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Image of God and Image of Christ: Developments in Pauline and Ancient Jewish Anthropology

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Chapter Summary

From a Christian perspective, it is a fundamental and highly audacious tenet of biblical anthropology that humankind was created "in God's image and according to God's likeness". Philo's notion of imago Dei admittedly differs from that of Paul. According to the author, if Paul was indeed influenced by an anthropology of the Philonic type, his idea of an eschatological conforming to the image of Christ is ultimately the obvious dissimilarities notwithstanding an offshoot of the Old Testament notion of imago Dei. In Paul's view, what was to be expected from the believers' eschatological transformation into the image of Christ would exceed by far what Adam and Eve ever possessed. Even one of the most refined ideas within Paul's "participation" discourse, the expectation of an eschatological transformation into the image of Christ, is deeply rooted in the traditions of Judaism, both Alexandrian and Judaean.

Keywords: ancient Jewish anthropology; image of Christ; imago Dei; Pauline anthropology



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