Largely under the influence of the Scofield
Reference Bible (a work now known to have many flaws, even if
put together by a very sincere man), many Christians during the
last 150 years have come to believe what is known as 'The Gap
Theory'- This theory states that when reading Genesis Chapter
One, we should pause and place millions of years between Genesis
1:1 and Genesis 1:2.
I must admit that I once adopted this procedure. Oddly, it did not occur to me that to pause and place millions of years between two verses which give little or no hint of them, amounted to the imposition of an outside concept upon the Word of God.
Neither did it worry me in those days that this was the flawed theological practise of eisegesis, which is to 'put something into', rather than 'draw things out of' the Bible! Drawing understanding out of the Bible (the correct way), is exegesis!
According to the Gap Theory, this is how we should handle the first two verses of Genesis:
The 'gap' theorists say something happened
between these verses because God creates things perfectly, but in
verse 2 the Hebrew words 'tohu' and 'bohu' are used; tohu:
'without form', bohu: 'void'. Gap people found the most extreme
(and often exaggerated) renditions of these words they could
find. Sometimes 'tohu' was said to mean 'utter desolation' and
'bohu' was claimed to mean something like 'utterly wasted and
The truth is, however, that tohu refers to things in a morally neutral state, or in an unfinished state. Bohu is best simply rendered 'unfilled' or 'empty' (there was nothing or nobody in the world yet).
The theory claimed that the rebellion of Lucifer and the angels who followed him occurred between these two verses which is why the original creation was ruined. Gappists often place pre-historic animals, such as dinosaurs, in that original destroyed creation. So, effectively, verses 2 onwards is a re-creation!
The Gappists attempted to claim further support from the word 'replenish' which occurs in the KJV in verse 28.
(‘… and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth’), but this does not support the gap theory as Gappists have claimed. Linguist DR Charles Taylor writes, ‘As translated in 1611, it (‘replenish’) was merely a parallel to ‘fill’, and the prefix ‘re-’ didn’t mean ‘again’, but ‘completely’. The same Hebrew word male is used in Genesis 1:22, and is there translated ‘fill (the seas)’, so there was no need to translate it differently in verse 28. But it seemed to some that a word starting with 're' must mean something like 'repeat' or 're-do', but this is just not so in the case of this old English word! It simply means 'fill'.
I am about to give the reader a link to an article which discusses the great shortcomings (especially theological shortcomings) of this imposition on the natural flow of Genesis One, in great depth; but first, let me just ask the question as to WHY anybody would ever have attempted to insert many eras of time between these two verses.
The Gappists became active when evolution was rapidly gaining acceptance and they felt that the text of Genesis One - as it stood - did not explain the teaching that this world is billions of years old (an age of the earth which evolution would require)!!
THIS is why the Gappists chose to impose millions or billions of years between these two verses. By the way, the Gappists were certainly Bible-believers, I would not want anybody to doubt that, but they were overly concerned about somehow reconciling claims that this world is millions, or billions, of years old with Genesis One. Today, in a post-modern age, we would tend to smile at that! Why? Because evolutionary theory is now coming under enormous pressure as it becomes more and more obvious that the teaching that mankind is descended from apes is a pure fiction which has nothing to substantiate it, certainly nothing in the fossil record (as even many evolutionists admit!). There is also increasing evidence that this earth is not millions or billions of years old at all, yet scientism will not relinquish the billions of years scenario since to do so would be to admit that macro-evolution never occurred.
To find the full article go to the third link below.
Robin A Brace