Monday, January 11, 2016

A critique of the Gap Theory

Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Hebrews 1:8-10 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Colossians 1:16-17 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Exodus 31:17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

Mark 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

I believe that God created the heaven and the earth "in six days" and rested on the seventh day. I believe that this creation week was "the beginning". I do not believe in cosmic, stellar, chemical, macro, or organic evolution. I believe that the earth is only about 6,250 years.

However, during the 1800's scientists [Charles Lyell, James Hutton, and of course Charles Darwin] began questioning the Bible's account of creation and introduced new theories in regards to the age of the earth. Christians then began doubting the word of God and invented some new theories of their own in order to accommodate "science" falsely so called (1 Tim. 6:20). One of these new theories is known as the "Gap Theory".

It is very clear that "Christians" use the Gap Theory as an accommodation to evolutionary teachings. The highly esteemed Clarence Larkin (1850-1924) taught the Gap Theory in Dispensational Truth and that he believed in the Nebular Hypothesis, macro evolution, and pre-Adamite humans (cave men). On pages 21-22 of Dispensational Truth he wrote the following...

"The original or pre-adamite earth: This creation was in the dateless past. It was not at the beginning of the first day as described in Genesis 1:3-5." 

"The manner of the "creation" of the Pre-Adamite Earth is not revealed in the Scriptures. They simply declare that-"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." We have to fall back then upon Science. Among the theories advanced for the origin of the Solar System of which our Earth is a part is-the Nebular Hypothesis.

"In the course of time-and the formation of our Solar System took thousands upon thousands of years-the earth cooled off sufficiently to permit the oxygen and hydrogen in the atmosphere to form water, that fell in the form of rain on the earth, but like when water falls upon a red-hot plate it is immediately turned into steam, the first rain that fell was vaporized by the heat of the earth's crust, but, continuing to fall, it finally so cooled the earth's surface as to be able to remain and form seas and oceans. As time passed on the rocky surface of the earth was disintegrated and formed soil, and when the soil was fit, vegetation and trees and plant life appeared. Then came the lower orders of marine life, followed by fish and fowl. Then the land animals, and whatever other orders of beings that inhabited the original earth." 

"But the "Word of God" and the "Works of God" must harmonize. There can be no conflict between the Bible and Science. Science demands thousands of years for the formation of the earth and all the time it demands is given to it in the sublime words of Gen. 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." This verse then covers the whole period of the formation of. the earth and its preparation for the habitation of man." 

"How long a period elapsed between the creation of the earth and its becoming "formless and void" we do not know; neither do we know how long it continued in that condition, but when the time came in the purpose of God to restore the earth to its habitable state, and make it fit for the abode of man, He did it in six periods of longer or shorter duration. The Hebrew word translated "day" may mean either a day of 24 hours or a longer period of time."

Many of the so called "Fundamental" Independent Baptists also teach the Gap Theory. David Walker in his book The Bible Believer's Guide To Dispensationalism wrote "The importance and significance of whether or not there was a "gap" between Gen. 1:1,2 cannot be overvalued. In fact, Biblical veracity reconciled with true geologic science pivots heavily upon the validity or error of such a "gap"." Walker goes on for 25 more pages teaching the Gap Theory. It is obvious that David Walker cannot believe the Bible's account of creation--he feels that it must be "reconciled" with "true geologic science" (he is referring to Atheistic philosophy).  

The Gap Theory teaches that God did not make the earth in six days, but that He created it once in Genesis 1:1, and that Lucifer was King over this earth. Then Lucifer fell and his angels rebelled and God sent a flood to destroy this earth which Lucifer was ruling. This all supposedly happened between Genesis 1:1-1:2, hence the name "Gap" theory. This view is held by a lot of people, including "fundamentalist".

In this post I want to critique the Gap theory and explain why I do not believe in it. Some of the arguments sound convincing, but after careful examination I do not believe that the Gap can be proven at all. Below in red font is an article called "The Gap Fact" written by a Gap promoter. I will put my critique in brackets.  

The Gap Fact

Genesis 1:
[1] In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
[2] 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.
[3] And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Most Christians reject what is commonly referred to as the “gap theory” because they have been taught that it was invented in the late 1800’s by Bible teachers in order to accommodate Darwin’s theory of evolution. [Because it was, Bible believing Christians believed that God created heaven and earth in six days until the ideas of Lyell, Hutton, and Darwin were introduced. See the book Unformed and Unfilled by Weston Fields.]

There have been a few teachers that use the fact that there is a gap between Gen. 1:1 and 1:2 to account for some geological issues and the "fossil record". [By "few" you mean ALL Gap theory proponents, even "fundamentalist" (especially Baptists).]

However, there were Bible teachers long before the 1800’s that taught the gap and their teaching had nothing to do with accommodating the theory of evolution. [Really, who? Could you name a few?]

My reasons for believing there is a gap has nothing to do with what any man teaches but has everything to do with what the Bible teaches. [Are you sure? Did you believe in the Gap before you read C. I. Scofield, G.H. Pember, Clarence Larkin, and other men? Is the Gap theory what most people get by reading Genesis on their own?]

I totally reject evolution and so do many others that believe there is a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. We do not know how long ago God created the original earth.  [Every Gap proponent that I have ever met has told me that the earth could be 4.6 billion years old. They say this because that is what the Atheists are currently teaching.]

He created many things in eternity past before time as we know it. We do not know, nor can we know, how long the period was that elapsed between the creation of the original earth and the reconstruction of it. The length of that period is not the issue. The real issue is why was there destruction and reconstruction? 
[Whoa. Where does the Bible teach an "original" earth and a "reconstruction"? Chapter and verse?]

I. Creation (1:1) – eternity past [No, it was "in the beginning". A reference to the creation week according to Matthew 19:4 and Mark 10:6.]
II. Destruction (1:2) – eternity past [No, it was "in the beginning". A reference to the creation week according to Matthew 19:4 and Mark 10:6. And where did you get "destruction" from?]

III. Reconstruction (1:2b-2:3) – done in 6 literal 24 hour days about 6,000 years ago [Where does it say reconstruction? Those chapters teach NEW creation, not "reconstruction".]

 Twelve Bible Reasons to Believe the "Gap Theory"

1. Every verse in Gen. 1 begins with “And" which always moves the narrative forward and never refers back to the previous verse. Therefore v.2 is not a description of v.1.
[It is true that "and" moves the narrative forward, but all that means is that verse 2 comes after verse 1. I do not see how the use of the word "and" is any evidence for or against the Gap.]

2. The descriptive words in 1:2 match other verses that clearly speak of judgment. The prophet Jeremiah said, "I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light." (Jer. 4:23) How did the earth become "without form, and void"? Jeremiah said that it was by "the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger" (Jer. 4:26). I believe that Jeremiah is speaking of a future judgment. But we know that "the thing that hath been, it is that which shall be" (Ecc. 1:9). So, by comparing scripture with scripture (1 Cor. 2:13) we KNOW that the earth becomes "without form, and void" as a result of God's judgment. The words "deep" and "darkness" are associated with God's judgment in many verses in the Bible. 
[According to the Biblical context and by your own admission Jeremiah is speaking of future judgment during Daniel's 70th Week, not the beginning of the creation. You cannot connect Jeremiah 4 with Genesis 1 just because a five letter phrase is used in both passages, there is more to Bible study than playing matching games. There are plenty of things without form and void that have nothing to do with either Genesis 1 or Jeremiah 4. Jeremiah 4:23-31 mentions cities, men, and birds...NONE of which existed before the creation week. I will comment on Ecclesiastes 1:9 later.]  

3. God declared that He did not create the earth in vain (Isa. 45:18). [I agree, God did not create the earth in vain, He created it with a purpose and "to be inhabited" (Isa. 45:18). But what does that have to do with the Gap?]

4. God does not create in stages. He speaks and it is done. For example, the Bible does not say, “God created the beasts, and the beasts were without form and void.” To suggest He spoke an earth that was without form and void belittles His power.
[Well that is very ridiculous. God does not create in stages? How about day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, day 5, day 6, etc.? And the comment about the beasts is absurd. The reason the earth was "without form" on Day 1 was because God had not made the dry land appear and had not created the grass/plants/trees until Day Three (Gen. 1:9-13). So the earth was a blob of waters, hence "without form". The earth was "void" on Day 1 because it was EMPTY of plant, animal, and human life until the 3-6 days. God's "judgment" had nothing to do with it. (if you take Genesis as it is written)]

5. The description in Genesis 1:2 speaks of judgment. Why would there be a judgment before Adam was created and fell? Lucifer fell before Adam was created. The passages that reveal why he fell imply that he was the ruler on the original earth. Adam's fall affected the earth. It makes sense that Lucifer’s fall also affected the earth. Lucifer led away some of  the angels in a rebellion against God which resulted in a cataclysmic judgment. Satan wanted Adam to fall so that he could usurp the authority over this earth that he once had (Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-17; Matt. 4:8-9; 2 Cor. 4:4). [YOU say that Genesis 1:2 speaks of judgment, that is not what the text actually says. The rest of your point is just typical Gap lingo, not scriptural proof. The Bible tells us where Lucifer was when he fell...."Thou hast been in EDEN the garden of God...till iniquity was found in thee" (Ezek. 28:13-15). Lucifer was created in the creation week when the FIRST days were ("the day that thou wast created" Ezek. 28:15).]

6. Some say that there was no sin or death on earth until Adam sinned (Lucifer and Eve sinned before Adam). They use Rom. 5:12 as a proof text but that verse is only talking about the human race. They also say that if Lucifer fell before Gen. 2:3 then God could not have said that everything He made was good (1:31). The first thing He says was good is Light in v. 4 (Lucifer fell between v.1 and 2). God’s statement in v.31 is limited to what He made during the 6 days in 1:3-30 and refers to the earth and its solar system (Satan’s primary habitation is “in heaven” – Job 15:15; Eph. 2:2; Rev. 12:7-9). Notice that God did NOT call “Heaven” (second heaven= space) good in 1:8. [I actually agree with this point except for where you said "Lucifer fell between v.1 and 2".]  

7. There are other places in the Bible where there is a big gap skipped over in the passage. For example, in Isaiah 61:1-2 both advents of Christ are described in the same prophecy with this present mystery age (that has lasted over 1900 years) totally skipped over. Just because God does not reveal why the judgment occurred in Genesis 1 does not mean that it didn’t. We must compare scripture with scripture. [That does not prove the Gap, only that a verse CAN have gaps in it.]

8. Adam is told to “replenish” (which means to recover former fullness) the earth just as Noah was told to replenish the earth after the flood (Gen. 9:1). The corrupt Bibles say “fill” instead of “replenish”. There is a difference between "fill" and "replenish". God used the word "fill" in reference to marine life (1:22). Therefore there must not have been a sea on the original earth in eternity past just as there will not be a sea on the new earth in eternity future (Rev. 21:1). [This is a deceptive point. You are quoting from the Webster's 1828 Dictionary to prove that "replenish" means "to recover former fullness". However, you did not quote the dictionary accurately or honestly. 

"REPLEN'ISH, verb transitive [Latin re and plenus, full.]

1. To fill; to stock with numbers or abundance. The magazines are replenished with corn. The springs are replenished with water.

Multiply and replenish the earth. Genesis 1:28.

2. To finish; to complete. [Not in use.]

REPLEN'ISH, verb intransitive To recover former fullness.

As you can see, the word replenish in the transitive case means TO FILL (as the word originally meant in English, "re fill" is a newer use of the word). The dictionary even uses Genesis 1:28 as an example of this usage. However, you took the intransitive case definition and put it on Genesis 1:28. Very deceitful. 

It is also important to note that at the time of the making of the King James Bible, replenish had only one definition, to fill. Robert Cawdrey's Alphabetical Table of 1604 (and others) lists "to fill" as the ONLY definition of "replenish". 

What do you mean "corrupt bibles say "fill" instead of "replenish""??? You are being deceptive again by trying to make it sound like if someone does not believe in the Gap theory then they must not believe that the King James Bible is the word of God. That is not true at all. And besides, these modern perversions all say "replenish" as well as the KJB: 1884/1890 Darby,1899 Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims, 1901 American Standard Version (ASV),1917 Jewish Publication Society Old Testament (JPS),1952 Revised Standard Version (RSV),1970-1991 Roman Catholic New American Bible (NAB),1971 The Living Bible (TLB),1982 New King James Version (NKJV),1989 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV),1996 New Living Translation (NLT),2001 English Standard Version (ESV), 2001 Edition World English Bible (WEB). 

Also see these links

By the way, since you believe that the word "replenish" means "to recover former fullness" or to re-create, then apparently you believe PRE-ADAMITE HUMANS. God told Adam and Eve to "replenish" the earth, so apparently you believe that there were humans here before Adam and Eve.]

9. Notice concerning plant life that the “earth brought forth” what was already there (1:9-13). [I notice that the earth brought forth plants, but I do not notice that the plants were already there left over from a Gap. Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day...]

10. The original earth being destroyed by water (“deep”, “waters”) is referred to in 2 Peter 3:5-6. Some say that 2 Pet. 3:6 refers to Noah’s flood. But the world did not “perish” in Noah’s flood (Noah, his family, and animals did not perish). Notice that the flood in v.6 is in the context of “the beginning of the creation” (v.4). [Most Gap Theorists use 2 Peter 3:5-6 to "prove" their Gap. However, when I read the passage all I see is Noah's flood.

2 Peter 3:
[3] Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
[4] And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
[5] 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:
[6] Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
[7] 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

The Gap Theorists says "the flood in v.6 is in the context of “the beginning of the creation”". It is true that verse 4 mentions scoffers claiming that all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation, THEN Peter reminds us of the Flood. It does not say that a Flood occurred during the beginning of the creation! It is clearly referring to the Flood of Noah's day because it further states that the heavens and earth which are NOW are reserved in store unto FIRE in the day of judgment. If it were speaking of a supposed Lucifer's Flood then Peter's word would not make sense, since the earth would still have to get flooded again (Noah's day) before the destruction by fire. 

The Gap Theorist says "the world did not perish in Noah's Flood". It didn't? Then why does the previous chapter of 2 Peter say "And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly" (2 Pet. 2:5). And Hebrews says that Noah condemned the world...

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

In Noah's day there was a world of ungodly people that did not believe Noah's preaching, so they were destroyed. Peter is comparing that to the ungodly that will be destroyed by fire during the day of the Lord.

Luke 17:  
[26] And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
[27] They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all

It would not make sense for Peter to compare a supposed Lucifer's Flood to the judgment of the scoffers in the Day of the Lord.]

11. There is a future rebellion of Satan which results in the destruction and restoration of the earth. Once again, "the thing that hath been, it is that which shall be" (Ecc. 1:9; Rev. 20:7-21:1). [I am very blown away by this private interpretation of Ecclesiastes 1:9, it is far from rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15, 2 Pet. 1:20). 

Ecclesiastes 1:9 says "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." The CONTEXT of this verse is the following....verses 4-8

"One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh" 

"the earth abideth for ever" 

"The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose"

"The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits"

"All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again"

"All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing."

When Solomon said "the thing that hath been, it is that which shall be" he was speaking of generations coming and going, the earth being here, the sun going up and coming down, the wind blowing, the rivers running, and all things being full of labor. It is referring to TRENDS OF NATURE and NOT specific events or actions performed by God, Satan, and man. 

The Gap Theorist private interpretation is very silly! By their logic, history would be an ongoing cycle. Jesus died on the cross in the past, does that mean He will do it again in the future? I got saved when I was 13 years old, does that mean I have to get saved again in the future? Of course not! Eccl. 1:9 is not referring to specific events/actions that God, Satan, or man takes.

Note: The heretical Alexandrian 'scholar' Origen (184-253 AD) used Ecclesiastes 1:9 to teach that there had been MULTIPLE EARTHS before the present one and also the pre-existence of souls. It is sad that the Gap Theorists have chosen to follow this heretic.]  

12. Paul refers to Gen. 1:2-4 as a type of salvation (2 Cor. 4:6). We were created, ruined by sin, and regenerated (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:10). God used His Spirit and His word to bring us out of darkness into light (Acts 26:18)! [We are in darkness until we believe on Christ, John 12:35-36. That is what Paul teaches in 2 Corinthians 4:6, "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ". However, the Gap Theorists have set up a false illustration adding to what Paul actually wrote. God does not create us "good" like the original earth, we rebel, and then get reconstructed. We are born with a sin nature (Ps. 51:5), then we put our faith in Christ and become a NEW creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 6:15).]

--Eli Caldwell

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