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  • Tim Hurd posted an update 3 weeks, 4 days ago

    @sixforty The east is square!

    • Good posting 🙂

    • @shamaskuruk a simple google search result…

      Answer: The definition of idolatry, according to Webster, is “the worship of idols or excessive devotion to, or reverence for some person or thing.” An idol is anything that replaces the one, true God. The most prevalent form of idolatry in Bible times was the worship of images that were thought to embody the various pagan deities.

      From the beginning, God’s covenant with Israel was based on exclusive worship of Him alone (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7). The Israelites were not even to mention the names of false gods (Exodus 23:13) because to do so would acknowledge their existence and give credence to their power and influence over the people. Israel was forbidden to intermarry with other cultures who embraced false gods, because God knew this would lead to compromise. The book of Hosea uses the imagery of adultery to describe Israel’s continual chasing after other gods, like an unfaithful wife chases after other men. The history of Israel is a sad chronicle of idol worship, punishment, restoration and forgiveness, followed by a return to idolatry. The books of 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, and 1 & 2 Chronicles reveal this destructive pattern. The Old Testament prophets endlessly prophesied dire consequences for Israel if they continued in their idolatry. Mostly, they were ignored until it was too late and God’s wrath against idol-worship was poured out on the nation. But ours is a merciful God, and He never failed to forgive and restore them when they repented and sought His forgiveness.

      In reality, idols are impotent blocks of stone or wood, and their power exists only in the minds of the worshipers. The idol of the god Dagon was twice knocked to the floor by God to show the Philistines just who was God and who wasn’t (1 Samuel 5:1-5). The “contest” between God and His prophet Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel is a dramatic example of the power of the true God and the impotence of false gods (1 Kings 18:19-40). The testimony of Scripture is that God alone is worthy of worship. Idol worship robs God of the glory that is rightfully His, and that is something He will not tolerate (Isaiah 42:8).

      Even today there are religions that bow before statues and icons, a practice forbidden by God’s Word. The significance God places upon it is reflected in the fact that the first of the Ten Commandments refers to idolatry: “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” (Exodus 20:3-5).

      Idolatry extends beyond the worship of idols and images and false gods. Our modern idols are many and varied. Even for those who do not bow physically before a statue, idolatry is a matter of the heart—pride, self-centeredness, greed, gluttony, a love for possessions and ultimately rebellion against God. Is it any wonder that God hates it?

      • Okay so you give a general definition which encompasses the dictionary usage, and no need to include etymologies, which is fine.

        We can get more into the ancient Israelite’s later on.

        We can get into Ba’al and Dagon later on as well.

        We can talk about other religions as well.

        “Idolatry extends beyond the worship of idols and images and false gods. Our modern idols are many and varied. Even for those who do not bow physically before a statue, idolatry is a matter of the heart—pride, self-centeredness, greed, gluttony, a love for possessions and ultimately rebellion against God. Is it any wonder that God hates it?”

        My question:

        Would you say then that Genesis 1:27 is an important passage “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

        • Every verse of scripture is important.

          • Awesome, concerning the connection of “image” and “likeness” with idol worship.

            Genesis 1: 27-28 concerning image, so image and the image of God. Right from the start, human creation is for (P) an event sui generis. Then God said, åðúåîãë åðîìöá íãà äùòð “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over
            the fish of the sea, and over the birds of heaven, and over the beasts, and over the whole earth, and over everything that moves on the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created it, male and female he created them.

            “The creation of human life is an exception to the rule of creation by divine fiat, as signaled by the replacement of the simple … Hebrew command (the jussive) with a personal, strongly expressed resolve (the cohortative [see § . . ]).”12 Whereas the earlier jussives expressed God’s will with a third person, nonagentive verb form, the cohortative is both first person and agentive. Unlike the jussives, too, the cohortative does not itself create but prepares or introduces the creative act.

            With justification, then, Wol notes that “the man and the woman in Gen. I … are … created … by God’s own personal decision (v. 26)—a decision unique in the Priestly document’s whole creation account.” Similarly, von Rad is justified to infer that “God participates more intimately and intensively in this than in the earlier works of creation.”

            As the cohortative form suggests, P’s God anticipates a more active role, greater control, and stronger personal involvement in the human creation than in his previous seven creative acts.

            God’s involvement also runs deeper. As P tells the story, this last creative act coincides with an extraordinary divine event. When God initiates human creation, God takes the opportunity to identify himself, for the first time, in the self-referential first person. At the same time, God’s identity is invested in this human creature and is represented by two characteristics: a divine image and a divine likeness. Humanity resembles divinity through two inherent yet divine features. Of all God’s creations, only humanity is envisioned as comparable to divinity

            V. corroborates and executes this vision. Its first clause names the creator, the human creature, and the divine image that God invests in human beings (v. 27aα). Overlapping with the first,19 the second clause identifies the divine possessor of the image (v. 27aâ). The third clause deletes reference to the image yet describes the human creature as a constituent pair (v. 27b). V. 27 therefore reiterates the unique relationship between God and humanity, explains the relationship, and tracks it from its source to its individual heirs.

            The interpretive details of Gen :26–27 are unclear at best. To be sure, the characteristics uniquely shared by creator and creature assert “the incomparable nature of human beings and their special relationship to God.”22 But when its two nominal components—‘image’ and ‘likeness’—are queried, the assertion of incomparability is quickly qualified. For example, what does the ‘image’ of God signify, and how does the human race reflect it? Or, what is a divine ‘likeness’, how
            does it compare to the divine ‘image’, and how is the ‘likeness’ reflected in humankind?

            The responses are often unsatisfying. Preuss finds that “very little distinction can be made between the two words.” Sarna’s language is somewhat stronger: “The two terms are used interchangeably and indiscriminately.”

            Horst adds bravado. One has to conclude that “image” and “likeness” are, like “prototype” and “original,” essentially equivalent expressions. They do not seek to describe two different sorts of relationship, but only a single one; the second member of the word-pair does not seek to do more than in some sense to define the first more closely and to reinforce it. That is to say, it seeks so to limit and to fix the likeness and accord between God and man that, in all circumstances, the uniqueness of God will be guarded.

            These statements, then, testify to the problem. The ‘image’ is problematic in its own right. For in most of its occurrences, íìö ‘image’ is a concrete noun. And as such, it refers to a representation of form, figure, or physical appearance (see § . . ). Thus if the human race is created in the ‘image of God’, there is an unavoidable logical implication: God must also be material, physical, corporeal, and, to a certain degree, humanoid (see also § . . ).

            Problematic, too, is the intertextual implication of a concrete, human ‘image’. Indeed, the very existence of such an ‘image’ seems to violate the second commandment, which forbids idols and idolatry (Ex 20: – ; Dt : –10; see also Dt :15–19, and, within the Priestly tradition, Lev 19: , 26: ).

            From a theological perspective, then, the ‘image’ in Gen :26–27 may be dangerous or, at least, “tainted.” Grammar compounds the problems. One grammatical diffculty lies in the prepositions that govern ‘image’ and ‘likeness’: ‘in’ and ‘like’, respectively. A minority of interpreters believe this differential marking sufficiently indicates an interpretive difference between the two prepositional phrases.

            The majority disagrees. “There is no particular significance in the change of prepositions (‘in’ our image, ‘according to’ our likeness). In [Gen] . they are exchanged without any difference in meaning.”34 “It is in accordance with the sense to render both prepositions in the same way. Both the nouns and the prepositions are interchangeable …; one verb covers both phrases, åðúåîãë and åðîìöá; we have not two but one expression.”35 Whereas the language of Gen :26 differentiates two types of divine-human relationship, most scholars abandon a grammatical analysis as futile. “Early attempts to distinguish between á and ë have been given up.

            • Yeah, NO!

              On the last day of creation, God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Thus, He finished His work with a “personal touch.” God formed Adam from the dust and gave him life by sharing His own breath (Genesis 2:7). Accordingly, humanity is unique among all God’s creations, having both a material body and an immaterial soul/spirit.

              Having the “image” or “likeness” of God means, in the simplest terms, that we were made to resemble God. Adam did not resemble God in the sense of God’s having flesh and blood. Scripture says that “God is spirit” (John 4:24) and therefore exists without a body. However, Adam’s body did mirror the life of God insofar as it was created in perfect health and was not subject to death.

              The image of God (Latin: imago dei) refers to the immaterial part of humanity. It sets human beings apart from the animal world, fits them for the dominion God intended them to have over the earth (Genesis 1:28), and enables them to commune with their Maker. It is a likeness mentally, morally, and socially.

              Mentally, humanity was created as a rational, volitional agent. In other words, human beings can reason and choose. This is a reflection of God’s intellect and freedom. Anytime someone invents a machine, writes a book, paints a landscape, enjoys a symphony, calculates a sum, or names a pet, he or she is proclaiming the fact that we are made in God’s image.

              Morally, humanity was created in righteousness and perfect innocence, a reflection of God’s holiness. God saw all He had made (humanity included) and called it “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Our conscience or “moral compass” is a vestige of that original state. Whenever someone writes a law, recoils from evil, praises good behavior, or feels guilty, he or she is confirming the fact that we are made in God’s own image.

              Socially, humanity was created for fellowship. This reflects God’s triune nature and His love. In Eden, humanity’s primary relationship was with God (Genesis 3:8 implies fellowship with God), and God made the first woman because “it is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Every time someone marries, makes a friend, hugs a child, or attends church, he or she is demonstrating the fact that we are made in the likeness of God.

              Part of being made in God’s image is that Adam had the capacity to make free choices. Although they were given a righteous nature, Adam and Eve made an evil choice to rebel against their Creator. In so doing, they marred the image of God within themselves, and passed that damaged likeness on to all of their descendants (Romans 5:12). Today, we still bear the image of God (James 3:9), but we also bear the scars of sin. Mentally, morally, socially, and physically, we show the effects of sin.

              The good news is that when God redeems an individual, He begins to restore the original image of God, creating a “new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). That redemption is only available by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior from the sin that separates us from God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Through Christ, we are made new creations in the likeness of God (2 Corinthians 5:17).

            • There are a few issues with this response, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness”, you make the point I made earlier and you make a conflicting statement as well

              “That we were made to resemble God.”

              “Adam did not resemble God in the sense of God’s having flesh and blood.”

              This is in conflict to Genesis 1 as God makes mankind in his image and likeness, the terms “image” and “likeness” are concrete nouns. They are not as you suggest have differing relationships.

              As, íìö ‘image’ and úåîã ‘likeness’ are suitable characterizations of the divine-human relationship in Gen 1. They are semantically alike; the nouns are each representational terms that express similative content (see §0.3). They imply, or seem to imply, two foci of comparison between the divine and human spheres. Ostensibly, humanity is envisioned to be, and created as, a token of divine presence and participation in the world (§§0.2, 5.5). The nouns suggest that, in two respects at least, humanity will resemble, replicate, or mimic God and his divine community.

              Humanity, then, is (like) a theophany. The crux lies in the nature of this theophany. According to some scholars, the theophany is not physical; essentially this is your argument, however.

              úåîã ‘likeness’ appears twenty-five times in the Hebrew Bible. Most attestations are found in Priestly writings, whether they be attributed to P (Gen 1:26), PT (Gen 5:1.3), or Ezekiel (1:5a.5b.10.13.16.22.26a.26bα. 26bâ.28, 8:2, 10:1.10.21.22, 23:15). The remaining few are scattered throughout a variety of sources: the deuteronomistic history (2 Kgs
              16:10), first Isaiah (13:4), second Isaiah (40:18), Psalms (58:4), Daniel
              (10:16), and Chronicles (2 Chr 4:3).

              The interpretation of ‘likeness’ varies considerably in non Priestly writings. It will refer to a physical entity. King Ahaz sent Uriah the priest çáæîä úåîã­úà a likeness of the altar and a model of its whole construction. (2 Kgs 16:10b); She saw men etched on the wall, (íéãùë §§÷) íééãùë éîìö images of Chaldeans etched in vermillion, having belts girded to their waists, flowing turbans on their heads, all of them with the appearance of officers ìáá­éðá úåîã a likeness of Babylonians whose homeland was Chaldea. (Ez 23:14b-15).

              Also, per text the transliteration of “imago dei” is inappropriate usage for Hebraic linguistics in Hebraic textual as there is not shown intertextual inference between the both. Using later etymology to explain earlier etymologies are hence inappropriate, this not to say that the Bible wasn’t translated from Latin at one point in time, but it would be inappropriate to assume the original authors of Genesis were Latin any sense.

              The Genesis is referring to creation of mankind by God, which is explicit to being created in the “image” and “likeness” of God, the terms are concrete nouns and do not differ or create a differing relationship. To state that God is a spirit and not corporeal is inappropriate as the likeness of the Babylonians can be seen (v. 15aâ), and altar’s likeness cum facsimile guide Uriah’s building project (2 Kgs 16:11), these representational likenesses are two or three-dimensional. Similarly, the likeness can be real yet referentially unspecific or inexact.

              To whom can you liken God? What úåîã likeness can you compare to him? (Is 40:18) íéø÷á úåîãå Something like oxen was beneath it, set all around it, each measuring ten cubits, encircling the sea around. (2 Chr 4:3a); Then, íãà éðá úåîãë someone human touched my lips. I opened my mouth to speak and said to the one standing opposite me, “My Lord. Because of the vision …” (Dan 10:16; cf. v. 5)14

              It can even be nonreferential and express relative similarity or resem-
              blance.

              Listen! A tumult on the mountains áø­íò úåîã like a great troop. Listen! An uproar of kingdoms, nations assembling. (Is 13:4a-bα) In which case, úåîã can combine with ë and form a semantically empty extension of the comparative preposition.

              All told, úåîã is semantically and referentially elastic in non-Priestly texts; its interpretation runs the gamut from physical replica to metaphorical comparison.

              P’s use of úåîã in Gen 1:26 can be set within this context. In fact, these non-Priestly readings have each been applied to the Priestly text already. It is claimed, for instance, that úåîã is semantically and functionally void in the creation story; as in Ps 58:5, úåîã may be a pleonastic component of the similative prepositional phrase (i.e., ‘like [like]
              us’).

              The majority of interpreters, though, do not follow this lead.

              They either find that úåîã expresses nonreferential, abstract similitude (i.e., ‘likeness’).19 Or, more often, they impute a degree of objective physicality to úåîã (i.e., ‘copy’20 or ‘statue’21). P’s own úåîã might therefore entail corporeality22 or another kind of physical resemblance.

              In looking at priestly writings, we see that the discovery of an Old Aramaic inscription from Tell Fakhariyeh rekindled the inquiry into úåîã.24 This text mentions ‘likeness’ twice, using terminology that is cognate to the Hebrew: àúåîã ‘the likeness’ and (úàæ) àúåîã ‘this likeness’. This ‘likeness’ refers to the statue on which the inscription is written. But àúåîã also alternates with another term whose biblical cognate likewise appears in Gen 1:26 and 5:3: (éòñéãä) íìö ‘the image of Had-yit‘i’ (l. 12) and äîìö ‘his image’ (l. 16). And it too refers to the inscribed statue. To a great extent, then, ‘likeness’ and ‘image’ are similar at Fakhariyeh (see also àúåîã : .salmu ‘image’ [Aram. l. 15, Akk. l. 23] and íìö : .salmu). They are concrete nouns; they are coreferential; and they ultimately refer to the governor, Had-yit‘i, named in the text. The ‘likeness’ of Had-yit‘i is physical and representational. It is a portrait-like object that is ‘placed’ in the temple in front of the (representation of the) god Hadad (l. 1; see also l. 15). It is a donation (áäé [l. 10]) that the governor erected (ïðë [l. 10]) on behalf of himself, his family, and his people (ll. 7–8). It is a work (ãáò [l. 15]) which can be inscribed (l. 11), erased (l. 11), and reinscribed (l. 12). It is also subject to deterioration and restoration (l. 11). The ‘likeness’ of Had-yit‘i clearly refers to the statue.

              ‘Likeness’ also refers to a functional quality of the statue. The two sections that mention ‘likeness’ share a common purpose. In one, Hadyit‘i appeals to Hadad’s established and laudatory reputation (ll. 2–6).

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