Bnonn Tennant (the B is silent)

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Are women made in the image of God?

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5 minutes to read Both Genesis 1:26–28 and 5:1–2 are plain in ascribing the image of God to mankind in the plural: male and female. Men alone cannot order the world in a way that fully represents God, and women alone cannot either. Only together can they completely carry his rule into creation by both subduing and filling.

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.




Firstly let me congratulate on an awesome website. I have read a good number of your lengthy and insightful posts, and I always enjoy getting your intelligent perspective on matters. I also think the layout is pretty cool and original, and I really liked the iconic artwork for this post. I’ve been thinking of starting my own blog, and yours is a great one for me to aspire to emulating in my own unique way.

My view of women not being in the image of God was shared by the early church fathers. Here is how Augustine describes his view:

But we must notice how that which the apostle says, that not the woman but the man is the image of God, is not contrary to that which is written in Genesis, “God created man: in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them: and He blessed them.” For this text says that human nature itself, which is complete [only] in both sexes, was made in the image of God; and it does not separate the woman from the image of God which it signifies. For after saying that God made man in the image of God, “He created him,” it says, “male and female:” or at any rate, punctuating the words otherwise, “male and female created He them.” How then did the apostle tell us that the man is the image of God, and therefore he is forbidden to cover his head; but that the woman is not so, and therefore is commanded to cover hers? Unless, forsooth, according to that which I have said already, when I was treating of the nature of the human mind, that the woman together with her own husband is the image of God, so that that whole substance may be one image; but when she is referred separately to her quality of help-meet, which regards the woman herself alone, then she is not the image of God; but as regards the man alone, he is the image of God as fully and completely as when the woman too is joined with him in one.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Sharkly, I appreciate the kind words.

I’m not disputing that church fathers held your view. It’s just that what they thought is not a question on my radar when I’m hashing out an issue like this. The church fathers are interesting, but I’m not a historical theologian, nor am I a Catholic or EO that I am compelled to submit myself to their opinion. They got a great deal wrong, both for reasons of tradition, and because they were often working with incomplete manuscripts or in Latin rather than the original languages. A question like the nature of the imago Dei can only be answered by God himself, so I’m interested in contextual exegesis of Scripture rather than of Augustine.

Moreover, what Augustine says here is nonsense. Not only does he misrepresent Paul, who never says “the woman is not so,” but rather says nothing on that point at all, but the larger point is prima facie incoherent. If the imago Dei is found in the combined nature of man and woman, then it stands to reason that the man in isolation is no more or less the image of God than the woman in isolation. If the man in isolation is the image of God, then what does the woman lack that she in isolation is not, yet is simultaneously able to add enough that Augustine can say “the whole substance may be one image”? If the image is divisible, and the image is seen in their combined nature, then her nature must reflect that image as much as his. How can a sufficient part of it be expressed in the man to count, but not in the woman?


Yes, I am with you, in that I don’t hold the early church leaders up as infallible, or as proof. I was just pointing out that back closer to the time the Apostle Paul wrote his epistle, those who studied it usually saw in it what I saw also. I too saw that logically “the woman is not so,” because she is comanded to do the opposite while the only reason given for the man to keep his head uncoverd was because he is the image and glory of God. Likewise when I read Genesis it seems to me God goes out of His way to tell us that Adam was made in the image of God, while only saying that God made both the male and female, but not that He made the male and female both in his image.
We are never actually told exactly what the image of God is. Everybody’s got a theory, except me. However it might lie in something only males possess. I don’t think the image is found in the combined nature, any more than it is found in the masculine nature of both God and man. God has no feminine-only traits. I am not aware of any Godly positive personality trait that only females can have. I believe all human mental and personality traits are often held by members of both sexes. The God of the Bible “gave bitrth” to nothing. He spoke things into existance, or made them. Effeminizing God is a blasphemous offense.(Ariana Grande is now doing it) Some churches are even so apostate that they claim God has a feminine side. Jesus once said:
Mathew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
However, Jesus only said He wanted to gather His children, even as a hen. He didn’t say he was a chicken. And that metaphor, comparing disparate things, is as close as anything in the Bible ever comes to ascribing feminine characteristics to God. God is always referred to and pictured in the masculine, by His choice. God is always the Father, never the mother, always the Son, never the daughter, always the Spirit, never the siren.

If the image is divisible, and the image is seen in their combined nature, then her nature must reflect that image as much as his. How can a sufficient part of it be expressed in the man to count, but not in the woman?

I didn’t say the image was divisible.(although it could be) I imagine it like this: The man is created in the image of God. Image =1. As Paul indicates the woman is not in the image of God. Image = 0. When you add them together you’ve still got exactly the image of God in the couple. Male + Female Couple = one flesh in the image of God. Thus a male homosexual couple is an abomination defiling the image of God. While dykes may be abominable, and unnaturally refusing to serve their purpose, God’s image, however, is not directly being sullied by them. Imagine I bought a Norman Rockwell painting. And imagine I bought a beautifull glass case to house it in, and I hung my painting in the case on my wall. The Norman Rockwell “image” is like the man. The helpful accessory is like the woman. If you ask to see the image, I wouldn’t pull the image apart from its case to show it to you. I’d just say; “you can see it perfectly fine through the glass”.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Sharkly, none of that interacts with the exegetical evidence I’ve given, nor with the clear contextual evidence and ANE usage for the image viz dominion.

Despite what you say, you do make assumptions about what the image of God is, because you say there is no godly personality trait that only women can have. This is only germane if you construe the image of God purely in terms of personality. Since the Bible doesn’t do that, however, it’s a red herring (although of course, men and women do have different cardinal virtues that reflect God in different ways).

Bringing the image back to what we actually see God himself doing in Genesis, he subdues the earth, then fills it. In the creation mandate, he tells the couple to fill the earth and subdue it. Later, Adam calls his wife Eve because she is the mother of all living. Later, John tells us that in God is life. There is a clear biblical theology of female imaging, down to the repeated reversals of barrenness, and Paul’s comment that women will be saved through childbearing directly after speaking to the issue of male authority.


Sharkly, none of that interacts with the exegetical evidence I’ve given…
adam is not (necessarily) a proper noun. It is equivalent to English “man” as a collective noun—grammatically masculine but with a neuter denotation.

Wow! How do I interact with all that evidence? Uh, no. I still don’t believe you’re correct. What more do you want as far as interaction? I’m neither a native Hebrew or Greek speaker.

As the early church fathers believed and noted, your view does not square hermeneutically with what the Apostle Paul said. I see the Genesis passages differently than you. I see them making clear repeatedly that “Adam” was created in the image of God, and that both the male and the female were created by God. The verses are meticulously careful to never state that womankind is in God’s image, while repeatedly stating that “Adam” was created in the image of God.

… Adam calls his wife Eve because she is the mother of all living. Later, John tells us that in God is life. There is a clear biblical theology of female imaging …
LOL Is that more of your “exegetical evidence”? So God is your mother? Hmmmm. I’m going to have to “interact” with that evidence the same way: By stating; I just don’t believe it. God tells me he is our Father, and I don’t have the desire to find “female imaging” in God like you apparently do.

I’ll see if I can try out some of your exegetical style here: John tells us that “God is love” The band Nazareth sang “Love Hurts”. The Hurts Donut Company makes jelly donuts. Therefore “Gott ist ein berliner” Which I believe implies that God could be originally from Berlin. Which means in all likelihood God is of Germanic tribal origin, So I may not just be part of the master race after all, but instead I’m one of God’s divine kinfolk, being both God and man. And since I am your “Gott”, Bnonn, I command you to leave off of your Feminist foolishness,(God is not a woman, or feminine in any way) and if you do, I will humble myself condescending to behave towards you as just a mere mortal masculine man(nonetheless intrinsically in God’s image) taking upon myself fallibilities like your own, to share in your challenges and trials, through my divine humility. Thus saith Sharkly.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

I don’t see a point to continuing this dude. By your own (sometimes tacit) admission, you lack the exegetical and biblical-theological chops to be taking the stand you’re taking.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Sharkly, I’ve been working through Genesis with my family, and today we read Genesis 9 and immediately thought of you.

In Genesis 9:5–6, God establishes the principle that murder is a capital crime, and gives the reason: that man is made in the image of God. To kill a man is to destroy God’s image, to efface his representation. The term used throughout the passage is consistently adam.

By your logic, this should mean that it is only a capital crime to murder men. A man who murders a woman should not be executed, since the term used is adam—which means man—and the justification used is that adam is made in God’s image—and woman is not made in God’s image.

Conversely, if murdering a woman is a capital crime, then the logic flows the other way: in that case, adam cannot be a gender-specific term here, and woman must be made in the image of God.

There is, of course, a simple way to know which option is right: look at the rest of God’s law. For instance, Exodus 21 standardly speaks of men killing men, by which you might assume it isn’t intending to refer to women at all, and these laws don’t apply to them. Yet then you have verses like Ex 21:20, 28, which are direct applications of Genesis 9:6, 5.

What say you?


By your logic, this should mean that it is only a capital crime to murder men.

LOL I guess you want me to stop murdering women now?

Actually your logic is just weak there. Jumping to conclusions based upon my statements is not the same as logic. I may “lack the exegetical and biblical-theological chops” to lecture on grammar in Biblical languages, but I might be able to help you with logic. Just because murdering a man is a capital crime for murdering the image of God, does not mean that murdering a woman can’t also be a capital crime for some other reason. It would seem to make for less confusion. The murderer says “I’m innocent, I thought the dude was a chick. He fought like a girl! And it was dark.” Making all murder a capital offense also might teach men to respect women as joint heirs of the grace of God.
A logical conclusion is one that must be, because of the “givens”.

Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head … For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

Fill in the blank:
The man must not, dishonor his head with a covering during prayer, because he is in the image of God. The woman however must cover her head during prayer, because she is ___ in the image of God.

The word “not” goes in the blank logically. You have to really want Feminism to be true, and women to be an equal vessel, to illogically force the word “also” into that blank.

Augustine, Tertullian, and others, had more exegetical chops than I, but I don’t think it is my lack of chops that keeps you from seeing what we all saw in the Bible. You want to stuff equality into where God has not created men and women both equally in His image. That’s a more modern Feminist eisegesis.
Holy Sarah was commended for calling Abraham “Lord”. Women are all to submit to their husband’s as unto the Lord.(Ephesians 5) So, the man functions as a representation of God in his wife’s life. Hmmmm. And yet no man is ever asked to call his wife “Lord”. Clearly one is made lower than the other. Feminists aren’t envious of men for nothing. Bnonn, you, as all men, exclusively bear the responsibility of being created in the image of an exacting God, before your wife, whether you or she want to admit that or not. And she owes you her reverence & submission due to God’s imparted image and glory and the responsibilities you alone bear because of it.


I don’t believe it is by accident only that over the last couple of years I have been delving into man-woman identity against the background of both post-modern feminist abominations, and biblical hints, and started to wonder about the meaning of ‘man’ created-in-the-image-of-God, just as some other Christians are starting to wonder about the true nature of man-woman identity as well.

That said, I disagree with Bnonn, but just as him, I’m aware I don’t have full answers, yet. Let’s just say that we need all the saints to fully understand God’s wisdom.

First of all, Bnonn is very selective in his texts. The most important text that put me on the trail of males in the image of God, and females not, is the 1 Cor 11:7 text: “A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.” Although not explicitly stated, it strongly suggest woman is NOT the image of God.

Second, having Adam translated as ‘mankind’ and seeing ‘man’ as being representative all of humans, including females, and not as Adam only, is missing an important point: the very reason all humans are called ‘Adam’, is that ‘Adam’ as well as being the first created ‘man’ out of the earth, as well as being male, is the very representative of all humans, something that is clearly seen further on in God addressing Adam (not Eve) when talking about the sin of Eve, and in the NT references of the first Adam representing all humans.

It is very telling how most NT ethics about male and female behavior, about marriage, divorce, head-covering (!), teaching (!), are grounded in the exact Genesis texts we’re addressing. It is very clear these texts not only tell how Adam and Eve behaved, but act as a clear guidance how all males and females should behave. Therefore these texts combined with their application in the NT hold the key to properly understand male-female identity, role-models, and behaviors.

To go back to the Genesis text, what many commentators and exegetes, including Bnonn, fail to see in the Gen 1:27 quote, is that at the moment this is said, it is only a summary event of what is expanded in chapter 2. “in the image of God he created him” is clearly talking about Adam being created out of the earth, directly receiving the breath/Spirit of God, whereas “male and female He created them” refers to the moment both Adam and Eve were created, with Eve being created both AFTER Adam and OUT OF Adam, two theologically VERY significant events. The “in the image of God he created him” cannot therefore not immediately be extended to the creation of females.

Therefore the “in the image of God he created him” seems to more properly refer to Adam only, which would better fit the 1 Cor 11:7 text.

Of course, because Eve, and by extension all females, was created OUT OF Adam, she would naturally share many aspects of Adam’s essence, but obviously not ALL of them. That’s of course why she was created in the first place, because of all the helpers God already created, she was the only one to please Adam, being ‘bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh’.

More importantly, having a clear distinction between males and females, including males being created in the image of God and females not, establishes at least four important points:

1. God the Father (!) is male, NOT female, NOR a mixture of male and female, and we can understand more of Him by looking at male qualities. (This is not to say that as the Creator of the female, we cannot likewise learn about Him by looking at female qualities. Furthermore as the female was created out of the male and by God, typical female qualities might be hidden in males and/or God)

2. Likewise, God the Son (!) is male.

3. It reinforces the ordering in creation with the male carrying important spiritual responsibility

4. It denies a false view on male-female duality where we can only ever hope to reach spiritual fulfillment by including ‘the feminine’ in our human identity. This has been the basis of all kind of false views on the feminine being spiritually superior to the ‘brute’ male views of spirituality. That ranges from the Mother Goddess cults, to the fertility cults, to woman-worshipping chivalry, to modern feminism that elevates the female into superior position while destroying the male.

As a side-note: it’s interesting that biologically speaking we have confirmation of the female-out-of-male order when looking at DNA; only males have an X and a Y chromosome, whereas females only have two X-s.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

You say I’m very selective in my texts, but then the only text you say I’ve ignored is 1 Corinthians 11, which I haven’t ignored. Meanwhile you have ignored Genesis 5:1–2. You’ve unfortunately written a great deal without advancing the discussion at all.


Sorry, you indeed did mention 1 Cor 11:7, but you did not specifically address that this text is the text that makes an explicit distinction in only man being called the image of God, which IS relevant.

And I did not address Gen 5:1-2 in isolation, but I did address a major point: Adam/man being the name given to all females BECAUSE Adam represents in himself all humans. This pattern of identification of a whole group with a single representative is repeated throughout scripture.

Plus I exposed that the Gen 2 texts make clear that Gen 1:26-27 is only a summary statement referring to two events, not a single event.

Please respond to that.


For clarity I repeat your quote of Gen 5:1-2 :

“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.”

1. In the day God created adam, he made him in the likeness of God.

“him”, i.e. singular, refers to adam/Adam, created out of the earth, in the image/likeness of God

2. male and female he created them .. and called their name adam when they were created

“them/they” refers to both Adam and Eve, AFTER Eve was created out of Adam. Eve is also called ‘adam’, because Adam represents all humans.

This text is in agreement with Gen 1:26-27, and does not contradict my exegesis.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

But federal headship works the opposite way than your argument requires. It extends the attributes of the head to those under him; he mediates it to them (which is exactly what I said about 1 Cor 7). This is the entire basis of the gospel.

I think we need to step back, because this disagreement doesn’t exist in a vacuum. I think it exists because of a fundamental divide between us on the unifying principle that holds the concept of the imago Dei together. The duty-structure of representation is covenant. The norming mechanism by which the image of God is established and functions is this bond of familial fidelity. The image of God, representation of God, is not ontological, although it must be grounded in a particular ontology (viz. moral agents; humans, angels). It is covenantal. Image is familial representation.

So what your claim boils down to is that women aren’t in covenant with God. But this is obviously false, since then women would not be adopted into God’s family, becoming “sons of God” (Rom 8:14–17; Gal 4:4–6), fellow heirs of the grace of life (1 Pet 3:7), and being transformed into the image of his Son (Rom 8:9; 2 Cor 3:18; Col 3:10; 1 John 3:2); who of course is the image of God himself (Heb 1:3).

Indeed, it is covenant which underwrites the very concept of authority structures. If you want to put women out of the covenant, you put women out of the authority hierarchy built into creation. As I’ve said many times, reactive movements tend to end up in exactly the same place as the ideologies they oppose. Feminism and radical patriarchalism both end up putting women outside the covenant hierarchy inherent in creation. They just get there different ways.


Well, I’d say, Scripture first, theologies second.

I’m not familiar enough with all the theological theories you refer to, but a theology cannot be used to argue against a sound exegesis.

I’ll just respond to your straight objections:

“So what your claim boils down to is that women aren’t in covenant with God.”

Well, it’s interesting you mention that. The one sign of the covenant between God and His people Israel, was circumcision of MALES ONLY. Does that mean women weren’t in a covenant with God?

I think you’re extending TOO MUCH into the meaning of women NOT being created in the image of God.

It’s obvious women play an important role in God’s creation, and are co-heirs in Christ. In Christ there’s no “male and female”, we’re one in Christ. However, 1 Cor 11 does show the creation order in the roles of men and women still having significance for the Church. Furthermore, it is interesting and relevant

Therefore, you cannot use such a stretch in application of women NOT being created in the image of God as an argument against the interpretation I defend.


“It extends the attributes of the head to those under him”

Well, obviously, it does not extend ALL attributes of the head to those under him (women do not magically become men for instance). Therefore the attribute of being created in the image of God does NOT necessarily extend to women, by Adam being the representative of the human race.


I think Paul is correct. Bnonn is taking his theories,(like Federal Headship) and then using them to interpret the passages relating to the image of God. Among other things Bnonn has speculated as to what the image of God is, and then based upon that speculation, argues why he thinks women have what he has speculated the image of God in man consists of. Nowhere does the Bible say that women are in the image of God. And there are plenty of places that could have been said. God was clearly meticulous to not ever say that any women are currently in His image. The 1 Corinthians 11 passage clearly indicates that women are not in God’s image, by directly contrasting them to men who are, right there, clearly stated to be in God’s image and glory. Nor are we ever told in the Bible of any woman being in any man’s image.

Like with others, I think Bnonn is heavily invested in women being in the image of God,(a Feminist doctrine) and comes to the text pre-biased, while accusing folks like myself of reading misogyny into it, for taking a plain reading of the 1 Corinthians 11 passage. I also think some of Bnonn’s use of obscure vocabulary and Latin, when we are all native English speakers, is not designed to simplify the discussion, but to make his contentions seemingly more complex than; “I want women to be equally in the image of God, and I’m not going to even consider thinking otherwise”.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

I’m not going to respond further at this point, because there’s a fundamental disconnect between us in our hermeneutical method. I take it as given that we need to be guided in our exegesis by systematic and biblical theology, whereas you guys by your own admission are so untaught that you don’t even really know what these are. Since this isn’t the place for a defense of basic Reformed hermeneutics, I have no more to say.


As you’re putting too much into the meaning of women NOT being created in the image of God, let’s discuss the significance of it.

First, I want to establish that because women are created out of men, being “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh”, they are in many aspects VERY similar to men. Still, it’s obvious both from Scripture and from Creation, men and women are not in all aspects equal.

The most obvious differences between men and women are the biological differences, which are mainly focused around differences in reproductive design. On the psychological level differences exist, but these usually are less absolute, and often only show up at the statistical level.

The significance of Adam being created in the image of God and Eve not, is NOT explicitly spelled out in Scripture, so we need to ponder about it. Obviously Adam is not God, and if we look at the meaning of the Hebrew ‘tselem’ or the Greek ‘eikoon’, we find ‘image’, ‘likeness’, ‘replication’. It’s also used of the idols of ‘gods’.

First of all, only Adam, not the other living creatures are created in the image of God, and of all living creatures, Eve resembles Adam more than any other creature, and therefore also (at most partially) reflects aspects of God. So in which aspects Adam is uniquely like God, but animals and Eve are not? We’ve seen that Adam and Eve are interpreted by Scripture as pattern for all males and females, so by extension we can rephrase: in which aspects males are uniquely like God, but females are not?

An interesting first take is the following: we know the incarnate Son of God the Father was fully male, as he received the sign of the covenant by circumcision on the eight day. It is very well possible, and it has been historically the position of multiple church fathers, that the pre-incarnate Son of God the Father also manifested on several occasions as THE Angel of the Lord, but also possibly was present in the garden of Eden, where He walked and talked to Adam and Eve, even possibly brought all the animals to Adam to have him name them. We know that God the Son ascended to heaven, and will descend from it again in human form, placing his feet on the mount of Olives. So the human form of God the Son might be continuous throughout human history, with a special situation with his birth through the virgin Mary. From a trinity perspective it might be argued that God the Father is the eternal, invisible, whom no one has ever seen, whereas God the Son is the visible who manifested in space and time and showed himself to humankind. We also know that it was through the Son that all things were created, including Adam and Eve. If we interpret the creation of Adam in this light, and it was indeed the pre-incarnate God the Son present in the garden with Adam, then the creation of Adam in the image of God could also be interpreted as being literally created in the image of the manifestation of God the Son.

This is not to say, in the above interpretation, that the physical appearance would be the only aspect in which males are created in the image of God. I’ll keep that for another post.


I don’t feel the need to defend my exegetical capabilities, nor my knowledge of theology, but I don’t think it is reasonable to expect all Christians to be familiar with, or adhere to your particular flavor of Reformed theology. Even Reformed theology has its Sola Scriptura, which argues that the interpretation of the bible always overrules theology, which you somehow turn around, and use as an excuse to not have to respond to an honest interpretation of Scripture.


Your friend Michael Foster says:

4. Complementarian Christians

These men implicitly reject their natural authority. They operate on the premise that it is derived only from the quality of their masculine ability and virtue. Moreover, they tend to regard that authority as arbitrarily dependent on spheres explicitly named in Scripture—church and family—rather than being a natural quality that inheres in them by merit of being men.

It sounds like he’s coming pretty close to realizing that, inherentlyhe is the image and glory of God. (1 Corinthians 11:7)

You said:
For example, hypergamy is a perfect illustration of a God-given drive that has been ruined by the fall. It is natural for a woman to desire a competent and healthy man of the highest possible status. However, it is a sinfully discontent heart that drives a woman to “monkey branch” from one guy to another in search for an ever-higher status man.

Hypergamy wasn’t ruined by the fall, it is only ruined by widespread Feminism(a supremacist ideology) falsely teaching that women are equal or better than men. This began in the church when the churches stopped teaching that: a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.
If churches still taught that men were a prior created likeness of God,(Christ) to which a woman, a likeness of the church, should aspire to serve and join in unity with, Then perhaps hypergamy would not contribute to ruining 50% of marriages in the misled churches. When it was widely understood that, men are gods,(John 10:34-36, Psalm 82:6-7) the divorce rate was less than half of a percent. Every hypergamous woman would be more contented married to a god! Only the hardest of hearts divorced when the teachings and practices of the church better enforced the truth of God’s word.

If the image of Christ and the church is mirrored in marriage, with the man being the likeness of Christ and the woman imaging the church, which one, the man or the wife, is in the image of God?


I apparently believe a lot more things in the Bible are literal, than you might. I think Psalm 82 and Jesus explanation of it in John 10 are, literal men being called gods and sons of the Most High. And we will literally all die like men, and princes because death is the wages of all men’s sin. We are adopted sons, Jesus is the only begotten Son.(John 3:16) Jesus is God and sinless, but also bore our sin unto literal death, acting as the spotless sacrifice for our propitiation. We men are created in His image, and continue in that image as little gods, or images of God.

From Ephesians 5:
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

So, if Ephesians 5 clearly teaches that marriage is to be a mirroring or similitude of Christ and His bride(the church), with the husband in the likeness of Christ endeavoring to cleanse the wife with God’s Word, who in that similitude is in the image of God? Please tell me, if you know?

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

You think your interpretation of Psalm 82 is more literal than mine? Maybe you don’t know what that word means.

I think there is a literal council of literal gods who are literally God’s sons, and that God is literally present among them to literally render judgment for their literal rule of literally the whole earth.

You think…what now?

Why bother continuing this discussion? You don’t even have the slightest awareness of divine council theology, nor have you added anything new with regard to the image of God. You’ve just increased the amount of confusion with your weird category errors viz. conflating different kinds of images.


You think…what now?
What I wrote above still.
Psalm 82:6-7 I said, “You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High. Nevertheless you will die like men And fall like any one of the princes.”
Plus stuff that you apparently don’t think is literal from your Psalm 82 link. I believe Serpents continually flicking their wet forked tongues out, a centimeter above the earth, to collect dust, results in a lot of dust literally getting “eaten” or ingested. A flickering tongue has long epitomized the snakes’ vomeronasal system of odor detection, whereby their tongue tips pick up odor particles then plunge them into the ducts from the Jacobson’s Organ located in the upper-back portion of their mouth.
Men, literally called “gods”, literally die. Satan was literally cast down, literally fell like lightning. I believe in a literal pit. Neither of us has seen it. Do you have a better eyewitness description to challenge the reality of these words of God? That’s a rhetorical question. I don’t want to get sidetracked onto Psalm 82, if you won’t acknowledge “gods” is speaking of literal men, like how Jesus argued(in John 10) that it applied to Himself as a man, to the Jews who were only willing to admit that he was a man and not a divinity. I’m not here to rid you of “divine council theology”, whatever that is. I’m here to dig out the roots of Feminism. I was just pointing out what God’s word says, but you reflexively won’t allow men to be gods, or even the only sex in God’s image. Feminism has a strong hold on you.

And why argue defending the serpent, saying he isn’t literally as cursed as God says he is? I’m with God on that. The Father of Patriarchy cursed the father of Feminism, and other lies, “upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

Why bother continuing this discussion?
Because God’s truth is winning.

You are to the point of refusing to say who in a marriage, the husband or the wife, is the image of God, and who is the image of the church. Not wanting to give out the wrong answer, yet you’re still hesitant to admit the right one.

You have shown zero places where the Bible says women are in God’s image. While numerous places in both Testaments make clear that men are. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; Nor have you any explanation for why God never tells us women are in His image, and why He exclusively reveals Himself in the masculine sex.

To keep your Feminist preconceptions, you would steal all relevance from the apostle Paul’s divinely inspired explanation to the contrary, as to why men alone, unlike women, need to pray with their heads uncovered.(forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God)

And you appeal to the superiority of your own theological chops, and private interpretations like “divine council theology”, and “federal headship”, whereas I appeal only to basic reading comprehension and basic hermeneutics to show the plain truth of God’s word. It is there for you to see if you will humbly reconsider. Plus it will help you in your argument as to why women should cover their heads, unlike men, if you could unashamedly give the same reasoning that God gives in the Bible.

Furthermore when you know the truth; and are not ashamed to openly admit that men alone are in God’s image, the foundations of Feminism are cast down by the omniscient Father’s own words.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Christ is the image of the Father, the Son of God, the last Adam. We are sons of Adam also, born in Adam’s image and in the image of God. Let us cast down the usurper’s lie to the woman:
Genesis 3:4-5 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
It was a lie. She did die, and women never became as a god or even a goddess. Earthly laws can be written wrongly to favor women and to exalt them and they can wrongly be pedestalized and idolized in apostate churches, but God rightly tells us women are to be in subjection, adorned with shamefacedness and before God they are to be veiled still, unlike men, who, because they are the image and glory of God Himself, are not to entreat with God with their heads similarly covered. That would disgrace the man’s head, the Bible explains.(1 Corinthians 11:4) Don’t you get it yet? Feminism is lies. Women are not equal to men here on earth. Men were created first in the image of God, and women were created last of all to be helpers and mates for God’s images.
In our future, after our exaltation into glory, and being conformed into the image of Christ, things may be different, likely based upon how well we obeyed God in our particular calling. But that is just a possible thought based off of Luke 13:30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

The last Adam gives us living water. I can only lead you to it. Please take another drink of His Truth.


@Bnonn: Posting seems to take a long time here, I still don’t see my previous post.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Paul, I just don’t publish posts that aren’t advancing the discussion. The idea of comments is to improve or develop the thesis of the article, not to repetitively rehearse a disagreement.


Warm greetings in Christ,

I just found your website for the first time today and am encouraged to see your thoughtful Christian thinking. This particular issue (whether women are made in the image of God) is something I have been wrestling with acutely as of late and I am grateful for the article and discussion.

I just read through this comment thread and found some of the points on both sides helpful as I think through this. I would consider myself a great opponent of Feminism (I believe that men and women have equal worth before God but have different roles and responsibilities, i.e. wives should submit to their husbands, and men are called to be leaders in the family, the church, and society). I have grown up as a Christian believing that women are also image bearers of God. But, as with any topic, I am eager to understand what God’s Word says, even if this contradicts my previous belief.

It seems the best arguments for women being made in the image of God are:

1. Genesis 1:27 It seems male and female are an elaboration (e.g. further clarification) of what adam means

2. Theological Grounds
I thought your point about the Noahic covenant regarding murder was good and something I had not considered. Furthermore, I see the difficulty (though perhaps not impossibility) of men being co-heirs with those who who are not made in the image of God.

On the other hand, the strongest argument for ONLY men being created in the image of God seem to be:

1. 1st Corinthians 11:7
This is probably the primary reason I am reconsidering my current view, as it is hard to see it any other way as implying woman do not share the same image-bearing quality as men. I just can’t understand why Paul would say “Man should not do A, because he is B, but women are C” and not be implying that women are not B.

So here I am haha, confused.

I would like to pose a question to each side:

To Dominic: How do you interpret 1st Corinthians 11:7 in light of the seemingly clear implication from Paul’s argumentation?

To those who would say only men are created in the image of God:

What implications does this have for women as spiritual creatures? (I though animals don’t have souls because they are not made in the image of God)

Also, to throw perhaps another point to consider in the mix:
God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man, and man is the head of woman. Perhaps Christ’s relationship to God, and subsequently, man’s relationship to Christ, may prove helpful in determining the boundaries for women being under men mean?

Looking forward to further discussion,



We have a live (off topic) thread going about this topic over at Dalrock’s blog, beginning about here:
Check it out. Read all the discussion, and then copy your questions over there. There are more participants, and your comments will not be blocked, although you will most likely start off moderated for a few comments. I look forward to your participation. I like your reasoned style of inquiry.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

It’s true, you can post whatever vile filth you want on Dalrock’s blog, and he will sponsor it.

Josh, I’m going to do a separate post on 1 Corinthians 11:7, since it seems to generate so much confusion. Briefly, I’d note two rather important points to establish the boundaries of valid exegesis here:

1. Paul can’t be contradicting a previously-established doctrine, and the exegetical case for women bearing God’s image is airtight in Genesis, not to mention other parts of Paul’s own writings.

2. Paul specifically does not use the term “image” when referring to women; he only says “glory.” The two are related, but not the same.


Thanks to you both for your comments, I will continue to look into this when I get a bit more time.


Hi Bnonn. Thank you for allowing me to comment here.

It’s true, you can post whatever vile filth you want on Dalrock’s blog, and he will sponsor it.

That’s right, and I’ve documented Dalrock’s misbehavior for years on my little blog. It makes any honest reader face a sort of teleological dilemma, specifically, I wonder what good Christianity is, if the insane hatred and laughable dishonesty on permanent display is the “fruit” of living the teachings of Jesus.

On another note, can you explain exactly why you’re all squabbling? I honestly can’t understand the motivations, outside of the ‘narcissism of small differences’ phenomenon. I’ve read Dalrock for years, and I have read your blog for several weeks. You guys seem, from my perspective, to have a lot in common, outside the anonymity question.





Very interesting stuff regarding the divine council. I recently ran across Michael Heiser (who teaches this exact thing) and have been quite persuaded by his arguments. You likely learned this from him as well? Any other recommended teachings on this?

Regarding the “debate” on the other issue, I’m not sure how anyone can seriously read Genesis 1:27 and come away with the idea that females are not made in the image of God. It says they are explicitly in scripture.

But gender-neutral Bibles which use the term “humankind” miss the mark. The Hebrew ‘adam’ has a similar use to what ‘man/mankind’ does in English–it is flexible and can denote all of mankind (males and females) or just men (males) in particular. The term presumes male headship by making him the representative of the race. That’s why feminists won’t use it.

The term man/mankind also fits in neatly with the very points Paul makes in 1 corinthians 11 and elsewhere. That women are like men, equal in some ways, but also quite different in others and with a subservient authority to them. “Humankind” does not capture this dichotomy.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Boxer, I’m not really interested in squabbles with Dalrock or his bots. That would be pearls before swine. But I do want to point out that Dalrock’s fruit is putrid, so as to warn others here. The Bible models for us the importance of avoiding false teachers and warning others against them.

GW, yes, Heiser has been very helpful to me. There are other people who touch on divine council stuff, like Alistair Roberts, but it’s still relatively rare. On your point about mankind v. humankind, I am in complete agreement; I wasn’t intending to defend using the latter term, but only to point out that its use isn’t necessarily motivated by feminism per se.


To those who would say only men are created in the image of God:
What implications does this have for women as spiritual creatures?

I would be hesitant to try to go beyond what the Bible already tells us are the spiritual roles of husbands and wives, males and females. Just as I’m not absolutely certain at this point what the “image of God” consists of.
Bnonn and some others seem to imply there is more than one image.
“conflating different kinds of images”
Which would allow them to make the image of God to be any feature of God they want it to be, at any different point in scripture, to fit best with their other notions. How handy! So the wife can be the image of the church (not God) in Ephesians 5 while the husband is the image of Christ, and they still maintain that she is the image of their god/goddess elsewhere, in spite of 1 Corinthians 11.

Bnonn says: … women bearing God’s image is airtight in Genesis …
I’ve got to disagree. I first came to doubt women being in the image of God by noticing how clearly they were left out of the image of God in Genesis. We were doubly told that “Adam”, and “he/him” were created in the image of God. Male and female “them” were only stated to have been God’s creations, no mention of God’s image is given for the collective group. The word for “them” is not the exact same word for “him” or “adam”. Some folks seem to say that “them” is “adam”, but a different word is used for them, I believe that was intentional, and that God is an excellent author, who writes what He intends.

Bnonn says: I’m going to do a separate post on 1 Corinthians 11:7, since it seems to generate so much confusion.
I think the confusion only comes when people try to reconcile what they read, with the churchian dogma they’ve already accepted.
As a sentence the meaning is quite clear, until you start trying to make it agree with Feminist notions of equality. When the church threw out the unequal reason for the female head coverings, it wasn’t long before the head coverings were thrown off, and then it wasn’t long until women threw out their heads.(divorced their husbands)
The divorce epidemic, and adult and children’s lives being horribly damaged, is the putrid fruit of churches usurping men made in God’s image, and routinely dishonoring them, while conveying a better image and more glory onto women instead. Making hypergamous women scorn their husbands as equals or inferior to them. All women who want a husband, want a husband that they can look up to. You don’t look up to an equal. We all should honor the image and glory of God.(James 3:9) However if everybody has it, then it is cheapened into a non-factor in intersex dynamics. During this most putrid and vile great whoring of the church, it is crazy that those of us who think the church has left the rails of the Bible text, are the ones who get blamed as having bad fruit. LOL

However, I realize that in my zeal and anger, I have used some offensive language at Dalrock’s blog. I’ll try to, in the future, dial back any portion of that which is foul. And I ask some of you to consider repenting of effeminizing God, even the Father, by forcing women into His image, and forcibly equalizing the earthly sexes thereby wreaking havoc where we should be in unity and harmony under God’s patriarchal hierarchy.

Randy Sink

Quick question, I agree with Sharkly (to a much milder degree) that women are not made in God’s image. But, if they are, how does that not make God androgynous like pagan gods? If both men and women are made in God’s image, doesn’t that presuppose that He has both attributes of both sexes-androgynous?
Clearly, I am missing something. A little help please.


Wait, what about the fact that when it’s discussing about how God created males and females. It says him and not they. Isn’t that referring to Adam (the male due to it being a masculine pro noun). That he is the only one that gets to carry Gods image?

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

I explicitly answered this in the article…

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.

Johan Mortensen

Hi Bnonn. Just discovered this blog last week or so. I like it.
I haven’t read all the comments, but here are just a few thoughts:

I believe that male and female both were made in the image of God. I think you are right in your exegesis of Genesis 1. Both were called to subdue the earth. Both are representations of God in the world. Both are rulers together. I also believe the image includes rationality, conscience, responsibility, virtue, wisdom – all of which are required to rule over the earth – and things in which the woman share.

However there does seem to be a sense in which the male is “first” in expressing the image of God. He was created first, and Eve was made from him. He is the first in authority. And God always communicates himself as “male”.

However the man was incomplete without the woman, and there is something significant to the woman in God’s plan: She is the lifegiver, the one who brings fruitfulnes. And she is the bearer of the Messiah.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Hi Johan, I agree, though I’d make the following caveat:

Man is not incomplete in himself, as if he requires a woman to fill out some lack in his own person. Rather, he is incomplete in his capacity to fulfill the creation mandate; he requires a woman to achieve the goals which God set for mankind. He cannot be fruitful and multiply alone, nor can he exercise dominion in the way God desires; a woman is needed to reproduce mankind, and to refine the work of subduing and building in order to establish the kind of society God desires.

However, you are quite correct that the image of God is expressed first through men, and then subordinately through women. The term image in ANE religion referred to divine sonship (see Gentry & Wellum, Kingdom Through Covenant). It is significant that in both the Old and New Testaments, God includes the whole corporate body of his people under this rubric. “Israel is my firstborn son” and “Ye are all sons of God through faith” are theologically important statements. God assigns sonship not on the exclusive basis of sex, but on the inclusive basis of covenant.

Unfortunately, I suspect men like Sharkly are probably independent fundamentalists or similar, and have no foundation in systematic and covenant theology—so because they are bitter and angry towards women on account of what are probably legitimate grievances, this kind of reasoning strikes them as special pleading and they simply dismiss it.

Johan Mortensen

Agreed. I agree that a male isn’t personally incomplete without a woman. Otherwise Christ would be incomplete! Only that the woman completes the man in his mission. Although a good wife may certainly be complementary to her husband and in that sense “complete” him

(And I dislike my Danish bible for saying “you are all God’s children through faith.” in Galatians 3:26!)


I know this is an old post. But I’d like to add a little more to what has already been said.

The very process of sanctification is tied to being created in His God in Scripture (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10) Both men and women precipitate in this process.

This is just one of many issues people who deny women are created in His image would run into.

Sasak Rass

Women cannot be of equal value as men if they were not created in the image of God. What makes man and woman more valuable than the animals is that they are created in God’s image, part of that image is the fact that they are eternal. To claim that woman is not created in the image of God would make her no more valuable than animals. Muslims certainly believe that but Muslims worship the devil. Scripture is clear that spiritually men and woman are equal. It’s a heresy to say that women are not part of the imago Dei besides Gen 1:27 is very clear that both male and female are created in God’s image.



I am a youth leader at my church. I am as well read and as knowledgeable as all of you are on this site. I must admit that as I read I saw that a lot of it was lost on me. However, I am eager to understand. I love God, I am passionate about God and I wanted to teach the youth ministry about God in the correct way.

I was working on a workshop for the youth at my church about pop-culture/culture, and how the gender roles being attacked really messes with finding our identity as it directly clashes with what I call “kingdom culture” . what I wanted to do was compare what people define as a modern men/woman, and God’s Creation. I wanted to highlight how both men and women reflect attribute of God and I was looking how Woman were made in the imagine and likeness of God too.

I have to say that reading all of this has shaken me, and how I feel about everything and I don’t think that was the intention so I am asking for help to understand. I know in the discussion of theology and doctrine feelings are the last thing that should come into the discussion. However, as a young woman trying to find her identity in Christ, it was painful to read the back and forth of is the woman made in the image of likeness of God. Sure, it doesn’t make me less creation, and it does not make me less saved or less loved by our Father. But anyone that is looking for information (like I was) can find this and can read it, and can misunderstand like I am probably misunderstanding.

So my question for you wonderful knowledgeable people
Am I made in his likeness and image?
What exactly then does that mean for my identity in him?
Is there really a role and a part to play for us woman that want to work for His Glory?

God Bless you all,
Thank you in advance for your reply.

Trey Magnus

I realize this is an old post but I believe it’s important for it to have an answer.

First of all I applaud your desire to serve and bring glory to God, but I must tell you that you are going about it in all the wrong ways.

If you are a “youth leader” then you are NOT serving God and certainly not bring glory to Him by the fact that you are violating his instructions.

In 1 Timothy 2:9-14, the Apostle Paul has instruction for women. He says:
“Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, with modesty and self-restraint, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly clothing, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women professing godliness. A woman must learn in quietness, in all submission. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first formed, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into trespass. But she will be saved through the bearing of children, if they continue in faith and love and sanctification with self-restraint.”

It is clear that Paul is telling women that they are not to teach or exercise authority over men. To make that more clear, something that we in western civilization often miss is that in the Bible, there is no such thing as adolescence.

In the Bible (God’s eyes) you are a child, and then you are an adult. As a girl, you become a woman (and eligible to marry) when you have gone though puberty, i.e. you are having regular periods and your breasts have developed (for most women, that is around the age of 13-15). When a boy goes thru puberty and he is old enough to impregnate a female, he is considered a man. Thus, I would argue that virtually every young man in your youth group is considered a man in God’s eyes and God tells you that you are to neither teach them or have any authority over them.

Your cannot please God by doing what he has told you not to do.

In contrast, if you want to serve God and bring glory to him you need to know what instructions that God has given to you (as a women) and follow them.

God’s instructions in Genesis: “Be fruitful and multiply.”
Paul tells you in (1 Timothy 5:14) that you need to “Get married”, bear children and manage (your husbands) household.

As a wife, you are instructed by God (via Paul and Peter) to submit to your husband in everything and to “reverence” him. Peter makes it clear (1 Peter 3) that it there are no hoops a husband has to jump through for his wife to submit to and reverence him. Even if the husband is lost, the instruction still applies.

Peter tells you (1 Peter 3) that you need to do what Sarah did, as she obeyed her husband Abraham and called him her lord (owner and master).

Wives need to understand what Paul is saying in Ephesians 5 in that God created marriage to be a living picture of the relationship between Christ and the church where the husband represents (plays the role of) Christ and the wife plays the role of the church. “… just as the church submits to Christ, so should the wife submit to her husband in EVERYTHING.”

As a wife you need to see your husband as Christ’s representative to you on this earth. If you want to serve Christ, you do that by serving your husband. If you want to submit to Christ, you do that by submitting to your husband. If you want to please Christ, you do that by pleasing your husband.

The primary way a wife glorifies God… is by bringing glory to her husband, as she was created to do (1 Corinthians 11:7).


Bronn, this post is awesome.

I googled this topic to try to find out how to reconcile two seemingly opposite scriptures: Genesis specifically says that God created adam (humankind) in His image: male and female He created them, while Paul later, in I Corinthians, seems to say that woman was not created in God’s image but in man’s.

My thought when I come across something like this is that the problem is that we as humans lack a full understanding of one or both of the passages in question. If we understood both fully, there would be no contradiction. There can’t be, because the Holy Spirit does not contradict Himself.

Another example of a seemingly contradictory passage is also in I Corinthians: Paul forbids, in strong language, women to speak in church… but in so doing (well, at least according to our human limited understanding) he contradicts not only other scripture but his very own words earlier in the same letter, when he describes how the men and women speaking in tongues and prophesying should should order this speaking and prophesying while in church. Sure enough, I found when researching the exegesis of this that I had not fully understood the latter passage: in this case the difference the context made.

A comment you wrote on a previous post was the key for me in these two passages (is woman made in the image of man as Genesis says, or made in the image of man, as I Corinthians seems to say). Somehow I missed this, in my many times of reading both passages:

“Paul says that man is the image and glory of God, and woman is the glory of man. He notably omits the word image, presumably because he knows from Genesis that woman is also the image of God.”

I don’t even know your gender, but I found this post very enlightening, well thought out, and grounded in scripture.

Thank you! I look forward to reading other posts by you. Super solid.


Nollie, I’m not sure Trey’s answer is right. It may be (the scripture he quotes is indeed in the Bible and correctly quoted), but it may also not be (there may be other scripture that seems to contradict it, as in the case of the topic of this post). I haven’t done enough exegesis on it to know yet, nor asked Jesus about it yet, but I would encourage you to do further research of your own on it before you accept this as the right answer, and also so that you are confident in the answer you decide on, between you and God.

In the end it’s the responsibility of each of us to obey God / Jesus / Holy Spirit and in this we can use the help and insight of others, but that doesn’t excuse us from finding out and deciding for ourselves. We answer to Him alone when we die; we can’t point to someone else and blame that person for having guided us wrong. If that were so, carried to its natural conclusion, people who are of another religion, e.g. not following Jesus as the only way to God / salvation, could protest that the leaders of their other religion told them wrong, and then they could go to heaven even though they hadn’t followed Jesus. This would be obviously ridiculous but we don’t think the same of blindly following someone else (teacher, pastor, brother/sister in Christ, no matter how solid) on some crucial or even just important topic without looking seriously into it ourselves.

To me I would always rather know what God / Jesus / Holy Spirit think than what another person thinks, even if that person is Billy Graham. I certainly appreciate Billy Graham’s wisdom and experience, but no person is infallible, and God / Jesus / Holy Spirit are.

Nollie, from the wording of your comment it seems your heart is very good and that you sincerely want to know how to act rightly. Pray to God / Jesus / Holy Spirit to help you find the right answer and go to it, girl. <3 I applaud your heart.