Re: More on the Image of God

John Neal (
Tue, 10 Mar 1998 00:36:53 -0500

The man is created in the image of God - not the woman. And, man didn't evolve.
Too much tinkering has left you nearly bankrupt in doctrine.

Dick Fischer wrote:

> Bob wrote:
> >Comment: These are impressive passages that favor your position. But I don't
> >think it is a shut case. The first two verses of Gen 5 read thus in my Bible
> >(NRSV): "This is a list of the descendants of Adam. When God created
> >humankind he made them in the likeness of God. Male and female he created
> >them, and he blessed them and named them 'Humankind' when they were created."
> >In the footnotes an alternative translation of "humankind" is "adam".
> I believe this is another case of translators out-thinking themselves
> instead of simply following the Hebrew text as it was written. It has
> been presumed that we all descended from Adam, emanate from Ham, Shem or
> Japheth after a world-wide flood, and had our languages scrambled at Babel.
> Those are mistaken conclusions brought on by a popular misconception fueled
> by mistranslation and poor interpretation.
> Here the translators inserted "humankind" because it fits what they
> commonly believe.
> ><<The native Americans in the Southwest built totem poles as objects of
> >worship. They knew the totems were not gods, but they desired having
> >something they could see, that was tangible. An "image" is a likeness
> >or representation of something. In Leviticus 26:1, the children of
> >Israel were told to make "no idols nor graven image." Idols themselves
> >can become objects of worship, obscuring the one true God who accepts
> >worship directly. "The image of Baal" (II Kings 3:2) was an object of
> >pagan worship, a representation of Baal. They knew the alters were not
> >Baal, but served as a medium of sorts by which they could worship a god
> >they could not see.>>
> >Comment: Are you suggesting that we may be worshipping ourselves as
> >the image of God?
> I am only suggesting that the word "image" may mean something as
> simple as "representative," and maybe, nothing more. Christ, in the
> image of God, is God's representative to man. Now the "image" could
> connote much more in the case of Christ, but I am not so sure it does
> as regards Adam and his kin.
> >Comment: I think you should read Gen. 9:6 more carefully. In the NRSV it
> >reads, "Whoever sheds the blood of a human, by a human shall that person's
> >blood be shed; for in his own image God made humankind." Doesn't this mean
> >that killing a human being is forbidden _because all humans are made in God's
> >own image_?
> Am I ever going to catch flack for this one. The "'adam" or "bene 'adam"
> are God's chosen people, i.e., Adamites, Semites, Israelites, Jews. The
> warning is to those who do harm to the descendants of Adam!
> >Comment: I believe the image of God has two aspects; first, as a creational
> >concept. God's image is bestowed on humankind at creation, as an act of God's
> >grace. It is the "image of dust" as spoken of in I Cor. 15: 49. Through
> >human sin it was broken, but not destroyed. Second, the image of God has a
> >redemptive aspect. The image that will be ours in redemption is not a restored
> >or upgraded "image of the dust", but rather, a new image--we will "bear the
> >image of the man of heaven." (I Cor. 15:49).
> Point well taken. You could even be right. What pushes me in the direction
> of Adam as image bearer, and others not, is Mark 10:6-8. "But from the
> beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause
> shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they
> twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh."
> Christ unites Genesis 1:27, the man in question, with Genesis 2:24 who we
> know is Adam - Eve's husband. "So God created man in his own image, in the
> image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Gen. 1:27).
> "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she
> shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall
> a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and
> they shall be one flesh" (Gen. 2:23-24).
> And that which Christ hath joined together (Gen. 1:27 & Gen. 2:24) let not
> man put asunder.
> If "man" in Genesis 1 was the biological head of our race, where in time
> does he occur? Was he an object of special creation or did he evolve? Is
> that "the beginning of creation" that Christ speaks about? Are evolved men
> "created"?
> What was the question that evoked the response in Mark 10:6-8?
> "Is it lawful for a man to put away (divorce) his wife?" Did early
> cave-dwellers marry or divorce?
> Christ's initial response offers a clue. "And he answered and said
> unto them, What did Moses command you?" Moses's command was for the
> Israelites, not Homo erectus.
> >Comment: In the last paragraph you conflate "image bearers", accountability,
> >covenant, ambassador, first of our species. All I'm looking at is "image
> >bearers". I never said Adam was the first of our species.
> There is obviously latitude to go either way. I think the weight of evidence
> is on Adam of Genesis 1, 2 and 5 being the same man - that's all. Personally,
> I think we are in the image of God when we conform to the image of Christ. We
> represent God when we represent Christ. I don't think it's a birthright.
> Dick Fischer