Die Gottebenbildlichkeit im Alten Ägypten und im Alten Testament

Translated title of the contribution: The image of God in ancient Egypt and the Old Testament

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


In this study of primarily the king, but also man as the image of god, the source material is very predominantly drawn from the world of the living, the funerary literature as a separate genre being left aside: royal and temple inscriptions and autobiographies of private persons (hymns, prayers and instructions only occasionally) up to the N.K. (a few also later). The following chapters 2-7 deal with the various words for the concept of king and man as the image of god, subsequently twtw and Xnti, Ssp, sSmw, snn, mity/twt/tt, and tit. In these chapters the author discusses their etymology and meaning, primarily in the royal theology, and the contents of the source material. The results are summarized in chapter 8. The author sets forth that the choice of the words is rather dependent on the function and essence of the image than on visible criteria and points out the differences, e.g. sSmw as the cult statue of the god, carried in procession, but essentially of a hidden character. This entails that in the case of the king as image of god there is referred to his function, not to his appearance. The concepts are then classified: 1. twtw, Xnti, Ssp and sSmw designate the king as concrete image of the supreme god, representing him on earth; 2. snn, mity/tt and tit also refer to private persons and express, often through a metaphor, close resemblance in essence and acts, but also identification with other gods too. In this connection the author discusses the conception of the king as image and equal of god within the frame of the royal theology (the relation god : king); the development of the concept of the king as image of god; and the resemblance of man to god. The chapters on the concepts contain a number of excursuses deserving mention: the name Tutankhamun, problematical attestations of Xnti, the theory of the temporary housing of the god in the king (refutation of OEB 1977.0416), the meaning of sn.nw, and the king as god's tit in the Amarna theology.
Translated title of the contributionThe image of God in ancient Egypt and the Old Testament
Original languageGerman
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Tubingen
  • Brunner, Hellmut, Supervisor, External person
Place of PublicationWiesbaden
Print ISBNs3447025131, 9783447025133
Publication statusPublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes


  • image of God
  • imago dei
  • ancient Egyptian kingship


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