Are chapters one and two of Genesis contradictory? | Answers in Genesis

One of our readers worries about a topic that has sown doubt in the faith of her husband, and asks how to respond. Tim Chaffey, of Answers in Genesis in the United States, addresses his concerns.

My husband recently had a discussion with one of his teachers regarding some Hebrew texts from Genesis and has come to the conclusion that, as there seems to be [a contradiction] in the order of creation between chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis, the Bible is not infallible. I do not agree with this conclusion, and I would like to know how to respond. The passages in question are Genesis 1: 1-2: 3 and Genesis 2: 4-22. He has said to be a believer for 10 years, but now he believes that the human being has spoiled the Word of God, and that the Bible is not totally perfect and has errors. Could you help me?

-R. H., USA of A.

Thank you for contacting Answers in Genesis.

My husband recently had a discussion with one of his teachers regarding texts in Hebrew of Genesis and has come to the conclusion that, as there seems to be a contradiction in the order of creation between chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis, the Bible is not infallible. I do not agree with this conclusion, and I would like to know how to respond. The passages in question are Genesis 1: 1-2: 3 and Genesis 2: 4-22.

Genesis 1: 1-2: 3 gives us a chronological account of what God did in each of the seven days of creation. Genesis 2: 4-25 focuses on the sixth day and narrates some of the events of that day.1 Let's look at what happened on the sixth day according to Genesis 2, to see that there is no discrepancy there: p>

  • Creation of Adam (Genesis 2: 7)
  • Creation of the garden of Eden (Genesis 2: 8-9)
  • Description of the watering system of the rivers of Eden (Genesis 2: 10-14)
  • God puts Adam in the garden and gives instructions (Genesis 2: 15-17)
  • Adam names some (Genesis 2: 18-20)
  • God creates Eve (Genesis 2: 21-22)
  • Description of Adam, Eve and marriage (Genesis 2:23 -25)

The issue that people have with Genesis 2 is that the order of creation of man, animals and trees seems to be contrary to the order established in Genesis 1.

Genesis 2: 7 describes the creation of man:

Then Jehovah God formed to the man of the dust of the earth, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.

After the creation of man, Genesis 2: 9 mentions that God created trees, including the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

And Jehovah God brought forth from the ground every tree that is delicious to the sight, and good to eat; also the tree of life in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Then Genesis 2:19 mentions the creation of certain terrestrial animals:

And the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every bird of the heavens, out of the earth, and brought them to Adam, to see how he should call them; and all that Adam called the living creatures, that is his name.

This translation discards any problem with chronology, because it refers to what God had already done during creation in previous days. Thus, the plants (Genesis 2: 9) and the animals (Genesis 2:19) had already been formed by God during the first days of creation.4 He has said to be a believer for 10 years, but now he believes that the human being has spoiled the Word of God, and that the Bible is not totally perfect and has errors. Can you help me?

It seems that this is due to a misinterpretation of the doctrine of infallibility of the Bible, which is clearly explained in our statement of faith. 66 books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible, divinely inspired by God, is infallible in its entirety. His statements are empirically true in all original manuscripts . He is the supreme authority in all that he teaches. His authority is not limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive matters, but encompasses statements in fields such as history and science. (Emphasis is ours.)

It is important to note that infallibility only applies to the original manuscripts, and does not extend to each copy and to each translation. As a result of this incorrect interpretation, sometimes one has found an error in one of the translations and has mistakenly assumed that the Bible must contain errors. In fact, the mistake was made by a translation committee or the scribe responsible for copying the manuscript.

I can recommend you a book in English titled Nothing But the Truth (Nothing But Truth) by Brian Edwards, which explains the issues of translation and infallibility in detail, and addresses the issues your husband is raising (see also "Why what 66? ").

Although man and the devil often try to spoil the Word of God, we can have confidence that the Word of God is true and perfect from the very beginning.

In Jesus Christ, > Tim Chaffey, Answers in Genesis, USA from A.

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