God Works Relationally (Genesis 1:26a)

Bible Commentary / Produced by TOW Project

Even before God creates people, he speaks in the plural, “Let us make humankind in our image” (Gen. 1:26; emphasis added). While scholars differ on whether “us” refers to a divine assembly of angelic beings or to a unique plurality-in-unity of God, either view implies that God is inherently relational.[1] It is difficult to be sure exactly what the ancient Israelites would have understood the plural to mean here. For our purposes it seems best to follow the traditional Christian interpretation that it refers to the Trinity. In any case, we know from the New Testament that God is indeed in relationship with himself—and with his creation—in a Trinity of love. In John's Gospel we learn that the Son—“the Word [who] became flesh” (John 1:14)—is present and active in creation from the beginning.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. (John 1:1-4)

Thus Christians acknowledge our Trinitarian God, the unique Three-Persons-in-One-Being, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, all personally active in creation.