"Genesis 1 and 2 are contradictory accounts of creation. Chapter 1 says plants and animals were created before man while chapter 2 says they were created after man."

The alleged contradiction is easily resolved through a careful reading of the text. Genesis 1 is a summary of God creating everything over the coarse of 7 days, while Genesis 2 focuses solely on day 6 in a specific area of land, where God created man and the Garden of Eden.


Plants existed before man (Genesis 1:1-26), but God caused additional trees to "spring" up when creating the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8-9) in a barren, wet area of land (Genesis 2:5). When verse 2:5 says that "no bush of the field was yet in the land (va·'a·retz,) and no small plant of the field had yet sprung", it's speaking only about the area where the garden of Eden was going to be planted, not the entire earth (ha·'a·retz.) as spoken of in Genesis 1. Eden was in the eastern part of what this chapter refers to as "the land".

Likewise, land animals also existed before man (Genesis 1:20-25). But on day 6, God brought pre-existing animals to Adam so he could name them. When verse 2:19 says "out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens" it's simply saying God brought the animals He already "had formed" (past tense) to Adam. Also, even if the text were saying that God created these animals on the spot for Adam to name, there would be no Biblical contradiction or theological reason God couldn't have created more of the existing animals for this purpose. 


Another reason we should reject the contradiction accusation is because it makes an unreasonable claim. We're supposed to believe that the author of Genesis somehow forgot what he wrote in chapter 1, then wrote a completely different creation account within the span of a few sentences. He then failed to proofread his work and the conspirators who assembled the Bible didn't notice it started with two different creation accounts. Given the improbability of this conspiracy theory, along with the cohesiveness between chapters 1 and 2, there's no reason to think the creation account in Genesis contradicts itself.