Genesis is the book of Beginnings. It all starts with God.
"In the Beginning" is the opening phrase of the Bible, followed by the word "God".
The intention of this first phrase is to set the start point for all consideration of the dynamics of biblical religion. Namely, it all begins with God.
From this opening phrase the first chapter of the first book marches forward with drum like beats pausing for each of a series of earth events depicting the days of creation.
Each day of creation builds with ever increasing excitement to the climax- the creation of the human person.
In the human person God finally encounters a being in the image and likeness of God. The human is a person and as a person is able to communicate with God on a level that is fully satisfying.
This image of God is specifically stated in the biblical text and depicted by two actions.
First, God personally forms the physical body of the man.
Second, God personally breathes into the man giving him the breath of life.
In all of these verses God speaks and says,
"Let there be..."
The Bible presents God as an all powerful creator who is able to create out of nothing...substance and matter, animals and other living things..out of nothing.
There is no need for pre existing matter. God creates all "matter" by fiat, that is by command. God says and there it is!
It might even be called spontaneous generation!
In Chapter 1:26 God says, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness and let him rule over..."
Which is followed by verse 1:27, a summary statement,
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him
male and female he created them
The specific details concerning the creation of man are provided in Chapter 2:7- "And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being."
This is a special creation. It is not by a simple command or fiat. Rather, God is pictured as taking time to give very personal and specific attention to the creation of the man.
All the other things and animals are subordinated to the man. Chapter 1:29;
Mankind's creation is set apart by the Bible as a special creation. The man is a person and consists not just of a body form ignited by the spark life.
Instead, the man is set apart as a creature specially formed by God and carrying within himself the spirit or (breath) of God.
The man is created with the ability to communicate with God and this communication is the basis for the huge significance of the human within the story of Genesis.
The word Communicate is very significant for the Genesis story. It is a word that relates to the individual person, either male or female.
It also relates to the community between the Adam and Eve - to include the community of Adam and any other men, or Eve and any other women. Likewise, it relates to the common union between the created being (humankind) and the Creator.
The essential thought is illustrated by dissecting the word communicate and words related to it. At the core the word is a conflated word Common+Union. It is a word of meeting, of conjunction.
The words community and communion, especially as used in the Christian Church, should be considered in an interpretation of Genesis.
The Creator made the human in the image and likeness of God. The likeness was so significant that Gensis even marvels at it in Chapter 1 verse 27,
" So God created man in his own image,
In the image of God he created him;
Male and female he created them.
also in Chapter 2 verse 7:
And the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life
and the man became a living being
And especially Chapter 3 verse 22:
And the Lord God said, "The man has now become like one of us,
knowing good and evil.
He must not be allowed to reach out his hand
and take also from the tree of life
and eat and live forever.
As we consider the meaning and purpose of Genesis the concept of communication and all its related concepts is very important.
The woman is able talk to the serpent. This signifies the ability of the human person to have community with all parts of the creation.
The serpent has a conversation with Eve, even to the point of reasoning using point and counter point. (See Chapter 3 verse 4).
The woman hears the point and counter point. She observes the tree and considers what she sees and the new information provided by the serpent. She reasons the predicament between the command of God and her own desire. Then she choses.