Creation Day 6: Humans created, the crowning animate creation. God has a purpose and place for humankind on Earth.
Last but, most important on Day 6: Humans created. The inanimate was reshaped and the animate through flora, birds, fish creepy-crawlies, and animals were created during Days 1 to 6. Humans created by God close the physical creation story but it’s only just beginning.
(Origin of Humankind, chapter 1.1)
The Bible is the history, present, and future–the story–of humankind. Here’s the very first mention of humans, this puzzle piece is crucial to proper understanding. We must answer the question: Were humans created? To be point blank, get this wrong and you can forget the rest. You’ll never be able to assemble the Story of Humanity puzzle. Instead, you’ll be forcing pieces into dubious positions with an erroneous picture of who and what God is and of who and what humans are. Frankly, that’s the reason for all the conflict in sciences from anthropology to psychology, from archaeology to neuroscience.
Science, philosophy and even religion don’t have the coherent completeness of humankind. They deny or don’t know whether a Power created humans and are certainly not aware of humanity’s role on Earth. We are going to take this one step at a time. Genesis 1.26 to Genesis 2.25 unlocks the mystery of humanity and gives us the basis for understanding what they’re to do on Earth and where their future is headed.
The Bible says God created humans. The end of Genesis 1 and all of chapter 2 is the recital of WHY God created humans. Later we shall see WHEN God created humans … this latter question is maybe secondary, but of interest to many.
In a nutshell, beyond Genesis 2, the rest of the Bible is the expansion, both historical (past), 21st century (present) and prophetic (future), of these few verses in Genesis that we’re about to examine about the purpose for which God created humans. That’s why we want to take the time to get this right. We are going to look at each keyword and see what the Biblical Hebrew is teaching us.
You can basically forget about the English translation because it is a very poor reflection and has basically put readers into a deep torpor. Translations leading to miscomprehension have opened the door to profuse jeering about the value of the Bible. If you really want to grasp what’s here I have to ask you to put aside your prejudices, your “I know what that means” outlook. This is where mastering the keys of Biblical Hebrew really unlocks deep Bible meaning.
First of all, let’s concentrate on God making man in His own image, His own likeness, this is emphasized by verse 27 where image is repeated 2 more times for a rapid-firing 4 times. Why so much highlighting of this comparative of God and man (humans)?
Grammatical use of pronouns has evolved over the last generations. He, she, him, her, their our, even singular and plural use of pronouns has changed. We no longer use he to refer to a situation where it could be either a man or a woman. Instead, we use the plural they even when it could be referring to a singular. They sat at the table could be plural or referring to either gender … it depends on the context.
In the same way, we don’t use man to refer to humans in general anymore. And I’m trying my best to respect that. I use the term humans and reserve man and woman when it specifically refers to a male or female individual.
The King James Bible translation dating back to the 1800’s does not do this. In Genesis 1 verses 26 and 27 the English word man refers to humans in general. This is clear in verse 27 because it includes both males and females. I just want to point this out as it comes up repeatedly both in the Bible and my writing.
Why this emphasis on humans created with the same image and likeness as God?
After his kind
To understand this context we need to step back a second and make a point regarding the previous verses referring to fruit, herb seed, fish, birds, creeping things and beast. There is an identical 3-word clause describing each of these reproductive creations. You might’ve even been surprised that I didn’t comment on it. After all, between Genesis 1.11 and 1.25, it is repeated no less than 10 times: …after his kind, or …after their kind. I highly suggest you reread these verses to refresh your mind about this. You can quickly click here and go over to UnlockBibleMeaning.com to read this online. If these words are repeated so frequently there is a reason the author wants you to grasp.
It doesn’t take rocket science to understand what after his kind, or …after their kind means. Orange trees give oranges. Pepper vines give peppers. Salmon breed salmon. Parrots give parrots. Scorpions give scorpions. Rhinoceros give rhinoceros. This is referring to the inviolability of one species giving birth to an entirely different species. We are not talking about the variety withIN a particular species that comes from cross-pollination or cross-breeding or environmental adaptation. Yes, there’s variety but no, there’s not, never has been and never will be a transformation of one species into another one. No new species.
An axiom of Science is first, that experiments must work and second, they must be reproducible in that they reproduce the same results.
Although scientists have their own controversy regarding the exact definition of the term species one of the key precepts is to what extent one species can cross breed with another species. The general consensus, in scientific circles, is they cannot. However, this runs amock of the evolutionary process which indicates that man either descends from or has a common ancestor with apes. I really don’t want to get into such controversy.
But, the point is, whichever way you slice it, science has various species mutating into different species. There’s no evidence, there’s no reproducible experiment of this, and we never hear any talk of when mutating species each becomes a specific species. In other words, they can no longer reproduce between them which is a basic precept of defining species. We do have an example of horses and donkeys (2 different species) producing mules but they are basically sterile. Ligers (lions and tigers, also 2 separate species) are rare and, if you read the linked article reproduction is basically nil.
According to what we just read in Gen 1.25 ‘And God made the beast of the earth after his kind… ‘ Apes can only give apes… in all their varieties granted… but all are always only apes. And this is emphasized 10 times for all flora and all fauna. The Bible says apes cannot originate humans, only other apes. I saved this explanation for this point so we can understand the continuity of what God is stating.
Now reread a resume of Gen 1.26-27 with the concept of species in mind: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him…’
Here’s the question: What species are humans?
If you’ve never heard it put this way before I can understand that you’re conceivably having difficulty articulating an answer. God, in the above 2 verses, repeats the two words ‘image and likeness four times to help the answer take root and sink in.
Humankind is of the kind of God. Why were humans created in the image of God? That is the question to ask. That is the question The Explanation will answer.
According to the Bible, we are not descendants of some ape, nor do we have a common ancestor. Our genes and chromosomes do have some resemblance as we discussed in Inventory of the Universe in the chapter about Human Life and a comparison of genes. We know that just as we have chromosomes and genes similar to earthworms, scorpions, grass, and bacteria… the genome is common to all life, but that does not mean we are their descendants.
The same above verse in Genesis 1.26, where God tells us humans have the image and likeness of God, He also tells us our relationship to apes and earthworms: ‘…let them (humans created with the image of God) 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.’
Even in King James English, this is clear. We will be getting into the Biblical Hebrew to sharpen the answer to the delicate but vital question why were humans created in the image of God, with His likeness, after His kind.
So why haven’t you heard according to what model were humans created before? Very good question. You’ll receive an answer, shortly… but, if you’ve been following this blog you might’ve already figured it out.
Let me point out that I’ve used contextual corroboration (animals after their kind involves the identical principle as humans created after the image of God) to point out this fundamental Bible teaching. I will give you the Biblical Hebrew for these words and other contexts that confirm this Bible teaching. In fact, as you read the Bible now, just keeping this one puzzle piece in mind will open up a lot of comprehension. And we’re only just beginning to garner some fundamentals in Gen 1 and 2.
This blog post is an excerpt from chapter 1.1 of the book Origin of Humankind
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