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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Leupold Genesis part 57 verse 26 Image of God II

Koenig's interpretation deserves mention (K. S. 207 a). He claims that an individual reflecting upon a course of action to be followed may appear to himself both as giving orders and as carrying out these orders. He claims such a thing would happen "quite naturally and easily" (naturgemaess leicht). We can hardly imagine any explanation more stilted and artificial. It is a figment of the clever brain, invented to extricate its inventor out of a predicament.

We should yet especially emphasize that the trinitarian view, presented in modified form above; is not, as many charge, transferring the New Testament back into the Old. We have emphasized above that the New Testament marks an advance upon whatever the Old offers under this head. What the Old Testament offers here would never have been fully grasped if clearer and more. elaborate revelation had not thrown its light upon this passage from the New Testament.

The being to be made is called 'adham, a term whose root significance must very likely be sought in the cognate word 'adhamah (see v. 25) which refers to the soil capable of cultivation. 'Adham would, therefore, be "the cultivator of the soil."

The double modifying phrase, "in our image, after our likeness," requires closer study. It is in the last analysis nothing more than a phrase which aims to assert with emphasis the idea that man is to be closely patterned after his Maker. This feature in man's being is a second mode. of setting forth prominently the singular dignity of man: Man is not only made after the deliberate plan and purpose of God but is also very definitely patterned after Him. In making both phrases practically result in an idea which is one composite whole we are not erasing the distinction between the terms. "Image" is for the word tselem, whose root means "to carve" or "to cut off." We cannot go so far as to apply this idea to the physical similarity of man with God, as some have. But, at least, the term refers to more concrete similarity, whereas the second word demiuth, "likeness," refers more to similarity in the abstract or in the ideal. But here again we cannot venture with the Greek fathers to apply the term to man's inner or spiritual resemblance to God. Nor dare we press the change of prepositions; be "in" and ke "as." For though be describes man as being within a certain mold as it were, it yet must also be called a kind of Beth normae (K. S. 332r), for (Ex 25:40) it is used practically like ke. To this must be added the fact that v. 27 considers the use of tselem without demuth sufficient to express what God did, "image" being used twice. Again it 5:1 demuth with be and not with ke, as in our passage, is thought to be an adequate statement of the case. So we shall have to regard the second phrase, "according to our likeness," as merely supplementary to or explanatory of the first. Of course, the possessive "our" in connection with these two nouns is to be explained like the plural of "let us make" above.

But yet we have not defined what the term "the image of God" implies. Those who would rule out the clear passages of the New Testament and construe a picture only by the help. of what this chapter offers, fail to discern the true unity of scriptural revelation and are bound to arrive at a misleading conception. True, the author of the account may himself not have had a full apperception of what all was involved in this concept, but here most especially the principle must be applied. Scripture must be explained by Scripture. Especially such passages as (Eph 4:24) and (Col 3:10) must be drawn upon. The reformers clearly saw that the most important thing involved was a proper attitude of heart in faith. Luther says: "I understand this image of God to be ... that Adam not only knew God and believed in Him that He was gracious; but that he also led an entirely godly life." Cf. also Apology II, 17-22. As adequate a summary of all features involved as any is that of Koenig in TAT, p. 226 S. He lists the following items as belonging to the outward side of the divine image: (a) man's countenance which directs his gaze upwards; (b) a capacity for varying facial expressions; (c) a sense of shame expressing itself in the blush of man; (d) speech. It cannot be denied that all these are physical features which are noticeably absent in all animals. To the inner side of the divine image the same author assigns the following items: (a) on the material side of man's inner make-up stands immortality; (b) on the intellectual side is self-consciousness, reason and Vernunft;( c) on the voluntative moral side is the ability to discern good and evil, the freedom of the will, conscience, and the right use of his moral capacities--the most important of all. We understand Koenig to make this last statement in the sense of the reformer's quoted above.

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