Whose Image Was It?

Q. In Genesis 1: 26 God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” Then in Genesis 1: 27 it says So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

I know there is only one God and I believe in the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. But who does he mean by “Our Image & Our likeness”? (When ever you use our it normally means more than one) but then verse 27 says “So God created man in His own image”? Can you also clarify the terms “Our Image & Our likeness” as well?

A. Solving the apparent contradiction between “Our image” and “His image” is a matter of understanding who was speaking and to whom. The Hebrew word for God in Genesis 1 is Elohim, a plural word, because God is actually three entities in one; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Genesis 1:26 Moses was quoting God who said, “Let us make man in our image”. Since man had not been created yet, God was speaking to Himself.

In Genesis 1:27 Moses was referring to God as one, the way all men do, when he wrote, “So God created man in His image.” Moses was writing to us.

The Hebrew words translated “image” and “likeness” are very similar and can be used interchangeably. They are basically saying the same thing, which is that man was created to resemble God.

In Genesis 5:3 we see that after the fall Adam had a son in his own image and likeness. This tells us all subsequent humans bear the fallen image of Adam, contaminated with what we call the “sin nature”.

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