The Two Biblical Stories of Creation

Most people don't realize it, but there are two (yes, count 'em TWO) different and contradictory stories of Creation in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. The first story runs from Genesis 1:1 thru Genesis 2:3; the second story picks up at Genesis 2:4 and runs to the end of the chapter at Genesis 2:25.

In the first story, Creation takes six days and man (and woman) are created last after all the plants and animals are created. In the second story, Creation takes one day, man is created first, then all the plants and animals are created, and finally woman is created.

Below are the two stories side-by-side for easy comparison - check it out for yourself. And the next time a Creationist tries to foist some Intelligent Design poppycock on you, ask them if the world was created as described in Genesis; then ask 'em "which version?"

Warning: Most Creationist's faith is not actually very strong - learning that the Bible has serious internal contradictions may lead to their ill-being - use this knowledge with caution!

Genesis 1
Genesis 2
(Section 1: Plants are created - notice man is not created)

   1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

   2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

   3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

   4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

   5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

   6And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

   7And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

   8And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

   9And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

   10And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

   11And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

   12And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

   13And the evening and the morning were the third day.

(Section 1: Plants are created - notice man IS created before the plants are created)

   4These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

   5And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

   6But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

   7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

   8And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

   9And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

(Section 2: Animals are created)

   14And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

   15And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

   16And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

   17And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

   18And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

   19And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

   20And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

   21And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

   22And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

   23And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

   24And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

   25And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

(Section 2: Animals are created)

   10And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.

   11The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;

   12And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.

   13And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.

   14And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.

   15And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

   16And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

   17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

   18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

   19And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

   20And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

(Section 3: Man and woman are created)

   26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

   27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

   28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

   29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

   30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

   31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 2

   1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

   2And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

   3And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

(Section 3: Woman is created)

   21And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

   22And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

   23And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

   24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

   25And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

The translation used above is the King James Version, not because it is the most accurate, but because it is the most familiar. The same two contradictory stories can be found in any reliable translation of the Bible.


Revised 15 June 05