Since the 1960's the consensus in Old Testament research regarding humanity's role as image of God has been along the lines of a functional or propagandistic interpretation. Thus, humanity represents the deity by functioning like him: they rule over the earth by his command and in his stead. This interpretation, however, often overlooks the ontological worldview of the ancient Near East where the distinction between object and referent was not as clear as it is today. The image functioned to make present the referent, be it god or king. In this way, the priestly conception of humanity as divine image is more than mere function but concerns the manifestation of divine presence as well.