«В соответствии с образом Божьим...» или «В качестве образа Божьего...»? (Быт 1. 26–27)
M. Seleznev. “According to our image” or “to be our image”? (Gen 1:26-27)
Gen 1:26-27 is the key text for the biblical concept of human being as the image of God. A detailed analysis of this verse must take into account both the history of the crystallization of the concept in the religion of Ancient Israel, and later exegesis.
The article attempts to classify the different interpretations of the expression “the image of God” attested in the history of exegesis. The difference between these interpretations may be clarified by an analogy with a king’s image on a coin. What exactly is meant by “the king’s image”? The coin itself? The features of the king’s face represented on the coin? Or the stamp which impressed the king’s image upon it? Following this analogy, we identify three models of understanding Gen 1:26-27 and trace their place in the history of exegesis.
The first part of the article is devoted to linguistic aspects of interpretation of the Hebrew text of Gen 1:26-27, with a special emphasis on the semantics of the Hebrew prepositions ב and כ.
The second part investigates the place of the concept of Man as God’s image in the development of the religion of Ancient Israel.
The third part analyses the treatment of this concept in Greek translation. Of special interest for us are the texts of Judeo-Hellenistic literature (Wisdom of Solomon) and early Christian literature (Paul’s letters) that reflect interpretations of the biblical text different from the LXX.
The fourth part is devoted to the Platonizing interpretation of the LXX translation, represented, first of all, by Philo.
Finally, the article summarizes the readings and interpretations of Gen 1:26-27 represented in the Hebrew Bible, LXX, and Judeo-Hellenistic and early Christian literature, and relates them to the three abovementioned models of understanding the expression “the image of God”.