ABC:Genesis 2

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Verse 3

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments:[1]

Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

An omnipotent being required…rest?

Why not? Although actually, the passage never says God "required" rest, only that He rested. Why He did so is uncertain. He may have done so just as precedent for later creation, per Jesus' comments that the Sabbath was made for man as a day of rest. (Mark 2:27

At any rate, it appears the critic may just be misunderstanding the concept of Biblical omnipotence, or the term "Almighty" as used in the Bible. (e.g. Genesis 17:1) God can have all power and might that exists, but not all powers we can imagine may exist or be possible (like time travel). God's powers don't have to fit our concept of what "all powerful" means to include all powers that exist. In other words, the critic is perhaps thinking "omnipotent" means "having all powers I can imagine" instead of "all power that exists."

There are skeptics that like to imagine powers that can't exist like making something so small God can't fit in it, or time traveling to create paradoxes. We have a limited idea of what the universe is or what true power even means, and thus you get a poor conception of what God's powers entail by critics as they hypothesize powers that make no sense and logically shouldn't exist at all. If God needed rest, that would not negate the totality of His power.

Verse 4

Don Morgan's list at Infidels claims this is a contradiction and makes the following comments (italicized).[2]

God was already known as "the Lord" (Jahveh or Jehovah) much earlier than the time of Moses.

Genesis 2:4 These 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,

Genesis 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

Genesis 12:8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

Genesis 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
15 ¶ And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

Genesis 26:25 And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well.

God was first known as "the Lord" (Jahveh or Jehovah) at the time of the Egyptian Bondage, during the life of Moses.

Exodus 6:2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:
3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

The Scofield Study Bible III makes some excellent points on this passage:

(1) The statement, 'by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them' can also be translated as a rhetorical question, 'By my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them?'
(2) In the O.T. the verb 'to know' generally means far more than to have an intellectual knowledge. There are many instances of this, such as Amos 3:2: 'You only have I known of all the families of the earth.'
(3) The patriarchs were familiar with the name Jehovah, but their experience of God was largely that of Him as El-Shaddai (compare Gen. 17:1, note), the One who provided for all their needs. Here in Ex. 6:3 God tells Moses that He is now about to be revealed in that aspect of His character signified by Jehovah - that is, His covenant-relation to Israel as the One who redeems her from sin and delivers her from Egypt (compare vv. 6-8).
(4) Actually there is no contrast in Ex. 6:3 between Elohim and Jehovah, the names in this text being El-Shaddai and Jehovah.

-The Scofield Study Bible III, Oxford University Press[3]

As pointed out by the Scofield, the key passage Exodus 6:3 can be translated from the original Hebrew as a rhetorical question, thus removing all claims of a contradiction here. Henry M. Morris of ICR concurs with this explanation: "The easiest resolution of the apparent contradiction is to regard the last clause as a rhetorical question (quite permissible in the Hebrew)– 'by my name JEHOVAH was I not (also) known to them?'"[4] The second possibility mentioned, that the expression "know Jehovah" referred to more than a simple awareness of His existence but rather an experiential relationship is argued by Apologetics Press apologist Eric Lyons.[5]

Verse 7

Don Morgan of Infidels asserts a contradiction exists among these passages while making the following comments (italicized):[2]

Man and woman were created at the same time.

Genesis 1:26 And 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.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Man was created first, woman sometime later.

Genesis 2:7 And 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.

Genesis 2:21 ¶ And 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;
22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Genesis 1 never says man and woman were created at the same time, just the same day. The chronology of the Genesis 1:1-2:3 account is a day-by-day basis, so Genesis 1 just mentions both being made. It never says they were made at the exact same time, the exact details of when they were made during that day are clarified in chapter 2.

Verse 15

Don Morgan of Infidels asserts a contradiction exists among these passages while making the following comments (italicized):[2]

Man is to have dominion over fish, birds, cattle, and all wild animals, yet--

Genesis 1:26 And 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.

It is wrong to be able to tell good from evil, right from wrong.

Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16 ¶ And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But 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.

The key verse is 3:22. Eating of the tree meant learning what evil was, and thus becoming corrupted. Unlike God, man has physical lusts that tempt to do evil, and once corrupted with that knowledge would ultimately succumb.

Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Until this time man had coexisted with the angels in the Garden of Eden (Ezekiel 28, 31), creations of God who knew only good and not evil. However, Satan perverted the human race with this knowledge of evil to gain control of them as part of Satan's rebellion against God.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

One cannot distinguish between two things unless one is familiar with them both. It was not knowing good that was wrong and against God's will, but knowing evil.

Verse 16

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments:[1]

Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But 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.

God placed temptation in the direct path of his two naïve children and allowed them to be tempted by the serpent (Genesis 3:1-7), resulting in a single mistake that would contaminate hundreds of billions with a sin nature worthy of eternal torture?

Actually, God did not create mankind with a sin nature, a tendency to want to sin. They had no inclination to want to disobey God, which is why it took Satan's urging to prompt them to even consider the possibility. So God did not technically place "temptation" in their path, they were created with natural obedience to God so God's commandment to them should have sufficed. Humans today may have accumulated a sin nature that is naturally rebellious, but original humanity was not made that way by God.

What Satan did in tempting them was apparently for his own ends, and to all appearances caught God entirely by surprise. God actually said Satan was utterly perfect in all his/her ways until evil was found in Satan. Satan was said by God to "seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty." God made the jewels of Eden and special musical instruments for Satan before Satan fell. (Ezekiel 28:12-17) It broke God's heart to see Satan fall so that He caused all Heaven to go into mourning and all Lebanon, the company of angels, to weep. (Ezekiel 31:15) Jesus in Matthew 13:27-28 says that same thing of Satan's machinations, that God created His creations good, and an enemy, Satan, plants evil among it.

Matthew 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

Matthew 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

Why the tree had to be in the Garden of Eden we aren't told and can only hypothesize. However, the Garden of Eden was also where Satan and the angels dwelt as well. (Ezekiel 28:13) In fact, the angels are referred to as "trees of Eden" at times. (Ezekiel 31:9,16,18) It may be it played a role in the angelic kingdom thriving there, perhaps related somehow to the angels living in the Garden of Eden. Maybe they were able to draw some form of power or knowledge from it. Whatever the case, there were likely very good reasons the tree was there.

Verse 18

Infidels.org claims Genesis 1 contradicts Genesis 2, asking the question, "Which first--beasts or man?"[6] The ReasonProject also lists the following as a Bible contradiction with the headline "The two contradictory creation accounts."[7] This of course rests upon a rather silly presumption when you think about it, that Genesis 1 and 2 would relate duplicate accounts, with both chapters repeating the same story repetitively, yet with conflicting material; a completely illogical thought process.

Genesis 1:25-26 And 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. And 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.

Genesis 2:18-19 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And 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.

The simple and straightforward answer here is that Genesis 1:1-2:3 (1:1, an account of "In the beginning") is not the same account as Genesis 2:4-4:26 (2:4, "generations of the heavens and the Earth") - Genesis 1 relates God's account of how the Earth and creation were made, Genesis 2-4 relates Adam's account of God creating individual life in the Garden of Eden, including himself. Genesis 2:19 does not relate the original creation of cattle and birds, but recreation of more animals of the types already created to see what Adam will name them.

Genesis is actually subdivided into different accounts with the Hebrew word "towl@dah" meaning "generations" or "genealogy."[8] For more on this, see the Wiseman Hypothesis, aka the Tablet Theory.[9]

Verse 19

Infidels.org suggests the Bible contradicts itself in saying fowl came from both water and the ground, and quote the following Scriptures:[6]

Genesis 1:20-21 And 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. And 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.

Genesis 2:19 And 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.

This as further detailed on this page is not a contradiction, since the Genesis 1 and 2 passages are of course not accounts of the same event with contradicting details. Rather, Genesis 1:1-2:3 is God's account of creation, and 2:4-4:27 is Adam's account of the Garden of Eden. Thus, birds were originally created from the water, and recreated later in the Garden of Eden to see what Adam would name them.

Order of Creation

Meritt of Infidels.org suggests the order of creation in Genesis 1 is illogical, as does TheThinkingAtheist.com.[10] Meritt makes the following comments:[6]

Note that there are "days," "evenings," and "mornings" before the Sun was created. Here, the Deity is referred to as "Elohim," which is a plural, thus the literal translation, "the Gods." In this tale, the Gods seem satisfied with what they have done, saying after each step that "it was good..."

How orderly were things created?

  1. 1: Step-by-step. The only discrepancy is that there is no Sun or Moon or stars on the first three "days."
  2. 2: God fixes things up as he goes. The first man is lonely, and is not satisfied with animals. God finally creates a woman for him. (funny thing that an omniscient god would forget things)

How satisfied with creation was he?

  1. 1: God says "it was good" after each of his labors, and rests on the seventh day, evidently very satisfied.
  2. 2: God has to fix up his creation as he goes, and he would certainly not be very satisfied with the disobedience of that primordial couple. (funny thing that an omniscient god would forget things)

First of all, the fact that days, evenings, and mornings existed before the sun's creation means only that another light source was present. The Bible even states such a pattern will exist once more at the end of creation. Jesus Himself is said to be all the light the New Jerusalem requires.

Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

Therefore, not only is there a logical explanation for a light source prior to the sun, but it is clearly detailed in Scripture. Since Jesus claimed to have existed from the beginning of Creation (John 17:35) there is no reason at all to think Jesus Himself could not have been the original light source, and thus giving special relevance to His title "the Light of the world." (John 8:12, 9:5)

Secondly, Meritt claims it a "funny thing that an omniscient god would forget things." However, since Meritt is quoting the KJV, he ought to be aware that not once in the entire KJV are the words "omniscient" or "omniscience" ever used, although "omnipotent" is used once. (Revelation 19:6) Omniscience is an arbitrary concept that's been attached to God by philosophers to explain the Bible's repeated references to God's absolute knowledge. However, to assume God knows everything the future holds does not necessarily follow from what the Bible says.

For more on this, see Epicurus' Trilemma.

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Morgan, Donald. Bible Inconsistencies: Bible Contradictions? Internet Infidels.
  3. Scofield, C.I. (2006). The Scofield Study Bible III. pp. 92-93. Oxford University Press.
  4. Morris, Henry M. Exodus 6:3 Was I Not Known. Institute for Creation Research.
  5. Lyons, Eric (2006). Did the Patriarchs Know Jehovah by Name? Apologetics Press.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Meritt, Jim (1992). A list of Biblical contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html.
  7. Marlow, Andy (2009). Contradictions in the Bible. Project Reason.
  8. Brown, Driver, Briggs and Gesenius. "Hebrew Lexicon entry for Towl@dah." "The KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon". Retrieved from http://m.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/kjv/towledah.html.
  9. Curt Sewell (1998-2001). The Tablet Theory of Genesis Authorship. Retrieved from http://www.trueorigin.org/tablet.asp.
  10. TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions.