Misquoted Verses of the Bible (Gen. 1:26)

Misquoted Verses of the Bible (Gen. 1:26)

This post is part of a series looking at misquoted verses of the Bible. Click here to see others.

We started week one of The Story at Central this week so I’ve been reflecting a bit on the creation narrative. Here we find another misquoted verse of the Bible which you often hear mentioned (out of context) today. As God speaks everything into existence we get to the verse where Adam enters the scene. Noticeably, things are different with this part of creation.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26, underline mine)

As a result, you’ll often hear someone reference how we are “made in the image of God.” This is further strengthened when you get to chapter five if you only give it a preliminary glance.

When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. (Genesis 5:1b, underline mine)

Again we see this point clearly made. That is until you read something just a couple verses later which most people completely overlook.

When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. (Genesis 5:3, underline mine)

It is in this subtle sentence that something major shifts. No longer are we made purely in the image of God as Adam was. You’ll notice that this sentence mirrors what we saw earlier but now it’s not referencing back to God. Now, we get to inherit some of Adam’s messed up DNA. It’s a reminder for us that this story cannot be separated from our story. I’d argue that we are still mostly made in the image of God, but now it’s like finding out that you are a quarter Cherokee from your mom’s side. There’s something else in the mix that you may have never known, or if you do know, you tend to overlook. God’s design has been broken and we are a part of that dysfunctional chain. Sadly, our default is to look more like Adam.

Yet it is also a reminder that God’s intent for us was to be in His image, not in Adam’s. Through God’s Spirit, He invites us back to His intent even today. We see this in verses like this:

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

We are made in the image of Adam, but we have the invitation to participate in the divine nature and not just the corruption in the world.

This begs the question: Who do you look like? (click here to tweet this)

This post is part of a series looking at misquoted verses of the Bible. Click here to see others.

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Jeremy Jernigan

Speaker | Author | Adjunct Professor | Husband to Michelle | Dad of 5 | Committed Yankees fan

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