Written By: CK Quarterman - Oct• 20•11

God created the Earth in Genesis 1:1 but destroyed the Earth by the second verse of Genesis. This belief is based on the second verse’s statement that the Earth was without form and void.


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 (Gen. 1:2).


I like the way the Message Bible says it,

Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness (Gen. 1:2).

Before the six days of Genesis, the Earth was a dead, desolate planet, drifting in the freezing frozen night of space. Earth is underwater and is an uninhabited  stone of fire (planet), wandering in the cold and dark remains of an old creation. The land is submerged, and the water’s angry wrath abounds. Abyss calls unto abyss. The lonely night gets ever darker, ever longing for the dawn that doesn’t appear. Earth was a lifeless chunk of rock, hurrying through the cosmos with no sun to warm its waters or touch its lifeless mass. The planet had drifted off its axis, and was being bombarded with asteroid after asteroid!

The Gap Theory suggests that there is a gap of time between a distinct creation event in the first verse of Genesis and the second recreation in the second verse of Genesis, explaining the age of the Earth.

The Gap Theory suggests (Gap creationists) that science has proved that the Earth is far older than can be accounted for by adding up Biblical chronology.

The Gap Theory maintains that the Genesis creation account is inerrant in matters of scientific fact, and Gap creationists assert that there is a gap of time in the Biblical account that lasted an unknown number of years between a first creation in Genesis 1:1 and a second recreation in Genesis 1:2-31. This allows for various observations, including the age of the Earth, the age of the universe, dinosaurs, oil formation, ice ages, and geological formations to have occurred as outlined by science without contradicting a literal belief in Genesis.

The Gap Theory differs from day-age creationism, which suggests 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 suggest a gap of time. The gap theory puts forward that a cataclysmic judgment was pronounced upon the earth during the period between the first and second verse as the result of the fall of Lucifer. And that the other verses of Genesis describe a reforming of the earth from a chaotic state.

The six days of genesis are the account of a re-creation, or regeneration of a previously existing heavens and earth, not the original creation, and that genesis chapter one’s seven creative days are not a geological history of the earth!

The Gap Theory relies upon specific linguistic reasoning behind the Hebrew Scriptures. First, a newly created earth should not have been without form and void. Second that the word “was” in Genesis 1:2 is more accurately translated “became”. The English word “was” is haw-yaw’ in Hebrew which means “become”, or come to pass. Third, the Hebrew words for “create” and “made” are different.

The Hebrew word “create” (bara in Hebrew) means to call forth out of nothingness. We get the Christian doctrine “Ex nihilo” a Latin phrase meaning “out of nothing” from this Hebrew word. Subsequently in the text the words “make” or “form” (asah in Hebrew) mean a re-fashioning or making from pre-existing material. This pre-existent material is the substance remaining after the earth underwent Lucifer’s judgment. In Hebrews 11:3 we read, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” I understand this to mean that the heavens and the earth came into existence by divine command and was not assembled from preexisting matter or energy. Further support can be seen in Isaiah 45:18 where it is stated that the earth was not created in “vain” (tohu), “He (God) formed (asah) it (the earth) to be inhabited.”

The word “was” in Genesis 1:2 is more accurately translated “became”. This, of course, allows a change of state to occur from verse one to verse two. That is, the initial, perfect creation of verse one “became” without form and void, indicating a transition to have occurred.


And the earth was (had become) 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 )

Additional support is seen from the phrase “without form and void.” Consider other Biblical texts in which these words are found together, Isaiah 24:1 and Jeremiah 4:23, which are judgmental in character and context.

I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger. For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.” (Jer 4:23-28)

The Gap Theory was an integral part of the original Scofield Bible notes. And, it should also be remembered that Adam is told to “replenish” the Earth in Genesis 1:28. It should also be noted that DNA remains actually older than 6,000 years (like “Neanderthal” and “Cro-Magnon”) will be found to have no genetic connection to any people living on the Earth today.

Questions answered by the Gap Theory: 1). How can the Earth be only 6,000 years old according to the Bible chronology when the forensic evidence of Geology and the fossil record reveals that the Earth is very ancient? 2). How could death have only started with the fall of man at about 6,000 years ago when evidence for death is found in the Pleistocene geologic era, and a long reign of death across ancient ages past? 3). How can Man have been on the Earth for only about 6,000 years when there is evidence of man-like creatures inhabiting the Earth for hundreds of thousands of years?

What happened during this Gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?

Lucifer fell. It happened around the Cambrian geologic period (about 500 -600 million years ago), because that is when we see an explosion of death of well-developed life forms in the fossil  record, with no antecedent fossils in the more ancient Precambrian, except for what could be primitive cell remains. Consequently, what appears in the fossil record as an explosion of life is, actually an explosion of death. Things that are alive do not leave remains until they die. The Cambrian geologic period, therefore, marks the first record of death and the fall of Lucifer. Because Lucifer was the steward of the whole creation under heaven when he fell, all things under his rule were also subjected to corruption.

Adam’s sin brought death into our world (Rom. 5:12). Therefore, it is no contradiction with the Bible that Earth’s geology shows an ancient track record of death on this planet long before Adam. As we have seen, throughout the geologic record there is evidence of mass extinction and geologic catastrophes.

Recapping, in Gen. 1:1 the word created is baw-raw’ and it means to create out of nothing. After, Gen. 1:1 the word “made” is used. It is a different Hebrew word. It is aw-saw’ and means “to make out of existent materials”, it is translated made instead of create so the reader knows it is a different word. Therefore, God created in verse 1, and God made or recreated from existent material in six days the Earth from older material he had Created in the first verse.

G.H. Pember wrote about the Gap between 1:1 and 1:2, “It is thus clear that the second verse of Genesis describes the earth as a ruin; but there is no hint of the time which elapsed between creation and this ruin. Age after age may have rolled away, and it was probably during their course that the strata of the earth’s crust were gradually developed. Hence we see that geological attacks upon the Scriptures are altogether wide of the mark, are a mere beating of the air. There is room for any length of time between the first and second verses of the Bible. And again; since we have no inspired account of the geological formations, we are at liberty to believe that they were developed just in the order in which we find them. The whole process took place in pre-adamite times, in connection, perhaps, with another race of beings, and, consequently, does not at present concern us.”

The science behind both Carbon and Argon dating is flawed, but not by millions of years. Carbon and Argon dating based upon radioactive decay may have been accelerated in the recent past. However, the vast age assigned to the earth based on radioactive measurements is by no means set aside.

But if you will look in the first chapter of Genesis, you will see there more particularly set forth that peculiar operation of power upon the universe which was put forth by the Holy Spirit; you will then discover what was his special work. In Ge 1:2, we read, “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.” We do not know how remote the period of the creation of this globe may be—certainly many millions of years before the time of Adam. Our planet has passed through various stages of existence, and different kinds of creatures have lived on its surface, all of which have been fashioned by God.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon (1855)

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