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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Two 'Contradictory' Creation Stories in Genesis -- Are We Equal To Men or Are We Subordinate?!?

Sistine Chapel Ceiling: Creation of Adam - Michelangelo

Are you aware that there are TWO stories of creation?!?

If not, then, this would be a shocker to you (as it was to me)! 

Genesis 1:1 to 2:4a (or first part of verse 4)


Genesis 2:4b (or second part of verse 4) to Genesis 3:24

give TWO different versions of CREATION.

1st Story of Creation - Man and Woman 
were created at the same time.
2nd Story of Creation - Adam was created first.

Catholic Bible scholars believe that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 were written by different authors, at different eras, for different purposes. (Peacefulwife Philippines Note: I am currently studying General Theology and Liturgical Theology & History, at St. Vincent's School of Theology and this was part of our discussion.)

Creation Story #1 was supposedly written by Priestly authors. 

 Creation Story # 2 was supposedly written by Yahwist authors.

Let me state that it is my conviction that:

 "The Bible is the WORD OF GOD. 
That is the commonly accepted phrase that expresses belief in inspiration
And by "inspiration" is meant that God, or the Spirit of God, was at work in the community of Israel and in the early Christian community to produce, through a number of human authors, a series of books that witness to God's revelation of Himself through history. That Divine Self-Revelation reached its climax in Jesus Christ (Heb 1:1-2). The New Testament is the Final Witness to the revelation from God which focused on Christ."  (The New American Bible, Eugene H. Maly)

Non-Christians or atheists usually use these first two chapters to refute the validity of the Bible. "It's just the beginning of the 'Book' and already it is contradicting itself!!!", or so they say.

However, despite the seeming 'contradiction', it is actually NOT contradictory.

Theologically, there is NO contradiction.

 Historically, there is. 

However, we should always read the Holy Book by the spirit and not by the letter, and so we shouldn't take things too literally. 

If we read the Bible by the letter, and not by the spirit, we risk running into these seeming 'errors' because:

The time line seems wrong.

The order of creation seems wrong.

If they do not jibe, does it mean, the Bible is not telling the Truth?!?


"God never contradicts Himself. He’s omniscient! He knows the end from the beginning; how could He possibly contradict Himself? When we’re confronted with an alleged contradiction, the problem isn’t with the Word of God; rather, it’s with our understanding of the Scriptures."
 (The Berean Bible Society)

Though there are TWO creation stories, there is still only ONE God.

Though there are TWO different stories of creation, it is undeniable that God really made Man (and Woman) and created him/them according to His Own Image and Likeness.

Though there are TWO creation stories, one does not negate the other. 
Both are theologically TRUE.

The first creation story wants us to know that God created everything to be GOOD, and that He was pleased with His Creation. He even rested on the 7th day to "watch" His beautiful creation!

The second creation story wants us to know that God created everything, including Man and Woman, but because of their sin of disobedience, our first parents lost their standing with the Lord.

But, although they lost standing with God, (and although we too lost standing with God -  ("All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" - Romans 3:23), God loved us so much that He gave His Only Begotten Son that Whosoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life!!! (John 3:16) Jesus was sent to earth, thousands of years after our first parents were banished from the Garden of Eden, in order to save not only Adam and Eve, but the WHOLE of damned mankind by His Death and Resurrection.
This blog is not for biblical hermeneutics and complicated theology, so I will leave it to the Bible scholars to dissect, point by point, the topic on Creation. :)

What I want to discuss is the 'dilemma' that seems to appear for us women/wives, from having two seemingly contradictory creation stories.

The questions one can pose are:

1. Were we created AT THE SAME TIME? (1st Creation Story) 


Was Woman made for Man as his helpmeet? (2nd Creation Story)


2. Are we really EQUAL in standing? (1st Creation Story)


Are we SUBORDINATE to Man? (2nd Creation Story)

April 17, 2004 -- Alejar-Cleofe Nuptials

Where does BIBLICAL SUBMISSION fit in? 
Should we even be submitting, at all, to our husbands?!?

Actually, there is NO CONTRADICTION. :) It just reiterates what we have known all along. They are complementary to each other.

We know that:

1) Man and Woman are equal in God's Eyes. Man and Woman are equal in dignity. Nobody is superior to the other in terms of essence. Both were created by God in His Image and Likeness. Both reflect the wholeness of God by each person's uniqueness.


2) Woman was made for Man to be his helper. Though equal in dignity, Man and Woman do not have the same roles. Woman's Purpose on earth is to help Man fulfill his own God-given purpose, while also finding her own God-given purpose through marriage (if married). In Holy Matrimony, Man and Woman are no longer one, but become ONE person or ONE flesh.

Fast-track to the New Testament...

Saint Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians gives this instruction for Christian Households:

Ephesians 5:21-33

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word,27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b]32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Saint Paul used both the Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 versions of the Story of Creation, and merged the two to come up with Christ's Commandment for husbands and wives.

He says that:

1.  Both husband and wife must submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Meaning, both are of equal standing before God. Nobody is superior or inferior. They both submit to Jesus Christ. (1st Story of Creation)


2. The wife must submit to the husband in everything, because the husband is the head of the wife (2nd Story of Creation), as Christ is the Head of the Church.

He goes on to quote in its entirety what was written in the Book of Genesis, on the FIRST MARRIAGE ever, in the history of mankind -- that of Adam and Eve's:

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24 and Ephesians 5:31)

When I first found out about this a few days ago in Theology Class, I was afraid that all that I have been teaching on God's Design For Marriage, were wrong! :( I thought initially that the 'contradiction' was solid basis for refuting biblical submission, and that I should perhaps stop blogging, since I was misleading my dear sisters in Christ!!! :(

I was very joyful then, realizing for myself after the class ended, that there were NO contradictions. I even talked to my teacher who was a priest, after class, just to appease my confused thoughts. Both Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 were theologically true and one did not negate the other. :)

In fact, it cemented for me what I have been believing in, all along: that Man and Woman were equal in God's Eyes, but that our roles were different. Subordination does not mean being a second-class citizen. Biblically submitting to my husband does not make me any less of a human being. It just is how God designed women and marriage to be. We were created to be the helpers of our husbands (just as they were created to be our heads or leaders).

Just as Christ submitted to the Father, Who was in Essence, equal to Him in every way, for the Father and He were one (John 10:30)... so too, must a wife not be ashamed to submit to her husband, who is both her equal and one with her, through the sacrament of Marriage, because subordination does not mean inferiority. A wife submitting to one's God-ordained authority (her husband) is an act of true humility and bridled strength.
Jesus was obedient to the Will of the Father, 
all the way to His Death on the Cross.

May we all be richly blessed! :)

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