Question about sin and death

Hi all. My first question here. Im a evolutionist christian myslef and wanted to ask this questions. Since we have fossil records of animals deaths before humans,how can we interpret the bible that says death came from the sin of Adam? And one small question. I know Adam is the hebrew word of mankind but Adam was also a human?

P.S : Sorry for my english not my native language and second sorry if this questions have been answered already.
God bless you!


The Bible speaks of two kinds of death from Genesis to Jesus. In Genesis it is when God said that Adam and Eve will surely die on the day they eat of the fruit, and yet they lived to an extreme old age afterwards. In Luke 9:60, Jesus says, “Let the dead bury their own dead,” showing that just because people are walking around and doing things doesn’t mean they cannot be considered dead. Thus as Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15 we have both a physical body and a spiritual body and the spiritual body must be resurrected from the dead. This explains why the resurrected Jesus tells his disciples that He is no ghost, for such are dead spirits, and in 1 Cor 15, Paul explains that Jesus is a living-giving spirit.

So what about the fossils of the deaths of animals? They were physical deaths. So which death came when Adam sinned the spiritual one or the physical? Or both?

So yes death was always part of God’s creation. It is in fact a necessity for the existence of life. Without death in natural selection there would be no life.

Thus when Adam sinned, what came from that is a separation from God and spiritual death. Thus the ending of our physical life in a second birth into God’s spiritual presence became something of horror and darkness, where we could expect only a shadowy existence where our sins would torment and consume us.

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Hi Nickolaos, and welcome!

My opinion: If you believe in an old earth and a historic Adam, then (independent of whether you accept the ToE) you have only one consistent view that I can see: There was a tremendous amount of animal death before Adam, and when Adam sinned he died a spiritual death.

That it was a spiritual death is consistent with Ephesians 2 (you were dead… Christ made you alive) and Genesis 2:17 (on that day you shall surely die) given that Adam did not surely die physically the day he sinned-- but he did indeed die as promised; he suffered spiritual death.

As a corollary, once you accept that the death (and spoken of later in Romans) was spiritual, you have (in my opinion) no biblical reason for a claim that Adam and Eve would have lived forever.

I do not see any other way to achieve self-consistency.


Adam was the first human being… just not the first homo sapiens. Our physical body and biological life is from the stuff of the earth (which Genesis calls dust), developed according to its laws in the process of evolution. But we are more than just a biological species, we are the children of God with a mind born of a memetic inheritance (God breathed inspiration) from when God spoke to Adam and Eve.

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I read somewhere that Adam was on fact one of the many humans that have been created hense the “Adam” stands in Hebrew for humanity and God chose Adam to be “in his image” i dont know how this is true but it makes sense from an evolutionary perspective.

Thank you for your answer!!

I’ll also add with Romans 5:12-20 which speaks of sin bringing death into the world (to all people- it says nothing of animals). This death is contrasted with life in Christ which helps us know that it is a spiritual death, similar to how others already talked about the early chapters of Genesis here.

Hi Nick and welcome to the forum!

I’d ask you to start here: This is a question many ask, you’re not alone!

We actually also talked about this topic extensively last month on the BioLogos website:

Hopefully you find these useful!


Yes a lot of Christians treat the whole story as a metaphor about early man, and some very scholarly and respectable ones at that. All science tells us is that the species did not begin with just two individuals, but it cannot say much of anything about a single individual and their relationship with God. Looking for the most meaning I can find in the text, I don’t see this total metaphor approach as either helpful or justified. It is one thing to point out that the Bible itself treats elements of the story as symbolic and quite another to resort to a metaphorical treatment when nothing else in the Bible does so.

Though… I am not sure exactly what you mean by this “one of many humans that have been created.” It almost sounds like you are talking about special magical golem creation of multiple Adams, and I thought the point was reconciling the story with evolution. To be sure, there are indication in the Bible of other people in the world than Adam and his family. In Genesis 4:14, Cain speaks as if the earth is filled with people who might kill him. And in Genesis 6, it speaks of the sons of God taking wives from the daughters of men, which suggests that the sons of Adam obtained spouses from a population of homo sapiens in the world. Of course, I am not giving any credence to the idea that angels mated with human women to give birth to fairy tale giants – that bizarre twist doesn’t agree with many things in the Bible.

About the many humans i actually meant the first evovlved humans. I have to disagree with the angels mating. I dont know how the giants came to be ,there are historical evidence.for super tall and strong people" giants" but it kight have been the evolution? The angels mating is a very possible explanation as well but a very complicated one since angels dont have physical bodies.

I read the link you shared to ask and i have a question( sorry for being annoying with all those questions) if humans created mortal ad the article say then if Adam and Eve did not sin they would have doied anyways right? So would they stop existing? I mean that depends on whether The garden was here on earth or was a combination of earth and the place where God is right?

Welcome to the forum!

From the writings of Paul, it is clear that the immediate consequence of the sin of man was spiritual death. Jesus is the antithesis of Adam in the writings of Paul, Romans 5: 17 For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)"

As men, women and animals were alive before Jesus, there was death before Adam.

I feel strongly that Genesis 1 and 2 should be taken sequentially. This eliminate several conflicts in the creation sequence. I see no indication that the second creation narrative is a retelling of the first narrative (just read it). There is a clear pattern in the Old testament that the genealogical line (or lines) not leading to the Messiah is always given before the line leading to the Messiah. (e.g. Cane is given before Seth, Ismael is given before Issac) I believe this pattern is set in the two creation narratives in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. This approach eliminates any conflict with evolution and I feel is more consistent with the rest of scripture.

I feel the “sons of God” in Genesis 6 refers to the offspring of Adam and Eve and the “daughters of men” refers to the offspring of “men and women” who were created in Genesis 1. This is by no means my primary argument for a sequential interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2, but again I am looking for the interpretation most consistent with the rest of scripture.

In the book of Job, the term “sons of God” clearly refers to angels, however, the more common use of the term throughout scripture is to describe those in the Will of God. Although “daughters of men” is not used elsewhere, the term “sons of men” typically refers to those outside the will of God. I reject the Genesis 6 refers to angels as in Marc and Matthew it states that “angels are neither married or given in marriage”. Again just looking for consistency throughout scripture.

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God created humans to live forever… not animals. We are made in God’s image, he wants us to live as long as he does… that is why he had to send his firstborn. Adam forfeited his perfect life because he sinned, Jesus had to forfeit his perfect life without sinning, so he could be raised up incorruptible and immortal. He will bring God’s government into power and bring to nothing all other governments

If God created man to be immortal why would he have a “tree of Life” to which man was barred from eating?
If God wanted man to be His image on earth and rule it, why would He deny man the means to do it? (The knowledge of good and evil)
Perhaps Genesis 2-4 is not so historic or physically accurate as some might like to believe.
When Paul claims that Adam brought sin into the world, it was the consequence of his action not some lasting residual taint. Sin comes from knowing what is good and what is evil and choosing the evil. (Adam gave us this, supposedly) It is not a disease that has been transmitted through the womb through time. Adam cannot be the cause. God says in both Jeremiah and Ezekiel the we shall no longer say
“Our fathers ate sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge” and that must include any distant forefather (AKA Adam)