Gap creationism (also known as ruin restoration creationism, restoration creationism, or the gap theory), is a form of old-earth creationism. It agrees with the Bible that the six days of creation, as described in the Book of Genesis, are literal twenty-four hour days, but believes that there is an undisclosed “gap” of time between two distinct creations in the first and the second verses of the Book of Genesis. “In the beginning god created the heaven and the earth. 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 1:1,2.
The reason this theory came into existence was that many Christians have accepted the theories of evolution as being true, and have come up with an alternate view as to how man and beast evolved over millions of years like the evolutionist claim. It builds on the theory that an earlier creation, complete with dinosaurs and prehistoric men lived and died between verses 1 and 2, in the beginning days of creation. In this it differs from what is called “day-age” creationism, in which the ‘days’ of creation were much longer periods (of thousands or millions of years) rather than literal twenty-four hour days, despite the fact that the Bible says that an evening and a morning are one complete day.
What Does The Gap Theory Suggest?
While there are just as many theories of how the world evolved, there are just as many theories of the gap, however, it is basically summed up as follows, and they claim they have Scripture to back this up. “Billions of years ago, God created the heaven and earth in a state of perfection (Genesis 1:1). He placed Satan (known as “Lucifer,” an angel of God) and other angelic beings upon the earth. It was at this time that God created and placed dinosaurs, ‘cave-men,’ and other such species upon the earth. He had declared ‘Lucifer’ to be ruler of this planet, but ‘Lucifer’ became conceded in his power, beauty, and wisdom, and desired the Throne of God, he then tried to ascend to Heaven (Isaiah 14), but was forbidden and convinces one-third of the angels to join him, starting a ‘war in the heavens’ (Revelation 12) and Satan and his demons were cast back to earth. It was during that time that God flooded the earth with water (II Peter 3:5,6). The heavens were destroyed in this battle and darkness fell upon the earth (Genesis 1:2; and Jeremiah 4:23), introducing the ice age. As a result, all life was destroyed upon the earth (Jeremiah 4:23-29), so God had to remake the earth and create new life.”
I have to say, this is insane that a bunch of people, who know Christ as their Saviour even believe this nonsense The problem is that there are too many “versions” of the Bible that are the source behind such a theory in the first place. They miss key elements that the King James points out, but I have to say also that many people who stand by the King Jams as being the infallible Word of God believe in this also.
What Did People Do Before King James?
There were Bible of the same translation, only English words and letters were different than in 1611, when King James was first published. Even the King James was retyped years later as the printing press formed new letters for the English language.
Why Is It Important To Examine The Gap Theory?
Theories are just that, theories, they might have some merit for their cause, but overall you have to treat them the same way some of the passages in the Bible seem obscure, study the entire Bible to know exactly what is going on. This is not just a harmless theory. This is, in itself, an attack on the Word of God! It underhandedly and directly undermines the Gospel to its very foundations as it is allowing for death, bloodshed, disease, and suffering from sin before Adam’s sin. It denies the Word of God which clearly tells us that it was man’s SIN that brought decay and death to the world.
Above all, it undermines God, Himself. The Bible is not questionable when it states that all death is the result of the fall of man, originating from Adam and Eve. The gap theory denies this, unthinkingly declaring that animals and prehistoric man died for millions of years before Adam even existed. This also implies that Adam was doomed from the start to physically die, regardless if sin entered the world or not.
Now, we will break down each claim and examine each part of their theory and show proof from the Bible that it is, in fact, just a theory. Billions of years ago, God created the heaven and earth in a state of perfection. Verse 1 in the Book of Genesis says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” God did not say it was good, another word for perfect. He did not start saying anything was good until verse 4, stating that light He created was good. Even if the heaven and earth sat there for millions of years there was no sign of life on it because verse 2 says, 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.
The reason why it says waters here was that the entire universe is surrounded in water, this is gulf fixed, meaning you cannot see it, and is further explained. “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.” – Genesis 1:6,7.
The creation of the heavens and the earth, and the sea and all that is in them (the rest of the creation) was completed in six days, that means there was no time for a gap. “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 20:11.
Refuted by the Ten Commandments themselves, in which God said, “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is“, God was telling people that the pattern He set at creation, of six days work followed by a day of rest, was to be the pattern for mankind’s working week. There is no room for a gap, because this statement in Exodus covers both Genesis 1:1 and the verses after it all in the six days!
Another thing wrong about their theory is the assumption that God sent Satan and other angel on the earth to dress and keep it. God did cast Satan (known as “Lucifer,” an angel of God) and the other angels that followed him out of heaven, but He did not send send him to earth to dress it, He told Adam do it. “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” – Genesis 2:15.
Again, the gap theory likes to toy with the idea that human life existed before Adam and Eve, and that God can destroy and create life over and over again. It puts death, disease, and suffering before the Fall, contrary to Scripture when God said He saw that everything was good. “And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” – Genesis 2:19,20.
Besides the fact that the gap theory puts Satan’s fall just before his supposed flood that destroyed all prehistoric life, it has another problem, it assumes the death and suffering recorded in the fossil records found must have been God’s fault. Since it happened before Satan’s fall, Satan and sin cannot be blamed for it. It was suggested at this time that God created and placed dinosaurs, ‘prehistoric man’ and other such species upon the earth as well. This is also false. God did create beasts such as lions, tigers, bears, cattle, and yes dinosaurs too as well as man on the sixth day of creation, but not before anything else. “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” – Genesis 1:24-27.The gap theory is inconsistent with God creating everything in six days, including the heaven and earth as the Bible states. “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 6:11.
He had declared ‘Lucifer’ to be ruler of the earth, but became conceded in his power, beauty, and wisdom, he desired the Throne of God and tried to ascend to Heaven (Isaiah 14). Again, God never declared Lucifer to be a ruler over man, He never wanted anyone to be a ruler over man except for Him, but He allowed them to have one millenniums later. “And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands.” – I Samuel 10:19.
These are the verses in Isaiah they are referring to, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” – Isaiah 14:12-14.
There are two things wrong with their theory, one, it says Lucifer fell, meaning he was already in heaven before he fell. “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” – Luke 10:18. And two, this is metaphorical, meaning an implied comparison between two things that are unrelated, but share common characteristics. In other words, Satan was cast out of heaven because he wanted to be God, but he already did something that caused him to be cast out in the first place. If anything, it tells of the prophecy that has not come yet, which is Armageddon.“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” – Revelation 16:13-16.
Satan convinces one-third of the angels to join him, starting a war in the heavens (Revelation 12). Then he and his demons were cast back to earth. There was a battle in heaven, and Satan did take angels with him, but there is no evidence from the Bible that is was one-third of them, and this was before sin entered the world. These are the verses they are referring to, “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” – Revelation 12:7-9.
The “real Star Wars,” they call it, claims that craters are in their various celestial bodies due to the angels hurdling one another into the planets and moons. Yet, the Bible proves that the heavens (sun, moon, stars, etc.) were not yet created prior to day four of the creation account of Genesis. “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.” – Genesis 1:14-16.
Therefore, the war could not have occurred at the time they claim, plus, the very idea that we can see “evidence” of the war contends with the gap theory argument that things were reconstructed for. If this is the case, then in light of Nehemiah 9:6 and Job 9:9, 38:31,32 which speak of God making the heaven of heavens and the hosts of heaven, there should be no evidence of such a war. “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?” – Job 38:31,32.
It was during that time that God flooded the earth with water (II Peter 3:5,6). There was only flood that destroyed the earth, and that was during Noah’s time. Many who believe in the gap theory also hold to a belief that the earth was made dark and void after the war in the heavens by Satan flooding it all. Here is the Scripture they are referring to, “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.” – II Peter 3:5-7.
Peter was clearly referring to the flood of Noah’s day here, in fact, he had just addressed the Flood in the previous chapter, and for reference also the fallen angels, who by the way were cast into hell. “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 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;” – II Peter 2:4,5.
These Scriptures tie in with what is said by Jesus in Matthew 24:37-39: “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
The heavens were destroyed in this battle and darkness fell upon the earth (Genesis 1:2; and Jeremiah 4:23), introducing the ice age. Here is the verse they are referring to, “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” – Jeremiah 4:23-25. There is no evidence whatsoever that the earth was full of ice prior to God creating everything. The Ice Age was a result of the catastrophic flood during Noah’s time. God placed the judgment in the first place because sin engulfed the earth. The reason the Ice Age is not directly discussed in the Bible is because not all the earth was affected, the Scandinavian ice sheet and mountain ice caps were farther north than the region where the Bible was written. Only an increase in the snow coverage of Mt. Hermon and possibly more frequent snowfalls on the high areas of the Middle East would have been evident to those living in Palestine.
The Ice Age is readily explained by the climatic consequences of the Genesis Flood, which lasted about 700 years, and there was only one Ice Age. We do not need to believe that there was it was a hundred thousand years for one ice age, or the few million years for multiple ice ages, claimed. Even their claim of ancient ice ages in the hard rocks can be accounted for by gigantic submarine landslides during the Flood. The post-Flood rapid Ice Age accounts for a number of major mysteries that occurred during the Ice Age, such as the Lake Missoula flood and the life and death of the woolly mammoths in Alaska, Siberia, and elsewhere.
All life was destroyed upon the earth (Jeremiah 4:23-29), so God had to remake the earth and create new life. Again, they are referring to these verses “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. The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein.” – Jeremiah 4:23-29.
This is not all referring to God creating everything after the earth was destroyed, this is God speaking of the judgment of Israel. God is very personal, we are made in His image, so, He feels as we do, but His thoughts are not even close to our own. There has never been any signs that all the earth was destroyed apart from the flood. Most important of all, the gap theory denies the very foundations of Scripture, the concept of sin and our need for the Saviour. The Bible says there was no sin or death until Adam and Eve. To believe there was death before Adam’s sin destroys the basis of the Christian message. The Bible states that man’s rebellious actions led to death and the corruption of the universe, but the gap theory undermines all of this, as well as the need for the Saviour.
The gap theory imagines billions of years of suffering and death, which they see by the fossil record and rock layers in the earth’s crust, supposedly used to identify the geological ages. The Bible explains all that, and more with the Flood. The gap theory proposes that at the end of the geological ages Satan sinned, was cast down to earth, and there was a great cataclysm. So the geological ages with countless deaths recorded in them would have occurred before either Satan or humans sinned, which is the opposite of what the Bible says. In cursing man with physical death, God also provided a way to redeem man through the person of His Son Jesus Christ, who suffered the curse of death on the Cross for us. He tasted death for everyone so all who believe in Him do not have to. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” – Hebrews 2:9. Jesus took the penalty that should rightly have been ours at the hands of the Righteous Judge, and bore it in His own body on the Cross. Jesus Christ tasted death for all mankind, and He defeated death when He rose from the grave three days later. Men can be free from eternal death in hell if they believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Resource: Answers In Genesis, kingjamesbible.org