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The Image Of God

Image can mean either an actual physical likeness or model, or a thought process in which something is seen in the mind, or imagined. One is entirely physical, while the other is purely psychological, although there can also be a combination of both e.g. your image in a mirror exists only in your mind (mirrors only "turn on" when there are eyes to receive the reflections that they produce), while at the same time you physically exist. Depending on where in The Bible you encounter it, the term "image of God" is also used in two different ways, not just physical and psychological, but physical and spiritual, and also sometimes in combination.

The Image Of God

Holy Bible God is Spirit (i.e. Genesis 1:2, John 4:24), however whenever He appeared to humans He did so in human form (e.g. Genesis 3:8, Exodus 24:10-11), not because He looks like a human, but because humans were created as an image of Him.

In the Old Testament "image Of God" is generally perceived to mean physical:

"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after 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 earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (Genesis 1:26-27 RSV)

"When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. Male and female He created them, and He blessed them and named them Man when they were created." (Genesis 5:1-2 RSV)

In the New Testament, references to "image Of God" are spoken in a spiritual way:

"Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24 RSV)

"But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator." (Colossians 3:8-10 RSV)

Fact Finder: (a) What did Jesus Christ look like? (b) What does Jesus Christ look like now?
(a) See What Did Jesus Look Like? (b) See What Does Jesus Look Like Now?


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