Do the Creation Accounts in Genesis One and Genesis Two Contradict Each Other?

by Alisa Childers

Recently, a reader emailed me and suggested a book called Living the Question: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity. With Progressive Christianity (PC) being my main topic of research, I was excited to learn that it’s the first and only comprehensive survey on PC—and it was written by Progressive Christians. I downloaded it to my kindle immediately and dove right in.

I was not the least bit surprised that the book began with the idea that spiritual maturity requires one to embrace one of the iron-clad PC dogmas: questions are way more important than answers.  Then, ironically, an entire chapter was devoted to giving the definitive answer (in the affirmative) to the question of whether or not the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and  2 contradict each other. This is an old skeptical claim that Progressive Christians have latched on to, but it’s worth discussing because it could be a stumbling block to some Christians who haven’t thought about it before.

The book puts it like this: 

Genesis begins with two distinctive creation stories that are impossible to synthesize or string together into consecutive events with any integrity.

It goes on to claim that the two accounts were written by different authors, and that the order of events don’t line up. I’ll discuss each of these ideas in turn…

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Do the Creation Accounts in Genesis One and Genesis Two Contradict Each Other?