Man is said to be created in the image of God. What exactly does this mean? Every person I've discussed this with begins with, "I think it means..." with no real backing or solid logic behind their answer. What think ye? And how do you biblically defend your answer? Below are is the HALOT entry for tselem - the word translated "image" - and various different OT usages of the word. _________________________________ 8011 ~l,c, I ~l,c,: I *~lc (Bauer-L. Heb. 458s; THAT 2:556f :: W.H. Schmidt WMANT 172 (1967) 1: lce + m); SamP. sÌaÒãlaâm; MHeb. image, statue, idol; DSS (Kuhn Konkordanz 187; THAT 2:562); JArm. am'l.c;; Sam.; Ph. (Jean-H. Dictionnaire 245; THAT 2:556); EmpArm. sÌlmÀ, sÌlmh the effigy, his effigy (Donner-R. Inschriften text 225:3, 6; text 226:2; Jean-H. Dictionnaire 245; Hoftijzer-Jongeling Dictionary 968: statue); Ug. sÌlm pny (Gordon Textbook text 1002:59 = Dietrich-L.-S. Texte 2, 31:61; Aistleitner 2319; cf. Gordon Textbook §19:2059); Akk. sbst. sÌalmu statue, figurine, image (AHw. 1078f; CAD SÌ: 78): in particular: 1. the statue of a god; 2. the statue of a king; 3. a statue in general; 4. a figurine; . a relief, bas-relief; 6. metaphorical, a constellation, shape, likeness, representation; BArm. ï ~lec.; Syr. sÌalmaÒ, sÌÝlemtaÒ; CPArm. sÌlm; Mnd. sÌilma (Drower-M. Dictionary 393b) image, idol, shape, form; Nab., Palm. Hatra sÌlm, sÌlmÀ and sÌlmtÀ statue (Jean-H. Dictionnaire 245; Hoftijzer-Jongeling Dictionary 968, sÌlm I; see also BArm. under ~lec.); OSArb. zÌlm (Conti Chrest. 161a) and sÌlm (Conti Chrest. 224b) likeness, statue; Arb. sÌanam idol (Arm. loanword, see Fraenkel Fremdwörter 273): cs. ~l,c,, sf. Aml.c;, Wnmel.c;, ~m'l.c;; pl. cs. ymel.c;, sf. wym'l'c., ~k,ymel.c;: THAT 2:556-563. —1. statue, inscribed column 2K 1118/2C 2317. —2. idol Nu 3352 Ezk 720, Am 526 (text uncertain) ~k,ymel.c; probably meaning effigies of the KeÒwaÒn, Babylonian astral deities (see AHw. 420b kajjamaÒnuÖ; CAD SÌ: 38a line 6ff kajamaÒnu adj. b: “steady” as a name of Saturn) and sakkut (Sumerian ÀsupÁdSAG.KUD, see E. Reiner Sèurpu tablet 2 line 180; Rudolph KAT 13/2:207; Wolff BK 14/2:304; THAT :557). —3. pl.: —a. images, figures: rk'z" ymel.c; effigies of men Ezk 1617, ~yDIf.k; ymel.c; pictures of the Chaldaeans carved into the wall Ezk 2314; —b. replicas, likenesses of the boils and mice 1S 65.11 (see THAT 2:557f). —4. a. transitory image Ps 397 (parallel with lb,h,), Ps 7320 text uncertain (parallel with ~Alx]) cj. for ~m'l.c; prp. Aml.c; (BHS) :: Würthwein Wort und Existenz 169: MT “their idol”; —b. the ~l,c, of Ps 397 7320 belongs to II *~lc rather than to I, and so means silhouette, fleeting shadows, so e.g. Humbert Études sur le récit du paradis et de la chute 156; cf. Kopf VT 9 (1959) 272 and in general W.H. Schmidt WMANT 172 (1967) 1331. —5. likeness: —a. of a man as the ~l,c, of God Gn 126f 96: for bibliography see Westermann BK /1:203-214; see further Barr BJRL 51 (1968) 11-26; Stamm “Zur Frage der Imago Dei im Alten Testament” (in Humanität und Glaube. Gedenkschrift für Kurt Guggisberg 243-253); Mettinger ZAW 86 (1974) 403-24; O.H. Steck FRLANT 115 (1975) 140567; O. Loretz Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen; THAT 2:558-562: man, God’s likeness, God’s image, i.e. he is God’s viceroy, representative or witness among the creatures; —b. the son as the ~l,c, of his father Gn 53. † Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 5:1-3 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. Genesis 9:6 6 "Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. Daniel 3:1-18 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent word to assemble the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. 3 Then the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces were assembled for the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed: "To you the command is given, O peoples, nations and men of every language, 5 that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up. 6 "But whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire." 7 Therefore at that time, when all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and men of every language fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. 8 For this reason at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and brought charges against the Jews. 9 They responded and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king: "O king, live forever! 10 "You, O king, have made a decree that every man who hears the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe and all kinds of music, is to fall down and worship the golden image. 11 "But whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire. 12 "There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up." 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 "Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?" 16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. 17 "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 "But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."