Genesis 1:27
By Jeff A. Benner

And God created man in his own image

God (Strong's #430)
The Hebrew word אלהים (elohiym) is the plural form of אלוה (elo'ah) literally meaning "strength" and "power" and is usually translated as God or god. The ים is the masculine plural suffix and when added to this word becomes אלהים (elohiym) which is usually translated as gods or judges as they are strong and powerful ones. But it is also commonly used for God as a name because he is "thee" strong and powerful one.

Create (Strong's #1254)
The Hebrew word behind created is the Hebrew verb ברא (bara). The idea of "creating" is an abstract thought that is foreign to Hebrew thought. The concrete understanding behind this word can be seen in 1 Samuel 2:29, "Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?" In this passage is the word "fattening" which is the same Hebrew verb ברא (bara). By extension this word also means to "fill up."

Man (Strong's #120)
The Hebrew word for man is אדם (adam) and is also the name of the first man.

Image (Strong's #6754)
The word צלם (tselem) is literally a shadow which is the outline or representation of the original.

And Elohiym, the Great Powerful One, filled the man with a representation of himself

When we read "And God created man in his own image" our minds form a mental picture of what we look like and then attribute this picture to God himself. In the Hebrews mind it is not the appearance of something that they concentrate on but its function. This passage is not implying a picture of man or God but their function. Through the Hebrew words of this text we see that God had placed within man a shadow or representation of his own function - goal, purpose, thought, etc. It is our responsibility to live our lives as representatives of God, acting in the same manner as he would.