I believe that homo erectus had a special relationship with God too

I think that homo erectus 's mental capacity would allow them to be made in God’s image too. Homo erectus made boats and voyaged the waters and had language. They surely have to been made in God’s image also. At least to me.

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Welcome to the forum. What do you think “image of God” means?

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as @Christy asked, I would be interested to hear what you believe the image of God to be.

On this basis you would also need to include homo heidelbergensis, Neanderthals, Denisovans (and possibly soloensis) as image bearers.

Welcome.to the forum as well!

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That is an interesting question. Personally, I tend to feel God relates to all created beings on some level,with that level of relation appropriate to their state of being. Guess I would include plants, as he clothes the lilies of the field. However, we have a uniquely intimate relationship perhaps related to our level of awareness. Perhaps homo erectus did also, to the extent that they could.
I am not sure at what point we can say these archaic homo species were capable of sinning and subsequently that Jesus died for their sins to bring them back into relationship with God. That seems to be a defining moment. Is is possible to be biologically human but not human from a Judeo-Christian perspective? That has disturbing implications.
My thought is that the process was gradual, with God dealing individually with each person appropriate to their state of being, but that is just speculation.

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I think the idea of the Imago Dei is about dignity, not mental capacity. The text only ever associates the Image with dignity (Genesis 9:6). The imagery (no pun intended) of man being made in the image and likeness of God is one of kinship (compare Seth being in the image and likeness of Adam, as well as the instruction of Merikare, which likewise gives humans a divine image, and also issued from the flesh of God), therefore, killing man is like killing God.

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