(1 Cor. 9:24-27) Outstanding is the illustration of the olive tree, with its warning against complacency and its admonition to Christians to perform sacred service to God with their power of reason.—Rom. 11:13-32; 12:1, 2.
Jesus’ half-brother James nicely wove into his writing common circumstances of daily life, referring to a man looking in a mirror, the bridle of a horse, the rudder of a ship, and so forth, to drive home spiritual truths. (Jas. 1:23, 24; 3:3, 4) Peter and Jude drew heavily on earlier inspired writings for incidents to illustrate the message that they were moved by holy spirit to convey. All these fine illustrations, directed by the spirit of God, serve their purpose toward making God’s Word the Bible a living book.
A Roman province with varying boundaries that roughly corresponded to what is today western Yugoslavia on the Adriatic Sea. Numerous low islands lie parallel to the coast of this region, and behind the pleasant, long and narrow coastal plain rises a chain of rugged mountains. A harsh climate prevails in the dry, stony plateau constituting most of this mountain chain.
After three years of fighting, Emperor Tiberius completely subdued the Dalmatians in 9 C.E., and Dalmatia, Iapydia and Liburnia became the Roman province of Illyricum. The name of the southern portion, “Dalmatia,” eventually came to designate the entire province.
At Romans 15:19 the apostle Paul speaks of preaching in a circuit “as far as Illyricum.” Whether the original Greek is to be understood to mean that Paul actually preached in or merely up to Illyricum cannot be established with certainty.
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Any representation or likeness of a person or thing.—Matt. 22:20.
Whereas references to images in the Bible frequently relate to idolatry, this is not always the case. God, in creating man, said first, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” (Gen. 1:26, 27) Since God’s Son stated that his Father is “a Spirit,” this rules out any physical likeness between God and man. (John 4:24) Rather, man had qualities reflecting or mirroring those of his heavenly Maker, qualities that positively distinguished man from the animal creation. (See ADAM.) Though in the image of his Creator, man was not made to be an object of worship or veneration.
Even as Adam’s own son Seth (born to him in his imperfection, however) was in Adam’s “likeness, in his image” (Gen. 5:3), Adam’s likeness to God originally identified him as God’s earthly son. (Luke 3:38) Despite man’s fall to imperfection, the fact of mankind’s originally having been made in God’s image was cited after the Noachian flood as the basis for the divine law authorizing humans to serve as executioners in putting murderers to death. (Gen. 9:5, 6; see AVENGER OF BLOOD.) In Christian instructions concerning feminine head covering, Christian men were told they ought not to wear such a covering, since the man “is God’s image and glory,” while the woman is man’s glory.—1 Cor. 11:7.
God’s firstborn Son, who later became the man Jesus, is in his Father’s image. (2 Cor. 4:4) Inasmuch as that Son was obviously the one to whom God spoke in saying, “Let us make man in our image,” this likeness of the Son to his Father, the Creator, existed from the start of the Son’s creation. (Gen. 1:26; John 1:1-3; Col. 1:15, 16) When on earth as a perfect man, he reflected his Father’s qualities and personality to the fullest extent possible within human limitations, so that he could say that “he that has seen me has seen the Father also.” (John 14:9; 5:17, 19, 30, 36; 8:28, 38, 42) This likeness, however, was certainly heightened at the time of Jesus’ resurrection to spirit life and his being granted “all authority . . . in heaven and on the earth” by his Father, Jehovah God. (1 Pet. 3:18; Matt. 28:18) Since God then exalted Jesus to “a superior position,” God’s Son now reflected his Father’s glory to an even greater degree than he had before leaving the heavens to come to earth. (Phil. 2:9; Heb. 2:9) He is now the “exact representation of [God’s] very being.”—Heb. 1:2-4.
All anointed members of the Christian congregation are foreordained by God to be “patterned after the image of his Son.” (Rom. 8:29) Christ Jesus is their model, not only in their life pattern, as they follow in his footsteps and imitate his course and ways, but also in their death and resurrection. (1 Pet. 2:21-24; 1 Cor. 11:1; Rom. 6:5.) Having borne the earthly “image of the one made of dust [Adam],” as spirit creatures they thereafter bear “the image of the heavenly one [the last Adam, Christ Jesus].” (1 Cor. 15:45, 49) During their earthly life, they are privileged to “reflect like mirrors the glory of Jehovah” that shines to them from God’s Son, being progressively transformed into the image conveyed by that glory-reflecting Son. (2 Cor. 3:18; 4:6) God thereby creates in them a new personality, one that is a reflection or image of His own divine qualities.—Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10.
Certain objects, formed in the image of plants, flowers, animals, and even of cherubs, were made at Jehovah’s command and hence were proper. While serving as symbolic representations in connection with God’s worship, they themselves were given no veneration or worship, as in the matter of prayer or sacrifice. In this regard, see IDOL, IDOLATRY.