Finally the day before the next edition comes out, I read the paper!! (C.T.)
Fascinating that such images, sheep and shepherd should feature on early Christian art. Well not really, if you read the article, it almost suggests it would be strnage if these images did not exist. Prof. Spier suggests that the passage, 'The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep' John 10:11 was 'surely uppermost in the minds of Christians in the third and fourth centuries' (quoted in CT article) however, looking at the imagery it more suggests to me that the image is one of walking with and being with the sheep. There are no self sacrificial images here, except that the arms of the shepherd figure are sometimes stretched out to each side in carrying the sheep. Someone willing to lay down a life is not the image that springs to my mind immediately I see the picture of a man carrying a sheep. Rather the image I get is that of one enduring a life together, in the midst of the living.
Picturing the Bible as reviewed in the C.T.
Oh on a different note, congratulations Richard on getting your name in print…