Genesis 1 & 2

Ian Charles Hutchesson MC2499 at
Wed Dec 1 06:12:02 EST 1999

> ==========================
> To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at>
> From: Jonathan Bailey <jonathan.bailey at>
> Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 10:19:46 +0100
> Subject: Genesis 1 & 2
> ==========================
> I have to say that I completely fail to see how Genesis 2 can 
> be called an account of
> creation of the world. The account lacks any mention of astonomical 
> bodies, speaks
> only of beautiful trees producing edible substances (thereby 
> lacking mention of the
> vast majority of plant life), and completely fails to mention 
> swarming things, creeping
> things, sea things, etc. in the account, restricting itself to 
> fowls, cattle, and beasts of
> the field.
> Mentioning of the rivers seems to locate the story in a specific 
> geographical area, and
> the type of trees and animals seem to indicate to me that the 
> story is relating the
> creation of the Garden of Eden. This supposition is STRONGLY 
> reinforced by Gen 2:8.
> The sequence of events, creation of man, creation of garden (which 
> did not meet all
> his needs), the creation of animals (which did not meet all his 
> needs), and finally the
> creation of woman (who met all his needs) seem to tell me that, 
> from a literary stand
> point, the theme of the account is the creation of woman, using 
> the creation of the
> garden as plot device.
> This is opposed to the first chapter, which is the creation of 
> man, using the creation
> of the universe as a plot device. Or the 1st chapter can be what 
> it most plainly seems
> to be, the creation of the world, which mentions the creation 
> of man as a plot
> element, and the 2nd chapter is thematically the creation of 
> man and woman, given
> form through the creation of the garden.
> Anyway, back to my opening sentence, I really fail to see that 
> the 2nd chapter can be
> considered an account of the creation of the world, and am wondering 
> what makes
> this illustious fraternity of PhD laden Hebrew scholars think 
> that Gen 2 is an account
> of the creation of the world that has any place being compared 
> to Gen 1 at all? If my
> presumptions are correct, the culprit is the religionsgeschichtliche 
> worldview, which
> causes scholars to believe that Gen 2 is a much older account 
> of creation of the
> world than Gen 1, as it cannot be as highly evolved, because 
> it completely fails as an
> account of the creation of the world. But isn't the fact that 
> Gen 2 seems to be a
> primitive failure of an account of the creation of the world 
> also evidence that it is not
> an account of the creation of the world?
> My next question is, even if the accounts are two separate accounts 
> pieced together
> (as I believe), does that dictate that they both be considered 
> contending and
> contradictory accounts of the creation of the entire world?
> Fundamentally speaking, I would like to know what causes modern 
> scholarship to
> reject the plainest and most logical conclusion that Genesis 
> 2 is an account of the
> creation of Eden taking place sometime during or after the events 
> of the last parts of
> chapter 1-2:4? Am I right about it being the suppositions about 
> various stages of
> evolution of early Canaanite religion? If so, from where does 
> this view get its staying
> power? It certainly has the strength to stifle any other analytical 
> venues that modern
> scholarship could produce, and has indeed become a sacrosant 
> monolith among
> scholars.
> For me, the logical thematic development of Genesis 2 did not 
> even become apparent
> until I had discarded the notion that Gen 2 is a creation account. 
> Only after doing this
> was I able to see the account as an account of the creation of 
> woman, and/or
> mankind, and/or paradise was I able to view the story with any 
> kind of respect, for
> these tasks it accomplishes with beautiful organization. As an 
> account of the world is
> it indeed a primitive rambling of the creation of a few random 
> subjects and oddly
> described phenomenon. Apparently the primitives that wrote it 
> lived in an area of only
> beautiful and edible trees? With no fish or bugs? Nice place! 
> Completely contradictory
> to every creation account the world has ever known, however, 
> which state that we
> came from Chaos.
> But I would really appreciate answers to some of these questions. 
> Not one soul on
> here responded to my post about the possibility of supposedly 
> older OT books written
> in Late Biblical Hebrew being late translations of older works. 
> How this post is
> received will combine with the absolute lack of response to my 
> last one to form my
> opinion of how modern scholarship deals with ideas that do not 
> conform to
> established dogmas of biblical criticism.
> Jonathan Bailey
> MA Kandidat
> Hochschule für Jüdische Studien
> Heidelberg
> ---------- Original Message ----------
> >With the above posts, and another by Peter Kirk, I realise my 
> post gave the
> impression
> >that the beginning of Genesis was just a random compilation 
> of various source
> material.
> >That's not the impression I was trying to give. Of course Gen 
> 2 should come after
> Gen 1
> >because of the thematic developments in each. What I originally 
> intended to highlight
> was
> >that Gen 1 and Gen 2 were different accounts of creation and 
> probably weren't even
> >associated together originally. Rather, it was by the deliberate 
> choice of a scribe that
> >Gen 1 and Gen 2 were brought together. So, it was only by a 
> compiler's design that
> Gen 1
> >preceded Gen 2, not because both chapters were written by the 
> same original
> author.
> >Best regards,
> >George Athas
> > Dept of Semitic Studies,
> > University of Sydney
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