What is the Gap Theory & Is It in the Bible?
This article is about an interpretation of the biblical creation account. For the philosophical argument for God’s existence, see God of the gaps.
Gap creationism (also known as ruin-restoration creationism, restoration creationism, or “The Gap Theory“) is a form of old Earth creationism that posits that the six-day creation, as described in the Book of Genesis, involved literal 24-hour days, but that there was a gap of time between two distinct creations in the first and the second verses of Genesis, explaining many scientific observations, including the age of the Earth. It differs from day-age creationism, which posits that the ‘days’ of creation were much longer periods (of thousands or millions of years), and from young Earth creationism, which although it agrees concerning the six literal 24-hour days of creation, does not posit any gap of time
Many people have tried to place a gap of indeterminate time between the first two verses of Genesis chapter 1. There are many different versions as to what supposedly happened in this “gap” of time. Most versions of the “gap” theory place millions of years of geologic time (including billions of fossil animals) in between these two first verses of Genesis. This is the “ruin-reconstruction” version of the gap theory.
‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth’ (Genesis 1:1).
‘And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.’ (Genesis 1:2).
Many people assume there is a great gap in time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. Most of these do this to accommodate the geological age system of billions of years of supposed earth history in the Genesis record of creation. The idea is something like this: billions of years ago God created the spacemass-time universe. Then the geological ages took place over billions of years of earth history. The different forms of life developed that are now preserved in the fossil record. These life-forms represent those ages – the invertebrates of the Cambrian Period, the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period … finally the mammals, birds and ‘ape-men’ of the Tertiary Period – just before the recent epoch.
“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
(2 Pet 3:5-7 KJV)
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
(Genesis 1:2 KJV)
On this site’s index page we stated that 2 Peter 3:5-7 is NOT a reference to Noah’s flood. There are only two (2) places in the entire Bible where the Earth is flooded by water. One is at the time of Noah’s flood (Genesis 7). The other is at Genesis 1:2 where it speaks about the condition of the Earth at the time just before God said, “Let there be light.” Now, if 2 Peter 3:5-7 is not a cross-reference to Noah’s flood, then it MUST be a cross-reference to Genesis 1:2 (there is no other alternative – simple logic). And if 2 Peter 3:5-7 is a cross-reference to Genesis 1:2, then the Holy Spirit is calling your attention to something very significant that m
What is the Gap Theory?
by Helen Fryman
Response: The gap theory postulates that between Gen. 1:1 and 1:2 there was an entirely different creation which, some claim, was wiped out by a “Satan’s Flood,” and after which the earth was re-formed and the six days of Genesis creation commenced. The gap is said to have involved great eons of time. This gap theory was formed in response to the uniformitarian idea of long ages first applied by geologists in the nineteenth century. The gap theory is contradicted by the Bible itself on a number of counts.
1. Genesis 1:2 gives us a list of three qualities: the earth was formless and empty; darkness covered it; and the Holy Spirit was hovering, or vibrating (same word in the Hebrew) over the waters. No Hebrew historical narrative starts with a list of qualities. The explanation ALWAYS follows the general statement of where the history starts or is headed. Thus, Genesis 1:2 would be rightly seen as an explanation of the earliest moments following the creation of the time/space/mass continuum in Genesis 1:1.
2. 2 Pet. 3:5 states clearly that the earth was formed out of water and by water.
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Gap Theory: Its Background
The Gap Theory was first proposed in 1814 by a Scottish minister named Chalmers. It was during this period that scientists were beginning to teach that the earth was billions of years in age. As a response to the scientific community, Chalmers theorized a “gap” in time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. His motive was probably well intentioned, but there is no scriptural reason to infer or imply that such a gap ever existed.
Gap Theory: The Position & Problems
The Gap Theory holds that the ages of evolution (the periods and eras of “modern science”) occurred before the six days of biblical Creation, but were part of the creative process of God. These ages were then terminated by a global cataclysmic event, followed by a period of replenishing the earth, according to the following instructions of God in Genesis: “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28 KJV).
We may relate the modern concept of “replenishing” to that of refilling a soda at a fast food restaurant, when we “replenish” a half empty cup. But the word replenish has changed in meaning since the King James version of the Bible was written in 1611 AD. At that time, the Hebrew word
Most people believe the seven days of Genesis must be some enigmatic description of the Earth’s geologic history. Numerous interpretations have been put forth to harmonize the Biblical narrative with the observations of the geologic record. However, the Scriptural reality of the matter is this: The seven days are not a description of the Earth’s geology, at all. There is a time-gap between the first two verses of Genesis.
On this website you will learn about a controversial, lesser known literal interpretation of the Genesis narrative that does not contradict the scientific evidence for an Old Earth. Commonly called the “Gap Theory” or “Ruin-Reconstruction” interpretation, it is a theological doctrine that predates Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. It is based on the Scriptural fact that in the second verse of Genesis the Holy Bible simply and clearly states that the planet Earth was already here (but in a ruined state) before the Divine process described in those seven days even begins. In other words, the 4.5 billion years of Earth’s geology and natural history
Welcome to the gap theory page.
There has been so much separation over who is right and who is wrong, that it tear on the word of God, people dont seem to believe that Jesus says we are to be one with one another, and that this is not a subject like salvation we here are talking about, but a view of Gods word, which might be right, and might be wrong, God knows, the same can be said of the other views also, some things is just best guesses, we might not accept it as such, but our views may be nothing else.
Time and more light can change many things, so it is with this openness that I ask each one of yuo to go about this topic, we are not gods, but men, nothing else, if only people would believe it, humbleness of heart is what matters in the sight of God.