18: Scripture and the Image of God Flashcards Preview

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What are some classical anthropological questions?

  1. What does it mean to say that human beings are made in the image of God?
  2. What is our constitutional nature? What is essential to human nature?


The Gnostic demiurge myth

  1. Bythos is all about thoughts, ideas (the deep)
  2. Demiergos is all about action (worker)
  3. Redemption is cognitive


Characteristics of Platonic anthropology

  1. Reality is made up of two orders of being, a physical aspect and a mental order

  2. These two orders are ever in conflict with each other. There is an inbuilt dualism in reality

  3. The mental is good, even divine. The physical is evil and exists to corrupt the mental

  4. As mind or spirit, God cannot come into contact with the material world for it would corrupt him

  5. Human beings are

    • minds or souls (ψυχη can be translated as either)

    • little pieces (emanations) of God

  6. Human beings are souls trapped in the body and the physical world
  7. Redemption is the escape of the soul or mind from the body and the realm of materiality


Mention the outline of the characteristics of a substantialist (ontologist) interpretation of the imago dei

  1. Christianity synthesized with the platonic worldview

  2. The analogy of being (analogia entis).

  3. The image of God is a substance

  4. What is the substance?

  5. Problems of the substantialist interpretation


How is Christianity synthesized with the platonic worldview?

  • The image of God as some property or complex of properties that humans possess in the same manner that God possesses those same properties.

  • The image of God articulates human uniqueness (i.e., distinction and separation from the material creation).


What does the analogy of being (analogia entis) mean?

The difference between God and man is quantitative.


How is the image of God a substance?

  1. which adheres to man
  2. which is constitutive of man (i.e., it defines man as man)
  3. which renders man similar to God (emanationism)
  4. which distinguishes man from the created order
  5. From 3 and 4: God + man / world


What is the substance? A special kind of soul?

  1. A rational soul (reason)
    • Absolutizes rationality and denigrates the rest of the human

    • Lacks textual warrant

    • Makes rationality an idol

  2. An affective soul (emotion)
    • Image of God is predicated upon human beings, do only human beings express emotion?


What are some problems of the substantialist interpretation?

  1. It denies any importance to the body

  2. It is individualistic

  3. It is arbitrary (lack of exegetical support)

  4. It invites us to consider the nature of human beings devoid of relationship to God

  5. It separates rather than situates the human in the world.

  6. The analogia entis is an unbiblical concept


Where is the image of God talked about in the Old Testament?

  1. Genesis 1:26-28

  2. Genesis 5:1-3

  3. Genesis 9:6

  4. Psalm 8


What are the characteristics of the imago dei in Genesis 1:26-28?

  1. Creation of mankind is presented as the crowning act of creation

  2. The unique creation of mankind

  3. Dominion

  4. 2:15: to serve (‘abad) and protect (samar) the earth. Maintain and preserve.

  5. Male and female

  6. Procreation


How is creation of mankind is presented as the crowning act of creation in Genesis 1:26-28?

  1. The human is the last creature made, the acme of creation

  2. God reserves his final judgment upon creation (very good) until mankind is created

  3. God commissioned mankind to be his vice-regent in creation

  4. The creation of mankind is unique in the narrative of Genesis 1

  5. The human alone is said to be made in God's image and likeness

  6. The human bears a particular and essential relationship to God.


What does it mean to be human in light of Genesis 1:26-28?

  • the human is created in order to bear a particular calling in the world, a calling that bears both a vertical dimension (a relationship to God) and a horizontal dimension (a relationship to the earth and all its inhabitants).

  • “To be fully human is not to be autonomous but to be

    in communion with God.” (Billings, Union with Christ, 33.)


How is the creation of mankind unique in light of Genesis 1:26-28?

  • It is uniqueness within creation, not a uniqueness from creation

  • The imago dei does make the human unique. It defines the human as different from the rest of the created order.

    • distinction, but not separation


Where is this uniqueness to be found? The text does not appear to tell us.

  • selem: a visual representation. The semantic range of selem includes “idol,” a localized, visible, corporeal representative of the divine.

    • but there is not an equal substance in an image

  • demuth: an abstract correspondence, "to be like in some way"

    • They mutually expand each other ("in the likeness and image"


How is Dominion represented in Genesis 1:26-28?

  • Ruling is not identified as the content of the imago Dei
    • It is a consequence, a result of their bearing
  • Rather the imago Dei is the precondition for ruling


How is maintaining and preserving present in Genesis 1:26-28?

  • The verbs to serve (‘abad) and protect (samar) the earth of 2:15 do not come from agriculture but from religious service and worship (to serve the LORD)
    • keeping the soil is akin to keeping the commandments.

    • Samar is also often used in the sense of caring for those less unfortunate and the vulnerable in society


How is the image of God in the male as well as in the female?

  1. Gender differentiation does not appear to be the content of the imago Dei

  2. The imago is constitutive. To be human is to be an image bearer.


How is procreation part of the image of God?

The calling to image God is generational.


What are some other interpretations of the image of God?

  1. Substantialist
    1. Early Christian theology up to the Reformation

  2. Relational
    1. Humans stands with God in relationship
    2. Not what you are but who you're with
    3. Personal Engagement
  3. Dominion interpretation
    1. borrowed concept from ANE literature
    2. the king represents the deity on earth and his subjects before the powers of heaven

  4. Conclusion

    1. Both a relational and dominion, not either/or

    2. human beings image God as his representatives, but our relation to God enable us to fulfill that task.


What can we understand from Genesis 5: 1-3 of the image of God in the OT?

  • The image is generational.

  • What is said of Adam is true of his progeny as well.


What can we understand from Genesis 9:6 of the image of God in the OT?

  • Affirmation of uniqueness. The human is valued above the animal

  • The blessing/charge to be fruitful and fill the earth is repeated

  • Implication: fallen man is still the bearer of the divine image

  • Stress does not appear to fall upon function or calling, but man's nature as the image bearer


What can we understand from Psalm 8 of the imago dei in the OT?

  • in light of the majesty of God and his works, the psalmist marvels at the appointment of human beings as rulers over God’s earthly creation.