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The IMAGE and LIKENESS of GOD
The Relationship between GOD, JESUS CHRIST and MAN
2. Words related to charaktēr
[2A] G5481 - χαρακτήρ (charaktēr)
A. Thayer Definition
1) the instrument used for engraving or carving
2) the mark stamped upon that instrument or wrought out on it
2a) a mark or figure burned in (Lev. 13:28) or stamped on, an impression
2b) the exact expression (the image) of any person or thing, marked likeness, precise reproduction in every respect, i.e facsimile
B. Verses with this word
1. Jesus - the exact representation of God's being.
a. Hebrews 1:3 - Jesus is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation / imprint of God's being / nature.
[2A-1] A look at the word "being" or "nature."
G5287 - ὑπόστασις (hupostasis)
1) a setting or placing under
1a) thing put under, substructure, foundation
2) that which has foundation, is firm
2a) that which has actual existence
2a1) a substance, real being
2b) the substantial quality, nature, of a person or thing
2c) the steadfastness of mind, firmness, courage, resolution
2c1) confidence, firm trust, assurance
In other passages, this word is translated as confidence or assurance - the focus is on the "foundation" of (or basis for) what is being said, believed, done, etc. (2 Corinthians 9:4; 11:17; Hebrews 3:14; 11:1) In Hebrews 1:3, the focus is on the most basic "foundational" things that define what it means to be God - these are seen in Jesus. The "substance" that makes up "God" is in him.
[2A-2] A look at the word "radiance."
G827 - αὐγή (augē)
1) brightness, radiance, daylight
Jesus is all that we can see of God's glory.
Jesus is the exact expression of deity, the fullest expression of what can be "seen" of God, in a human body. This word is never used to describe the relationship of humans to God.
[2B] G5480 - χάραγμα (charagma)
A. Thayer Definition:
1) a stamp, an imprinted mark
1a) of the mark stamped on the forehead or the right hand as the badge of the followers of the Antichrist
1b) the mark branded upon horses
2) thing carved, sculpture, graven work
2a) of idolatrous images
B. Verses with this word
Acts 17:29; Revelation 13:16-17; 14:9, 11; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4
1. The "mark of the beast."
a. Revelation 13:16-17; 14:9, 11; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4.
2. A man-made "image" cannot represent the nature of deity.
a. Acts 17:29 - It's we (humans) who are God's "offspring." Don't think that deity can be represented by a crafted image designed by people!
[2B-1] Places where this word "deity" is found.
G2304 - θει ος (theios)
1) a general name of deities or divinities as used by the Greeks
2) spoken of the only and true God, trinity
2a) of Christ
2b) Holy Spirit
2c) the Father
Used in: Acts 17:29; 2 Peter 1:3-4
1. God's deity ("divine-ness") - Acts 17:29 (the word "nature" is added in some translations) - It cannot be represented by man-made objects.
2. God's divine power - 2 Peter 1:3 - It has given us everything we need for life and godliness (by means of our knowledge of him who called us).
3. God's divine nature - 2 Peter 1:4 - We can partake of it (when we escape the world's corruption by means of the things he has given us - see v. 3). [See v. 5+, to learn how. This is a reference to our partaking of God's moral nature and character, not to us becoming little "deities"! We become more like God, in the same way that other passages describe us as becoming more "Christ-like."]
[2B-2] For comparison - another word related to "deity": "divine nature."
G2305 - θειότης (theiotēs)
1) divinity, divine nature
Romans 1:20 - God's "divine nature" can be understood through creation, so people have no excuse for rejecting him.
[2B-3] For comparison - another word related to "deity": "divine being."
G2320 - θεότης (theotēs)
1a) the state of being God, Godhead
Colossians 2:9 - The fullness of "the divine being / deity" resides in Christ, in bodily form.
[2B-4] Comments about the word "offspring."
G1085 - γένος (genos)
1c) stock, tribe, nation
1c1) i.e. nationality or descent from a particular people
1d) the aggregate of many individuals of the same nature, kind, sort
Used in: Matthew 13:47; 17:21; Mark 7:26; 9:29; Acts 4:6, 36; 7:13, 19; 13:26; 17:28-29; 18:2, 24; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28; 14:10; 2 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 1:14; Philippians 3:5; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 22:16
This word "offspring" has many uses, literal and figurative. Taken by itself, we learn that there is some type of relationship or "connection" between us and God. However, it does not fully define what that relationship is.
Scripture often uses an identical word to describe both us (humans) and Jesus Christ. Yet when we explore the matter, we discover that, even under those circumstances, there are differences among the similarities. For instance, we (Jesus and humans) are both called "sons" of God ("daughters" are also implied). Yet Jesus is the "Son" of God by nature; we are "sons" of God by adoption (Romans 8:23). Another example: Though we are both "begotten" by God, Jesus is the "only begotten" (or "one-and-only begotten") of the Father. There is a uniqueness that belongs only to him.
No object we can make is capable of representing God. It is we, humans, who (in one sense or another) are God's "offspring" ("representatives"?). This probably has something to do with our nature or function as "image bearers" of God.
Interestingly, one of the "For comparison" words that was explored for further understanding of these concepts - "divine being" (theotēs) - seems to say something similar to what we saw in Hebrews 1:3. The fullness of the "divine being" resides in bodily form in Christ (Colossians 2:9)!
Dennis Hinks © 1983, 2006
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