1:26Let us . . . our . . . our. The use of the plural here is variously interpreted. Some view this as an indication of plurality within the divine unity, hinting at the later New Testament revelation of the one God as Father, Son, and Spirit. Others explain this usage grammatically—either as a plural of majesty (cf. v. 1 note) or as a deliberative plural (in which God directs the statement to Himself). Finally, some argue that God and His heavenly angelic court are in view (Is. 6:8 note).
image . . . likeness. Humans in their whole being—body and soul—adequately and faithfully represent God (Ps. 94:10), possess life from Him and therefore potential intimacy with Him (2:7 and note), and serve on earth as His administrators (Ps. 8). The image is passed on to every human, giving each person dignity (5:3; 9:6; Prov. 22:2 and notes).
Medieval theologians strongly distinguished “image” and “likeness,” with “image” viewed as a reference to natural reason, and “likeness” as a reference to the original righteousness lost in the Fall. More recent scholarship notes that the two Hebrew terms are used synonymously in Scripture (v. 27; 5:1, 3; 9:6).
have dominion. God gave humans the cultural mandate to rule the creation as benevolent kings (9:2; Ps. 8:5–8; Heb. 2:5–9). Natural man can rule the animal (v. 28) and plant (v. 29) kingdoms, but he cannot rule the heavenly powers, especially Satan (ch. 3; Eph. 6:10–12). Only the Last Adam, the very image of God’s Person (Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3) and those united with Him can do that (3:15; Matt. 4:1–11; Col. 3:10).
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Want to get the most out of Bible Gateway? Find out why Bible Gateway Plus is the ultimate toolkit for anyone seeking to grow closer to the Word. For less than the cost of a latte, Plus membership gives you access to a complete digital Bible study library and reduced banner ads. Try it free for 30 days!