I can see how the wording of in Genesis Chapters 1:20 and 2:19 might throw many readers off. I can also see how an all-knowing God would test our hearts by making scripture something one has to put some effort into understanding. Those who are not interested in something tend to give up on it quickly. Those who truly seek something continue to turn over stones and shells until their treasure is found.
I admire the dedication it took to organize the skeptics annotated Bible. This was the eighth question it asked to highlight a contradiction that seems to exist at first glance. However, when we take a closer look, the find no contradiction, only errors in our own interpretation.
It is written in Genesis 2:19:
“And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air…”
That is our answer! He formed every beast of the field and foul of the air out of the ground! 🙂
Genesis 2:19 does not contradict Genesis 1: 20-21 which says, “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”
It doesn’t say “let the waters create these creatures”; God created everything. The phrase “bring forth abundantly” is translated from the Hebrew word (שָׁרַץ sharats) which means teem or swarm with. Essentially, God was saying “Let the waters swarm with marine life, and birds that may fly above the earth”. This language is specific but misleading if we aren’t careful. The oceans don’t swarm with every type of bird that exists, but there are birds that swarm near, in, and above the waters (bodies of water). Among such birds are sea gulls, ducks, geese, seabirds, penguins…etc.
“And God created great sea creatures, and every living thing that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly (or swarmed with), after their kind, and every winged fowl after its kind: and God saw that it was good.” – Genesis 2:20
Accordong to Genesis, animals were also created from earth. Every animal body is biodegradable and upon death nourishes the soil from which it was originally made. There is not a single aspect of their biochemical composition that cannot be composed from elements found in earth, nor decomposed into elements that nourish the earth.