What is the Gap Theory and the Day-Ages Theory of Creation?

The Gap Theory is an attempt by Christian theologians to harmonize the Creation account with the theory of Evolution and the geological record. It is also called “Theistic Evolution.”  This attempt to harmonize the creation in Genesis 1 with evolution started in the 19th century (if not before)and it is still believed by some today. There are several problems with this theory to begin with. Evolution itself is a theory and totally unscientific and violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics which is the universal law of decay. That’s why everything falls apart over time. Evolution says it is just the opposite, things evolved for the better, and this is just not the case. This theory is not biblical in that it says that God did created the heavens and the earth, but something happened between Gen 1.1 and 1.2, creating a gap between the previous life- forms on earth and the present one. Adherents to this theory will say that Satan “ruled” over this earth and rebelled between these verses, resulting in a global cataclysm and that is what created all the chaos. All of the “pre-Adamic” people and animals (like the dinosaurs) died, thus forcing the Lord to “recreate” the earth. That would mean that Adam was not the first man (1 C0r 15.45 says he was) and that he was walking around on top of a massive fossil bed of pre-Adamic people and animal remains. But, Rom 5.12 and 8.20-22 states that Adam’s sin brought about death, even of the animals (1 Cor 15.21). Over 800 billion skeletons exist in the Karroo formation in South Africa alone. There was no death until Adam, and Adam came after Genesis 1.1 and 1.2, therefore the Gap theory is impossible.  Another problem this theory has is that it is not even needed. The most literal interpretation of Genesis 1 is taking it for what it says without adding to it or reading into it something that isn’t even there. A simple understanding of the Hebraic rules of interpretation, in particular Hillel Rule #5, would help in explaining these verses in their plain context. Genesis 1 is a summary about creation and Genesis 2 gives more detail.  Let’s look at some of the basic arguments, for and against, the Gap Theory and see where it leads. Those who agree with this theory will say that the six days of creation week are literal days, but that God is recreating the plants and animals destroyed in the destruction. Those in favor of the Gap Theory would say that “without form and void” in Genesis 1.2 speaks of judgment (like Satan’s rebellion and global cataclysm) and they use Jer 4.23 and Isa 34.11 and 45.12 to back up the idea that the earth was at one time formless and void because of judgment in Genesis 1.2. However, in other passages, formless and void just means “space, a wasteland” (Job 26.7; Deut 32.10; Job 6.18, 12.24; Psa 107.40) and it describes the desolation and the unfinished condition of the earth as God began to create. Proponents of this theory will also point out that “was” in Genesis 1.2 should be translated “became”, but “hay’tah” in Hebrew (was) is found 264 times in the Torah and 258 times it is translated as “was.” The Hebrew verb of being for “became” is “haphek”. Those agreeing with this theory will say there is a difference between “bara” (created) and “asah” (made) in Genesis 1.7, however, these verbs are used synonymously. In Genesis 1.21 it says “God created” (bara) and in 1.25 “God made” (asah). In Genesis 1.26 it says “Let us make man” (asah) and in 1.27 it says “so God created” (bara).  Another thing the Gap theorists will point out is that when it says “darkness” in Genesis 1.2 it means judgment. However, darkness is simply the absence of light and is sometimes spoken of as “good” (Psa 104. 20,24). Lastly, they will say “replenish” in Genesis 1.28 (KJV) indicates the world was once filled. However, the Hebrew word “male” almost always means “to fill” (Exo 40.34; 1 Kings 18.33; Psa 107.9).  There is no reason for a true believer in the Bible to accept this theory. There is another theory called the “day-age theory”  that says that the “days” in Genesis 1 stands for ages, or millions of years. This has been taught by some on Christian television and this theory is even worse and it is another attempt to reconcile creation with evolution, even among Christian scientists and teachers.  It is time students of the Bible get back to accepting what the Lord said about creation week. The days were literal 24 hour days, even without the sun being in place till the fourth day. The Hebrew word for day is “yom” and when “yom” is followed by a number, such as “yom echad” (one day) in Genesis 1.5, 410 times it means an ordinary day. When “evening and morning” are found together, 38 times it always means an ordinary day. Why is this important? Because Genesis 1 is a prophetic blueprint for God’s eschatological plan called the 7000 year Plan of God. We have a several posts on this site dealing with this in our Prophecy/Eschatology category. We know from Psa 90.4 and 1 Pet 3.8 that a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day to the Lord. In six days God created the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested, or ceased, because things were completed. Eschatologically speaking, this corresponds to the 6000 years man “works” and during the seventh 1000 year period he will rest. This is called the Messianic Kingdom, the Millennium, the Lord’s Day and the Sabbath of God. Paul referenced this period in Heb 4.1-11 by talking about God’s rest and there are three examples. There is the literal Sabbath day’s rest, then the rest we have in Messiah and then this last, 1000 year period called the Lord’s Day. So, it is very important to establish the fact that the days in Genesis 1.1-2.3 are literal 24 hour days and that they are a picture of the 7000 year plan of God and that they do not represent ages.  Let’s look at the “sowd” level of interpretation to see what is being communicated here. Genesis 1 is telling us of the Creation, but it foreshadows the “new creation” that Messiah will bring. Day one is when the “light” of God’s word begins to shine upon a man. Day two is when man is separated from his former state and the fresh water is separated from the salty. Day three is when man brings forth fruit and seed. Day four is when we function as light-bearers. Day five is when the “living creatures”  (born again) are formed. Day six is where we are to subdue the earth and preach the Basar to all creatures (Matt 28). Day seven is the Sabbath rest we have through Yeshua and we rest from our works. To go further, Genesis 1.2 pictures the water covering the ground and the Spirit of God “hovering” over the water. One of the Hebrew words for “ground” is “adamah”, a form of Adam. This pictures the “new creation” that Yeshua, the “second Adam” brought. In Matt 3.13-17 we have the immersion of Yeshua by John the Baptist (Yochanon ha Matvil).  The symbolism of Yeshua’s immersion is different than John’s, which was for repentance. Yeshua is submerged in water (death), like the land (adamah) was submerged in water in Gen 1, and he comes up out of the water, just like the earth was “raised” out of the water in Genesis 1.9, and the Father says he is pleased with Yeshua, just like in Genesis when God says his “creation” is good.  Yeshua was bringing the “new creation” with his death and resurrection, as pictured in his immersion. Yeshua is swallowed up in  the waters of death and he is placed in the ground (adamah) and the Spirit of God also “hovers” over the tomb. Just as the ground (adamah) and Yeshua (second Adam) came out of the water as the Spirit of God was hovering over it in Genesis 1 and Matt 3, Yeshua comes out of the waters of death with the Spirit “hovering” over him and is raised from the dead (Rom 8.11; 1 Pet 3.18.  This pictures the “new creation” when the second Adam comes out of the waters of death by the power of the Spirit of God, who “hovered” over the tomb to raise Yeshua from death. By faith we are crucified and raised with him because we are the “new creation” in Yeshua. You see, knowing the Scriptures the way the Lord wants us to understand them can open up many pictures and insights. False teaching destroys the things the Lord is trying to convey and that is why the “Gap Theory” and the “Day-Ages” theory needs to be rejected. So, to answer the title of this post, the Gap Theory and the Day-Ages theory are false teachings that are designed to confuse the simple truth that the Lord is trying to convey in his Word about the creation and how it pictures the new creation we have in Messiah. .



Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, Questions, The Tanach

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