The Gap Theory

In Genesis 1:1, we find the record that the Holy Spirit gave to Moses to record for all mankind. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. This begins God’s revelation to man and the explanation of how the world came to be. This is what God says He did. The rest of Genesis chapters one and two give more detail about this one statement. Unfortunately, man is not satisfied with God’s account of creation. Therefore, he has come up with his own ideas about what happened during the time that the world was created.

The theory of evolution has become spread so widely that some people want to claim a belief in the Bible and still hold on to some of the teachings of evolution. Specifically, some people want to find a place in the Bible to make room for the great amounts of time that evolution requires. Therefore, some people believe what has come to be called the Gap Theory. This theory basically takes the billions of years that evolutionists require and inserts them between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Those who believe this theory are not satisfied with what God wrote and need to rewrite these verses somewhat like this: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then, billions of years later, the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” This theory supposedly allows a person to claim he believes the Bible and yet still hold onto the theory of evolution.

To be fair, we must admit that there are differing views of this theory. However, the basic idea is that after verse one, the earth was perfect. Sometime during the great amount of time before verse two, some great event occurred that ruined the world. This is usually seen as a battle between God and Satan. The rest of Genesis chapter one is then seen as a re-creation, or remaking of the original creation. Those who propose this theory even recognize the many problems it has because some have adjusted it and come up with the Modified Gap Theory and the Multiple Gap Theory, neither of which is any more faithful to the Bible than is the original Gap Theory.

There are many problems with this theory to be sure. However, the main problem is that it does not agree with what the Bible says happened during the creation of the world. The Bible says that God created the world in six literal days, according to Exodus 20:11. That does not allow for billions of years, or even one year, between verses one and two of Genesis 1. Exodus 20:11 also says God created the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them in those six days. This does not allow for anything else to be created at any other time.

At the end of Genesis 1, God saw that everything He had made was very good. Would He have been able to say that if the death and destruction required for the Gap Theory had actually taken place?

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write that Adam was the first man (1 Corinthians 15:45) and that death came into the world through Adam because of his sin regarding the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22). The Gap Theory requires men to have existed before Adam was created and death to have come to those men, all of this contrary to the record of the

Some of those who believe the Gap Theory also try to make a distinction between two Hebrew words used in the account of the creation of the world. The word “created” in Genesis 1:1 comes from the Hebrew word bara (also used in verses 21 and 27). However, the Hebrew word asah is used several times in Genesis 1, after verse 1, in reference to the things made on the six days of the creation week. Some people who believe the Gap Theory say that these two words can never mean the same thing. The word bara can only mean that which is created from nothing and the word asah can only mean that which is remade from something else, specifically that which has been ruined. The problem lies in the fact that these words are used to mean the same thing in other Bible verses. Perhaps the best, but certainly not the only, example of this is found right in the account of the creation. In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make man in our image,” using the word asah in the original text. In the very next verse, verse 27, God created man in His own image, using the word bara in
the original text. Did God say let us remake man and then create him out of nothing? Did God say He would do one thing and do something else? This is nothing more than twisting God’s Word to fit one’s own ideas.

Is the Gap Theory a valid belief system that harmonizes the theory of evolution with the creation account of Genesis 1 and 2? There is no way to harmonize them. God’s Word does not allow any room for the great amounts of time that are needed for the theory of evolution to be true. The Gap Theory cannot bridge that gap.