The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

In His Image

Posted by BigWords on July 8, 2009

Lets look at religion for a moment while I ponder the amount of Christian sites and blogs I keep stumbling across. I can honestly say that I haven’t stepped in a church in the past year (maybe longer, ’cause I can’t remember the last funeral I attended), yet the growth of holier-than-thou rants – which I seem to have a knack for finding – is amazing. It’s almost as if the good old days of the internet being mostly devoted to hacking government computers or the accumulation of hardcore pornography had never happened.

I’m not going to do a hatchet-job on what I consider to be wrong with religion in general (that’s much too complex for a simple blog post), all I’m interested in right at this minute is a clarification of terminology used in the bible. A term used in Genesis:

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

I’ve taken that from the New International Version.

The way I read the opening of that, and the way in which others approach the same text, seem to differ. I’m not hitting at Christians in general here, just the dumb-ass who thought that this was an appropriate way to stop any confusion rearing… Fist off is the “in our likeness” statement. Is Christianity bestowed with numerous gods? Is there a little cadre of omnipotent beings ruling over the universe? C’mon, make up your minds. If there is only one Big Kahuna, then the correct term would be “in MY likeness”.

But that leads us to the big problem, and one which I had almost forgotten until I was reminded of it by a helpful Christian fundamentalist site which tried to brainwash convert me.  The use of “in his own image” has always bothered me, because I like to take things like this as given. I’ll throw an example your way, so you can see where I am heading with this train of thought. I’ll try to be brief.

Say that you have bought a table you really like. It’s just the right height, perfectly level, yadda yadda yadda. You want a matching table for the next room you are redecorating, so you get a carpenter to go build you one identical to the first. It’s built in the likeness of the first table, so what is it? Is it a copy, or is it just as viable as the original?

If we were indeed modelled after the big guy, then aren’t we just as entitled to call ourselves gods? I know I’m all up for the challenge of becoming a deity, but who else wants to join me? We could start a club, then order our followers around like the sheep they are – “Build me a temple!”

Not sure if I could pull off the robe ‘n’ sandles look though.


4 Responses to “In His Image”

  1. Depending on one’s point of view ‘our’ could either be a reference to the Holy Trinity (Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son) or the angels in heaven. At the very least I haven’t heard or read any other interpretations, yet hope that it answers your first question. Brief as it may be.

    The “in his image” (and other variations) is most often attributed to the free choice of humanity alongside their ability to ‘create’ through reproduction. Though the first is the most often talked of for the most obvious reasons.

    I’m not a very eloquent writer or theologian but I hope I help your understanding in some small way. 🙂

    God Bless,

  2. bigwords88 said

    I’m coming at the text as if it was any random novel. The way I see the use of words is probably skewered by an irreverent streak a mile wide, but a good editor would have picked up any quirky use of the English language.

    Which, of course, the bible wasn’t written in originally. I’ll leave the wide translations to a better person to pick over, though I hope that enough people will look to the original words instead of a couple of thousand years of mis-readings and – yeesh – the awful ways in which the words are now being used.

    Text-versions of the bible, using numbers and abbreviations? C’mon people, we aren’t savages…

  3. dnic said

    Would this help? ;]

    In His Likeness:

    Thought you might get a giggle out of this.

  4. bigwords88 said

    Brilliant. 😀

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