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Genesis 1:26 has dual application: history and prophecy. Both must be clearly identified and not confused with each other.
By JAMES HARPER
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The historical part is the creation of Adam through the agency of angels (cp. Psa 8:5; Heb 2:5-8). The prophetical part is the new creation through the agency of Christ (2 Cor 5:17-21). The historical fulfillment (creation of Adam, male and female) is immediate and temporal. The prophetic fulfillment (new creation in Christ) is future and eternal.

Comparing Genesis 2:24 (before the Fall) with Ephesians 5:31-32 makes it clear that Adam and Eve (immediate) are typical of Christ and the church (future).

“Us” is involved in both creative processes and has nothing to do with a “triune Godhead.” God and angels are “us” in the historical application. God and Christ are “us” in the prophetic application. Christ is in Genesis 1:26 in a creative role with God, but only in the prophetic application of the verse, not in the immediate historical application.

Given this view of Genesis 1:26, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that God intended “the Fall of man” and redemption in Christ right from the beginning. At the same time, though, given the way God created man, man remains responsible to Him for the choice he makes.

Further, regarding “dominion” in Genesis 1:26, we see that in Genesis 2:15ff is the historical fulfillment. Matthew 25:34, 46b is the prophetic fulfillment prepared for us from the foundation of the world. Both applications are easy to identify and not confuse with each other.

James Harper,
(Meriden, CT)

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