Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏩ ⏹️
Detail from 'Adam and Eve', lithograph by Marc Chagall, 1960
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
— Genesis 1:27
The creation story in Genesis 1 & 2 is not one story but two. Two, stories intertwined and overlapping. The first story is concerned with the entire cosmos, ending in the creation of man(kind), while the second begins with the creation of man from the dust of the ground, and focuses on man's role as the steward of the earth and all that live therein.
The difference in the two accounts of the creation of humankind is significant. It is the latter account that has dominated our minds, religious and secular alike, for the past two thousand years. If asked, the majority of people today would reply that Adam was made from mud, and Eve, sometime later from his rib. No doubt this second story serves the patriarchy much better than the first.
So perhaps it is time to reclaim that first story, put it back in its primary place. If God created male and female in his own image (and remember English has no neuter pronoun) this rather implies that God is both female and male, and further that women and men were created as equals. Today we know that to be true, of course, but there are still those Biblical literalists that will use Genesis 2 to justify the church's patriarchal stance, and its continued oppression of women. Our duty is to call this out—using scripture to reveal the truth.