The Shepherd and the Lamb: An Analysis of Pagan Influences on Early Depictions of Jesus
Throughout ancient cultures people were drawn to images of their rulers as shepherds. This thesis evaluates the emergence of bucolic imagery, which begins in Greece, and comes to fruition in the Hermes kriophoros, a representation of Hermes as a shepherd. Hundreds of years after the first kriophoros, the early Christians also used this exact imagery to reflect God. But the Christian kriophoros falls away in favor of the agnus dei or the Lamb of God. This thesis evaluates both the adaptation of the pagan image and the ultimate loss of that image in favor of the agnus dei.