The Creation Account in Genesis 1

Do the creation accounts in Genesis chapters 1 and 2 conflict or agree with each other?

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There is one creation account broken up into several acts, acts as in acts of a play. So, you have in Genesis 1 you have God, or God through Moses telling us what happened and who is behind it all. In Genesis 2 we have a close-up of what happened on day six. So, these are not two competing accounts at all. It's just two perspectives of the exact same events, much like a director of a film would manipulate a scene today to show maybe the same event from different characters' perspectives, or different levels of closeness. That's exactly what's happening in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. And in fact the beginning of Genesis 2 even has "this is the account when the heavens and the earth were made." So, Genesis 2 shows an awareness of the Genesis 1 account. It is purposely honing in on one particular aspect of that creation, namely, what happens on day six.

Answer by Prof. Jeffrey A. Volkmer

Prof. Jeffrey A. Volkmer is Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology.