God’s offspring, not a work of art (Acts 17:29)

“As we are

God’s offspring.

We ought not

To think

That God

Is like gold,

Or silver,

Or stone,

Of a sculptured image

Formed by

The art

And imagination

Of mortals.”

γένος οὖν ὑπάρχοντες τοῦ Θεοῦ οὐκ ὀφείλομεν νομίζειν, χρυσῷ ἢ ἀργύρῳ ἢ λίθῳ, χαράγματι τέχνης καὶ ἐνθυμήσεως ἀνθρώπου, τὸ Θεῖον εἶναι ὅμοιον.

The author of Acts indicated that Paul said that they were all God’s offspring (γένος οὖν ὑπάρχοντες τοῦ Θεοῦ), therefore they should not think (οὐκ ὀφείλομεν νομίζειν) that God or the divine being is like (τὸ Θεῖον εἶναι ὅμοιον) gold (χρυσῷ), silver (ἢ ἀργύρῳ), or stone (ἢ λίθῳ), in a sculptured image (χαράγματι) formed by the art or craft (τέχνης) and imagination (καὶ ἐνθυμήσεως) of mortals (ἀνθρώπου).  Paul now said that they should condemn idolatry, since they were all from God.  We are all children of God, his offspring, almost pantheistic.  They should not think that God could come from human art and imagination in images of gold, silver, or stone.  God was too great to be confined to human artifacts or idols.  Paul fell back on the image of God as too great to be confined by human artists, as in the Jewish tradition of anti-idols.  Is there their any human image that can depict God?

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