Article Info

published: 12/31/12

Gap Theory


Gleanings In Genesis

Scofield Study Bible

The Invisible War

Gap Creationism

What is the Gap Theory?

(Please note: This article builds off the introductory articles "Creationism" and "Old Earth Creationism".)

A form of Old Earth Creationism, the "Gap Theory" posits that there is a time span of millions of years between Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," and Genesis 1:2, "The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep."

According to the Gap Theory, Genesis 1:1 describes the first creation and Genesis 1:2 describes the second creation.

Key Aspects of Gap Creationism

  • The Gap Theory argues that the first creation rebelled and this included the fall of Satan and his angels. This prompted God to judge the world, which occurred during the "gap," and suggests that Genesis 1:2 describes the affects of the judgment - that the world was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
  • The first creation is millions of years old or whatever the scientific establishment says it is. Yet, the second creation is 10,000 to 20,000 years old, which is derived from understanding that the "days" in Genesis 1 are 24-hour periods of time. Therefore, the gap theory has a way of explaining fossils that are said to be millions of years old and still hold that the earth as it is now known was directly created 10,000 20,000 years ago.
  • The terms"without form and void" and "darkness" are important terms in this view. It is argued that Bible-wide the imagery suggests God's judgment. First, "without form and void" is used to describe desert-like places that have suffered the effects of judgment (e.g. Isaiah 34:11; Jeremiah 34:23). Second, "darkness" is frequently used to describe places of God's judgment as well (e.g. Jeremiah 23:12; Joel 2:31).

Critics argue that the Bible never explicitly refers a "first" and "second" creation. Also, Genesis 1:31 says that God saw all that was made and called it "very good," which, if the Gap Theory were correct, would include Satan's rebellion and the judgment of the first created order. It is also questioned why the first creation, given its age, did not include people as Adam and Eve were apparently part of God's second creation.