GENDER EQUALITY AND CO-REGENCY
Adam is . . . [t]he first man that was what.
Not the first man. They say nobody so crazy they think
they can say who was the first man. But every body notice
the first white man cause he was white.
([Alice] Walker [The Color Purple] 1982: [page] 139)
The narrative of the creation of the world find its climactic moment in the creation of human beings. The term occasionally translated "human beings" in the NRSV and generally as "man" in most other English version is 'adam or ha'adam. Now this clearly is not a personal name (that is, Adam) as the KJV ill-advisedly begins to indicate at about Gen. 2:10. A better translation of this term, however, would be 'the earthling" since the term is derived from the term 'adama, meaning "land" or "earth." Such a translation clarifies better than "man" or even "human being" that the original intent of the author is to emphasize that God made "earthlings" as a whole, not just males, in God's image. As such, a better translation of verses 27-28 would be:
And God created the earthling in God's image, in the image of God God created it, male and female God created them.Such a translation takes into consecration that the term 'adam is meant to function as a collective term referring to both the male and the female. Thus, we should note that 'adam is here not a name or an ascription of gender but a collective term for "earthlings" in general; this is emphasized by the author's choice of the plural pronoun 'otham, and the use of the plural verbs geyirddu and urdu, meaning in 1:26 and 1:28 "let them have dominion," further reiterates the inclusive nature of the term 'adam. In the Creation account in Genesis 1:1--2:4a, both genders are vested with authority as stewards over the earth and all that is in it. It is in this way that the family begins, with this functional procreative unit: two beings reflecting God's glory in human form and united in common cause.
And God blessed them and God said to them, "(y'all) be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and exercise dominion over the fish of the sea and the foul of the heavens and over all the living beings that teem upon the earth."
This is an important theme because Africana families continue to struggle with the dysfunction of androcentrism and misogyny. If we are to overcome this tendency, we have to acknowledge that Creation offers no biblical precedent to the notion that we are created qualitatively differently as males and females; in Genesis 1 and 2, both genders were created with equal authority over the earth, and equal value as human beings. Herein is the basis of a functional union from which the human family arises in all of its forms.
above, the section in the chapter "Genesis," by Rodney S. Sadler, Jr., in The Africana Bible: Reading Israel's Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora.
HT David Ker, (again, See: more translating Phillis Wheatley)