The problems already noted with Genesis aside (else see previous posts), I have recently come to consider certain other problems with the text. Actually, these are more like conceptual problems than exegetical ones. God (it seems obvious to me) could have created all things of nothing instantly if he had wanted to do so. He could also have done it the way Genesis specifies — what I call the verbal succession model of creation. Here, God verbally commands in a wave of successive orders, like the commands of a king, and what he orders necessarily comes to pass. But there are some important reasons to think that it happened as I favor it — the whole system willed into existence by God’s nonverbal assent, all at once, as a completed system, in the twinkling of an eye.
Given the two ways God could have done it, if we look to the Solomonic literature to play the referee, we find that it urges the economy of words — “When words are many, sin is not absent; but he who holds his tongue is wise.” This would seem to indicate against unnecessary language. Since we can reasonably expect that the Lord’s wisdom far outweighs that of Solomon, we could expect that God would have willed everything into existence all at once, and would not have used language at all so to do.
But what did God create in the first place (as opposed to not creating anything as before the creation n moment)? The answer seems to be hinted at in the passage which shows God’s concern for Adam, that it is “not good for him to be alone.” God was alone, and grew weary of it, is the most natural explanation for why He created. He wanted friends. It is always good to make new friends. Later, we are told, Abraham was “God’s friend.”
Finally. a point of great import is this: God could not have made man in his own image, after His own likeness, for one simple reason. God does not have an image or a likeness. He is a most pure Spirit, and is invisible. This fact, let the reader recall, forms the very basis for the second commandment of the Decalogue. When God spoke to the people from the mountain, he adjured them, “remember that you saw no form.” Therefore, he goes onto command not to make graven images (idols), which falsely assume that God has some form.
This is the greatest error in Genesis, since it implies the deity of man accidentally, and also implies the incarnation — the later New Testament theology. The “Let us” is obviously manufactured here since God was alone, and since the trinity’s false basis also forms here, where the incarnation has its seed as well.
Man is symmetrical — like a mirror image — if you draw a line down the middle of his right side and left, showing each a reflection of the other. Turning this into the “divine image” makes it so that God must relate only by a kind of “lex talionis” toward those who affirm the false doctrine — it divinizes the principle of “reflexivity.” This also explains the tendencies of ancient polytheisms to “write men largishly into the sky as gods,” and to bring down the divine to inhabit ancient near eastern kings. It is a most important error and well worth pondering its implications.