The image of God (Gen. 1:26-27) in the Pentateuch : a biblical-theological approach
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This dissertation focuses on how the theme of the image of God (Gen 1 :26-27) is seen and developed in the Pentateuch. The image of God in man (Gen 1 :26-27) has been interpreted in various ways. Predominant opinions have changed over time from the Early Jewish interpretation to the present period. Today there is a wider range of opinion regarding the image of God than ever. This dissertation follows a biblical-theological approach from a Reformed tradition of Genesis 1 :26-27, thus starting with an examination of 1 :26-27 in the context of Genesis 1 where the key words, pronouns and the Ancient Near Eastern concept of the image of God are examined. Genesis 1 :26-27 is examined in the context of Genesis 2-11 and we discover that the image of God in Genesis 1:26-27 is both moral and relational in perspective: it involves moral likeness to God and a relationship between God and man like that between parent and child. The theme of the image of God is traced in both narrative and legal material of the law; certain features of the law suggest that defining God-likeness is at least one goal of the law. Some laws are based on moral God-likeness and others are not based on inherent morality. but on the relational aspect of sonship. The theme image of God is also seen in the New Testament, where Christ is the perfect expression of the image of God. He is the Son of God and morally, he is like the Father. Through his death on the cross, believers are individually adopted in God's family and they become his children. They are to be morally like him. Through sanctification, the Church is being renewed into the image of God. Believers are called to be like Christ. They are to imitate Christ's moral-likeness and submission to the Father.
- Theology