The Bible Slam: Genesis Chapter 2

In the second chapter of Genesis, we are presented with a second creation story in which the order of creation is changed.   Also, man and woman are not created at the same time, as they were in the first version.

It almost seems like there are two different authors — not just Moses, as some allege.   The "flow" of this chapter seems interrupted because we start with the seventh day of rest, which is the conclusion of the first version of creation, and then pick up with a new account of the creation, beginning with, "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…"

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Apparently due to this chapter, uneducated people believed that because Adam's rib was removed to create Eve, that meant that men had less ribs than women.   The 16th century anatomist Vesalius was allegedly persecuted for insisting that men had the same number of ribs as women.   As pointed out by a writer at "Badblog," this story is a myth.   Nonetheless, the following was written by Vesalius himself:

It is commonly believed that men lack a rib on one side, and that men have one rib fewer than women. This is plainly absurd, even if Moses did say in the second chapter of Genesis that Eve was created by God out of Adam's rib. Granted that perhaps Adam's bones, had someone articulated them into a skeleton, might have lacked a rib on one side, it does not necessarily follow on that account that all men are lacking a rib as well. Aristotle attributed only eight ribs to humans, and was ready to allow that certain members of the race of the Turduli were born with only seven ribs on each side, provided he established this on the actual testimony of some suitable authority. But as in the latter instance Aristotle was willing to support his opinion only with the testimony of others, it is also not unlikely that in the former instance he ascribed eight ribs to man on hearsay evidence, and in this manner wrongly handed down to us something he had not seen. For if we discover that he was suppositious so many times concerning the fabric of man, what judgement shall we make about the rest of his research into animals? (The Humani Corporis Fabrica, Bk. I Chapter 19)

  • In this version of the creation, we have "Lord God" as opposed to the plural God in Chapter 1.   Again, how many Gods are there?
  • The order of creation in Genesis 2 is man, plants, animals and birds, and finally woman, as opposed to the 1st chapter in which God creates:     light (day and night), sky, plants, sun/moon/stars, fish and birds, animal and finally, man and woman at the same time.
  • In the second chapter, eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is prohibited; however, in the first chapter, the fruit of every single tree may be eaten.
  • Written Reference:   Genesis 2

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  • The Preacher

    The recognition that their are two accounts of creation in Genesis has been known for a very long time. It is commonly referred to as the Documentary Hypothesis or JEDP. Seeing differences in style of the text, some scholars have suggested that the first 5 books of the Bible (usually attributed to Moses)are an amalgamation of 4 different sources that were finally edited together during the restoration of the temple in the reign of King Josiah. Thus it is assumed that Genesis 1 is from one source and Genesis 2 is from another source and editors put them together later. So, why is the preacher sharing this information, you might wonder!

    • admin

      Preacher, your comments are fantastic. This series is meant to encourage people who have not read the Bible to do so by making Bible reading interesting and entertaining. Given the "inerrancy" argument, many people are going to have questions. Your insight will be helpful to new readers.

      There was a documentary on the history channel that speculated that these books were actually the product of different authors. The documentary supported your comments.

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