From Plainer Words

The Gap Theory - Part I

Posted in: 2006
By Tom L. Ballinger
Feb 28, 2008 - 5:19:03 AM

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Many Bible teachers and expositors have placed a gap of indeterminate time between the first two verses of Genesis Chapter One. There are many different ideas concerning what was believed to have happened in this “gap” time. Most of them theorize that millions, if not billions, of years of geologic time occurred between these first two verses. This is what is called the “ruin-reconstruction” version of the gap theory.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).

[Millions of geologic years were believed to have taken place, resulting in:]

“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” (Gen. 1:2).

The gap period is the time these theorists have accepted as the dating of the geological formations and the dating of “the fossil record.” By accepting this “ruin-reconstruction” theory, they have accommodated God’s creation with the accepted geology teaching that the earth is billions of years old. It was during this gap time that dinosaurs were presumed to have roamed the earth, whose fossil remains can be seen in early geological strata which have been exposed over time.

The “gap theory” allows for a pre-Adamic race of some kind to have lived on earth before God destroyed it and, then, reconstructed it in the six days of Creation as recorded in Genesis 1: 3-31. Bible teachers of this persuasion even put the fall of Satan in this gap.

Over the years, there have been many attempts to harmonize the Genesis account of creation with the fallible geologists’ “findings” that the age of the earth is millions/billions of years old.

The gap theory is another significant attempt by Christian theologians to reconcile the time scale of world history as found in Genesis with the popular belief that geologists provide “undeniable evidence that the world is exceedingly old.”

The Gap Theory—What Was Its’ Origin?

Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), a noted Scottish theologian and the first moderator of the Free Kirk (Church) of Scotland, seems to be the man most responsible for the gap theory, according to W. W. Fields’ book, Unformed and Unfilled, (1976, p. 40). The “ruin-reconstruction” view was first recorded in one of Chalmers’ lectures in 1814. The Rev. William Buckland, a Christian geologist, did a great deal to advance the idea.

Even though not much is known of Chalmers’ exact views, many other writers have quoted him extensively, including a 19th century geologist by the name of Hugh Miller. Miller quoted Chalmers’ lectures extensively on the subject, according to William Hanna who was the editor of Natural Theology, a Scottish journal.

The C. I. Scofield Reference Bible, as well as The Companion Bible, are well known publications that hold this view of the gap theory. The most influential 19th century writer to popularize this view was G. H. Pember in his book, Earth’s Earliest Ages, which was first published in 1884. Orthodox Christians consider Arthur C. Custance to have made the most academic defense of the gap theory in his book, Without Form and Void. He published his book in 1970.

W. W. Fields, basically, summarized the gap theory as:

“In the far distant dateless past, God created a perfect heaven and perfect earth. Satan was ruler of the earth which was peopled by a race of "men" without any souls. Eventually, Satan, who dwelled in a garden of Eden composed of minerals (Ezekiel 28), rebelled by desiring to become like God (Isaiah 14). Because of Satan's fall, sin entered the universe and brought on the earth God's judgment in the form of a flood (indicated by the water of 1:2), and then a global ice age when the light and heat from the sun were somehow removed. All the plant, animal, and human fossils upon the earth today date from this ‘Lucifer’s flood’ and do not bear any genetic relationship with plants, animals, and fossils living upon the earth today.” (Unformed and Unfilled, p. 7).

Added to this, some versions of the gap theory declare that the fossil record, i.e., the geologic column, formed over millions of years, and God then destroyed the earth with a catastrophe (Lucifer’s flood) which then left it “without form and void.”

Many notable preachers and theologians of the past believed in the “gap” between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Some who come to mind are Joseph Rotherham, Donald Barnhouse, J. Vernon McGee, H. A. Ironside, Arthur Pink, J. Sidlow Baxter, Charles Baker, William Newell, and M. R. DeHann. Charles Welch was probably the most influential writer, among those who endeavor to rightly divide the Word of Truth, to champion the “ruin-reconstruction” view.

Each had varying degrees of thought on the subject. An example of one such view was Dr. M. R. DeHann’s; he believed Lucifer was placed over an Angelic civilization on this pre-Adamic earth, complete with 'cities' of angels in this angelic civilization with lush vegetation (M.R. Dehaan, GENESIS & EVOLUTION, p. 26-28).

What Was The Basis For The Gap Theory?

It certainly would appear that the men mentioned were used mightily by God as far as our human reckoning is concerned.
It seems that the Hebrew word found in Genesis 1:2, hayeth, was the primary source for arriving at the conclusion that God destroyed His original creation and, then, re-created, or reconstructed it.
“And the earth was (hayeth) without form and void …” (Gen. 1:2)

The gap theorist translates this clause as, “And the earth became [or had become] without form and empty …” (Gen. 1:2).

Instead of translating hayeth as “was,” they translated it as “became.” They insist judgment fell from the Hand of God on the earth of Genesis 1:1, and the result was; the earth became without form and empty. Therefore, a re-creation was needed.

Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon of the Old Testament points out that “was,” in Genesis 1:2, is hayeth which is the past tense of hayah (to be). The primary definition of the word is, “to be, to exist,” thus, “was” would be correct.

The secondary meaning is; “to become, to be made or done; to exist, or come to pass,” here “became” would be in order. However, according to Christian, concerning the word in question, it says, “Furthermore, in Genesis 1:2 hayeth is not followed by the preposition le, which would have removed any ambiguity in the Hebrew and required the translation “became.’”

The following quote is from The Revised and Expanded Answers in Genesis, edited by Dan Batten, Ph.D (copyright 2000).

“Many adherents of the gap theory claim that the grammar of Genesis 1:1-2 allows, even requires, a time-gap between what happened in verse 1, and what happened in verse 2. Into this gap -- believed to be billions of years -- they want to place all the major geological phenomena that have shaped the world.

“This is a most unnatural interpretation, which is not suggested by the plain meaning of the text. The most straightforward reading of the verses sees verse 1 as a subject-and-verb-clause, with verse 2 containing three "circumstantial clauses" -- that is, three statements further describing the circumstances introduced by the principal clause in verse 1. [emphasis added].

“This conclusion is reinforced by the grammarian Gesenius. He says that the conjunction waw ("and") at the beginning of verse 2 is a "waw copulative," which compares with the old English expression ‘to wit.’

“This grammatical connection between verses 1 and 2 thus rules out the gap theory. Verse 2 is in fact a description of the state of the originally created earth: "And the earth was without form, and empty" (Genesis 1:2).”

Looking at the text in English, the context seems to more than justify, “And the earth WAS without form and void …”

Our opinion is that the solution can be found in understanding that the word, “And,” is a coordinate conjunction. What is a coordinate conjunction? It is a word, such as “and,” that connects and establishes specific relationships between complete sentences, or sentence elements. Look again at Genesis 1:1-2:
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 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”

As a coordinate conjunction, “And” connects verse two with verse one. That is to say, verse two is sequential to verse one. Verse two follows verse one chronologically. An example would be; “John mailed in his application. And he waited by the phone for a response.” Here, “And” is sequential to the first sentence. It connects the second sentence with the first one.

It is grammatically correct to begin a sentence with “And” if you are showing a sequential relationship to the preceding sentence. This is exactly what the Scripture does over-and-over again, in Genesis Chapter One. Thirty-two instances are listed below in which “And” is used as a coordinating conjunction in chapter one. Or, as H. W. F. Gensenius referred to “And” in Genesis One; it is “a copulative word,” because it “joins together coordinate words or word groups and expressing addition of the meanings” (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary).

“And the earth was without form and void …” (v.2).
“And God said let there be light …” (v. 3).
“And God saw the light …” (v. 4).
“And God called the light Day …” (v. 5).
“And the evening and the morning was the first day” (v.5).
“And God said, Let there be a firmament …” (v. 6).
“And God made the firmament …” (v. 7).
“And God called the firmament Heaven …” (v. 8).
“And the evening and the morning were the second day” (v. 8).
“And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together …” (v. 9).
“And God called the dry land Earth …” (v. 10).
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass …” (v. 11).
“And the earth brought forth grass …” (v. 12).
“And the evening and the morning were the third day” (v. 13).
“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven …” (v. 14).
“And let them be for lights in the firmament of heaven …” (v. 15).
“And God made two great lights …He made the stars also” (v. 16).
“And God set them in the firmament of the heaven …” (v. 17).
“And to rule over the day and over the night …” (v. 18).
“And the evening and the morning were the fourth day” (v. 19).
“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly …” (v. 20).
“And God created great whales …” (v. 21).
“And God blessed them …” (v. 22).
“And the evening and the morning were the fifth day” (v. 23).
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind …” (v. 24).
“And God made the beast of the earth after his kind …” (v. 25).
“And God said, Let us make man in our image …” (v. 26).
“And God blessed them (male and female) …” (v. 28).
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed …” (v. 29).
“And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air …” (v. 30).
“And God saw everything that he had made … And the evening and the morning were
the sixth day” (v. 31).

The use of “And,” as a coordinating conjunction (used as a copulative word), is compelling evidence that Genesis 1:1 is the beginning of six days of Creation, and it is part of Day One of Creation.

In order for Genesis 1:1 to be a separate creation, with an indeterminate time gap, separating it from the so-called reconstruction (re-creation), it must be connected to verse two with a adverbial conjunction—not a coordinate conjunction.

To be grammatically correct in order to support the gap theory, to state the relationship of time, the conjunctions afterward, or then, must be used. If the Bible said:

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Afterward the earth was without form and void; and darkness covered the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:1-2).

If “afterward” was used, it would tell us that something happened AFTER Genesis 1:1. Afterward used thusly would be an adverbial conjunction. But according to the Hebrew as well as English a coordinating conjunction was used—And. This, in itself rules out the idea of millions or billions of gap-years

Tom L. Ballinger

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


One of the theories which the Gap-Theorists believe is that Satan was alive during the pre-Adamic creation of Genesis 1:1. They look to Isaiah 14:12 where Lucifer is mentioned and, then, the narration of his pride and fall (vs. 13-17). Lucifer is identified as the King of Babylon in Isaiah 14:4. The passages indicate the King of Babylon is a type of the Anti-Christ. Also, they see Satan as the “anointed cherub that covereth” in Ezekiel 28:11. He is actually identified as the King of Tyrus but, being figuratively, probably a type of Satan.

Be this as it may, a careful reading and scrutiny of Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 leads us to our conclusion that there is not a clear and indisputable claim that these were references to a time prior to the Six Days of Creation as found in Genesis 1:1-31.

Many “ruin-re-constructionists” believe that it was because of Satan’s rebellion that the “original creation” was “overthrown” and left without form and void (empty). In plainer words, if God destroyed all life forms: plants, animals, and beings (either angelic or human types), “How did Satan live through the cataclysmic destruction and make it into the Six Days of Creation?” Or, “Why was he spared in order to deceive, again, and only to fall from God’s favor again?”

The Fourth Commandment is very instructive, or at least, it should be. It should not be ignored when considering the Gap Theory.

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11).

The six days, here mentioned, clearly covers Genesis 1:2-31 . “And all that in them is” would certainly include Satan (aka Lucifer, the Devil, the Adversary, the Morning Star). All of those who are in the heavens were created on Day Six, just as Adam and Eve were. Created in that day were all the host of heaven—including Michael and Gabriel [1]. Here, in Exodus 20:11, Moses plainly unraveled that which might be confusing to many students in Genesis 1:1-2. There is a literary law that allows a writer to state something in certain terms and, later, give a clearer and more precise meaning to that which he had previously written. This is what Moses did in Exodus 20:11. Not only that, but he had previously done the same thing in Genesis 2:1:

“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.”

We would certainly be remiss in not pointing out that the Apostle Paul was most certainly in agreement with Moses’ two statements in Genesis 2:1 and Exodus 20:11. When writing under inspiration, Paul wrote, “For by him [Christ Jesus] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” (Colossians 1:16)

Satan was one of the invisible beings who was part of the ruling hierarchy created as mentioned in Colossians. At the time of his creation, he was the most elevated and exalted one of the heavenly rulers. Satan, like other angels, possessed the power to make himself visible and appear to mankind.

Moses said, “ALL THE HOST OF THEM,” including all of the hosts of heaven which would include Satan. Had Satan existed in a pre-Adamic world, and was lifted up with pride, and said he would “be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14), and was responsible for the destruction of the world, how did he escape the judgment of “that first creation?”

And, how could he have managed to be numbered with all of the newly created heavenly hosts? And, how could God have said, after seeing “every thing that He had made, and behold, IT WAS VERY GOOD. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31).

There could not have been a rebellion before this time; that is to say, before the Sixth Day. So, Satan fell sometime after Day Seven.

I don’t believe Satan was an undercover alien from the previous world, masquerading as a newly created being.

No, Satan was created the same day Adam was—Day Six. When God formed Adam from the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into Adam’s nostrils, he immediately became a fully functioning man—not a child—a mature full-grown man (probably, minus a navel). His brain was loaded with knowledge imparted to him at his creation. He did not have to learn to speak. He had an advanced vocabulary among many other outstanding mental facilities. Such as, the God-given sense concerning a man and a woman: Speaking of the newly created woman whom the LORD brought to Adam, the Bible says:

“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:21-25).

He knew about a mother and father, not ever having had either, and that a man would cleave to his wife, thus leaving his father and mother. Adam, also, knew something he had not yet experienced—the two of them would be one flesh. Eve came from Adam, his rib, or side. Before Eve was created, it could be said that they were one flesh. Their physical union would again cause them to be one flesh. Considering Adam was not a day old, he had this understanding. The first man was the most intelligent man ever to have lived. The first one, generated by God, was the perfect model of mankind. Adam, being the original, the first of his kind, was bound to have had superior genetic characteristics, and on top of that, his mind had not been tainted with sin. And that’s not all.

The first assignment given to him by his Creator was to name every beast of the field and every fowl of the air.

And God “brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof” (Genesis 2:19). “And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field …” (Genesis 2:20). Without having ever seen all of these creatures, he properly named them.

Likewise, Satan, the Devil, was created the same day as was Adam and Eve. The Bible doesn’t inform us how long it was before Satan appeared to Eve; possibly, “as an angel of light.” He, too, was of superior intelligence as a newly created angel. It has been asked; “What corrupted Satan?” The answer is found in Ezekiel 28:17; “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reasons of thy brightness …” Satan’s downfall was of his own doing—he corrupted the wisdom God gave him at his creation.

“He (Satan) was the model of perfection and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12) NIV.

We find in Ezekiel 28, even though the lamentation was upon the King of Tyrus, that he was a perfect match for “the anointed cherub” (i.e. Satan) whom the King typified. Notice the perfectness of Satan in his creation state. What appears in brackets are my comments:

"'You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God [the Garden of Genesis 3]; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created [Day Six] they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God [he was the number one chief in God’s Government]; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created [Day Six] till wickedness was found in you [we’re not told how long it was]. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God [God’s Government], and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom [self corruption] because of your splendor. [What follows seems to relate to the future and to Satan’s agent, the Anti-Christ]. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more'" (Ezekiel 28:12-20) NIV.

Mountains, or mounts, in Scripture generally refer to government, rule, regime, command, or leadership. In Ezekiel 28, we cannot find any justification to believe that Satan was created in a pre-Adamic world. One can think it, or imagine it, or even pound the podium declaring it is so, but that doesn’t make it the truth.

In line with this thought, it should be pointed out that Bible commentaries, written prior to the first quarter of the 18th century, knew nothing of the Gap Theory. Is it strange, or just coincidental, that about the time Darwin’s Theory on Evolution (Origin of the Species) was published, that Christian Theologians came up with their Gap Theory? Thus, the theologians came up with a new interpretation of Genesis 1:1-2, allowing for a great time gap of millions and billions of years. Were they trying to help God out in the face of pseudo-scientists’ claims that millions of years were required to have produced the fossil geological column as they presented in their bogus science?

Incidentally, from what has been read, the Gap Theory has lost a lot of its’ appeal and luster within the last ten to fifteen years. Some still, tenaciously, hold on to this idea even though most Creation Scientists have dismissed the idea that the earth is millions/ billions of years old.

We will mention, in passing, that the Paluxy River which runs through the small Texas town of Glen Rose, has a dinosaur trail along side of the river. Footprints of dinosaurs are in the river bed and along side on the river bank. Huge footprints are embedded in limestone which was laid down during Noah’s Flood. We have been there, seen them, and walked along the banks of the river. And that’s not all. Human footprints have been found among those of the dinosaurs. This certainly indicated that men and dinosaurs lived in the same environment prior to Noah’s Flood.

The Creation Evidences Museum is located in Glen Rose along the bank of the Paluxy River. The Museum has human footprints of both men and women. The human prints in limestone have been removed from the river bed and its’ banks, and plaster models of them are on display. In the Museum, there are photographs of human footprints being removed from the river’s banks by Christian Archeologists. These pictures are on the internet if anyone cares to look for them.

Notice some related verses concerning Creation:

“Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee” (Nehemiah 9:6).

“Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth. The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men”
(Psalm 115:16).

“My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2).

“Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8).

“The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion” (Psalm 134:3).

“To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalm 136:5-7).

“Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created” (Psalm 148:5-6).

“For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:18).

Not one of these verses says anything about the LORD reconstructing the earth from a state of ruin. You would think these Scriptures would praise Him for His work of reconstruction (re-creation). If this did happen, you’d think that the Prophets of old would remind Israel of the astounding work of from ruin-to-reconstruction. But, we don’t read about it.

Had He left the earth as it was in Genesis 1:2, on Day One, it would have been without form and void, but in Six Days, His creation and all of its’ hosts (in heaven and on earth) was finished, and on the Seventh Day, He rested.

Tom L. Ballinger


[1]. Some excellent Bible students of the non-Gap Theory persuasion believe Satan was created in Genesis 1:1. Many times, the Bible speaks of heaven as a figure of speech in which “heaven” stands for the beings who occupy it. They reason that the clause, “In the beginning, God created the heaven …” (Genesis 1:1) refers to the angelic host of heaven and not just to the space of heaven. We have reason to believe that Satan and the other heavenly hosts were created on Day Six. This will be discussed later in this series.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” These are the first ten words in God’s written revelation to mankind. A more profound statement could not have been made. Writers know the importance of a great opening statement. They are taught that an opening statement should “grab” the reader’s attention. Writers even refer to a great opening sentence as a “hook.” It hooks the reader so he wants to read more.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” certainly grabs and hooks the reader with its’ magnificent simplicity. It clearly states that there was a beginning when God created the heaven and earth. Many intelligent minds have overlooked what the Holy Spirit is clearly teaching in Genesis 1:1.

No mystery shrouds the meaning of this verse. It unambiguously declares that God created the heaven and the earth IN THE BEGINNING (Genesis 1:1). In the context of Genesis 1:1, when was IN THE BEGINNING? Strict attention must be paid to the words of the text. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” What follows in Genesis One is a description of God’s Divine Work of Creation.

It seems that many intelligent minds become confused as to when “in the beginning” took place. They insist that “in the beginning” has reference to a period of time millions of years before the Six Days of Creation as outlined in Genesis One. They believe the first creative act refers to a far, distant, dateless past.

The immediate context of “in the beginning” is the six days of creation which is described in verses three through thirty-one. The “beginning” ended on Day Seven;

“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made” (Genesis 2:2).

Moses made another reference to the Work of Creation in Exodus 31:16-17;

“Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”—this is the work He began on Day One. Genesis 2:2 states that God ended His work on Day Seven and rested on “the seventh day.”

“And the earth was without form, and void;” (Genesis 1:2). None of this refers to an original creation that was destroyed. Genesis 1:2 doesn’t describe a ruined creation which was to be restored. Rather, it sets forth the creative scene with which God began His Creation Work. Verse one doesn’t refer to any Creative Work being done at the time of the statement being made. In plainer words, heaven was not created in verse one, nor were the heavenly hosts. We believe these hosts, including Satan, to have been created on Day Six—the same Day as Adam and Eve.

Verse two is a simple and straightforward statement of a view of the earth before its’ creation was completed—nothing less, nothing more.

In the Scofield Reference Bible, first published in 1917, the caption above Genesis 1:2 reads; “Earth made waste and empty by judgment” (Jer. 4:23-26);

“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).

Verse two does not state that the earth was “made waste and empty by God’s judgment.” There is nothing in verse two to suggest that idle curiosity be gratified by the presentation of strange, Geological theories. There are theorists who do speculate that fossil remains which are found in the earth are the result of the destruction of the original Creation by God. We have refused to feed upon idle curiosity. Our view is that the fossil remains found in the geological strata are the result of the world-wide flood of Noah’s day.

After a careful reading of Jeremiah 4:23-26, it is realized that the passages describe the future condition of Judah and Jerusalem at the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s captivity of the land, or at the time of the desolation by the king-of-fierce-continuance. It has nothing to do with an “overthrow” of a pre-historic world by what the speculators and theorists call—“Satan’s Flood.”
Our conclusion is that God made a declarative statement in Genesis 1:1—which was; “in the beginning” He created heaven and earth. Then, what follows in Genesis 1:2-31 is a definitive account of the Creative Works God performed during the time-frame of “in the beginning.” The “beginning” covered the Six Days and ended on the Seventh Day when God ended His Creative Activities and rested.
Tom L. Ballinger

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Gap theorists allege something like this: Genesis 1:1 records the “special creation” of the original Heavens and Earth millions/billions of years ago. God created various species of prehistoric animals and prehistoric man or an advanced higher being who lived upon the “original” Earth. It was during this time that Lucifer’s rebellion in heaven took palace (Isaiah. 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:1-16; Revelation 12:7-9). Lucifer (i.e., aka Satan) and his fallen angels were cast down to Earth. They corrupted the original inhabitants of the Earth, and provoked worldwide judgment, known alleged as “Lucifer’s Flood,” from which there were no survivors, except Lucifer and his cohorts. Thus, the Earth became without form and void (Genesis 1:2). It remained in this desolate condition for millions/billions of years until God decided to try “creation” all over again. Genesis1:3-31 is the record of God’s reconstruction of the ruined Heaven and Earth according to the Gap Theorists.

As it was pointed in the first study of this series, the English grammar of Genesis One does not allow for a time gap between Genesis 1:2 and 3. The thirty-two uses of the English word “and,” between verses 2 and 31 (as a figure of speech—Polysyndeton), as a coordinating conjunction, and the Hebrew word, “waw,” used as the conjunction (“and”) is a copulative and its’ use is connective. Both, the English and Hebrew, syntax rules out a time gap.

As the Gap Theory is examined more closely, it is noted that many Acts 28 brethren have added another twist to the Gap interpretation, and have seemingly done so without justification—thus becoming a non sequitur. They have taken a majestic passage of the superlative truth of Ephesians 1:4;

“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation (katabole) of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:”

And changed it to mean;

“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the overthrow (katabole) of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:”

The Greek word, “katabole,” (Strong’s No. 2602), is used eleven in the New Testament and in each occurrence, it is translated “foundation.” Never once is it translated “overthrow.” Eight New Testament translations were checked and not one of them translated “katabole” as “overthrow.” It was always “foundation.”

Where do folks come up with the idea of “overthrow?” It goes back to two Hebrew words used in Genesis 1:2; tohuw, and bohuw (this spelling is according to the Interlinear Bible), meaning “without form and void.” Some spelling of the words; are tohu and bohu. The “Overthrow” people take it to mean that God was in the process of destroying the Earth which is the exact opposite of the truth—He was in the process creating the Earth. Here in Genesis 1:2, the Gap theorists, ignoring the English and Hebrew grammar, invent the scenario that an original creation was destroyed by a Divine deluge—thus, God OVERTHREW the pre-Adamic Creation. Therefore, the mythic destruction of Genesis 1:1-2 was the “OVERTHROW.”

We can find no justification for the use of “overthrow” instead of “foundation.” An examination of the Greek word “katabole” reveals an astonishing fact.

Before we look at the inconceivable fact of “katabole,” we’ll point out how many Acts 28 Gap Theorists view Ephesians 1:4. An example of this is the following paragraph from an Acts 28 website which was forwarded to me from a PWO reader. The reader was asking for clarification of the statement, “we were chosen in Him before the OVERTHROW.” In a summary of the uniqueness of the Church of the Mystery, the website states:

“The time of the choosing and the purpose of this group is unique. It is from before the overthrow. Ephesians 1:4”

The Apostle Paul did rejoice in the revelation that we were chosen in Christ before FOUNDATION of the world. He said nothing about an OVERTHROW!

The writer used the word “overthrow,” as if it were Scripture. The writer may wish the word was “overthrow” instead of “foundation.” But, it is NOT. It is “foundation.”

There is a Latin term which describes what it is to introduce this personal consideration rather appealing to logic or reason—ad Hominem. An ad Hominem here could be called a “Circumstantial Ad Hominem,” to wit, a fallacy. Facts are bent and contorted to support a personal theological interpretation. So it goes when one builds a “house-of-cards.”

According to Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (page 330), the Greek word “KATABOLE” for “foundation” is defined as… “1. a throwing or laying down: (but hold your horses, don’t jump to conclusions) the injection or depositing of the virile semen in the womb, Leian. Amor. 19; aphorism: iv:1; the seed of animals and plants …2. a founding (laying down a foundation): to found a posterity, Heb. xi:11; from the foundation of the world: Mt. xiii; xxv:34; Lu. xi:50; Heb. iv:3. ix:26; Rev.xiii:8; xvii:8; Jn.vii:24; Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:20.”

It seems incredulous to switch the meaning from “foundation” to “overthrow” based on the Greek word “katabole.” The first definition of the word is not used in Scripture; it was a word in secular Greek, meaning the “injection (i.e., the laying down) of virile semen in the womb.” What a STRETCH it is to use “katabole” as the source word for “overthrow.” The secondary meaning of word is used eleven times in the Bible. And, it is correctly translated as “foundation.”

Along with these false ideas, they claim 2 Peter 3:5-7 refers to Lucifer’s Flood of Genesis 1:2 and not to Noah’s Flood of Genesis 7:17.

“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. But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Pet. 3:5-7).
“The world that then was” was the world created in Genesis 1:1-31 and it lasted until the flood came in Genesis 7:17-24. It was set in contrast to the “heavens and the earth which now are.” The “world that then was” ended with the Flood of Noah’s Day; not the mythological Flood of Lucifer.

Peter contrasted the pre-flood world of Noah’s Day with the world in the day in which he lived. The Apostle Peter had Noah’s Flood in mind when he wrote this second epistle.

“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment” (2 Peter 2:4).

These are not the angels who sinned during the imaginary pre-Adamic rebellion against God. No! Not at all! Peter identifies them as being part of the “old world;” that is, the world prior to Noah’s Flood. Notice:

“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” (2 Peter 2:5).

“The world that then was” is the same as “the old world.” The are the same. Not only that, but, the Lord Jesus Christ never spoke, or taught, about a flood, a deluge prior to Noah’s. He only spoke of Noah’s Flood (Matthew 24:38-39; Luke 17:27). If there had been a Luciferian Flood, it would have been a great object lesson as a teaching tool. Also, both 2 Peter 3:5-6 and 2 Peter 2:5 refer to the world that then was and the old world, respectfully. Since Noah and his family survived the flood, many Gap Theorists claim the world of his did not perish. This claim is false and is a direct contradiction to revealed Truth (Gen. 7:21-23; 2 Pet. 2:5). However, they are inconsistent when they teach that the angels in charge of the alleged “original” earth survived to inter-marry with human females which produced a race of giants as per Genesis Chapter Six.

Some have suggested that the “morning stars” and “all the sons of God” who shouted for joy (Job 38:7) when they observed the handiwork of God’s creation, must have been the ones of a previous creation (i.e., before the “overthrow). Our view and understanding is that upon the angel’s creation, on Day Six, is when they sang and shouted for joy.

The arguments of the Gap Theorists are based upon inductive reasoning—that is going from the particular to the general. Bible Truths are properly built upon the deductive method of reasoning—that is going from general to the particular.

For years, I accepted the Gap Theory as being accurate, simply, because so many people believed it to be true. After all, many of great men of God taught that the time-gap between the two creations was the “gospel truth.” However, I never taught it because somewhere in the back of my mind it didn’t “seem to add up.” And in the process of time, I realized it was “time to fish or cut bait” concerning this popular and seemingly scholarly concept of the “ruin-reconstruction” theory. It was about ten years or twelve years ago, we did some serious “bait cutting.” Our independent investigation of the Word brought us to the conclusion that the Gap Theory was “weighed in the balances and found wanting.”

These studies represent some of our findings.

Tom L. Ballinger

© Copyright 2011 by Plainer Words