Recently I've been wondering about the apparent contradiction in Genesis 1&2 about the order of creation. I recently read a book called the Genesis Enigma by Andrew Parker. I heard about it from prof. John Lennox in a talk he had on whether science can explain everything. The author argues that the order described in Genesis 1 lines up with scientific understanding of how the world came to be. He of course does not take the literal interpretation of days. Very interesting read. So how do we reconcile the order described in Genesis 1 and the order described in Genesis 2. In Genesis 1 it seem that plants & animals were created before man. In Genesis 2 it seems like God created Adam then plants animals and eventually Eve. Does anyone have any thoughts on this topic?
@Josh_Stoltzfus Genesis 1 is a description of the creation from a zoomed out point of view. Genesis 2 is a more focused account of the creation of mankind, the crowning jewel of God’s creation. It is not two separate accounts, but rather two separate perspectives on the same event. Like in a movie when the same scene is shown from two different angles - it adds richness and depth. Or when someone first tells the big picture story and then dives into the details to focus on some particular aspect.
Another perspective is that Genesis 1 is not necessarily a chronological account - there are evangelical scholars who see at is a depiction of God taking up residence in His temple, which at that time was the creation - or as a counter narrative to the pagan narratives of creation. In which case there is no need to reconcile chronologies in the two accounts because Genesis 1 is not necessarily chronological.
Whichever way you look at it, the two are not inherently contradictory.
Furthermore, even a cursory reading of Genesis 1 and 2 should be enough to discern that the author has a different purpose in one than in the other. Chapter 1 presents a three-level hierarchy of God’s creative prowess, memorably associated with days of the week. In contrast, chapter 2 focuses on the crowning jewels of God’s creation—man and woman—who are designed to be in right relationship with both creation and the Creator.
To add understanding of the 2 details of contradictions: vegetations’ and animals’ order of creation before or after man, you can check out Got Questions’ article on it too.
Blessings in Christ,