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What Is The Gap Theory

QUESTION: What is the Gap Theory?


What is the Gap Theory? The Gap Theory is a conjectural hypothesis proposed by a small group of Bible scholars who advocate the “Old Earth” perspective (that the Earth is billions or at least millions of years old) and believe that the vast majority of Earth’s history can be condensed into an ambiguous Gap which they place between the first two verses of Genesis. These scholars believe that after Earth’s initial creation in Genesis 1:1, but before it was made “without form and void” as described in Genesis 1:2, there existed a prehistoric era during which time a great number of plants and animals lived, flourished, and became extinct (including the dinosaurs). This gap is thought to account for the geological findings of modern science which are interpreted as supporting a lengthy prehistoric era (in contradiction to the Genesis 6-day creation account described in Genesis 1:2-31). The Bible does not directly describe any chronological gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. It is an inference made by a small minority of Bible scholars.

Some Gap Theorists believe that this prehistoric era was brought to a close by some sort of a catastrophic event, such as a large asteroid impacting the Earth, or a global flood like the one in the days of Noah. This catastrophic event left the planet “without form and void.”

Some Gap Theoriests believe that Satan’s fall, described in Ezekiel 28:13-17, Isaiah 14:12, and Luke 10:18, took place during this ambiguous gap. These scholars believe that Satan’s fall may have caused such devastation upon the planet that restoration was necessary in order that God could continue His work on Earth.

What is the Gap Theory in summary? It is an inferred chronological gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 proposed by a small minority of Bible scholars in an effort to reconcile the Bible with popular “Old Earth” interpretations of geological evidence.

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