Does Genesis Really Mention Two Seperate Versions Of Creation?

(Cameron Kufner) #1

I recently was told that there are two seperate versions of the creation account of Human Beings in Genesis. After investigating it for myself, I found myself puzzled, trying to figure out how to deal with these scriptures.

:black_small_square:Genesis 1:26-27
:black_small_square:Genesis 2:18-24

Now, I don’t believe the Bible contradicts itself. I am trusting God with what he said. But, this is puzzling. I need some much needed insight.

(SeanO) #2

@CamKufner Genesis 1 is the big picture while Genesis 2 zooms in to provide more detail about mankind and to provide the appropriate background for Genesis 3.

Here is a good summary quote from Edward J. Young used in the article linked below:

There are different emphases in the two chapters…but the reason for these is obvious. Chapter 1 continues the narrative of creation until the climax, namely, man made in the image and likeness of God. To prepare the way for the account of the fall, chapter 2 gives certain added details about man’s original condition, which would have been incongruous and out of place in the grand, declarative march of chapter 1 (1960, p. 53).

(Cameron Kufner) #3

Sean, thank you for replying. I’m trying to understand this topic better. So, the Torah mentions a woman named Lilith. If the Torah is composed of the same books in the Old Testament, Why don’t I see the name Lilith in A KJV Bible or NLT Bible for examples. It’s just very odd to me, as I’m sure it is for others to hear. But, I’m still trusting God with the revelation he gave to the writers of the Bible. It’s just so confusing.

(SeanO) #4

@CamKufner Thankfully, while it does take some studying, it is not too confusing. Lilith is not mentioned in the Torah. The Torah is the first 5 books of the Bible - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Lilith is mentioned in something called the Talmud, which is a collection of Jewish writings that the Church has never accepted as Scripture.

Below are some resources in ascending order of difficulty that I think could prove helpful in getting familiar with Scripture. Christ grant you wisdom as you study :slight_smile:

(Micah Bush) #5

After reading the article, I noticed that there’s one issue that it makes no effort to address, namely the usage of “day.” Creationists frequently make a point of refuting the “Day/Age Theory” by arguing (both through context clues and scholarly quotations) that the Hebrew word used for “day” (yôm) denotes a literal astronomical day (roughly 24 hours). However, Genesis 2:4 reads, “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens” (ESV).

A quick check of the Hebrew reveals that the word used here is, in fact, “yôm,” the same word used to denote six days in the previous chapter. This would seem to suggest two possibilities: Either the term is more flexible than the creationist argument would imply (and thus the argument should be discarded), or else its usage (along with the wording of the verse in general) actually does point to a different account of creation. To date, I have not heard a satisfactory response to the issue from a six-day creationist perspective, though if there is one, I would be interested in hearing it.

(SeanO) #6

@MicahB Generally ‘Answers in Genesis’ has all of the latest arguments from the young earth perspective, which is a legitimate perspective, though I do not hold to it myself. The basic argument is that because ‘evening and morning’ and a number are used in conjunction with yom, it must mean a literal day. However, this argument also assumes that Genesis 1 is narrative history, which may simply not be the case. If Genesis 1 is poetry this argument, in my opinion, would not hold. The general argument given for Genesis 1 being historical is that the rest of Genesis is historical, so if we decide Genesis 1 is a poem we are discrediting the rest of Genesis as well. However, I do not find that argument convincing either.

Again, this is a legitimate perspective, but I find that the ‘slippery slope’ argument is used quite often and I think it is inappropriate. Plenty of Christians who believe in the resurrection of Jesus and historicity of the Bible, including the rest of Genesis, do not hold to a young earth position. So the idea that Genesis 1 being poetic is a ‘slippery slope’ to denying Biblical inerrancy and the deity of Christ is an appeal to emotion rather than reason.

I followed ICR and Answers in Genesis for a few years when I was younger and appreciate their ministry, but I do wish they would avoid the slippery slope argument.

Everywhere else in the Old Testament, when the Hebrew word for “day” (יוםֹ, yom) appears with “evening” or “morning” or is modified by a number (e.g., “sixth day” or “five days”), it always means a 24-hour day.

(Micah Bush) #7

Personally, I’m inclined to agree with you that the “slippery slope” view of creation is a poor base for the Christian to build his faith on. After growing up as a staunch creationist, I have since come to the conclusion that placing such strong emphasis on how we interpret Genesis results in unnecessary bickering within the Church and promotes an all-or-nothing mentality (i.e. “I’m not sure I can believe in a literal six-day creation, so I guess I can’t be a Christian anymore”). Then too, if we try to read the narrative like a modern history (which it isn’t), then we risk missing the theological messages that it seeks to teach (ex. the nature of God, His relationship with the universe and mankind, the nature of sin, etc.), which are more important in my view. Regardless of the view one chooses, one will encounter challenges that are difficult to resolve.

(Cameron Kufner) #8

Sean, thanks for the reply. I read that article you attached in the first reply and it put it in great perspective. Thanks. I will definitely take a look at those books, I may even have those but never dug into them. My grandmother gave me hundreds of Christian books, lol. I will check those out.

(SeanO) #9

@MicahB I agree - it is not a central issue to the faith and we should be able to worship together as brothers and sisters in Christ while disagreeing on which view of Genesis 1 is correct. Holding a secondary doctrine as if it is primary can cause unnecessary division within the body and lead us to wrongly judge our brothers / sisters.

(SeanO) #10

@CamKufner Always fun to dive into the boxes of books in the closet :slight_smile: It’s amazing what can be found there. I hope books don’t ever become completely electronic - then the only equivalent will be scrolling to the bottom of your available books list - not quite the same. I agree - I appreciate AiG’s perspective.

(Bill Brander) #11

I am going to stick my neck out here and say, ‘Yes there are two creation accounts.’
The first one talks of sky & stars, the second one of dust and dryness.
Without going back through my Scripture study notes there are Elohist and Jahwist versions. (I seem to recall a third one who escapes me right now. Is it Deutormonhist?)
Personally when people ask me why this is so, I say that the two ‘narratives’ were at penned at and for different eras. I then add why is that important to you? (Get behind their question.)

Why did God ‘allow’ two different versions? To make us think and dig deeper?
No matter what, I still hold fast that God created this earth and ‘me’

(Bill Brander) #12

Hear hear to that SeanO

(Hendrik) #13

If fallibility is attributed to God, it would make sense for him to allow some men to enter heaven by means of being “good enough”. The Gospel is therefore rendered useless in such a case. The idea that God doesn’t simply have a free will but actually has a perfect will frequently forms the bases upon which evangelists argue for the Gospel.

I personally try to steer clear from the idea that God ever gave statements that contradict because by doing that I would be denying his infallible nature.

I value any input that people might have with regards to Genesis chapter one, I only hope that all who are contributing understand the value of the above mentioned matter.

As basis for his argument for the Gospel the Apostle Paul writes in his Holy epistle:

(Romans 5:12)
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

He clearly assumes that there was a time of no death and no sin.

When a person holds to the Gospel, its only natural that one would believe in a six day creation, because the whole point of making them millions of years is to deny such a time ever existed.

I am sorry if this seems like a slippery slope argument but its not really intended that way. This is just me wondering how a person can reconcile all the components in Christianity if he holds to a non-6-day view.

(SeanO) #14

@Hendrik Thank you for sharing. I think where your argument is wrong is that the idea that the earth or the universe are older than thousands of years was not invented as a means of denying the Scripture. Yes, there were those who seized upon the idea of an old earth to try to discredit the Scriptures. But what one believes about the age of the earth and of the universe is not directly related to whether or not you trust the Scriptures.

For example, consider a person who:

  1. Believes in an old earth and universe that is billions of years old
  2. Believes that Genesis 1 is a poem about how God rules absolutely over creation

This person denies a literal 6 day creation, but still believes in the authority of Scripture, the resurrection, the fall, sin, salvation and new creation.

So holding a non-literal reading of Genesis 1 does not prevent a person from holding to the authority of Scripture or the realities of sin, salvation and resurrection.

(Dennis Fuller) #15

I agree, Micah. Dr. William Lane Craig’s current series of Sunday School lectures is on this very topic.

(Caleb Eldridge) #16

A couple of books that I might recommend that support more of a young earth creationist argument are “Scientific Creationism” my Henry Morris and “The Genesis Flood” by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb. The former is written much more to a general audience and has a chapter dedicated to creationism and Genesis. The later is a bit more technical, but they go through the implications primarily of the Noahic flood, but have an interdisciplinary approach to interpreting Genesis in light of the evidence that points to a potentially younger earth. Also “Is Genesis History” a documentary by Del Tacket is a definite recommendation for believers and unbelievers alike.

(Hendrik) #17

I did not say that the Old earth theory was invented in order to deny scripture.

My words were: “…the whole point of making them millions of years is to deny such a time ever existed…”

I was referring to the purpose of reinterpreting Genesis 1, I was not referring to the purpose of the invention of the Old earth theory.

The time I was referring to was the one described by Paul in Romans 5:12.

I didn’t question the sincerity of the person who doesn’t believe in the 6 day creation. I was only wondering how a person could reconcile it with the rest of scripture.

I am sorry if my post made anyone feel uncomfortable.

Thank you for those who responded.

May God keep you safe.

(Keith Byrd) #18

I scanned through the replies but did not see this explanation - I believe first posited by Henry Morris, Founder of ICR and author of the Genesis Record. There are 11 times in the book of Genesis where the phrase These are the generations (records of) … then goes on to name the person for that period of time. Genesis 2:4 is the first These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. It says the lord God created referring to chapter 1 as the history as told by God.
Genesis 5:1 is the second. This is the book of the generations of Adam. The 3rd is in 6:9 These are the generations of Noah. According to Henry Morris each of the sections are the records according to that person. So chapter one is God’s narrative, next is Adam’s narrative and then Noah’s and so forth through the book of Genesis. So there are not two accounts of creation but two descriptions of the same event -God’s and Adams.

(SeanO) #19

@Hendrik Thank you for clarifying :slight_smile: I do not think that it is difficult to reconcile with the rest of Scripture.

Are you suggesting that Romans 5:12 makes it clear that there was no death before the fall? That is generally used as a counterpoint against human evolution, which I think is valid. There ‘may’ have been animal death before the fall, but human death is clearly a consequence of sin and the fall.

(Emily Kimani) #20

Hi ,
I have heard the same and most Christians seem to hang in between the confusion.
I love literature and somehow I got to understand why the two seems to have a difference but in reality, it is one big story.

Suppose you write a story of how you move fro your place to the nearest city and you just give the stops you made. then you decide, to explain it further on how you and the bus got there, giving a detailed account of the Bus/train or whatever your mode of transport was, what buildings you saw and the topography/architectural designs of the buildings you saw. it is the same with the two counts of creation.

Initially we are just told what was created, then in 2, we are given the juicer details of placement in Eden and a description of the same