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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Calf (2)

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as a Christian emblem. In the early Church a calf (or ox) symbolized several things. According to Aringhi (lib. vi, ch. xxxii, vol. ii, p. 320), it represented the Christian soul. He also takes it to represent the apostles laboring in their ministry, quoting various fathers, and St. Chrysostom's idea, that the oxen and fatlings spoken of as killed for the Master's feast are meant to represent prophets and martyrs. It has been taken to represent also the Lord's sacrifice. A calf is represented near the Good Shepherd in Buonarotti (Vetri, tab. v, fig. 2)'; and Martigny refers to Allegranza (Mon.. Antichi de Milauno, p. 125) for an initial letter at Milan, where the animal is represented playing on a lyre typifying, as has been supposed, the, subjugation of the human nature to the life of faith. St. Clement of Alexandria (Pcedag. lib. i, c. 5) seems to make a comparison of young Christians to sucking calves though no such comparison exists in Scripture. (See LYRE).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Calf (2)'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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