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The Busted Halo Question Box
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This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

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Caitlin Kennell Kim
Mary
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Bible
Mike Hayes
Swingman/Editor
 
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Our readers asked:

Who gave Jesus his halo?

Mike Hayes Answers:

(CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

(CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)


Who gave Jesus his halo — how did he have it in the first place? Do we just presume God?

The halo is an artist’s rendering of holiness and nothing more. Halos often symbolize “sainthood” in Catholic circles, but in Ancient Greece they were drawn behind heroes as having more than natural light around them.

The first halo in Christian art was in fact given to Jesus and used to represent Christ, rather than holiness. Artists would often paint or depict Christ before his baptism in the Jordan without a halo, showing that the halo is a human way of recognizing God in our midst. (After the baptism, Jesus was recognized as the Messiah).

So halos are human inventions, not God’s.

 
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The Author : Mike Hayes
Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
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