An artists depiction of the Garden of Eden
The first thing to note is that in Genesis there are actually two creation narratives! Contrary to popular belief they are written in different styles which to myself and some renowned biblical scholars indicates the possibility that they were also written by two different authors.
The first narrative of the creation story begins in Genesis 1 and ends in chapter 2 verse 3. The second narrative begins in chapter 2:4 and ends in verse 25. the first difference between the narratives is in their style. The first narrative attempts to give a day to day chronology of creation in the order that they were created. The second one does not mention days but rather focuses more on the order of created things. I will be making side by side comparisons of both these accounts to make it easier for my readers to note the differences and every once in awhile when necessary I will point out other ludicrous anomalies within the texts themselves.
1"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Gen. 1:1
4"This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." Gen. 2:4
Note that in the first account God apparently commences by creating the earth and the heavens while in the second narrative the heavens and the earth have already been created. Also be aware that this tale of creation had to have been either invented myth or actually, and most unlikely "revealed" by God himself to the author. Whether the earth was created 7-10,000 years ago or 4.5 billion years ago there is no way any man was a witness to the "creation" (formation) of the early earth.
3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day." Gen. 1:3-5
According to the previous verse the first thing God did after creating the heavens and the earth was to separate light from darkness. He called the darkness night and the light day. I don't know about you but you don't need a college degree to see the absurdity of these verses. First how can you separate light from darkness when darkness itself by definition is the absence of light? Secondly how is the effect of night and day produced? Well science says that it is caused by the Earth as it spins on its axis. While one half of the planet faces the sun (day) the other half is in darkness (night).
As we have seen the author of Genesis chapter one had no knowledge of astronomy whatsoever. He did not know how the process of night and day came about. He also did not know that the sun was a very vital component of that process as we shall see shortly.
Genesis two on the other hand claims that there were no shrubs, trees, or rain in the beginning but that also there was no one to work the land either. It's also interesting to note that the author of the second narrative does not even attempt to describe astronomy in any way shape or form. His first creation is man.
7"Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." Genesis 2:7 Based on the context of this verse and subsequent verses; God creates man to work in the garden and take care of it.
In Genesis 1 on the second day, God creates a vault to separate the water from the water. He calls the water above sky. 8"God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day." Gen. 1:8 So according to this he created the sky on the second day. Is it me or is this starting to sound like a children's story? All this despite the fact that "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." I personally see the heavens as the sky and based on this account he created it twice! The heaven described in Gen. 1:1 cannot be space because the sun, moon, and stars had not yet been created.
The narrative in Genesis 1 gets it all backwards! Could you imagine earth/land and sky without space, sun, moon, or stars? Daytime without the sun and night time without the moon? This story gets sillier by the minute. So far I have yet to see one iota of divine inspiration in this tale. In fact, it sounds more like what you would expect to hear from someone narrating a traditional myth.
In the second narrative we are told that God after having created man, then goes on to create the garden. Here man is given the task of tilling the ground and taking care of the garden as a whole. He also had a river that flowed from the garden and split off into four separate rivers Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, the Euphrates.
Based on the biblical description this places the garden of Eden in or near the Persian Gulf
8"Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. 15The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." Gen. 2:8-9;15
According to the first creation narrative God brought forth dry land, seas, plants, trees, fruits, and vegetables on the third day. Note that plants and trees require sunlight to grow but the sun has yet to be created at this time. Once again God gets it backwards! 12"The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good." Gen. 1:12
19"Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name." Gen. 2:19 After creating man, then the garden, then placing man in the garden, God creates land and avian life.
According to the first narrative day four is the most amazing and apparently busiest day for God. 14"And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so." Gen. 1:14-15 Finally! God creates the sun for the day, the moon for the night and the next verse ends with: "He also made the stars." You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know that the sun is actually a star! Due to the size of our universe I am pretty sure that there are plenty of stars out there that predate the existence of our sun. Again we see God separating the day from the night as he had done on the first day. could he have done this twice?
In the second narrative after Adam finishes naming all the animals that the Lord had created he still could not find an help meet. So the good Lord in all his wisdom creates Eve. 21"So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man." The second narrative ends with God creating Eve as described above. Now we can focus on the remainder of the first narrative.
In the first narrative on the fifth day God creates all sea life and once again he creates avian life as well. 21"So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Gen. 1:21
The final day of creation is the sixth day where God creates all land creatures and livestock and finally man. 25"God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 27So God created mankind in his own image,in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them." Gen. 1:25,27
Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden
Now it's time to sum it all up day by day according to how it appears in the first narrative.
Day one: Heavens and the earth, light, separates light from darkness called them day and night.
Day two: Separates water from water, makes vault, calls the vault sky.
Day three: Brought forth the land and the seas, created all plants, trees, fruits and vegetables.
Day four: Creates the sun, the moon, and the stars.
Day five: Creates sea creatures and avian creatures.
Day six: Creates all manner of land creatures and finally man and woman simultaneously.
The second narrative does not separate creation by day but by order in a narrative form.
1.The heavens and the earth were already created and were apparently barren.
2.Creates man out of the dust of the ground.
3.Plants the garden of Eden and fills it with all manner of fruit bearing trees.
4.Puts man in garden to take care of it. Where was man before this is anyone's guess.
5.Creates all manner of birds and land animals ( there is no mention of sea creatures).
6.Creates Eve and brings her to Adam.
Finally according to the first narrative in chapter one after all of this hard work of creating the omnipotent (all powerful) and great and powerful Oz; I meant God, rested.
2By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Gen. 2:2-3
Note: All biblical citations are from the New International Version Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc