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This site is for thoughtful Christians learning how to answer the hard questions people are asking today
Bible: Man looking at city where people lived before Adam
PURPOSE: Helping Christians engage in intelligent conversations with doubters and unbelievers

Were there people before Adam?

Why it matters

Time of human creation affects Bible credibility

The issue here is that Bible genealogies (genealogy chart) show that Adam lived about BC 4000. If Adam and Eve were the first humans ... and if God created them in the same week He created everything else ... then nothing on earth is older than 6,000 years (or 10,000 years, allowing for possible gaps).

There is overwhelming scientific evidence that the earth is billions of years old and that there has been human activity and migrations for at least 40,000 years. This is taught as settled science in all Universities and schools of every kind throughout the world, except Christian education.

This sets up a conflict: Either the Bible is right, or science is right, and everyone must choose one or the other. Presented with that stark choice, most people choose science.

If the Bible is wrong about the first humans, they reason, it's probably wrong about other matters too. So increasingly, the Bible is being regarded as an irrelevant ancient book that cannot be trusted, and Christianity in the United States is declining rapidly.

Christians are doing just the opposite of what Jesus told us to do. Our mission is to make disciples (Matthew 28:19). Forcing the stark choice is a major reason why we are losing disciples instead of making disciples.

The purpose of this study is to re-read and re-think the Eden story in light of modern knowledge to see if the Bible really compels the stark choice.

Gallup Poll tracks beliefs about origins

Every third year for the past 45 years, Gallup Polls has tracked what people believe about human origin.

Woman thinking about Bible being true

The most recent poll shows that more than half of church-attending American Christians believe that 'God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time WITHIN THE LAST 10,000 YEARS OR SO.'

Where do most devout Christians get this belief which seems incredible to most people in the modern world? Certainly not from school. Definitely from church.

The reason that polls, news reports, and general literature usually use 10,000 years (rather than Bible's 4,000 years) is to give allowance for possible gaps in the genealogies, as discussed here in Bible genealogies.

The huge human age discrepancy between science and the Bible is widely known by unbelievers and doubters and, to them, this portrays Christians as poorly educated people with blind faith in an ancient book that is flat-out wrong.

Most Christians don't give much thought, if any, to this issue, but it's a big issue for many people thinking about trusting the Bible and becoming a Christian.

Most Christians miss the point

The question here is: Were there people before Adam? The response of most Christians goes something like this:

'The Bible says Adam was the first person God created, so that's as much as we need to know. And it doesn't really matter. Instead of discussing academic questions about Adam, we should be talking about Jesus and salvation.'

This site has three responses for that kind of thinking:

(1) Actually, the Bible says that Adam was the first sinner but does not specifically say that he was the first human. The Bible gives many clues that people existed outside of the Garden of Eden before God placed Adam into the Garden.

(2) True, it doesn't really matter what Christians think about this question, but it does matter what doubters and unbelievers think. To say 'it doesn't matter to me' shows a callous disregard for the concerns of the people we should be reaching with the gospel. It's not about us. It's about them!

(3) Sadly, most people will never come to the point of hearing and believing about Jesus if they don't believe the Bible is the Word of God ... and most won't believe it if they're convinced that the Bible has been proven wrong by archeology and science.

The Bible must have credibility for people to believe it.

PURPOSE: To help Christians engage in intelligent conversations with doubters and unbelievers

If everyone were a Christian, this topic would be unimportant, hardly worth mentioning. From a Christian viewpoint, with regard to salvation and daily living, it doesn't matter what methods and timing God used to create the universe.

But from a nonbeliever's viewpoint, it makes a huge difference.

We don't have to 'prove' anything

To remove this barrier to faith, we don't have to prove either that God created the universe by the instantly-as-is method or by the Big Bang method.

All we need to do is show that the actual Bible narrative is broad enough to cover both views. There's no need to be dogmatic, offensive, or ignorant. We don't know the details of God's method and timing. The important thing is that GOD DID IT!


Tough questions people are asking

Does the Bible say clearly without any doubt that Adam was the first human on earth, contradicting everything that everyone has been taught in all public schools?

What does the Bible say about when and where Adam lived?

How do Christians explain skeletons and cities much older than Adam now being discovered?

How do Christians explain that Adam's first-born son, after killing the second-born, but before birth of the third-born, went to a distant city and there married a woman and became a builder in that city?

Did Jesus ever mention Adam's name or say anything about a calamity on earth caused by someone's sin?

How can a Christian give an intelligent and compelling biblical answer to people who are absolutely convinced from archaeological, scientific, and historical evidence that there has been human activity on earth for tens of thousands of years ... and who think Christians – and the Bible – are flat-out wrong in saying that humans didn't even exist until less than 10,000 years ago?

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Thinkers Bible Studies / Topic 1.3


Were there people before Adam?

for an informed answer
Insight 1: Bible credibility

Why it matters

The real issue here is whether or not the Bible is a credible book of truth. People conclude that if the Bible is wrong about our origin, it's probably wrong about our destiny too. This is a big barrier to faith.
Insight 2: yō·wm is Hebrew word for Bible creation day

What Old Testament says

The Old Testament doesn't say much about hell, but here are all four verses from the Hebrew scriptures that mention a time aspect of punishment in an afterlife. The verses say must die ... will be no more ...forever destroyed ... will be ashes. There is no hint of any eternal conscious existence.
Insight 3: What God created in each 'day'

What the Bible actually says

Most people just believe what tradition teaches and have never carefully read Genesis chapters 1-4 for themselves. See for yourself all the verses in the Bible which refer to people before Adam.

What Americans believe about human origin

For 38 years, Gallup Polls have been tracking peoples' beliefs about the beginning of human life on earth. See the poll findings. Most regular church attenders believe that 'God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.'

The time of Adam

Bible genealogies show that Adam lived about 6,000 (maybe 10,000) years ago. See what life was like at that time. Archaeology and DNA show that humans have been on earth for 40,000 years or more.

Here's where we combine five Insights to get an informed biblical answer: Were there people before Adam?

The insights here are like pieces of a puzzle. Put the pieces together and see the big picture! Now you'll be prepared to engage intelligently with anyone on the subject of people before Adam.
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Helping Christians engage in intelligent and coherent conversations with doubters and unbelievers