Door of Prophecies

Door of Prophecies

The Door of Prophecies or Gate of Prophecies is a large door inside the Syrian Monastery, of Wadi El Natrun (Natron Valley) in Egypt, that features symbolic diagrams depicting the past and the future of the Christian faith through the eyes of Christian monks of the tenth century. Several centuries ago, that location was used mainly by Syrian monks, however today the monastery is used and preserved by Coptic monks and the Coptic Church, as both Churches have been in friendship and alliance since early Christianity. The Door of Prophecies dates to the beginning of the tenth century, around 913-914 AD, according to the Syriac language inscriptions on it, during the papacy of Pope Gabriel I of Alexandria (910-921). The panels on the large door divide and represent Christian epochs through time, epochs preceding the time of its construction, the tenth century and also prophesizing and predicting future time periods.

The door of prophecies is a screen of a main sanctuary inside the monastery. It consists of six vertical leaves (panels) and seven horizontal rows, three forming a valve on each side. Each one of the six leaves has seven panels of ebony magnificently inlaid with ivory, however, today some of the panels are not in their original condition. From top to bottom they represent seven epochs which are believed to cover the history of Christianity, its past and future, highlighting its golden age, periods of major changes, hardships, and persecution.

Please note that the historical and spiritual interpretations of the panels are highly individual. The following are the seven epochs:

Epoch Image
First epoch, represented by the first row.

In the centre, there are icons of Jesus Christ and the Holy Virgin. The other icons, on both sides, represent the strong relationship between the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and the Church of Antioch, i.e. the Coptic and Syrian patriarchates. The Syrian Orthodox Church of the earliest centuries of Christianity followed the leadership of the Church of Antioch. The monastery where the Door of Prophecies is located was built by Syrian monks.

On the left are icons of St. Mark the Evangelist and Pope Dioscorus I of Alexandria, representing the Church of Alexandria.

On the right are icons of St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Severus of Antioch, representing the Church of Antioch.

The order from left to right is St. Dioscorus, St. Mark, Jesus Christ, the Holy Virgin, St. Severus, St. Ignatius.

The first row represent the first epoch of Christianity.
Second epoch, represented by the second row.

Rows of identical crosses intertwined surrounded with circle. They represent the first Christian era which is characterized by strong faith, unity of dogma and church, and the spread of Christianity despite the challenges of persecution.

The second row of the second epoch shows identical crosses surrounded by circles to symbolize the spread of Christianity despite persecution.
Third epoch, represented by the third row.

Larger encircled crosses. These represent the Christian era during Roman rule under Constantine I, highly respected and favored by Christians when large Christian centers appeared around the world such as the Church of Alexandria, Church of Antioch, Church of Jerusalem, Church of Rome, and Church of Constantinople.

The third row of the third epoch shows six larger crosses representing the six major Churches of the world.
Fourth epoch, represented by the fourth row.

Crosses surrounded with crescents, sybmolizing the spread of Islam in Egypt and around the Middle East, the cradle of Christianity.

The fourth row of the fourth epoch shows crosses surrounded with adjoining crescents, to represent the spread of Islam.
Fifth epoch, represented by the fifth row.

The swastikas depict the spread of Christianity to the Aryans or Western Europeans. The swastika is thought to be the oldest Aryan symbol and contrary to popular belief, was not invented by Adolf Hitler during the Third Reich. Hitler adopted the symbol, finding it applicable to his political campaign and philosophy concerning the unity of the Aryan race. For more information on the origins of the ancient symbol please visit here: Swastika.

The fifth row of the fifth epoch shows swastikas to represent heresies and false doctrines.
Sixth epoch, represented by the sixth row.

Small divided crosses in different forms represent the multitude and disorder of doctrines and beliefs.

The sixth row of the sixth epoch shows small divided crosses representing a multitude of doctrines and beliefs.
Seventh epoch, represented by the seventh row.

The last row hints at the End Times for Christians, in one cross with a radiating design, filling the whole panel predicting the unity of the Christian faith.

The seventh row of the seventh epoch shows one cross with a radiating design, filling the whole panel predicting the unity of the Christian faith.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Guild Wars Prophecies — Infobox VG| title = Guild Wars Prophecies developer = ArenaNet publisher = NCsoft designer = Mike O Brien series = Guild Wars series engine = released = April 28, 2005 genre = MMORPG modes = Multiplayer ratings = ESRB: Teen (13+) PEGI: 12+… …   Wikipedia

  • The Door Within Trilogy — is a set of three novels written by American author Wayne Thomas Batson describing the adventures of teenager Aidan Thomas through the Realm , a world correlated to ours. The titles of the books are The Door Within , The Rise of the Wyrm Lord ,… …   Wikipedia

  • Wadi El Natrun — For other uses, see Natrona (disambiguation). Wadi El Natrun Monastery of the Syrians in Wadi el Natrun …   Wikipedia

  • Millerism — This article is about followers of William Miller. For the mineral, see Millerite. For the humor of Joe Miller, see Millerisms. Part of a series on Adventism …   Wikipedia

  • biblical literature — Introduction       four bodies of written works: the Old Testament writings according to the Hebrew canon; intertestamental works, including the Old Testament Apocrypha; the New Testament writings; and the New Testament Apocrypha.       The Old… …   Universalium

  • Great Disappointment — This article is about religious history. For the AFI song of the same name, see The Great Disappointment (song). Part of a series on Adventism …   Wikipedia

  • Ministry of Magic — Harry Potter association Headquarters London Leader(s) Minister for Magic Intentions Preserva …   Wikipedia

  • Eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses — The eschatology of Jehovah s Witnesses is central to their religious beliefs. They believe that Jesus Christ has been ruling in heaven as king since 1914 (a date they believe was prophesied in Scripture), and that after that time a period of… …   Wikipedia

  • Concepts in the Wheel of Time series — This article is about the concepts and terminology in Robert Jordan s fantasy fiction series The Wheel of Time .One Power (True Source)Items of Power Angreal are items of the One Power which enable the user to draw more of the One Power than they …   Wikipedia

  • Criticism of the Bible — This article is about criticisms made against the Bible as a source of reliable information or ethical guidance. For the academic treatment of the bible as a historical document, see Biblical criticism. The Gutenberg Bible, the first printed… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”