The New Testament resolves the mystery about what is meant in scripture by “the image of God.” Colossians 1:15 says that Christ is the image of God, and further that as far as we are concerned God has no other image than Christ. It says of Him, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” The phrase “firstborn of all creation” is interesting too, and I will come back to it when I discuss the next verse. That Christ is God’s image is confirmed in 2nd Corinthians 4:4 which says of Christ “Who is the image of God.” Hebrews 1:3 says that Christ is the “exact representation” of God’s being or nature- in other words, an image.
Christ is the image of God, and God has no other image that is accessible to anyone but Himself. That is why when Thomas asked to see the Father, Jesus said “if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” That is why 1st Timothy 6:16 describes Christ in the full glory of God with these words: “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see". It is why the first chapter of the Gospel of John says “18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” Some translations say “He has explained Him” for that last phrase. Further, in chapter six that gospel declares “46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.”
When God says “let us make Man in our own image” He is saying that the goal is to make man to be in Christ.
Then why did Adam, at the end of his life, describe himself as only being in the “likeness” of God and not “in the image”? (Genesis 5:1). I just cited numerous scriptures which very clearly state what or Who the Image of God is. Man has the CAPACITY to be in that Image but without relationship with Christ this capacity is not utilized. Man does not fulfill his calling without that relationship.
Because our CAPACITY to bear the Image of God (Christ) is only exercised in living relationship with God. No relationship, no image. See these verses below…
I don’t pick up “logical entailment” in any of these verses. They are mysterious sounding… and because they are difficult to translate or interpret, I suppose a person could develop lots of theories.
But if your theory is that some people were not created with the image of God, or somehow lost the image of God, I would say you took that left turn too sharply. There’s no warrant for such an interpretation.
Gen 9:5-6 “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; … at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”
“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God…”
There are no qualifying remarks. No “… unless…” No “… except when…”
Genesis 9:6 I have already shown is not a claim about the present earthly state of each and every human. It looks back to God’s original creation in referring back to 1:27 and God’s intent for humanity which is present reality in heaven though not yet on earth. It actually says “in the image of God He made THE man.”
1 Cor. 11:7 says he ought not to cover his head “FOR AS MUCH AS he is the image and glory of God” (spaces added). That is, to the degree that he is the image and glory of God. This is because He was writing this in the context of what believers should do at church. So these are people who have the Image of the Second Adam in them and are being conformed to that Image.
These problems are resolved simply by reading the text very closely and seeing what it actually says, not what we think it says.
Genesis 9:6 is universally acknowledged as part of the Noachide Laws which God is explaining to Noah and his family after surviving the flood.
Even if it is rooted in some part of the past, It’s ALL about the future !
It isn’t even restricted to what believers in a church believe. It applies to all humanity.
Not to worship idols.
Not to curse God.
To establish courts of justice.
Not to commit murder.
Not to commit adultery or sexual immorality.
Not to steal.
Not to eat flesh torn from a living animal.
“According to Jewish law, non-Jews are not obligated to convert to Judaism, but they are required to observe the Seven Laws of Noah to be assured of a place in the World to Come (Olam Haba), the final reward of the righteous.”
[Footnote: Encyclopedia Talmudit (Hebrew edition, Israel, 5741/1981, entry Ben Noah, end of article)"
You are citing the Talmud and I am citing scriptures. Only the latter is authoritative to a sola scriptura guy. I just gave many many scriptures pertinent to this discussion. That is what I would like addressed.
Perhaps you are confusing “intuitive” with “the way I understood it”. Those texts may go against your intuition but they fit together beautifully if you understand that Christ and the Church was the goal all along and God knew it from the beginning. The proper solution isn’t to disregard the relevant texts which go against your “intuitive” view, but rather to adjust your view so that all relevant texts align.
They are only contradicting what your “intuitive” view of what they are saying is, but I have shown that if you look more closely at the actual text it is not confirming your intuition, but rather pointing to Christ.
No. He says a murderer must die because He made the man in His own image back in Genesis 1:27. The potential exists, the capacity exists, and the intent which will be fulfilled exists. It’s like saying its against the law (and this is an actual law) to destroy an eagle’s egg because it has the capacity to become an eagle. That doesn’t mean an egg is an eagle, but it has the capacity.
No they didn’t. They contradicted your intuitive view of what those texts said, but I showed in detail on both Gen. 9:6 and 1 Cor 11:7 that these passages are in no conflict at all with the Christ-centered view. In fact, they support it insomuch as 9:6 retains the language of “ha-Adam” and does not say “man IS created in the Image of God” but refers back to something in the beginning. 1 Cor 11:7 is in the context of believers at Church and so they would have the image of God in them to which they are in the process of being conformed to, and the language “for so much as” reflects that.
In the meantime I cited ten scriptures which showed Christ is the image of God and that even believers are not fully in that image yet, but only being conformed to it. I’d like you to address the scriptures I am citing instead of me just giving detailed responses to yours.
Have you sent Jack Collins a copy of your book, Mark? What will you if he raises objections to it? What if it had been brought before the entire recent conference at Dabar, and not a single person had expressed support? Would that mean it’s wrong? Of course not, and if you’ll notice, I haven’t called you wrong either, I’ve just disagreed with some of your offered rationale, and cautioned you regarding using NT scriptures to interpret and delimit OT scriptures, calling that “eisegesis.”
Using a passage from Job to plumb the meaning of a passage in Genesis is hardly the same kind of stretch.
When those NT scriptures are speaking about the same subject its good scholarship because what the writers of the epistles said about OT themes is authoritative. I thought you were speaking on the practice of using distant passages which used some of the same words when describing different subjects or incidents to impose meaning. That’s bad scholarship.
For example using a passage in the NT which is talking about “the Image of God” is authoritative and good scholarship in shedding light on Genesis 1:27. But using a passage speaking about a “graven image” whether NT or another portion of the OT to make claims about “God’s image” is poor scholarship, even though both passages used the same word: image.