An exact and complete copy or counterpart of any thing. Christ is called "the image of God," 2Co 4:4; Col 1:15; Heb 1:3, as being the same in nature and attributes. The image of God in which man was created, Ge 1:27 was in his spiritual, intellectual, and moral nature, in righteousness and true holiness. The posterity of Adam were born in his fallen, sinful likeness, Ge 5:3; and as we have borne the image of sinful Adam, so we should be molded into the moral image of the heavenly man Christ, 1Co 15:47-49; 2Co 3:18.
An image, Job 4:16, was that which seemed to the dreamer a reality. The word sometimes appears to include, with the image, the idea of the real object, Ps 73:20; Heb 10:1. It is usually applied in the Bible to representations of false gods, painted, graven, etc., Da 3. All use of images in religious worship was clearly and peremptorily prohibited, Ex 20:4-5; De 16:22; Ac 17:16; Ro 1:23. Their introduction into Christian churches, near the close of the fourth century, was at first strenuously resisted. Now, however, they are universally used by Papists: by most in a gross beach of the second commandment, and by the best in opposition to both the letter and the spirit of the Bible, Ex 20:4-5; 32:4-5; De 4:15; Isa 40:18-31; Joh 4:23-24; Re 22:8-9.
The "chambers of imagery," in Eze 8:7-12, had their walls covered with idolatrous paintings, such as are found on the still more ancient stone walls of Egyptian temples, and such as modern researches have disclosed in Assyrian ruins. See NINEVEH.
In theological usage the term 'image' occurs in two connexions: (1) as defining the nature of man ('God created man in his own image,' Ge 1:27); and (2) as describing the relation of Christ as Son to the Father ('who is the image of the invisible God,' Col 1:15). These senses, again, are not without connexion; for, as man is re-created in the image of God
Besides the many references to graven and molten images connected with idolatry, which the law strictly forbade the Israelites to make, the word is used in several important connections: for instance, God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion . . . . so God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him." Ge 1:26-27; 5:1; 9:6. The word translated 'image' is tselem, which is the same that is used for idolatrous images, and for the great image in Daniel 2.
It might naturally have been thought that man at his fall would have ceased to be in the image and likeness of God, but it is not so represented in scripture. On speaking of man as the head of the woman, it says he ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as "he is the image and glory of God." 1Co 11:7. Again, in Jas 3:9, we find "made after the similitude (or likeness, ????????) of God." In what respects man is the image and likeness of God may not be fully grasped, but it is at least obvious that an image is a representation. The Lord when shown a penny asked 'whose image' is this? They said, Caesar's. It may not have been well executed, and so not have been a likeness. It may also have been very much battered, as money often is, yet that would not have interfered with its being the image of Caesar: it represented him, and no one else. So man as the head of created beings in connection with the earth represents God: to him was given dominion over every living thing that moveth upon the earth and in the sea and in the air. This was of course in subjection to God, and so man was in His image.
This is seen in perfection in the second Man, who has in resurrection superseded Adam, who was in this sense a figure or type of Christ. Ro 5:14. Man may be a battered and soiled image of his Creator, but that does not touch the question of his having been made in the image of God.
Likeness goes further; but was there not in man a certain moral and mental likeness to God? He not only represents God on earth, but, as one has said, he thinks for others, refers to and delights in what God has wrought in creation, and in what is good, having his moral place among those who do. The likeness, alas, may be very much blurred; but the features are there: such as reflection, delight, love of goodness and beauty; none of which are found in a mere animal. With Christ all is of course perfect: as man He is "the image of God;" "the image of the invisible God." 2Co 4:4; Col 1:15.
IMAGE, in a religious sense, is an artificial representation of some person or thing used as an object of adoration, and is synonymous with idol. Nothing can be more clear, full, and distinct, than the expressions of Scripture prohibiting the making and worship of images, Ex 20:4-5; De 16:22. No sin is so strongly and repeatedly condemned in the Old Testament as that of idolatry, to which the Jews, in the early part of their history, were much addicted, and for which they were constantly punished. St. Paul was greatly affected, when he saw that the city of Athens was "wholly given to idolatry," Ac 17:16; and declared to the Athenians, that they ought not "to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device," Ac 17:29. He condemns those who "changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things," Ro 1:23.
That the first Christians had no images, is evident from this circumstance,