Image of God: Meaning?

Because of a few very kind e-mails and the blog there seems to be some reason to discuss the meaning of Image of God.

First, I like to use “Eikon of God” instead of Imago dei or Image of God. Eikon is the Greek translation of Tselem and Demut, the two Hebrew terms.

Second, there are at least four directions to take: we can look to Theology (we are like God) and we can look to Creaturehood (how do we differ and how are we like the rest of creation; the history of this discussion centers almost completely on how humans are different from creation, and by this is meant how are we “superior” to creation). Third, we can look to the World and speak here of how humans are called to govern the world. And, what I think no Christian theologian disputes, we can look to Christ as the perfect Eikon of God.

So, we can be theological, anthropological, cosmological, and christological.

The impact of this understanding of humans and human nature is awesome, and any responsible understanding of the gospel must put on the table how to understand humans as Eikons of God.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Dr. Andy Jackson

    This post was featured om SmartChristian. Andy

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/3254099 Michael Daling

    Scot, I am sure you will answer this question on the other discussion, but could you let me know of some further work on this issue (specifically Eikon) which has been helpful to you?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/8111113 Scot McKnight

    Michael,I’m writing A Weekend called Grace right now; it is a book that will look at the gospel that all Christians should be able to accept; and I will do that by exploring the Eikon of God. (I have an earlier blog on Eikons of God.) Eikon is the Greek translation of Tselem (‘image’), and since Tselem is useless as a translation for most of us (Steve Jobs, after all, didn’t call his ‘icons’ little ‘tselems’!) and since Imago dei has a long debated history, I’ve chosen to use a new term to see if it can carry the baggage: I chose Eikon and hope it works.Hope this helps.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/3452528 Bob Robinson

    Does my new gospel presentation on our being created and then re-created in the Image of God match up at all with A Weekend called Grace in any way?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/8111113 Scot McKnight

    Well, brother Bob, I can’t show all my cards but our ideas are pointing in the same direction. I’ll send you some ms in the next couple of weeks, but for now I’ve got some speaking to do, some grading, and some graduating exercises, and then I’ll get to finish off the ms. I’ve not enjoyed anything so much in a long time — but Jesus Creed was like that too.


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