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Volume 9, Issue 1: Exegetica

Pre-Adamite Warning

Douglas Jones

Given the nastiness that "progressive" creationists throw at us "shameless" creationists, it would be tempting to point out that on the topic of pre-Adamite ancestors, progressive creationists share a common bond with race-fascists. But I won't do that. That would be insulting . . . (to the race-fascists).

The claim that Adam was not the first man and not the father of all races is a key pillar for theistically inclined white racialists. Without the pre-Adamite claim, their particular affliction pratfalls to the pavement. Near the very top of the Aryan Nations statement of faith we find the pre-Adamite claim: "We believe that Adam, man of Genesis, is the placing of the White Race upon this earth. Not all races descend from Adam. Adam is the father of the White Race only." Similarly, another Christian Identity advocate writes, "The Bible is quite clear about there being many people on the earth at the time of the story of Adam and Eve. The Bible does not support the idea that Adam and Eve gave birth to all the different races on the earth, but rather implies that Adam and Eve were a separate creation in the midst of other people who existed prior to them. Since these `other' people existed before Adam, they are called `pre-Adamites.'"
The primary arguments for such claims stem from Cain. For example, "If only Adam and Eve existed, then who was Cain afraid of that would kill him? . . . If Adam and Eve were the first and only people at this time, then from where did Cain find a wife? Not only was he able to find a wife, but there were obviously enough people to be part of the city built by Cain. . . . All these circumstances thus point to the existence of men independent of Adam."
This appeal to Cain has long been a favorite whacking stick of secularists. But the conclusion doesn't follow. We aren't given enough evidence for so tight an inference. And other possibilities grow in credibility in light of other Scriptural assurances (see below). But as to the Cain question itself, we do have some textual ground for other Adamic children alongside Cain and Abel.
First, we know that Cain killed Abel when Adam was nearly one hundred and thirty years old. Support from this comes from the fact that Seth is born specifically to replace Abel, and that birth occurs when Adam was one hundred and thirty (Gen. 5:3). Second, it appears that Abel and Cain were born soon after Adam's expulsion from the garden (Gen. 3:24; 4:1). So between the birth of the first two and the birth of Seth, we have over a hundred-year time span. Surely that's plenty of time to party reproductively. After Cain and before Seth, Adam and Eve produced many children who had children and grandchildren, long before Abel was killed. Cain would have plenty of people to encounter.
But why then the focus on Abel and Seth? Adam and Eve produced godly and ungodly lines of descendants (Gen. 3:15). Abel alone was the key to the godly line, and Cain's Satanically inspired (1 Jn. 3:12) murder of Abel sought to cut the line to the Messiah (Lk. 3:38). But this murder couldn't stay God's plan. He brought about a special replacement for Abel in the person of Seth. Not just any of Adam's many children could fill Abel's shoes.
But why is there no other mention of other descendants? The answer seems to be that these other descendants lacked the covenantal significance of Abel. We find just such an omission in the genealogy of Adam. The genealogy is concerned only with the godly line, not Cain or his other siblings. Genesis 5 teaches, "This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them mankind in the day they were created. And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. After he begot Seth, . . ." (Gen. 5:1-4). Notice that both Cain and Abel are missing from this. The text reads as if they hadn't even been born. The truth is that the genealogy isn't very concerned with biology. Abel and Cain are simply insignificant to the continuation of the godly line, as would be the other children outside that line.
Since the failure to mention Abel and Cain in a genealogy doesn't make us suggest that they didn't exist, the omission of other children between Cain and Seth shouldn't do that either. There was one father Adam who had one very thin, godly, messianic line of descendants. He also had many other lines of opponents of God. Only after Seth's son Enosh, we find that "Then men began to call on the name of the Lord" (Gen. 4:26). Cain had plenty of siblings to be afraid of. After all, he was probably one honey-wretch of an older brother, and many would have a reason to want to return his wicked favors.
The rest of Scripture clearly supports this picture that Adam and Eve were our first parents. Pre-Adamites would make nonsense out of such claims that "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him" (Gen. 2:18) or "there was no man to till the ground" (Gen. 2:5). Eve is called the "mother of all the living" (Gen. 3:20) and Adam--"the first man was of the earth" (1 Cor. 15: 47; cf. 45). We also know that Adam was the doorway of sin: "just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men."(Rom. 5:12). Were the Pre-Adamites sinless and immortal? Then why would Cain worry? And finally, Paul most explicitly explains that "He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth" (Acts 17:26).
Pre-Adamites just don't fit into the biblical scheme. Whether from scientific or racist motives, they are just an ugly excuse to twist the faith.

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