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‘He Spoke and It Was’: Human Language, Divine Creation, and the imago dei1

In: Horizons in Biblical Theology
Author:
Gerald A. Klingbeil Theological Seminary, Andrews University, Berrien Springs Michigan 49104 USA klingbeil@andrews.edu

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Abstract

This study examines the triangle linking biblical creation, anthropology, and human language. It takes as its point of departure the notion that language is an important part of the image of God in which humanity was created (Gottebenbildlichkeit). Since most of creation is accomplished through God’s spoken word (see Gen 1 and also John 1), the human ability to speak and communicate abstract concepts appears to be an echo of the divine and distinguishes humans from the rest of creation. The paper traces some of the highlights marking the important role of language within the context of human history, including the fall and the divine plan of redemption, thus linking the theological categories of anthropology and soteriology.

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