Are There Two Creation Accounts in Genesis?
The first chapter of the Bible, in Genesis, gives an account of creation. This opens with the statement, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1). The chapter proceeds to give a systematic detailed account of all of creation. But the very next chapter has, as claimed by some, what might appear to be a second account. This is entirely different, and in a different order. It is said the two accounts are in conflict, written in differing styles, and could not possibly be by the same author. This is claimed to prove that the book of Genesis is not the Word of God, was not written by Moses, and is an ad hoc compilation of ancient myths.
This is a serious consideration, for the book of Genesis lays a foundation that the whole of the Bible rests upon. The Bible claims to be the Word of God, with eternal consequences for those who either take heed or dismiss it. It presents a path to eternal life with God and warns of eternal separation and torment for those who reject its message. If the Bible begins incoherently as a collection of myths then this allays any compunction to listen and take heed to it as a message from God to mankind.
But those who contend this is myth make a grave error. They assume chapter two of Genesis is a second creation account. Based on this assumption, they then list many discrepancies about creation and its order. It is further speculated that much editing had to take place for some reconciliation of the two accounts, but that they are still hopelessly in conflict. Only by treating chapter two as a second creation account can a conflict be claimed.
But what if chapter two is not a second creation account? What if it is the Word of God, and it is there for a critically important reason? Jesus said, "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" (John 5:46-47). Jesus claimed to be the savior of the world, come to bring redemption for mankind from sin and death. This good news of the Gospel is predicated on a situation of evil that exists in our world today. It is Moses who wrote how this situation arose, and "his writings" explain the necessity of a savior. Genesis chapters two and three give a unique account in the Bible, written by Moses, that presents a transition from the "good" world of creation, described in chapter one, to the world of today that needs a savior, that begins in chapter four.
Continue reading to find out why Genesis chapter two is not a second creation account.