Analysis of a Short Passage in Genesis



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Analysis of a Short Passage in Genesis




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Analysis of a Short Passage in Genesis. (Genesis 1:26-28)

Genesis is among the different books in the Hebrew Bible that presents a wide variety of themes. One of the verses is Genesis 1:26-28, which discusses God’s creation of humanity’s divine parentage according to his image and likeliness. Therefore, this passage intends to evoke the responsibilities of a child to a parent and vice versa. The short course in Genesis 1 affirms that God created humans according to his image. However, the book does not offer a detailed explanation of the words presented in this passage. According to Genesis 1:26-28, the Hebrew Bible quotes, “let us create mankind in our image and likeness so that they can have the powers to rule over every creature including fish, birds of the air, cattle and rule over the earth since God saw that this was good.” Analysis of this passage reveals it accommodates both the notion that the course has a wide range of semantic range of key terms and the sense that the passage is of theological significance. The following paper is a critical analysis of the short course Genesis 1:26-28.

Historical context

The entire book of Genesis did not mention an exact historical context when the documentation of the passage occurred. However, when analyzing its composition, one can quickly notice that it is written when many Israelites spent their time on Mount Sinai. Subsequently, the occasion for writing this passage does not offer a historical context of understanding Genesis. However, the historical circumstances are revealed as the narrative progress may make us understand its documentation period. Although the passage is not clear about what it asserts about human beings and their relationship to God, it offers a central theme that directly relates to the Biblical representation of HumankindHumankind. The complex nature of the passage has also prompted different scholars and theologians to ponder over its exact meaning. Genesis 1:26-27 is also essential because it offers its position at the pivotal moment that lays a foundation for understanding humanity’s nature and the relationship humans have with God.

One of the essential aspects of this passage is that it offers a detailed history geared towards addressing humanity’s divine parentage and how human beings relate to God. When the book of Genesis begins with a story related to the creation, it does not provide the historical context for God’s first acts. Additionally, most readers are not provided with a detailed analysis of the activities that resulted in the emergence of creation. However, the different passages presented lay a foundation for understanding the historical context and circumstance that prompted their documentation. Genesis 1:26 onwards thus broadens the reader’s understanding of the flow of the narrative that follows and the theological progression of God’s relationship with a man.


The authorship of Genesis remains anonymous, just like in the case of the Pentateuch.  An analysis of the internal and external evidence reveals that there is insufficient evidence that can  link this chapter to a specific author. The New Testament proposes that these books are often regarded as laws of Moses because Moses wrote them, therefore analysis the different passages in Genesis implies that it underwent through mosaic authorship. Mosaic authorship in Genesis may be attributed to the fact that Genesis has a founded unity with other books that are in the Pentateuch group. Additionally, Moses is believed to have written Genesis because he had outstanding qualifications as a writer of different passages in the Bible.




Central Concerns and Ideas.

Man Being Created according to God’s Image.

The idea that man was created according to God’s image is among the central themes in this passage. However, it is essential that we first categorize the creation of man according to the day when God created them. According to the creation story, man was created on the sixth day, and God rested on the seventh day. By God creating man on the sixth day, it reveals that He wanted to create a being like Him, hence the need to devote more time to create them. For instance, as noted in different verses, God stated “let us,” to mean that he would perform something special in this passage. According to a study conducted by Dempster (2003), HumankindHumankind is considered as the crown of the royalty of creation while the other creatures came to existence as a result of divine words, which occurred predictably.

One important aspect to note is that when God stated at the start of Genesis 1:26, He says, “Let us make humankind.” Although he uses the name Adam, it is essential to note that this name can denote either a man or woman. Therefore, interpreting this passage in simple language reveals that God created males and females according to his image and crowned them as an essential aspect of creation who shared equal dignities and benefits.

In verse 27, the Hebrew Bible notes that “God created humankind according to His image and likeness.” This verse is important because the term image and likeness have always been taken in consideration with a large section of writers who lived during Irenaeus going onwards. The writer uses the concepts to denote the unique elements that most human beings constitute. However, when basing this analysis to cultural settings, it would have revealed a different meaning depending on the historical times when it was written. The Bible only notes that God created man according to “our image as our likeness”; however, it does not offer a clear explanation or difference between the two terms. The LXX, however, provides a translation of the two words since it incorporates the term and in between. Although incorporating the term “and” may have separated the two concepts, it does not create a clear distinction that can be easily understood. Additionally, the two terms may be used to denote similar things that are identical. Therefore, the terms image and likeness should be viewed as two words which can be used to represent one concept.

One may pose and ask themselves what it means to be created according to God’s image. However, these question has many answers since a large section of theologians have spent their time analyzing it. The central points of analysis were related to pinpointing certain characteristics that man possesses, including their morality, intellectual levels, and moral purity. One of the simplest answers to these questions, however, is that man being created according to God’s image means that man resembles God and possesses all the moral qualities that God stipulated for them. Therefore, God creating man according to His image goes beyond every other creature on earth including all the other species.

Different other passage can be interpreted in the same way as Genesis 1:26-28 because they bear the same message. In Genesis 5:1-3, the Hebrew Bible notes “Here is a list of the descendants of Adam. At the time when God was creating HumankindHumankind, he did so according to his likeness. Male and women, he created them and this followed Adam living for one hundred and thirty years where he later became the father of a son in his likeness and named him Seth. Analysis of this passage reveals two distinct observations. First, man might have fallen; God’s image is still present in man. Man’s continued presence is an essential aspect since it has been used to determine man’s dignity.

The other observation relates to the creation of man by God and the procreation of many offsprings by man. When analyzing this passage, it reveals that Adam fathered a son according to his image and likeness. Different scholars have placed a lot of emphasis on the physicality of this passage and how it relates to image and parenthood. This passage also reveals detailed information concerning how HumankindHumankind resembles their creator, God. Since details about the man being created according to God’s image is present in Genesis 1:26-28 and is repeated in Genesis 5:1-3, it lays a foundation for extrapolating the possibilities that resulted in Seth resembling his father, Adam. Therefore, juxtaposing the divine creation of Adam according to God’s image and the creation of Seth according to Adam’s image implies that God’s image is transmitted from one man to another through a genealogical line.

An interpretation of the passage produced after a time of the Biblical Period

The passage is produced after the biblical period; its artists are unknown and written before the age of exodus. The writer’s motive is to explain the fall of man, how man disobeyed God and became a sinful being. It centers around the recurrent phase of generations of heaven and earth.  The message tells us about the loving nature of God, who redeems Adam and Eve who had fallen, his caring, loving concerns. The message suits the intention of portraying God as a supreme merciful being. After the two sinned, he still clothed them and protected them from the dangers of the world.

The writer focuses on teaching values of obedience, how disobedience leads to the suffering of man. After Adam and Eve disobey God and eat from the tree of knowledge, their eyes are opened and they know what is wrong and right. The two now understanding what sin is and can be judged if they do wrong. Although the supreme being is pissed, he shows mercy and love when he takes care of them. He, however, tells them, they have to suffer the consequences of their disobedience, and he chases them out of the garden of Eden. The writer focuses on emphasizing forgiveness, compassion, love, and the consequences of sin.

The interpretation is directed towards a religious community that seeks to understand God better. The understanding has the aim of helping others understand the Bible better, therefore, understanding Christianity. The interpretation is made in a novel where the writer tries to write a simple text description. The genre has inclusions and definitions. It helps to shape the work’s message where it gives the accounts in a more straightforward and understandable form. The audience can understand the context by watching instead of reading which is helpful for the illiterate and the kids. It has pictures to aid the reader in maintaining their attention.

The novel for kids aims at teaching about the qualities of God, sin, and man. The writer considers all accounts where the event is recreated through narration. The evil consequences are shown to be present until the present, showing punishment for generations. Man has to toil for food and clothes, women experience child-bearing pain, and the snake has no legs. It makes God a supreme being who is to be feared and respected.


The start of the book of Genesis talks about the creation of man. Man is created in God’s image and likeness; the interpretation presents the responsibility of a child to a parent and a parent to a child.  The passage gives man a source of belief in understanding their origin. Man, created in God’s image and likeness, gives them the same power and ability as their creator since they are similar. This interpretation aids Christians believe in every possibility with the condition of the presence of God. The fall of man and God’s compassion helps Christians believe God uplifts them no matter their situation.




Louth, Andrew, ed. Genesis 1-11. Vol. 1. InterVarsity Press, 2016.

Atkinson, David J. The message of Genesis 1–11. InterVarsity Press, 2017.




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