The Second Commandment warns against the creation of images that could be used as false idols. “Do not have any other gods before Me. Do not represent [such] gods by any carved statue or picture of anything in the heaven above, on the earth below, or in the water below the land. Do not bow down to [such gods] or worship them. I am God your Lord, a God who demands exclusive worship.’ (Exodus 20:3-6) How does art in early Jewish and Christian art reflect or circumvent this?
It appears they did pretty well to adhere to this idea. With the examples in the wing, I’m hard pressed to find a representation of their God. SYNAGOGUE AT DURA-EUROPOS does illustrate stories of the bible (I think they are in the bible), but there aren’t any second commandment rules being broken. ZODIAC MOSAIC AT THE BEIT ALPHA SYNAGOGUE shows the hand of God, but I think that’s acceptable. It seems that much of their art was for storytelling rituals and reminders to be “moral”, which I suppose could be looked at as a means to serve God even more so. It all honestly kind of gives me the creeps. It very much supports self-suppression in the name of maintaining control.