Man was created by the immediate hand of God, and is different from all other creatures (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7). His complex nature is composed of 2 elements, 2 distinct substances, viz., body and soul (Genesis 2:7; Eccl. 12:7; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8).

The words translated “spirit” and “soul,” in 1 Thess. 5:23, Hebrews 4:12, are habitually used interchangeably (Matthew 10:28; 16:26; 1 Peter 1:22).

The “spirit” (Greek: pneuma) is the soul as rational; the “soul” (Greek: psuche) is the same, considered as the animating and vital principle of the body.

Man was created in the likeness of God as to the perfection of his nature, in knowledge (Col. 3:10), righteousness, and holiness (Ephesians 4:24), and as having dominion over all the inferior creatures (Genesis 1:28). He had in his original state God’s law written on his heart, and had power to obey it, and yet was capable of disobeying, being left the freedom of his own will.

He was created with holy mind and character, prompting him to holy actions, but he was fallible, and did fall from his integrity (3:1-6). (See FALL.)

There are various Hebrew words for “man.”

  1. Hebrew: אָדָם —transliteration: adam

    Meaning: man

    This word is used as the proper name of the first man. It is also the generic name of the human race (Genesis 1:26-27; 5:2; 8:21; Deuteronomy 8:3).

    Its equivalents are the Latin homo and the Greek anthropos (Matthew 5:13, 16).

    It denotes also man in opposition to woman (Genesis 3:12; Matthew 19:10).

    Click to learn about ADAM, the first manWhat was Adam, the first man, really like? Learn the amazing facts about this unique man from whom we all descended! And see why the First Adam needed the Last Adam.

  2. Hebrew: אִ֥ישׁ —transliteration: ish, ishi, like the Latin vir and Greek aner

    This word denotes…

    • a man, in opposition to a woman (1 Samuel 17:33)

      And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children. —Matthew 14:21 KJV

      “And Saul said to David, ‘You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.’” —1 Samuel 17:33 NKJV

    • a husband (Genesis 3:16)

      “…your desire will be for your husband,
      And he will rule over you.” —Genesis 3:16 NASB

      “It will come about in that day,” declares the LORD,
      “That you will call Me Ishi [my husband]
      And will no longer call Me Baali [my master, or my Baal]. —Hosea 2:16 NASB

  3. Hebrew: אֱנוֹשׁ —transliteration: enosh

    Meaning: a man or mankind—as mortal, transient, perishable (2 Chronicles 14:11; Isaiah 8:1; Job 15:14; Psalm 8:4; 9:19-20; 103:15)

    It is also applied to women (Joshua 8:25)—Hebrew: נָשִׁים —transliteration: ishshah (a feminine noun).

    Meaning: woman, wife, or female

  4. Hebrew: גָּ֫בֶר —transliteration: Geber

    Meaning: man

    …with reference to his strength, as distinguished from women ( Deuteronomy 22:5) and from children (Exodus 12:37)

    …with reference to a husband (Proverbs 6:34)

  5. Hebrew: methim, men as mortal (Isaiah 41:14), and as opposed to women and children (Deuteronomy 3:6; Job 11:3; Isaiah 3:25).

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Article Version: September 5, 2017