People—How They Began
Knowing how they began will help us to understand what they have become
THERE are reasons both logical and scientific for believing the Bible account of the creation of the first human pair.* That book’s first chapter states: “In God’s image he created him [man]; male and female he created them.”—Gen. 1:27.
What does it mean to be “in God’s image”? Does it mean the first human looked like God in a physical sense? If so, it means that he or his descendants could have made a carved image that would look like him. But this was not possible. So Isaiah asked: “To whom can you people liken God, and what likeness can you put alongside him?” Jesus himself said: “No man has seen God at any time.” So again the question, What does it mean to be “in God’s image”?—Isa. 40:18; John 1:18.
People may see a boy and say, “He’s just like his father!” However, the boy may not look like his father. But he is like his father in other ways, such as disposition, personality, mechanical ability, musical talent, physical agility or moral qualities. Having attributes similar to his father’s, the boy is said to be like his father.
It is in this same sense that the first human pair were created in God’s likeness. They were given certain attributes possessed by God. This accounts for the tremendous gulf between man and the lower animals. These godly qualities equipped the man to exercise dominion over the animals. To both the man and the woman God said: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.”—Gen. 1:28.
Male and female he created them. Different? Obviously different. Different physically. Different mentally. Different emotionally. Men and women are pleased with these differences. It makes them complements of one another. They were created to be complements. (Gen. 2:18, 20) In a particular respect man was in God’s image where woman was not—in headship. (1 Cor. 11:3, 7) Both the man and the woman shared in being in God’s likeness insofar as each one possessed the divine attributes given at the time of their creation.
What are some of the qualities of God that were built into the first human pair? Some of them are made manifest by his visible creations. Romans 1:20 declares this: “His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made.” Without words or voice or speech, God’s works in heaven and on earth are declaring his glory, reflecting his attributes.—Ps. 19:1-4.
Certainly knowledge and wisdom are perceived in the earth and in its plants and animals. And is not his power felt in the thunderstorm? The infinite variety of his creations testify to his being a prolific worker. They reveal him to be a supreme Designer with purpose in view. His quality of justice is shown in this: He designed creatures with certain needs; in justice he provided for the fulfillment of these needs. He goes beyond the requirements of justice—in love he showers his blessings even on the wicked. Jesus indicated this: “Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you; that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous.”—Matt. 5:44, 45.
The first human pair had these qualities, or the capacity for acquiring them. In this sense they were in God’s likeness. However, history shows that people have not always reflected these attributes, nor do they today. What has happened? Are they no longer in God’s likeness?
See the book Did Man Get Here by Evolution or by Creation?, as advertised on page 32.
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SOME ATTRIBUTES OF GOD GIVEN TO THE FIRST HUMANS
“All his ways are justice.”—Deut. 32:4.
“He is the Maker of the earth by his power.”—Jer. 10:12.
“God is love.”—1 John 4:8.
“God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son.”—John 3:16.
“Jehovah himself give wisdom.”—Prov. 2:6.
“A God of knowledge Jehovah is.”—1 Sam. 2:3.
“Everything Jehovah has made for his purpose.”—Prov. 16:4.
“How many your works are, Jehovah!”—Ps. 104:24.
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Just like his father—but not in looks