Are Woman made in the image of God?


question goes as to whether women are made in the image of God. St. Paul seems to affirm that only men are, and that women are from the glory of man(hence women aren’t the original image of God). St Augustine says that women aren’t made in the original image of God originally. But that they are in it because they came from man. So women are in the image of God only because of the nature and glory of Man.

How can women be made in the original image of God if they came after Adam? Is only man made in the image of God? Most traditionalists say yes.

*1 Corinthians 11:7-9
"For a man . . . is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man".
For man is not from the woman, but woman from the man.
Nor was man created for woman, but woman for the man."

1 Tim 2:11-13
"Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.
And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man,
but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. "*


Paul’s words have always to be taken within these parameters:

  1. He was writing letters to various churches that he had helped start. He was dealing with complex and specific problems those particular churches were facing. He undoubtedly had no expectation that his letters would one day be considered holy scripture.

  2. Paul was a person of his time. He was emeshed in a greco-roman world. Apparently some of his churches were running afoul of local customs that were looked unfavorably upon by greeks and roman pagans. His pleas to tone down the “not man, nor woman, slave nor free” have to be considered in that context. He in fact said contradictory things. The fact that he “admonished” some practices suggests that they were indeed being practiced as correct doctrine. I think Paul must be read in light of this practicality rather than as correct doctrine.

  3. Paul’s statements that sound all too misogynistic are not the main focus of doctrine. The words of Jesus should carry much more weight in this area. Jesus was quite clear. Women again and again are given status and preaching authority by him. The Samaritan woman at the well comes to mind. His lessons about the woman who was being stoned. One can go on, but I think that is sufficient to suggest that Jesus is the one we should look to rather than Paul.


Interesting question.

I went back and re-read Genesis to see what exactly it had to say. In the English at least, it is a bit ambiguous. But whatever the case, what I would suggest is that the answer to your question may well be both yes and no at the same time.

What I mean by this is indicated in part by 1 Cor 11:3, "But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ."
An intriguing statement for those who believe that God is Trinity and thus the Father and the Son are the same Being.

In one sense, God the Father is no different than Jesus and, by that measure, on the same exact level of authority. And yet, the verse in question was penned for a reason, and there are others like it (Not the least of which is Jesus’ “odd” remark in the gospels that the Father is “greater” than he is). What the verse indicates is that there is a “relational superiority” that exists among the Father and the Son, the Father being “greater” in this way than the Son, and yet let’s not forget that in “return” for this “subjugation”, Colossians tells us that all things were made for Christ. As a “gift” of sorts.

Thus, one answer to your question may well be no. It may only be man that was created directly in God’s image, women come afterward from man. And yet, even if this is the case, woman then was created in God’s image by “extension”, for one thing (since man was the image of God and woman was taken directly out of man, what else could she be?), and for another, before men around the world puff out their chests in pride, note the “exchange” delineated at the bottom of the last paragraph. If all things were created by the Father for Christ and have since been subjected to him, how then are we men to treat women?

Hope this helps.



What is the image of God? Do you suppose God has two arms, two legs, two eyes? Why would God need arms and legs and eyes? Certainly Jesus, who is God, had a human body, but He is not only the body. He took on this body, became a man, for you and I.
To me the image of God is the eternal soul. The thing Jesus tells us is the most important. How many times does Jesus tell us not to worry about the body? The body isn’t what is important, the soul is what is important, that is the image of God, our eternal soul. Does woman have an eternal soul? Certainly. Is woman made in the image of God? certainly.


Ambiguous? :eek:

What part of Genesis 1:26-27 is “ambiguous” ??

26 Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.” 27 God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.

If, as has been shoved down female throats for centuries, use of the word “man” means both men and women, then it should be acceptable to read Verse 26 as saying: “Let us make men and women in our image…” or “Let us make humanity in our image…”

The same argument can also be used for Verse 27. Additionally, Verse 27 reads: “God created man…” not “God created a man…”

I am at a loss to understand how “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.” can possibly be ambiguous, except when read through testosterone-colored glasses.


Man is made in the image of God, male and female He created them.

Men and women are both made in the image of God.

You might be interested in listening to this study of the Theology of the Body:



Well, first off, it is the text itself that is less than perfectly conclusive, not my own opinion, which happens to be that, yes, women too are made in the image of God (…most of them anyway…LOL - yes, that’s a joke…deep breath…:slight_smile: ).

All I was saying was that I don’t know if “man” in the Hebrew in verse 26 is singular or plural and, thus, when it says, “Let us make man in our image” is it referring, strictly speaking, just to Adam or both Adam and Eve? Judging by the rest of the verse (and other aspects of tradition), it would seem to be referring to both, but I don’t speak ancient Hebrew, so…???

Additionally, you’ll note that rest of my post makes clear that even if woman were not technically “directly” made in the image of God, she was indirectly. You spoke of colored glasses filtering one’s perception of what’s being said. I can’t help but think that I’m not the one wearing them :wink: in that you’ve somehow interpreted my post to suggest that women are inferior to men.




I have always had a terribly difficult time assigning “misogynist” status to Scripture, seeing as how its primary Author is the Holy Spirit. Certainly contemporary cultural conditions and perceptions need to be kept in mind when reading any of the Bible’s pages. However, I believe it a grave error to associate the Lord’s Word with sin. No, Paul was not “perfect”, but God’s Word is. It is completely without doctrinal error and thus, rather than simply “pretend Paul didn’t really say that” or some such thing, I think we would do much better to conclude that we perceive him to be saying in the aforementioned passage, he really is not. What sounds like, “We all know that women are inferior to men” really is best understood as “Here is how the relationship between women and men - who are equal in status - works”, as I described above.

Peace be with you,


P.S. Love your signature. :slight_smile:


JPII said man and woman are equally made in the image of God and are essentially equal. In Social Justice, in the feminism thread, I just quoted where I got that from.


Yes. Being made in the image of God means being a rational creature, a creature possessed of an intellect and will, and so capable of love. It applies to both men and women and to the angels as well. This is why Adam can be called a son of God (Luke 3:38) and the angels called the sons of God (Job 1:6).


actually being a creature possessing and intellect and a will is simply being a person. that are only 3 classes of persons angles God and humans but that is totally a different subject.


There are only three known classes of persons, but we must remember that there is still the possibility that there are other creatures with a body and soul of the same nature as ours existing on worlds distant from earth.


I don't think as women carry the burden of pregnancy, which is something even God the Father could not even fathom


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