Well, Mike (another poster at a froum I frequent) and I are at it again. This time on the topic of Gods image. In Genesis 1:26 (NASB) We read this 26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
The topic of disagreement revolves around exactly what image is being spoken of here. Many believe it is not a physical trait (arms and legs etc.) but has to do more with free will, an ability to love and show compassion etc. However the word used there is "Tselem" in the Hebrew and conveys the idea of something physical and something that can be seen. We are forbidden to make any "Image or Tselem" of anything on the earth or in heaven or under the heaven for the purpose of worship. An image of love cannot be made nor can we make an image of the ability to show mercy or compassion. They are intangible traits. So the word the Holy Spirit choose must have a different meaning here.
To make the topic more difficult, the Holy Spirit also chose the word "Demuth" translated here as likeness, which literally means a form or a pattern of something. Both word convey a physical representation of another thing and not its character.
When the Alexandrian scholars and scribes undertook to translate the Old Testament into Greek (the Septuagint or LXX) when they came to this word "Tselem" used the Greek word "eikon" it refers to a coin stamped from a master die. The coin is an exact representation of the die it is stamped from. Again something that can be seen and examined. When they came to the word translated likeness, they used "charakter" where we obviously get our word character from, and it literally means a tool of engraving, a stamp or to impress a likeness as a coin or seal.
Now please do not read into what I am saying here. I am not saying that God looks just like us with hands and feet, but the word the Holy Spirit chose implies something that could be seen and examined. When Daniel wrote in chapter seven (7) that he says the Ancient of Days, what did he see? A spirit with no form or something he could both see and recognize? It is difficult to imagine God sitting on a throne without the physical parts that make sitting possible. God covered Moses with His hand to protect him as He passed is also something to consider here.
We may find the words of scripture difficult but this does not allow us to change what they actually mean and meant to those who they were delivered to. Rather then strike out, better we try to understand what the Spirit is saying. So what do you think?