 13) Gideon Hausmann, 'Noah's tree', colour pencil drawing, 1985.
Cf. 1. Mose 8,10f: He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.
(Fig. 14) Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921–1990), 'Before the fall (the tower of Babel)', pen drawing, 1952.
Cf. 1. Mose 11,3-8: They said to each other, "Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other." So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.
(Fig. 15) Russian icon, 'Holy Trinity' (visit of the three angels to Abraham), 17th century.
Cf. 1. Mose 18. 1-5: The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. He said, "If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant." "Very well,” they answered, "do as you say."
(Fig. 16) Otto Dix (1891–1969), 'Jacob wrestling with the angel', oil, 1943, Stuttgart Art Museum.
Cf. 1. Mose 32,22-26: That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."
(Fig. 17) Motif on a Hamburg tiled stove, 'Jacob's reconciliation with Esau', c. 1730.
Cf. 1. Mose 33,4 and 8-10: But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept... Esau asked, "What’s the meaning of all these flocks and herds I met?" "To find favor in your eyes, my lord," he said. But Esau said, "I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself." "No, please!” said Jacob. "If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably."
(Fig. 18) Gillis van Coninxloo (1544–1607), attributed, 'Joseph sold by his brethren', oil, undated.
Cf. 1. Mose 37,26-28: Judah said to his brothers, "What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood." His brothers agreed. So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
(Fig. 19) Ernst Barlach (1870–1938), 'Moses on Sinai', woodcut, 1928.
Cf. 2. Mose 32,7f: Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, 'These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.'"
(Fig. 20) Emil Nolde (1867–1956), 'Prophet', woodcut, 1912.
Cf. Isaiah 53,4: Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
(Fig. 21) Günter Skrodzki (1935–2012), monotype from the cycle Jonah and the large fish, c. 1980.
Cf. Jonah 1,17: Now the LORD provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
(Fig. 22) Günter Skrodzki (1935–2012), monotype from the cycle Jonah and the large fish, c. 1980.
Cf. Jonah 2,10: And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.
(Fig. 23) Max Kahlke (1892–1928), 'The Annunciation', large altar of Mary (left inside panel), oil, 1927, St. Peter's Cathedral / Schleswig.
Cf. Luke 1,28-33: The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end."
(Fig. 24) Ivory plaque from the Magdeburg Antependium, 'Visitation', c. 970, Bavarian National Museum / Munich.
Cf. Luke 1,41-45: When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
(Fig. 25) Geertgen tot Sint Jans (c. 1465–1495), 'The birth' (in the background the annunciation to the shepherds), oil, c. 1480/1485, National Gallery / London.
Cf. Luke 2,8-14: And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."
(Fig. 26) Georges de la Tour (1593–1652), 'Adoration of the shepherds', oil, c. 1644, Musée du Louvre / Paris.
Cf. Luke 2,15f: When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
(Fig. 27) Adam Elsheimer (1578–1610), 'The flight into Egypt', oil/copperplate, 1609, Alte Pinakothek / Munich.
Cf. Matthew 2,13-15: When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."
(Fig. 28) Claude Lorrain (1600–1682), 'Landscape with the rest on the flight into Egypt', oil, c. 1635, Hamburg Kunsthalle.
Cf. Matthew 2,16-18: When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."
(Fig. 29) Georges de la Tour (1593–1652), 'Joseph the carpenter', oil, c. 1640, Musée du Louvre / Paris.
Cf. Matthew 13,55: “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?
(Fig. 30) Bernadino Luini (c. 1480–1532), 'Christ among the doctors', oil, probably c. 1515–1530, National Gallery / London.
Cf. Luke 2,45-47: When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.
(Fig. 31) Russian icon, 'The baptism of Jesus', tempera, 19th century.
Cf. Luke 3,21f: When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
(Fig. 32) Victor Wetschganow (1955–1994), 'Christ in the desert', oil, c. 1990.
Cf. Luke 4,1f: Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
(Fig. 33) Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (1884–1976), 'Peter's catch', woodcut from the Christ file, 1918.
Cf. Luke 5,7-10: So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people."
(Fig. 34) Otto Pankok (1893–1966), 'Jesus', monotype, undated.
Cf. Luke 5,30-32: But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
(Fig. 35) Ernst Barlach (1870–1938), 'Christ the teacher', posthumous bronze casting from the plaster model of 1931.
Cf. Matthew 6,31-33: "So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
(Fig. 36) Ernst Barlach (1870–1938), 'Our book of debts be destroyed', woodcut from the cycle on Schiller's 'Song to Joy', 1927.
Cf. Matthew 7,1f: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
(Fig. 37) Domenico Fiasella (1589–1669), 'Christ waking the son of the widow of Nain', oil, 1615, Ringling Museum of Art / Florida.
Cf. Luke 7,12-15: As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don’t cry." Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
(Fig. 38) Giovanni Bellini (1430–1516), 'Christ blessing', oil, c. 1505–1510.
Cf. Matthew 11,28-30: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
The Transfiguration of Jesus (see fig. 39) Mark 9,2-13: After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!" Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what "rising from the dead" meant. And they asked him, "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?" Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him."
Jesus Heals a Boy Possessed by an Impure Spirit (see fig. 39) Mark 9,14-29: When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. "What are you arguing with them about?" he asked. A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” “You unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me." So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the boy’s father, "How long has he been like this?” "From childhood," he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." "‘If you can’?” said Jesus. "Everything is possible for one who believes." Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again." The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, "He’s dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn’t we drive it out?" He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer."
(Fig. 39) Raffael (1423–1520), 'The transfiguration'.
This painting depicts the healing of a possessed boy in the lower half, oil, c. 1520, Pinacoteca Vaticana / Rome.
(Fig. 40) Ernst Barlach (1870–1938), 'The good Samaritan', woodcut, 1919.
Cf. Luke 10,25-30: On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered, "‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
(Fig. 41) Neo Rauch (b. 1960), 'Saint Elizabeth healing the sick', 2007, northern stained glass window in the Saint Elizabeth Chapel in Naumburg Cathedral / central panel.
Cf. Luke 10,31-37: A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
(Fig. 42) Albrecht Dürer (1451–1528), 'The parable of the prodigal son', copperplate engraving, c. 1497.
Cf. Luke 15,13-16: "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything."
(Fig. 43) Victor Vechkanov (1955–1995), 'The return of the prodigal son', oil, 1994.
Cf. Luke 15,18-20: "I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: ’Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him."
(Fig. 44) Max Beckmann (1884–1950), 'Jesus and the woman taken in adultery', oil, 1917, City Art Museum / Saint Louis.
Cf. John 8,7: When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."
(Fig. 45) Marble sculpture from early Christian period, 'The good shepherd', late 3rd century, Pio Cristiano Museum / Rome.
Cf. John 10,11 and 14f: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep... I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep."
(Fig. 46) Johann Friedrich Overbeck (1789–1869), 'Christ blesses the children', oil, c. 1835.
Cf. Mark 10,13f: People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
(Fig. 47) Emil Nolde (1867–1956), 'So you will not become like children', oil, 1929, Folkwang Museum, Essen.
Cf. Mark 10,15f: "Verily I am telling you: Who does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. And he hugged her and put his hands on them and blessed them."
Healing of the sick (Cf. fig. 48) Matthew 19,1f: When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
Of marriage, divorce, celibacy (Cf. fig. 48) Matthew 19,3-12: Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?" "Haven’t you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery." The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry." Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others – and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
The Little Children and Jesus (Cf. fig. 48) Matthew 19,13-15: Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
The Rich and the Kingdom of God (Cf. fig. 48) Matthew 19,16-26: Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments." "Which ones?" he inquired. Jesus replied, "‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’" "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
From the wages of succession (Cf. fig. 48) Matthew 19,27-30: Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?" Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first."
(Fig. 48) Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606–1669), 'Christ healing the sick' (Hundred Guilder Print).
The print depicts themes from Matthew chapter 19: healing of the sick, question of divorce, the blessing of the children, the danger of riches (the rich young man). Etching and cold needle, c. 1640/49.
(Fig. 49) Max Kahlke (1892–1928), 'The raising of Lazarus', oil, 1920.
Cf. John 11,41-45: So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me." When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go." Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
(Fig. 50) Cecco del Caravaggio (1571–1616), 'Christ driving the dealers from the temple', oil, 1610–1615, Gemäldegalerie / Berlin.
Cf. Matthew 21,12f: Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written," he said to them, "'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it 'a den of robbers.'"
(Fig. 51) Hans Ralfs (1883–1945), 'The washing of the feet', woodcut from the cycle John's Gospel, 1925/1926.
Cf. John 13,1-20. John 13,6f: He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
(Fig. 52) Urs Graf (c. 1485–1527/8), 'The washing of the feet and the last supper', woodcut, 1506.
John 13,8-10: Then Peter said to him, "Thou shalt never wash my foot!" Jesus answered him, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me." Simon Peter saith unto him, "Lord, not the feet only but also my hands and my head!" Jesus saith to him, "He that is washed needeth not, than to have the feet to be washed, for he is clean. And you are clean, but not all."
(Fig. 53) Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), 'The last supper', 1494-1496, mural al secco (on dry gesso), notably faded, Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie / Milan.
Cf. Matthew 26,19-23: So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me." They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, "Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?" Jesus replied, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me."
(Fig. 54) Emil Nolde (1867–1956), 'The last supper', oil, 1909, Statens Museum for Kunst / Copenhagen.
Cf. Matthew 26,26-29: While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
(Fig. 55) Christ and John group from Sigmaringen, wood, c. 1320, sculpture collection of the Bode Museum / Berlin.
Cf. John 13,23: One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.
(Fig. 56) Tilman Riemenschneider (c. 1460–1531), John reclines on the breast of Jesus, Holy Blood retable, St. James / Rothenburg ob der Tauber, sculptures 1501–1505.
Cf. John 13,24-26: Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means." Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.
(Fig. 57) Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840), 'Caroline on the stairs', oil, c. 1825, Pommersches Landesmuseum / Greifswald.
Cf. John 14,2: "My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?"
(Fig. 58) Hans Günther Baass (1909–1991), 'The endless dwelling', oil, 1981.
Cf. John 14,2: "My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?"
(Fig. 59) Ernst Barlach (1870–1938), 'Christ in Gethsemane', woodcut, 1919.
Cf. Luke 22,41f: He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."
(Fig. 60) Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (1884–1976), 'Christ and Judas', woodcut from the Christ file, 1918.
Cf. Luke 22,47f: While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"
(Fig. 61) Hans Sebald Beham (1500–1550), 'Head of Christ crowned with thorns', woodcut, c. 1528.
Cf. Matthew 27,28f: They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head.
(Fig. 62) Hans Thoma (1839–1924), 'The mocking of Jesus', oil, before 1918, Karlsruhe Kunsthalle.
Cf. Matthew 27,29f: They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.
(Fig. 63) Iwan Iljitsch Glasunow (b. 1969), 'Crucify him! Crucify him!', oil, 1994, Christ the Redeemer Cathedral / Moscow, left portion of the picture.
Cf. John 19,4f: Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, "Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him." When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe,
(Fig. 64) Iwan Iljitsch Glasunow (b. 1969), 'Crucify him! Crucify him!', oil, 1994, Christ the Redeemer Cathedral / Moscow, right portion of the picture.
Cf. John 19,5f: Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!" As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, "Crucify! Crucify!"
(Fig. 65) Max Kahlke (1892–1928), 'Carrying of the cross', oil, 1921.
Cf. Mark 15,20: And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
(Fig. 66) Frans Francken II (1581–1642), 'Saint Veronica tends her veil to Christ' (extracanonical tradition on the Passion), oil/copperplate, c. 1605/1607, State Museum of Lower Saxony / Hanover.
Cf. Mark 15,21f: A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. And they brought him unto the place called Golgotha (which means "the place of the skull").
(Fig. 67) Octav Grigorescu (1933–1987), 'Golgotha', oil, 1986.
Cf. Luke 23,49: But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
(Fig. 68) Lovis Corinth (1858–1925), 'Christ on the cross', charcoal / coloured chalks, undated.
Cf. John 19,18-20: There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek.
(Fig. 69) Matthias Grünewald (c. 1480–1530), detail from 'The crucifixion', Isenheim Altarpiece, oil, 1510/1515, Musée d'Unterlinden, Colmar.
Cf. John 19,25-27: Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
(Fig. 70) Matthias Grünewald (c. 1480–1530), detail from 'The crucifixion', Isenheim Altarpiece, oil, 1510/1515, without side panels and predella, Musée d'Unterlinden, Colmar.
Cf. John 19,28-30: Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
(Fig. 71) Graham Sutherland (1903–1980), 'The deposition', oil, 1946, Fitzwilliam Museum / Cambridge.
Cf. Matthew 27,57-61: As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
(Fig. 72) Emil Nolde (1867–1956), 'The burial', oil, 1915, Nolde Foundation Seebüll / Berlin Branch.
Cf. John 19,39f: He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.
(Fig. 73) Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606–1669), 'The resurrection', oil on wood, 1636/39, Alte Pinakothek / Munich.
Cf. Matthew 28,2-4: There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
(Fig. 74) Matthias Grünewald (c. 1480–1530), 'The resurrection', side panel of the Isenheim Altar, oil, 1510/1515, Musée d'Unterlinden, Colmar.
Without the lower section showing the guards in front of the tomb.
(Fig. 75) Jan Brueghel the Younger (1601–1678), 'Noli me tangere', oil, late 1630s, State Museum of Lower Saxony / Hanover.
Cf. John 20,15f: He asked her, "Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means "Teacher").
(Fig. 76) Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (1884–1976), 'On the walk to Emmaus', woodcut from the Christ file, 1918.
Cf. Luke 24,25-27: He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
(Fig. 77) Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770–1844), 'Christ appears to the disciples', bronze, posthumous cast from the plaster model of the marble sculpture of 1821/22 in Our Lady's Church / Copenhagen, 1971, Nienstedten Cemetery / Hamburg.
Cf. John 20,19-23: On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."
(Fig. 78) Cecco del Caravaggio (1571–1616), 'The incredulity of Saint Thomas', oil, c. 1600–1601, Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam.
Cf. John 20,26-29: A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
(Fig. 79) El Greco (1541–1614), 'Pentecost', oil, 1596–1600, Prado Museum / Madrid.
Cf. Book of Acts 2:1-4: And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them, and they were all fulfilled by the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them.
(Fig. 80) Michael Jakovlev (b. 1959), 'Saul/Paul', c. 1990, oil.
Cf. Book of Acts 9.3-6: And when he was on the road and came near Damascus, suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him: "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" But he said: "Lord, who are you?" The said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do."
(Fig. 81) Cecco del Caravaggio (1571–1616), 'The crucifixion of Saint Peter', oil, c. 1604, Santa Maria del Popolo / Rome.
Cf. John 21,18f: "Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"
(Fig. 82) Jusepe de Ribera (1591–1652), 'The martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew', oil, 1634, National Gallery of Art / Washington.
Cf. Mark 13,9: "You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them."
(Fig. 83) Ernst Barlach (1870–1938), cast from the Güstrow memorial ('Floating angel') of 1926–27, bronze, posthumous cast c. 1960.
Cf. Revelation 14:13: Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."
(Fig. 84) Hans Günther Baass (1909–1991), The homecoming of the prodigal son', oil, 1983.
I John 3:19f: By this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him bring it to silence that, if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.