by Russell Grigg
Is there a ‘gap’ of billions of years, in between verse 1 and verse 2 of Genesis chapter 1, into which Christians can conveniently assign the long ages claimed by evolutionary geologists?1,2
What does the Bible actually say?
What did Moses intend to convey?
The most obvious and straightforward reading of Genesis 1 provides a prima facie case that Moses, under the direction of God, intended to write a literal historic account of what God had revealed to him (or to his antecedents), and not a cryptic message with clues for the super-intelligent. In other words, if God had meant us to understand that there was a gap of billions of years between verses 1 and 2, involving so many details about Satan, sin, judgment, punishment, re-creation, etc., we might reasonably expect that He would have provided the author with at least some of these alleged details. He did not. Nor are they to be found anywhere else in the Bible.3
In fact, orthodox Jews and conservative Christians have always read Genesis 1 as literal history. Prof. Davis Young, a theistic evolutionist geologist, admits:
‘It cannot be denied, in spite of frequent interpretations of Genesis 1 that departed from the rigidly literal, that the almost universal view of the Christian world until the 18th century was that the Earth was only a few thousand years old. Not until the development of modern scientific investigation of the Earth itself would this view be called into question within the church.’4
Other parts of the Bible are the death-knell for the gap theory
Genesis 1:31 says, ‘And God saw every thing that He had made, and behold it was very good.’ [The Hebrew is tov meod, which indicates perfection, a complete absence of evil of any kind, as Calvin and many other commentators have pointed out.] This is hardly an accurate description, if the being who became Satan had already rebelled! And if there were billions of ‘Lucifer-flood’ fossils with the marks of disease, violence, death, and decay, corresponding to the perishing of an entire pre-Adamic race and the extinction of a complete world of animals, with Adam and Eve walking around on top of buried fossils, how could God have called all this ‘very good’?5 (In their monumental Old Testament commentary, Keil and Delitzsch say about ‘very good’ in Gen. 1:31: ‘everything was perfect in its kind … the existence of anything evil in the creation of God is absolutely denied, and the hypothesis entirely refuted, that the six days’ work merely subdued and fettered an ungodly, evil principle, which had already forced its way into it.’)….
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