In the image of God

GeorgeGeorge Shipmate
Genesis 1:26-27 NRSV - Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Colossians 1:15 NRSV - He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; [/ quote]

In no way am I suggesting that what is meant by image in relation to Jesus and what is meant by image in relation to humankind is the same thing, but they are translated as the same English word. This morning I was pondering my ongoing 'struggle' to relate to Jesus when this popped into my mind. It is hard to convey all the internal discussion I had and I have forgotten most of it but it did make me wonder if maybe what these passages are telling me is that here at least in some degree I can relate to Jesus. The incarnated Jesus. In some way I am drawn to Him as in some way we are alike more than just being human0. There is a part of me, a part that is not as visible as it should be, that I am created in the image of God and that more than anything else should determine how I relate to others, indeed to all creation.

As Jesus conducts himself, revealing the image of God within creation, so humankind (me) was created to reveal the image of God within creation?

I am not sure if the origional Hebrew of Genesis and the origional Greel of Colossians reveal any more? I would appreciate your thoughts and imput.

Comments

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Hope this video helps.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    There are a variety of takes on this. The one thing I take from this is part of an Iona affirmation:
    I affirm God's goodness at the heart of humanity, planted more deeply than all that is wrong with creation

    When I guess at what more precisely I come up with three things:
    • We are made to be co-creators within creation, so much of our 'creativity' is actually destructive but we still seem to be driven to try and create
    • We are able to share in the divine love dance of the Trinity. That is our ability to love God reflects in part God's own self-love.
    • Suffering - which probably makes me heretical and yet that God's suffers seems to be an integral part of the Christian story.

    There are other takes.

    Jengie
  • cliffdwellercliffdweller Shipmate
    Bruner and Barth noted that the image appears to be related to community-- male & female he created them so the imago Dei might have something to do with being created to be in intimate communion with others, just as the triune God exists in community.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    I heard an interesting connection with the Second (or First, depending on how your tradition counts them) Commandment recently. The idea was that part of the reason Torah prohibits images is that God has already provided the image of the divine in the world—creating images to worship detracts us from honoring the imago Dei in one another.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Nice. And why would God do less?
  • SpongSpong Shipmate
    The Greek in the NT passage is eikon, and the same word is used in the Genesis passage in the Septuagint, the Greek version of Hebrew Scripture that many would say Paul used (if Colossians is Paul).

    We get the word icon directly from this, and there are some interesting ideas in Orthodox theology/spirituality about how icons are a window on to the divine. However, the correspondence that interests me is that the same word is used by Plato to describe the shadows on the wall in his famous allegory of the Cave: what we see as reality is just the shadows that the true forms of things cast when lit from behind.

    You might see that as a way of reconciling the idea of the infinity of God with the reality of humanity sharing in that divinity in some way - it’s a necessarily limited sharing and understanding, the shadow of God rather than the cosmic fullness, but it’s God's divine spark none the less.
  • GeorgeGeorge Shipmate
    Listening recently to a podcast with Richard Rohr he touched on a point that has had me thinking. If our image of God is vague or poor, how would that play out in our image of ourselves?
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    And vice versa. We project.
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    We read Psalm 29 in church today. It sounds as if the psalmist was familiar with seismic events.

    Psalm 29

    A Psalm of David.
    Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
    Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
    worship the Lord in holy splendour.

    The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
    the God of glory thunders,
    the Lord, over mighty waters.
    The voice of the Lord is powerful;
    the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

    The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
    the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
    He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
    and Sirion like a young wild ox.

    The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
    The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
    the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

    The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl,
    and strips the forest bare;
    and in his temple all say, ‘Glory!’

    The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
    the Lord sits enthroned as king for ever.
    May the Lord give strength to his people!
    May the Lord bless his people with peace!
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    George wrote: »
    Listening recently to a podcast with Richard Rohr he touched on a point that has had me thinking. If our image of God is vague or poor, how would that play out in our image of ourselves?
    A very important point. Bad theology leads to treating people badly.
  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    The illustration I used is that the large picture on the big screen is an image of the 'real' slide on the laptop screen
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    Shades of Plato.
  • AnselmAnselm Shipmate
    My read is that humanity being made "in the image of God" has to do with the 'task' given to humanity - namely God's command to
    “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.”
    Gen 1:28
    Humanity is called to partner with God in the task of subduing and filling the earth (which is what God has been doing in Gen 1).
    One of the consequences of the FallTM is that humanity is cursed in the ability to fulfill this task, and so humanity's efforts will involve suffering and frustration.
    But Christ is the 'second Adam', he is the image of God that is able to fulfill the task of subduing the earth and filling the earth. I take it that this is why Paul can talk about the creation of male and female and the 'one flesh' relationship in Genesis 2 as actually referring to Christ and the Church in Ephesians 5
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    What?
  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    There are a variety of takes on this. The one thing I take from this is part of an Iona affirmation:
    [*] Suffering - which probably makes me heretical and yet that God's suffers seems to be an integral part of the Christian story.
    [/list]


    Jengie

    Not at all.
    I think there is indeed the deepest sense of suffering in the being and life of God.

    The Bible says that Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
    That is the source of the efficacy of Calvary - the Lamb was already dead when Jesus died in space and time as a perfect sacrament of the eternal sacrifice.

    As the song says about Jesus: He lives though ever crucified
    .

    God was afraid that mankind would be like him and have the knowledge of good and evil. For God to know that he needs to be intimately acquainted with death.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    edited June 14
    Mudfrog

    The doctrine of God's Impassability has been taken to imply God does not suffer. You can google 'Does God suffer' to get plenty more on that argument. As I said I reject the argument on the grounds of the cross but that still is a heretical view to some.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    For a discussion of the significance of the Hebrew word for image, you still can't beat Maimonides' discussion in Guide For The Perplexed. FWIW
  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    Mudfrog

    The doctrine of God's Impassability has been taken to imply God does not suffer. You can google 'Does God suffer' to get plenty more on that argument. As I said I reject the argument on the grounds of the cross but that still is a heretical view to some.

    It might be heretical to some, but the church fathers were wrong - as they were wrong about lot of stuff.
    I prefer to go with the Bible, nit with some Greek philosophical nonsense.

  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    It might be heretical to some, but the church fathers were wrong - as they were wrong about lot of stuff.
    I prefer to go with the Bible, nit with some Greek philosophical nonsense.

    More protestant absurdity. You don't have the Bible, you have the Bible as interpreted through some framework. You don't like that of the Greek fathers. But you have your own just as much. You do NOT have the pure Biblical text compared to everybody else's interpretation. You have an interpretation just as much. Your words here are not so much heretical as arrogantly ignorant.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    What is your take on the issue here Mousetheif?

    Jengie
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    How can God not suffer the pain of eternal creation?
  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    Well that's me told then.
    We are all evidently to have no certain beliefs, not even Biblical ones, and we are all to have an emotionless, uncaring, unempathetic god like the ones on Mt Olympus.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    I believe that God can suffer, and that in fact all three Persons suffered on the Cross. So I guess that my heresy is theopaschism.
  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    I would say that God in Trinity suffered because of the cross.
    Jesus suffered on it, but the Father suffered the loss of his Son. (Moltmann of course).
    I am not sure about the Spirit but as we do not believe that the Spirit of God left Jesus, leaving him to die as a mere man, then we can safely say that the Spirit was there with him.
    What we cannot say is that the Father and Spirit died.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    Well that's me told then.
    We are all evidently to have no certain beliefs, not even Biblical ones, and we are all to have an emotionless, uncaring, unempathetic god like the ones on Mt Olympus.

    Passive aggressive bullshit.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    What is your take on the issue here Mousetheif?

    I think it makes no sense to say the eternal Godhead could suffer. I think that's one of the reasons for the incarnation -- Christ couldn't suffer unless he was both God and Man.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    Well that's me told then.
    We are all evidently to have no certain beliefs, not even Biblical ones, …
    Who has suggested anything remotely close to that?
    …and we are all to have an emotionless, uncaring, unempathetic god …
    Or that?
    …like the ones on Mt Olympus.
    Have you read any Greek myths lately?

  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Yes. Greek gods emotionless? Uncaring? Unempathetic? Clearly these are some different Greek gods than the ones in Greek literature.
  • George wrote: »
    Genesis 1:26-27 NRSV - Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
    Colossians 1:15 NRSV - He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; [/ quote]
    I've been interested in the physicality of the enterprise in biblical myth. Adam Eve are naked, rib surgery conducted to create Eve, sentenced to scrabble for a living outside the Garden, make childbirth a suffering enterprise.

    So is it outrageous to suggest that because the essential physicality of humans, and the contradictions our anatomy holds, e.g., our bodies' environmental vulnerability, reproduction and waste disposal systems are connected, we eat and talk through the same mouth, etc, must be something also experienced by God? If we are created in God's image. Not these specific issues, but something contradictory in the life-death, pleasure-pain, dominance-submission God's image business.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Yes. Greek gods emotionless? Uncaring? Unempathetic? Clearly these are some different Greek gods than the ones in Greek literature.
    I could see the Aristotelean First Mover as an emotionless god, but not the Olympic gods. Feckle and capricious yes, but emotionless?
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    What is your take on the issue here Mousetheif?

    I think it makes no sense to say the eternal Godhead could suffer. I think that's one of the reasons for the incarnation -- Christ couldn't suffer unless he was both God and Man.

    Square that with the central nature of the cross to Christian understanding of who God is. If God is uniquely revealed in Christ crucified I am afraid your take is a real watering down of that revelation.

    Jengie
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    The incarnation is a watering down of the incarn --- WTF?
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited June 16
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    I would say that God in Trinity suffered because of the cross.
    Jesus suffered on it, but the Father suffered the loss of his Son. (Moltmann of course).
    I am not sure about the Spirit but as we do not believe that the Spirit of God left Jesus, leaving him to die as a mere man, then we can safely say that the Spirit was there with him.
    What we cannot say is that the Father and Spirit died.

    Neither did the Son.
  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Yes. Greek gods emotionless? Uncaring? Unempathetic? Clearly these are some different Greek gods than the ones in Greek literature.

    ".. the Epicureans (see Epikoureios Greek #1946). (i) They believed that everything happened by chance. (ii) They believed that death was the end of all. (iii) They believed that the gods were remote from the world and did not care."

    William Barclay, on Acts 17
    That's what I meant -the gods were remote and do not care. They do not suffer with us or like us.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    What is your take on the issue here Mousetheif?

    I think it makes no sense to say the eternal Godhead could suffer. I think that's one of the reasons for the incarnation -- Christ couldn't suffer unless he was both God and Man.

    I think it makes no sense because we have been inculturated into a worldview that says it makes no sense. But logically, there is no reason why God could not suffer. And biblically, even apart from the cross/incarnation, we see God experience suffering quite frequently-- God is angry, brokenhearted, sorrowful, frustrated-- all sorts of emotions, both good and bad. Indeed, I think it's quite odd (and again, unbiblical) to suggest God is capable of all the "positive" emotions-- joy, delight, pleasure-- and none of the negative ones.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Yes. Greek gods emotionless? Uncaring? Unempathetic? Clearly these are some different Greek gods than the ones in Greek literature.

    ".. the Epicureans (see Epikoureios Greek #1946). (i) They believed that everything happened by chance. (ii) They believed that death was the end of all. (iii) They believed that the gods were remote from the world and did not care."

    William Barclay, on Acts 17
    That's what I meant -the gods were remote and do not care. They do not suffer with us or like us.

    You think the Epicureans were the only ones who got the Greek gods right, and the vast majority of other people in that culture were wrong? Based on what?
  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    edited June 17
    mousethief wrote: »
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Yes. Greek gods emotionless? Uncaring? Unempathetic? Clearly these are some different Greek gods than the ones in Greek literature.

    ".. the Epicureans (see Epikoureios Greek #1946). (i) They believed that everything happened by chance. (ii) They believed that death was the end of all. (iii) They believed that the gods were remote from the world and did not care."

    William Barclay, on Acts 17
    That's what I meant -the gods were remote and do not care. They do not suffer with us or like us.

    You think the Epicureans were the only ones who got the Greek gods right, and the vast majority of other people in that culture were wrong? Based on what?

    No, but it was them whom I was referencing.
    Why do you have to disagree with so much hostility?

  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    I don't know about hostility. It bugs me when people say stupid things then double down on it.
  • MamacitaMamacita Kerygmania Host
    mousethief wrote: »
    I don't know about hostility. It bugs me when people say stupid things then double down on it.

    If you don't know about hostility, then let me draw your attention to "protestant absurdity" and "arrogantly ignorant", "passive aggressive bullshit", as well as "stupid things" in the above referenced quote.

    Please dial it down.

    Mamacita, Keryg Host

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Yes. Greek gods emotionless? Uncaring? Unempathetic? Clearly these are some different Greek gods than the ones in Greek literature.

    ".. the Epicureans (see Epikoureios Greek #1946). (i) They believed that everything happened by chance. (ii) They believed that death was the end of all. (iii) They believed that the gods were remote from the world and did not care."

    William Barclay, on Acts 17
    That's what I meant -the gods were remote and do not care. They do not suffer with us or like us.

    You think the Epicureans were the only ones who got the Greek gods right, and the vast majority of other people in that culture were wrong? Based on what?

    No, but it was them whom I was referencing.
    Why do you have to disagree with so much hostility?
    Leopards, spots.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Mamacita wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    I don't know about hostility. It bugs me when people say stupid things then double down on it.

    If you don't know about hostility, then let me draw your attention to "protestant absurdity" and "arrogantly ignorant", "passive aggressive bullshit", as well as "stupid things" in the above referenced quote.

    Please dial it down.

    Mamacita, Keryg Host

    Dialing.
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