3

I saw in a comment someone say God created men (human males) in His image, but not women in His image (although He did create women), and He gave men not women dominion. That statement got several downvotes without comment. But seems it may be true if we are being honest to the text of Gen 1. However, I am new to even looking at Herbew, let alone interpreting it. Any honest, educated opinions based on the text not one’s preferences:

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man (אָדָ֛ם) in our image, after our likeness: and let them (them inherent in וְיִרְדּוּ֩)[them ones just mentioned] have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man ( הָֽאָדָם֙) in his own image, in the image of God created he him (אֹתֹ֑ו זָכָ֥ר)

He created them (אֹתָֽם׃) [them ones just mentioned] and female (וּנְקֵבָ֖ה) “

————

Full Hebrew below. Right away, it seems at the end of 27 that female would not need to be explicitly added to what was created if females were included all along. Before that, even the English seems to be saying just males (him in 27, “he him” (אֹתֹ֑ו זָכָ֥ר)). In 26, it would depend upon whether אָדָ֛ם can (not must) mean only men (if it can mean either only men or both men and women, or if it can only mean men, then the totality of the passages means He only created males in His image; if אָדָ֛ם can ONLY mean both men and women, then we have some contradiction and a debate).

Secondly, this is starting to appear (not 100% sure) that some bibles flat-out mistranslate when they use “mankind” as what has been created in His image. One might wonder about intention vs accident there. Also, 27 does not end with “He created them, male and female”. Thats simply a mistranslation. It says, “He created them [them ones just mentioned], and females”.

Bonus question: why the difference between these for “man” in 26 and 27 ‎אָדָ֛ם
‎ הָֽאָדָם֙

Bonus bonuses: We might consider the sex of God in this question as well. Does anyone know if people assign male or female or neither to the Godhead in light of Father and Son being male and Holy Spirit being neither? Idk. Technically there is no femaleness in any part of the trinity (HS being “neither”, not “both”). Correct? Then again, is it Godhead who is doing the creating or rather God the Father? Idk. Seems God the Father wouldnt be making a female “in His image”, or does it? ———-

26 ‎וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֔ים נַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה אָדָ֛ם בְּצַלְמֵ֖נוּ כִּדְמוּתֵ֑נוּ וְיִרְדּוּ֩ בִדְגַ֨ת הַיָּ֜ם וּבְעֹ֣וף הַשָּׁמַ֗יִם וּבַבְּהֵמָה֙ וּבְכָל־הָאָ֔רֶץ וּבְכָל־הָרֶ֖מֶשׂ הָֽרֹמֵ֥שׂ עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃

27 ‎וַיִּבְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים אֶת־הָֽאָדָם֙ בְּצַלְמֹ֔ו בְּצֶ֥לֶם אֱלֹהִ֖ים בָּרָ֣א אֹתֹ֑ו זָכָ֥ר וּנְקֵבָ֖ה בָּרָ֥א אֹתָֽם׃

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4

Are only Males (Man) made in the image of God and not Women?

Well, Yes and also no. I used to be in agreement with the other commenters that man in verse 1:26 should be understood asexually as humanity and that there is no difference in the inherent image-bearing nature of either male or female humans...

That was until I noticed that Paul didn't seem to share this view:

1 Corinthians 11:7-9 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.

So... clearly there is a difference in image-bearing nature of men and women. This is consistent with the fact that the husband is by decree (only because of biology) the head of the wife in the family (Eph 5:22-24) and that women are not permitted to have religious authority over men (1 Tim 2:12). There are even more such distinctions in the Old Testament.

But let us also not forget what else that the Apostles say about the equality between the sexes:

Acts 2:17-18 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.

And

1 Peter 3:7 7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

And also

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

So clearly here because women are also able to house the Spirit of God, take part with men in the inheritance, and will ultimately have no distinction with men, let alone the fact that they are a part of what is called humanity, they are made in the image of God even if it is to a lesser degree.

So, Overall it seems that only the male is directly made in the image of God and women less directly by virtue of the created order. BUT in the inheritance, there is no distinction between male and female when we will be fully united with Christ (for now we've only been betrothed and not married - 2 Cor 11:1). So today it seems that women as a biological category have a derivative and less direct capacity to image God, but in the future, there will be no biological limit.

Note: While this seems fundamentally unfair that such a distinction is made by luck of birth, consider the priestly class of the Old Testament. By luck of birth, only the Levites were able to image God as priests to Israel. This didn't make any other clan less valuable in the sight of God, but never the less, only the chance of biology made the distinction between who could serve in the temple in the presence of God and who could not.

5
  • 1
    This is a great answer--thoughtful--worthy of +vote. One point that might be considered in line with the matter of the "luck of birth" comments is that either way, God has used "genetics" as a means to instill in each--Adam and Eve, and all "drawers" to said luck of birth by them--a "conscience" notwithstanding their luck of birth. That conscience can, if heeded, draw every man, woman, and child to the Savior, Jesus Christ while dividing to each their own responsible eternal spirit. BTW, I am not saying which gender is the lucky one because I don't know. As a man, I thank God for the woman. May 10 at 12:51
  • Thanks, Bill for your complement and for your perspective. I think that such a discussion about the state of people before their birth with respect to assignments and the such go beyond what I'm willing to opine publicly about, but is quite interesting. Thank you.
    – Austin
    May 10 at 16:05
  • @AlBrown, Hi. when I mentioned assignment, it was in reference to Bill Porter's notions of what God does before person is brought into this world. It was not in reference to gender expression.
    – Austin
    May 11 at 5:06
  • Austin, ok i see about assignment. Secondly, just re-read your answer and it is indeed very good, on such a controversial topic. Gonna take some of those ideas and even wording. BILL: yes that conscience “can draw everyone to God”. We are all infinitely below God and can be saved. That matters more than what sex we are and our “image”. God bless you both this has been helpful in ways I cant explain.
    – Al Brown
    May 14 at 17:20
  • @AlBrown, Thank you for your kind words. Glory to God and His Word.
    – Austin
    May 15 at 8:39
1

English Standard Version Genesis 1:26a

Then God said, “Let us make man [H120] in our image, after our likeness.

Genesis 9:6

“Whoever sheds the blood of man [H120 adam], by man [H120] shall his blood be shed, for God made man [H120] in his own image.

H120 could be a male or a female.

this is starting to appear (not 100% sure) that some bibles flat-out mistranslate when they use “mankind” as what has been created in His image.

Brown-Driver-Briggs

1 a man (= German Mensch) = human being ...

2 collective man, mankind

why the difference between these for “man” in 26 and 27 ‎אָדָ֛ם ‎ הָֽאָדָם֙

In verse 27, the definite article is attached to "man": adam vs ha adam

Literal Standard Version

26And God says, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness, and let them rule over [the] fish of the sea, and over [the] bird of the heavens, and over livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that is creeping on the earth.” 27And God creates the man in His image; in the image of God He created him, a male and a female He created them.

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  • 1
    But we still have that the end of 27 does not say “He created them, male and female”, regardless of some English versions saying that. 27 says “God created man... He created them, and also females.” Meaning אֹתָֽם׃ must be referring to הָֽאָדָם֙ as males. You didnt address that, but.... Even more clear is “God created he him (אֹתֹ֑ו זָכָ֥ר)” , in the middle of 27. you didnt address that either
    – Al Brown
    May 9 at 15:52
  • I didn't use the word "must". You did.
    – Tony Chan
    May 9 at 15:56
  • Ok I see. I do appreciate your reply. Yes I used must. And explained why it is a must: the end of 27 does not say “He created them, male and female”, regardless of some English versions saying that. 27 says “God created man... So God created man ( הָֽאָדָם֙) in his own image, in the image of God created he him (אֹתֹ֑ו זָכָ֥ר“ And then: “He created them, and also females.” Meaning אֹתָֽם׃ must be referring to הָֽאָדָם֙ as males. What you wrote for 27 at the end is off. “He created them, AND females” wherein ‘them’ which refers to ‘man’ meaning that particular use of ‘man’ must be male.
    – Al Brown
    May 11 at 0:14
  • We also have the MIDDLE of 27 being ignored “in the image of God created he him (אֹתֹ֑ו זָכָ֥ר)”. God bless
    – Al Brown
    May 11 at 0:24
  • What did I write for 27? Did I contradict you anywhere? If yes, show me the two contradictory propositions: mine and yours.
    – Tony Chan
    May 11 at 13:28
1

Biblically speaking, the answer to this question is quite simple: No.

Both males and females were created in the image of God.

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Genesis 1:27)

"Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created." (Genesis 5:2)

The words "man" and "Adam" in those two verses are of the same Hebrew word "אָדָ֔ם". The only difference between them in the Hebrew sentences is that in Genesis 1:27 the word occurs as a specified definite direct object, indicating the importance of the word "man" (in Hebrew, a common noun might not be definite, whereas a proper name will always be definite) which had not been defined yet as a name. In Genesis 5:2 the word "Adam" occurs in a Hebrew construct chain where two nouns are linked, and this follows the direct-object marker "et" making the whole chain definite. Because it is definite already, the definite article (the) is not necessary to be prefixed to the word "Adam", and is, therefore, absent.

In terms of significance, the two verses are using the very same word. In both cases, the word "man/Adam" appears in masculine singular form--which is instructive, because God has declared that He made both of them in His image and has called them "Adam." In other words, God sees them as "one flesh" (singular). "Adam" was the name God had given to both of them; the male portion of this "Adam" had given his wife the name "Eve"--but her name was not given by God.

God called them "Adam" and says that "Adam" was created in His image.

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  • Okay, so you're saying that God created man/Adam in his own image, but what about women/Eve?
    – nick012000
    May 10 at 6:46
  • 1
    @nick012000 To God, the name "Adam" included both the male and the female. It is even possible to interpret that without both of them, the image would have been incomplete; but I generally see the "image" as being God's perfect, sinless, character--which both Adam and Eve possessed from the time they were created until they had sinned. Therefore, yes, both man and woman were created in God's image.
    – Polyhat
    May 10 at 7:30
  • Yes Adam can mean males, or all humans. The context shows it means males. Because end of 27 does not say “He created them, male and female”, regardless of some English versions saying that. 27 says “God created man... So God created man ( הָֽאָדָם֙) in his own image, in the image of God created he him (אֹתֹ֑ו זָכָ֥ר“ And then end of 27: “He created them, and also females.” Meaning אֹתָֽם׃ must be referring to הָֽאָדָם֙ as males. What you wrote for 27 at the end is off. “He created them, AND females” wherein ‘them’ which refers to ‘man’ meaning that particular use of ‘man’ must be male.
    – Al Brown
    May 14 at 17:23
  • So there are two ways, both in Gen 1:27 that we know is males. First it says it explicitly in the middle of 27 “in the image of God created he him (אֹתֹ֑ו זָכָ֥ר)”. And then also as mentioned they wouldnt write “He created them AND females” if the “them” includes females (re the end of 1/27). The mistranslations at the end “he created them, male and female” is either accidental or with agenda. Cor 11:7 says it even MORE clearly. And lastly God is generally called male, so anyone made in His image would be male.
    – Al Brown
    May 14 at 17:27
  • @AlBrown My advice would be to learn more Hebrew. You will find that the word "them" which you are wishing to say means "females" is simply the masculine plural form of the direct object marker, and is properly translated as "them." Being masculine does not mean it refers to males only; it means it refers to a plurality which includes at least one male. Hebrew, in this sense, is like Spanish: if you have a room full of women, and not a single man present, you will use the feminine pronoun; but a room with 500 women + 1 man means the masculine pronoun is required.
    – Polyhat
    May 14 at 17:45
0

Unfortunately or otherwise, the Bible says that God created male humans in His image, and does not say the same about female humans. God also created females. I have no opinion to express about that fact.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man (אָדָ֛ם) in our image, after our likeness: and let them (them inherent in וְיִרְדּוּ֩)[them ones just mentioned] have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man ( הָֽאָדָם֙) in his own image, in the image of God created he him (אֹתֹ֑ו זָכָ֥ר) He created them (אֹתָֽם׃) [them ones just mentioned] and female (וּנְקֵבָ֖ה) “

A. While אָדָ֛ם (and as a direct object הָֽאָדָם֙ ) can mean either “all the people” (like “mankind”) or “all the males”, it by itself conveys no distinction and does not answer the question either way.

B. “God created he him (אֹתֹ֑ו זָכָ֥ר)” is more explicit and does convey a distinction.

C. At the end of 27, female would not need to be explicitly added to what was created if females had been included all along. (Avoid grabbing English mistranslations, the Hebrew says, “He created them, AND females” and not “He created them, male and female”. “Them” refers to whom has just been discussed as having been created in His image and having dominion. Adding “and females” indicates they aren’t in the “them”.)

D. 1 Corinthians 11:7 is hard to get around

7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. (8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.).

I would have thought the default assumption would be that God The Father not The Parent created males in His image and we would need clarity in the other direction to alter that assumption. But, it doesn’t matter; the text is so clear that no initial assumption is needed. From everything Ive seen, this cannot be sincerely and honestly debated by anyone who has all the facts. It IS however vigorously debated by people who either don’t have all the facts or who are not debating sincerely. We need to ask if we want to translate honestly or not, despite desires about what we wish it said.

3
  • I like your energy. I just can't get behind your point C. I'm looking at a Hebrew/English interlinear and it literally translates as "male and female (both adjectives) he created them (the direct object)."
    – Austin
    Jul 18 at 8:06
  • I took another look, and I think I might be seeing what you might be seeing. It might be a little confusing reading the interlinear when the Hebrew is read from right to left, but the English translations of individual words are still left to right. If I squint and read the verse as a whole from left to right, I can see how you came to your conclusion. But if I read it from right to left (while noting that individual compound words are translated left to right), I get the traditional English reading.
    – Austin
    Jul 18 at 8:16
  • 1
    My own understanding is that the 'image of God' is the Christ : that which would be born to Mary. Adam was made in the likeness of Him who would come in the future. Adam is the figure of 'the coming one' Romans 5:14.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 1 at 0:33
-1

This is the great question that needs truthful answers. Those answers cannot be answered by refusing to acknowledge the truthfulness of the Author of all truth of words--the WORD of God. You cannot ignore the difference between His words, "created", "made", "formed", and "established". Biblical Hermeneutics demands accountability to those words. Notwithstanding the common 21st century habit of treating these four special words carelessly interchangeably is all too common in spite of Isaiah 45:18:

For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

and, in spite of Isaiah 43:7:

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

For example, God uses the Hebrew word bara' (create/created) (in Chapter-One of Genesis to show that He had brought something new--never before existing in any "form"--out of nothing. Clearly, God did not "create" the fleshy bodies of man, beasts, and birds out of the dust of the ground. Rather, He uses the Hebrew word, yatsar (form/formed) their physical bodies out of the already existing dust of the ground that God, Himself, had previously "formed" on Day-Three. Moreover, God did not "create" man as a living soul, He--only after completing His forming work including His forming the nostrils of man--breathed life into those nostrils and man--only then--"became a living soul". Accordingly, God uses the Hebrew word, 'asah (make/made) to show that man was "made"--not created, not formed--a living soul.

So the OP's question is right on point. Clearly, this question requires an answer to the questions, "What did God create, what did God make, and what did God form concerning the completed mankind?

Using the KJV, Gen 1:26 reveals the "expressed" plan of God by the WORD of God, who was with God, and who was God, to accomplish the complete "making of man" in God's image and after God's likeness.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

However, the very next verse told us ONLY about the very first step of God's complete "making" of man, telling us ONLY about the "created" part of man.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (My emphasis)

Does this mean that God had a flesh and blood body at that time? Clearly NO, because we see that only later--at a certain point in time--was that same Spirit WORD (who was always with God and who was God) was"made flesh"** when He was "made" the Son of God of the seed of David according to the flesh, as shown in Romans 1:3:

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

Clearly, Jesus Christ had a beginning as the very Son of God by being "made" of the seed of David--this day Have I begotten thee. The word, "which" (Strongs NT 3588)--not "who"--clearly indicates that this verse is speaking about the Son-ship of The Word of God. Jesus could not save mankind except that He became the Son of man. By becoming the Son of man through Mary, Fathered by the Holy Spirit of God, Jesus could stand in our place as our Savior. He could take our punishment as a Son of man for sin, and still forgive sinners as the righteous God that He is.

The WORD of God's becoming a Son of man is inseparably linked to Jesus' completion of becoming the Savior, who was always an eternal Spirit--an operational capacity and person of the duality of the Almighty Spirit God, and was additionally--at a certain point in time--made to be like the mankind that the plurality Godhead had previously created, made, and formed.

WAS ADAM AND EVE CREATED?

What about Adam? What was created in verse 27? What was Adam's likeness by reason of his specific creation? Since God was not Flesh and blood at that time, Adam's created likeness could not have been as a flesh and blood being. Moreover, Adam could not have been a living soul without the breath of life in his nostrils--nostrils that had not yet been formed. God's image at the time of Adam's "creation" was in God's own image--at that time a duality spirit consisting of more than one Spiritual Operative Capacity, which included the WORD of God who was with God, and who was God.

Well, then, Adam would have also been a plurality spirit--male and female--and God would have had to have called them, "Adam"--NOT Adam and Eve, just like the verse before (v26) where the WORD of God Himself called the plurality God, "us".

That is EXACTLY what we find in verse 27, attributable to ONLY "their created state". He did not name them Adam and Eve. He only named them "Adam" at the "creation stage" of God's complete making of Adam, as we see in Genesis 5:1-2:

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

So Adam was "created" as a plural spirit having both male and female operational spirits--in the image of the plural-operational Spirit God.

Then, after being created a plural spirit, an earthy body was prepared for Adam, as we see in that portion of Genesis that deals with the details of "forming" of things that are of the earth, earthy--the generations of the heavens and the earth--Genesis 2:7:

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

So first, that being named "Adam" was "created male and female" out of nothing. Then second, that male-and-female Adam was "formed" of the dust of the ground. Then third, after the male-and-female Adam's nostrils had been formed, that male-and female-Adam was "made" a living soul. BUT THERE IS MORE TO GOD's SPECIAL NARRATIVE.

While still only a male-and-female Adam, God put the male-and-female Adam in the Garden of Eden, gave him the blessing of the trees of the garden as well as the commandment concerning tree of knowledge of good and evil. And still, while still only a male-and-female-Adam, he was given the task to name all cattle, fowl of the air, and beast of the field, which he did. But there was no physical help meet for him (Gen 2:20). They had already been blessed and told to multiply, but spirits can't marry or multiply. Adam needed help--quickly. Adam was a spirit--already been created. Adam was a living soul--already a body having the breath of the living God. But there was no body prepared for a help meet for Adam. A woman was required to help old earthy Adam enjoy the blessings God had promised him.

Gen 2:21-22 provided that woman using the process of "forming" EVE. This forming process, a marvelous example of God's understanding of "GENETICS", right here in "Genesis", shows that God "made" a woman, using the created plural spirit, the formed body, and the living soul of Adam. God's brilliance and understanding enabled Him to accomplish the making of a "temporary" help meet--only until the resurrection of mankind unto eternal life, or to judgment. At that time, neither the male nor the female spirit will be bound by marriage, but rather will be each equally free to either worship God, or to receive justice for refusal to believe God.

Is it any wonder that God chose the woman to be the very help meet of God, Himself, to accomplish the preparation of the body that He (the plurality Spirit God) prepared for Himself, as in Heb 10:5?:

Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: (My emphasis)

WHAT A PLAN. WHAT A CREATOR. WHAT A MOTHER'S DAY GIFT!

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  • 1
    Hmmmm an interesting view however it makes some outrageously bad assumptions and then seeks to use those assumptions as a basis for further reference. That is circular and poor academics. Adam and Eve were absolutely not first created as spirits! Your own referencing prior to this statement clearly says, God formed Adam out of the dust of the earth THEN he breathed the breath of life into his nostrils. Moses goes on further to say, God made Adam fall into a sleep and the took a rib from him forming Eve. Logic says God, after forming Eve, then breathed the breath of life into her nostrils.
    – Adam
    May 10 at 0:26
  • The problem with infecting God made their spirits first is that it potentially opens the gateway to predestination. Whilst yes God holds all spirit internally, we are not manufactured preprogrammed robots! I think the reason for the ambiguity is that God allowed Adam to name her. Adam called her Eve for she was taken out of him. "She would become the mother of all living". (Gen 3:20)
    – Adam
    May 10 at 0:28
  • Two points. Firsly: Lev 17:11 demands: "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: ... . Adam knew the woman, Eve, was bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh.. . The life of the flesh of Adam was already in the blood of Eve. No need for a second "breathing", because she was life-filled flesh of Adam's live flesh Secondly: Nothing is said about pre-programming Eve, or any other. In fact, just the opposite is revealed because God holds every spirit, body, and soul, male and female, accountable for the sin of man, and provides an offering for "grace" to every soul, male and female May 10 at 2:29
  • @Adam God didn’t make their spirits first - he made ‘Man’ first - chapter 1 - BUT ... man is spirit. That’s what was created in chapter 1. So it’s not that man ‘has’ a spirit - it’s that man is a spirit. So he made man (spirit/soul) first, then [in chapter 2] gave man a body. [or rather ‘put’ man into a living body]. Man became a living soul. I know you won’t accept this view, I’m simply correcting the way you are presenting it.
    – Dave
    May 10 at 2:41
  • 1
    @Bill, apologies for stepping in - I should have stayed out. And yes, I needed to be more careful about how I used make/create - because I think? [if I’m understanding correctly] that in essence that I agree with you. Anyway, I’ll leave this here. Cheers!
    – Dave
    May 10 at 3:09

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