26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image (tseh’-lem), after our likeness (dem-ooth’).
from an unused root meaning to shade; a phantom, i.e. (figuratively) illusion, resemblance; hence, a representative figure, especially an idol:–image, vain shew.
from ‘damah’ (1819); resemblance; concretely, model, shape; adverbially, like:–fashion, like (-ness, as), manner, similitude.
i, too, am interested in this stuff — both in what all it is supposed to mean (as in, what god thinks of this) and what all meanings we humans have brought to it.
as for me, i think something like this: anything you find in human beings, love, hate, joy, jealousy, anger, longing to be accepted, remorse, ect… you find in the god in who’s likeness we were created.
i do not believe it means god is primate-shaped, but that this passage is primarily about the condition of our souls
i believe that which is “sin” is a distortion of the similar (prototype?) object in god, and through the help of god’s spirit and discipline of following jesus’ teachings, we can be transformed so that our presently fallen (distorted) nature becomes more and more like his — less and less sin.