God, Image of

In Ge 1:26-27, the truth is declared that God created man in His own "image" (tselem), after His "likeness" (demuth). The two ideas denote the same thing--resemblance to God. The like conception of man, tacit or avowed, underlies all revelation. It is given in Ge 9:6 as the ground of the prohibition of the shedding of man's blood; is echoed in Ps 8:1-9; is reiterated frequently in the New Testament (1Co 11:7; Eph 4:24; Col 3:10; Isa 3:9). The nature of this image of God in man is discussed in other articles--see especially ANTHROPOLOGY. It lies in the nature of the case that the "image" does not consist in bodily form; it can only reside in spiritual qualities, in man's mental and moral attributes as a self-conscious, rational, personal agent, capable of self-determination and obedience to moral law. This gives man his position of lordship in creation, and invests his being with the sanctity of personality. The image of God, defaced, but not entirely lost through sin, is restored in yet more perfect form in the redemption of Christ. See the full discussion in the writer's work, God's Image in Man and Its Defacement; see also Dr. J. Laidlaw, The Bible Doctrine of Man.

James Orr

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