There have been major pivot points in the past, including each of the days (ages) of creation ... God talking to Adam in the Garden of Eden ... biblical flood ... birth, teaching and resurrection of Jesus. And the Bible says there will be more pivot points in the future, including Jesus' return to earth ... judgment and punishment ... a new heaven and a new earth.
These changes are all part of a massive unfolding divine plan outlined in the Bible! Only part of it has actually happened so far. The best is yet to come.
Adam was placed by God in the Garden of Eden approximately 4000 BC. Adam did not originate there; he was put there from the outside.
Adam and Eve's first son (Cain) murdered his brother (Abel), and God rendered this punishment:
'Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground ... You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.' Cain said to the Lord, 'My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on earth and whoever finds me will kill me.'
But the Lord said to him, 'Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over. Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the Lord's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
'Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch.' (Genesis 4:10-17)
What were cities like at time of Adam?
We are now learning about those cities through archaeological excavations. One example is Catalhoyuk, Turkey, built prior to 4000 BC in the same general area as the Garden of Eden:
The Bible does not give any dates but does give the complete family tree from Adam through Jesus, every father and every son. Often the age at death is given, but if not, average ages are used as close approximations.
By this method, Adam comes on the scene about 4000 BC. A chart and more information is at Origin 1.3.4. For over four hundred years, since the calculations of Bishop Usher of Ireland in his scholarly Annals of the World, theologians and historians have generally agreed that this genealogy is true and that there are no significant gaps.
When God first brought Eve to Adam, Adam said 'she shall be called woman' (female, mother). How would Adam – who was put in the Garden from the outside – understand at first glance about sexuality and human reproduction if there had never been a human mother on earth before?
After Eve sinned, God said to her, 'I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing ...' If Eve were the first woman on earth, without children at time of first sin, it would not make sense for God to say that He will INCREASE the pain of childbearing because in that case there would never have been any childbearing.
There are more than a dozen scientific methods used for determining dates of bones, artifacts and man-made structures being uncovered by archaeologists. The most common methods are stratigraphy, topology, radiocarbon, dendrochronology, and thermoluminescence, explained in Origin 1.3.4.
Amazing advancements have been made in knowledge, chemical analysis, imaging, instrumentation and computer databases and analysis in the scientific field of archaeology over the past 30 years. The quantity and quality of data collection, excavated sites and museum specimens is now enormous and growing rapidly.
Cross-validation can now be done on the same object with various testing methods, and accuracy is assured when all methods reveal approximately the same age.
Some people say that scientific dating is irrelevant because God created the universe with apparent age (everything just looks old). That is a flawed argument, discussed in Origin 1.2.3.
If people lived in cities like Catalhoyuk before 4000 BC,
If Adam was put in the Garden of Eden about 4000 BC according to Bible genealogy,
There had to be a time gap between Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:15,
ADAM AND EVE WERE NOT THE FIRST HUMANS ON EARTH.
There is ample evidence that the cycle of life-and-death was functioning in the world long before 4000 BC, the time the Bible says sin first entered the world 'through' Adam.' (Note: Not 'because' of Adam;' see Origin 1.4.2 for study of Romans 5). Apparently there has been death on earth ever since the Big Bang.
The strongest evidence of prehistoric death comes from deposits of oil, coal and limestone.
OIL. Crude oil is made over millions of years from tiny plants and animals in sea water, called plankton. Plankton are trapped and buried under many layers of sand and mud. Heat and pressure gradually turn the mud into rock and the plankton into oil and gas. Plankton become oil after about 150 millions years, held in pores in underground rock, like water in a sponge. Cap rock keeps the oil from escaping. Over millions of years the rocks fold and form a dome shape that catches oil and creates a good drilling site.
COAL. Coal is made from giant plants and ferns that lived hundreds of millions of years ago in swamp forests. When they died, they formed layers at the bottom of the swamps, and water and dirt began to pile up on the dead remains. With burial, the plant material was subjected to high temperatures and pressures that transformed it into peat and then into coal.
LIMESTONE. Ocean-dwelling organisms such oysters, clams, mussels, and coral have shells that are broken down by waves and settle on the ocean floor where they are compacted over millions of years, creating limestone. As tectonic plates shift, sea bottom is often thrust up as dry land. Limestone is abundant throughout the world. It is quarried as building blocks and ground up to make Portland cement and many other products.
Stars are born when large gas clouds collapse from gravity. They form hot cores that gather increasingly more gas and dust until nuclear fusion develops deep in their interiors.
The more massive the star, the faster it burns its fuel supply and the shorter its life. The most massive stars burn out and explode after only a few million years. Stars the size of our sun burn out in about 10 billion years. Smaller stars burn out slower.
We now observe the death of stars – supernovas to black holes – with telescopes catching light emanating from them millions of years ago, long before Adam's sin.
If would make no sense for God to warn Adam (before Adam sinned) that the penalty for disobedience is death if no death on earth had ever yet occurred. That concept would be totally incomprehensible to Adam unless he had already seen death.
If the life-and-death cycle was operative on earth before Adam,
If Adam committed the first sin,
SIN IS NOT THE CAUSE OF DEATH.
Some people interpret the Bible to say that God intended the world to be perfect – all beauty, no pain, no sorrow, no death – but that Adam's sin messed up God's wonderful plan and brought death into the world and condemned all people to eternal hell.
That interpretation of death – thought to be a bad and unintended tragedy – seems completely out of context with other things we know about God and creation.
If God is all-knowing and all-powerful, then no man's action is unforeseen by God or able to disrupt God's plan.
All evidence points to an earth that has always been subject to death in every way. That is how God purposely designed it.
After creating animals, God said it was 'good,'
After creating humans, God said it was 'very good,'
If a Bible 'day' is a long period of time [Origin 1.2],
Animals and humans had been dying since creation,
Death is not a mistake, problem or punishment caused by sin,
DEATH IS A NORMAL PART OF GOD'S GOOD DESIGN PLAN.
God's first recorded words spoken to humans were, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it' (Genesis 1:28, before Adam and Eve).
Without death, multiplication would eventually suffocate life because of overcrowding. Death is necessary to support new life.
Not only do individual creatures die, but entire species die. Scientists say that 99% of all species that ever existed are now extinct.
Death clears the way for new and better life. God's plan of slow topographical, climatological and demographical changes – and the adaptation and improvement of all life forms to those changes – results in death clearing the way for continual upgrades that come only through re-birth.
Throughout this site, the interpretation of 'death' is its plain and ordinary meaning: End of existence, no more consciousness.
Death is an intregral part of life. Death is not a design flaw. Death is the result of normal aging as God intended, not the result of sin.
Punishment for sin is not death itself, but rather judgment and hell.
This site will show how the Bible teaches that, after death of the body (but not soul), there will be physical resurrection, judgment and hell, then eventual final death in hell (end of existence).
The Bible says there is only one exception to death. That exception, offered to some people, is 'eternal life' – discussed next in Origin 1.5. This is the core of the Christian gospel (the good news) ... eternal life through personal faith in Jesus Christ.