One such instance is the two accounts in Genesis 1:26-27 and Genesis 2:27. Interestingly, the casual glance of the texts has made some readers to see not only an aspect of textual incongruence, but also that of multiple authorship, so that there is the formation of the EPJ (Elehositic, Priestly and Jehovistic) writings. Nevertheless, the intended meaning of the texts proves otherwise. Summary of the Supposed Incongruence between Genesis 1:26-27 and Genesis 2:27 The problem at hand emanates from the fact that Genesis 1:26-27 (also known as the first account) mentions the resolution of Divine Council (to make man in God’s image and to give man dominion) and a summary of the creation of man and woman; while the second account, Genesis 2:27 only gives a more elaborate rendering of the actual act of man’s creation: God forms man from the dust of the ground, breathes into his nostrils and man becomes a living soul (Crutchfield, 2005, 127). However, a clear study of the Bible reveals that sometimes, an author may diverge to compound a theme he is tackling in his account. The Bible is heavily littered with Jewish literary styles which are very different from those of the western world. While the western world uses rhymes, Hebrew literature may use contrast (as can be seen in instances such as Proverbs 15:1 and 10:1) or reiteration (as can be seen in Proverbs 1:10-15), or insertion (as can be seen in Gen 38 and Revelation 10-14) to underscore a given point. While many have no problem with reiteration,
many wrongfully perceive a contradiction when insertion is used in a corpus larger than a verse, or when an entire pericope is an insertion. The main purpose of insertion is to underscore a theme. A narration on Judah’s life in Genesis 38 is sandwiched between Genesis 37 and 39 which give an account of Joseph’s life. Herein, Judah’s sexual or moral failures are presented against Joseph’s impeccable sexual and moral integrity. Just as placing diamond against a dark background underscores the brilliance of a diamond, Joseph’s integrity is emphasized against Judah’s, yet, the Messiah is still to come from Judah’s lineage (Genesis 49:10). Thus, the purpose of this insertion may underscore God’s grace and sovereignty since the Abrahamic blessing passes through Judah by grace: if it were by works, Joseph could have attained it. Therefore, likewise, between the two accounts, Genesis 1:26-27 and 2:27 is the author’s attempt to underscore certain themes. Genesis 1:26-27 presents man as emanating from the dust of the earth and as the crowning act of God’s creation: he is made in God’s image and likeness and given dominion. Genesis 2:27 treats God as the focal point, and not man. Particularly, God becomes very personal for the first time, now that man is being mentioned: for the first time, His personal name, the Tetragrammaton, YHWH is mentioned, though appearing in its translated form as LORD; and He creates by touching. Heretofore, God had only presented Himself to creation as Elohim, the Eternal Creator (Genesis 1:1). Yahweh or Yehovah means the Becoming One, and here, God reveals or presents Himself to man as the One who becomes the object of man’s needs. For instance, to the sick, He would present Himself as Yehovah Rophe, meaning God who is Healing (Exodus 15:22-26), and to Abraham who was too senile to sire or anyone in an impossible situation, He is Yehovah El-Shadday, God the Almighty (Genesis 17:1).