The Gap Theory
The Gap Theory suggests that the six-day creation in Genesis was
actually a re-creation of a previously created earth. Genesis 1:1 says:
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
and Genesis 1:2 says:
"Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of
the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."
God created the earth in the beginning, but this original creation did
not result in the chaos we see in Genesis 1:2."The earth was
formless and void" (Genesis 1:2) can be translated, "The earth became
formless and void."
Isaiah 45:18 says:
"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."
This says that God created a perfect earth. He did not create
it to be empty, as it was in Genesis 2, but rather to be inhabited.
The period between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 is further documented in Jeremiah 4:23-29:
23) I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; and at the heavens, and their light was gone.
24) I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking; all the hills were swaying.
25) I looked, and there were no people; every bird in the sky had flown away.
26) I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert; all its towns lay in ruins before the LORD, before his fierce anger.
27) This is what the LORD says: 'The whole land will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely.
28) Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark,
because I have spoken and will not relent, I have decided and will not turn back.'
29) At the sound of horsemen and archers every town takes to flight.
Some go into the thickets; some climb up among the rocks. All the towns are deserted; no one lives in them.
This passage refers to the time on earth between Genesis 1:1 and
Genesis 1:2. We know this because verse 23 says the earth was in the
state we find in Genesis 1:2, and verse 25 says there were no people
yet. Verse 23 says there was no light, and this would have caused the
temperature to fall, perhaps resulting in the Ice Age in the geologic
record. Verse 24 says that tremendous earthquakes were moving
the mountains and hills. Verse 25 says there were birds, and perhaps this
is when the dinosaurs lived on earth, in the pre-Adamic
earth. Verse 26 says that God was angered because his fertile
earth lay in ruins. What ruined the perfect earth? The Gap Theory suggests that it was Satan.
Satan was not created during the six days of creation documented in
Genesis. All of that creation was very good (Genesis 1:31), and Satan
is not good. However, he appears to man in Genesis 3, so he must have
been created previously.
Revelation 12:7-9 documents Satan being cast out of Heaven:
"And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the
dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not
strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon
was hurled down-- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who
leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him."
The Gap Theory accounts for the following scenario:
- God created a perfect earth, including Satan and the angels in
heaven, and prehistoric dinosaurs on the earth. (Genesis 1:1, Jeremiah 4:25).
- Satan rebelled against God, and God cast him and his angels out of
Heaven and they inhabited the earth (Revelation 12:9).
- Satan and his angels sinned and ruined the earth (Jeremiah 4:26).
- In anger, God removed light from the earth, the Ice Age ensued, and
the prehistoric animals died (Jeremiah 4:23, 26).
- God re-created the earth including man. (Genesis 1:2).
Owen Weber 2009