Scriptural Doctrine

The Scriptural account of the origin of man is contained in Genesis i. 26, 27, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” And Gen. ii. 7, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Two things are included in this account; first that man’s body was formed by the immediate intervention of God. It did not grow; nor was it produced by any process of development. Secondly, the soul was derived from God. He breathed into man “the breath of life,” that is, that life which constituted him a man, a living creature bearing the image of God.

Many have inferred from this language that the soul is an emanation from the divine essence; particula spiritus divini in corpore inclusa. This idea was strenuously resisted by the Christian fathers, and rejected by the Church, as inconsistent with the nature of God. It assumes that the divine essence is capable of division; that his essence can be communicated without his attributes, and that it can be degraded as the souls of fallen men are degraded. —Delitzsch’s “Biblical Psychology” in T. and T. Clark’s “Foreign Library,” and Auberlen in Herzog’s “Encyclopädie,” article “Geist der Menschen.”