Genesis 1:26-28 says:

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

If God created man not only in his image, but in his likeness, and in order to rule over the rest of Earth, did he intend for them to be gods themselves?

  • 4
    Are you looking for an answer from a certain persuasion of Christian? For example, the LDS response if found in similar questions, christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/2885/…
    – Andrew
    Dec 28, 2012 at 23:37
  • 1
    "The most conclusive answer" depends on which view you're asking for. I think this question needs to be clarified.
    – Flimzy
    Dec 29, 2012 at 6:43
  • thats also something similar to Hindu saying, 'Aham Bramasmi' (I am god), which is ultimate state of understanding oneself (himself?) as God.
    – vi.su.
    Feb 20, 2013 at 1:53

3 Answers 3


The answer to this depends very much on the concept of who God is in the first place. If God is, as evangelical Christians believe, pre-existent, self-existent, omnipotent, omniscient, infinite and eternal, then it would be impossible for there to ever be multiple gods that share all those attributes.

A created being cannot become uncreated. A mortal being, or even an immortal being (that had a beginning but will live forever), cannot become eternal (without a beginning).

So, to whatever level of authority and power God would ever endow to mankind, we could never attain equality with God Himself.

In theology, we understand that there are communicable attributes and incommnicable attributes. The likeness of God within us contains His communicable atrributes. We are moral beings, intellectual beings, spiritual beings, etc. Yet, we are not uncreated, eternal, self-existent beings.


To discover the answer, you must define your terms.

As suggested by Francis Schaeffer, when Christians use the term "God," they mean personal infinite. If we dissect this definition, therein lies your answer. While people are obviously personal, they are obviously not infinite, so they cannot be a "God."

However, the term "god" can refer to a personal non-infinite, in which case, men are "gods." Obviously, men are personal and finite - this is indisputable.

It all depends on how you defend your terms. If you're trying to say man is a personal infinite you're in trouble theologically and rationally, but if you simply assert man as personal, this is acceptable - you simply must be careful in clarification.

When God made man in His likeness, He gave man the "personal" part of his nature. How can you know he did not also endow man with the "infinite" part of his nature? Think for a moment - can there really by two infinites? What if they fought? Who would win? This is impossible. There can be only one infinite, but many personal beings. So in our personhood, we are like God, and we are "gods." Our lack of infinite perfection, wisdom, and power contributed to our fall into sin. Because God is infinite, He, unlike us, cannot fall into sin.


In Chapter 2 of A.W. Tozer's "Knowledge of the Holy" he puts it this way:

"When the Scripture states that man was made in the image of God, we dare not add to that statement an idea from our own head and make it mean "in the exact image." To do so is to make man a replica of God, and that is to lose the unicity of God and end with no God at all. It is to break down the wall, infinitely high, that separates That-which-is-God from that-which-is-not-God. To think of creature and Creator as alike in essential being is to rob God of most of His attributes and reduce Him to the status of a creature. It is, for instance, to rob Him of His infinitude: there cannot be two unlimited substances in the universe. It is to take away His sovereignty: there cannot be two absolutely free beings in the universe, for sooner or later two completely free wills must collide. These attributes, to mention no more, require that there be but one to whom they belong."