. I like the word because it refers directly to the nature of power used as one who makes things happen by giving commands. I don’t think this can logically apply to God, whose power does not derive from an expectation that commands to others will be carried out.
“One who makes things happen by giving commands” is exactly what the first Genesis Creation account is about – but unlike other deities who command things that already exists, Elohim is shown as commanding things that don’t yet exist, telling them to “Be!”, i.e. “Light – BE!” is a translation that brings out the flavor/force of the Hebrew. I forget the address, but there’s a verse somewhere in the New Testament about God speaking to what “was not” and commanding it to exist.
Yes, the account shifts and portrays God as giving direct commands to things He has already created, but that’s part of the point: unlike other gods, Elohim doesn’t make things and then neglect them, He continues to exercise direct authority over them. It’s not “an expectation that commands to others will be carried out”, it’s making the point that what God commands happens; His will cannot be opposed.
One thing he mentioned was that kings (and sometimes priests) were considered the image of the gods because they were seen as a connection point where heaven meets earth. They were the embodiment of divinity and ruled as the deity’s representative.
My first Hebrew professor long ago said the same. He scoffed at all the arguments about "What constitutes ‘the image of God’ because the narrative isn’t about some ‘stuff’ that constitutes the image, it’s about a kingly/priestly function.
That equals “religion is a total scam” as far as I am concerned – religion concocted as a tool of power. I follow a rule of thumb that when something seems designed to serve a particular purpose, then that purpose is the most likely and believable origin.
I don’t see that at all. The account isn’t about anyone exercising power over anyone else, it’s about how God communicates, about the relationship between God and man – and as the use of the word “Adam” in the first Creation account suggests, all mankind is (to use Peter’s language) a kingdom of priests. It’s saying that no one stands between God and man because every person is equally a representation.
Both accounts are radical stuff, totally upending the then-common assumption of how deity relates to mortality, of how a Creator-God relates to created-humans.
The odd thing is that Israel ends up with a special priesthood that functions according to the old form, not to the form presented in the Creation accounts.
In my view what you deny in the first sentence you then affirm in the second. The second Creation account is telling why “we are the only species on the planet capable of caring about and seeing to the welfare of other species and indeed the earth as a whole”: because God appointed us to that task.
You last sentence is addressed in the third chapter.