Why are there two different accounts of Creation? I typed the question into Google and got sixty-two million links! And no wonder—it’s been puzzling people for thousands of years. Why are there two, especially two that seem to contradict each other?
In particular, mankind is created after the animals and plants in chapter one, but before them in chapter two. Scholars tell us the two accounts were written at very different times by different people—but that hardly answers the nagging doubts the contradiction raises. “How can they both be right?” we wonder. How can both be true? And if they’re not—is the Bible really inspired?
Those questions are too big to answer fully in a single post, but here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Genre matters.
The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) states:
“To search out the intention of the sacred writers, attention should be given, among other things, to ‘literary forms.’ For truth is set forth and expressed differently in texts which are variously historical, prophetic, poetic, or of other forms of discourse. The interpreter must investigate what meaning the sacred writer intended to express and actually expressed in particular circumstances by using contemporary literary forms in accordance with the situation of his own time and culture.”DV 12
Genesis wasn’t written by a scientist or a modern historian. Chapter one is pure poetry.
We read news differently from editorials and poems; we must do the same when we read the Bible, and adjust our reading lens to the literary form.
However, just because Scripture is written in poetic form does not mean it isn’t literal. The Catechism states:
According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.CCC 115
It goes on to say, quoting St. Thomas Aquinas in Summa Theologiae:
“All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal.”CCC 116
In other words, the literary form does not cancel out any of the four senses of Scripture. They are still always there, especially the literal sense (unless, of course, it’s made clear that it’s simply allegorical, like with Jesus’ parables, for instance). While the literary form helps us categorize different parts of Scripture, the four senses of Scripture are like layers that apply to all of Scripture. For more details on interpreting Scripture, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 109-119.
2. The author’s intent matters.
The questions of our age are scientific: HOW did the world begin? WHEN did it come into being, and by WHAT exact process? WHICH came first and how did the next being evolve?
The questions of the ancient world were different: WHO created? WHO’s in charge? WHY am I here, and HOW do I relate to other beings? WHY is there evil and can anything be done about it?
OK, we have those questions too—and those are the ones we should ask of Genesis, because those are the questions it sets out to answer. In Dei Verbum, the Church tells us that the Bible teaches “solidly, faithfully, and without error that truth which God wanted put into the sacred writings for the sake of our salvation” (emphasis added). It teaches not scientific truth; but spiritual truth.
3. Context matters.
Genesis 1 and 2 are both parts of a larger story—revealed in Scripture and Tradition—and can’t be fully understood apart from it.
Taking these things into account, I offer a few thoughts:
Genesis 1 is about God’s action and purpose, not the science or calendar of Creation.
God is named thirty-two times in thirty-one verses and every time he’s the subject of the sentence, acting, intentionally building something “good.”
Genesis 1 is poetic, and poetic structure has meaning. Sequential days are not there for themselves, to show time sequence, but rather to show order and hierarchy.
Notice that all begins in darkness, formlessness, and emptiness. On “days” one through three God banishes the darkness and brings order to the chaos: heaven and sky, earth and land. On “days” four through six God fills the void, populating each realm in the same order. God makes man only after everything is ready for them to live in and rule. They are the “end” as in purpose, not necessarily sequence, of the created universe.
The march of days also forms a sort of literary “arrow” pointing to chapter two and the seventh day. It reveals the grand purpose of creation: that everything is ordered to the Sabbath and worship of God (See CCC, 345-348, 2169, and 2171).
Genesis 1 is a prologue to the rest.
How fitting that this poetic tribute, which was probably written much later than chapter two, is placed at the start of Genesis. It functions like an “Entrance Hymn” to the great drama of salvation. While it is sung, God fills the stage and the other players take their place around him as created things and beings, each with its own dignity within its own sphere. Everything is in order and very good.
There’s a perspective shift between chapters.
In Genesis 1, the reader’s a distant observer of the creation of the universe. Genesis 2 zooms in for a close-up on the “man” God created everything for.
Sequence shows relationship in chapter two.
Once again, the sequence is not necessarily about time. Events are arranged to show the truth about humanity in relationship to God, the animals, and the world. Chapter 1 told us man was created in God’s image, given dominion over the earth, and told to be fruitful and multiply. What does that mean, and how are we to understand it? By starting—not ending—with the creation of man, the author is able to show many things, among them:
- Man is made from dust. He does not evolve from something else and no other being is used to create him; there is nothing else.
- Vegetation is for man’s food and pleasure and to teach obedience—he is creature, not creator, and must learn to relate to God.
- The animals are created so man will know his special status—that he’s made for more. He doesn’t come from them, they are brought to him and he names and rules them.
- Man is only complete when God brings from his body another, the woman. Side by side, they will not only rule, but fill the earth. Together they are in God’s image: male and female; ruling the earth; fruitful. They live in harmony with creation, with each other, and with God.
The first creation makes sense only in light of the new creation in Christ.
So Genesis 1 and 2 give us two complementary accounts of creation that together help us begin to understand the who and why of our existence. But they are part of a larger story and we can’t fully understand them without knowing the end and purpose of the whole.
Perhaps that’s why John started his Gospel with another creation account. “In the beginning was the Word,” he wrote. “All things were made through him […] The light shines in the darkness […] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
John’s deliberate use of language from Genesis helps us see the coming of Christ as a new creation. It also helps us understand God’s purpose in Creation from the start.
Why did God create? Pope Benedict XVI brings it all together:
“God created the universe in order to be able to become a human being and pour out his love upon us and to invite us to love him in return.”Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, “‘In the Beginning…’” 1995, pg. 30
Only when we read all of God’s word in light of his Word (Jesus), can we truly understand.
You May Also Like:
Laudato Si, Creation & Humanism
God’s Plan for a Joy-filled Marriage [sacramental prep study program]
YOU: Life, Love, and The Theology of the Body [study program online access]
Sarah Christmyer is co-developer with Jeff Cavins of The Great Adventure Catholic Bible study system. She is author or co-author of a number of the studies. Sarah has thirty years of experience leading and teaching Bible studies. She helped launch Catholic Scripture Study and is co-author of “Genesis Part I: God and His Creation” and “Genesis Part II: God and His Family,” published by Emmaus Road. Raised in a strong evangelical family, she was received into the Catholic Church in 1992. Sarah also writes at comeintotheword.com.
This article was first published on The Great Adventure Blog, the Ascension Blog’s former home, on January 12, 2015. The Great Adventure Blog has been discontinued, but you can still learn about The Great Adventure Bible studies here.
Featured painting, The Creation of Adam (c. 1511) by Michelangelo sourced from Wikimedia Commons
God bless you, Sarah Christmyer! 🙂
ummm, I hate to disagree with you on even little things, Sarah, but I do… I will attempt to say my view – can you help me by clarifying yours? 🙂
1) “(If the goal had been sequence, the sun would come before the light!).”
not so, Sarah, not so… if you look at it like science does, you will come to the point – as many of our scientists have – that the sun, indeed all stars, are but balls of light, thermonucleically developed, but – well, light. And it wasn’t the first such out there.
in the big bang theory, it is postulated (not a given, as there are no written records scientists trust) that some time, somewhere, two diametrically opposite charges came together to form a hydrogen atom. (it’s a bit more complicated than that, but I put it to you – have you ever seen a hydrogen atom? if you haven’t, then there’s little hope of seeing those things smaller, lol!)
notice the point of origin for the big bang? its a point, one tiny point, when everything suddenly exploded… and what was the first thing God said? the very first thing? “And God said: Be… light… made.” (Gen 1:3)
that’s right – God said, God spoke the Word, God through Jesus, the Word, actually uttered these words: Be light made.
then wham! bam! thank you, ma’am! the big bang happened!!
you see, even the scientists don’t necessarily agree that there was Something before the big bang, but we Christians do: it was – is – God.
Some thing had to have happened at precisely the right moment in all of time/space to put it – us – into being, and for some thing to happen, some One must have decided to move independently of His own volition, and we know it was God… He said so, through the largely illiterate folk that penned His Words; His secretaries, so to speak…
but… what came first? not the sun, which wouldn’t exist for 9+/- billion more years… nor the earth, which the secretary of God was kind enough to say was “void and empty”… no, it was the Holy Spirit, the spirit of God, later decided to be a wind, God’s wind, which “moved over the waters.” (Gen 1:2)
light gives life – to the plants, the animals, even us… but what did the light give 13+ billion years ago, when the big bang occurred? that’s right … life to the still unborn bits of humanity in the primordial sludge, which was water…
2) ” On “days” 1-3 God banishes the darkness and brings order to the chaos: heaven and sky, earth and land.” … no. just no… God didn’t get rid of the darkness; instead He created light, where one could see the darkness… why would He create something to get rid of something else? He is the Creator!
“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth…” (the Apostles Creed) and “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.” (Nicene Creed, ca 325) and “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.” (Nicene Creed, ca 381)
there is not one thing He created only to get rid of it with another creation! He is the Creator! Nothing exists but by His everlasting mercy… not even earthquakes and tornadoes and hurricanes merely exist to bring torture upon us… without the earth (which we are made from) or the water (which He called forth to water us all) or the wind (His Breath, as you may remember, is often called such) – without one of these things, we would cease to be – totally, completely, finally…
no, He didn’t create us to rule the earth – who could? He created us to live with the earth, with the rain, and with the wind until we could finally say – “Thank You, O Lord for having made me, and for keeping my feet going in their wandering way back to You!”
there’s more, much more, but I disagreed with your statement that “If the goal had been sequence, the sun would come before the light!.” … no, the secretary, bless him, got it right… first there was nothing more than watery sludge with God breathing on it, then God spoke, then things started to happen! … just like it says in the Bible…
3) “In particular, mankind is created after the animals and plants in chapter 1, but before them in chapter 2.” … this isn’t so hard to do, Sarah… you need to think back to your science classes… and remember man’s findings since then… the animals that pre-existed us humans were largely those we call dinosaurs, and the plants that grew then were shorter and stouter than our own, more leafy, more bug-addicty, more poisonous than those we know today…
note in particular that God isn’t said to have created plants and animals after man…
“These are the generations of the heaven and the earth, when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the heaven and the earth:
“And every plant of the field before it sprung up in the earth, and every herb of the ground before it grew: for the Lord God had not rained upon the earth; and there was not a man to till the earth.
“But a spring rose out of the earth, watering all the surface of the earth.
“And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
“And the Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure from the beginning: wherein he placed man whom he had formed.” (Gen 2:4-8)
plants of the field and herb of the ground – these had yet to grow, but they were there, waiting on God’s water… and then a spring sprung sprightly forward – in other words, no rain just yet, but God made the water come… and while the plants of the field and the herbs of the ground gestated inside the earth, God made man…
it’s easy enough to tell that this particular secretary of God was no husbandry man… he believed man had to till it to make it come up… but that’s okay… the real husbandry men, working and tilling and plowing the fields, didn’t necessarily have the time to “learn their letters”, and most likely didn’t know…
notice verse 8: “And the Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure from the beginning…” – no, God created by speaking, and He created even order amongst the illiterate souls He had to count upon to spread His Word… He created the plants of the Garden of Eden from the beginning: with trees and plants so that all His creatures could eat of it… He would not let us starve, would He? then why, oh why, do you say that the plants and animals weren’t created before us? why would you think it?’
of course He created the plants before the animals! and of course He created the animals before He created us! pshaw on anyone thinking we could live on water alone – even if it was clear, and not the runoff He called forth to fill the earth with plants and animals and man…
He created us – according to the theories of evolution – in cycles, the same as He apparently did with the plants and animals… but He didn’t want just men and animals living so freely, not a care in the world… He wanted Man, who lived freely by choice rather than by nature… therefore, He breathed the Breath of Life into his face!
imagine! He breathed on Man! the one being he called into the earth had of his agility in reaching the top branches, and the adaptability to descend upon the earth, reaching so far with his heart and mind, yet his body would remain, largely, in his control… Man!
thank you, Sarah, for writing this, and the Bible Study I am reading right now… God bless you, Sarah! 🙂
Thank you, Sarah and Sleepy for your posts…You put into words I have felt about all these readings and about the theory of evolution.
” It teaches not scientific truth; but spiritual truth.” What is the difference between scientific truth and spiritual truth? Are there two truths?
in reality, no – but to those scientists who have to put their names on it, there is doubt… and spiritual truth speaks to us all, while scientific truth speaks to those who believe it to be all…
Thank you for your reply. No to put too fine a point on it, but I would like to make an observation. To wit: there is one truth. Moreover, there can be no disagreement between true science and true religion. There is, however, a difference between scientific conjecture (or scientific theory) and actual fact.Science is, itself, the process of discovery. Scientific theory changes as facts are discovered. In contrast, our religion deals with that which has already been revealed through God. That which God has revealed is truth. By no means are my comments intended to advocate for a literal interpretation of Genesis. Rather, they are intended to point out the potential logical pitfalls of using the word “truth” to describe scientific theory. To further this point, consider that the body of scientific theory reflects the thought of an imperfect humankind and hence must always be imperfect. Divine revelation (truth) comes from a perfect source and hence is perfect.
Finally, even considering the two descriptions of creation in Genesis, the point to all of it is that the God of Israel created everything “visible and invisible” by an act of His will and that it did not come into being in any other way. Genesis stresses that creation was/is an orderly process requiring Divine intelligence and power. The end of both creation stories show that the pinnacle of creation is the human which starts to prepare us for the Incarnation — even before the description of the fall in Genesis.
very good sir – but I think they got the drift from my – admittedly shorter and less verbose – point… 😀 … to wit: that there is no difference to us
also would like to point out: since science, by its very nature, is always changing, it is always truth – as far as it goes, lol… as a matter of fact, in spite of it being called scientific truth, why don’t we call it historical truth? there is no difference – the archeologists and the astronomers and the other -ologists can tell us most of the things about the world as we understand it, but the historians tell it all to us… if you want to meet God over a game of who knows what, I can assure you, He will win, time after time after time… He is the Creator – and none, I repeat none of His Creations will ever be strong enough, fast enough, knowledgeable enough to ever even come close to Him… 🙂
Conjecture is not “theory” that would be “hypothesis” that is tested and information gathered and one goes again till one finds consistence, repeatability and predictability. That is science. Whether geology, cosmology, physics, biology etc. they stand on their own and are also inextricably linked together into a whole.
Religion is the opposite of that. Scribes write in the name of their deity and that is law. Human brains fill in the rest. Of course making your deity all powerful it is hard to blame the lessers for the greaters works.
The Exodus didn’t happen, neither were the Jews enslaved by the Egyptians, no slaves built the Khufu pyramids. There was no 10 plagues nor parting the Red Sea to escape because they weren’t there. Just not historically accurate at all.
You are probably closer to the truth than you know.
Please check out this article.
The Bible was written by humans so it is unreliable, but science has had millions of people peer-review it over the ages so its reliability is VERY VERY good today. Religion will always be mainstream because religious people have more children than the secular as religious children are “guaranteed” to have a good life if they go to heaven. Lets say the Stoics/Neoplatonists had 2 children, while Christians had 3-4 children from 100 AD to 350 AD in the Roman empire (although only 3 would reach maturity to have children). 250 years / 25 = 10 generations. While the Christians doubled every 2 generations or doubling 5 times, that would mean 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 32 times as many Christians. The Stoics wouldn’t grow at all as they have only replacement level fertility. In only 10 generations there are 32 times as many Christians as Stoics, but what about 2000 years / 25(yr per generation) = 80 generations?
First, a Catholic Christian need not be afraid of empirical material science (what English speakers call “science”) because it was invented by our own medieval churchmen* in order to better understand God through God’s creation.
Second, as the medieval churchmen would say “Truth cannot contradict truth.” However, not all truth comes to us by a single means and truths do fall into categories. Hence, “scientific truth and spiritual truth”. The former deals with material things only and only what can be discovered about material things by empirical methods, the latter concerns the spiritual and moral truths usually categorized as wisdom.
* Christ has blessed His Church with many great thinkers, discoverers, and seers.
First of all theirs no such thing as a Catholic Christian and the sequence is all wrong, but of course you have to follow the word of God to understand that catholic is not first Christ is, you are either a Christian or not putting religious names in front of Christian just doesn’t add up to me, we must remember THAT JESUS IS THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE and it stops there so God bless you all.This is no bash on all of you who care more about your label than Jesus.
“Catholic” is clearly functioning adjectively in the expression “Catholic Christian.” Adjectives precede nouns in English. This is a really bizarre comment, made more so by the gigantic accusation tagged at the end.
In Genesis, God saw that His creation was good. Life is beautiful.
In reading these comments, what comes to mind is that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him, might not perish but have eternal life.” (John 4:16) So that primordial force is love, Who desires our return of love.
If god did not create water as it says he separated the water from the sky and earth it’s confusing to me. Thanks
When will the Genesis study series be available? Could go 24 weeks easily. I’d also like to see a Judges study. Such fascinating characters like Gideon, Deborah and Samson.
Keep up the good work guys! Thanks!
Sleepy, I think you need a nap.
After reading your 1,123 word article
of January 12, 2015, on why there are two different accounts of
creation, I really knew little more than I did before reading it.
First, I must object to your classifying Genesis 1 as pure poetry,
and it is certainly not “couched in figurative language”.
The fact is, there are two accounts of
creation in Genesis, because there were two separate creations
performed by God. There should be no controversy in this issue at
Genesis 1:27 refers to the creation of
early humans in the “cradle of civilization” in northern Africa,
which paleontologists have carbon dated to roughly 250,000 years ago.
Since everyone on the planet carries DNA from these early humans, it
is really foolish to try and deny this. This is, as you noted, after
the creation of plants.
The second creation was that of Adam, a
mere 6,020 years ago. This is covered at Genesis 2:7. God could not
have been more clear. He wasn’t creating plants “after creating
man”. He was planting a Garden in which Adam and Eve were to live.
Plants had already existed for millions of years.
But Adam wasn’t the first man. Adam was
the first Hebrew! To prove this, if you start from Jesus, whom we
know was definitely Hebrew, and going back through his family tree…
David was Hebrew, Moses was Hebrew, Abraham was Hebrew, Noah was
Hebrew. And so was Adam. In fact, every generation between these
named patriarchs were Hebrew as well. No poetry to it. God has only
two names for humans, Hebrews and non-Hebrews, He named the
Christianity’s error was to believe
that Gentiles, which the early Christian church largely was, were
descendants of Abraham just like the Jews were. But they weren’t. The
Hebrews were a unique race of people that God created with
extraordinary lifespans, and with His Spirit as well. But that ended
I could go on but I won’t. If you can
find anything above that you disagree with, and can back it up with
facts instead of figurative language, I’d like to hear from you.
Sarah, my intention is not to ruin your
day. So I hope I haven’t. My frustration lies with Christianity’s
unwillingness to change their false doctrine of 1700 years ago, and
adopt one that is true.
C Robert Follett
So you are saying that Hebrews are a separate creation: You say that carbon dating supports the ancient 1st creation story and that we (gentiles?) are all proven to from that ancient population. Are there any scientific studies that support the thought that Hebrews (descendants of Abraham) are from a different pool (second creation story)? Honestly curious about this as I am just starting to study the Catholic faith and have hit the first bump in the road in the two creation versions. Your explanation is most satisfying to me, but still has a few holes…
In answer to your question, ” Are there any scientific studies that support the thought that Hebrews
(descendants of Abraham) are from a different pool (second creation story)?
The answer is no. Unfortunately, you would need DNA from a known Hebrew cadaver from Abraham’s genetic predecessors to prove anything, and there is no way for science to determine that.
For further clarification of my point, I would recommend you referring to
Hello Robert, you would make a wonderful Hollywood script writer. Sarah and Sleepy’s accounts are better than yours because they are backed up at least by biblical text. You would go through “the burden of proof” to explain even the simplest claim of your theory. If you understand Hebrew and can read the Genesis story from its original language, you would know better what “Adam” mean. The creation story(ies) all emanated from the Hebrews since it was answering questions specifically of the Hebrew and ancient society (as Sarah stated). Yes, if you read the Old Testament using such lenses you are applying, you will definitely feel the “imperial sense” in the Hebrew writings that gives the picture like Israel was the centre of the world. This is made more concrete by the “chosenness” “divine elect” etc. So, yes the Hebrew books kind of compartmentalized Adam (as the first man) and made him the first Hebrew man, but the whole account is talking of the first man as in the first humans. All the creation stories were written when Israel was established as a nation around 10-12th century BCE. if you bear that in mind, you will have a better understanding of what each creation story wanted to serve. Sarah stated that the questions asked during that period are different from those we ask today, that is very true. We, (us today) tend to look at things against science and its discoveries, that wasn’t the case in the Olden times. During that period, people believed that everything was as a result of an external greater power which they they called God, and which the Hebrew said were chosen by. And if you go back to the scientific discoveries of the Ancient Near East, you will find out that there is absolutely nothing unique about the Bible and Hebrew, they simply modified stories and believes that existed during their time. They did so in a way that was better (since they were correcting errors) and in a way that gave a sense of identity to the fellow Hebrewmen. I think people confuse themselves when they look more into the details of the Genesis story not the message it was addressing or the points it wanted to make. The Truth of the Genesis story comes not from the genre or order of events etc but from the message the writer was communicating to his audience. His message was like, “…..all this things you see around here, from this region to this region, was not a coincidence but a work of an Almighty God, the Creator who is so loving, powerful and intelligent”. But if you try look at pieces of the story, chances are high that you misplace that piece of story from the whole.
I just found this site and am fascinated. I have my MTS, am near 80 and restudying Genesis. I have never been able to reconcile the creation of man accounts. After working 30 years in neurology and the last 10, until one month ago, in psychiatry the confusion increased. I have observed deep innate differences in people. So different that the accounts of the creation of man as different beginnings makes sense. There are people who have something missing, and not by choice. They gain nothing by their actions. My search for truth continues.
Hi Barbara B
I enjoyed very much the comment you posted on 12-16-18, particularly because I was exactly where you are, 17 years ago when I began my study on Genesis.
I have recently written a book, which I would like to share with you. It is only a little over 40 pages long, but I believe it will go a long way toward clearing up the two creation controversy.
Good luck to you. Here is the link:
It’s been two years since you asked me if there were any studies done to prove my two separate creations of man theory. Since I last wrote you, I have discovered that proof in a DNA study done in the year 2,000.
Here’s the link.
“Adam was the first Hebrew!”
noun: Hebrew; plural noun: Hebrews
member of an ancient people living in what is now Israel and Palestine
and, according to biblical tradition, descended from the patriarch
Jacob, grandson of Abraham. After the Exodus ( c. 1300 BC) they
established the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and their scriptures and
traditions form the basis of the Jewish religion.
old-fashioned and sometimes offensive term for Jew.
the Semitic language of the Hebrews, in its ancient or modern form.
Adam did not descend from Jacob; nor did he descend from Abraham.
Sleepy, LOL of course Adam did not descend from Jacob or Abraham. But just the reverse is true. Abraham and Jacob are both descendants of Adam, as is the entire Jewish line.
If you go to Luke 3:23-38, you’ll se the entire down line of Adam. Abraham is 20 generations descended from Adam. Since Adam was created by God, I guess that makes him the first Hebrew, not the first Human.
The creation of the first human is clearly described at Genesis 1:27-28, Adam not until 2:6-7.
i’m sorry, but this is a lot of meandering bs. simply put, the bible is a marriage of two traditions. there’s also 2 stories of the flood, etc. at some point in time someone thought it a good idea to conflate the two into one. simple. not need to spin paragraphs and paragraphs to explain it.
Why am I still confused…so ur saying I’m supposed believe the first past of Genesis was poem the strays from the actual timeline God does his creation? Then further ahead in the chapters we read the actual order of creation?
Its all very complicated IMO. She is right about poetry. Modern man interprets everything so literally giving form to what was originally intended to be conceptual and metaphoric. FIRST OF ALL. Why would Jesus come to save us from his fathers creation? What the??? SERIOUSLY. That should be the first red flag. The confusion lies in the fact that the creator of this world is an archon….a fallen entity…sound familiar? (Satan) That’s right. The god of genesis is not the same god or father Jesus refers to. He is a two fold entity masquerading as your sole creator. That is why Christ came to save. Because of the hostage situation. That should make much more sense. We are spiritual hostages of the fallen creator of this universe. Trapped here. There’s a large back story to this. And can only be best explained studying esoteric literature or self knowledge through Christ. The latter is key. Guys, this place isn’t reality. You are in a trapped emanation of source. Its likened to a crazy house with mirrors. Hence why Jesus came. Stop trying to convince yourself that the bible is the sole source for information… especially when you’re not even interpreting it correctly. Foolish (I was as well). There are many WISE teachings and spiritual works out there. Ask spirit with full and pure intent and it will guide you. After all when you awaken and realize what you truly are… then everything makes more sense as to why things are the way they are and the various agendas at play. “Can you stand the truth? The chronicles of mans enslavement.” Its a book. A lot of info. It references the bible several hundred times and sheds light on the whole picture. It also references many other spiritual works. Good luck.
A good explanation. However, I do think that all will be much simpler if you also considered the old “Yahwist and Elohist” explanations of the two chapters.
Genesis 1 is without a shadow of a doubt the earlier of the two creation accounts. It doesn’t point to Genesis 2. It is complete and recounts ages of creation roughly coinciding with how life is said to have evolved on earth. Notice how the word for god changes from “God” to “Lord God”. In the original language “God” goes from the plural to the singular.
There are two records of creation because one is the physical creation and one is the spiritual creation. Read it closely.
Could you explain more thoroughly? Very interested!
Thank you! It’s a lot clearer now to me.
Were you ever planning on answering your title question in the article?
What is the support for asserting Genesis 1 is poetry? There are instances within scripture where poetic forms and allegory are used (often in Psalms), turn of phrase, etc…; however, the Hebrew vocabulary, morphology, and syntax used in Genesis all point to it being appropriately understood as narrative, factual, and historical.
You may be familiar with Dr. Steven W. Boyd (among other degrees, has a Th.M. in Old Testament and Semitics from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in Hebraic and Cognate Studies from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion) points out in the documentary, “Is Genesis History” that the world’s leading Hebraists recognize Genesis as narrative, not poetic. See article below for additional information regarding this:
Don’t take my post here as true just because I cited someone who has a Ph.D in Hebrew (though I think this carries more weight than the “opinions” of us who are not formally educated in the subject), let’s just take a step back and apply some basic logic:
1) If we believe God’s word is true (as Christians, we do), does it sound like the nature of God to make up a bunch of fictional characters, events, and places in the book that establishes who we are, who He is, why we are the way we are, and why He needed to send His only Son to die for our sins? We cannot fully know the nature of God, but this should raise some level of skepticism to start. Without getting into needless debate and semantics, let’s move on where we’ll find more evidence supporting a literal interpretation of Genesis…
2) Matthew 19:4 when Jesus said (from the ESV) “He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female”, if I were one of the Pharisees, I’d have just barked back, “Hey Jesus, nice try – all that was just allegory; looks like you fell for our trap – Gotcha!” But we don’t have a record of this do we? That’s because Jesus knew Genesis was authoritative, true, and factual… and so did the Pharisees and so Jesus shut the mouths of fools and they had no further argument.
2) Matthew 24:37 Jesus said (from the ESV) “For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” Was this to indicate a ‘local’ rapture? Would sure add a weight to the Real Estate jingle that “It’s all about location location location”! Hope I’m living in the right place at the right time. No!! The flood was not some local deal – all life on the earth and in the air died except for that which was in the ark (whether secular science believes this or not).
3) 2 Peter 3:5-7 (from the ESV) “For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” Again, this affirms the historicity of actual events from Genesis. What’s being stored up for fire?? Maybe this explains all the wildfires always going on in CA? No!! Again, this is talking about the entire earth that was deluged.
Genesis is affirmed by OT (Old Testament) authors, NT authors, and Jesus Himself. Again, we were created male and female, in His image, from the beginning (contrary to what secular science would say – that we evolved from some LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor). Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30) so collectively, and individually we all need to decide if we are believers or just fans of Christianity.
I think we all like the idea of being saved from our sins and spending forever with God in heaven. Who doesn’t want that, right?! That said, we are called to believe, not just be a fan though. Christianity is a winning ‘team’ (as in the end God always wins), but a fan may not agree with the coach (God) with every play in his playbook (the Bible). So the question for me is, am I a believer, or am I a fan?
Just to save others the time and energy from being wasted, don’t bother bringing up the ideas of early Church fathers and those who have had a significant influence throughout the Church history regarding how Genesis should be understood. Regardless of what they believed or didn’t believe, their words aren’t in the Bible, period. Read what God told Moses (Genesis), what Jesus said, what others in the OT and NT actually said.
I have a theory that the Holy spirit also lives in us, and perhaps speaks “different language” to the peeple in the Body of Christ, Language that can vary in vibration frequency and reception,(Help me St. Peter) and being One with the Creator, Perhaps he just wants us all to remain close in eternal Salvation while He introduces a type of bretheren into our countenance.. All Of My Love- Janna
in the early times those who reflected and tried to answer the basic questions had no scientific knowledge, but they were able to observe the skys, the change of seasons, the rain… they rsised esrly in the day when the darkness of the night start to disapear… there was light… the day became clearer and the light stronger… there was light and it was already daytime… then the sun started to coming out because it was already day!
Because there are two creations we find the source of genesis in the cuneiform tablets where we see the slave God Enlil who created slaves and Enki and Innana who created free children of God
And it has been the test ever since 800 B.C.E. Which one of the two we shall worship
Still we see Allah the Slave God Anti Christ competing with Jesus Christ Enki
The final battle has begun
I think the assertion that, the first chpt of genesis is actually the prologue. Is an interesting one on its face, but with careful examination of the theory. It seems to raise more questions than it actually answers.(1)if you say the purpose of the prologue is to set stage for the whole of the story then, why would the story start on Day6? Assuming it is a godly inspired account. One would assume god would give us a full description to 1better educate his ppl. An 2to avoid inconsistencies such as these.(2)if the bible does begin on day6 with the creation of man. There should be mention of god resting after the creation of that man an, there is not. Prologue? maybe but, im leaning more towards the idea that this is actually a story with two main characters. First in gen.1-26 God says let us make man. Then in the 2nd chpt the LORD GOD makes man from dust. Notice the change in title from God to Lord God in chpt2. Also, the way they create the humans differ. 1created he them man an woman. The other made man first,
then later made woman from his rib. I would love to hear your viewpoints on my findings. I enjoyed reading your piece and i appreciate your time…. Thank you!!
I have to disagree .The first creation clearly makes male and female equal .At the same time and told to be fruitful and multiply.Then the lord god goes and makes a garden in eden where he forms Adam and breathes life into him .Then he forms Eve after he sees he is lonely .They were not told to go be fruitful and multiply .If they were then why did they hide their private areas when god came ? They were not suppose to know what sex was .The serpent was a man .One of the people from the originals .he showed Eve was sex was and she showed Adam .Thats why she had birthing pains .She was not suppose to give birth .Adam and Eve are the beginning of the walking dead we have here on earth today .The Hebrews aka immigrants .The only race in the world thats new .Culture vultures I should add .Go around killing other nations because of their god .Who does that sound like of today ??To add after they got out of the garden they went to a cave .What race comes out of a cave ? Yeah we all know Adam and Eve were not first .Thats for the birds straight up .Get out of the gospel aka gods spell .
“The “days” of creation are symbolic.” and “it’s poetic” are relatively poor assumptions. Pretty sure the second discussion of creation in the bible was to enable Adam to use taxonomy to name the creatures that God created, insofar as animals were created before Adam. Thus God’s created animals came to Adam to observe and Adam named the animals.
maybe the first people were micro beings evolved in a soup from the things that make up things like DNA AND SUCH / maybe when an environment appears that is suitable for particular types to be prolific they emerge /
I studied this for many years. The first creation story was found in Babylonian caves. It was a written account on the walls of caves much like those in Egypt. The Adam and Eve story was an oral story passed down by the Hebrews for centuries until they learned to write. Being captives of Babylon they mixed their own culture with that of those around the.
This is not uncommon as we see it today in places like the Philippines, where they have been conquered many times and their language is often a mix of Spanish, Japanese, and their own native tongues.
One says what God did. The other is a description what God did. There was one creation not two.