Where and when did the halo symbol used by Christianity to highlight holy beings, saints etc originate?

14 Answers

  • 3 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    I'm just guessing, here,

    but I'll bet it started

    with the observation of Heiligenschein.

    On a bright. dewy morning,

    the shadow of your head,

    on the grass,

    will have a glowing halo around it.

    Note that this "halo" is not a ring,

    but is a disc of light,

    centered on the position of the eyes,

    as was depicted in some of the earliest, halo art.



    John Popelish

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  • 3 months ago

    It originated in the light, or corona, that was said to emanate from Moses when he had been in the Lord's presence.

  • 3 months ago

    Probably, ancient Babylon.

  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    That goes far far back. You can trace it to the Egyptians, if not further back. 

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  • User
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    The history of that artistic convention is fairly well-known and very easy to find.

    Christian artists, of course, adopted the convention from Roman art (as they did very many other artistic conventions).

    Here you go:


  • 3 months ago

    As usual the Jehovah’s witness teem 'strains at a gnat' and 'swallows a camel'.

    He makes the statement;

     “The acceptance of halos in your 'christian art' is a sign you are a pseudo Christian”.


    Yet he totally ignores the fact that his organization used a halo on the front page of their ‘Watchtower’ magazine for many years. (See Picture with Halo around Freemasonry symbol).

    So, if the use of halos in Christian artwork is a sign that people who aren’t Jehovah’s witnesses are Pseudo Christians. Then the use of Halos in watchtower artwork is a sign of the Pseudo Christianity of Jehovah’s witnesses. And the use of Freemasonry symbolism on their artwork is a sign of the Freemasonry origins of their watchtower society. And in their book "Revelation it's the grand climax at hand" on page 159 There is an Image of Jesus, and guess what he has around His head in the Watchtower image, You're right, its an Halo.


    Teem in his edit states “Jehovah's Witnesses acknowledge the mistakes in our past”

    He goes on to say, “Thus we've stopped celebrating pagan holidays, stopped using halos in our art”.

    But remember he has already informed us that “The acceptance of halos in your 'christian art' is a sign you are a pseudo Christian”. So from that we must deduce that all former JW’s until they stopped using the halo on their watchtower magazine cover in 1931, were “Pseudo Christians”

    And we must also remember that the JW’s of that time, wore Cross and Crown pendants complete with halo, of the image which adorned the cover of The Watch Tower magazine.

    Teem accuses me of making a 'lying comment' about the picture of Jesus complete with halo and goes on to say; “Page 159 doesn't show a 'halo' but is an honest picture of the scriptures” Well I beg to differ, as the image on the page clearly shows Jesus with a halo, this was not a lying comment on my part but a plain fact. Teem, as is the case with all JW's wear blinkers as to their own publications and history, while at the same time accusing everyone else of Pseudo Christianity.

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  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    St. Elmo's fire.

  • TeeM
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    It started after what Paul described as the 'apostasy'

    (2 Thessalonians 2:3) 3 Let no one lead you astray in any way, because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness gets revealed, the son of destruction. 

    The acceptance of halos in your 'christian art' is a sign you are a pseudo christian.

    Apostate christians or pseudo christians adopted the pagan practice of using 'halos' to denote gods and semi gods.

    “Its origin was not Christian,” admits The Catholic Encyclopedia (1987 edition), “for it was used by pagan artists and sculptors to represent in symbol the great dignity and power of the various deities.

    The New Encyclopædia Britannica says: “In Hellenistic and Roman art the sun-god Helios and Roman emperors often appear with a crown of rays. Because of its pagan origin, the form was avoided in Early Christian art, but a simple circular nimbus was adopted by Christian emperors for their official portraits. From the middle of the 4th century, Christ was also shown with this imperial attribute . . . it was not until the 6th century that the halo became customary for the Virgin Mary and other saints.”—(1976), Micropædia, Vol. IV, p. 864.

    Edit:  Jehovah's Witnesses acknowledge the mistakes in our past.

    Where changes are needed to align ourselves with Bible truths, we change.

    Thus we've stopped celebrating pagan holidays, stopped using halos in our art.

    When we saw the need to abstain from blood.  We did.

    As to the lying comment about the book 'Revelation. It Grand Climax At Hand'

    Page 159 doesn't show a 'halo' but is an honest picture of the scriptures

    (Revelation 10:1) 10 And I saw another strong angel descending from heaven, arrayed with a cloud, and a rainbow was on his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs were like pillars of fire,


  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    The halo represents an aura or the glow of sanctity which was conventionally drawn encircling the head. It first appeared in the culture of Hellenistic Greece and Rome, possibly related to the Zoroastrian hvarena – "glory" or "divine lustre" – which marked the Persian kings, and may have been imported with Mithraism.

  • 3 months ago

    It doesn't matter. 

    Da Vinci put an end to that 

    when he painted 'The Last Supper'. 

    Christianity's puny little visual enhancements 

    will never make it any more noteworthy 

    than the rewards-driven dirt that it is. 

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