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What the Bible says about Creation of Mankind
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 1:24-25

In these verses, God sets the stage to show that mankind, introduced in verse 26, is different from what He previously created in terms of the law that kind only reproduces after its own kind, as well as in terms of origin.

Notice the earlier verses say, "Let the earth bring forth . . .." Of course, cattle did not just spring out of the earth! God certainly created the animals, but He uses "earth" as a reference to origin, to emphasize what is physical. That is, He is pointing to a physical origin for those beasts of the field and the inhabitants of the sea.

Verse 26, by contrast, does not contain any reference to the earth regarding the origin of man, the source of man's life, or to kind-after-kind.

John W. Ritenbaugh


Genesis 1:26-28

Finally, in verses 26-28, God creates human beings. On the sixth day He produced the acme of His physical creation, for whom He had refurbished the earth. Everything that He made was designed to carry out His plan to reproduce Himself through the creation of the human race. From this point, the great drama of human existence began to unfold.

Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Genesis 1: Fact or Fiction?

Genesis 2:7

From our childhood, we carry an image of God kneeling over the created but inert Adam. He is lifeless until God performs the first mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and then Adam springs to life! His eyelids flutter, he takes a deep breath, and then he bends from his waist and sits up.

Nowhere does the Bible show God breathing life into any animal that He created. When He created them, they started breathing. Why should man be any different?

He is different because he is in the likeness of God. He did something to man that actually made man into the image of God. While he was lying there on the ground, he was still yet a creature. But when God knelt down and breathed into him, the infusion of the spirit in man occurred. That is what made man in the image of God! That is what gave man the power to have dominion. It gave man the intellect he needed to rule what God has created.

Man has creaturely life, but with the infusion of the spirit in man, he is more—a living being with intelligence. Man was given the power to govern his actions, not by instinct, but by memory, by conceptualization and thinking spatially. A man can appreciate beauty, communicate verbally, or write. A human being has feelings that are—in the expression of their subtly and power—far above an animal in terms of love or hate, and above all of the emotions that fall in between.

We can create and destroy. The power is in a man to do these things. The power is in the spirit when combined with the brain, but it has to be developed.

God shows very clearly that, as we are, we are nothing more than a pale representation of what we can be. Yet, we are endowed with powers that lift us so far above the animals on earth that we can have dominion over them.

Mankind is then commanded to fill the earth and subdue it. Subdue means "to tread upon," which implies "to bring into subjection." It does not mean "to destroy" or "to treat violently," but "to control and direct." In Genesis 1:26 and 28, God implies that He has conferred powers to mankind not given to animals.

It is also the first indication, when combined with Genesis 2:7 and 15, that when God confers a responsibility, He also confers the powers to carry out that responsibility.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Right Use of Power

Genesis 5:1-2

These two verses in the genealogy of Adam might seem unimportant at first. It is the first place in the Bible that the created man is named "Adam." He has before been referred to as Adam, but here he is named Adam.

We need to ask, "Is this really Adam's genealogy?" Well, the answer to that is, yes and no, because the implication of verses 1-2 is that God is naming Adam. As his creator and thus father, He has taken His prerogative and named the man He had created in His likeness "Adam."

With God at the head—not Adam—this means this genealogy is God's, which includes Adam, and makes God the father of all humanity.

This genealogy eventually comes to Noah, who had three sons, and each of them married. After the Flood, all of mankind has sprung from Noah. But Noah came from Adam's line—or better, from God's line. Therefore, God is the Father of all of humanity!

Why is this important? It reveals that mankind has sprung from God. Because of this fact, man is substantially distinct from all other mortal creatures.

John W. Ritenbaugh


Proverbs 16:4

This is a basic truth of Christianity that we neither hear nor consider very often because it has become popular for man to glorify himself, thinking he is somehow running the show and far more important than what the Bible reveals. Man is important only because God has made us the focus of His creative efforts, not because of anything inherent within us. We have great potential because of God's workmanship now in progress, but aside from His purposes, we are nothing but animated clay.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Sovereignty of God: Part Three


 




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