The problem with metaphysics is that they can “be” and “do” whatever someone says they are…
Growing up, after almost any ghost movie we might see, my teen friends and I would argue non-stop about whether a ghost could influence the location or movement of a material object.
It was all so “logical” - - no matter what we opined.
The phrase “image of God” is found in three passages in the Hebrew Bible, all in the Book of Genesis (1-11):
And God said: ‘Let us make man in our image/b’tsalmeinu, after our likenesss/kid’muteinu; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’ And God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him, male and female created He them. And God blessed them; and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.’
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him. Male and female created He them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth.
One who spills the blood of man, through/by man, his blood will be spilled, for in God’s image/tselem He made man.
The Pseudepigrapha, as intertestamental books and elaborations on Old Testament writings, are helpful in learning of plausible understandings ancient Jewish communities possessed about the Image of God, as mentioned in Genesis 1:27. Although the Pseudepigrapha texts are numerous, the only book noted to make reference to the imago dei is 2 Enoch—namely, 2 Enoch 44:1-3 and 2 Enoch 65:1. And, quite fascinatingly, the text only makes reference to the concept twice, and each time shares a different understanding.
2 Enoch 44:1-3: The Lord with his own two hands created mankind; and in a facsimile of his own face. Small and great the Lord created. Whoever insults a person’s face insults the face of the Lord; whoever treats a person’s face with repugnance treats the face of the Lord with repugnance. Whoever treats with contempt the face of any person treats the face of the Lord with contempt. (There is) anger and judgement (for) whoever spits on a person’s face.
According to the translator and/or editor of The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, this verse has similarities in structure and meaning to Genesis 1:27 and Wisdom of Solomon 6:7, respectively. It is estimated the reference to “small and great” concerned ranking and responsibility. If such an estimation is to be credited as a valuable and acceptable interpretation within this pericope, then it would seem the writer of 2 Enoch 44 is arguing every human being, irrespective of social standing in societies, is an exact copy—a duplicate—of the LORD.
Certainly this passage exceeds Genesis 1:27 in its descriptive nature: 2 Enoch 44:1a details how humans are made in God’s image—namely, as duplicates of God’s “own face.” Although it can be argued the reference to God’s “own face” is a metaphor for God’s likeness, the passage carries the usage of “face” forward by emphasizing what is done to the physical human face is, in turn, done to the face of LORD—and, as is important for this writer, when one damages the face of another human being created in the very exact image of God’s face, one damages God’s face and will incur the expected consequences of such an offense.
2 Enoch 65:2: 2 And however much time there was went by. Understand how, on account of this, he constituted man in his own form, in accordance with a similarity. And he gave him eyes to see, ears to hear, and heart to think, and reason to argue.
This chapter of 2 Enoch almost functions as its own retelling of the creation account, albeit in a very truncated manner. The verse preceding 2 Enoch 65:2 rapidly recounts the nonexistence of any created thing, and then quickly reveals God created everything, whereas the creation of humans may be spoken of and in more detail than the other created things were [addressed].
Interestingly, 2 Enoch 65:2 speaks of humankind’s relation to God as “constituted in his own image,” while simultaneously noting this image is “a similarity,” rather than something that is directly imaging God. This verse is quite similar to Genesis 1:27 in that it acknowledges God made human beings in God’s “form,” “image,” “similarity,” or “likeness,” but it fails to detail what exactly about human beings distinguishes them from other created things and makes them like God.
The Pseudepigrapha’s contributions to the discussion of the Imago Dei as presented in Genesis 1:27 surely heighten the controversy concerning interpretation, as it adds ancient select and unidentified voices and perspectives regarding the Imago Dei to the conversation. On the one hand, 2 Enoch 44 offers modern readers the understanding the imago dei is reflected in the face—possibly, simply meaning the very being of a human person—of a human, while 2 Enoch 65, on the other hand, suggests human beings are made in the Image of God, but it, like Genesis 1:27, is not defined and humans are left to figure out its meaning in light of many contexts.