Does the Bible refute the Gap Theory ?


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“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

(1Cor 2:13)



“Does the Bible refute the Gap Theory?”


When did this theory emerge?

During the early 1800’s.


Why did it emerge?

To eliminate conflict between the Bible and science so that both could be right. Science says the earth is billions of years old while the Bible states a literal six day creation.



Put a gap of billions of years between Gen 1:1 and Gen 1:2 and everybody’s happy.


Who first started the idea?

Laplace’s (1796) ‘nebula hypothesis’ stated the earth needed millions of years to cool down from a hot gaseous state so man could live on it.  Then, Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), a notable Scottish theologian, first suggested in 1823 that a time gap existed between Gen 1:1 and Gen 1:2. At age twenty three, he was minister of Kilmeny and science lecturer at the university. His conflict of interest needed a theory to bring evolution and the literal six day creation together. Next a Roman Catholic scholar, Crampon, stated “…that a gap in Genesis 1:2 gives every latitude for accommodating diverse scientific hypotheses.” Since then, Scofield, Larkin, Dake, Barnhouse, Knox and Ruckman have promoted the theory.


What happened in the ‘gap’?

Supposedly, God flooded the earth like in Noah’s day and wiped out every living thing including a pre-Adamite race of men.


What happened then?

God started creation again after Gen 1:2.


Where do the ‘gappists’ get their Gap Theory out of the Bible?

Three places in the main:

1. Jeremiah 4:23-37 and Genesis 1:2

2. 2 Peter 3:5-6

3. Genesis 1:28, 9:1

Jeremiah 4:23-29 and Genesis 1:2

23. I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.  24. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.  25. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.  26. 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.  27. For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. 28. 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.  29. 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)                         


“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 1:2)


Do these two passages refer to the same point in time?

No, although they both have the phrase ‘without form and void’ and both refer to ‘no light’ and ‘darkness’, this is where the similarities end. The Jeremiah passage refers to an invading army - not God’s destruction.


1. Jeremiah says that ‘I beheld, and, lo, there was no man’ – he doesn’t say that man hadn’t been created at this time – simply there were no men to be found.

Verse 29 explains why.

‘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.’ This is why Jeremiah can’t see any men – because they have fled the city because of the impending threat and dreadful noise of an invading army.

2. The phrase ‘all the birds of the heavens were fled’ doesn’t mean that birds hadn’t been created at this time. The birds had simply flown away. Why? Because of the approaching ‘noise of the horsemen and bowmen’ in verse 29.


3. The phrase ‘they had no light’ doesn’t mean that ‘light’ hadn’t been created, but only that they had none ie no fires, candles or lanterns. Why? Similar to an air raid, a city puts out all lights hoping the bombs won’t hit. Here in Jeremiah, the people have fled under cover of darkness, not wanting to show the invading army where they are.


4. The phrase ‘I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void’ of Jeremiah is not the same as the use in Genesis 1:2.

In Jeremiah, there are ‘mountains’ and ‘hills’ so it can’t be the ‘without form’ of Genesis 1:2 which is formless water.

The ‘without form’ of Jeremiah is the description of the landscape under cover of darkness – there being no light and the heavens above being black. The whole vision appears as ‘formless landscape’ to Jeremiah.

The use of the word ‘void’ here, simply means that people have fled from the invading army.

5. The phrase ‘all the cities thereof were broken down’ doesn’t refer to a pre-Adamite civilisation. The cities referred to here were broken down as the result of the invading army that caused their destruction.


So Jeremiah 4:23-26 and Genesis 1:2 don’t prove a pre-Adamite world?

Correct. Although both use the phrase ‘without form and void’ they mean different things by referring to a different set of circumstances and events.

Well, doesn’t 2 Peter 3:5-6 refer to the ‘gap’ flood?

No. “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:” (2Pet 3:5-6)


The passage states that ‘the heavens’ and ‘the earth’ were of old. Can we say then, that ‘the world’ was of old?

Yes – it says so - ‘the world that then was’.


Do we know when this ‘old world’ was?

Yes. Turn to 2 Peter 2:5 and we see this ‘old world’ mentioned. And guess what? It was Noah’s flood that drowned the old world!


So 2 Peter 3:5-6 refers to Noah’s flood?

Yes, it’s in black and white – “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;”


Well, does the word ‘replenish’ in Genesis 1:28 mean the same as in Genesis 9:1?


Well didn’t Noah get off the ark and God said to ‘replenish/restock’ the earth?

No he didn’t. The word ‘replenish’ doesn’t mean ‘restock’ although we use it to mean that today.

The word means ‘become full, be filled, become satisfied, be fulfilled, be at an end’ but never restock! God said to be fruitful, multiply and complete/fill/bring to an end/satisfy my creation.

(Even substituting different English words from the back of Young’s Concordance, you can’t give the word ‘replenish’ the meaning of ‘restock’.)

That’s fine, but can you nail this thing down with one verse?

How about “For in six days the LORD made heaven (not the heavens) and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day…” (Ex 20:11)

These six days start at Gen 1:1 with “In the beginning God made the heaven (not the heavens)  and the earth…” and end with “…he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” (Gen 2:2). Very simple – six days from start to finish with no gap!


One more for good measure?

How about “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away…” (Rev 21:1).

Now according to the gappists, this should read ““And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the second heaven and the second earth were passed away…”. 


Bible numerics discount a 3rd creation.

Now, apart from denying what the English actually says, to have three creations is a slap in the face for Jesus. Why? He is the 2nd person of the Godhead and therefore he will only have two creations. To have three creations, attributes creation to the 3rd person of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, “In the beginning God…” (Gen 1:1) proves God is Jesus. How? God is the 4th word in the verse and Jesus is from Judah, the 4th tribe.


Dear Reader can you see the danger of this theory, in that the church has allowed the evolutionist to get his foot in the door with a gap of billions of years? By bowing to this satanic theory, a paralyzed church has destroyed the foundations of God’s creation and his gospel.



Australian Bible Ministries, PO Box 5058, Mount Gravatt East, 4122 Qld, Australia