Scala/Art Resource, New York, NY

A dove descends from heaven as John baptizes Jesus in the Jordan River in a fresco by the Italian painter Masolino da Panicale (c. 1383–1447). From Genesis through the Gospels, the image of a dove symbolizes the spirit of God. A newly published Dead Sea Scroll fragment now links the baptismal dove with the spirit of God hovering over the waters in Genesis 1:2.