Is Genesis 1 Contradictory to Genesis 2?
1. Moses, the human author of Genesis, gives a different view and thematic focus in each of those two chapters. The first view and focus in chapter one is a panoramic view where God speaks forth out of nothing the creation in six days (Romans 1:20). The second view and focus in chapter two is a microscopic view that focuses more on the relationship between the male (Adam) and the female (Eve) who were created in the image of God. Adam and Eve were the crown of God's creation who were to have dominion over the animals. Therefore, there is no contradiction between the two accounts.
2. In the historical context of marriage, divorce, and remarriage, Jesus referred the Jews back to the creation account on the permanence of the marital covenant. Matthew 19:4-6 states: “And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Jesus is quoting the phrase “made them male and female” from the historical account of Genesis 1 (Genesis 1:26,27). Jesus also quotes from the historical account of Genesis 2 (in Genesis 2:24). Therefore, Jesus saw these two chapters as unified rather than contradictory.
3. There were no chapter divisions in the original autographs of the Bible (except for the Psalms). It is unfortunate in some manner that Genesis 2:1-3 is cut off from Genesis 1 because the seventh day is the day in which God ceased from the six days of creative activity. Therefore, the historical accounts of creation contained in Genesis 1 and 2 have a unity.
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