THRERE ARE MANY WHO BELIEVE THAT MAN WAS CREATED IN TWO PHASES--FIRST AS A SPIRIT, AND LATER A PHYSICAL BODY WAS ADDED. IS THAT TRUE? (SEE GENESIS 1:26 AND GENESIS 2:7)
Nowhere in the Bible is it recorded that man was created in two phases. It is just a wrong interpretation of the texts of Genesis. If at all the texts of Genesis meant that then why is that idea not mentioned by the Bible writers elsewhere when they wrote about man's creation?
Let us look at the two texts that mention about the creation of man in the book of Genesis.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them... And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:26, 27, 31)
It was on the sixth day of the creation week God created man and woman. The animals also were created on the same sixth day, just before the creation of man.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:24, 25)
Genesis Chapter 1 tells us that man and woman were created in God's own image, and in Chapter 2 the details of that creation is given. The repeat and enlarge principle is always seen in Scripture.
Look at the first Chapter of the New Testament for instance. It talks about the genealogy of Jesus.
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Matthew 1:1)
After presenting Jesus as the son of David, Matthew proceeds to explain the details of the genealogy as to how He was the son of David. He gives the whole list from Abraham to Jesus. And he concludes:
And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. (Matthew 1:16)
Is it proper to conclude that Christ was born twice, because Matthew first presents Jesus as the son of David, and then twenty eight generations later he presents Jesus being born into the family of Joseph and Mary? Surely not! Consider the last book of the Bible. We see a few times John recording the return of Jesus.
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pirced him: and all kindreds ofthe earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7)
And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. (Revelation 14:14)
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. (Revelation 19:11)
In the first passage we see Christ coming with clouds; in the second passage we see Christ coming with clouds, sickle and crown; and in the third passage we see Christ coming riding on a white horse. Do we therefore conclude that Christ will come back several times to earth because the presentations of His appearing are given with different details and in different places of the Bible-Revelation Chapters 1, 14 and 19? For sure we all know it is the same Second Coming of Jesus, repeated and enlarged!
Genesis Chapters 1 and 2 are the same creation story of Adam and Eve-repeated and enlarged.
ONE MIGHT SAY: Since "God is a Spirit" (John 4:24), and man was made in the "image of God" and after His "likeness", it has to be that God first made man as a spirit being!
That logic seems good, but is it what the Bible presents? The Scripture declares of the Genesis Chapter 1 story:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. (Genesis 1:27-29)
Is God male or female? The Bible says both "male and female" were made in the "image of God". Does God need food to survive?
The ones who were made in His image were dependent on food- "every herb bearing seed... every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed" was given to them to eat and live. Does God produce and multiply gods? The ones who were made in His image were told to be "fruitful, and multiply"!
We shouldn't stretch a matter beyond what the Bible meant it to be. When that is done, we are having a "private interpretation" (2 Peter 1:20), and God warns against it. We are not supposed to build a doctrine around a text or two; we have to harmonize it with the entire Bible and fit it in the right place. Isaiah wrote:
But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little. (Isaiah 28:13)
Why does God need to make man first a spirit being, and put flesh and bones later? Couldn't He have done it right away? Or did He get this idea later? If you think that man, who was made in the "image of God", had to be first made a spirit being because God is a spirit Being, then did man lose that "image of God" when God gave him a flesh and bone body? Paul is clear that we still bear the image of God, (though marred now because of sin).
Man... is the image and glory of God. (1 Corinthians 11:7)
ONE MIGHT AGAIN SAY: God gave man a body of flesh and bone so that he could rear up a family and fill the earth with his offspring!
My counter question is-was this an after thought by God? In fact, the command to "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Genesis 1:28) was given to Adam and Eve in Genesis Chapter 1 itself! There was no repeat of this command in Genesis Chapter 2. If the concept-the physical body was added later is true, then the command to "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" should have been in Genesis Chapter 2 and not in Chapter 1!
We know that the animals were also created on the sixth day as Genesis Chapter 1 bears record. In fact they were created before man was. Now Genesis Chapter 2 presents the creation of animals too.
And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. (Genesis 2:19, 20)
Because the mention of the creation of animals is repeated in Chapter 2 of Genesis, do we conclude that animals too were made as spirit beings earlier and later God gave them a real body? Adam saw that all the animals were paired, male and female, and he desired to have his partner too. The Bible continues:
And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. (Genesis 2:21-23)
If Eve was already around as a "spirit" being at this time, the Bible should have mentioned it! But we see the creation of Eve from the rib of Adam. The Bible says:
And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man (Genesis 2:22).
The Bible does not say that God took the rib of Adam and placed it into the spirit of Eve that was already around. There is no transition mentioned from the spirit state to a physical state! On the contrary the Scripture plainly declares this is how God "made" the woman.
Finally, to prove that Adam and Eve existed in a spirit form before they got a body form, some quote what Paul wrote to the Ephesians.
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4)
Paul did not say we were around in a spirit form before the world began and now got a physical structure at birth, but he said God has "chosen" us before the foundation of the world. Because of His foreknowledge God has the ability to speak about the future. Paul himself said elsewhere that God:
Calleth those things which be not as though they were. (Romans 4:17)
And even if we take it the way some want to take it, Paul says it was all done "before the foundation of the world". "Before the foundation of the world" means, prior to even the creation week of Genesis. And that would mean Adam and Eve existed in spirit form even before they were made on the sixth day of creation week! But if you notice carefully the Genesis Chapter 1 creation you will see that Adam and Eve were brought into existence only at this point of time.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness... So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:26, 27)
The word "created" is repeated three times in a single verse to let us know that they were indeed created at this period of time, and not before. And also the phrase "Let us make man" clearly proves that man did not exist before that. If not the Scripture should have read, "Let us transfer man" to this planet earth!
The truth is simple and clear-the creation account of man and woman in Genesis Chapter 1 and 2 are not two different creations, but the details of the same creation of Chapter 1, enlarged and given in Chapter 2!