- April 26, 2020
ImagoDeiis a Latin word which simply means an image of God. The termImago Deihas been related to some verses in the Bible which center on theimage of God. One of these verses is Genesis 1:26-27 in which Godsaid "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And letthem have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of theheavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over everycreeping thing that creeps on the earth1"(ESV). The paper presents a critical analysis of the meaning of imageof God in Genesis 1:26-27.
InGenesis 1:26-27, the image of God can be translated to mean thephysical resemblance between man and God. Since God created humanbeings to be like Him, human beings are then similar to God in theirphysique. Meaning, God must be like human beings who have two eyes,one head, two legs and all the other proportionate body organs.Another likely meaning of the image of God as expressed in thisscripture is that it portrays man as God’s companion. During thecreation period, God was in a conversation with man2.This is why He ordered man to be created like ‘us.’ This showsthat God made man unite and engage in fellowship with one another.
Lastly,the term image of God in this chapter implies the dominant role ofGod in the universe. After creating human beings in His resemblance,God gave man power to dominate over all creatures. Man still exercisecontrol over the earth and all the other God’s creatures like fish,animals, birds, and plants because he is a dominant representation ofthe powerful God on earth3.Thisis what Imago Dei means to the contemporary Christians.
Inconclusion, the term image of God that appears in Genesis 1:26-27 hasdifferent meanings. To a modern Christian, the mention of God’simage in the verse means physical resemblance, companionship, anddomination. These are human qualities derived from God.
Collins,C. John, (2006), Genesis1-4: A Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.
Day,John (2013).From Creation to Babel: Studies in Genesis 1–11. London:Bloomsbury.
Ratnaraj,Billa.(2003).The significance of the concept of imago dei for the theologyof human rights in the writings of Jürgen Moltmann (Master`sthesis).Calcutta:Serampore College.
1Collins, C. John, (2006), Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing
2Day, John (2013). From Creation to Babel: Studies in Genesis 1–11. London: Bloomsbury.
3Ratnaraj, Billa, (2003).The significance of the concept of imago dei for the theology of human rights in the writings of Jürgen Moltmann (Master`s thesis).Calcutta: Serampore College.