The question may strike you as odd, yet due to the teaching of Evolution, many Christians have tried to insert a gap of unknown time between Genesis 1:1-2, during which the fossils were formed, dinosaurs lived, the like. Though a Scriptural basis is claimed, is there an actual basis, or is it merely a misinterpretation of the biblical account? Let us examine the theory - and what the Bible tells us. (Photo credit to: LambFood, Dan Lietha)
Though there are many attempts to harmonize Scripture with Evolution or long ages, such as Theistic Evolution or Progressive Creationism, each of these has biblical - and scientific - inconsistencies. There are several different versions of what occurred during this alleged Gap, but one of the more well-known ones is the ruin-reconstruction theory, an off-shoot of the Gap theory. Most versions place millions of years of geologic time in between Genesis 1:1-2, including fossils, which indicates death.
Now, Genesis 1:1-2 says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God [the Holy Spirit] was hovering over the waters." (NIV) So, why is it so difficult to accept this theory of a Gap? Most adherents of this theory have allowed the theories of secular scientists to determine what Scripture is saying, and have accepted millions of years and a fossil record. Understand this does not mean they accept evolution, but accept millions of years.
Some of the adherents of this theory place the Fall of Lucifer (Satan) during this time. However, this appears to contradict the Bible, as God describes his Creation on Day Six as perfect. (Genesis 1:31) Also, on the seventh day, God rested, and therefore was not at war with Satan and his angels. Therefore, it is logical to place the Fall of Lucifer after the six days of creation, occurring, at the earliest, on day 8. The ideas and concepts accepted into this theory draw from ideas outside of Scripture, opening the door to compromise.
Perhaps the earliest trace of this theory comes from the writings of Episcopius, a Dutchman who lived from 1583-1643. Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847) was the first to popularize this theory, however. Chalmers was a Scottish theologian as well as the first moderator of the Free Church of Scotland. Although Chalmers' writings did not give much information in regards to the gap theory, other writers, such as Hugh Miller, provided more information. Arthur C. Custance, 20th-century writer, wrote Without Form an Void, published in 1970.
The Scofield Reference Bible, The Newberry Reference Bible, and Dake's Annotated Reference Bible also support the gap theory and have had a great impact on the spread of this theory. As stated in the Scofield Study Bible, "Relegate fossils to the primitive creation, and no conflict of science with the Genesis cosmology remains." This in itself is a compromise of biblical authority, showing that faith is put more in man's word than God's Word.
The gap theory, essentially, has three basic beliefs: 1) A literal view of Genesis, 2) a belief in an unknown age of the earth, and 3) fitting fossils and geologic strata into Genesis 1:1-2. Weston Fields provides a good overview of this theory,  "In the far distant dateless past, God created a perfect heaven and perfect earth. Satan was ruler of the earth which was people by a race of 'men' without any souls. Eventually, Satan, who dwelled in the garden of Eden composed of minerals (Ezekiel 28), rebelled by desiring to become like God (Isaiah 14). Because of Satan's fall, sin entered the universe and brought on the earth's judgment in the form of a flood (indicated by the water of 1:2), and then a global ice age when the light and heat from the sun were somehow removed. All the plant, animal, and human fossils upon the earth today date from this 'Lucifer's flood' and do not bear any genetic relationship with the plants, animals, and fossils living upon the earth today."
During the nineteenth century, there was an increasing acceptance of uniformitarianism, which is the belief that the geological changes around us occurred slowly and roughly at the present rate, with the fallacy that the present is the key to the past. There are a number of problems with the Gap Theory/Ruin-Reconstruction Theory. Take for example, Exodus 20:11.
Exodus 20:11 states, "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." From a clear reading of Scripture, of Genesis 1, Exodus 20:11, and Mark 10:6, it seems evident that God is referring to six literal days. There is no time for a gap. Another major issue is the millions of years of fossils.
If there were fossils before Creation, this would indicate that sin, death, and suffering existed before Creation as well. However, Genesis 3 and 1st Corinthians 15 clearly show us that sin came through Adam, so that sin did not enter into the world until after Day 7. Also note that 1st Corinthians 15:45 states that Adam was the first man, eliminating the possibility that there was a race of soulless humans that died in Lucifer's flood. The concept of Lucifer's flood is found nowhere in Scripture.
Another issue would be the millions of years of geologic history. Consider the following: In verse 1-2 of Genesis, the earth was "formless and empty." When the six days of Creation occurred, there were physical changes to the earth - which would have left virtually no trace, severely disrupted if not altogether destroyed. Also, the gap theory essentially eradicates the fossils, rock, and strata laid down during a worldwide flood. Because of this, the position is changed to a local flood, which, as shown in past entries, is not consistent with the Bible. (See entry: "Was The Genesis Flood Local?")
Genesis depicts the Flood as Global. The water covered the earth for an entire year (Genesis 6:17, 7:19-24), only eight people, including every air-breathing creature, survived (Genesis 7:23). Isaiah 54:9 says, "To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth." Clearly, God is referring to a global flood. In 2nd Peter 3:5-6 we read, "But they deliberately forgot that long ago by God's word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed."
Jesus clearly also believed in a Global Flood. "For in the days of before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." (Matthew 24:38-39) Jesus, who is God, believed in a global flood. Essentially, belief in a re-creation of the Earth goes against Scripture in this way: it shows that the flood was not global, even though the Bible clearly shows this, it shows that there was a flood from Lucifer, and that there were soulless men before Adam, even though Scripture teaches that Adam is the first man.
Also, the gap theorist would have to ignore the evidence for a young creation, such as (but not limited to): the amount of helium in the atmosphere, helium in the ground, meteor dust, buildup of carbon 14, size of human population, natural plutonium, amount of sodium in the sea, amount of sediment in the sea, erosion of the continents, oil leaks in the earth, orphan radioholes, natural gas in the earth, lifetime of meteor showers, interplanetary dust removal, coral reef growth, peat bag growth, multi-layer fossils, oldest living plants, human civilizations, river delta growth, amount of uranium in the sea, neutrons and lead, rotation of spiral galaxies, decay of comets, carbon-14 in meteorites, interstellar gas expansion, hardening of rocks, decay of Saturn's ring, amount of potassium in the sea, Titan's methane loss, Niagara Falls, stone age burials, uranium decay, leaching of chlorine, internal heat of Io, the Recession of the Moon, the planet's magnetic fields, solar radiation, and many other evidences. (See series: "Evidence for a Young Creation")
Also, the gap theory does not accommodate standard uniformitarianism geology within its alleged long ages, which do not allow for a worldwide flood - be it Lucifer's Flood or Noah's Flood, though again, Lucifer's flood is nowhere mentioned in Scripture and is an outside idea. More importantly, the gap theory undermines the gospel at its very foundation. By accepting millions of years, more credence is given to evolutionist ideas, and this must also lead adherents to accept that Romans 5:12 and Genesis 3:3 refer to only spiritual death, not physical death, which contradicts Scripture, such as Genesis 3:22-23 and 1st Corinthians 15.
Man's actions, the actions of Adam, led to sin, which 1st Corithians 15 reveals affected all of creation. Part of the basis for the Gap Theory is an interpretation of "create" which is both grammatically and biblically unsound. These Hebrew words are Bara and Asah. The word bara typically means "to create," in the way of producing something which did not previously exist, i.e. ex nihilo. Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis states:
|Credit to: Dan Lietha|
"...according to Exodus 20:11, God “made” (asah) the heavens and the earth and everything in them in six days. If God made everything in six days, then there is clearly no room for a gap. To avoid this clear scriptural testimony against any gap, gap theorists have alleged that asah does not mean “to create,” but “to form” or even “re-form.” They claim that Exodus 20:11 refers not to six days of creation but to six days of re-forming a ruined world. Is there such a difference between bara and asah in biblical usage? A number of verses show that, while asah may mean “to do” or “to make,” it can also mean “to create,” which is the same as bara. For example, Nehemiah 9:6 states that God made (asah) “heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them.” This reference is obviously to the original ex nihilo (out of nothing) creation, but the word asah is used. (We may safely assume that no gappist will want to say that Nehemiah 9:6 refers to the supposed reconstruction, because if the passage did, the gappist would have to include the geological strata in the reconstruction, thereby depriving the whole theory of any power to explain away the fossil record.) The fact is that the words bara and asah are often used interchangeably in the Old Testament; indeed, in some places they are used in synonymous parallelism (e.g., Genesis 1:26–27, 2:4; Exodus 34:10; Isaiah 41:20, 43:7). Applying this conclusion to Exodus 20:11, 31:17, and Nehemiah 9:6, we see that Scripture teaches that God created the universe (everything) in six days, as outlined in Genesis 1."
Indeed. Now, adherents of the gap theory claim that Genesis 1:1-2 allows and even necessitates a gap. From straightforward reading we may understand that verse 1 and 2 are subject and clause. Gap Theorists believe that it is translated from "the earth was without form and void" to be "the earth became (or had become) without form and void." Not that the meaning of the word is certainly controlled in context, and thus "was" is the natural translation of the Hebrew word "hayetah." Genesis 1:1-2 shows a sequential clause, necessitating not a gap, but a cause-and-effect.
The King James version of the Bible uses the word "replenish" in Genesis 1:28, and gap theorists sometimes use this to justify their position, claiming that God was commanding Adam and Eve to re-fill the earth, not just fill it. However, in 1611, replenish meant to refill. Today it means to re-fill, but when the translation was written, the use of the word meant "to fill." God was commanding Adam and Eve to fill up the earth, not refill.
Please understand that none of this has been written to degrade anyone or attack them, but to illustrate the fallacious nature of this theory. If this theory is to be believed, several things found in the Bible must be rejected, in place of outside ideas, such as Lucifer's Flood, which would negate Noah's Flood. Adam and Eve sinned, which led to the Fall of Man and all of creation. Their sin therefore required a savior, who is Christ Jesus. Romans 10:9 says, "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that he is risen from the dead, you will be saved." 1st John 1:9 tells us that we must also confess our sins. I urge you to turn to Christ today.
Did God re-create? The belief, like many others, will continue on, but it is clear from a close look at Genesis and the theory that the two are not mutually compatible. The support given from a biblical basis for this theory is easily explained, though not all of it was covered here. The answer? "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) Thank you for taking the time to read this entry of "The Truth," please feel free to comment below (but please remain kind in your comments), email firstname.lastname@example.org or the Ministry team at email@example.com, visit the facebook page, or visit the ministry page. Take care, dear reader, God bless! Troy Hillman
 Ham, Ken. The New Answers Book 1. 12 ed. 1. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2006. 47-63. Print.
 Ham, Ken. "The Gap Theory (Part A)." Answers In Genesis. Answers In Genesis, 01 Aug 1980. Web. 15 Jan 2011.
 C.I. Scofield, Ed., The Scofield Study Bible, Oxford University Press, New York, 1945.
 Various, . "Gap creationism." Wikipedia. Wikimedia, 31 January 2011. Web. 31 Jan 2011.
 Fields, Weston. Unformed and Unfilled. 7
 Ibid 
 Ibid 
 Ibid 
 Ibid