Genesis Bible Study 1: The Broken Image

Reading: Genesis 1:1-2:4

Principal Question: What is the meaning of “human”?

Main Point: God is One, Nature is his Art, and Humanity is his Self-Portrait.

In Detail

The material universe is a temporary phenomenon, which began with a word from the eternal God (Genesis 1:1).

The material universe has order and design (See Figure 1 attached).

Every created thing is good, and nothing evil has been created (Genesis 1:31).

The earth is not god.
The sun is not god.
The plants are not god.
The animals are not god, and
Humanity is not god, but
All were created by God, and
Perfectly demonstrate God’s power and beauty; so that
God’s great work of art is finished, (Genesis 2:1-3)
But the human work of governing is yet to be done (Genesis 1:28).

The Meaning of Human (Genesis in Simple English)

In the beginning when God made heaven and earth, the earth was empty and covered with darkness, and God’s Breath was moving over the waters. On the first day God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God separated light from darkness. He called the light day, and the darkness night.

On the second day, God created an expanse around the earth, and God separated the water above the expanse from the water below.

On the third day God separated land from water, and then made plants and trees.

On the fourth day, God appointed the sun and moon to govern the passing of time - day, night seasons, and years.

On the fifth day, God made fish and birds.

On the sixth day, God made all the animals of every kind. Then God looked at everything he had made, and all of it was good.

God said, “Now we will make mankind to be like us, in our image. We will let them rule the birds, fish, and all other animals.” So God made mankind in God’s image. He made male and female, and said, “Fill the earth with people and bring it under control. Rule over the birds, fish, and all the other animals.”

Then God looked at everything he had made, and all of it was good.

On the seventh day God rested, and blessed the seventh day.


  1. Have you read Genesis 1:1-2:3 before?
  2. If so, do you have any scientific or philosophical problems with the ideas expressed?
  3. Do you think Figure 1 (attached) is a good description of the writer’s meaning?
  4. Is there anything important in Genesis 1:1-2:3 which Figure 1 (attached) does not include?
  5. Do you believe the universe was created by someone, or exists eternally by itself?
  6. Discuss v 26-28.
  • What is the principle human task on earth?
  • How does this task reflect the character or person of God?
  • Do you think being male and female together reflects God better than just being male or just being female? Why?
  • Can one gender be fully human alone without the opposite gender?
  • How does being both male and female contribute to the task of governing humanely?
  1. What is your definition of “human”?
  2. What is your definition of “Divine”?

Scriptures Referenced

Genesis 1:1 - 2:4