The finger of God

On the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, Michelangelo depicts God as a corporeal being reaching out his right hand with one finger almost touching that of the first man, Adam, who is lying on the earth. The effect on the viewer of this allegorical portrayal of the Creation is often electrifying. The vision of a freshly created world is spread out before him. Man is being endowed with life! The viewer might almost expect to see a vital spark flashing from the finger tip of this symbolic representation of Deity to that of the recumbent man.

The painting possibly was the artist's honest conception of God—as it doubtless was of many Christians of the Middle Ages. Certainly it was imaginary, since no one has ever seen the creator with mortal eyes. See John 1:18; Today an ever greater number of Bible students are coming to understand that God is Spirit, having no physical characteristics at all, and that His creation, man, is made in His likeness and must therefore be spiritual. Mortal, material man is not that likeness.

Uncovering error
September 4, 1978

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