educate equip enable
So you thought that Adam was the first man? Well, not according to some. According to some Christians, there was a race of humans that inhabited the earth before Adam and Eve were created. For obvious reasons, they are referred to as the pre-Adamic race.
In order to accommodate this theory, another theory has been proposed called the Gap Theory. This theory proposes that, since there is a difference between the creation accounts in the first two chapters of Genesis, then maybe there was a gap between what happened in chapter 1 and what happened in chapter 2.
But there are two questions that need to be answered here: First, why is there a need for such theories? Second, do these theories harmonise with the rest of Scripture?
The only reason these theories were put forward in the first place was to try and reconcile the Bible with yet another theory, the theory of evolution. So in this evolutionary ‘Christian’ thinking, we have three theories riding on the backs of each other!
For those who believe in evolution rather than the Biblical account of creation, they propose that life has been evolving for approximately 4.5 billion years!
So how to reconcile this pseudo-scientific theory with the Biblical account of creation? Simple. As I mentioned above, there are two accounts of creation in Genesis which have similarities. For instance, both accounts include the creation of humans as well as the creation of animals.
But there are also differences. Genesis 1 reports the creation of sea creatures and birds on Day 5 of creation, land creatures on the Sixth Day, followed by the creation of humans on the same day. The order in Genesis 2 appears to be different.
This seeming contradiction has opened the way for the Gap Theory as well as the theory of a pre-Adamic race. The ‘gap’ is the difference in time between when God created the heavens and the earth, including mankind, in chapter one, and when He created Adam and Eve in chapter 2.
The humans in chapter one would then be seen as pre-Adamic, a race that no longer existed by the time of Adam and Eve.
Whew! What a wonderful solution so that Christians can hold their head up high, believe in the Bible, as well as pay tribute to the prevailing scientific opinion of the day. With these theories to bail us out, there’s no longer any reason to suffer the world’s ridicule.
First of all, Genesis 1 and 2 are not contradictory; they are in complete harmony with one another. Whereas chapter one gives an orderly overview of creation, chapter two gives us a snapshot that zooms in on the creation of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve.
Chapter one is obviously meant to be taken as a chronological account as it specifically refers to the days on which different things were created. On the other hand, there is nothing in chapter two to imply that it is chronological.
So, for instance, when Genesis 2 refers to the creation of man in verse 7, then mentions the creation of the animals in verse 19, it does not mean that God created the animals after He created Adam. It’s merely mentioned afterwards in this account.
However, the main problem with the Gap Theory and the idea of a pre-Adamic race of humans is not just that there’s no Biblical mention of it, or that Genesis 1 and 2 are so easily reconciled, or even that there’s such a vast amount of scientific proof that the universe is young.
That main difficulty is that this theory flat out contradicts clear statements elsewhere in Scripture.1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
This Scripture refers to Adam as the ‘first’ man. But he couldn’t very well be the first man if there was an entire race of men before him.Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned -
This statement of the Apostle Paul’s is pivotal to the gospel and logically ordered. It goes something like this:
One man (named in verse 14 as Adam) brought sin into the world. Through sin, came death which then spread to all men as his descendants.
This is a very strong statement and gives us some really important theology. First, Adam started the whole process of hereditary sin; it did not exist prior to him. Second, all humanity descended from Adam. And third, there was no death prior to Adam because death entered the world through his sin.
This is a major blow to both the Gap Theory and the Pre-Adamic Race Theory as they assert that there was an entire race of humans before Adam who died out, not to mention the deaths, over billions of years, of all the animals that supposedly existed too.
Which means you can’t believe these theories and believe what Paul says.
After all, if there was a pre-Adamic race, where are they now? Did they die out, meaning that death existed in the world prior to Adam? Or should we believe that they were a sinless race of humans? If that’s the case, were they all like Enoch being transported directly into heaven?
What we need to understand is that evolutionary theory’s only real attraction is that you can leave God entirely out of the equation. Without evolutionary theory, there is no explanation for the existence of the universe other than the fact that it was created by an all-powerful God.
And without evolutionary theory, there is no reason whatsoever to believe in or try to prove the Gap Theory or a pre-Adamic race.