1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
The first of two contradictory creation accounts. Compare with Genesis 2:4-25 in which the order of events is entirely different.
The two creations
When was heaven created?
Who created heaven and earth?
When was the universe created?
The Gap Theory
The Genesis 1 account conflicts with the order of events that are known to science.
In Genesis 1:1, the earth and "heaven" are created together "in the beginning," whereas according to current estimates, the earth and universe are about 4.6 and 13.7 billion years old, respectively.
In Genesis, the earth is created (1:1) before light (1:3) and the sun and stars (1:16); birds and whales (1:21) before reptiles and insects (1:24); and flowering plants (1:11) before any animals (1:20). The order of events known from science is in each case just the opposite.
God creates light and separates light from darkness, and day from night, on the first day. Yet he didn't make the light producing objects (the sun and the stars) until the fourth day (1:14-19). And how could there be "the evening and the morning" on the first day if there was no sun to mark them?
1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
When did God divide light from darkness?
(1:5) The first day
How long did creation take?
1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
1:7 And God made the firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
1:10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
(1:6) A firmament
God spends one-sixth of his entire creative effort (the second day) working on a solid firmament. This strange structure, which God calls heaven, is intended to separate the higher waters from the lower waters.
1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
Plants are made on the third day before there was a sun to drive their photosynthetic processes (1:14-19).
Were plants created before or after humans?
Does the Bible teach evolution?
Notice, though, that God lets "the earth bring forth" the plants, rather than creating them directly. Maybe Genesis is not so anti-evolution after all.
1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
God placed the sun, moon, and stars in the firmament so that they can be used "for signs". This, of course, is exactly what astrologers do: read "the signs" in the Zodiac to predict what will happen on Earth.
Does the bible condemn astrology?
What the Bible says about astrology
"The greater light [the sun] to rule the day, and the lesser light [the moon] to rule the night." But the moon is not a light; it only reflects light from the sun. And why, if God made the moon to "rule the night", does it spend half of its time moving through the daytime sky?
When were the stars made?
(1:16b) He made the stars also.
God spends a day making light (before making the sun and stars) and separating light from darkness; then, at the end of a hard day's work, and almost as an afterthought, he makes 300 sextillion stars.
Then why is only a tiny fraction of stars visible from earth? Under the best conditions, no more than a few thousand stars are visible with the unaided eye, yet there are hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy and a hundred billion or so galaxies. Were they all created "to give light upon the earth"?
1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forthabundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
From what were the animals created?
From what were the fowls created?
Does the Bible teach evolution?
Were humans created before the other animals?
"The beast of the earth"
How many gods are there?
(1:26b) Let them have dominion.
God gave humans dominion over every other living thing on earth. This couldn't be true, of course, since millions of other species existed for millions of years before humans existed. But this verse is used by fundamentalist Christians to justify their mistreatment of other species and disregard for the environment. After all, they believe that God created the other species just for them, so they can do whatever they please with them.
When was Eve created?
Did God originally create humans male and female?
When was Adam created?
Is God both male and female?
God commands us to "be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over ... every living thing that moveth upon the earth." This verse is used to justify Christian opposition to birth control, concern for the environment, and animal rights. The earth was made for humans, and they can do as they damn well please with it.
What the Bible says about birth control
Is childbearing sinful?
Since many plants have evolved poisons to protect against animals that would like to eat them, God's advice is more than a little reckless. Would you tell your children to go out in the garden and eat whatever plants they encounter? Of course not. But then, you are much nicer and smarter than God.
May Adam eat from any tree?
What should we eat?
Is it okay to smoke marijuana?
All animals were originally herbivores. Tapeworms, vampire bats, mosquitoes, and barracudas -- all were strict vegetarians, as created by God.
(1:31) Behold, it was very good.
God purposefully designed a system that ensures the suffering and death of all his creatures, parasite and host, predator and prey.