The creation order of animals and human beings differs in Genesis 1 & 2; Gen 1 has animals created before humanity, but Gen 2 has animals created after Adam but before Eve.
- Genesis 1:24-27 says that man and animals were created on the same day. Sure Adam and Eve were created after the animals for Man is the pinnacle of creation. But Genesis 1 never gives us a strict chronology of when these events took place on Day 6. Genesis 2 does give us that specification.
- Genesis 2 doesn't follow after Genesis 1 in a strict chronological order. This is typical for Genesis. The author gives us a brief overview in a chapter (A) and then in the next chapter (B) he goes back within the larger story to specify about a certain event. Take for example Genesis 11 & 12. In Genesis 11:26 we see Terah is 70 years old, or approximately since the boys weren't triplets, when Abraham was born. Terah is 205 years old when he dies (Gen 11:32). That means Abraham is roughly 135 years old at the end of Genesis 11. But how can that be? Genesis 12:4 says Abraham was only 75 when he left Haran and we know that he was 99 when God told him about a son he would have (Gen 17:1). Therefore, we can't read Genesis as if chapter B follows chapter A chronologically just because B comes after A in the text. Genesis 2 gives us more detail about Day 6 of Creation and tells us better how God created.
- Genesis 2:19 doesn't say God created animals after man. It is simply recounting how God created the animals. In fact the NIV has the right translation. It says, "Now the LORD God had formed..." This shows that the author of Genesis is simply saying that after God created the animals he brought them to Adam. This is in perfect harmony with Genesis 1.
- Genesis 2:8 tells us God planted the Garden of Eden. Genesis 1 doesn't tell us about Eden. Thus God created it on Day 6. But he describes it to us in anthropomorphic language. That is, the Bible tells us God planted a garden but it doesn't tell us how he planted it. He could have done it miraculously, he could have done it by natural means but sped up, he could have shown up in the form of a man and done some manual labor.
Sometimes I feel like people don't take common sense into consideration when reading the Bible. When we stop going beyond what the text actually says we will find harmony. The only contradiction is in people's views, there is no contradiction between Genesis 1 & 2.