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Origins Theology Forum for the discussion of Creation Science (Young/Old) vs Theistic Evolution. Discussion of Atheistic Evolution should be taken to the Discussion and Debate forums.

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  #1  
Unread 4th October 2012, 09:35 AM
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What do you think of the Gap Theory?

The Gap Theory

People such as Chuck Missler and Derek Prince, believe in the gap theory.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

The gap is here.

2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

This verse can also be translated as:

But the earth became without form and void, and (deep unnatural) darkness was over the face of the abyss. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Isaiah 45:18

For this is what the LORD says--he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited--he says: "I am the LORD, and there is no other.

Here, Isaiah states that God did not create the earth to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited. So perhaps originally the earth was with form, and inhabited and then became formless, after a judgement.


Jeremiah 4:23

23 I looked on the earth, and behold, it was without form and void;
and to the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking,
and all the hills moved to and fro.
25 I looked, and behold, there was no man,
and all the birds of the air had fled.
26 I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a desert,
and all its cities were laid in ruins
before the Lord, before his fierce anger.

This describes a judgment on the earth, when the earth was without form and void, like it says in the second verse of Genesis; became without form and void. The heavens had no light.

Isaiah 24:19

18 He who flees at the sound of the terror
shall fall into the pit,
and he who climbs out of the pit
shall be caught in the snare.
For the windows of heaven are opened,
and the foundations of the earth tremble.
19 The earth is utterly broken,
the earth is split apart,
the earth is violently shaken.
20 The earth staggers like a drunken man;
it sways like a hut;
its transgression lies heavy upon it,
and it falls, and will not rise again.
21 On that day the Lord will punish
the host of heaven, in heaven,
and the kings of the earth, on the earth.
22 They will be gathered together
as prisoners in a pit;
they will be shut up in a prison,
and after many days they will be punished.
23 Then the moon will be confounded
and the sun ashamed,
for the Lord of hosts reigns
on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
and his glory will be before his elders.

I'm not sure what this is talking about, perhaps the great flood.

Psalm 104:30

When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.

The theory goes that is was the Nachash, the shining serpent, and the other angels, which inhabited the earth, before the gap in verse 1 and 2. Then there was a judgement, because of the rebellion of the covering cherub, and his angels, on the earth. Presumably they were taken away to heaven, to be imprisoned there, waiting the judgement. There were cities on the earth also. I think there is quite a lot of good evidence to support the theory.

Last edited by hiscosmicgoldfish; 4th October 2012 at 09:47 AM.
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  #2  
Unread 5th October 2012, 12:06 AM
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Hi HCF,

I think it's got a lot of gaps.

God bless you.
IN Christ, Ted
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Unread 5th October 2012, 11:00 PM
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I have no problem with the gap theory -- it actually helps with giving a timetable for when Satan fell (before he messed with Adam and Eve in the Garden).

However - the gap theory does nothing to affect how we view creationism - the earth became without form and void. The fossils stand as a solid testimony to the global flood of Noah, not as a record of a pre-adamic evolution.
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Unread 6th October 2012, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by laptoppop View Post
I have no problem with the gap theory -- it actually helps with giving a timetable for when Satan fell (before he messed with Adam and Eve in the Garden).

However - the gap theory does nothing to affect how we view creationism - the earth became without form and void. The fossils stand as a solid testimony to the global flood of Noah, not as a record of a pre-adamic evolution.
Yeah I agree, it is not to do with the subsequent creation of natural life, and the fossil record. It was an angelic kingdom. What confuses me a bit, is how then did Satan get to the Garden of Eden? As it says in Ezekiel that Satan was in Eden, the Garden of God. I don’t think the serpent was a talking snake, but was Nachash, the shining serpent… an angel.
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Unread 6th October 2012, 11:07 AM
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For me we don't need a gap theory because the universe was created in it's mature tense. Kind of like Adam was created as a full grown mature man and not as an infant. As far as satan's fall goes I don't beleive spiritual realms are bound by physical laws like time and space.
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Unread 6th October 2012, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by hiscosmicgoldfish View Post
Yeah I agree, it is not to do with the subsequent creation of natural life, and the fossil record. It was an angelic kingdom. What confuses me a bit, is how then did Satan get to the Garden of Eden? As it says in Ezekiel that Satan was in Eden, the Garden of God. I don’t think the serpent was a talking snake, but was Nachash, the shining serpent… an angel.
I agree that there is a gap between Genesis 1: 1 and Genesis 1" 2. I am also aware of a number of other gaps in Scripture.

In Job Satan tells God he has been going "to and fro." (Job 1: 7)
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Unread 6th October 2012, 12:30 PM
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I'm a former gapper, and i'll just throw these out for food for thought. When you look at the language, it doesn't really work with a pre-existance model. First, as Henry Morris has thoroughly addressed, "was" actually means was.
‘Was’ Means ‘Was’
A significant problem with this idea is that the Hebrew word for ‘was’ really should be translated ‘was’. It should not be translated ‘became’. It is the Hebrew verb of being, hayah, and normally it is simply translated ‘was’. In all the standard translations of the Old Testament, that is the way this verse is rendered. On some occasions, in an unusual situation if the context requires it, the word can be translated ‘became’. There are some instances like that in the Old Testament.

By far the tremendous majority of times, however, when the verb is used, it is simply translated ‘was’. In the absence of any indication in the immediate context that it should be rendered by a change of state, where it became something which it wasn’t, one would normally assume it was simply a declarative statement describing how the situation existed at the time. The earth was, in response to God’s creative fiat, initially without form and void.

Some people use Isaiah 45:18 as an argument for the use of ‘became’ in Genesis 1:2. In this verse, Isaiah says that God created the earth not in vain. He formed it to be inhabited. The word ‘in vain’ is the same as tohu; that is, the same word translated ‘without form’ in Genesis 1:2. So ‘gap’ theorists say that since God did not create it that way, it must have become that way. But again, the context is significant. In Isaiah, the context requires the use of the translation ‘in vain’. That is, God did not create the earth without a purpose; He created it to be inhabited. Genesis 1 tells us then how He brought form to the unformed earth and inhabitants to the empty earth. It was not really finished until He said so at the end of the six days of creation.

The word tohu is actually translated 10 different ways in about 20 occurrences in the Old Testament. Isaiah 45:19 has the same word, and there it has to be translated ‘vainly’ or ‘in vain’. It is also proper to translate it that way in Isaiah 45:18. It depends on the context as to how it is to be precisely translated. In Genesis 1:2 the context simply indicates the earth had no structure as yet. It was unformed; it was not even spherical at that point, but was comprised of only the basic elements of earth material.
There is also the vav or waw issue (and) which seems to say the events from 1:1-2 are sequential.

But the problem I have is, it doesn't solve an problems in bridging the gap between naturalistic theories and the Bible. Scripture still says the cosmos was created in 6 days, as was the earth. The sun moon and stars were made on day 4. And the earth as a whole in present state, land and sea, were formed on day 3.

The gap can't account for fossils nor astronomy issues that come from naturalistic theories.

Plus the I don't think it's correct to use passages that were penned thousands of years after Gen. 1:2 was penned to give us insights about how to translate Gen. 1:2. The reverse should be true. Later passages should look back to what has been quoted for insight. The when passage quote formless and void, it should be understood somewhat as hyperbole.

But again, the gap theory doesn't solve any problems. In six days God created the land, sea and cosmos (the heavens) (ex. 20:11). The gap theorists use the theory to try to explain an old heavens and new earth, but Gen. 1 is clearly describing the creation of the heavens as we now have them. So it would have been a total etch n sketch, with nothing left behind.

Having said all that, I think the gap theory at least doesn't have the same theological problems as other theories like the day age, which posit death was a very good thing that existed before sin.
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Unread 6th October 2012, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Calminian View Post
I'm a former gapper, and i'll just throw these out for food for thought. When you look at the language, it doesn't really work with a pre-existance model. First, as Henry Morris has thoroughly addressed, "was" actually means was....

I suppose you think the animal described in Job 40: 15, "behemoth" is a hippopotamus also, right, a hippo with a "tail like a cedar." God tells Job here that He made man at the same time. No, the "behemoth," brontosaurus, lived 160 million years ago in the First Heaven and earth age. Our heavenly bodies, with spirit and soul, were created then also.
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Unread 6th October 2012, 03:43 PM
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The word tohu is actually translated 10 different ways in about 20 occurrences in the Old Testament. Isaiah 45:19 has the same word, and there it has to be translated ‘vainly’ or ‘in vain’. It is also proper to translate it that way in Isaiah 45:18. It depends on the context as to how it is to be precisely translated. In Genesis 1:2 the context simply indicates the earth had no structure as yet. It was unformed; it was not even spherical at that point, but was comprised of only the basic elements of earth material.

Perhaps the first element was water? As that is the first thing to be mentioned. I had visualised the earth to be originally an abyss, and the (sorry but) centre of the universe, and then there was water, from which the earth was formed. Originally there was a deep dark abyss. Chuck Missler said that the word darkness, can be translated as a deep spiritual darkness, this darkness was upon the face of the abyss, as is the correct translation of ‘deep’ where some people think of that deep as being the deep blue sea. Separating the darkness from the night, might have some deeper meaning, as part of a separation of spiritual darkness, from light. That’s why everything evil comes out at night, in the darkness, a sort of deal, in the creation of the temporal order; a deal had to be made, that evil was an inevitable consequence of the creation.
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Unread 13th October 2012, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by hiscosmicgoldfish View Post
The Gap Theory

[size=3]People such as Chuck Missler and Derek Prince, believe in the gap theory.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

The gap is here.

2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

This verse can also be translated as:

But the earth became without form and void, and (deep unnatural) darkness was over the face of the abyss. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
What happened during the suggested gap does not make sense to me.

If the earth was created, how could it become "void"? Why would satan want to destroy the lifeless earth, but not destroy any other planet? If satan wanted to destroy the lives on the earth, then why (how) would he destroy the physical planet earth? If he indeed wanted to destroy the physical earth, how could the earth be destroyed into a "void" status even it was pulverized into space dust? Needless to say where could the "water" be if the earth became void.

1. All the scenarios of destruction are not practical
2. The ultimate source of all mistakes is that they treated the word "earth" as the the current earth.
3. The gap theory could only have some theological meaning, but will have big trouble in scientific meaning.
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