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is his Logos.844 This image of God is at the same time the model of all creation, including humanity.
“Just like God is the model for the image (ὥσπερ γὰρ ὁ θεὸς παράδειγμα τῆς εἰκόνος),” argues Philo,
“so also the image is the model for other things (οὕτως ἡ εἰκὼν ἄλλων γίνεται παράδειγμα).” Thus,
Gen 1:27 is to be interpreted to the effect that “the image was modeled according to God (κατὰ τὸν
θεὸν ἀπεικονισθεῖσα), while the human being was modeled according to the image (κατὰ τὴν εἰκόνα),
which had acquired the force of a model” (Leg. 3.96).
While the Pentateuch says that only the human being was created according to God’s image,
Philo is confident that the same holds true for the sensible realm in toto. He gives reasons for this
claim in Opif. 25. In this passage, as Gregory E. Sterling points out,845 the Alexandrian offers an
argumentum a minore ad maius: if humanity is a part of the world and was created according to God’s
image, then the world was also created according to God’s image:
Now if the part is an image of an image (εἰκὼν εἰκόνος), it is manifest that the whole is so, too,
and if this entire sense-perceptible world, which is greater than any human image, is a copy of
the divine image (μίμημα θείας εἰκόνος), it is manifest that the archetypal seal, which we claim
to be the intelligible world (νοητὸς κόσμος), would itself be the model (τὸ παράδειγμα), the
archetypal form of the forms (ἀρχέτυπος ἰδέα τῶν ἰδεῶν), the Logos of God (ὁ θεοῦ λόγος) (trans.
F. H. Colson and G. H. Whitaker, altered).846
As Sterling puts it, “Philo has a three-tiered hierarchy: God, the Logos, and humanity.”847 In
this hierarchy, the Logos is the mediator and therefore plays a dual role: it is both an imitation and a
model. Thus, when, in Somn. 2.45, Philo says that God sealed (ἐσφράγισε) the universe “with the
image and form, i.e. with his Logos (εἰκόνι καὶ ἰδέᾳ, τῷ ἑαυτοῦ λόγῳ),” his point is that the Logos is
both the image (= imitation) of God and the form (= model) of the universe.848 This is also the reason
why God is at the same time the model of the image (παράδειγμα τῆς εἰκόνος) (Leg. 3.96, quoted
above) and the model of a model (παράδειγμα <παραδείγματος>) (Somn. 1.75).849
In Her. 230–1, Philo insists that it is crucial that, according to Gen 1:27, God did not make man
his image, but rather after his image. The image is the Logos, and the man that was created according
to the image is “the mind in each of us” (ὁ καθʼ ἕκαστον ἡμῶν νοῦς). There are, therefore, two types
of reason (δύο λόγοι), the archetypal reason above us and its imitation within us. Philo concludes that
the human mind is the impression of the image (τῆς εἰκόνος ἐκμαγεῖον),850 and the cast that is two
removes from the maker (τρίτος τύπος ἀπὸ τοῦ πεποιηκότος; cf. Plato, Resp. 597e; cf. also Clement,
Strom. 7.3.16.6), while the Logos is the middle cast (ὁ μέσος, sc. τύπος) that is the model of the human
mind and the image of God (παράδειγμα μὲν τούτου, ἀπεικόνισμα δὲ ἐκείνου).
844
See, e.g., Spec. 1.81; Somn. 1.239; Fug. 101; Conf. 97; 147. It should be noted, however, that sometimes Philo offers
alternative interpretations of εἰκὼν θεοῦ of Gen 1:27; see Sterling 2013, 47–56.
845
See Sterling 2013, 45.
846
The translation of this passage departs from Cohn’s text and follows the readings suggested in Runia 2001, 94.
847
Sterling 2013, 45.
848
Cf. Colson and Whitaker 1934, 607; Runia 1986, 163.
849
This conjecture was suggested in Colson and Whitaker 1934, 336, and accepted by Sterling 2005, 132.
850
Philo likens the paradigmatic image (= the Logos) to the seal, and the imitations of the image (= human minds) to the
impressions of the seal. Cf. the discussion of this imagery in Apuleius in section 11.2.2, above.
203
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