A Case for Genesis 1 and 2 Sequential

Here’s a link to a new Hump article, answering the criticism of Genealogical Adam that it wrongly makes Genesis 2-3 a follow-on from Genesis 1, whereas they are actually parallel accounts.

In fact the hypothesis doesn’t demand the former, though it works better that way, in my view.

2 questions for you @jongarvey:

  1. If you are an Old Earth Christian, wouldn’t you be surprised that such an important truth about the world can’t be found anywhere in the OT.?

  2. What do we lose by making the two accounts in Genesis two separate creation cycles?

  1. I’m not at all surprised. To quote Galileo “The Bible is about how we go to heaven, not how the heavens go.” Actually I believe we are raised on the new earth, not heaven, but let that pass. The story of the Bible is the story of man and God. I’m sure God is content for us to discover about the world in our own way.

  2. We lose mainly narrative coherence. The author knew what he was about and was swriting a boiok, not an anthology.


I think you are wrong about losing narrative coherence. What could be more incoherent than the references to Cain and the mark he receives so that he won’t be killed by people who only know he is a murderer. By whom? Why they should they kill him? If God can tell them not to kill “the man who has the mark” … he can just as easily tell them not to kill Cain. If Cain is the only person out there… nobody is going to mistake who he is. But is he the only one? He builds a city? For whom? Who are all these people living in this city?

And then there is the issue of trying to build coherence between the different sequences and aspects behind the two very different stories of creation.

Finally, I think you are a little too eager to repeat Galileo’s quote: “The Bible is about how we go to heaven, not how the heavens go.” Firstly, Galileo was referring to the New Testament.

Secondly, you don’t find it at all odd that we read about a man giving up his birthright over a bowl of pottage … but the closest thing we have to Biblical awareness of millions of years of Earth’s history are the two different stories in Genesis?

While you seem to expect some kind of interpretive purity (by making the two stories about the same 2 humans), you seem perfectly at ease regarding ignoring the contents of both stories and applying them to Old Earth history.

If you endorse Old Earth history, I would expect just a little more eagerness to examine the parts of the Bible that just might support that bone of contention.


I’ve always been told I’m a fairly clear writer, but you nearly always seem to interpret my words as the opposite of what I actually say.

I write an entire Hump post answering those who say that Genealogical Adam is wrong to say that Gen 1 and Gen 2 are sequential, and you rattle on about my believing the two accounts are about Adam and Eve.

I’ll answer any questions once it’s clear you’ve read the thing carefully. But the Bible is still not intended as a cosmoilogy text, whatever you say.


You misread him. He is saying the opposite. He is saying that Genesis 1 and 2 parallel is not coherent, but Genesis 1 then 2 sequential is coherent.

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I emphasize, that Genesis 1 and 2 do not NEED to be sequential in a Genealogical Adam. We can still take them as parallel without loosing coherence in the theology.

Of note, though I take the view that Genesis 1:1-2:4a and Genesis 2:4b should be read as sequential, through correspondence with RTB, their official position, to date, is that the second account is recapitulatory.
I do think this negatively impacts both the narrative coherence, and results in a poorer model, forcing them to posit an Adam and Eve way too early, to try to account for behavioral modernity. It also detracts from the message that, behind all the particulars, God has endowed all of humanity with His image; we are therefore adjured to treat all people with the consideration that merits, no matter their spiritual outlook. Dr. Ross’ comments to me privately seem to indicate he prefers a view which locates Adam at no more than 130 kya, and I suspect that he’d be more comfortable making that more recent, if the evidence for behavioral modernity didn’t keep getting in the way… that’s because, in my view, their model is flawed on this point, for the reasons I’ve outlined.

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I’ll read it again … now that I’m duly warned. But if this is the second time I’ve misinterpreted him … perhaps he has a love of circumlocution that escapes me…

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Well, you see, my good brother Jon, I tried 3 times to get to your Hump article, and I was told to try again later - - that the file was not currently available. So all I had to go on was your one sentence summation!

Let’s look at this ONE sentence summary. Let me put quotes around the part that is criticized for being wrong:

Answering criticism of Genealogical Adam “wrongly” makes “Genesis 2-3 a follow-on from Genesis 1”,

then you end the thought with: “whereas they are actually parallel accounts.” Whose “whereas” is that? Yours? Or the original criticism? If the latter, you don’t even need to bother with it, yes?

If the Grammar Police were here … would this last part be considered a dangling participle?

Why would you end your sentence with a “whereas”?

A simple declarative sentence would be:

answering the criticism of Genealogical Adam
that it “wrongly” makes “Genesis 2-3 a follow-on from Genesis 1”. [< Note the period. ]

This sentence would then end with your counter-opinion: “I show how the two creation stories make the most sense as 2 separate stories covering two different episodes of creation.”

I agree with your conclusion - - we don’t absolutely need the two stories… this is where the “options” can kick in. Some YECs will insist that it be stories about one CREATION … but may still accept that the rest of the question marks in the OT are resolved by assuming a population of humanity outside of Eden.

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And here are some more thoughts on the sequential reading of Genesis 1 and 2. If the passages are in any way parallel, there is a very strong disconnect between the Genesis 1 creation that ends is sabbath rest and settle divine rule, and the Genesis 2 turmoil that begins as soon as Adam and Eve get into the garden, and will last until the culmination of the ages.