The Creation Narratives

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The Creation Narratives

The Creation Narratives


The Genesis Creation Narrative is the biblical account given in the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis, a propos the creation of the earth. It is a part of the biblical doctrine of Christianity and Judaism and is well thought-out as a sacred account of the primitive history of the world. It is a myth having resemblance to a few ancient Mesopotamian myths of creation; whereas, its monotheistic stance poles apart from Mesopotamian myths.

In the first chapter, the narrator elucidates the formation of the world, and according to the book the world was created by Elohim (the God) in six days. The seventh day is referred to as Sabbath (holy day of rest). On the other hand, the second chapter explains how YHWH-God created the first man using a form of clay and breathes into him, the breath of life. This chapter also explains how the first woman was formed by God from the side of man created before her. God puts this couple into a garden, which He planted before the creation of man. Chapter two ends on a statement related to marriages in between men and women.

Since, scriptures have changed, interpreted and analyzed, by different theologians in different perspectives throughout the history; a passage from the scripture is difficult to understand after the first reading. It sometimes creates a difficulty to the modern and occidental intellect and same is the case with the first to chapters of The Genesis, about which a number of commentators have argued that they are contradictory with respect to the narratives of creation. This paper aims to identify those opposing points and how they differ in terms of the resources used for the creation.


The Radical Critical Case

The author of the second chapter seems to have no prior knowledge about the first chapter, and when the two are joined together they seem to have pronounced contradictions. Collins has strongly summed up the stance of the critical school by saying that:

“When it is realized that there are two distinct creation stories in Genesis belonging to two different periods and derived from two different sources, inconsistency becomes intelligible. That it exists at all, however, is sufficient to discredit a theory of divine inspiration that is obviously out of accord with the facts”.

Some authors have seen discrepancies amid the sequences of creation, difference in style, difference in the concepts about God and the most significant difference is in the names of God used in chapter 1 and chapter 2. As narrated in the first chapter, man and woman used to be together as the crown and climax, and animals including birds were created after them. On the other hand, the second chapter narrates that man was created after birds, and consequently, the woman was created after birds.

The harmonists do not react much to the variations, as according to the, these differences are due to the differences in perceptions and subject matter. According to them, the first section presents an ...
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