Author Topic: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters  (Read 27189 times)

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Offline Joe

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Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« on: January 22, 2010, 04:02:32 PM »
For those who don't think the bible contradicts itself, they need read no further than Genesis 2.

Genesis has two creation stories.  Scholars tend to think that the second story (adam's rib) was written first.  But, no matter, the stories are incompatible regardless of the which was written first.

In Genesis 1, the Hebrew god created everything in six days.  On day five animals were formed.  On day six, the supreme being created man and woman.  The creation of man and woman was done the same way.  That is, woman was created by the Hebrew god directly and not from Adam's rib.

In Genesis 2, at some unspecified time, the Hebrew god created Adam then he created the animals then he created Eve from Adam's rib.

Notice that this is not a semantic or translational problem.  The problem is with the sequence of events.  They do not match.  They contradict each other.  I have yet to get an intelligent reply to this from christians.

I find it interesting that the Bible begins with a contradiction.  The creation stories should be highlighted in red with this disclaimer:  This book contains inaccurate and contradictory information.  It should not be taken literally.

Offline Agga

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2010, 04:01:36 PM »
Sup, Joe.

I find it interesting that the Bible begins with a contradiction. 
Well it appears to have started as it meant to go on.

Quote
The creation stories whole bible should be highlighted in red with this disclaimer:  This book contains inaccurate and contradictory information.  It should not be taken literally.
Popped in a little correction there.


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Offline Count Iblis

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2010, 07:37:46 PM »
It's actually pretty easy to resolve this contradiction, though I've never seen a Christian use the following argument. The two creation accounts are accounts of two separate things. Genesis 1 is about the creation of life, the universe, and almost everything in it. Genesis 2 is the account of the creation of Adam, Eve, and the Garden of Eden. In particular, Adam and Eve wouldn't be the only humans created by YHWH. This resolves a number of problems, like where Cain and Abel's wives came from.

Of course I immediately see why Christians wouldn't like this solution. It buggers up their whole notion of Original Sin (note: not all Christians have the same view of Original Sin, so this would only be a problem for some Christians). Adam and Eve introduced sin into the world, but how did all the other people become sinful? If the rest of humanity didn't sin then why did YHWH have to destroy everyone (except some descendants of A&E!)? On the flip side if they didn't sin, then sin must have been thrust upon them by Original Sin, which makes the way YHWH set up the whole thing even more absurd than previously thought.

In the end it doesn't matter that the Bible is riddled with contradictions. Christians will either accept it as a flawed book, but still have faith. Or they'll deny that any contradictions exist and come up with the most preposterous of rationalizations, and still have faith.
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Offline ReasonIsOutToLunch

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2010, 07:45:07 PM »
Welcome to the forum, Joe. If only the contradictions ended at the first two chapters, perhaps I could have remained deluded. Oh wait, yay for babble inaccuracies and contradictions in a way they freed me from the mind virus.
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Offline Crocoduck

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2010, 12:19:23 AM »
the real reason why the two accounts conflict is because they were written by two different people at two different times with different theologies.

the 2nd account is the older of the two and was written by someone in a time when gods still had human form, walked, talked etc... (as in he walked the garden looking for adam and eve, calling to them, making them clothes etc)

the 1st account is written some time later when gods are more like mystical entities and do everything from afar as supernatural forces.
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Offline Count Iblis

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2010, 01:18:47 PM »
the real reason why the two accounts conflict is because they were written by two different people at two different times with different theologies.

IINM, one account was written by someone who believed in the god El and the other was written by someone who believed in the god YHWH. The stories pre-date the syncretic merger of El and YHWH.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2010, 02:42:23 PM »
I was told by a True Christian, or at least one who knows better than all of the others, that the second account is the spiritual account, while the first creation story is the physical creation.  Go figure.

Offline Joe

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2010, 04:51:57 PM »
@countiblis,

You wrote,
"It's actually pretty easy to resolve this contradiction, though I've never seen a Christian use the following argument. The two creation accounts are accounts of two separate things. Genesis 1 is about the creation of life, the universe, and almost everything in it. Genesis 2 is the account of the creation of Adam, Eve, and the Garden of Eden. In particular, Adam and Eve wouldn't be the only humans created by YHWH. This resolves a number of problems, like where Cain and Abel's wives came from."

This does not resolve the contradiction. A literalist interpretation means that everything in the bible is true.  Genesis 1 has animals created before humans were.  Genesis 2 has man created, then animals, then woman.  The sequence is incompatible, hence a contradiction.  I appreciate your comment, but the contradiction is not resolved.
Joe

Offline Count Iblis

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2010, 12:13:41 AM »
This does not resolve the contradiction. A literalist interpretation means that everything in the bible is true.  Genesis 1 has animals created before humans were.  Genesis 2 has man created, then animals, then woman.  The sequence is incompatible, hence a contradiction.  I appreciate your comment, but the contradiction is not resolved.

In my resolution the animals created in Genesis 2 were not the animals created in Genesis 1. They were animals created specifically for the Garden of Eden.
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Offline raytech70

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2012, 05:15:39 AM »


In Genesis 2, at some unspecified time, the Hebrew god created Adam then he created the animals then he created Eve from Adam's rib.

Atheists miss this all the time because they heard someone else mention it and then they turned and look -- yep another Bible contradiction.

God made the first set of animals as part of the main creation week and then after creating Adam noted that the animals were not adequate and that he would need a "help-mate."  As another poster put it: these animals were meant for the Garden of Eden with Adam.

Offline BaalServant

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2012, 05:28:59 AM »
IINM, one account was written by someone who believed in the god El and the other was written by someone who believed in the god YHWH. The stories pre-date the syncretic merger of El and YHWH.

Praise Ba'al to that.
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Offline BaalServant

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2012, 05:36:03 AM »
God made the first set of animals as part of the main creation week and then after creating Adam noted that the animals were not adequate and that he would need a "help-mate."  As another poster put it: these animals were meant for the Garden of Eden with Adam.

Welcome to the forum, raytech70.

If genesis is describing two creation events, where did the fish of the seas reside in the garden of eden?

Why would a god have the sense to make mates for all the animals, except for humans?

Why would a god that had just made everything in the universe (except for a woman) need to copy off of a rib?

Edit:  Well, shoot.  Just realized I replied to a necroed thread.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2012, 05:38:09 AM by BaalServant »
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Offline Tero

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2012, 07:57:43 AM »
It should not be too hard to merge the two. Them four gospels though...

Offline BaalServant

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2012, 04:10:36 PM »
It should not be too hard to merge the two. Them four gospels though...

If you have to change details to merge the two, then they don't agree.

As for them four gospels, here's a pictorial layout. 


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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2012, 12:36:16 PM »


In Genesis 2, at some unspecified time, the Hebrew god created Adam then he created the animals then he created Eve from Adam's rib.

Atheists miss this all the time because they heard someone else mention it and then they turned and look -- yep another Bible contradiction.

God made the first set of animals as part of the main creation week and then after creating Adam noted that the animals were not adequate and that he would need a "help-mate."  As another poster put it: these animals were meant for the Garden of Eden with Adam.

Genesis 1
Day 1
Light, Day and Night.
Day 2
Oceans below and oceans above. The dome that holds up the oceans above.
Day 3
Plants
Day 4
Sun, Moon and the stars.
Day 5
Animals
Day 6
"In the image of god he created them: male and female, he created them."
Day 7
zzzzzzzzzzz

Genesis 2
In order
  • Adam
  • Rivers "spring up" and cover the Earth
  • Plants
  • The 4 Rivers
  • That tree
  • "It is not good for man to be alone."
  • Out of the ground formed the beasts of the field
  • Birds created
  • God commands Adam to find himself a mate among the animals and name them.
  • When no suitable helper is found (Did god not know this?) god puts Adam to sleep.
  • Eve created from a rib.

It's funny how god's first act after saying, "It's not good for a man to be alone," that instead of creating Eve, he makes animals and commands Adam to find a mate among them.  &)

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2012, 01:09:59 PM »
It's funny how god's first act after saying, "It's not good for a man to be alone," that instead of creating Eve, he makes animals and commands Adam to find a mate among them.  &)

More proof it was written by goat and sheep herders  ;D
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Offline atheola

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2012, 01:45:05 PM »
Now now..marriage should be between one man and one..uhhh...errr...goat?  Puppy dog?  Mosquito?.... God: Oh medammit.. I forgot something again.. Adam, c'mere...this won't hurt a bit...by the way..go chew on that milky weed over there..yeah, the one with petty flower on top...
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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2012, 06:24:03 PM »
If you're willing to believe in talking snakes from the get-go, such interweaving of 2 different stories into one, such as this, the description of what animals were to go into the ark, and the two obiously very different stories about David weaved into 1 mostly-incoherent one isn't going to be a problem for you.

Add 2 parts J source, 2 parts E source, sprinkle liberally with P source, and you're well on your way to a wonderfully half-baked story.
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Offline Ice Monkey

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2012, 04:00:45 PM »
One might also wonder how you create light then, after a few days, you create the source of the light.
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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2012, 04:25:30 PM »
Given that it's not true, there is no need to require accuracy. And I've heard a number of excuses from christians about the inconsistencies. They're the only ones that have to make sense of it. We know better.

You would think it would be like, you know, a really big clue. But they don't see it that way. Don't ask me why. I'm not that gullible. So I can't relate.
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Offline B_w_m

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2012, 08:56:16 PM »
I just think it's absolutely crazy that the "GOD" that made the entire universe, natural laws, science, physics, and every single thing that our minds can possible comprehend or ever comprehend was tired and had to take a break or a time out after seven days.
I think this is a great point that you had brought up about contradictions in the bible, and this once again shows that the all mighty that made everything molecule in the universe can't write a decent book that any two people can read and have the same idea's about. Trying to find clear consistence sense in the bible is only based on the F word...faith. If you use logic for the bible, you will never understand it.
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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2012, 10:26:10 PM »
Welcome to the Forums.

I also like to follow with this: If god created me, then he gave me a brain. He therefore expects me to use it. (parable of talents)

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2012, 08:23:22 AM »
Using your anology for (parable of talents) as pertains to your brain.
He expects you to give it back to him along with  everything you 
have learned, and be brainless again.
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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2012, 09:01:16 AM »
He does want mindless automatons saying, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD God Almighty. Who was, and is, and is to come." 24/7 like the 4 living beasts.

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2012, 02:17:11 AM »
Notice that this is not a semantic or translational problem.  The problem is with the sequence of events.  They do not match.  They contradict each other.  I have yet to get an intelligent reply to this from christians.
Yeah - the fact is that all the creation stuff is out of order with what we know about the evolutionary process.. 
Quote
I find it interesting that the Bible begins with a contradiction.  The creation stories should be highlighted in red with this disclaimer:  This book contains inaccurate and contradictory information.  It should not be taken literally.
My bible from the catholics states by the previous pope, in a narrative, that the book should not be taken literally and instead be read as a moral guideline..

I think we should treat religion like cigarettes - require them to put a therapists' warning 'This text may cause anxiety, depression, and/or insanity..'
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Offline truthseekertoo

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2012, 07:44:34 AM »
   Here is my take on Genesis 1 and 2 for what it is worth.  First of all the bible, as best we know, was written without chapters and verses.  So originally there was no division between Genesis 1:31 and Genesis 2:1.  Genesis 1 and 2 was simply the authors account of creation and not two separate accounts.  Secondly, as I understand it, biblical Hebrew had no tenses in their written language such as past, present and future tenses.  This had to be determined by the context and or the style of writing at the time it was written. (http://www.jewsforjesus.org/answers/prophecy/hebrew-tenses )
Thirdly, although possible, it is unlikely that the author would contradict himself in such a short space of writing.
 
Here is how I think we should understand Genesis 1 and 2.  Genesis 1 is a generalized account of creation.  There are no details about how God went about creating.  Just a simple statement that God created such and such on this day or that day.  This includes the creation of Adam and Eve.  Genesis 2 starts with the conclusion of creation week by God resting on the seventh day.  By verse 5 of Genesis 2, the author picks up the creation account at the beginning of day three, in Genesis 1, where God causes the dry land to appear and just before the creation of vegetation.  In verse 7 of Genesis 2, the author leaps ahead to day six when God creates man.  Here, we learn the details of Adam's creation being formed from the dust of the ground and God bringing him to life.  The author then regresses to day 3 again where we learn of the creation of the Garden of Eden.  It only makes sense to build the corral before we buy the horse to put in it.  Back to day six, after man is created he is placed in the garden.  In verse 18 of Genesis 2, still the 6th day of creation, God states his intention to create a helper for Adam.  But before he does that, he brings the animals that he had already created earlier on that day, to Adam.  Remember, that biblical Hebrew had no effective way to communicate tense in their language.  It had to be determined in part by the context.  Verse 19 of Genesis 2 reads in most translations something like this: "And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them:..."(KJV).  From our perspective it would seem that the animals were created after Adam.  But many translators recognized the past tense of this verse and added the word "had" before the word “formed” to keep the account in context and to impart understanding of the scripture in our language (see the translations: God's Word Translation, Douay-Rheims, New International Version and The Darby Translation.).  Also, you might refer to the footnote in Bullinger's, "The Companion Bible", on verse 19 of Genesis 2 which refers the reader back to Genesis 1:24 of the original account of the creation of the animals.

The reason that God brought the animals to Adam before creating his helper may be two fold.  First, to let Adam name them as stated in the verse and also to let Adam get acquainted with the newly created animals.  Remember, Adam himself, was just created.  He probably didn’t know his, you know what, from a hole in the ground.  Although the animals were cute and cuddly, the closest thing to Adam was a chimpanzee who was rather ugly in the face, didn’t walk upright, had hair all over it and didn’t smell right.  God was about to change all that to Adam’s delight.  After causing a sleep to come over Adam, God created his helper (still on the 6th day) who Adam called woman because she was made from him.  Here was a creature that looked like him, yet different.  She walked upright, didn’t have hair all over her body, smelled delightful, and was very beautiful beyond description.  The woman was created from Adam’s rib instead of the dust of the ground because, as stated, Adam was to cleave to his wife and they were to become one flesh.  God intended them to be in a close and intimate relationship with the woman being created from Adam’s rib instead of a separate entity from the dust of the ground.  “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh (Gen. 2:23).

In summary, Genesis 1 is a generalized account of creation.  Genesis 2 is the account of creation in more detail, especially on day 6 of creation.  The scriptures as originally written had no chapter or verse divisions which sometimes create misunderstanding. Biblical Hebrew does not convey tense effectively. Lastly, it would seem unlikely for the author to contradict himself so soon after generalizing the creation account.


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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2012, 09:11:47 AM »
The attempt to mesh more than one version of a story into one story is why we have repeats throughout.

If Adam named the animals, where'd he come up with "Thomson's Gazelle"? 
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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2012, 10:30:51 AM »
   Here is my take on Genesis 1 and 2 for what it is worth.  First of all the bible, as best we know, was written without chapters and verses.  So originally there was no division between Genesis 1:31 and Genesis 2:1.  Genesis 1 and 2 was simply the authors account of creation and not two separate accounts.  Secondly, as I understand it, biblical Hebrew had no tenses in their written language such as past, present and future tenses.  This had to be determined by the context and or the style of writing at the time it was written. (http://www.jewsforjesus.org/answers/prophecy/hebrew-tenses )
Thirdly, although possible, it is unlikely that the author would contradict himself in such a short space of writing.
 
Here is how I think we should understand Genesis 1 and 2.  Genesis 1 is a generalized account of creation.  There are no details about how God went about creating.  Just a simple statement that God created such and such on this day or that day.  This includes the creation of Adam and Eve.  Genesis 2 starts with the conclusion of creation week by God resting on the seventh day.  By verse 5 of Genesis 2, the author picks up the creation account at the beginning of day three, in Genesis 1, where God causes the dry land to appear and just before the creation of vegetation.  In verse 7 of Genesis 2, the author leaps ahead to day six when God creates man.  Here, we learn the details of Adam's creation being formed from the dust of the ground and God bringing him to life.  The author then regresses to day 3 again where we learn of the creation of the Garden of Eden.  It only makes sense to build the corral before we buy the horse to put in it.  Back to day six, after man is created he is placed in the garden.  In verse 18 of Genesis 2, still the 6th day of creation, God states his intention to create a helper for Adam.  But before he does that, he brings the animals that he had already created earlier on that day, to Adam.  Remember, that biblical Hebrew had no effective way to communicate tense in their language.  It had to be determined in part by the context.  Verse 19 of Genesis 2 reads in most translations something like this: "And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them:..."(KJV).  From our perspective it would seem that the animals were created after Adam.  But many translators recognized the past tense of this verse and added the word "had" before the word “formed” to keep the account in context and to impart understanding of the scripture in our language (see the translations: God's Word Translation, Douay-Rheims, New International Version and The Darby Translation.).  Also, you might refer to the footnote in Bullinger's, "The Companion Bible", on verse 19 of Genesis 2 which refers the reader back to Genesis 1:24 of the original account of the creation of the animals.

I think you're going to need a chiropractor after that much mental contortion.  :D If what you say about tenses is correct, then the context would imply that if I say "A happened and then B happened and then C happened" then A came before B, which came before C. You're essentially claiming that B and C came before A simply because you want it to be so. Likewise, the biblical translators recognized the contradiction between the two chapters and massaged the language to try to rectify (or cover up) the contradiction. It's simply a case of special pleading. They start out with the assumption that there are no contradictions, so therefore any translation that prevents a contradiction must be the correct one even if it's highly implausible.

More specifically, the chapter thing is a red herring - the first account ends at 2:3, so it's not like the idea that there are two different stories there is the result of the story being split over 2 chapters. For your 3rd point, you make a valid point - one author probably isn't going to tell a story and then immediately tell another one that contradicts the first. However, if there were two different accounts, written by two separate authors and then stitched together, it would make a lot more sense. Indeed, modern textual criticism indicates that this is almost certainly the case.


The reason that God brought the animals to Adam before creating his helper may be two fold.  First, to let Adam name them as stated in the verse and also to let Adam get acquainted with the newly created animals.  Remember, Adam himself, was just created.  He probably didn’t know his, you know what, from a hole in the ground.  Although the animals were cute and cuddly, the closest thing to Adam was a chimpanzee who was rather ugly in the face, didn’t walk upright, had hair all over it and didn’t smell right.  God was about to change all that to Adam’s delight.  After causing a sleep to come over Adam, God created his helper (still on the 6th day) who Adam called woman because she was made from him.  Here was a creature that looked like him, yet different.  She walked upright, didn’t have hair all over her body, smelled delightful, and was very beautiful beyond description.  The woman was created from Adam’s rib instead of the dust of the ground because, as stated, Adam was to cleave to his wife and they were to become one flesh.  God intended them to be in a close and intimate relationship with the woman being created from Adam’s rib instead of a separate entity from the dust of the ground.  “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh (Gen. 2:23).

Go back and reread this: Gen 2:18 - "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." 2:19-20 - [God makes beasts, birds, etc and brings them to Adam] then "But for Adam no suitable helper was found." 2:21-22 - God makes woman from man's rib. Your context argument is ridiculous in light of this ordering. God says that he will make a helper for Adam, then what does the very next sentence describe? Creating the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. And to drive that home, after describing those things, it says "But for Adam no suitable helper was found." There is no reason to say that God is going to make a helper for Adam, start describing animals, say "nope, no helper there," and then describe the creation of Eve unless the "I will create" was describing creating the animals, birds, etc. In other words, the translations you cite aren't translating the Hebrew to "God had formed" rather than "God formed" because of the context, but rather they translated it that way in spite of the context because they had an agenda to promote.

Offline truthseekertoo

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Re: Contradiction begins in the first two chapters
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2012, 06:57:48 PM »
Thanks Ice Monkey and Grogs for your response.  I am planning a reply but it may be several days before I can get back to you as I have several errands to perform over the next couple of days that will take me out of town.  Grogs, your reply was insightful and I especially appreciated your pointing out the fallacy.  As written I can see how you would consider it a red herring.  I didn't mean it as such and will attempt to explain it as it pertains to the topic at hand.