Monday, October 16, 2006

What color are cherubim?

Next year is IVP's 60th anniversary, and as part of our commemoration of it, we're re-releasing a number of classic backlist books as IVP Classics. I was doing final checks on the manuscript of the forthcoming IVP Classics edition of Francis Schaeffer's Art and the Bible, and Schaeffer has a section about art in the tabernacle. There he mentions that the depicted pomegranites were blue, purple and scarlet. Schaeffer makes the point that purple and scarlet were natural colors for pomegranites, but not blue. So the implication is that art does not need to be photographic in representation and that there's freedom to make things artistically different from how they actually appear in nature.

Then, a few pages later, he's talking about another part of the tabernacle, and this line jumps out at me:

"Cherubim have form and are teal."

Wow! I didn't know that. How does he know that cherubim are teal? Or is Schaeffer's point that the artistic representations of the cherubim were painted teal? Boy, that seems like a funny color for cherubim. I thought they were supposed to be gold.

So I check the original edition of Art and the Bible. It says, "Cherubim have form and are real."

(BTW, Schaeffer died back in the mid-80s. So maybe he does know what color the cherubim are. One of my colleagues said that maybe this was his posthumous revision of the manuscript. "I've seen the cherubim, and they're very nice.")


L.L. Barkat said...

Ah... the high calling of an editor... comforting to know you save us from our input sins. :)

L.L. Barkat said...

... and a host of other colorful sins too!

Al Hsu said...

L.L. - Thanks for visiting! I was just doing final checks on another IVP Classic, How to Give Away Your Faith, and I just came across the line: "Christ is the only way to Cod."

L.L. Barkat said...

Sounds fishy to me. :)