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heart he is made after the image (παρεικαζόμενος) of the divine Logos, and so reasonable
(λογικός) (Protr. 10.99.4; trans. G. W. Butterworth, altered).
There is, however, a remarkable innovation that Clement makes in his interpretation of Gen 1:26–7.
Unlike Philo, Clement interprets καθ᾽ ὁμοίωσιν of Gen 1:26 from the standpoint of the Platonist
doctrine of the goal of human life, i.e. ὁμοίωσις θεῷ κατὰ τὸ δυνατόν, “becoming as like God as
possible” (Plato, Theaet. 176b; trans. M. J. Levett and M. Burnyeat).854 As Clement puts it, “some of
our people (τινὲς τῶν ἡμετέρων) accept the view that a human being has received ‘according to the
image’ at birth, but will secure ‘according to the likeness’ later, as he attains perfection” (Strom.
2.22.131.6; trans. J. Ferguson). That, by “some of our people,” Clement refers to himself is clear from
the following exhortation, which Clement puts in the Son’s mouth (Protr. 12.120.4).
ὦ πᾶσαι μὲν εἰκόνες, οὐ πᾶσαι δὲ ἐμφερεῖς· διορθώσασθαι ὑμᾶς πρὸς τὸ ἀρχέτυπον βούλομαι, ἵνα
μοι καὶ ὅμοιοι γένησθε
All of you are images, but not all of you resemble your archetype; I want to restore you to order,
so that you may become like me.
In his interpretation of καθ᾽ ὁμοίωσιν, Clement starts from the same premise as Philo did: not all
images faithfully imitate their models. But the conclusions that they reach are different. Philo offers
a “static” interpretation, arguing καθ᾽ ὁμοίωσιν is added to κατ᾽ εἰκόνα precisely in order to emphasize
that Gen 1:26–7 refers to images that accurately resemble the Logos. Clement, on the other hand,
offers a “dynamic” interpretation, claiming that human beings are imperfect images of the Logos and
that their goal is to set themselves right and to become like their model.
This survey of the Platonizing interpretations of Gen 1:26–7 allows me to take a step forward
in the interpretation of saying 83. Since this saying is familiar with the Platonist dialectic of mundane
and paradigmatic images and since this saying also alludes to the Biblical concept of God’s image, it
seems reasonable to conclude that Thomas shares its understanding of Gen 1:26–7 with Philo and
Clement and interprets εἰκὼν θεοῦ as the paradigmatic image after which humanity was created.
11.4. The Meaning of Thomas 83:1
It is now possible to proceed to the interpretation of saying 83. The structure of the saying is
antithetic; its two parts are set against each other, the first dealing with the mundane images, the
second with the paradigmatic images. I begin with the first part. Thomas 83:1 consists of three
statements: (1) there are images that are manifest to the humankind (there can be little doubt that
ŁŃőĹĩ is used in the collective sense; cf. the discussion ofേıijĵőĻ below); (2) there is light within
these images; (3) this light is concealed “in the image.” Let us discuss these statements one by one.
(1) First of all, it seems reasonable to suggest that Thomas 83:1 makes use of the Platonist
metaphysical vocabulary and employs the term ĻƙijĵőĻേ (*εἰκόνες) in the sense of the sensible
854
Cf. Runia 2001, 233.
205
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