Introduction to and Summary of the 5 Article Series “And God said: Let us make Adam in Our image”.
My 5 article series plus the two appendices are my detailed explanation of Genesis 1 to 5 and of what the text means by the image of God and hence of man and woman.
This is the summarised version.
I am proposing both a new interpretation of Genesis 1 & 2 and a new understanding of the image of God. Both are reliant on an old understanding, a New Testament understanding of the historicity of Adam, particularly in Genesis 1. In the end (in further articles) I also hope to argue and demonstrate that my interpretation of Genesis 1 & 2 and new understanding of the image of God are in fact the (or at the least consistent with) interpretation and understanding of the New Testament.
So the following is my thesis. What I am proposing is that
- In Genesis 1, the Hebrew words “adam” and “ha-adam” refer specifically to the historical real unique person Adam.
2. The image of God refers primarily and specifically to this same Adam. It is Adam who is made in the image of God. It is not (primarily) generic or corporate man or mankind who is made in the image of God.
3. Genesis 1 raises a parallel issue in regard to both man and God. How can one person be both a singularity (a single person) and a plurality (multiple persons) at the same time? Adam is spoken of as “him” yet is also spoken of as “them …male and female”. How can Adam be both a singularity and a gendered duality? God refers to Himself as “Us …Our” yet is spoken of as “He …. His”. How can God be both a singularity and a plurality? This is a riddle. It is a seeming non-sense. How can one be two? This is where the text of Genesis 1 purposely leaves us, without an answer. However, it does tell us where to find the answer.
4. In Genesis 1, the introduction of the image of God theme tells us that the answer to the riddle of how both man and God can each be both singular and plural is to be found (at this stage in salvation/creation history) in Adam, by looking at him, by understanding who he is, for Adam is the image of God. As we understand who Adam is, we will understand the answer to the riddle and since Adam is the image of God, then we will understand who God is.
5. In Genesis 2, we are given an in-depth look at Adam and so it is in Genesis 2 where we find our answer to the riddle of Genesis 1. We see in Genesis 2 how Adam is the image of God, how Adam can be both a singularity and a plurality, a gendered duality.
6. In Genesis 2, Adam is the one and only one created from the ground. His name means “groundy” or “groundling” “groundperson” (Hebrew “adam”) for he was made from the ground “Hebrew “adamah”). And this is his name “Groundperson” (Genesis 2:5 Hebrew “adam”). In every other reference in Genesis 2 & 3 he is continually and exclusively referred to as “the groundperson” (Hebrew “ha-adam”).
7. In Genesis 2 we find out how one (the one and only groundperson, who is Groundperson) is now in fact two. It is quite simple. Woman is taken out of the man Groundperson. Groundperson, the groundperson is no longer one person, he awakes to find that God has made him into two persons.
8. In Genesis 2 we find out that Eve (the woman) is not a ground creature. She is not created from the ground like the female animals presumably were. She is not found among the ground animals. She is not an animal and yet, she is not a groundperson, for she is not created from the ground as Adam was. For there is only one groundperson, the Groundperson. The woman is built (created) from the groundperson (Hebrew “ha-adam”) and not from the ground. She is taken out of man (“ish”) and so she is a woman (an “ishah”). Presumably the female animals were created directly from the ground, independently created to the male animals who were also created from the ground. This is not so for woman.
9. So, in Genesis 2, we also learn that “the groundperson” (who is Groundperson/Adam) is an “ish” (a man). So, the text can say both things, that she was taken out of the groundperson (ha-adam) (1:22 made from the rib taken out of ha-adam), and she was taken out of man (ish) (1:23).
10. Thus, in Genesis 2, the riddle of Genesis 1 has been solved. God has made the (one) groundperson, Groundperson, into two persons. She is made of the same material, the same substance as him, for she is made out of him. He has not been diminished in any way. He is still a groundperson, Groundperson the groundperson. He is still a man. He was never androgynous, for he was always a man. But, now there is another person, like him in that she is made from him, but different to him in that she is an “ishah” whereas he is an “ish”. Also, she is different to him in that he is made from the dust of the ground, whereas she is made from him. So, we have the one and only groundperson, Groundperson, who can also be described as in 1:27 “male and female, them”.
11. In regard to God, we have to wait till the New Testament to find out more about this, how one God can be three persons, and more about each of the persons. And we find this out as we see how the man, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the true image of God. As we see Jesus, we are seeing God as He truly is. However, in the groundperson, Groundperson we see how one can be two. So, in the groundperson, Groundperson we have a picture of what God is like as the one God who speaks as “Us …. Our” yet who is described as “He ….Him”. That picture of the groundperson, Groundperson is that his duality comes about in that there are two persons made of the same substance.
12. There are further aspects that I have not emphasized in the above 11 points. The first, I have briefly touched upon in mentioning “male and female” and that Eve is a “woman”. The duality of Adam is a gendered duality. The second that I look at in my articles is that the gendered duality is an ordered gendered duality. And further, that this ordered gendered duality is a unilateral ordered gendered duality. These aspects are discussed further in my articles.
You hopefully are realising that the understanding of Genesis 1 & 2 that I am proposing has massive ramifications. Firstly, for understanding Genesis 1 & 2 correctly. Secondly, for understanding how Genesis 1 & 2 are connected theologically. Thirdly, for understanding what is meant by the image of God. Fourthly, for understanding who God is, and particularly in regard to his singularity/plurality, that is, for understanding the triune God who is more fully revealed in the New Testament. It gives us a creational theological base that underpins the New Testament Christians and authors in their relating to and speaking of God as the three divine persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Fifth, for understanding man and woman. It gives us a creational theological base to understand the New Testament’s presentation of the relationship of man and woman as a unity through sameness in unilateral ordered gendered duality.
One final area to note that is discussed in the Articles is that our propensity to translate Genesis 1:26,27 and increasingly 2:5 and even 2:7 as “man” or “mankind” has devastating implications for our rightly understanding both who God is and who we are as man and woman and so for honouring our triune God in our lives. As we translate “adam” as “man/mankind” in Gen 1;26,27 we read Adam out of the text and we read in to the text our own definitions of “man/mankind”. As, we re-define the image of God as “man” or “mankind” rather than who it really is “Adam/Groundy” then we are creating a new image of God. As we replace Adam, we are defacing the image of God and so as we look at our own created man/mankind we are no longer seeing the image of God, and so we are taking away our opportunity to properly see who God is. In our modern world with its new definitions of man and woman, of gender or non-gender, of homo and and trans and ……….., as the church gradually and increasing takes on these new definitions of “man” and ‘mankind”, then we who are re-created in Christ to be conformed to His image are instead imaging our society’s image of man and woman and so we are dishonouring the one true God who we were made to image and honour.
There is an increasing variety of definitions of “man/mankind” in our society. It is my thesis that the replacing of “Adam” with “man/mankind” in the translations of Genesis 1:26,27 and in our thinking has opened the floodgates for society’s understanding of mankind to infiltrate the church and its understanding of man and woman. The translations “man/mankind” are increasingly being what they really are, a trojan horse allowing the world to take over God’s people understanding of who they are as man and woman.
Click this link to go to the next article – Article 1 in the 5 Article Series “And God said: Let us make Adam in Our image” http://manandwoman-exegeticalblog.com/?p=763
1 thought on “Introduction to and Summary of the 5 Article Series “And God said: Let us make Adam in Our image”.”
What is driving my approach to Genesis 1 & 2? – manandwoman-exegeticalblog.com 26 July 2021 at 11:40 am
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