Bible Question:

Is there a gap between the first and second verse in the first chapter of Genesis?

Bible Answer:

The two verses that some feel have a gap between them and to which you refer are:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (NASB) Genesis 1:1

The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. (NASB) Genesis 1:2

The first verse in Genesis is an introductory summary statement to the description of the biblical record of God’s creation that is presented in the rest of the chapter – Genesis 1. However, some have taken the first verse to mean that God created everything initially and what follows in the rest of the chapter is another creation – a second one. Those who claim that there is a gap of time between Gen. 1:1 and Gen. 1:2 do so in order to accommodate the modern theory of evolution. Consequently, they envision that millions or billions of years may have occurred between the two verses. Their view is called the Gap Theory.

However, to conclude that there is a gap of time between Gen. 1:1 and Gen. 1:2 assumes things that the Bible does not say. The Bible never tells us that God created a previous earth or two different populations. The Bible does not tell us that there was a gap of time between the two verses. Therefore, for anyone to dogmatically say that a gap exists, one must assume facts that the Bible does not state.

The first argument against the Gap Theory of creation is the silence of scripture. The Gap Theory is never mentioned anywhere in the pages of scripture. Those who believe that a gap does exist in the biblical record between verses one and two advocate that an ealier race or pre-Adamic race existed before Adam and Eve. They believe the pre-Adamic race was destroyed when Satan sinned in heaven and fell to the earth (Isaiah 14:12-15). But Romans 5:12 tells us that death began when Adam sinned and not before. Romans 5:12 says that Adam’s sin brought death into the world.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned . . . Nevertheless death reigned from Adam . . . (NASB) Rom. 5:12, 14

If death did not start until Adam sinned, then it is not possible for a pre-Adamic race to have died. This is a serious blow to the Gap Theory.

Second the gap theorists argue that both Isaiah 45:18 and Genesis 1:2a suggest that the world became “formless and void” after the first creation was destroyed in the white spaces between verses one and two. They reason that the earth “became” formless and void. But the word “was” in Genesis 1:2 does not normally mean “became.” The Hebrew word that is translated as “was” is HAYAH. It normally has the sense of “existed.” The Hebrew word occurs 4,900 times in the Old Testament and 98% of the time it is translated as “was.” Therefore, the gap theorists 1) assume a rare usage of the word HAYAH, 2) reason from silence that events occurred in the white spaces between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, and 3) ignore Romans 5:12, 14.

Finally, the Gap Theory misses the most serious issue to their theory. How did death, decay, disorder and consequently fossilization occur before Genesis 3? Since sin did not enter the universe until Adam sinned, how did death, decay and disorder occur before the fall of man in Genesis 3 (Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:22)? This is a series blow to the GAP Theory since the theory is postulated to explain how fossilization occurred between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. If we believe that the biblical account is true , then the formation of oil and fossils from dead animals and plants in the evolutionary record could not have occurred before Genesis 3.

Conclusion:

If there was a GAP between the first verses of Genesis 1, why didn’t God tell us? A plain sense reading of Genesis 1 would not leave anyone with that conclusion. Further, since the Bible does not tell us that there is a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, we conclude that there is no gap between those two verses, in addition to the problems associated with this theory as stated above.

Reference Links:

Young Earth or Old Earth?
Where did Satan come from?
Why do the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2 differ?
When were dinosaurs created?
Healing Starts Here
Is it not laughable to think of dinosaurs in the ark?