God is human in the New Testament
God the Father, which is the divine soul, is non-material, and therefore does not have a physical body made out of physical matter as we do.
God the Son, which is the divine body, did become material and take on a physical body just like us, and rose from the tomb with his entire body.
That body was not made of matter, because it was able to pass through locked doors (see John 20:19) and could appear and disappear (see Luke 24:31). However, it was not a spirit either, since it could directly interact with matter, such as by eating some fish (see Luke 24:36–43).
When Jesus ascended up to heaven (Luke 24:50–53), he ascended in his familiar human form, visible to his disciples.
And when John later saw him in heaven (see Revelation 1:12–16), he also saw him in fully human form, wearing a robe and a sash, with hair, a head, eyes, feet, a right hand (and presumably also a left hand), a face, and a tongue—though it is described as being like a “sharp, double-edged sword.” That sword-like tongue is the only detail of John’s vision of Christ that is not fully human in appearance.
John also saw Christ in other forms, such as that of a lamb who had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes (Revelation 5:6). However, the common experience of the Apostles, and of people in general right up to today when they have visions of Christ, is to see him as a human being.
God is human in the Old Testament
The Bible’s descriptions of God as human are in no way limited to the New Testament and to descriptions of Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament God is described not only as having all different human thoughts and emotions, but also as having all the parts of the human body. God has:
- Hands: Exodus 7:5; Joshua 4:24; 1 Samuel 5:11; Psalm 118:16
- Fingers: Exodus 8:19; Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10
- Arms: Deuteronomy 4:34; Isaiah 51:9; Jeremiah 32:17; Ezekiel 20:33
- Shoulders: Deuteronomy 33:12
- Mouth: Deuteronomy 8:3; 1 Kings 8:15
- Eyes: Deuteronomy 11:12; 2 Samuel 7:19; Judges 18:6
- Eyelids: Psalm 11:4
- Ears: 1 Samuel 8:21; 2 Kings 19:16; Psalm 18:6; Psalm 34:15
- Nostrils: 2 Samuel 22:9; 2 Samuel 22:16
- Feet: Exodus 24:10; Nahum 1:3
- A heart: Genesis 6:6; Genesis 8:21; Deuteronomy 7:7; 1 Kings 9:3
This list could continue. These and many other passages show that in the Old Testament, as in the New Testament, God is described as human, with all of the body parts of a human being.
Yes, all of these body parts of God are commonly interpreted as figurative of God’s thoughts, feelings, and power to act. And yet, the fact remains that all of the body parts that we think of as making up a human being anatomically are also attributed to God in the Bible.
So when God created humankind in his own image (Genesis 1:26–27), it’s clear that even the parts, limbs, and organs of our physical anatomy reflect corresponding parts, limbs, and organs in God.
We are human because God is human
Since God is a divine being rather than a material being, God’s parts are made of divine substance rather than physical matter. But according to the Bible, God does indeed have all of the body parts that we do, even if God may have them in a way and at a level of reality that we cannot fully grasp or conceive of because God is infinite, but our minds are finite.
The primary way that we humans are made in God’s image is that we have finite versions of all the infinite parts and qualities of God’s mind and heart, such as love, wisdom, compassion, understanding, knowledge, and so on.
But even when it comes to the anatomy of our physical body, based on the Bible’s descriptions of God, the answer is yes, even anatomically Adam, Eve, and every other human being are all created in the image and likeness of God.
(Note: This post is a slightly edited version of an answer I originally wrote and posted on Christianity StackExchange. You can see the original question on StackExchange here, and the StackExchange version of my answer here.)
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