Question: Christine asked about the people who lived before Adam. Romans 5:14 says that “death reigned from Adam to Moses.” So who were the people before Adam and did they die? Also 1 Cor 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” So if all die in Adam who were the people before Adam and did they die?
Answer: Genesis chapter 1 informs us that
“God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27).
The Hebrew word for mankind is “Adam”. Both male and female were called Adam. Adam is a plural word. We know from science that there were quite a few Adam in those early days of humanity and they were, as Genesis chapter 1 states, male and female.
But Adam can also be used in a singular sense too, such as in Genesis chapter 2 when we are told that God took one of the Adam and put him in a garden. His name was also Adam. "Adam" is now being used in a singular sense. The woman in Genesis 2, was called Eve not Adam. So when we read that “death reigned from Adam to Moses,” we acknowledge that fact because the many Adam that God made in Genesis chapter 1 did in fact die. They were called Adam too.
And when we read “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” We also agree because Adam in the garden acts out the point that we all sin. He was relating the fact that all people, whether those before him, or those after him, sin.