Image of God
The theology that "form of God" is referring to Yeshua's pre-existent state
is coupled with several other passages that seem to teach the same thing. Colossians
1:15-20 is a prime example. Trinitarians, and those who believe in a Biune God,
argue from these verses that: 1) Yeshua is called the "image of God" which really
means God and 2) that Yeshua is called the Creator. These are grievous errors!
Don't you think it might be going too far to equate "image of God" with YEHOVAH
Himself? In other words, if "image of God" means YEHOVAH Himself -- then what
does "God" mean? If "God" can be described as "image of God" then what does
"image of God" describe? If you define "image of God" as "God" then you have
real problems with defining "God" -- isn't that true? And don't we see in Genesis
1 that man was created in the image of YEHOVAH God?
As you can discern in every day life, something can be a perfect representation
of an object or person without being the object or person itself. We often say
about photographs, "It looks just like him, doesn't it?" The statement by Yeshua
found in John 14:19, i.e., "if you have seen me you have seen the Father" explains
quite well what Paul was alluding to by the phrase "image of the invisible God"
found in Colossians 1. He was not teaching the pre-existence of Yeshua in some
pre-incarnate state any more than Yeshua was telling Philip that he had literally
seen YEHOVAH God when he beheld Yeshua. Yeshua bore an "image," a "form," a
"likeness to the invisible God in his character, teachings and behavior -- exhibited
in the same way that believers are encouraged to be "Christlike" in their manner
of life. Wouldn't it be accurate to refer to an individual that taught and acted
like Yeshua as the "image of the invisible Yeshua"? If not, why not?
How do the Greek scholars define "image"? The Trinitarian Vine defines it
thus: "EIKON (eikon) denotes an image: the word involves the two ideas of representation
and manifestation. (d) of Christ in relation to God, 2 Cor. 4:4, 'the image
of God,' i.e. essentially and absolutely the perfect expression and representation
of the Archetype, God the Father; in Col. 1:15, 'the image of the invisible
God' gives the additional thought suggested by the word 'invisible,' that Christ
is the visible representation and manifestation of God to created beings." Even
though a Trinitarian, Vine does not equate "image of God" with "God" Himself
in his definition. -- John D. Keyser