According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica , the cross is "the principal symbol of the Christian religion." Millions of people wear a cross on a necklace or employ the cross in body art or to decorate their homes, vehicles, or clothing.
The cross as a symbol has a long history spanning numerous non-Christian religions. Simple X or + marks are found in prehistoric cave drawings. In ancient Egypt, the cross-like ankh or crux ansata - translated "cross with a handle - was often depicted in the hand of the pharaoh or of various deities. It was used both as a fertility symbol and to represent life. W. E. Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words also notes that the cross or t was used as a symbol for the Chaldean god Tammuz.
For 300 years after the founding of Christianity, there is no historical evidence of the use of this symbol in worship. It came into popularity when promoted by Roman Emperor Constantine, between 306 and 337 A.D. Throughout the Middle Ages in Europe, the cross was used as a religious symbol. The design, for example, adorned the shields of knights and crusaders. The cross also appears in much of the religious artwork from the sixth century onward, appearing in paintings, on the cover and pages of religious texts, and in architecture, especially of churches.
Would you like to draw your own cross? The stylized cross in this easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial features a rose wound about it.
All you will need is a pencil, a piece of paper, and an eraser. Note that in each step, new lines are highlighted in blue, while lines drawn in previous steps are shown in black. At times, you will need to erase lines in order to complete the step. You may also wish to use colored pencils, crayons, markers, or paints to shade your finished drawing.
Prayer is an act that is universal to all religions, throughout human history. The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes prayer as "an act of communication by humans with the sacred or holy," usually a god or gods.
In many religions, prayerful adherents assume certain postures during prayer. These may including bowing with the face to the ground, raising the arms toward the sky, bowing the head, closing the eyes, or "folding" the hands in prayer - typically, by placing the palms and fingers together.
The origin of the praying hands is uncertain. Some sources cite ancient religious use of this gesture, from ancient Babylon and later from the Jews. Other references cite it as a symbol of servitude, arising from the practice of shackling the hands of prisoners so that they could not grasp a weapon and retaliate. Similarly, a medieval pope references the custom of placing one's joined hands into the hands of a feudal lord, as a sign of respect and obedience.
Hands in a prayerful stance have often been the subject of the fine arts. One famous drawing is known as "Praying Hands" or as "Study of the Hands of an Apostle." The drawing was made by painter Albrecht Durer in the year 1508. A 60 foot tall statue, also called "Praying Hands," stands on the grounds of a university in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Would you like to draw a set of praying hands? This easy, step-by-step drawing guide is here to show you how. All you will need is a pencil, a good eraser, and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to use markers, crayons, colored pencils, or paints to color your finished drawing.
Images of the crucifixion of Jesus, also known as the Passion, are common in Christian churches and around the Easter holiday. Some people wear a small cross with Jesus on it as a pendant.
That the execution of Jesus is a historical fact is corroborated by several non-Christian sources, including letters from the first century, the Jewish historian Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews, the Babylonian Talmud, and The Annals by the Roman historian Tacitus.
Did you know? According to A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament, the Greek word stauros, translated "cross," "never means two pieces of wood joining at any angle." Instead, it refers to "an upright pale or stake to which Romans nailed those who were thus to be crucified."
The "t" shape common in depictions of Christ impaled is likely derived from symbols important to pre-Christian religions. Crosses can be found in prehistoric art and ancient artifacts from around the world. It resembles the Egyptian ankh, the European sun wheel, and was used as a sign of the god Tammuz in Chaldea.
Would you like to draw a picture of Jesus on a cross? This easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial can show you how. All you will need is a pencil, an eraser, and a sheet of paper.
Depictions of Jesus typically date from no earlier than the 200s AD. In the early Christian church, the making of such images was avoided for fear that they would be worshiped as idols. It was not long, however, before Jesus became a common topic in Christian art.
Interestingly, the Bible never comments on the appearance of Jesus as it did some other historical figures, including Essua, Moses, Saul, and David. It has been noted that artistic depictions of Jesus typically reflect the culture and ethnicity in which they were produced, rather than historical details, such as his Jewish ancestry, possible muscular physique as a carpenter, and customary Jewish beard and shorty clipped hair.
The halo, as it appears in this drawing guide, can be traced to pre-Christian religious symbols such as the sun disk. Also called a nimbus, glory, aureole, or gloriole, this ring of light rays was used in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Asia. These were often shown in depictions of gods, goddesses, human heroes, or mythical figures.
Halos were adopted into Christian art during the fourth century. At that time, only Christ was depicted with a halo. Later, the apostles, saints, and others were shown as such.
Would you like to draw a picture of Cartoon Jesus? This easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial is here to show you how. All you will need is a pen, pencil, or marker and a sheet of paper.
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the cross is "the principal symbol of the Christian religion." Many Christian churches hold that the cross was the instrument used to bring about the death of Jesus, and therefore venerate it. Other scholars hold that the instrument of the Messiah's death was, instead, an upright stake.
The symbol of the cross itself was borrowed from pre-Christian inscriptions. Britannica reports that the Egyptian Ankh - a cross with a looped top - was a symbol of life in the religion of ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphics depict the ankh being held by pharaohs or gods. The ankh was later "adopted and extensively used on Coptic Christian monuments."
The cross in this drawing guide looks like stained glass or a mosaic. Stained glass crosses have been common decorative elements in churches for a thousand years. Examples of stained glass depicting religious scenes can be observed at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. The stained glass artwork has been collected from churches, chapels, and cathedrals across Europe.
Would you like to draw a stained glass cross? This easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial is here to show you how. All you will need is a pencil, pen, or marker and a sheet of paper. you may also want to color your finished drawing.
A pyramid is "a monumental structure" with triangular sides. In ancient Egypt, the pyramids were used as burial places for royalty.
The Pyramids of Giza are the largest and most famous of Egypt's pyramids. The ruins are located on a rocky plateau west of the Nile River. They were considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Great Pyramid was built about 481 feet (147 meters) tall and 755 feet (230 meters) wide at its base - "possibly the most colossal single building ever erected on the planet."
Pyramids were not limited to Egypt, however. They have also been discovered in such diverse regions as Sudan, Ethiopia, Greece, Italy, Indian, Thailand, Mexico, and South America. Not all pyramids look like the classic Egyptian variety. Many were step pyramids, a series of platforms rising like steps to form the triangular shape.
Would you like to draw a cartoon pyramid? This easy, step-by-step cartoon drawing tutorial can show you how. All you will need is a pencil, an eraser, and a sheet of paper.
What is a Celtic cross? It is a form of the cross used in some Christian religions that features a nimbus or halo around the middle. The Celtic cross became widespread in Ireland and Britain beginning in the ninth century.
Stone Celtic crosses on pyramidal bases from the Middle Ages can still be seen in town squares, as funerary monuments, and in war memorials.
Why does the cross feature a halo? Some researchers feel it harkens to the wooden struts that were used to support the arms of large wooden crosses. Others trace it to the longstanding religious iconography in which circles of light were used to denote holiness.
For example, statues of gods and goddesses from ancient Egypt often featured a circle behind the head. This was later adopted into Christian art to denote the holiness of saints and others. It is also the source of the metal ring, or halo, seen floating above the heads of angels depicted in modern popular culture.
Another theory lies in Irish legend. It is said that Saint Patrick introduced the Christian cross to the area, combining it with the sun cross or solar wheel "to give pagan followers an idea of the importance of the cross." It is thought that linking the Christian symbol with the "life-giving properties of the sun" would make Christian worship more appealing.
Alternatively, it is also suggested that "placing the cross on top of the circle represents Christ's supremacy over the pagan sun" worship.
Would you like to draw a Celtic cross? This easy, step-by-step drawing guide is here to show you how. All you will need is a pencil, an eraser, and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to color your finished drawing.
A tombstone - also called a headstone or gravestone, is a type of marker that is placed over a grave.
The tradition of marking a grave with a stele - a stone or wooden slab erected as a monument - is an ancient one. Today, the tradition is common among many religious groups, including Christians, Jews, and Muslims.
Tombstones typically contain information about the deceased person, including their name, date of birth, and date of death. Some may also feature personal messages or religious texts, as well as artwork.
They differ greatly in size and design. Some tombstones are the size of small buildings or include life-sized statues. Others are only a few feet wide and buried so that their tops are even with the ground.
Some people are afraid of graveyards or tombstones. Why? Myths, books, and movies abound about the dead haunting such areas in the form of ghosts, zombies, skeletons, or other fearsome creatures.
In reality, though, cemeteries are often designed to be peaceful places with parklike settings. Many people visit cemeteries to think about their dead loved ones or to research their family history, called genealogy.
During some holidays, traditions include cleaning the tombstones and leaving gifts there for the dead.
Would you like to draw a creepy tombstone? This easy, step-by-step drawing guide is here to help. All you will need is a pencil or pen and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to color your finished drawing.
A church is a building used for religious activities, typically by a Christian denomination. Many traditional churches are laid out in the shape of a cross. As you can see from this drawing guide, several sections of the church jut out in different directions, forming the four-pointed shape.
Another common feature of many churches is the steeple, a tower with a spire or cone at its top. Modern steeples can be traced to ancient fertility worship, which involved towers or poles. During the third century C.E., a cross was added to the top of an Egyptian obelisk, "thus combining the two meanings" and becoming the first modern steeple used by the Roman Catholic Church. Today, this obelisk is located in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.
The word "church" is derived from a Greek word meaning "belonging or pertaining to the Lord." Churches can be large or small, simple or elaborate. The earliest known church identified as such was a "house church" or "home church" - a private dwelling used for meetings of worship. The term "church" is sometimes extended to mean the community of worshipers, not just the building in which they worship.
Would you like to draw a cartoon church? This easy, step-by-step cartoon building drawing guide can show you how. All you will need is a pen, pencil, marker, or crayon and a sheet of paper.
Who is Buddha? Is he just a chubby statue that you see in some restaurants? Actually, he was a real person. He was born sometime between the years of 600 and 400 B.C.E. in what is now Nepal.
The term "Buddha" is not a name. It is a title that means "awakened one;" his actual name was Gautama. He traveled across Asia, seeking enlightenment and the meaning of life. His followers continued to spread his teachings, and this became the religion known as Buddhism.
Today, statues of Buddha can be found all over the world. Large statues occupy temples in Japan and in other Asian countries. As people have moved around the world, they have brought their traditions with them. You might now find small, portable statues of Buddha in any country around the world - even for sale in a local store.
Would you like to draw Buddha? This easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial is designed to help you do just that, using simple shapes and lines. All you will need is a pencil, a sheet of paper, and an eraser. You may also wish to color your finished drawing.
The cross or crucifix has been a common religious symbol for millennia. Though most consider it an icon of Jesus and Christianity, it was also used in pre-Christian times.
One example is the ankh, or crux ansata, which was associated with the ancient Egyptian god Osiris. According to the Encyclopoedia Britannica, 11th Edition, crosses of various types have been found throughout ancient Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia, and the South Pacific.
The cross exist in various forms. The crux quadrata, or Greek cross, looks like a plus sign. The crux commissa, or St. Anthony's Cross, takes the form of the Greek letter tau or a capital "T." The crux decussata or St. Andrew's cross looks like the letter "X." The ankh, discussed above, and the crux gammata or swastika are also considered forms of this emblem.
This drawing guide depicts a crux immissa, or Latin cross, which has been promoted as a symbol of Christian faith since the Roman emperor Constantine began professing a conversion to Christianity during the fourth century, creating a hybrid of Christianity and traditional religions of the region.
Some crosses are considered crucifixes. Crucifixes not only contain the shape of the cross but also the likeness of "Christ impaled." These are often seen in churches or on necklaces.
Would you like to draw a cartoon cross? This easy, step-by-step 3-D cartoon drawing tutorial is here to show you how. All you will need is a pen, pencil, crayon, or marker and a sheet of paper.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is sometimes referred to as the Virgin Mary, Saint Mary, or the Madonna. Who was Mary?
Historians agree that Jesus was a real historical figure. According to the Bible, his mother conceived him while still a virgin by means of the holy spirit.
Before his birth, she was married to the carpenter Joseph, who raised Jesus as his own son. Mary and Joseph then went on to have at least six other children.
Said The New Encyclopaedia Britannica: “Veneration of the mother of God received its impetus when the Christian Church became the imperial church under Constantine and the pagan masses streamed into the church. . . . Their piety and religious consciousness had been formed for millennia through the cult of the ‘great mother’ goddess and the ‘divine virgin,’ a development that led all the way from the old popular religions of Babylonia and Assyria.”
In the time since, the Virgin Mary, often with the child Jesus, has been depicted in art. Art forms often mirrored those of pre-Christian religious artwork of mother-goddesses such as Diana, Artemis, or Cybele.
Images of the Virgin Mary are still popular today, especially in nativity scenes during the Christmas holiday. She is often seen with a halo about her head. Candles bearing the likeness of Mary may be lit for religious purposes.
Would you like to draw the Virgin Mary? This easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial is here to show you how. All you will need is a sheet of paper and pencil, pen, marker, or crayon.