Monday, January 23, 2017

Yes, but with a careful distinction

We must keep in mind, however, that humanity (ʿādām) is nowhere described in the Hebrew Bible explicitly as “Yahweh’s son.” However, the use of selem and dəmût to define the God/father-humankind/son relationship in Gen 5:3, the comparison between the plants and animals as made “according to their kinds” versus man who is made “in the image and according to the likeness of God” in Gen 1:11–27, and the connection between the Israelite king as the son of Yahweh and ʿm as Yahweh’s appointed king over creation in Genesis 1 may suggest that Gen 1:26–27 is defining the divine-human relationship in terms of sonship while at the same time carefully avoiding the divinization of humankind. This theory is supported not only by the biblical evidence, presented above, but it may also be reinforced by the hymn of Tukulti-Ninurta I, introduced in chapter 3, in which the Assyrian king is designated as the ṣalmu of the god Enlil.—The "Image of God" in the Garden of Eden, page 134

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