In Genesis, aren't there two contradictory creation accounts?

Question: In Genesis, aren't there two contradictory creation accounts? In Gen. 1:1-2:3, it says humans were created after the other animals. But in Gen. 2:4-25, it says that humans were created before the other animals.

Response: No. Genesis 1 speaks of the creation of the world, Genesis 2 does not.

In Genesis 1, we are told about the six days during which God gave the commandments that would result in the creation of the world.

Genesis 2, however, doesn't speak of the world as a whole, but specifically of the events within the Garden of Eden.

That alone resolves the claim of an alleged contradiction, although there are other problems with the claim itself.

For example, the claim itself has an underlying assumption that is false, and it is a common assumption that many people, ranging from anti-creationists atheists to the so-called pro-creationists fundamentalists. They are failing to make a distinction between giving a commandment and fulfilling a commandment.

Once the distinction is acknowledged and understood, many of the "difficulties" that people choose to have with the book of Genesis would disappear.

To give an example, consider the the third day of creation, when God calls for the creation of vegetation. The book of Genesis, here, is telling us that God, and God alone, is responsible for the creation of plants, including trees. But that doesn't mean that all trees came into existence during the third day of creation. The fact is, a tree that sprouts from the ground tomorrow was created by God during the third day of creation.

The point here is to remember that there can be a point in time in which someone gives a commandment for the creation of something, and another point in time during which that something comes into existence. It's that simple. There can be different points in time during which a command is given and when that command is carried out.

Next: Does God repent?

Go to: List of questions and answers