Eastern Orthodox/likeness and image


Dear, the "likeness and image" are this two words have the same meaning? from what i understand, Adam had a likeness of God until he broke the first commandment. I just couldn't understand the word "image". Thank you

hi Berhane,

happy new year and a blessed Christmas for u.

the Holy fathers differentiate between the two terms, though they have a similar meaning in the orignial Hebrew text, saying that by our creation we "have" the first, and by our free choice we "build" the second.

this is how St. Basil the Great and St. John Chrysostom saw it. becoming the "likeness of God" is a process that takes faith and repentance but we are already made according to God's image in power, creativity, free will, etc. We are on the image of God from another perspective; St. Gregory of Nyssa talks about the analogy between the Trinity and Adam, Eve (made out of his rib by a process similar to the procession of the Holy Spirit) and Seth (the product of both like the incarnation of Lord Jesus: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." Luke 1:35).

ur questions and follow ups are always welcome.

in Christ,


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Ashraf Nisseem


Peace be with you. I am an Egyptian Coptic Orthodox. I can answer questions about the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox beliefs, especially Coptic beliefs.


I have the knowledge to say something useful.

I teach children in my church how to read the Holy Book and other sacred books used in holy services.

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