THE GAP THEORY

 
Dr. Kent Hovind [1]

ARE THERE BILLIONS OF YEARS BETWEEN VERSES ONE AND TWO?

For thousands of years, nearly all Christians believed that the earth was about six thousand years old as revealed in God’s Word. But by the early 1800s the literal interpretation of Genesis fell under fire. Initially popularized by Scottish theologian Thomas Chalmers and later by the Scofield Reference Bible, the “gap theory” became a convenient method by which theologians compromise Holy Scripture with Darwin’s evolution theory.

 

The Bible teaches “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth” and continues by saying “the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:1-2). Proponents of the gap theory suggest there is a gap between those two verses that accounts for Satan’s rebellion, dinosaurs, a geological record, and billions of years of evolution.

That “gap,” however, is nothing more than an attempt to harmonize God’s perfect Word with man’s imperfect thoughts. In fact, it is irreconcilable with the rest of Scripture. The words “without form, and void” in Genesis 1:2 come from the Hebrew phrase “tohu waw bohu,” which means “unformed and unfilled.” This indicates the earth was not yet formed or filled.

 

Everything Was Made in Six days

Further discrepancies between Scripture and the gap theory are seen when looking at the law God gave Moses. As God etched the Ten Commandments in stone, He said, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11). God unmistakably says that everything was made in six days. This would include angels, heaven, earth, and mankind—everything.

 

The Gap Theory Contradicts Scripture

The gap theory also disagrees with New Testament Scripture. The Bible is clear that “by man came death” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22) and “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12). These passages undeniably teach that the first sin came by Adam and that there was no death before sin. Therefore, it is incompatible to teach that a civilization existed before Adam, because it would place death before sin—a direct contradiction to Scripture.

 

WHEN DID SATAN FALL FROM HEAVEN?

We believe the Genesis account is to be taken literally just as it was written. It teaches the world was created in six, twenty- four hour days about 6,000 years ago; there was no gap. There was no period of time before the original creation. There was actually no time. God made time as well as matter and space. Perhaps Satan did not fall from heaven until about one hundred years after the creation. He could not have fallen before the creation because he was spoken about in the book of Ezekiel as being good while in the garden. Look at Ezekiel 28:13-15, “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” He was Lucifer, a good angel or cherub, and he was in the Garden. The Garden of Eden wasn’t made until day six, so that shoots the gap theory full of holes right there. Not only that, but Jesus said in Matthew 19:4 that the creation of Adam and Eve was the beginning. Read what it says: “And he answered and said unto them, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female.” Romans 5:12 says that there was no death until Adam sinned, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Those who say that Satan fell from heaven and wiped out the pre-Adamic civilization are placing death before sin. They have just eliminated the need for Christ to die on the cross. There was no death until sin came into the world. Exodus 20:11 states, “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is…” This is found in the middle of the Ten Commandments.

 

God made the whole universe in six, literal twenty-four-hour days, including time, the angels, and everything that is. What day He made the angels is not known since the Genesis story is mainly telling events on the earth. The angels were probably made on the first day, before God laid the foundations of the earth (Job 38:4-7 and Genesis 1:9). Genesis 1:31 tells us everything was very good at the end of the creation week, so Satan had not fallen yet. Satan did not fall until after the creation, maybe as long as one hundred or so years later. All that we know is Adam was 130 when Seth was born. That is the first date given in Scripture. Before Seth, they had Cain and Abel, but dates are not given. Before he had Cain and Abel, they were removed from the garden. Therefore, it would have been somewhere around a hundred years during which time Satan may have become jealous of the fellowship that Adam and Eve enjoyed with God. Satan may have observed their relationship for one hundred years and said, “Hey, I want them to worship me! I want to rule humanity. I want to walk with them in the garden. I will ascend unto the high heavens. I will take over the seat of the Most High. I will, I will, I will” (Isaiah 14:12-15).

 

One theory, though it cannot be proven, is that Satan did not fall until one hundred years after the creation. The fall could not have been in the original creation because he was still the light bearer in the Garden of Eden.[2]

 

 

 

GAP THEORY IN THE OLD SCOFIELD STUDY BIBLE

PMI NOTE: While we at the PMI Center love and use the Old Scofield Study Bible (KJV), PMI does not endorse Dr. Scofield’s notes on page 4 inferring that the creation days were not 24 hour periods and that the original earth was destroyed and recreated perhaps billions of years later (aka the Gap Theory).

 

[1] Dr. Hovind is a 2010 graduate of PMI Center for Biblical Studies and Calvary Christian Seminary.

[2] This article is a small section of a larger article and use used by permission from the author.  For the full treatment see http://www.drdino.com

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