Again we present a couple of articles we wrote years ago.
This chapter, like its predecessor, courts controversy. This section of this paper will look at two controversies and at the good news found within its boundaries. Everyone has an opinion about the first 10 chapters of Genesis and most have to do with compromising it with secular science, but that will come second, first I will look at the debate of who wrote this chapter and end up with detailing some of those pieces of good news.
When people do not want to believe something, they will make up any excuse to justify their decision to reject whatever it is they refuse to accept. Genesis 2 is no exception as we have excuse after excuse to dismiss this passage of scripture.
The first excuse is that this chapter was not written by Moses and must have been added at some later date. Dr. Julius Wellhausen made the Documentary Hypothesis famous and though it has been discredited, it is still an option held to by many archaeologists and scholars.
“One of the foundational assumptions of this so-called “higher critical” viewpoint is that the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible) was not authored by Moses. Supposedly, several ancient writers contributed to this collection. These authors are referred to as J, E, P, and D.”1
Of course, no one has ever seen these documents and as K.A. Kitchen states, “They exist only in the minds of their modern creators…and as printed in their published studies, as theoretical works abstracted out of the standard text of the Old Testament books that we do have.’2
Thus the excuse of multiple writers is moot simply for the reason the critics of this chapter cannot produce any concrete or reliable evidence to support their contention.
A second excuse used is the literary style is not the same as the first chapter, and according to the skeptics, whoever wrote these chapters must be different people since they could not write in the same manner. This is a lame excuse for even I do not write the same way every time as it depends upon what I am writing about, who I am writing to and my mood at the time. We have proof from ancient Egypt that more than one style was used for the same work:
Such differences may as much indicate a variance in the subject addressed as the suggestion of multiple authors. On the basis of archaeological evidence, Kitchen has shown that the “stylistic” theory simply is not credible. For example, a biographical inscription of Uni, an Egyptian official who lived about 2400 B.C., reflects at least four different styles, and yet no one denies the unity of its authorship (Kitchen, 1966, p. 125).3
So again we see a weak attempt to discredit the authority of the Bible by ignoring the reality of how people write. A third excuse used is the inference of supposed contradictions in the two accounts, yet a close look at the details in both chapter 1 and 2 will show that the latter is not doing a generalized overview as the former does but instead it provides more details about 1 day of creation. It focuses on the sixth and last day of the creative act.
“…beginning in 2:7 the text proceeds to answer it by recapping in more detail the creation of the man … The remainder of chapter 2 thus leads naturally and directly into chapter 3, which describes the Fall and explains exactly how things got the way they are now. This account continues right through to the Flood story.
The alleged contradictions between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:4b-7 do not demonstrate different authors for these chapters, for in fact the passages do not conflict. These verses actually tend to support the unified and integrated nature of the early chapters of Genesis”4
We find that the purpose of chapter 2 necessitates a different style of writing than the purpose of the first chapter of Genesis but this is not an indication of a different author. This whole controversy points to what Ken Ham, of Answers in Genesis, believes, which is that these arguments are tying to undermine Biblical authority (5) and he is right.
Even those who claim to be Christian yet reject the early part of Genesis, lean this way as they seek to give that authority that belongs to the Bible to science. This rejection of God’s word has far deeper ramifications as Jesus said in John 5:47 ‘But since you do not believe what he (Moses) wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?’ (context Jn.5:45-47).
This is true for many Progressive Creationists and theistic evolutionists regard much of the New Testament as allegory and metaphor and do not adhere to the basic tenants of Biblical teaching. This leads us to the second controversy, science vs. creation. As in chapter one, this chapter disagrees with most scientific ‘discoveries’ as it further shuts the door on alternatives (v.1) and ignores evolutionary teaching by explicitly stating that ‘God formed man’, ‘God planted a garden’, ‘God made plants grow’ and so on.
Yet the opposition seems to originate with Galileo:
Of course, Galileo himself recognized how threatening his researches were to the biblical view of the world…In a letter to the Benedictine B. Castelli in 1613 he presented his views on the relationship between the Bible and the knowledge of nature: if scientific knowledge is certain and contradicts what the Bible says, a new interpretation of the Bible is due.’ 6(bold mine)
In Galileo’s eyes, and the opinions of many scientists after, it is always the Bible that has to change not the science. Science to them is infallible not fallible nor merely a tool to learn about what God has done but the final authority, putting it in competition with God and the authority of scriptures.
This contest has not stopped as we read the following later in Dr. Kung’s book:
“For Hawking’s view was that with such a unified theory of everything…the world would explain itself and God would no longer be necessary as creator. If the universe were completely shut up in itself, without singularities and limits, if it were described completely by a unified theory, then physics would have made God superfluous.”7
Because of this scientific influence and opinion, the removal of God from the creative act, we have ‘Christians’ today who try to marry the secular ideas with the spiritual and it just doesn’t work. The two aren’t compatible as the Biblical view has God as the source of all things and He provides the purpose for all existence and the scientific view wishes to remove Him so humans can be masters of all.
It is a futile effort for ‘Christians’ to look to science to explain our origin but claim to love God. That is hypocrisy at its best, for 1 Cor. 13:7 tells us that love ‘believes all things’. If a believer opts for science over Genesis 1 or 2, then they do not believe God in all things and they do not love Him either.
The Christian cannot compromise the Bible with secular science, the two are opponents not friends, each with a different agenda and purpose, one to provide the truth, the other to destroy it.
It must be noted that Galileo’s comment, about his work being threatening to the biblical view of the world, shows his misunderstanding and ignorance of the Biblical view of the world. What he was fighting against was not God’s view but the interpretation held by the authorities of the Roman Catholic Church and those ideas did not line up with the true Biblical narrative.
Unfortunately, too many Christians have fallen in love with science and have allowed it to usurp the teachings of the Bible, and they have allowed the Bible to be demoted from an infallible text containing God’s words to a book that can be over-ruled by sinful men and women who do not grasp the truths of scriptures.
In doing so, these ‘believers’ miss out on the good news that is taught in chapter 2’s few verses and they must scramble for other explanations to answer the challenges that come when people ask about the origins of what we have in this world.
What are these pieces of good news that I am referring? They start with Verse 1.
First, we have a closure on the creative act. We know that evolution is not possible nor still active today because God has said creation was complete on the 6th day. The mutations observed today have to do with the design of genes and the influence of the corruption that entered into the world at Adam’s fall, it is not evidence for evolution, micro or macro.
What is interesting to note is that the Bible does speak on modern subjects without using the modern terminology that everyone is familiar. The word ‘evolution’ is a modern invention but the subject is actually an old one, Darwin was not the first to conceive of the theory. Its first recorded reference is found in 6th Century B.C. China. (8)
Second, we see the origin of the Sabbath. Kenneth Ham, in his lecture series at Liberty Baptist Church, stated that ‘the day has its foundation in the earth’s rotation; the month in the moon’s orbit and the year in the earth’s orbit around the sun but the week is founded in the creative act’ (9) culminating in Chapter 2:2-3.
There is nothing in the universe that regulates the weekly periods except the word of God and His command, ‘six days shalt thou work …’(Ex. 31:15; 35:2; Lev. 23:3, Deut. 16:8 & Ez. 46:1).
Third, we get details of the appearance of the pre-flood earth. There was no rain at the time, and nothing grew until God planted His garden, there were underground springs, one main river which divided into four (of course here we need to make a note that since the flood we are not sure of the geography of the pre-flood world and if the rivers named today correspond with those four mentioned in ch.2. K. A. Kitchen makes a good argument concerning their modern location but I do not think it is strong enough as the Euphrates today is on the wrong side of the river(10).
Fourth, we have the origin of the names of all the animals. They were not the invention of secular science or some ancient cultic ritual but the result of God’s decision to let His first man gain confidence in his abilities. IT can be concluded that he did not name the millions of species but the categorical kinds and again we can see the ideas of evolution refuted before they become known. Man did not marry a missing link but a full fledged human created from his rib.
Fifth, we see the origin of woman, her purpose and position. She did not evolve over thousands of years, she was not from an ancestor of a monkey or gorilla, she came from man, thus her name, woman, reflects that origination.
Finally, we see the origination of the institution of marriage. Its roots were not found in secular societies nor was it a new creation after the flood, like the Sabbath day, marriage comes from the very beginning and has its source in God. We do not know what ceremony they went through, most likely that is a later invention for all we are told is that from the 6th day forward, Adam and Eve were man and wife (v. 25).
Chapter two has a wealth of information about origins and all would lost if believers keep on compromising with secular science and replacing God’s word with un-provable scientific theory and speculation. Chapter 2,like chapter 1, speaks with confidence of the events it talks about and does not need science to validate its words, unfortunately secular science cannot provide any answers to those items on its own accord. It must construct a more fanciful explanation that takes more faith to believe than the Bible does.