Joseph Francis Alward
The First Creation Story
In the first part of Genesis, the writer tells us that the animals were created before man:
25 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 (Genesis 1:25-26)
Readers will note below that the author of this second story first tells us that God made man, then he tells us that God said, "It is not good for man to be alone. I will make animals for man." Obviously, man had already been created, was lonely, so God then made animals.
7 The LORD God formed the man…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…But for Adam no suitable helper was found (Genesis 2:7-22)
Note: some apologists try to argue that the words "God had formed…the beasts" means that the author is stating what had been done prior to making man. This argument fails, however, because the writer makes it perfectly clear that God tried to relieve man's loneliness by making beasts as helpers. Thus, the animals HAD to have been made after man had been created, otherwise God wouldn't have said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him," and then made the animals.
of all Bible versions translate the Hebrew in Genesis 2:19 as
"formed," not "had formed," as in a prior act. This
doesn't prove that the correct translation is "formed," because such
a translation is necessarily subjective. But, one has to wonder why so many
learned translators chose "formed" over "had formed."
The reason the stories contradict each other is that the first and second creation stories were written by two different people, each having different ideas about creation order and the proper name for the almighty creator. At the very place where the first creation story ends and the second one begins, the name of the deity suddenly changes from "God" to "Lord God." This cannot be a coincidence. The evidence regarding the deity's name is presented below.
First Author Calls the Deity "God"
The first author referred to the deity as "God" thirty-one times in a row from Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:3. It is remarkable that not once did he refer to him by any other name. Here is a summary of the use of the deity's name in the first creation story:
God Is Used 31 Times
In the beginning God
created the heavens and the earth..the Spirit of God…And God said..God saw
…God called…And God said…God made…God called…And God said…God called…God
saw…God said…God saw…God said…God made…God set…God saw…God said…God
created…God saw…God said…God made…God saw…God…God created…God he created…God
blessed…God said…God saw…God had…God…rested from all the work of creating
that he had done.
At the end of the first creation story, a different writer steps in to tell his version of creation. This author calls the deity "Lord God," and does so eleven times in a row, without ever referring to him by the name the first author used. Here is a summary of the use of "Lord God" in this second story:
Lord God Is Used Eleven Times
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made…LORD God had…LORD God formed the man…LORD God had planted…LORD God…LORD God took…LORD God…LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."… LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the…LORD God…LORD God made a woman. (Genesis 2:4-22)
So God created man (or, humans, people, mankind) in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. (Timothy 2:11-12)
Some apologists assert that this
argument about Paul is illogical and false because Paul was talking about men
and women, not animals, and Genesis 1:26-30 states that man had been given
authority over all animals. However,
the apologists miss the point: Of
course, Paul is talking about men and women, but Paul uses as justification
for women not having authority over men the fact that God made them second,
so that must mean that God thought more highly of man than women. Being made
second means you're less important.