The Creation of Man
God planned the creation of man and said,“Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule.”
The word for image in Hebrew is tselem and the word for likeness is demuth. These two words are basically synonyms in the Old Testament (5:1; 9:6). Tselem refers to a shaped or fashioned figure or image. Some people have tried to interpret this word as referring the physical aspect of man. Demuth describes the abstract idea of something being similar to something else. This word has been used to try to identify the immaterial part of man. The combination of these two words is an attempt to communicate the complex nature of reproducing a replica of the eternal God in the created world. The focus of this verse is to introduce man as a unique creation made to be like God so as to be able to relate to God and interact with God in a very personal way. Human dignity comes from this very idea.
The image of God in man means several things:
- Man’s body is used to express the image and likeness of God that is in man.
Man does not simply live in a body – the body is part of the man and will be
resurrected as an eternal, spiritual body because man continues to exist for
- Living existence is part of man’s essential being. Since God is living, so is man.
Worship of stone and gold as an idol is therefore absurd.
- The free will of man is like God’s free will in that man can use his intelligence and
his ability to make decisions to control the outcome of the world of which he was
- Since the original man was like God, he could relate to, interact with, understand,
and be at peace with God himself.
Sin did not erase, destroy or eliminate the image and likeness of God in man (1 Cor. 11:7). Sin did not undo the creation of man. The image of God in man was corrupted in a limited fashion which caused him to lose perfect relations, interaction, understanding and peace with God. Even after the fall of Adam, man continued to be an intelligent being with freewill that could interact with the physical world through his body and have dominion in God’s creation. Man could still interact with God, but all of these aspects of man had been damaged.
Man was an instantaneous creation of God himself. Evolution is a false philosophical theory that will continue to be undermined by difficult and impossible scientific facts as technology and knowledge continue to advance. Scripture does not support evolution in the context of the biblical creation account. The Bible does not allow for man to evolve from the animals. It is very clear that Eve did not evolve since she was a second human creation of God. We can test the meaning of “dust” from Genesis 2:7 when it says “the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the earth.” Could this possibly be an allegorical reference to man’s evolving from an animal? The meaning of dust in the mind of the author is not allegorical, since in Genesis 3:19 Adam is told that when he die he will “return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” If dust were an allegorical reference to evolution from animals then men should be turning back into animals when they die. The very fact that men return to dust when they die is an unavoidable indicator that the early verses of Genesis are literal and not allegorical.