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September 4, 2010

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Q: Do Genesis 1 and 2 contradict each other?

A: We recently received the following testimony:

My husband has concluded that because there seems to be contradition between the order of creation in Genesis chapters 1 and 2 that the Bible is not flawless. I do not share his conclusion and would like to have an answer for him. —R.H., USA

This is a common argument used against the traditional understanding of Genesis (i.e., God created everything in six normal-length days approximately 6,000 years ago). This argument attempts to show that inconsistencies exist between the first two chapters in the Bible. Critics and skeptics use it in their efforts to show the Bible cannot be trusted. Some Christians who believe in billions of years use it in trying to show that these chapters should not be understood in their plain sense. However, the argument is based on a misunderstanding of Genesis 2.

Genesis 1:1–2:3 provides us with a chronological account of what God did on each of the days during the creation week. Genesis 2:4–25 zooms in on day six and shows some of the events of that day.1 Let’s take a look at what happened on day six, according to Genesis 2, and we’ll see there is no discrepancy here.


Continue reading to see the inherent flaws in this common argument against the accuracy of Genesis.

News to Note Quick Look

Rafting the waves of controversy: What should the Christian believe about the age of the earth and the origin of life? WORLD magazine editor-in-chief Marvin Olasky explores the issue against the backdrop of a Grand Canyon raft trip. Read more.


Whom to trust: God or Stephen Hawking?: Stephen Hawking, perhaps the most famous physicist since Einsten, has again emphasized that the universe didn’t need God to get things rolling. Read more.


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