While studying Bible, I noticed the word man in several verses. From Genesis to Revelations, man has been mentioned several times in different contexts. This aroused my curiosity, and I approached some senior pastors, who have mentored me in church since I joined the ministry 15 years ago. I needed to know why the word man was used in the Bible and what it represented. When we interacted for the session, I posed to them the question, what does man symbolize in the Bible?
In Genesis 1:26-28, man has been used as a symbol of humankind created in God’s image and likeness. Having made all the other things in the universe, God decided to create man and gave him dominion over all the other creatures. When He says, “Let us make man in our image and likeness, ” He refers to the human race. The first man was named Adam, and through him, the human race finally multiplied and filled the earth.
I welcome you to join me as we learn more about man and his symbolism in the Bible. We will discuss the definition of man in the Bible and his purpose when God created him. We will further learn about the duties and responsibilities God gave to man, among other topics. Read to the end to learn more about man in the Bible.
How does the Bible define man?
Genesis 1:26-28 defines man as having the image and likeness of God. In the verse, man is said to have been made as identical to God as possible. This has been assumed to mean that although God is said to be spiritual, He bears the exact resemblance to man. The same verse defines man as having authority over all the other creatures, and then authority is God-given.
Genesis 2:7 defines man as a living creature who can breathe. The verse talks about the process God used to make man. Man is said to have been made by dust from the ground before God gave him the breath of life, making man a living creature.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 defines man as having both a body and a soul. The same verse describes man as mortal, meaning he cannot live forever. In verse, when a man dies, his body is said to return to the dust where he came from, and his soul returns to God. This is assumed to mean that man is a spiritual being possessing both the body and spirit.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 defines man as having a purpose to fulfil on earth. According to the verse, man is expected to fear God and fulfil His commandments wholeheartedly. Man has therefore been defined as being purposeful.
Man, therefore, has been defined in the Bible as having the image and likeness of God, having a body and soul, immortal, authoritative and purposeful.
What is the purpose of man, according to the Bible?
Psalms 100:2-3 suggests that man needs to worship God with gladness and joyful songs. This is believed to be one of the purposes that God created man to do. Man must therefore worship God with happiness to honour the great things God has done for him.
1 Samuel 12:24 reveals another purpose to man; serving God faithfully and fearing Him. This has been translated to mean that man is expected to heed the voice of God at all times and diligently serve Him alone. Man is also expected to fear God by respecting His word and following all His commandments.
Matthew 22:37-39 speculates that man is expected to love God with all their heart and soul as they fulfils God’s greatest commandment. This indicates that God wants man to adore Him first before anything else.
Proverbs 3:6 exposes another purpose of man, acknowledging God in all their ways. This has been translated to mean that man is expected to lead a life that portrays godliness and shows that they recognize Him fully.
1 Corinthians 10:31 implies that the purpose of man is to glorify God in everything they do. The verse says that man is expected to glorify God in every circumstance and activity they take part in.
What Does the Bible Say About Meaning Of Man?
The Bible does not give the direct meaning of man, and some scholars have been forced to use some Bible verses to try and give man a Biblical definition. Genesis 1:26-28 suggests that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Genesis 2:7 speculates that man is a living creature capable of breathing. Ecclesiastes 12:7 reveals that man is a spiritual being who possesses a soul. Ecclesiastes 12:13 implies that man has been created with a purpose. From these verses, some have defined man as a living spiritual creature made in the image and likeness of God and with a purpose to fulfil on earth.
What is the meaning of manhood according to the Bible?
Some Biblical scholars have tried to define manhood by looking at different verses in the Bible. According to scholars, Biblical manhood is pegged on a few principles noted in some verses. In James 4:10, humility is encouraged, and God has promised to uplift those who humble before Him. Scholars assume humility shows signs of manhood in the Bible as it endears you to God.
Manhood also entails leadership, as speculated in Ephesians 5:22-23. Just as Christ led the church, a man is expected to be the head of the family and lead the wife. The man is expected to offer protection and provide for his wife and family as commanded in the Bible. Every man should possess this crucial pillar of manhood to attain manhood. Manhood also entails having self-control and knowing how to handle matters like a man is expected to without having to cause issues.
These are some of the principles mentioned in the Bible that some scholars have used to bring out the meaning of manhood according to the Bible.
What does man symbolize in the Bible?
Man is a symbol of those who have yet to accept the word of God
In 1 Corinthians 2:14, man has been used as a symbol of those who have not yet received the word of God. He is described as the natural man who does not find sense in the word of God since it requires spirituality to be understood. The natural man, therefore, feels like the word of God is utter foolishness, so they do not follow the word.
Man is a symbol of those who walk in God’s light
In Psalms 1, man symbolizes the people who walk in the light of God. The man is said to be blessed because he has chosen to walk in the light of God and not in wickedness and disobedience. ManMan is promised prosperity and flourishing because of following the word of God.
Man is a symbol of a person who has matured in the word of God
In 1 Corinthians 13:11, man symbolizes a person who has developed in the word of God. The man is said to no longer do childish things since they have grown well in God’s word. This has been assumed to mean that man now understands the ways of God in a better way and follows His commandments with more obedience.
Man as a symbol of the youth
In Psalms, 119:9-16 man has been used to symbolize youth. In the verse, the young man symbolizes the youth who easily falls into temptations. The verse advises them to guard their ways by following the commandments of God to the letter.
Man is a symbol of both the male and female genders
In Genesis 1:26-28 man has been used to symbolize both the male and female genders. In the verse, God is said to have created man in both the male and female genders in His image and likeness.
Man as a symbol of a husband
In Genesis 2:24, man has been used to symbolize a husband who is getting married. According to the verse, the man is expected to leave his parent’s house and get himself a wife with whom they will be joined to one flesh.
What are the duties and responsibilities of man according to the book of Genesis?
In Genesis 1:26-28 man is responsible for ruling over and caring for God’s creation. Having been created in the image and likeness of man, he is given dominion over other creatures. This is assumed to be so since man can think and make decisions just like God.
In the same verse, man has been given the duty of filling the earth. God blesses man and makes them fruitful to multiply and bring forth offspring.
What was God’s purpose for man according to the Bible?
God’s purpose for man is to fear and serve Him, according to 1 Samuel 12:24. The verse reveals that God expects man to respect Him highly and serve Him faithfully as the creator. Serving God could be through worshipping Him or even through helping others. In everything a man does, they are reminded that one of the essential purposes is offering service to God.
God’s purpose for man was to multiply and fill the earth according to Genesis 1:26-28 fruitfully. By blessing man with fruitfulness, God expected Him to bring forth offspring to fill the world.
In 1 Corinthians 10:31, God had a purpose for man always to glorify Him. The verse reveals that God wants man always to glorify Him, no matter the situation.
These three verses reveal the purpose that God created man for and how He would like the purpose to be achieved.
Does man always mean the male gender in the Bible?
Man does not always mean the male gender in the Bible. In Genesis 1:26-28 God is said to have created man, both male and female and blessed them with dominion over the earth. In the verse, man has been used to represent both the male and female genders who have been given authority over the other creatures. Despite being used in most cases to refer to the male gender, in this case, it has been utilized differently to mean both male and female.
What are the responsibilities of man according to the Bible?
Man has been responsible for obeying God’s word and will and following his commandments, as in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14. Man is expected to obey God’s word and follow his teachings well since He is the creator and requires man to do so.
In Genesis 1:26-28 man has been responsible for caring for other creatures made by God. Man is given authority over these animals since he has been created in the image and likeness of God. Man is also given the responsibility of multiplying and filling the earth.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Man has been responsible for being watchful and firm in faith while ensuring that they do everything with love. They are also responsible for ensuring they remain solid and steadfast in their faith as Christians.
In Mark 12:29-31 man is responsible for loving God the creator wholeheartedly and loving their neighbours. While doing this, they would be fulfilling the greatest commandment of God, loving your neighbour.
The most significant responsibility of man in the Bible is ensuring that they keep their relationship acceptable with God by loving Him wholeheartedly and by also loving their neighbours.
What is the spiritual man according to the Bible?
The spiritual man can discern good and evil while making the right decisions in their Christian life. As in 1 Corinthians 2:15, a spiritual man knows when something is right in the eyes of God or when something is evil and will always choose right over evil.
Galatians 5:22-23 shows us the fruits of the Holy Spirit that the spiritual man possesses. The spiritual man is expected to have joy in everything they do. They should also love God and every other person. He should support peace and exercise patience in all they do. Kindness and goodness should also be seen in them when relating to people. Faithfulness, humility and self-control are vital fruits that enable us to rate a spiritual man.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.