Answers for Skeptics: Were humans created before or after the other animals?

Mankind was created after animals. Genesis does not contradict itself in ths either.

It is written in Genesis 1:25-26:

25And God made the beasts of the earth after their kinds, and cattle after their kinds, and every thing that creeps upon the earth after its kind: and God saw that it was good.

26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness

Genesis 2:7 states that God formed man out of the dust of the earth, breathed the breath of life into him and man became a living soul. In my book, “The Serpent’s Lie”, I explain that God “breathed” into us by filling us with what we call our spirit. A human being (or human consciousness) is nothing more than a spirit dwelling in flesh. Our bodies are mechanical exteriors that help us interact with our physical world in specific ways. Genesis 2:7 does NOT contradict Genesis 1:25-26. I do not know why the skeptics included it with the 10th question.

Their inclusion of Genesis 2:18-20, however, provides a good challenge and opportunity to test our reading comprehension. The passage may in fact appear to contradict the animal first then human order of creation. Could they be on to something? Let’s see. Genesis 2:18-20 reads as follows:

18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.

19And 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 its name.

20And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.

How do we harmonize the scriptures so that they can be understood the way they were intended? For it seems in Chapter 1, God created animals first then humans but Chapter 2 seems to suggest God created a human first. It would seem contradictory indeed when we disregard the history and evolution of language, and fail to understand that languages cannot be translated word for word. For instance, grammar rules vary from language to language and so do such aspects as idiomatic expressions. Many readers miss the fact that land animals (with the exception of winged birds) were created on the 6th day, not the fifth. The other animals (sea dwellers) were created on the fifth day. This detail is critical for land animals were made on the same day as the first human beings. We’re not told whether man was created immediately after the beasts of the field or several hours later, but we do know according to the wording of Chapter 1, human beings were created afterward. Though it seems the scripture has reversed that order of creation in Chapter 2, it is only apparent.

You see language can be tricky as my deliberate use of the word “apparent” demonstrates. Many readers would understand the usage of the word in the connotation synonymous with the word “obvious.” However, I intended its more literal connotation of “seemingly so.” Though it seems the scripture has reversed that order of creation in Chapter 2, it is only apparent—it merely seems that way.

Allow me to use analogous syntax to help you understand the “troubling” Bible passage in question. “Last week, I invited someone over for dinner. On the stove, I made chicken alfredo and brought it to my guest.” When you hear this, which would you say I had done first, invite my guest or prepare the meal? Quite frankly you would not know unless I told you. Nevertheless, you might likely assume that I cooked afterwards given the sequence in which I presented the information. “Last week, I invited someone over for dinner. On the stove, I made chicken alfredo and brought it to my guest.”

Without a specified time frame or an adverb such as “then,” you may only end up with an incorrect assumption. Languages have changed over time and listeners are often accustomed to hearing sentences phrased a certain way. In my example, I may have cooked before welcoming the guests, but for some reason, when I recounted to you the events, I wanted you to understand that perhaps instead of ordering food, I had used the stove. Perhaps this detail was especially important to me. Likewise, God wants us to understand that He had also formed the animals out of the ground…but why? The answer is as follows:

God had also formed Adam from the earth. He wants us to understand that although Adam came from the “dust of the earth” as the animals did, and was equally biodegradable as the animals would be, Adam’s compatibility with another being was about more than the shared substance from which they originated. Adam did not find any creature comparable to him (Gen 2:18). It was already God’s plan to design a companion for Adam, but God wanted him to see that every other creature had a mate of its kind with which to produce offspring.

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