Q&A: Man and Animals Equal?

Man and Animals Equal?

Question

Somewhere in the Bible I read that man is equal with the animals, but I can't find the passage now. Do you know where it is?

Answer

Actually, the Bible never teaches that man is equal to the animals. It does sometimes speak of things they have in common, such as the fact that both man and animals die (Eccl. 3:19). But really the Bible ascribes far more importance to man than to animals. One reason for this is that man is created in the image of God, but animals are not. As God's image bearer, man is the ultimate creature of God's creation. We can also see this in the way that God gave man dominion over all other creatures, so that man would rule over the fish, birds, beasts of the field, etc. (e.g. Gen. 1:28; Ps. 8:6-8). We also see man's primacy in the fact that God became incarnate as a man, not as an animal. Then too, we have passages such as Psalm 8:5 and Hebrews 2:7, which indicate that man is only a little lower than the angels themselves, and that this will not always be the case. When Jesus returns redeemed man will be superior even to the angels (cf. 1 Cor. 6:3), and will rule alongside Christ for eternity (e.g. Rom. 5:17; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 22:5), but the Bible assigns no such authority to the animals.

Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Third Millennium Ministries.