Musings on……Image of God ~ Part 2


It’s funny how I think I have a new subject to muse over, and yet, there is nothing new under the sun.

It’s all been debated before!

What does it mean to be made in the image of God?

Are we made perfect? Like God?

Are we a mirror image, opposite of God?

Ge 1:26 – Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Ge 1:27 – God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Ge 5:3 – When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of {a son} in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.

Ge 9:6 – “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.

Ro 8:29 – For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined {to become} conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

1Co 11:7 – For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.

1Co 15:49 – Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

2Co 3:18 – But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

2Co 4:4 – in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Col 1:15 – He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

Col 3:10 – and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

God, Image of,

In Genesis 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 Genesis 9:6 as the ground of the prohibition of the shedding of man’s blood; is echoed in Psalms 8; is reiterated frequently in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 11:7; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10; Isaiah 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. Taken from here


(1) Is there any distinction to be understood between “image” and “likeness”? Most of the Fathers, and some later theologians, attempt to distinguish between them.

(a) Some have referred “image” to man’s bodily form, and “likeness” to his spiritual nature (Justin Martyr, Irenaeus).

(b) Others, especially the Alexandrian Fathers, understood by the “image” the mental and moral endowments native to man, and by the “likeness” the Divine perfections which man can only gradually acquire by free development and moral conflict (Clement of Alexandria and Origen), or which is conferred on man as a gift of grace.

(c) This became the basis of the later Roman Catholic distinction between the natural gifts of rationality and freedom (= the image), and the supernatural endowments of grace which God bestowed on man after He had created him (the likeness = donum superadditum). The former remained after the Fall, though in an enfeebled state; the latter was lost through sin, but restored by Christ. The early Protestants rejected this distinction, maintaining that supernatural righteousness was part of the true nature and idea of man, i.e. was included in the “image,” and not merely externally superadded. Whatever truth these distinctions may or may not contain theologically, they cannot be exegetically inferred from Genesis 1:26, where (as is now generally admitted) no real difference is intended.

We have here simply a “duplication of synonyms” (Driver) for the sake of emphasis. The two terms are elsewhere used interchangeably.

(2) What, then, is to be understood by the Divine image? Various answers have been given.

(a) Some of the Fathers (influenced by Philo) supposed that the “image” here = the Logos (called “the image of the invisible God” in Colossians 1:15), on the pattern of whom man was created. But to read the Logos doctrine into the creation narrative is to ignore the historic order of doctrinal development.

(b) That it connotes physical resemblance to God (see (1), (a) above; so in the main Skinner, ICC, in the place cited.). It may be admitted that there is a secondary reference to the Divine dignity of the human body; but this does not touch the essence of the matter, inasmuch as God is not represented as having physical form.

(c) That it consists of dominion over the creatures (Socinian view; so also Gregory of Nyssa, Chrysostom, etc.). This would involve an unwarranted narrowing of the idea. It is true that such “dominion” is closely associated with the image in Genesis 1:26 (compare Psalms 8:6-8). But the “image of God” must denote primarily man’s relation to his Creator, rather than his relation to the creation. Man’s lordship over Nature is not identical with the image, but is an effect of it.

(d) It is best to take the term as referring to the whole dignity of man, in virtue of his fundamental affinity to God. It implies the possession by man of a free, self-conscious, rational and moral personality, like unto that of God–a nature capable of distinguishing right and wrong, of choosing the right and rejecting the wrong, and of ascending to the heights of spiritual attainment and communion with God. This involves a separation of man from the beast, and his supremacy as the culmination of the creative process.

(3) Does the term imply man’s original perfection, lost through sin? The old Protestant divines maintained that the first man, before the Fall, possessed original righteousness, not only in germ but in developed form, and that this Divine image was destroyed by the Fall. Exegetically considered, this is certainly not taught by the priestly writer, who makes no mention of the Fall, assumes that the image was transmitted from father to son (compare Genesis 5:1with 5:3), and naively speaks of post-diluvian men as created in the image of God (Genesis 9:6; compare 1 Corinthians 11:7; James 3:9). Theologically considered, the idea of the perfect holiness of primitive man is based on an abstract conception of God’s work in creation, which precludes the idea of development, ignores the progressive method of the Divine government and the essential place of effort and growth in human character. It is more in harmony with modern conceptions

(a) to regard man as originally endowed with the power of right choice, rather than with a complete character given from the first; and

b) to think of the Divine image (though seriously defaced) as continuing even in the sinful state, as man’s inalienable capacity for goodness and his true destination. If the Divine image in man is a self-conscious, rational and ethical personality, it cannot be a merely accidental or transitory attribute, but is an essential constituent of his being.

Strong’s Number:  6754


Original Word Word Origin
  elc   from an unused root meaning to shade
  Tselem   tseh’-lem
  Noun Masculine   1923a
  1. image

    1. images (of tumours, mice, heathen gods)
    2. image, likeness (of resemblance)
    3. mere, empty, image, semblance (fig.)

Used in the Genesis 1:26 passage

And in the New Testament passages

Strong’s Number:  1504


Original Word Word Origin
eiÎkwñn from (1503)
Eikon i-kone’
Noun Feminine 2:381,203
  1. an image, figure, likeness

    1. an image of the things (the heavenly things)

      1. used of the moral likeness of renewed men to God
      2. the image of the Son of God, into which true Christians are transformed, is likeness not only to the heavenly body, but also to the most holy and blessed state of mind, which Christ possesses
    2. the image of one

      1. one in whom the likeness of any one is seen
      2. applied to man on account of his power of command
      3. to Christ on account of his divine nature and absolute moral excellence

Image from

/ˈɪmɪdʒ/ Pronunciation KeyShow Spelled Pronunciation[im-ij] Pronunciation KeyShow IPA Pronunciation noun, verb, -aged, -ag·ing.


1. a physical likeness or representation of a person, animal, or thing, photographed, painted, sculptured, or otherwise made visible.
2. an optical counterpart or appearance of an object, as is produced by reflection from a mirror, refraction by a lens, or the passage of luminous rays through a small aperture and their reception on a surface.
3. a mental representation; idea; conception.
4. Psychology. a mental representation of something previously perceived, in the absence of the original stimulus.
5. form; appearance; semblance: We are all created in God’s image.
6. counterpart; copy: That child is the image of his mother.
7. a symbol; emblem.
8. the general or public perception of a company, public figure, etc., esp. as achieved by careful calculation aimed at creating widespread goodwill.
9. a type; embodiment: Red-faced and angry, he was the image of frustration.
10. a description of something in speech or writing: Keats created some of the most beautiful images in the language.


12. an idol or representation of a deity: They knelt down before graven images.
14. Archaic. an illusion or apparition.


Ok, I’m done, any comments?

Kristina, the home engineer

Any additional info. from oh, say, the catechisms?

One response »

  1. I too am a home engineer. You may be interested in my concept of GOD. See I explain how GOD as ‘Father Time’ sits on the throne of the ‘Precession of the Equinoxes’. The ‘G’ of GOD is used, as the platform of the ‘G’ is where the brightest Pole Star ‘Vega’ sits at around 12,000 B.C. This ‘Great Clock’ in the heavens forms a circular timeline to guage where we are since the beginning of creation. We are now more than 1/2 the way around at the Pole Star of ‘Polaris’ which will reach its closest point at around 2,110 A.D. The International Astrological Union stated in the year 2,000 A.D. that there are 25,776 years around this ‘Great Clock’ of the ‘Precession of the Equinoxes’.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s