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What is a created kind?

Julian Spriggs M.A.

Related articles

Introduction to Genesis Are chapters 1 to 11 of Genesis historical?
Long lives of the patriarchs Revelation as God the Creator
Chronology of the flood (Gen 7-8) Table of the Nations (Gen 10)
The Tower of Babel (Gen 11)

Created kind in the creation account

In the creation account in Genesis chapter 1, there is a phrase ‘of every kind’ repeated three times in day three, twice in day five, and five times in day six of creation (v21, 24-25). On the third day, God created plants yielding seed and fruit trees of every kind (v11-12). On the fifth day, God created every living creature that moves, of every kind (v21), and every winged bird of every kind (v21). On the sixth day, God created living creatures of every kind (v24), cattle, creeping things and wild animals of every kind (v24), wild animals of the earth of every kind (v24), and everything that creeps on the ground of every kind (v24). On the seventh day, God created mankind, according to his likeness (v26).

It is significant to note that the plants and animals were created according to their kind, but human beings were created in the likeness or image of God. According to Genesis, there is a distinct difference between human beings and the rest of the created world, including animals and plants.

During the flood

Noah was told to bring two (one male and one female) of every kind onto the ark (Gen 6:19-21). This is that Noah did at the beginning of the flood - every wild animal of every kind, domestic animals of every kind, and every bird of every kind (Gen 7:14).

Species or kinds?

In the 1700's Carl Linnaeus developed what has become the standard system of classification, with seven levels of classification: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species.

Fixed species

One common misconception of the creation account is that the created kind in Genesis is same as a species. It is often assumed that the account in Genesis implies that God created each species separately, and that these have remained unchanged since the original creation. This is known as the ‘fixity of species’. This would suggest that the species observed today are exactly the same as those God originally created, although some, or many, have since become extinct.

How many species are there?

For several reasons, it is surprisingly extremely difficult to give an exact calculation of the total number of species living in the world. One suggestion is there is a total of 2.1 million species of animals and plants including 1.5 million invertebrates (microorganisms, insects, molluscs etc). For the vertebrates, estimates are that there are 6,600 mammals, 12,000 birds, 8,500 amphibians and 12,000 reptiles, and 36,000 fish currently living.

Clearly it would have been equally totally impossible for Noah to have taken two of each of this number of species into the ark, as it would also been for Adam to have named them all.

What is a species?

It is actually very difficult to make an exact definition of what a species is. Normally a species is defined by its characteristic appearance, and particularly whether individual organisms can interbreed and produce fertile young.

These are three definitions of a species from scientific sources which express the difficulties.

“A species is often defined as a group of organisms that can reproduce naturally with one another and create fertile offspring. However, the classification of a species can be difficult, even riddled with controversy.” National Geographic.

“A species is a group of organisms that share a genetic heritage, are able to interbreed, and to create offspring that are also fertile. Different species are separated from each other by reproductive barriers. These barriers can be geographical, such as a mountain range separating two populations, or genetic barriers that do not allow for reproduction between the two populations. Scientists have changed their definition of a species several times throughout history.” Biology Dictionary

"A species is a group of living organisms that are all broadly similar and can, at least in principle, breed with one another. This seems straightforward enough, but the word ‘species’ is actually fiendishly difficult to define. Despite decades of research, biologists do not agree on what constitutes a species."New Scientist

What is a Baramin?

This is a made-up word which is sometimes used to refer to a created kind. It is made from two separate Hebrew words joined together, ‘bara’, meaning ‘to create’, and ‘min’, meaning ‘kind’.

How many created kinds were there originally?

The best we can do today is to come up with a rough estimate. This is based on two considerations, the basic appearance of the organism, and whether they can hybridise.

1. The basic appearance

This is also known as the cognitum. This is the way the human cognitive senses, particularly sight, naturally group different organisms together. For example, by sight it is clear that horses, zebras and donkeys all belong to the same family of animals, or that lions, tigers, jaguars and leopards are all cats, normally referred to as ‘big cats’. These are normally grouped into families in the Linnean classification. A family consists of genera and species, all of which share a similar appearance, and often particular biological and genetic characteristics too.

2. Hybridisation

Hybridisation occurs is when two organisms from different species, or even different genera mate and produce offspring, known as a hybrid. There are countless examples of animals of different species successfully interbreeding to produce a hybrid. Some of these hybrids are fertile, and others, like the mule, are not. Some of these only take place in captivity, while others will occasionally occur in the wild.

Some of the more well known hybrids

Among the big cats, a tigon is the offspring of a male tiger and a female lion and a liger is the offspring of a male lion and a female tiger. Tigons and ligers are normally much larger than their parents. These only occur in captivity because lions are resident in Africa and tigers are resident in Asia. Hybrids are also known between leopards and lions, and between lions and jaguars. All these are within the same genus Panthera.

Among the horses, hybrids are known between horses and zebras (known as a zorse), and between zebras and donkeys (known as a zedonk). Mules are hybrids between a horse and a donkey, but are normally infertile. All are within the genus Equus.

An example of a hybrid between different genera is the wolphin, which is the result of a cross between a female common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) with a male false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens).

Among both wild and domestic birds, hybridisation is surprisingly common. For example, there are many hybrids between ducks of the genus Anthya, including Tufted Duck, Pochard, Scaup and Ferruginous Duck. There are also hybrids between Anthya ducks and ducks of a different genera, like the Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina).


The Biblical understanding is that a created kind is a reproductive unit. If two organisms can reproduce, they belong to the same created kind. However, some members of the same created kind may no longer be able to reproduce because of genetic variation and mutations.

Based on the two criteria, it has been estimated that there were about 1,400 original created kinds, and that two of each of these 1,400 were taken on the ark (plus seven of each of the clean animals, particularly sheep, goats and cows).

What happened after the flood?

At the end of the flood, God told Noah to bring out his family and all the animals from the ark, so that they will be fruitful and multiply on the earth (Gen 8:17-19).

Each created kind became the basis for all the species that are members of that kind. Each kind contained the genetic information for the multitude of different species and varieties that would arise from the original kind.

Though we observe multiple species and varieties within kinds, we never observe one kind evolving into a different kind. Instead of an evolutionary tree of life, we observe a creation orchard of God’s created kinds with variation occurring only within those kinds.

Each kind was originally created separately, but particularly following the flood there has been great diversification and variation, particularly when populations have separated geographically and genetically. Species within a created kind can often hybridise, but hybridisation is never possible between two different created kinds.

Two difficult questions

Often it is asked, ‘How could Adam name all the animals?’, and ‘How could Noah take them all on the ark?’. If there were around 1,400 different created kinds, both of these could have been possible. If there were 2.1 million different kinds, then both of these would be completely impossible.

Size of the ark

The ark was surprisingly large, and is comparable with the size of modern car ferry. According to Genesis, the dimensions of the ark were as follows: length 300 cubits, width 50 cubits and height 30 cubits (Gen 6:15). A cubit is normally believed to have been the length of the arm from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. This is about 45 cm (1.5 feet). This would suggest that the ark was 135m (450 feet) long, 23m (75 feet) wide and 14m (45 feet) high. Apparently the average sized animal is the sheep. A ship this size would have no problem fitting 2,800 sheep into it.

Made in the image of God

In the Genesis account, there is a distinct difference between human beings and the animals. Even though humans share some biochemical and genetic make-up, that is no evidence of having a common ancestor, or of having the same value. The Book of Genesis makes a great emphasis on the fact that human beings are of much greater value before God than the animals are.

"Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth’. So God created mankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." (Gen 1:26-27).

This is stated again at the beginning of the list of the descendants of Adam. "When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them mankind, when they were created. (Gen 5:1).

When human beings have offspring, those children are also share the image of God. “Adam ... became a father of a son in his likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth” (Gen 5:3).

The value of human life in the sight of God is based on the fact that humans were made his image. “Whoever sheds the blood of a human, by a human shall that person’s blood be shed; for in his own image God made mankind.” (Gen 9:6).

Image of God, not children of God

It is important to distinguish between being made in the image of God and becoming children of God. All human beings, whether they believe in God or not, are made in his image. However, it is only through faith in Jesus that we can become children of God. This is stated in the prologue to John’s Gospel, “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God” (Jn 1:12).

Related articles

Introduction to Genesis Are chapters 1 to 11 of Genesis historical?
Long lives of the patriarchs Revelation as God the Creator
Chronology of the flood (Gen 7-8) Table of the Nations (Gen 10)
The Tower of Babel (Gen 11)

The Bible

Pages which look at issues relevant to the whole Bible, such as the Canon of Scripture, as well as doctrinal and theological issues. There are also pages about the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha and 'lost books' of the Old Testament.

Also included are lists of the quotations of the OT in the NT, and passages of the OT quoted in the NT.

Why These 66 Books?
Books in the Hebrew Scriptures
Quotations in NT From OT
OT Passages Quoted in NT
History of the English Bible
Twelve Books of the Apocrypha
The Pseudepigrapha - False Writings
Lost Books Referenced in OT

Old Testament Overview

This is a series of six pages which give a historical overview through the Old Testament and the inter-testamental period, showing where each OT book fits into the history of Israel.

OT 1: Creation and Patriarchs
OT 2: Exodus and Wilderness
OT 3: Conquest and Monarchy
OT 4: Divided kingdom and Exile
OT 5: Return from Exile
OT 6: 400 Silent Years

New Testament Overview

This is a series of five pages which give a historical overview through the New Testament, focusing on the Ministry of Jesus, Paul's missionary journeys, and the later first century. Again, it shows where each book of the NT fits into the history of the first century.

NT 1: Life and Ministry of Jesus
NT 2: Birth of the Church
NT 3: Paul's Missionary Journeys
NT 4: Paul's Imprisonment
NT 5: John and Later NT

Introductions to Old Testament Books

This is an almost complete collection of introductions to each of the books in the Old Testament. Each contains information about the authorship, date, historical setting and main themes of the book.

Genesis Exodus Leviticus
Numbers Deuteronomy

Joshua Judges Ruth
1 & 2 Samuel 1 & 2 Kings Chronicles
Ezra & Nehemiah Esther

Job Psalms Proverbs

Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations
Ezekiel Daniel

Hosea Joel Amos
Obadiah Jonah Micah
Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah
Haggai Zechariah Malachi

Introductions to New Testament Books

This is a collection of introductions to each of the 27 books in the New Testament. Each contains information about the authorship, date, historical setting and main themes of the book.

Matthew's Gospel Mark's Gospel Luke's Gospel
John's Gospel

Book of Acts

Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians
Galatians Ephesians Philippians
Colossians 1 & 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy
2 Timothy Titus Philemon

Hebrews James 1 Peter
2 Peter 1 John 2 & 3 John


Old Testament History

Information about the different nations surrounding Israel, and other articles concerning Old Testament history and the inter-testamental period.

Canaanite Religion
Israel's Enemies During the Conquest
Syria / Aram
The Assyrian Empire
Babylon and its History
The Persian Empire
The Greek Empire
The 400 Silent Years
The Ptolemies and Seleucids
Antiochus IV - Epiphanes

Old Testament Studies

A series of articles covering more general topics for OT studies. These include a list of the people named in the OT and confirmed by archaeology. There are also pages to convert the different units of measure in the OT, such as the talent, cubit and ephah into modern units.

More theological topics include warfare in the ancient world, the Holy Spirit in the OT, and types of Jesus in the OT.

OT People Confirmed by Archaeology
OT People Search
God the Creator
The Importance of Paradox
The Jewish Calendar
Holy War in the Ancient World
Talent Converter (weights)
Cubit Converter (lengths)
Ephah Converter (volumes)
The Holy Spirit in the OT
Types of Jesus in the OT

Studies in the Pentateuch (Gen - Deut)

A series of articles covering studies in the five books of Moses. Studies in the Book of Genesis look at the historical nature of the early chapters of Genesis, the Tower of Babel and the Table of the Nations.

There are also pages about covenants, the sacrifices and offerings, the Jewish festivals and the tabernacle, as well as the issue of tithing.

Are chapters 1-11 of Genesis historical?
Chronology of the Flood
Genealogies of the Patriarchs
What is a created kind?
Table of the Nations (Gen 10)
Tower of Babel (Gen 11:1-9)

Authorship of the Pentateuch
Chronology of the Wilderness Years
Names of God in the OT
Covenants in the OT
The Ten Commandments
The Tabernacle and its Theology
Sacrifices and Offerings
The Jewish Festivals
Balaam and Balak
Highlights from Deuteronomy
Overview of Deuteronomy

Studies in the Old Testament History Books (Josh - Esther)

Articles containing studies and helpful information for the history books. These include a list of the dates of the kings of Israel and Judah, a summary of the kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and studies of Solomon, Jeroboam and Josiah.

There are also pages describing some of the historical events of the period, including the Syro-Ephraimite War, and the Assyrian invasion of Judah in 701 BC.

Dates of the Kings of Judah and Israel
King Solomon
The Kings of Israel
King Jeroboam I of Israel
The Syro-Ephraimite War (735 BC)
Sennacherib's Invasion of Judah (701 BC)
King Josiah of Judah
Differences Between Kings and Chronicles
Chronology of the post-exilic period

Studies in the Old Testament Prophets (Is - Mal)

Articles containing studies and helpful information for the OT prophets. These include a page looking at the way the prophets look ahead into their future, a page looking at the question of whether Satan is a fallen angel, and a page studying the seventy weeks of Daniel.

There are also a series of pages giving a commentary through the text of two of the books:
Isaiah (13 pages) and Daniel (10 pages).

Prophets and the Future
The Call of Jeremiah (Jer 1)
The Fall of Satan? (Is 14, Ezek 28)
Daniel Commentary (10 pages)
Isaiah Commentary (13 pages)
Formation of the Book of Jeremiah

Daniel's Seventy Weeks (Dan 9:24-27)

New Testament Studies

A series of articles covering more general topics for NT studies. These include a list of the people in the NT confirmed by archaeology.

More theological topics include the Kingdom of God and the Coming of Christ.

NT People Confirmed by Archaeology
God the Creator
The Kingdom of God / Heaven
Parousia (Coming of Christ)
The Importance of Paradox

Studies in the Four Gospels (Matt - John)

A series of articles covering various studies in the four gospels. These include a list of the unique passages in each of the Synoptic Gospels and helpful information about the parables and how to interpret them.

Some articles look at the life and ministry of Jesus, including his genealogy, birth narratives, transfiguration, the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and the seating arrangements at the Last Supper.

More theological topics include the teaching about the Holy Spirit as the Paraclete and whether John the Baptist fulfilled the predictions of the coming of Elijah.

Unique Passages in the Synoptic Gospels
The SynopticProblem
Genealogy of Jesus (Matt 1)
Birth Narratives of Jesus
Understanding the Parables
Peter's Confession and the Transfiguration
Was John the Baptist Elijah?
The Triumphal Entry
The Olivet Discourse (Mark 13)
Important themes in John's Gospel
John's Gospel Prologue (John 1)
Jesus Fulfilling Jewish Festivals
Reclining at Table at the Last Supper
The Holy Spirit as the Paraclete

Studies in the Book of Acts and the New Testament Letters

A series of articles covering various studies in the Book of Acts and the Letters, including Paul's letters. These include a page studying the messages given by the apostles in the Book of Acts, and the information about the financial collection that Paul made during his third missionary journey. More theological topics include Paul's teaching on Jesus as the last Adam, and descriptions of the church such as the body of Christ and the temple, as well as a look at redemption and the issue of fallen angels.

There are a series of pages giving a commentary through the text of five of the books:
Romans (7 pages), 1 Corinthians (7 pages), Galatians (3 pages), Philemon (1 page) and Hebrews (7 pages)

Apostolic Messages in the Book of Acts
Paul and His Apostleship
Collection for the Saints
The Church Described as a Temple
Church as the Body of Christ
Jesus as the Last Adam
Food Offered to Idols
Paul's Teaching on Headcoverings
Who are the Fallen Angels
The Meaning of Redemption
What is the Church?
Paul and the Greek Games

Romans Commentary (7 pages)

1 Corinthians Commentary (7 pages)

Galatians Commentary (3 pages)

Philemon Commentary (1 page)

Hebrews Commentary (7 pages)

Studies in the Book of Revelation

Articles containing studies and helpful information for the study of the Book of Revelation and topics concerning Eschatology (the study of end-times).

These include a description of the structure of the book, a comparison and contrast between the good and evil characters in the book and a list of the many allusions to the OT. For the seven churches, there is a page which gives links to their location on Google maps.

There is a page studying the important theme of Jesus as the Lamb, which forms the central theological truth of the book. There are pages looking at the major views of the Millennium, as well as the rapture and tribulation, as well as a list of dates of the second coming that have been mistakenly predicted through history.

There is also a series of ten pages giving a detailed commentry through the text of the Book of Revelation.

Introduction to the Book of Revelation
Characters Introduced in the Book
Structure of Revelation
List of Allusions to OT
The Description of Jesus as the Lamb
Virtual Seven Churches of Revelation
The Nero Redivius Myth
The Millennium (1000 years)
The Rapture and the Tribulation
Different Approaches to Revelation
Predicted Dates of the Second Coming

Revelation Commentary (10 pages)

How to do Inductive Bible Study

These are a series of pages giving practical help showing how to study the Bible inductively, by asking a series of simple questions. There are lists of observation and interpretation questions, as well as information about the structure and historical background of biblical books, as well as a list of the different types of figures of speech used in the Bible. There is also a page giving helpful tips on how to apply the Scriptures personally.

How to Study the Bible Inductively
I. The Inductive Study Method
II. Observation Questions
III. Interpretation Questions
IV. Structure of Books
V. Determining the Historical background
VI. Identifying Figures of Speech
VII. Personal Application
VIII. Text Layout

Types of Literature in the Bible

These are a series of pages giving practical help showing how to study each of the different types of book in the Bible by appreciating the type of literature being used. These include historical narrative, law, wisdom, prophets, Gospels, Acts, letters and Revelation.

It is most important that when reading the Bible we are taking note of the type of literature we are reading. Each type needs to be considered and interpreted differently as they have different purposes.

How to Understand OT Narratives
How to Understand OT Law
Hebrew Poetry
OT Wisdom Literature
Understanding the OT Prophets
The Four Gospels
The Parables of Jesus
The Book of Acts
How to Understand the NT Letters
Studying End Times (Eschatology)
The Book of Revelation

Geography and Archaeology

These are a series of pages giving geographical and archaeological information relevant to the study of the Bible. There is a page where you can search for a particular geographical location and locate it on Google maps, as well as viewing photographs on other sites.

There are also pages with photographs from Ephesus and Corinth.

Search for Geographical Locations
Major Archaeological Sites in Israel
Archaeological Sites in Assyria, Babylon and Persia
Virtual Paul's Missionary Journeys
Virtual Seven Churches of Revelation
Photos of the City of Corinth
Photos of the City of Ephesus

Biblical archaeology in museums around the world

A page with a facility to search for artifacts held in museums around the world which have a connection with the Bible. These give information about each artifact, as well as links to the museum's collection website where available showing high resolution photographs of the artifact.

There is also pages of photographs of important artifacts from the British Museum in London, the Louvre in Paris and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Search Museums for Biblical Archaeology
British Museum Photos
Israel Museum Photos
Paris Louvre Photos

Difficult Theological and Ethical Questions

These are a series of pages looking at some of the more difficult questions of Christian theology, including war, suffering, disappointment and what happens to those who have never heard the Gospel.

Christian Ethics
Never Heard the Gospel
Is there Ever a Just War?
Why Does God Allow Suffering
Handling Disappointment

How to Preach

These are a series of pages giving a practical step-by-step explanation of the process of preparing a message for preaching, and how to lead a small group Bible study.

What is Preaching?
I. Two Approaches to Preaching
II. Study a Passage for Preaching
III. Creating a Message Outline
IV. Making Preaching Relevant
V. Presentation and Public Speaking
VI. Preaching Feedback and Critique
Leading a Small Group Bible Study

Information for SBS staff members

Two pages particularly relevant for people serving as staff on the School of Biblical Studies (SBS) in YWAM. One gives helpful instruction about how to prepare to teach on a book in the SBS. The other gives a list of recommended topics which can be taught about for each book of the Bible.

Teaching on SBS Book Topics for SBS