Home > Archeology > Oldest Known Portraits of Andrew and John Found Along With Peter and Paul—No Indication of Petrine Supremacy

Oldest Known Portraits of Andrew and John Found Along With Peter and Paul—No Indication of Petrine Supremacy

June 22nd, 2010
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An interesting news story has appeared documenting the discovery of the oldest known portraits of Andrew and John found, in Rome. They were discovered, or perhaps better, uncovered using new laser technology that allowed crustations to be removed without harming the underlying paint. And, what caught my eye in this story is that St. Peter is portrayed as being simple one of the four apostles portrayed, no indication of Peter being supreme or chief of the Apostles. I find this very interesting, considering the portraits date from the late fourth century. So, for what it is worth, here is the story, and you can find see pictures of the various images as well. Here are copies below:

St. John

St. Andrew

St. Paul

St. Peter

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Categories: Archeology
  1. June 22nd, 2010 at 18:52 | #1

    I love you realistic these picture are. Peter is the grey grizzled old guy. Paul looks like a small, balding, shrewd Jewish guy. John looks like a young guy (no beard).

  2. June 23rd, 2010 at 08:15 | #2

    John’s lack of a beard also intrigues me. I’ve always assumed that, like the average Jew, he wore a beard. But the tradition of showing him clean-shaven must be very old. Perhaps it was a conscious decision to fit in with the Greco-Latin world.

  3. Susan Terzich
    June 23rd, 2010 at 09:12 | #3

    John is the youngest disciple, so that is why he has no beard

  4. Han P.
    June 23rd, 2010 at 16:43 | #4

    One of the guys in my daughter’s high school class has had a beard since he was a sophomore that would put most men to shame. So, don’t know what age has to do with facial hair. Plus, where do any of the Gospel accounts specifically say John is the youngest disciple?

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