Two accounts of creation or one in Genesis?

two creation accounts?

I don’t have time to highlight summaries in the following…I have to go to work, however, anyone who is truly interested in why the above argument doesn’t pass the “stink test” should read the following in its entirety and determine for themselves where the flaws in the above argument are found.

There are plenty of other theological resources that carefully and accurately explain this issue.

AND NOTE what follows are not my words (contrary to the claims I fabricate this stuff of my own accord and am a YEC troll)

It is common for liberal critics of the Bible to assert that the book of Genesis contains two accounts of the creation of the Earth and mankind. Allegedly, these two accounts reflect different authors, different time periods, etc. It further is charged that the narratives contradict each other in several particulars.

Professor Kenneth Kitchen of the University of Liverpool has noted, “stylistic differences are meaningless” (1966, p. 118). Such differences may as much indicate a variance in the subject addressed as the suggestion of multiple authors. On the basis of archaeological evidence, Kitchen has shown that the “stylistic” theory simply is not credible. For example, a biographical inscription of Uni, an Egyptian official who lived about 2400 B.C., reflects at least four different styles, and yet no one denies the unity of its authorship (Kitchen, 1966, p. 125).

The plural authorship of the “creation accounts” is supposed to be indicated by the use of two names for deity in these sections. “God” (Elohim) is employed in Genesis 1, whereas “Jehovah” (Yahweh) is found in 2:4ff. In response it may be observed, first, that solid biblical research has clearly shown the use of different appellations for deity to possibly reflect a purposeful theological emphasis. For example, Elohim, which suggests “strength,” exalts God as the mighty Creator. Yahweh is the name that expresses the essential moral and spiritual nature of deity, particularly in terms of His relationship to the nation of Israel (see Stone, 1944, p. 17). Second, the multiple employment of titles was common in the literature of antiquity as a device of literary variety. Archaeological discoveries have amply illustrated this point.

While it is true that such expressions are found in chapter 2, what the critics have failed to notice is that anthropomorphic terminology also is employed in Genesis 1:1-2:4. In that section, God “called,” “saw,” “rested,” etc. (1:8,12; 2:1). There is no validity in this argument, and one is not surprised that serious scholars have labeled it “illusory” (Kitchen, 1966, p. 118).

E.A. Speiser has written: “The first account starts out with the creation of ‘heaven and earth’ (1:1). The present narrative begins with the making of ‘earth and heaven’ (2:4b).” Speiser goes on to emphasize that in the first record heavenly activity is in focus, while in the latter account man is the center of interest. He thus concluded: “This far-reaching divergence in basic philosophy would alone be sufficient to warn the reader that two separate sources appear to be involved, one heaven-centered and the other earth-centered” (Speiser, 1964, pp. 18-19). This argument for a dual authorship of Genesis 1 and 2 is truly unconvincing. Let us carefully note Genesis 2:4. “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven .” In this one verse there is contained the heaven/earth and earth/heaven motif. [Does this mean that two people must have written this one sentence?] Even the critics do not so contend!

Some suggest that in Genesis 1 the original creation of the botanical world is in view, while in Genesis 2 the emphasis is upon the fact that plant reproduction had not commenced, for as yet there was not sufficient moisture, nor a cultivator of the ground, which factors are remedied in verses 6-7 (Jacobus, 1864, 1:96).

Others agree that entirely different matters are in view in these respective accounts. In Genesis 1:11-12 vegetation in general is under consideration, but in Genesis 2:5ff. the writer is discussing the specific sort of vegetation that requires human cultivation. It has been observed “that the words rendered plant, field, and grew, never occur in the first chapter; they are terms expressive of the produce of labour and cultivation; so that the historian evidently means that no cultivated land and no vegetables fit for the use of man were yet in existence on the earth” (Browne, 1981, 1:39, emp. in orig.).

Another view is that Genesis 2:5 does not refer to the condition of the Earth at large; rather, the writer simply is discussing the preparation of the beautiful garden in which man was to live (Young, p. 61).

it is argued that Genesis 1 represents animals as existing before man (24-26), yet Genesis 2 has Adam created before the animals are formed (19). The text of Genesis 2:19 merely suggests that the animals were formed before being brought to man; it says nothing about the relative origins of man and beast in terms of chronology. The critic is reading something into the text that simply is not there. William Green pointed out that when noted scholar Franz Delitzsch (1813-1890), an advocate of the Documentary Hypothesis, first authored his famous commentary on Genesis, he employed this argument as a proof of a discrepancy between Genesis 1 and 2. However, in the last edition of his work, after his knowledge had matured, he repudiated this quibble and argued for the harmony of 2:19 with chapter 1 (Green, 1979, p. 26).

Well, Adam, I also encourage people to read the first few chapters and determine for themselves if there are two creation accounts.

The first one ends in Genesis 2.4a. The second begins in Genesis 2.4b.

The first has the order of creation as plants, animals, man and woman,

The second has the order of creation as man, plants, animals, woman.

The first has God saying “let the earth bring forth,” creation by decree.

The second has God forming and planting.

Adam, which came first: man or plants? Man or animals? If you say plants and animals, you disagree with the second creation story. If you say man came first, you disagree with the first creation story.

A “summary” doesn’t change the order of events. It doesn’t change the method of creation.


Oh i see…

Can you explain these following phrases in Genesis chapter 1…

4…and He separated the light from the darkness

16God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night. And He made the stars as well.

17God set these lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth

25God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that crawls upon the earth according to its kind.

26Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image,

I do not think any of the above phrases in Genesis Chapter 1 are consistent with your claim that the first creation account is the earth “bringing forth” ( apparently alluding to evolution)

By the way,

Notice how even in Genesis chapter 1, an introductpry statement to a creation event is made in one verse/paragraph, and then in the next, Moses goes back and then expands on the introductory statement…see an example below…

Genesis 1:14And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to distinguish between the day and the night, and let them be signs to mark the seasons and days and years. 15And let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth.” And it was so.

note the next section explains the above in more detail…

Genesis 1:16 God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night. And He made the stars as well.

[17]God set these lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth, [18]to preside over the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

Contrary to the claims here, it is not unusual for bible writers to use the above technique…we even see this regularly in literature even today. The argument claiming genre is just plain wrong. The generalisation used to support that argument is also ignorant of the fact the bible usually tells us how we are to read such things. Its easy to tell the difference between poem, prophecy, historic account…in fact one thing thats rarely mentioned here is that in order to correctly translate the original languages, one must consider context. However that is almost always ignored when errant doctrine is presented. You.wonder why i often state “you are plain wrong”…well the above response of mine illustrates why i can say that.

Adam, I did not see your answer to which came first, plants or man?


In the first creation story the earth brought forth vegetation and God saw it and said it was good on Day 3. Man was created on Day 6 in the first creation story.

11 Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so.

12 The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good.

13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

In the second creation story, man was formed before there were any plants.

In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,

5 when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground;

6 but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground—

7 then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.

If you will answer the question of which came first (plants or man), that will help. If you don’t know which came first, knowing that uncertainty will help too.

I agree that there are two creations, humans evolve in Genesis 1 and Adam is created in Genesis 2. I think the evidence from science when allied with the narrative in Genesis allows this interpretation. It does so without having to change one word of Genesis and without challenging the basic theology of the Christian faith that Adam brought sin into the world and Jesus Christ provided the forgiveness of sin. My new book will address this in detail.

George, it sounds like you view the forming of Adam in the second creation story as separate from the creation of men and women in the first creation story. Is that your view?

If so, which came first: the formed Adam of Genesis 2 or the created men and women of Genesis 1?

None of your quoted verses are relevant to what he wrote – which is probably because you don’t recognize that “bring forth” is quoted from Genesis 1.

The Bible rarely indicates what genre a part is. The only way to determine genre is to compare with other literature from back then. Reading in English is guaranteed to get things wrong; you tell genre not from any translation but from the original language!

But YEC totally ignores the most critical parts of context, the cultural setting, the worldview, and the literary genre. That’s why YEC is highly errant doctrine: ignoring the context ignores the meaning.

And by the way, knowing the context in order to translate well had been mentioned quite a few times.

All your response shows is that you have no clue what “genre” means or how to figure out what genre a particular section is.

Actually the two are talking about different sets of plants: the phrase “plants of the field” in several ancient near eastern languages indicates plants grown as crops. So the distinguishing aspect that shows the accounts are different is that they’re not even talking about the same plants.

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The language of the second creation story seems to assume the first story at some points, notably the part about plants, which specifies “plants of the field” and “herbs of the field”, phrases indicating crop plants and really assumes that all the other plants are known to exist. The mention of fruit trees seems to assume that there is an existing set of trees and God selected the ones that were good for food and put them in the Garden.

The mention of bests “of the field” may or may not presuppose the first creation story, depending on how you translate וַיִּצֶר֩ ; some translations render it “formed” and others render it as “had formed” (@Christy might better give the arguments for those than I can at this point).

Which indicates that the stories belong in the sequence we find them in.

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The first creation story says the earth brought forth all kinds of vegetation.

The NET Bible notes describe the plants in the second creation story as all kinds of plants: wild plants were absent because there was no rain and domesticated plants because there was no man to provide watering.

A small sample of the NET Bible notes:

The NET Bible notes also have a good comment on the mistranslation “had formed.”

“Had formed” is an attempt to reconcile the two stories.

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The notes also indicate a scholarly source for “had formed”. What I recall is it has to do with how the prefix on the first word may change the tense of the word it’s attached to, but it’s been too long since I read anything on that subtle point of grammar.

Here is the note:

Another problem with “had formed” is that it is inconsistent with the context which describes “it is not good for man to be alone” as the reason God formed the animals.

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Archeology and paleontolgy evidence would say the first were the createn men and women of chapter1. 6000 fossils over 6 million years is irrefutable. Adam and Eve God’s special creation de novo in Genesis 2.

I think first one had better address a problem for theistic evolution claims that this supposed wonder text for a second creation causes…

Explain how it is that this passage in chapter 2 says everything was made in a single day?

Note gen 2:4

This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made them

Btw…bible margin cross references for this verse are Genesis chapter 1, the Sabbath in Gen 2:3
Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.


Job 38.4
Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.

I do not think i need to go any further in refuting the second creation account error. Its a red hearing that only causes more trouble for TEism…it doesnt help the cause.

That is absolute nonesense. You make stuff up without any support apparently citing your own claims as authoritative.

The bible provides all these things inside the text! The writers go into great detail describing the people, times, places…you merely ignore this so you can fabricate your own insight into what civilisation was in for example Abrahams day…appently a lower form of life without much in the way of scientific brains…despite there being evidence the Egyptians got their knowledge from the chaldeans via Abraham.

(and before you start crowing…“Adams lying and making stuff up”)

“The writer Eupolemus, who lived under Egyptian rule in Palestine in the second century BC, recounts how Abraham lived in Heliopolis (On) and taught astronomy and other sciences to the Egyptian priests."

Im not giving you the reference, go look up Eupolemus yourself!

There are also writings about this from Philo and Artapanus.

Well, Adam, I asked you a few times which came first: man or plants. A simple question.

You have posted several times but never answered.

I suspect you aren’t sure which of the two creation stories, if either, you view as literal history.

I do hope you figure it out and answer.

May God bless you and give you insight.

No, it doesn’t. The first Creation account is two different literary types at once, but the writer didn’t announce the type – he didn’t have to because the original audience would have recognized them.

Except Eupolemus didn’t write such a thing; that comes from what scholars call “Pseudo-Eupolemus”, a set of writings that claim to be from Eupolemus but probably aren’t. Plus besides that Eupolemus wrote what we would call fiction, embroidering Jewish mythology with his own inventions.

Seriously? Artapanus wrote that Moses taught the Egyptians to make likenesses of their gods in the forms of cats and dogs, that Moses invented the boat and various weapons, and that Moses was the Greek god Hermes (considered by the Greeks to be the same as the Egyptian god Thoth). Oh, and he said that Abraham taught the Egyptians astrology!

At best what he wrote is bad historical fiction.

Yeah, the guy who considered everything before Moses to be allegory and metaphor, and taught that God does not communicate with or intervene in the universe. Add in that he considered matter to be inherently evil and that the Logos existed to insulate God from the material world.

You really ought to do some checking before you point to people as sources.


Hebrew is an aspect dominant language and its verbal forms don’t not map perfectly to English’s tense dominant system. Translators who pretend they do usually are operating in a kind of translation model that is focused on word-level semantics and sentence level syntax. I would argue the best translators, expecially for narrative texts, are looking at the whole discourse and picking English verbs based on how they function in the narrative discourse structure to keep mainline actions the mainline actions and backgrounded information the backgrounded information, not based on some imagined word for word correspondence with certain Hebrew aspects and English tenses when it comes to verb forms.


These references are in support of the historicity of my claim in that they describe known jewish beliefs of the day. They are not Christian or jewish sources they are outside sources that support the biblical story.

Firstly, lets not forget its Eusebius who writes of Artipanus…

Artapanus of Alexandria (Gk. Ἀρτάπανος ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς) was a historian, of Alexandrian Jewish origin, who is believed to have lived in Alexandria, during the later half of the 3rd or 2nd century BCE. Although most scholars assume Artapanus lived in Alexandria, others argue he resided in the countryside. Regardless, Artapanus lived in Egypt.
According to Artapanus, Abraham taught an Egyptian pharaoh the science of astrology, while Moses bestowed many “useful benefits on mankind” by inventing boats, Egyptian weapons, and philosophy. (Eusebius, PrEv 9.27.4) He also recounts that the Greeks called Moses Musaeus and that he taught Orpheus, who was widely considered to be the father of Greek culture.[4] Similarly, Artapanus credits Moses with the division of Egypt into 36 nomes as well as the successful conquest of Ethiopia, two accomplishments traditionally attributed to the Egyptian folk hero Sesostris.[5] Throughout the narrative Artapanus insists that the public loved these Jewish figures for their impressive innovations and achievements.Artapanus of Alexandria - Wikipedia

Philo was a leading writer of the Hellenistic Jewish community in Alexandria, Egypt. He wrote expansively in Koine Greek on the intersection of philosophy, politics, and religion in his time; specifically he explored the connections between Greek Platonic philosophy and late Second Temple Judaism. For example, he maintained that the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible and additional books) and Jewish law (which was still being developed by the rabbis in this period) are a blueprint for the pursuit of individual enlightenment.Philo’s deployment of allegory to harmonize Jewish scripture, mainly the Torah, with Greek philosophy was the first documented of its kind, and thereby often misunderstood. Many critics of Philo assumed his allegorical perspective would lend credibility to the notion of legend over historicity. Philo - Wikipedia

Honestly Roymond, your response is a poor one for a supposedly educated individual!

Again, you use no references and readers are to rely on unsupported claims that are your own? You twist and manipulate and confuse… in fact if one didnt know better, one might think you intentionally attempt to dissuade others from reading for themselves so that your unsupported claims can be taken as fact. I would consider that wilfully dishonest.