11. The two contradictory creation accounts

Posted: April 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

gen 1:25-27 ≠ gen 2:18-22

Genesis 1:25-27 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Genesis 2:18-22     The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

19     Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.  20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found.  21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh.  22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

There are lots of interesting things to think about in terms of the relationship between Genesis 1 & 2. They’re certainly not straightforward accounts of creation and their relationship is complex, and raises questions about how the author intended us to read them.

I presume that the perceived difficulty is that God makes humans in Genesis 1 and then makes them again in Genesis 2. But that requires us to assume that the author/editor of Genesis is a complete moron, incapable of recognising that he’s just included a major contradiction within the space of half a chapter at the very start of his book. And whatever you might think of the author of Genesis, he’s clearly not an idiot.

Far from showing the author of Genesis 1 & 2 to be incompetent, the claim that these verses contradict shows a rather breathtaking lack of basic reading skill on the part of The Reason Project. It requires us to assume that Genesis 1 & 2 are intended to be strictly chronological, when in fact it seems pretty obvious that Genesis 1:25-27 is a summary (“God made humanity male and female”) that Genesis 2:18-22 fleshes out (“This is how God made man and woman.”)


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