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The Original Good Shepherd

You’ve all seen those pictures of Jesus, carrying a lamb over his shoulders, a shepherd’s hook in his hand. Ever where that image originally came from, or where the idea of the Good Shepherd came from?

Below, the image on the left is taken from an ancient depiction of the Greek god Hermes, in a motif known as Hermes Kriophoros – referred to by the ancient Greeks, before Christianity, as the good shepherd.

the original good shepherd

That staff carried by Hermes was not a shepherd’s hook. It was the caduceus, a symbol of power, transcendence, and healing, featuring two snakes ascending up a symbolic tree.

greek god on the capitol domeHermes is also found, in the Roman form of Mercury, on the Capitol Dome of the Congress of the United States of America, conferring with the founding fathers. Jesus is not present there.

1 comment to The Original Good Shepherd

  • Tom

    Like a whole lot of other symbols and dates it was co-opted by the early chrisitians to make a “religion” out of this guy’s life and words.

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