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This theory tries to reconcile the long geologic eras of Evolutionary thought into the days of Genesis. Those who support this theory say that there was a "gap" of millions of years between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.
However, not only is there NO Scriptural evidence to support this theory, it is contrary to the fossil record. It omits the humans, insects, mammals, and fish that are also found fossilized with the dinosaurs.
"Please explain what happened in the 2nd verse of Genesis 1:2. Why is the earth "without form and void?"
The short answer is: Nothing happened.
Some people take this verse to mean that when God says that the earth was "without form, and void" he was talking about some type of judgment on a previous race of creatures. They believe that this judgment left the earth in this wrecked condition.
The problem is, there is no scriptural basis for this argument.
Had this been what God intended the verse to say, it would be far more clear. And there would be dozens of other references to it in scripture.
The word "was" is translated from the Hebrew word "haythah"
Some claim that "haythah" means "became", as in the "earth became without form and void", but this is not correct. In order for "haythah" to be translated as "became" it must be preceded by a preposition meaning "to". ("The first 100 Words" by Charles Taylor)
The Hebrew construction of verse two is disjunctive and is describing the result of the creation described in verse one. It is not describing the result of any judgment. (The Complete Word Study Old Testament, KJV, AMG International INC, 1994, pg 3)
Question:"What was the origin of the Gap theory? Who was the first one to start teaching this theory?" - Dominic
Answer: On page 158 of his book "Creation Compromises" (ISBN 0-932859-17-8) Bert Thompson, Ph. D. says: "Modern popularity of the Gap Theory generally is attributed to the writing s of Thomas Chalmers, a nineteenth century Scottish theologian."
It is not clear from his Thompson’s text, but it appears as if it might go back as far as the writings of Episcopius (1583-1643). See pg 158 of "Creation Compromises"
The "Gap theory" is also called "Reconstructive Creation".
In my mind the "Gap Theory" would tend to make God appear as a bit of a slob, unable to clean up his mess after destroying a previous world.
Why would God leave us a dirty (death and fossil filled) world to live in? You would not knock down a building leaving the debris there, and build another building on top of the trash. But this is exactly what those who believe in the gap theory claim God did.
At the end of the Creation week God said that his Creation was "very good". Now why in the world would God call it "very good" if there were millions of fossils of dead animals laying around?
Thanks to Dan L. for allowing
me to use this picture.
No. Many fossils formed as a result of Noah’s flood (read the page on Noah’s ark for more info).
The Bible speaks of the bones and bodies of the dead as being "unclean". (Numbers 5:2 "defiled by the dead" / Leviticus 21:11 / Leviticus 22:4 "whoso toucheth any thing that is unclean by the dead" and about 30 other places in the Bible say that bones are unclean) .
If we are made unclean by touching or going near the bodies of the deceased, then how can God call the world "perfect" in Genesis chapter 1 if the very world he had made was corrupted by dead dinosaurs, mammals and humans? The answer is, it wasn't. Nothing died before Adam sinned (Genesis chapter 3).
If there were tons of bones lying around then this would not coincide with a perfect creation. It is clear from scripture that these animals died sometime later.
Evolution is one of the bloodiest, and wasteful ways to bring new creatures about. God would never have created the earth by this means.
Since the most obvious literal interpretation of Genesis would suggest that there never was an earth before we got here , then the for the Gap theory to be true, then you would have to believe that God is unable to say what he means. Since God tells us plainly that all land animals were made on day 6, along with man, then it is obvious that dinosaurs lived with man, not millions of years before.
If there was a previous world before ours then surely God would make many references to its judgment in scripture. Yet none are found. If there was a world here before ours, then Jesus would have told us about it. It would be foolish not to, we would find out anyway in our excavations. God knows better than to let us try to reconstruct the past based on what we find (fossils etc). Because natural man does not come up with supernatural (Bible based) ideas of earths history on his own. We would come up with our own story of what we thought happened, and this may lead us away from God. So God did tell us what happened. He told us there was a flood in the days of Noah, and we can see that the fossils we find are a result of that flood.
Those who believe in the gap theory say that Lucifer was judged prior to the creation of the earth. But this is also not true.
If Lucifer/ Satan were running around causing havoc before man was created, then surely God would not say at the end of each day that He looked upon all He saw, and behold, it was "very good".
Satan became jealous of God, and the position of authority over the earth that God had given Adam. We are not told how many years after man was created, that Lucifer sinned. We do know that it was after the 6th day when the Garden of Eden was Created, for in Ezekiel 28:13 we are told that Lucifer was "in the garden of Eden" and he was perfect in the day that he was Created.
Lucifer still had not sinned after this, for on the seventh day God once again says that His Creation was "very good".
We cannot put a year on Lucifer’s rebellion against God. We can only make an educated guess. Lucifer sinned after the 7th day, but before Adam and Eve were able to conceive a child. Their 3'rd child of Adam and Eve that is mentioned by name is Set. Adam and Eve likely had other children both before and after Seth was born.
Seth was born when Adam was 130. We are not told their age when Cain and Abel were born. But the fall of Lucifer and the fall of man were in-between this time (after the Creation was complete, but before Eve had children).
"In Genesis 1:28 it says, "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth..."
The word is used again in Gen. 1:9 and Jer. 31:35. To use this word is to suggest that something or someone cannot be replenished or replaced if it had never before existed.
This has always been a curious word in scripture for me. I believe that the Bible is admitting to the fact that there was other human type life before Adam and Eve. The difference being that the others were not made or created in the likeness and/or the image of God the creator."
from John P. 11/03/01
Many who support the Gap Theory say that in Genesis 1:28, God told Adam to "replenish" the earth. They claim that this meant that Adam was to refill the world that had become empty and void of life due to some form of judgment from God.
But this argument is in error. For the Hebrew word "male" which was translated "replenish" in 1611 does not mean "to fill again". In 1611 the word replenish simply meant "to fill" (as in the First time). Many of the words we use today once had other meanings.
| There is an entirely different word in the Hebrew which means "to fill again". This word is "Shana".
If God meant for Adam to refill the earth then God would have used this word ("Shana" not "male").
The Bible clearly teaches that there was no death of man or animals before sin. The Gap Theory ignores these theological boundaries imposed by scripture itself.
Check out my alleged ape man index for evidence against the idea that there were ever any sort of sub-human creatures on the earth. Click here to open link in this window or Click here to open link in a new browser window
Thanks to Dan L. for letting me use this picture.
"Was our earth the first that God created? Why does the Bible say God created the earth but it was without form and void and darkness? Is that when Satan was kicked out of heaven, he destroyed the earth?"
Our world is the first that God created.
Some people who believe in the "Gap Theory" try to say that there was a flood before Noah’s. They think this is why Genesis says the earth was "without form and void". They try to use : Jeremiah 4:23-27
to back this up. However as Dr. Henry Morris explains in his footnotes of the "Defenders Study Bible" this is not what Jeremiah is saying.
"Because the phrase 'without form and void' is applied to the primeval earth in Genesis 1:2, many who advocate the gap theory hoping to accommodate the long evolutionary ages in Genesis between the first two verses of the Bible, have used this verse as a 'proof text' for a hypothetical pre-Edenic cataclysm which destroyed the original creation of Genesis 1:1. The gap theory, however is indefensible both geologically and theologically. The context here, both before and after Jeremiah 4:16, and 4:31 make it clear that the whole chapter is describing the coming destruction of Judah, not a prehistoric cataclysm destroying the primeval world."
"Take a look at Isaiah 45:18 The Hebrew word for vain is also found in Gen. 1:2"
The words translated "in vain" in Isaiah 45:18 is the Hebrew word tohu (Morris, The Defenders Study Bible, pg 760)
Genesis 1:2 says that "the earth was without form" - that is, tohu. Isaiah 45 says that God did not "create" the earth tohu so gap theorists claim that it must have become "tohu" by some sort of cataclysm. If such judgment existed, Christ would have referenced it dozens of times, instead he refers only to the flood of Noah. A flood which adequately explains the presence, and formation of sedimentary rock.
If the reason for accepting the gap theory, is to allow one to believe in the bible, and still hold to the alleged millions of years of the geologic column, then gap theorists fail to realize that this imaginary cataclysm would have destroyed and rearranged the very layers of rock they use the gap theory to explain in the first place.
"The gap theory would thus accommodate the geological ages by destroying all the evidence for them. This is why no geologist, Christian or otherwise, believes the gap theory."
(Henry Morris, The Defenders Study Bible, pg 760)
This compromise of the Creation account postulates that the "days" of the Creation week were long periods of time, and not literal days.
They believe that the "evening and morning" were the beginning and end of geologic eras.
The very first day of Creation is defined as a normal day. A period of darkness and light.
Bert Thompson author of "Creation compromises" says:
"...Genesis 1:14 is instructive in this matter: "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and for years." If the "days" are "ages," then what are the years? If a day is an age, then what is a night? The whole passage becomes ridiculous when one "reinterprets" the word "day."
(pg 138) Again, there is no scripture to support the theory that each day is actually a long period of time (or an "age").
Though there may be many who support compromising views of Genesis, truth is determined by God, and not by popular opinion.
Proponents of the Day Age Theory assume that man did not live with dinosaurs and other extinct animals. What happens to their theory when it can be shown that man did in fact live with these creatures, and even wrote about them in scripture (as in the case of Job 40:15)?
Question:"The bible says that
God created the heavens and earth in 6 days and he rested on the seventh day, ok, I believe that, but my curiosity is here, another passage in the bible says that a day in heaven is as a thousand years on earth, so did it take God 144 hours or 6 days as we know days to create all things great and small, or did it take god 6000 years to create all things?
Aaron S. (11/2/01)
The verse you are referring to is 2nd Peter 3 verse 8:
"That one day is with the Lord as a thousand years"
But it is clear from the context of this verse it is not referring to the Creation account. It speaks of the second coming of Christ. For more info read pg 45 of "The revised & expanded Answers book" by Ken Ham.
I will be elaborating extensively on this theory later..
The only reason silly theories like these exist in the first place is because many Christians do not know how dinosaurs fit in with Biblical history, so they try to cram millions of years into the bible – even when the text of the bible won’t allow it. They also do this because they trust mans theories (like evolution), which often change, over the word of God which remains the same.
God is able to say what He means. When God said a "day" He meant a day.
Exodus 20:10 reconfirms this: "for in six days the Lord made the Heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that in them is.."
God said all creatures were Created in 6 days and that these days were literal.
There is no side note there from God saying "all creatures, except the dinosaurs.."
Dinosaurs were a part of the normal 6 day Creation. But like many other animals they have simply gone extinct since sin entered the world.
If Moses is accepted as the author of both Genesis and Exodus, then he as the author contradicts himself if each day were not a literal 24 hour period.
Doesn't the Bible say that a day with God is like a thousand years?
Yes. But this is not referring to the dates of Creation.
The following comes from the "Answers in Genesis"
"If people use Scripture to try to justify that the days of creation are long periods of time, they usually quote passages such as 2 Peter 3:8, '... one day is with the Lord as a thousand years . . .'. Because of this, they think the days could be a thousand years, or perhaps even millions of years. However, it you look at the rest of the verse, it says, '. . . and a thousand years as one day'. This cancels out their argument! The context of this passage concerns the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. This particular verse is telling people that with God, waiting a day is like waiting a thousand years, and waiting a thousand years is like waiting a day because God is outside of time — He is not limited by natural processes and time. This has absolutely nothing to do with defining the days of creation. Besides, the word 'day' already exists and has been defined, which is why in 2 Peter it can be compared to a thousand years. There is no reference In this passage to the days of creation.
Using compromises like the "Gap Theory" or the "Day Age Theory" is not necessary. Besides they will actually turn away many non Christians because these compromises make it look like you can’t trust the Bible (and you can !).
This happened in the famous "Scopes Monkey Trial" when the lawyer in the trial compromised, and testified as to what he thought (rather than what the Bible said) a day in Genesis actually was, he lost the Scopes trial (at least in the court of public opinion). And this trial was a turning point in history. It is this trial that allowed evolution to be taught in schools. Before this it was actually illegal! The reason it is taught in schools today is because Christians did not know the answer to so many of the worlds questions (like where do dinosaurs fit in).
When Christians use the same compromise, then those they witness to will see this as such and many will be turned away.
| The book "Creation Compromises" by Bert Thompson destroys (in great detail) the "Gap theory", the "Day Age theory" and others.
Most book stores may not have it in stock, but you can order it from many online bookstores, (ISBN 0-932859-17-8 or you can get one from me if you can’t find it )
If you have any questions about: "The Gap Theory", the Bible, Creation, Evolution or Dinosaurs please email me and let me know. I would be glad to answer any questions you may have.
If you have any questions on Creation, Evolution, or just want to say "Hi" please feel free to email me.