Are Neanderthals in Gods Image

Are Neanderthals in Gods image?

In another thread I mentioned the fact that I often suggest that “created in the image of God” applies to all livings things to some degree. That infinite potentiality which reflects God’s infinite actuality is right there in the basic capacity of all living things to learn, grow, evolve, and basically become more than they are. It is like the +1 term in a proof by mathematical induction – it goes to infinity by implication.

But of course, the Biblical text is that we human beings are created in the image of God, and so I acknowledge that the full parent-child relationship with God needs this abstract capable communication that we have and other living organisms do not. Thus I suggest that it is the difference between “good” and “very good” in the degree to which we are created in the image of God.

So in my mind, the question becomes… when did God actually begin speaking to people? Did He speak to the Neanderthals? How could we possibly know whether He did or not?

I wonder this and as to what the fate was of primitive man such homo habilis and Australopithecus afarensis, considering that religion at least the organized variety had not been invented yet. Who knows maybe they got a free pass in the afterlife?

What about those with disabilities? They’re incapable of some of the things you mentioned.

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Yes. Why would you think otherwise? We had a terrible guest post once where the contributor claimed that God had to get rid of archaic humans before assigning human rights. He also claimed that modern humans with no souls and humans with souls were living at the same time. It was reminiscent of more racist times.

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One can only hope so. They sure didn’t get a free pass in this life.

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The very idea!!! You flagged the person, no doubt.

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Maybe. We don’t really have any direct evidence either way that far back. Their living descendants certainly are.

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What do you guys think the image of God is? I think rationality has a big part to the image, so if neaderthals had morality, they would’ve sinned.

I don’t see any declaration of human rights in the Bible.

Is another one of those things where Christianity tries to claim responsibility for everything good… like it has tried to claim responsibility for science.

I think it was about a parent child relationship with God. I don’t think it had anything to do with human rights.

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Such an interesting question…even more interesting is that the responses lack any biblical theological evidence to support them.
If we are created in the image of our Mighty, all knowing, omnipotent God, why should he be incapable and therefore limited to the creation of a race of human forefathers who apparently were substandard?
I think this dilemma should be looked at more seriously…clearly it’s at odds with the biblical account.
If the creation story is an allegory, then I have to wonder if this inconsistency doesn’t support the notion the secular science view of Neanderthals isn’t downright wrong?

I also find it impossible to reconcile a creator intentionally setting up class separation…to me that is the opposite of God as professed by the witness of Jesus Christ.

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??? what things? where did I mention these “things” you speak of?

Are you talking about language? that is the only thing I spoke of. AND I only spoke of this being the basis for God adopting people as His children. Do you know handicapped people who are incapable of language?

I am not the one trying to invent sharp lines between animals and humans. Rights are really about freedom of people to do what they can. It is a bit inane to invent rights of people to do things which they cannot do. No everybody doesn’t have the right to be doctor or lawyer. And as for protection of law against abuse, that applies both to human beings and most animals also, as it should. And it depends on the animals too. Or do think ants should have the same protections as chimpanzees?

Now that sounds like something some of the handicapped are lacking. So you are suggesting they are not made in the image of God.

As for me… I have rejected this notion of reason and intelligence being where we see an image of God… not unless your God is an AI.

You have a good point

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In what way?

They made sophisticated - intentional - tools, fire, cave hearths, glue, clothes, they wove, sailed the ocean, used medicinal plants, treated severe injuries, cooked (probably their H.s.s. enemies whose skulls they piled, and dogs - their undoing), thought, spoke, sang, played the flute, ornamented, collected, engraved, painted, believed and worshipped.

God does none of that. Except when He incarnates.

A lot of what you said is true. They kept their disabled alive by feeding them. All the while living in the most inhospitable conditions.

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All of it is.

Any evidence for this one?

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That’s interesting, but speculative. They certainly would have been strong swimmers.

Image of God is a corporate identity that means you belong to the human race and share corporate humanity’s calling. Because of their corporate identity as God’s image all human lives have intrinsic value according to the Bible. It’s not an identity that is earned by your capacities, usefulness, or potential.


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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