Image of God

Question

If man is made in the image of God, in whose image is woman made?

Answer

Genesis 1:26 - 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.

Good Bible understanding comes from careful Bible reading. Sometimes this includes reading several translations to get the sense of what is being said. In this case the term “man” is being used of the species, not just the male, as we see in the very next verse.

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

“Man” is made up “male and female”. We can see this again a few chapters later:

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.

Several translations make the Genesis 1 passage clearer than the KJV, such as the NET:

Genesis 1:26-27 - Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.” God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.

The NET has an interesting Translation Note (tn) pertaining to the Hebrew word they translated as “mankind” (newer copies of the NET have “humankind”):

tn.: The Hebrew word is 'adam, which can sometimes refer to man, as opposed to woman. The term refers here to humankind, comprised of male and female. The singular is clearly collective (see the plural verb, "[that] they may rule" in Gen 1:26 (i.e., Genesis 1:26b)) and the referent is defined specifically as "male and female" in Gen 1:27. Usage elsewhere in Genesis 1-11 supports this as well. In Gen 5:2 we read: "Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and called their name 'humankind' ('adam)." The noun also refers to humankind in Gen 6:1, 5-7 and in Gen 9:5-6.

Written by Matthew Smith