Genesis Theology and Science

Genesis 1-3 and 1 Corinthians 15:20-22.
How do we reconcile death entering the world through the fall and the idea that death existed prior to Adam and Eve’s creation? My assumption has always been that all of creation was fractured through the fall thus explaining the brokenness of the world around us. Wondering what others have concluded here.

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Thank you for the question, @Troy_S. Would you mind sharing how you came to the conclusion or idea that death was before Adam and Eve?

For in the first Adam death was brought into the world, but it is through the second Adam (Jesus) that life is brought (Check out 1 Corinthians 15:22,45). As He says in John 11:25 KJV Jesus is the resurrection and the life.

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Hi, @Troy_S :wave:

@CharityLinzey was on point with her inquiry. While waiting for your response, allow me to assume that your question stems from the belief on the Day-Age Theory where each day of the Creation week was not literal 24-hour day-period but aeons of time.

With this assumption adherents believe they can accommodate both a Creator and the Evolution. However, the idea of of pre-Adamic deaths which, they believe, explains the fossil record (dead animals) will be inconsistent with the Biblical cause of death, which is Man’s Fall, thereby putting

Any compromise between the Biblical Creation and Evolution will be irreconcilable as the one practically negates the other.

Or, do you have other assumption for your line of inquiry? Please let us know :slightly_smiling_face:

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You are spot on @DCGotiza . I have seen these other theories. I am ignorant to them though knowing very little. I had seen many other threads on here speaking of reconciliation of evolution and creation. I think it is very hard to do when looking at the theology of the fall. I was just wondering if anyone had come up with a good theory to reconcile the two. I lean more towards literal creation theory.

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I have seen other threads with theories on here in regards to death being present before the fall. I was wanting to be enlightened on how the people reconcile this concept with scripture. I do not see how it is possible unless my understanding of the fall is skewed. Thanks for replying.

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Okay sure, I think I see what you’re saying. Curious as well to see what those who hold to the theory of death before Adam would have to say.

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I agree with you; as it says in Romans 8:18-27; all creation itself groans being subjected to futility, looking forward to the curse of sin being removed.

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of [f]corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Personally, I believe the distinction in this article is very good; that there was no ‘nephesh-chayyah’ animal death before the fall.

https://creation.com/nephesh-chayyah

The term ‘evolution’ is a very broad term; and can mean one of these 6 definitions.

  1. Change over time; history of nature; any sequence of events in nature.
  2. Changes in the frequencies of alleles in the gene pool of a population.
  3. Limited common descent: the idea that particular groups of organisms have descended from a common ancestor.
  4. The mechanisms responsible for the change required to produce limited descent with modification, chiefly natural selection acting on random variations or mutations.
  5. Universal common descent: the idea that all organisms have descended from a single common ancestor.
  6. “Blind watchmaker” thesis: the idea that all organisms have descended from common ancestors solely through unguided, unintelligent, purposeless, material processes such as natural selection acting on random variations or mutations; that the mechanisms of natural selection, random variation and mutation, and perhaps other similarly naturalistic mechanisms, are completely sufficient to account for the appearance of design in living organisms.

from (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/6-meanings-of-the-word-evolution/)

@SeanO shared a great summary post to look at both sides of the discussion, as to whether there was animal death before the fall.

and here is an answer from Hugh Ross, from Reasons to Believe, who holds to an old earth position answering this question.

hopefully some helpful thoughts to look at both sides of the discussion… :slight_smile:

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These resources are a great help thank you.

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Hi @Troy_S,
What a great question and I am impressed with all the answers here. Your question had me thinking all morning and re-looking the creation narrative.
If we look at scripture - Gen 1, we see the whole creation narrartive and with each day passing we see God ending each day “it was good” until the sixth day when he created Adam and he concludes Gen1:31 - …it was VERY good.
In my humble opinion, God created everything and to assume that it was factured and NOT good would seem to defeat the creation narrative. The world created was perfect. Now the question, was death part of the creation narrative? To be honest I don’t see it mentioned anywhere but that does not imply that it wasn’t. To make that assumption would be wrong BUT when we look at the Gen 2:17 - “but the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die”. I find this narrative extremely interesting because as we all know there were 2 trees in the garden. The Tree of Good and Evil and The tree of Life. Why didn’t God stop Adam from eating from the tree of Life and if we read the passage carefully we see that God said you can eat of any tree but the Tree of Good and Evil.
So why have a Tree of Life there and God not including it in the prohibition or why even have a Tree of Life if we assume everything was immortal.
After the Fall and the disobedience of Adam and Eve, we see that in Gen 3:22 - Then the LORD God said , " Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever"
In my humble opinion, man was mortal when God created us, but within the garden was the one tree that gave immortality, which God never prevented man from eating, only the Tree of Good and Evil.
That gift of immortality is in essence part of the creation narrative as a reward. Because when we read Revelations 2:7, - He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
and part of the New Eden we see
Revelations 22:2, 19, 14, - we see the presence of the Tree of Life.
In conclusion based on scripture I believe that mortality was part of the created order and only in obedience and worship, can we fully attain the righteousness of God creation. God created us in his image and likeness and it is within our free will that we choose to become gods ourselves. God forsaw this and as the story of scriptures unfold, it is that same free will that will bring us back to Him. Our choice to embrace the atonement of the sacrifice of our beloved Jesus Christ, that is the only path in our sinful state , that we can find salvation in the Father’s eyes.
I hope my explanation makes sense and helps. In actuality, evolution and all other science are but the mortal reality of our own convictions of many to try to disprove a creator but ultimately does otherwise.

GOD BLESS

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