Brepols’ Autumn 2013 list of forthcoming publications includes my first book. I’m getting excited! The Cahiers de Biblia Patristica has a fairly simple cover design and doesn’t include any artwork. This blog seems like a nice place to supplement a piece of art that is discussed in the book. The Rabbula Gospels, composed ca. 586 CE in Syria, contains the earliest extant illustration of the crucifixion. It also seems to convey one of the most notable and influential tropes found in early Christian interpretation, namely, John Chrysostom’s trope that Jesus and the bandit saw each other “with the eyes of faith”. For a detailed exploration of this trope and its afterlife in homilies and art, you’ll have to read the book when it is published this November. In the meantime, I’ll leave it to you to see and decide whether Chrysostom’s trope was in the mind of the artist who gave us this illustration.
– Mark Bilby