We can begin our study with Genesis 1:26, where God made mankind in the Holy Trinity's ("Our") image and likeness, and gave male and female authority over the earth:
"God said, Let Us [Father, Son and Holy Spirit]
make mankind in our image, after Our likeness; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over every thing that creeps upon the earth."
God originally created
man and woman as male and female of their species, complete as a couple, to be able to reproduce and have dominion over all of the earth. Together, male and female formed a whole unit of their species, mankind. Such was the same for the animals,
birds, and fish of the sea; all were created male and female.
Genesis 1:26 states that God created man "in Our image" (Hebrew: tselem), "after Our likeness" (Hebrew: demuwth). The first word, tselem, means
statue or resemblance. In addition to outward appearance, a statue of something or someone brings to mind not only visual appearance, but also its internal characteristics and everything it represents. God also clarified that mankind should be
formed after His own outer image and form by using the word demuwth. This word also means "decoy," referring to "outward form." 1 (see Notes)
Thus, both internal and external characteristics are covered in this verse. We'll see in Genesis 3:22, however, that God didn't impart all of His fully-developed nature to man, for it was only after the Fall that man became "like God" in that he
could distinguish between good and evil.
In Genesis 1:27 we see the evidence of God's intention for male and female, which together formed "man" of mankind, to operate in conjunction as one whole unit within the earth:
"So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them."
Male and female both were created in God's own outer image, both were given his internal characteristics,
and together as one entity within the species they were to have dominion over the rest of the earth and its living creatures. Male and female were both vital parts to creating one whole. The male of the species was created first, with the female
coming after as his "helpmeet" and completion of her male counterpart. From Genesis 1:27 we get a glimpse of God's original intention: that both were created in the same inner and outer image of God, with the same capacity for learning and growth,
and together they were to exist as one complete unit within the species that was to govern God's earth.
One other point also sets the foundation of God's original intentions for mankind. In Genesis 1:22, God blessed fish
and fowl with "fruitfulness," the Hebrew word being parah. In Genesis 1:28, God also blessed man and woman with this same gift, but a different Hebrew word was used: rabah. The word rabah has
the connotation of not only fruitfulness in physical reproduction, but that of multiplication -- of becoming great in number -- of steady increase. As such we get the idea that God looked at man much differently than His other creatures. Where
the population of all other species might be controlled in some way, God intended mankind to be a much greater force upon the earth. Remember at this point in time there was no death in the flesh for man; that only came as a result of the Fall.