According to the first chapter of the Bible's book of Genesis, God (in the form of the plural Elohim) created the world in six days (Hebrew yom), before resting on the seventh - light and darkness on the first day, sky and sea on the second, earth and plants on the third, sun, moon and stars on the fourth, fishes and birds on the fifth, animals and finally man on the sixth.
According to chapter two, however, creation appears to take only one day (yom, cf verse 4), with man apparently being created before the plants have grown, and most certainly before the animals are created since, according to the text, God, having created man, specifically says that he is creating them so that the man should not be alone.
Most of the world's academic Bible scholars explain this apparent contradiction by suggesting that the two chapters in fact originated as two quite separate accounts (see Genesis). Fundamentalist Conservative commentators, however, typically insist (usually without advancing any very cogent evidence) that chapter two is not intended as a chronological account, and some are even prepared to argue (on the basis of the NIV version) that the word 'formed' in verse 19 can legitimately be read as 'had formed', notwithstanding the fact that the Hebrew original is clearly in the imperfect tense/mood ('formed', 'was forming') not the pluperfect ('had formed').
- Cruden, A., Complete Concordance to the Old and New Testaments (Lutterworth, 1930)
- The Holy Bible (King James Version)
- The New English Bible (Oxford & Cambridge University Presses, 1970)
- The New Jerusalem Bible (Darton, Longman & Todd, 1990)
- Peake, A.S., Commentary on the Bible (Nelson, 1962)
- Young, R., Analytical Concordance to the Holy Bible (Lutterworth, 1939)