The idea that follows is my attempt to solve the death before the Fall conundrum, and I hope you find it intriguing. What if, rather than Genesis 2:4 through Genesis 3 is not a sequel or even an elaboration of the events of Genesis 1, but rather a prequel? What if in fact the events of Adam’s formation in Eden and his subsequent fall happened prior to the creation outlined in Genesis 1? You may think this to be a fanciful notion, but consider that Adam and Eve existed in the Garden alongside God and other angelic beings (ie, the Serpent and the Cherubim). Also, there is a long rabbinical tradition that states that the Garden of Eden was not an simply an Earthly domain, but rather was a Heavenly one. In addition, the theology of the ruin reconstruction theory, or gap theory, suggests that there was a world that existed prior to the one created during the six day creation week when interpreting scriptures such as Genesis 1:2 and 2 Peter 3:5. What if this prior world was the world of Genesis 2 and 3, with Satan’s rebellion and fall resulting in the “without form and void” state of the world in Genesis 1:2? In this interpretation, Genesis 2 and 3 (and possibly the War in Heaven scene of Revelation 12) would fill in the “gap” between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.
With the Fall of Man and Lucifer’s Rebellion happening prior to the Creation Week, there would be no conflict in assuming that animal death occurred during the Creation Week. Taking a Day-Age approach to the Creation Week in light of this reordering would allow for the entirety of the fossil record to be laid down during days 3-6, with absolutely no conflict with what has been inferred from observational mainstream science.
I encourage you to try and read Genesis 2 and 3 and then Genesis 1 to see how it affects the flow of the narrative. If you find any merit to this idea or have any questions, please contact me. I relish the opportunity to discuss this subject with you.
Thank you so much for your time!
Bryar Kader, RN