Luke 3:21-22 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.”
The Baptism of Jesus Christ is described in the Gospels According to Matthew Mark, and Luke, and is alluded to in John (1, 26-36). According to scholars, the earliest western images of the Baptism are found in the crypt of Lucina at the Catacombs of St. Calixtus in Rome. The image, which dates from the third century, is said to show a beardless John the Baptist reaching to a figure in the water below. The Holy Ghost appears in the form of a dove. Early Eastern Orthodox icons from the sixth century often incorporate images of the hand of God. Here we examine five illustrations from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries.