Publication Date

Fall 1999


School of Religion


The purpose of this study is to understand what it means to be created in the image of God. In order to do this, both the form and function of the image of God in humankind are considered. Gen. 1 :26-27 is the primary text, but is always understood in the greater context of Gen. 1-3, as well as the references to image and likeness in 5:1-3 and 9:6. Atomizing the form of the image of God into a particular human characteristic or attribute is proven to be insufficient, while identifying the function of the image of God as human dominion is revealed to be an over simplification of the issues at large. Instead, the likeness of the image of God in adam is understood to be the holistic human being as displayed in relational fellowship with God, dominion over creation, and intimate union with each other as male and female. From understanding the image of God in the human being, we learn four things about God Himself: that He is seeking to have relationship with the human being, that He has a kingdom in which humankind is invited to live and work, that there is a unified plurality in the Godhead, and that He has an intimate love for humankind.