image of God

image of God

A key term for understanding the divine-human relationship in biblical thought. The exact meaning of the phrase in (Gen 1:26-27 and Gen 9:6) is problematic, and numerous suggestions have been proposed. To speak of human beings (“Adam”) as created in the image of God apparently refers both to the bodily form (the Hebrew term for “image” usually denotes a concrete likeness) and also to the spiritual attributes the physical body symbolizes. The plural pronouns of (Gen 1:27-28) indicate that male and female share equally in the image of God and connect this idea to the twofold commandment (“Be fruitful and multiply . . . and have dominion over . . .”), so that both in nature and in function human beings are understood to reflect their Creator. In the NT, vestiges of the OT meaning survive (1Cor 11:7-12; Jas 3:9), but the emphasis shifts so that it becomes Christ who embodies the image of God (2Cor 4:4; Phil 2:6; Col 1:15). This reflects the Christian view (most evident in John 14-15) in which Christ becomes the mediator between God and human beings.

Gen 1:26-27

26Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the ... View more

Gen 9:6

6Whoever sheds the blood of a human,
by a human shall that person's blood be shed;
for in his own image
God made humankind.

Gen 1:27-28

27So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.28God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be frui ... View more

1Cor 11:7-12

7For a man ought not to have his head veiled, since he is the image and reflection of God; but woman is the reflection of man.8Indeed, man was not made from wom ... View more

Jas 3:9

9With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God.

2Cor 4:4

4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is t ... View more

Phil 2:6

6who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,

Col 1:15

The Supremacy of Christ
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;

John 14-15

Jesus the Way to the Father
1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.2In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it ... View more

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