Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Shepherd, The Good
(2,761 words)

In early Christian art, the good shepherd motif refers to the symbolic representation of Jesus Christ (Christ, Jesus, 01: Survey) in a variety of media; he is typically pictured as a beardless, tunic- and sandal-clad man who carries a bag of stones on his belt or a milk bucket in one hand. He either stands bearing a sheep or goat on his shoulders or sits on a rock, often a…

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Awes Freeman, Jennifer, “Shepherd, The Good”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 27 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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