Reader Sharkly, who comments at Dalrock with enough frequency and profanity for me to remember his name, takes me to task for holding that women are made in the image of God. You can read his whole comment here; I will quote only part, as it’s fairly long:
Sharkly If you read from a non-gender-neutered Bible it appears that man(Adam) was created in God’s image. Women were just created by God, without mention of bearing God’s image.
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Genesis 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:
4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:
Again God created Adam in his image, and created both male and female. Seth was also mentioned as being in Adam’s image, but the daughters were not mentioned to be in Adam’s image.
I don’t see a single thing in the Bible that implies that women are in God’s image. Ariana Grande is blasphemous and wrong! Don’t join her error.
Once you conceptualize that only men are in God’s image, so much more of the Bible and men and women’s relations makes sense. Try it.
This is some wicked incompetent exegesis. The very passages Sharkly cites directly refute his view.
Look at the thought sequence of Genesis 1:26–28: God determines to make “man” in his image. The term in Hebrew, as Sharkly notes, is adam; but what he appears not to have grasped is that adam is not (necessarily) a proper noun. It is equivalent to English “man” as a collective noun—grammatically masculine but with a neuter denotation. This is how it is frequently used throughout the narrative of Genesis. If you follow the Hebrew closely and notice the pronouns, the question of who has the image of God is absolutely clear:
And God said, “Let us make adam in/as our image and in/as our likeness, so as to rule over the fish … the birds … the cattle … over all the earth and every moving thing that moves on the earth.” So God created adam in/as his image, in/as the likeness of God of he created him/it, male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over the fish … the birds … and over every animal that moves upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26–28
Who is to rule in this passage? The same ones who are made in God’s image—namely adam, man. That is why God makes adam in the first place. Should we understand this word, here, as a singular noun with masculine denotation? We can easily check by looking at who is given rule in this passage: it is both male and female; the text is explicit that God blessed them, and gave them rulership. So adam here cannot refer to the man only; it must be a collective noun with a neuter denotation (i.e., “mankind”). If the image and the rulership have anything to do with each other—and they surely do—both male and female are made in God’s image here. The symmetry of the passage requires it.
By the same token, the passage explicitly describes the recipients of the image as adam, created “male and female.” You have to be completely blinded by misogynistic prejudice to not see this; it’s obvious in any translation.
Genesis 5:1–2 shows the same thing. Even in the English it plainly contradicts Sharkly’s claim, but in the Hebrew it’s even clearer. Literally:
This is the record of the generations of adam. In the day God created adam, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them, and he called their name adam when they were created. Genesis 5:1–2
When the passage switches to the plural form, the referent remains the same: adam. Both male and female are explicitly called adam here—“man”—and are said to be in the likeness of God. This is why many translations render adam as “humankind.” Sometimes the “gender-neutered” translations aren’t actually a liberal conspiracy. Sometimes it’s conservative Bible-believing scholars rendering gender-neutral terms in Hebrew as equivalently gender-neutral terms in English in an effort to keep bad readers like Sharkly from drawing bad conclusions that are just a mirror image of feminism.
God made men and women to image his dominion in the world. It seems that both feminists and extreme patriarchalists tend to think of dominion in terms of “high-profile use cases” like rulership over society—and since the Bible denies this to women, they therefore see it as treating women like beasts of burden with no place for dominion.
But Eve is pointedly not a beast of burden (Gen 2:20), and rule is pointedly not confined to authority over others. In the first chapter of Genesis, God carefully shows us what exercising dominion looks like:
Exercising dominion is ordering the world rightly.
Rule is about establishing right order. This is certainly imposed through an authority hierarchy (e.g. 1 Cor 11:3), which is why Paul can emphasize man as the image of God, with woman as the glory of man (1 Cor 11:7). But mere authority does not exhaust dominion, and fulfilling the creation mandate is something that the man is explicitly not fitted to do alone (Gen 2:18). He needs a “helper opposite to him,” as the Hebrew puts it. This carries the connotation both of facing him as a reflection, but also of inversely corresponding to him; “helper” is ezer, meaning one who does for another what he cannot. Separately they are complete in themselves, and in their intended manner of imaging God; but that intended manner is incomplete with respect to completely ordering the world as God desires. Adam can subdue, but not fill; Eve can fill, but struggles to subdue. Together, they supply what the other lacks, and perfect the other’s natural virtues, duties, and abilities, to bring right order to every sphere of life.