I have a question about creation: In Genesis 1 it says God made vegetation, water creatures and birds before making man but in Genesis 2 it’s says that man was made before vegetation and animals Is this a biblical contradiction? I ask this question as a disciple who struggles with being logical at times, I know I won’t get to know everything but I want to know as much as I can. I am on a mission team, planting a campus ministry it has forced me to really figure out what I truly believe. Thanks
First of all, you do not need to apologize for asking reasonable questions about the Bible. In fact, you should be commended for doing so. It is the Berean attitude of Acts 17. Many believers “stuff” their questions and they have a nasty way of coming back at the worst time. Satan can use our unanswered but reasonable questions against us and he does so when we are vulnerable. Never apologize for inquiring into the reliability of the scripture. You do not need to worry that your faith will be destroyed when you do so.
Genesis 1 is about the creation of the universe, of the earth, of life on the earth, and of human beings in God’s image. Genesis 2 (actually Genesis 2:4-25) is about the creation, specifically, of Adam and Eve. It is about one small part of what happened on the sixth “day” of creation. In this account, it is obvious that there were plants already in existence. Verse 5 is key to understand what is going on here. It says, “no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up.” In other words, at this point agriculture had not yet begun. The shrub of the field and the plant of the field represent crops which sustain human life. At this early point, Adam and Eve were gatherers, not farmers. It was only after they left the garden that, as a result of sin, mankind had to make a living by tilling the earth. Genesis 3:18-19 makes this clear as God tells man that he will begin to eat “the plants of the field.” The Hebrew here is the same as in Genesis 1:5.
As for your statement that God had not yet made the animals in Genesis 2, I am not sure why you say that, as there is no evidence of new animals being created in this account. Genesis 2:19 does say that God had formed all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air, but there is no indication that they had not already been formed before Adam and Eve.
I hope this helps.