Accounts of creation

According to Christian belief, God created the universe.

There are two stories of how God created it which are found at the beginning of the book of Genesis in the Bible. Some Christians regard Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 as two totally separate myths that have a similar meaning. Others see the two chapters as part of one continuous story.

Genesis 1

Genesis 1 begins with:

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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light' and there was light.Genesis 1:1-3

This account goes on to describe the seven days of creation:

  • in the beginning - God started creation
  • the first day - light was created
  • the second day - the sky was created
  • the third day - dry land, seas, plants and trees were created
  • the fourth day - the Sun, Moon and stars were created
  • the fifth day - creatures that live in the sea and creatures that fly were created
  • the sixth day - animals that live on the land and finally humans, made in the image of God were created
  • by day seven - God finished his work of creation and rested, making the seventh day a special holy day.
A visual representation of the days of Creation, from Genesis 1.

Genesis 2

In Genesis 2, some people think that the story goes on to give more detail about the creation of humans, seen as two individuals, Adam and Eve.

Adam was made from 'the dust of the ground' when God breathed life into him. Eve was created out of one of Adam's ribs to provide company and help for Adam. They lived in a special place called the Garden of Eden. Both of them were given the task and responsibility to look after the place that God had created for them.

Main differences

There are some contradictions between the two accounts in Genesis 1 and 2, such as the order of when animals and humans were created:

  • Genesis 1 - it states that animals, and finally humans, were created on day six
  • Genesis 2 - it implies that humans were created before animals

Some people think that Genesis 2 is just a more in-depth look at day six.

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The key point of the Genesis story is that God is the creator of all things.