Once again, we have received a comment from a viewer concerning a topic that has been previously covered on our webpage. Taking the example of Christ, who often taught by repetition, we will once again offer up a Feed Back dealing with the Gap Theory.
I tend to believe as I was taught under a diligent pastor teacher who translated the verse in Genesis as actually meaning ” and God recreated the earth”, meaning that it, the earth was here prior to his remaking it, that it served his purpose to have been created prior with a history we are not entitled to at this time.
Mike. Thank you for your comments about your pastor. I want you to know up front that I am not questioning your pastor’s diligence or his knowledge, but I do want to comment on his misinterpretation of Scripture.
Ever since secular science decided the earth must be older than what the Bible claims, many well-meaning theologians have diligently tried to make the Scriptures fit into man’s ideas. A variety of creation views have emerged over the past 200 years, such as theistic evolution, day-age, progressive creationism and the framework hypothesis. But the oldest idea of a biblically old earth is the gap theory.
In order to work in the millions and billions of years of supposed history, some theologians found 4 words or phrases upon which they built an old earth into the Bible.
- In Genesis 1:2a, they took the verb normally translated as ‘was’ and saw that it could be translated ‘became’.
- In Genesis 1:2b, they equated the word ‘darkness’ to indicate evil and denoting a separation from the perfect creation in Gen. 1:1.
- In Genesis 1:2, they try to translate the phrase ‘without form and void’ to refer to some type of judgmental destruction of the earth.
- In Genesis 1:22, they used the English of the King James Bible instead of the Hebrew and changed the word ‘fill’ to ‘replenish.’
However, all of these have been taken out of context and have been improperly used to compromise the rest of Genesis 1. The Hebrew grammar of Genesis 1 was written purposefully by God to impress upon mankind that He did create in 6 literal 24 hours days.
There are several very well written articles on our website that go into more detail about the use of the terms and I will place links to those at the end of the Feed Back.
What I mainly want to discuss are the theological implications of the gap theory.
The entire premise of the gap theory is that in Genesis 1:1 God created a perfect world. In that world, God created all kinds of animals and He created man. Then Satan corrupted that world to such a point that God utterly destroyed it with a worldwide flood. Most of the sedimentary layers and fossils contained in them are the remnants of this flood. Then in Genesis 1:2, God re-created the earth and began to fill it again with plants, animals and finally with another race of men and the Bible picks up from there.
First of all, I always ask supporters of the gap theory to explain why God does not use the supposedly first creation and destruction as a warning to this creation. It only makes sense that he would have shown Adam the billions of dead animals in the ground and told him the same would happen to him and his descendants if they didn’t remain faithful. But no, God does not use any of this as a lesson or warning and really never even mentions their earlier creation.
Secondly, if all of the sedimentary layers and fossils are the remnants of the first flood, then where is the evidence of the Flood we read about in Genesis 6-8? This Flood covered the entire earth and would have left hundreds and thousands of feet of sedimentary layers and billions of fossils in its aftermath. But gap theorists want us to believe that there is absolutely no evidence for the Flood God does tell us about, and tons of evidence all over the earth for a flood that we are never told about. I hope you see that this presents some serious questions about the accuracy of Scripture and plays right into the hands of secular naturalists.
More importantly though, is how the gap theory undermines the entire New Testament including the life teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Genesis 1:31 says:
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
The key part of this verse is when God pronounced everything He had made as being very good. The Hebrew word used for ‘everything’ literally means an all inclusive everything He created without any exclusions. Then when He says, ‘very good’ He is saying that there is nothing in His creation that is imperfect.
If Adam and Eve were standing on hundreds of feet of fossils and remains of dead animals, they too would have been part of the pronouncement of being very good. That means that death and destruction were also very good. If death and destruction were very good, then why would God have used death as a warning to Adam if he ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?
If the world held the remains of death and destruction and were pronounced as being very good, then how could death be an enemy? Why would sin require the shedding of innocent blood? Why did Jesus have to live a perfect sinless life and become the Lamb of God to die on the Cross? Why did He have to die for our sins if death was part of a very good creation?
I hope and pray that you understand that any form of death before Genesis 1:31 theologically destroys the entire foundation of the Christian faith and the Cross of Christ collapses on a history of lies and deception.
The articles I spoke of earlier are:
Many have been misled into thinking that the Genesis account of creation is not actual history, but is just some sort of theological argument (‘polemic’). This small book succinctly shows why those who believe in the inspiration of Scripture have no intellectually honest choice but to take Genesis as straight-forward history, just as Jesus did. It powerfully challenges one of the major problems in the church today that affects the authority of the entire Bible. Read it, and give it to your pastor or particularly anyone contemplating theological training—it could save them from getting derailed by some of the misleading arguments common in theological academia. (High School–Adult) 32 pages.