There is a very common misconception (even among Bible believers) that the Genesis account contains two creation stories. Many percieve the first and second chapters of Genesis to be different tales. They could not be farther from the truth. The two supposed Creation accounts are part of the same consistent story! Chapter 1 of Genesis merely outlines the order in which God created everything. Genesis 2 is not another creation story, nor a contradiction. It is the same account! However, it gives us more insight into the sixth day of creation. To further clarify, Genesis 1 is a Timelapse Summary which progresses by explaining the account in the following manner:
In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.
On day 1, He created light for the discernment of objects.
There are other ways God could have allowed us to perceive our world and navigate it. For instance, echolocation and haptic awareness (via antennae, membranes and other contact based sensors) are a few ways in which some organisms navigate and interact within this realm. Surely God could have created us to perceive with non-ocular organs. That is to say, He could have created us without eyes given we even take light for granted. From our point of view, light already exists and it only makes sense that it should exist. Therefore, we cannot imagine our lives without it and sadly, we don’t often see it as the amazing creation it really was!
On day 2, God divided waters from waters so that we could have an atmosphere ideal for us.
On day 3, God caused dry land to appear and separated it from the sea. He also created vegetation (which would grow after He created humans).
On day 4, he made independent light sources, sun, moon, and stars. Light had already been created, but just as speakers and sound bars can generate sound (they are sound sources), light emitting objects (light sources) such as the sun would thenceforth generate light to aid our vision. From there, the sun and moon were synchronized with the cycles of time which God had designated to be day and night. They would help us experience the passage of time.
On day 5, God created animals.
On day 6, God created mankind and the garden eastward in Eden.
Chapter one of Genesis ends here and Chapter two begins by explaining what God did on the seventh day. This should immediately make it clear that Chapter two isn’t a new story, but a continuation of the account.
On day 7, God rested.
Now Chapter 2 is paraphrased and summarized below as it progresses to this effect:
This is the origin of the heaven and the earth when it was created. The earth was only five days old and not one plant had taken root or even begun to grow and populate it. Back then, the LORD God had not yet allowed rain to fall upon the earth. Instead, he watered the ground like a sprinkler system waters one’s yard (Genesis 2 actually says that a mist watered the whole surface of the ground). And God created man and planted a garden for him eastward in an area called Eden. God then placed the man there and gave him specific instructions regarding what to eat and what not to. Seeing that the man was alone and surely would feel lonely, God first had the man name each land animal He had created. Male and female animals passed by Adam as he called them everything but his “lifelong companion” or anything that suggested any of them were suitable for him. Then, God put Adam to sleep and created a woman from his rib. When Adam awoke, he said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh…” which I like to paraphrase as “finally, my type”. Therefore, man and woman were made for companionship with each other to ensure that humanity would multiply. There is only one creation story, but when we don’t read the first and second chapters of Genesis carefully we can mistake it for two.
According to skeptics, in Genesis 1, what they refer to as “the first creation story”, humans are created after the other animals.
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:25-27
When they read Genesis 2, they believe it suggests humans were created before the other animals.
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. Genesis 2:18-19
Genesis 2 was showing us that God had created animals out of the earth as he made us from the dust of the earth. Yet if we read on, we see that Adam does not find a suitable lifelong companion in any of them. Out of the ground had they been created male and female each with partners who were of the same kind. The naming challenge was to teach Adam the pattern that God had established. When God made Eve, it was only then that Adam demonstrated his recognition of compatibility in calling Eve “bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh”. She would be his mate.
According to skeptics, in the first creation story, the first man and woman were created simultaneously. This, of course, is not so. Recall that Genesis is a timelapse summary, a fast forwarded explanation of creation. Since, the Bible is long enough, we don’t need to know what time of day God created everything, if He had coffee before it started. If coffee was the first type of bean He created…etc. Therefore, being the very brief account it is, Chapter 1 verses 25-27 simply say:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
It is not until Chapter 2 that we find some additional details. Why on earth would someone write it like that? Simple. Authors have the right and creative freedom to organize and express their ideas as they see fit. It doesn’t change the fact that Adam was created first, then Eve from his rib.
I wrote a book called “The Serpent’s Lie” which provides scientific support for this entire account. A rib bone is the only bone known to fully regenerate if it is properly removed during a surgical operation. God put Adam to sleep and performed an operation on him millenia before we even knew it could be done!
On October 16th, 1846, T.G. Morton became the first person to demonstrate that anasthesia could be used to aid in surgery. The writer of Genesis would not have known it was possible. He would not have known that little fact about the rib. He also would not have known that women have XX chromosomes and men have XY chromosomes which make the gender binary possible. He would not have known that it was so much easier and efficient for God to take X chromosomes from a man to create a woman. If God had made a man from a woman, He would have had to find or create a Y chromosome…because women don’t have them. That’s not my opinion. It’s fact! At any rate, there’s only one creation account explained in two different, but accordant ways.
One thought on “Answers for Skeptics: Are There Two Creation Stories in Genesis?”
Very good, thanks. Yes, most atheist read the Genesis account and see problems because they have to, otherwise, they would have to believe. This would then cramp their style! Yet Christ came not to cramp our lives, but rather to give us life and that more abundant, John 10:10.