Three Options on Genesis 1 and 2

Where in Genesis 1 is that stated? Are you saying that the 'ADAM mentioned in Genesis 1:26 is pre-Adamite?? I don’t follow your reasoning (if Gen 1:26 is what you are referring to in your statement.)


Some of us are reading Genesis 1 as a broader creation, that might even be chronologically before Genesis 2, and then infer that those outside the Garden are in God’s image too. This isn’t strictly necessary. An alternate path is that Genesis just leaves them entirely unmentioned, so we can consider a full range of options of their status. Another approach is to understand the Image of God in a strictly vocational sense, as @jongarvey explained.


We emphasize chronology in our culture, so we tend to assume order of presentation is also the chronological order of events—so the view of the Genesis 1 creation being followed by the Genesis 2 events is a very natural and reasonable one for us. Did the ancient Hebrews see it that way? They weren’t so focused on chronology and the author(s) of Genesis may have simply compiled existing oral stories into a presentation ordered by their own theological purposes. [By the way, one can view Moses as the main author/editor of the Pentateuch while still admitting that he could have depended on oral traditions and even documents which were already considered ancient even in his day. So my evangelical brethren need not be shocked by my mention of “authors” in the plural.] Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 were probably meant to each stand on their own as part of the well-known historical preface to the Children of Israel’s history unfolding in the Pentateuch. Thus, ancient readers wouldn’t have necessarily felt compelled to place Genesis 1 and 2 in any particular chronological order or even make any particular effort to harmonize them like we may want to do.


Because of the emphasis on chronology in understanding the history accurately of how things unfolded, it’s a value which is nicely met with integrity by the text, and so, the questions and proposals are a legitimate exercise.
If we can turn ancient Hebrew “block logic” into a Greek-friendly “chrono-logic” within a textual warrant, that’s legitimate, as we are asking some very specific questions these days.
That’s my counterpoint to your point. Cheers!

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And yet, there seems to be just enough narrative difference between Gen 1 and 2 that the expectation that they would be read and interpreted sequentially seems quite intentional!

@AllenWitmerMiller @swamidass @jongarvey @Guy_Coe @Revealed_Cosmology @gbrooks9

This is something of a summary of many discusssions, but it might be worth laying out and then seeking evidence & implications. Assuming our object of investigation & interpretation is the text of Genesis as it presently stands (i.e., regardless of sources & redaction, irrespective of specific authors & audience [since this doesn’t seem particularly relevant here]), do we have more than the following three options on the relationship between Gen 1 and Gen 2?

Option #1 - Sequential - Gen 2 is meant to be read as a chronologically subsequent narrative to Gen 1.

Option #2 - Recapitulatory - Gen 2 is meant to be read as a different angle on part or all of Gen 1.

Option #3 - Independent - Gen 1 and Gen 2 are meant to be read as two different angles/stories on creation without any intention to seek specific concordance or unity.

Please revise and/or add as you see fit.


Thanks for the summary, and it might also be helpful to begin laying out the Scriptures which would seem to predispose searching readers towards choosing one or the other; with the understanding that our goal is good exegesis, within a milieu of canon “criticism,” textual coherence, and the assumption of high Hebrew literacy on the part of the author(s) and compiler(s).
No stone need be left unturned; no facet of the diamond at the core overlooked.
Perhaps we can start with an assumption of mutual goodwill and interpretive acumen, and, as “issue area experts” expect that our major differences will eventually be either worked out, or found to be of little disunifying orthopractic consequence.


Thanks @deuteroKJ, this is helpful.

It seems there are several versions of this. Here are a few I an think of.

  1. Genesis 2 is all the events described in Genesis 1:26-27
  2. Genesis 2 is a subset of the events in Genesis 1:26-27

I think #2 is a very natural reading of the text, and might be referring a long period of time. Reading #1 mean that those out side the garden are totally unaddressed by Scripture. If they had the Image of God, it might work if Genesis 1 is mean to be describing the local area phenomenologically. Alternatively, going to down the vocational view of the Image of God would work just fine.


And… of course… the third option is that Genesis 2 is what happens after Genesis 1 (which is not covered in your items #1 and #2).

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The recapitulatory views I’m most familiar are (a) Gen 2 = Day 6 (YEC), and (b) Gen 2 = aspects of Days 3 and 6, minimally (some OEC). The latter, often coupled with Framework or Analogical Day views of Gen 1, does not see “day” as literal 24 hours and takes advantage of the discussion of vegetation in Gen 2.

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You are defining the sets chronologically here, which is fine. Another way to define them is geographically. In a YEC framework, God could have simultaneuosly created people outside the garden across the world in Genesis 1 (including in the Garden) and then in Genesis 2 just the story of Adam and Eve is told.

(no comment on scientific plausibility here)

Yes, we are discussion subcategories of recapitulatory.

It may work hypothetically with the Young Earth part of YEC, but not the Creationism part. I don’t think the label “YEC” would rightly fit anything less than A&E as sole genetic progenitors of all humans.

I’ve yet to encounter a YEC who thinks or says much of the situation outside the garden. Since all of life is perfect, it’s hard to see what distinction they’d make, except maybe a larger group and variety of animals.

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That is certainly not true. If you look at their discourse on Nephilim, it becomes clear they are saying contradictory things. If they allow for interbreeding, then their models are not necessarily sole genetic progenitor models.

It is fairly common among the people in the pews. I’m talking to homeschoolers all the time, that find this to be entirely acceptable.

I see what you’re saying (though I don’t know the different YEC options on Nephilim). But would any of them allow for any humans not connected to A&E?

So in the pews, absolutely this is a live option without stigma even. At AIG, probably not. However, they are on the record on this. Based on their reasoning, they have no basis by which to reject the idea.

This is sensitive and I cannot go into details, but I’m in conversation with some key YEC leaders about this. I asked them if they could produce any clear scriptural evidence against it. They couldn’t. I then asked them what the process was by which they could let Scripture rework their interpretation of scripture if it was in error? They struggled answer, and said they would get back to me. I believe they are taking it seriously.

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What is interesting about this, is that we could even see a Genealogical Adam in YEC arise. That would be interesting, wouldn’t it?

What are your thoughts @J.E.S?

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To see a change in both BioLogos’ and AIG’s statements would be delicious.

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The best chance of that is to hammer them hard on pressupositionalism. Their belief statement prevents them from acknowledging countervailing evidence as legitimate, so why should any one believe a thing they say?

Would they need to change their view of Acts 17:26–“he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth”?

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