Does the Bible teach that there was a pre-Adamic race?

by Matt Slick

No, the Bible does not teach that there was a race of people before Adam. However, there have been those who have said that there were and they base their belief on what is called the gap theory. The gap theory states that between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 there was a large gap of time in which there may have been another race, but they were destroyed and then the earth was reformed.

  • Gen. 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
  • Gen. 1:2, "And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters."

The gap theory does not work because the text does not say that the earth was destroyed and reformed. Furthermore, 2 Pet. 3:5 tells us that the earth was formed out of water which is a reference to Genesis 1:7 in the creative order of God which ended with the creation of Adam. There is no hint at all of a fallen realm in which pre-Adamic people might have existed.

The Bible tells us that the first man created was Adam.

1 Cor. 15:45, "So also it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living soul.' The last Adam became a life-giving spirit."

If there was a pre-Adamic race, then biblically they could not have been human since Adam was the first man. But nowhere in Scripture is it stated that there was a different form of biological "people" that were not human and who were wiped out in some cataclysmic judgment by God. Furthermore, we see that sin entered the world through Adam, not through a pre-Adamic race who would have existed in the world before him. Also, consider the following verse...

Romans 5:12, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned."

Therefore, since the Bible says that Adam was the first man and sin entered the world through Adam, it cannot also be true that there was a pre-Adamic race that sinned and was destroyed by God.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.