In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He came unto his own and his own received him not.
The Life of Christ
The Greatest Story Ever Told is, certainly, the greatest story ever illustrated. If artwork depicting the New Testament narratives about Christ were to be removed from the public domain, there would be empty galleries in museums and millions of blank book pages! Sacred subjects no longer play a central role in the art scene, but individual artists have never lost interest in the story of Jesus of Nazareth. The works presented here, taken from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, include everything from oil paintings to vintage Bible illustrations. They come from around the globe, from Nepal and the Netherlands, Japan and Germany. Their common theme: the Life of Christ.
Creating these webpages has given me the chance to present art in my collection by subject rather than by artist, bringing images together with the New Testament stories they illustrate, often for the first time. The art works represent a variety of styles and media, and the accompanying texts come from four different translations of the Bible: Good News Bible [GNB] (American Bible Society: 1976), The Holy Bible in the King James Version [KJV] (Thomas Nelson: 1976), The Holy Bible: New International Version[NIV] (New York Bible Society International: 1973), The New American Bible [NAB] (Word Publishing, Inc.: 1987). Quotations are marked with the abbreviations in brackets.
His coming announced by Angels, Christ is born in a lowly manger in Bethlehem. The first to honor him are shepherds and Magi from the East, following a star.
Baptized, then, tempted in the wilderness, Jesus chooses his disciples, and preaches the good news of the coming Kingdom of God. He experiences Transfiguration.
Jesus turns water into wine, feeds the hungry, heals the sick, restores the dead to life, and overcomes the forces of nature.
Entering Jerusalem in triumph, Christ takes leave of his disciples at the Last Supper. Betrayed by a kiss, he is arrested, tortured, and dies by Crucifixion.
The tomb is empty on Easter morning. Jesus has risen from the dead, as he had foretold his followers. He appears to them a number of times.
Jesus ascends to Heaven, promising his disciples he will come again at the End of Time to judge the living and the dead.
Jesus reaches out to all humanity, children, scholars, tax-collectors, prostitutes, the marginalized, the despised, and the rejected.