Do those outside the garden have eternal souls?

Continuing the discussion from Image of God, Free Will, an eternal Soul and the GAE:

An excellent post from @jongarvey on the people outside the garden. Did they have “eternal souls”?

I can see no injustice should the Lord’s creation of mankind before Adam mean that they lived with a piety endowed by their nature, without any consciousness of sin, and with no hankering after life beyond the enjoyment of God’s good earth for longer than most other species.

But in my understanding, it would be no problem for God to raise everyone he, as Creator, deems to be human at the last day. Perhaps, as most suppose of innocent children who die, pre-adamic people would see the face of Christ and receive the kingdom directly from him, rather than from Adam as had been the first intention. In the end, that’s a question Scripture doesn’t answer, and it depends on knowledge we do not possess about the extent of God’s grace. Trying to answer unanswerable questions is a mug’s game – check out Deuteronomy 29:29.

But it’s not a problem of whether or not such people have eternal souls. It’s a question only of God’s calling, and specifically of his calling to remembrance.

I think this is about right to me. I agree that any sense of the immortality of our souls is not intrinsic to us but arises out of our relationship to an immortal God. If we are immortal, it is because he remembers us and choose to resurrect us.

The people outside the Garden? Scripture does not say, except we know that God is good and just. Maybe He remembers them too. I am sure we will find out in the end, but we can’t know for sure from Scripture.


This is a matter of a window of opportunity.

If God can pause for generations before revealing The Christ… he can certainly do so for NO REASON, or for the PRAGMATIC reason of bringing all of humanity under the federal headship of Adam/Eve.

This last point is very relevant, Josh. If the subject matter of the Bible is addressed to humankind in Adam for our salvation, then trying to pin down the spiritual status of those outside the garden is akin to pontificating on that of unborn babies or those in other galaxies.

We are simply not told - but we are assured that the Judge of all the earth (and by implication the galaxies) will do right. A big part of what the Bible is teaching us is humility before God if we are to have fellowship and co-regency with him.