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The Imago and Imitatio Dei Essay

Assignment id 1009661
Discipline Other
Assignment type Essay
Words 2653
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The first biblical passage that speaks of man practically shouts he's made in the image of God. Evangelical scholarship on the image of God has largely focused on the Genesis texts, which has frequently led to speculation about the ontological identity of the image. However, there is a far richer reading that does not care so much to ask, "what's the image of God?" But "What does it mean to take the picture of God?" This reading brings from the witness of the Old and New Testaments, discovering that the restoration of the image becomes a central motif in the New Testament, taking on eschatological significance. Genesis introduces the notion of the imago Dei in the creation narrative. The six days of production culminate in the creation of man. While the fish, plants, birds and beasts are all made "according to their kinds" (1:12, 21, 24), man is made in the image of God. "Let us make man in (בְ) our picture (צלם), after (כְ) our likeness (דמות)" (1:26, ESV). צלם is normally used to denote a bodily image, especially of gods (Amos 5:26) but can also be used figuratively in two Psalms describing mere dreams or semblances (39:7; 73:20). דמות finds a likeness or similarity. Despite the fact that the Reformers and the majority of Medieval scholars held that 'image' and 'likeness refer to separate attributes, it's become accepted almost without exception by modern commentators that the terms are interchangeable and used synonymously. Syntactically the בְ preposition can interpreted as a בְ of character or norm. If it's the former, it indicates that guy is the image (cf. Exod 6:3), while the latter suggests that man is only a replica of the "image." The next preposition is a כְ of norm. In 5:3 the preposit...

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