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What Does the Bible Say About..."Us" and "Our" in Genesis 1?

Why does Genesis 1:26 have us and we in it?


Genesis 1:26 says "let us make man in our image" because the Hebrew word "Elohim" (God) in Genesis 1 is a plural word. Therefore, when He speaks in this verse, it is necessary to speak in the plural: us and our rather than me and my.

Many Christians, myself included, take this to be the earliest indication in the scriptures of the triune nature of God (that is, the Trinity): Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. John 1:1-3 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." He was talking about Jesus, who "became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). Jesus, then, being one of the aspects of God, was present and active in the creation.

Others who either don't believe in the Trinity or who would find a human origin of the Bible argue that several people wrote Genesis. The first chapter, they say, was written by someone who used the word "Elohim" for God, but other chapters were written by someone who used the singular word, "Yahweh," for God. One argument taken from this is that the creation story in the first chapter is myth, as opposed to a separate creation story in chapter 2. To me it seems more acceptable to talk of God in the plural, whatever that means, than to deny the inspiration or validity of the scriptures.

The questioner responded: Thank you for your input. Although I do not agree with the trinity theory, you have a valid point.

The questioner subsequently asked: If elohim is plural, how would you read Exodus 7:1, Judges 6:31, 9:27, and 11:24?? and also the term “WORD” is derived from the Greek term “logos” which means thought or plan.


I thank you for making me study harder. Elohim is indeed a plural word, used in the singular form. It is what is termed a “plural intensive,” essentially meaning a plural word used in the singular to show an excess of the quality of the singular. In this case, “el” means power, “eloah” a powerful one or a god, and “elohim” the all powerful God. To use it as I did to indicate the triune nature of God is not an acceptable usage, for which I apologize. (There are other verses, including the one I quoted from John that indicate a Trinity without having to use this interpretation of the word “elohim.”) In two of the verses you cite, it is again a plural word used of a singular god. This is the case in Ex. 7:1 (of Moses) and Judg. 11:24 (of Chemoth). In Judg. 9:27 it is talking of Baal (another plural word), and so is a valid use of a simple plural. In Judg. 9:27 there is no indication from the text whether it should be translated “their god” or “their gods,” both valid translations of the word.

Of the passage from John 1, you say that “Logos” means thought or plan. That is an acceptable alternate rendering, but way down on the list. The primary meaning is a spoken word. It carries the idea of thought in the same sense that any word is a representation of a thing, and not the thing itself.

John uses the word “Logos” in a specific and unusual way. A Greek philosopher named Heraclitus first used the term Logos around 600 B.C. to designate the divine reason behind the universe. John appropriates and changes this meaning, thus making the word into a term or concept it did not previously have. Vine’s comment on the word “agape” would be equally valid concerning John’s use of “Logos”: “since the Spirit of revelation has used it to express ideas previously unknown, inquiry into its use, whether in Greek literature or in the Septuagint, throws but little light upon its distinctive meaning in the NT.”

Whatever its use or meaning, it does not negate the statement of John that Jesus was directly involved as the agent of creation in the beginning.

Again I thank you for pointing out my error. I will not use that argument for the triune nature of God again.