Genesis 1 & 2

Lee R. Martin lmartin at
Thu Dec 2 11:45:57 EST 1999

Dear Joshua,
I do not know the pre-history of Gen 1 & 2, and I do not really care (no offense
You said below that ch. 2 is another creation account.  Not so, for the present text
of Gen 2 does not include creation.  Ch 2 is in no respect a "retelling" as you state
below.  I repeat, nothing is created in Gen. 2.  Adam is formed from the dirt which
already existed. Plants come up from the ground as well. The animals are also formed
from the dirt.  Eve is formed from Adam's rib.  Nothing is created.  All of these
biological entities are progeny of earth (2:4).
Please read Brevard Childs section on Genesis in his _Introduction to the OT as
Scripture_.  He gives a very good interpretation of the relationship between ch. 1 and
ch. 2.
Lee R. Martin

Joshua Gelatt wrote:

> Gentlemen,
> I am new to this forum so please excuse my comments if they have been
> cited previously.
> After studying these fist two chapters of Genesis, I find that it is
> highly probable that these were two different, yet compatible creation
> accounts.  However, this in no way applies a gap in time.  Nor is such a
> gap possible to be concluded from the text.  Likewise, this situation
> does not prove different authors (at the very least it might prove
> different sources).  (I personally can not hold to the idea that chp.
> 2:4ff is not a creation account, I do not see that the text allows for
> such an interpretation)
> This account appears to be nothing more than a retelling of the original
> account (assuming that the first is the original...but order hardly
> matters) for the express purpose of expressing a new thought or
> highlighting a certain event.  This is nothing new in the Torah, much
> less all of Biblical literature.
> Gen 36:1-8 is the account of Asau.  However, in 36:9ff this account is
> repeated.  The two accounts parrallel each other, each highlighting a
> different aspect.  The former is less formal, and highly narrative.  The
> second is rather a technical chronology.  Yet if one could only read the
> account starting in verse 9, the text seems to indicate Eliphaz (Esau's
> son) was born in the hill country of Seir.  The former account indicated
> he was born long before the move to Seir (or at least before).
> Now, do these versions contradict each other?  Not at all.  Does this
> even prove these accounts are from a different source.  Again, no it does
> not  (although, the text itself can neither disprove this assuption
> either).  In my opinion, this is the same case with the creation account.
> As I see it, these are corrorlary accounts.  The order of creation can
> hardly be a factor, as it was not the intent to give specific facts
> concerning creation in the second account (or even in the first).  The
> first account was of creation as it concerned the power of God,
> culminating in the creation of man.  The second account was the account
> of creation as it related to man in the garden, setting the stage for the
> fall of the perfect world which God had established.  All three stories
> (now including chapter 3ff) rely on each other to give us a complete
> picture (in literary terms at least) of the account.
> Anyway,  these are just some thoughts which I would love to discuss
> further.
> Respectfully,
> Josh Gelatt
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Lee R. Martin
Pastor, Prospect Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee
Instructor in Hebrew and Old Testament
Church of God Theological Seminary

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