Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries Holy Bible and Watchtower


Was Adam created "perfect"?

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A topic that brings confusion to the dogmas of many religions is the topic being examined here.  Given that the misconstruing of this subject has created one of the basic axioms that “supports” the dogmatics of the so-called “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, we shall focus mainly on their positions as an example to be avoided, since the organization in question is a classical case of accumulated cacodoxies.




In brief, the Watchtower organization maintains that:

Adam and Eve were created perfect by God, because whatever God makes, is perfect. However, because of their sin, they lost that perfection, thus causing the onslaught of sickness, old age and death in the life of mankind. Consequently, God’s intention for man was for him to forever be in the perfect, sinless and immortal status of the first-fashioned humans, in a terrestrial paradise.  If God had intended Adam for heaven, He would have created him there, and not on earth.”

The Watchtower organization of course promotes this view, in order to support its dogma that “God’s intention is for the majority of mankind to live ONLY on earth, while a select few will go to heaven, as a necessary exception to His plan.”

We intend to prove herebelow that Adam was not created perfect, and consequently everything that the Watchtower asserts in their axiom is crushed.


“Perfect”, or “very good”?

Let’s first take a look at the direct assurance of the Holy Bible; Even as far as the time of Eve’s creation, God had not created a single earthly creation of his as a "perfect" one - as Moses tells us in Genesis 1 31: "And God looked upon everything that He had created, and behold, they were very good". 

Those who are familiar with the Greek language can easily discern that the expression “very good” (êáëÜ ëßáí) is a far cry from the word “perfect” (ôÝëåéïí). A perfect creation is one that lacks nothing. Therefore, both Adam and Eve and the rest of material Creation described in Genesis, were simply deficient.

Does this mean that God didn’t know how to do things properly?  Of course not!

The reason He didn’t create them "perfect" from the beginning, was that Creation still lacked something, even after the creation of mankind. There was another element that had to be attained, which required the collaboration of man.  This detail is apparent, in the following verse:


The image and the likeness

Genesis 1 26,27:  And the Lord said: Let’s make man, according to our image and according to our likeness…..And God created man according to His image.  According to the image of God He created him.”  

Here -according to the teaching of the Fathers- God appears to have the intention of creating man “according to the image and to the likeness” of Himself.  When He eventually created man, He made man only according to His image. And this is where the formula for perfection was hidden: Having been created “according to God’s image”, man was “very fine”.  However, only when man succeeds in becoming “according to God’s likeness, he would then be on the course towards becoming "perfect".

So, what is the significance of the expressions “according to the image of” and “according to the likeness of”?

“According to the image of”, implies man’s potential –as a free-willed and intelligent creature- to resemble God.

But, “According to the likeness of”, entails man’s course for attaining this resemblance, which can only be achieved through the collaboration of man with the Holy Spirit.

Given that God is what He is - BECAUSE HE WANTS TO and not because He is compelled to - man must likewise WANT TO, must STRIVE to, by using his freedom as “the image of” and his intelligence, reach perfection; in other words, seek the course towards becoming “according to the likeness of God.” This is a characteristic that man alone has, in all of creation.

It was not possible for man to be created perfect straight away (=compulsorily).  Satan had enticed man, that he would become “according to the likeness of God” through his independence and self-government, without the collaboration of the Holy Spirit. Because of this, man failed to attain the goal of perfection (=he sinned), thus, instead of becoming “according to the likeness of God”, man now “resembled the decadent beasts”. The goal of perfection is the goal of every Christian, as is evident in the following Gospel excerpts:  

Matthew 5: 48:  Be therefore perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect”.

Hebrews 6: 1:  “..putting aside the initial teaching of Christ, let us move on, towards perfection..”

Ephesians 4: 13:  “Until such time as we shall all have reached the unity of the faith and the awareness of the Son of God, (thus becoming) a perfect man, to that measure of age of the fullness of Christ.”

We must clarify something here:  When the Holy Bible speaks of perfection, it is nowhere referring to the perfection of the physical body, as perceived by “Witnesses”.  The Bible speaks of a similarity to God, which has absolutely nothing to do with a corporal inference. The fact that the bodies of the perfected acquire incorruptibility and immortality is only the natural result of perfection, and not perfection itself.

So, how can we become similar to God, if we haven’t seen Him?

Once again, the answer lies in the phrase: “according to His image and according to His likeness”.  It doesn’t say: “image and likeness”.

What does the word “according to” (Greek=êáôÜ) imply?  It implies “the image of the image” of God, and not God’s image directly.
Who then is the direct image of God?  It is Jesus Christ of course:

Collosians 1: 15: “...who is the image of the invisible God…”

Adam, therefore, had been created “according to the image of God”, or, “as an image of Christ.

The fact that Jesus Christ had not yet been incarnated as a man, is not an issue.  God, Who is beyond time, and as the Creator of Time, knows the future full well. All of this, is in compliance with Ephesians 4: 13 that we mentioned previously. We must therefore strive towards the example that was set by the Lord Jesus Christ, because this is what will lead us to becoming “according to the likeness” of God – in other words, our path towards perfection.

Could it be that perfection is not feasible, since we are referring to the infinitely perfect God?  
This is partially true. To reach Him is definitely impossible. But we can draw nearer to Him, from now through to all eternity, becoming more and more according to His likeness, as we can see from the following verse:

Corinthians II, 3: 18: “but we all, with face uncovered, as reflections of the glory of God, are transformed into the same image, from glory to glory.”

Perfection therefore is a relative idea, and each one of us is on a course towards the likeness, either of God, or of his enemy the Devil.  The free will of each one of us is the determining factor for the stage of progress one has attained. Perfection is not a destination point. It is a non-stop course!

A verse that indicates this relative meaning of the word “perfection” appears very early in the Holy Bible:
Genesis 6: 9: “Noah was a righteous man, perfect amongst those of his time.  Noah had walked with God…”  

Noah is regarded perfect, as compared to his contemporaries, because “he walked with God.”   He was on the course towards perfection!   He had exhausted all the means available to him at the time, on his road towards perfection.

The reality is, that the creation of mankind was perfected, much, much later. It was only upon the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, that man (at last) appeared in a state of perfection. Jesus Christ was the only man Who was actually perfect.  In His person, mankind had found the fulfillment of God’s purpose for it:  “let’s create man….according to our likeness.”

Jesus had opened the way towards perfection and towards all those who were on the path for becoming “according to the likeness”.

James 3: 9:  …..men, who have been made according to the likeness of God….”


The target of the Christian course

Further down, we shall present a few of the verses which indicate that Christians are on a course towards perfection, when following the only, absolutely perfect one, Jesus:

Colossians 1: 28: ...so that we might present every person perfect...

Colïssians 4: 12: ...so that you may stand perfect...

James 1: 4: ...so that you might be perfect and whole, lacking in nothing...

Matthew 5: 48: …Be therefore perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect….

Romans 8: 29: ...whom He knew beforehand, and destined (them) to comply with the image of His Son...

Hebrews 5: 14: …Solid food is for the perfect: those who have purposely exercised their senses, for distinguishing between good and evil.
The above verse also proves that man is not created perfect, but can become so, through his personal endeavors.

Hebrews 6: 1: ...we move towards perfection...

Ephesians 4: 13: “Until such time as we shall all have reached the unity of the faith and the awareness of the Son of God, (thus becoming) a perfect man, to that measure of age of the fullness of Christ.”

The results of man’s perfection will also have an impact on all of creation, which will undergo a change in order that God’s plan and His creation be fulfilled – not only for the sake of man, but also for the sake of material creation, over which man was appointed its king.

Romans 8: 19-21: “for, the earnest expectation of creation eagerly anticipates the revelation of the sons of God…. for, even creation shall be freed from the bonds of deterioration, into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

Since creation is also going to be liberated along with mankind from the bonds of deterioration, it means that it, too, shall become incorruptible. However, the Watchtower here insists that the word “creation” implies a supposed earthly group of people. (Book: "Worship", page 188). This assertion is wrong, not only because (according to Watchtower) incorruptibility is granted exclusively to those who go to heaven, but also because the verse that follows immediately after, makes it absolutely clear that the reference applies to all of creation, and not just a group of people: “for, ALL OF CREATION also groans and labors in agony….”


Man was created according to the image of God, for the purpose of his voluntarily striving for perfection, which is the culmination of man’s creation : according to the likeness of God. This is achieved by Christians today, when they follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ. Having received the Holy Spirit through Holy Baptism, they can become more and more perfect, because for all eternity, they shall be forever moving towards the infinite perfection of God.

Finally, even though the word ‘perfection’ does not pertain to the physical body, those who will be saved shall acquire a new, incorruptible body and they shall enjoy living in an incorruptible, new earth, while also living in the celestial presence of God.  And THAT is when God’s creation for mankind as a whole shall be fulfilled. (Peter II, 3: 10-13).



Transcript: Í.Ì.

Translation by A.N.

Greek Text

Article published in English on: 23-9-2005.

Last update: 30-9-2023.