Scala/Art Resource, New York, NY
Early Christian images of the story frequently occur in funerary contexts—in catacombs and on sarcophagi. The highly popular scene often appears among other images depicting salvation and deliverance from death, as, for example, on this sarcophagus, which includes a panel showing Daniel in the lion’s den (lower register, second from right).
In the accompanying article, Robin Jensen examines the different approaches Jews and Christians have taken to the story from Genesis 22 and how those approaches are reflected in art. Many elements are common to both religious traditions, but the story has been used for very different purposes. In Jewish tradition, Isaac’s release signifies that God will have mercy on his people, while Christians interpret Isaac as prefiguring Jesus.