The Gap Theory

Some people desire to reconcile the six-day creation from Genesis with evolution’s billions of years. Appearing impossible to reconcile does not prevent people from making the attempt; suppose a period of time existed not detailed in the Bible — a gap between events? Maybe we can cram evolution in that space.

That’s the gap theory.

Let’s begin on page one.

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

Clear so far. God created (the details appear later in Genesis) in six days. What next?

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. (Genesis 1:2)

Here’s where it gets interesting. The Hebrew translated “was” can also mean became or come to pass. Simply put, God did not create the earth void, it became that way after some indeterminate period of time.

How long? Billions of years, by the gap theory.

The Gap Fail

Poof! Now we can cram evolution’s billions of years into the Bible. Yippe!

Only it doesn’t work.

If you know a little about dating processes, you know they rely on a common strategy — decay. Some measurable quantity over a period of time changes or decays, and thus roughly determines age.

How does this cause the gap theory to fail? In the garden (before sin), no decay existed, thus no method to measure time, thus, as far as what we can measure, no time passed.

Using the gap theory in the attempt to get billions of years into Genesis fails miserably.

The Gap Works!

Yet at least part of the theory is true. A gap does exist between verse 1 and 2 in Genesis.

What happened in that gap? The fall of Satan, detailed in Isaiah 14:12–17 and Ezekiel 28:13–15. That’s why the earth became void.

Yes, a gap exists between verse 1 and 2 in Genesis.

Yes, it was an indeterminate period of “time” (did time exist in the garden?).

But no, it’s not the billions of years evolution requires.

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