Adam lived about BC 4000 according to genealogies recorded in the Bible. If Adam was the first person on earth, the Bible is then in complete contradiction to archaeology and science, which have conclusive evidence that there was human activity on earth long before that time.
This contradiction causes millions of people to believe that they must make a stark choice either for the Bible or for modern knowledge, one or the other.
Most people today are choosing modern knowledge and concluding that the Bible is NOT a trustworthy book of truth, thus negating authority of the Bible on all matters.
Every third year for the past 45 years, Gallup Polls has tracked what people believe about human origin.
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.
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 Christian think about this question, but it does matter what doubters and unbelievers think. To say 'it doesn't matter to me' shows 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.
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.
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 details of God's method and timing. The important thing is that GOD DID IT!
Questions above are examples ...
In interviews with people who have left the church, and with people quietly in the process of leaving, and with people outside of the church who have posed hard questions to Christians, one of their greatest disappointments with the church and Christians is that they cannot get straight and informed answers to their questions.
They say that most Christians just parrot church phrases and themes at surface level but cannot give personal reasons why they believe, except that that's what they have been told in their church tradition.
Church has become so professional that Christians just give a book, a web link, orange invitation to a meeting, but cannot articulate what and why they believe personally or give evidence of any personal thought and investigation.
If share your faith with other people, questions like the above will come up and you will be able to give an intelligent and persuasive answer.
Also you can use this question – Do you think there were people before Adam? – to start conversation with believers, doubters or unbelievers, almost anyone. Interesting topic.
It helps flush out misunderstandings that can be clarified. Could be serious barriers to faith
This study, plus dozens like it on this site, will give you information you need to process what you personally believe and prepare you to share with others.
This is just one of dozens of topics on this site that will prepare you.
Broaden your own spiritual horizons.
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