Some scholars believe there is a “gap” of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, and others reject such a proposition. Certain objectors insist that there must be a continuity of thought in the time and progression of Scriptures and thus disallow any consideration of a “gap.” The objectors claim that “gap-believers” force the issue of a “gap” by making a division between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 and thus commit a grave hermeneutical error.
I personally believe there is a gap of “time” between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. First, consider the matter of interpretation of these two verses in the light of hermeneutical continuity. Is the idea of a “gap” between verses plausible? The folks who object to this “gap” will readily accept other Biblical gaps. For example, in Daniel 9:24-27, we have the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 weeks; and no Bible student would dare refute the gap of time between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel.
Also, in John 5:29 we are told of a good and evil resurrection. Every sound Bible student knows there is not a general resurrection, but a gap between the different resurrections.
The argument using fossils or dinosaurs to oppose the “gap” belief is unwarranted, as we have no Biblical proof of animal existence before Genesis 1:2. We do not believe in a “gap” simply to attempt to justify certain fossil records or to force compliance with science. Science must be forced to comply with the Bible.
Some modernists attempt to disprove the “gap” belief by toying with the word “was,” as they claim it could be translated as “become.” This is a serious error to doubt that the Authorized Version is not a true copy of God’s Word. There are Hebrew and Greek words which have multiple meanings, and by faith we must accept that what is recorded is perfect and has been preserved as promised by God (Psalm 12:6-7). The rank liberals who hint or suggest that (for English-speaking people) the old KJV contains errors or mistranslations are treading on dangerous ground. Who determines what is truth and what is error? If there is an error, who dares to establish “their” truth? Who dares to make the final decision as to what is truth and what is error?
One Greek term may suggest six meanings as in, at, with, by, to, for. Who will determine which is to be used? To walk by the fire or in the fire is the difference between life and death! No one has the right to tamper with the Word of God! “Spiritual” liberals who have been educated beyond their intelligence need only to accept by faith, like a little child, the plain written Word of God as we have preserved in the KJV.
One opponent to the “gap” belief, Dr. John Whitcomb, refutes the “gap” on the assumption that to believe in the “gap” one must believe there were animals living in the Pre-Adamic earth. First, his premise is unfounded. His assumption is erroneous. Hence, he has no argument! There were no animals in the Pre-Adamic earth; and therefore, there are no fossils for consideration from that era.
The “gap” between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 is not only plausible, but also Biblical. The feasibility of a “gap” must be totally substantiated by the Bible without conforming to or trying to appease some humanistic reasoning or scientific data. If the Bible supports such a proposition as a “gap,” then it is so; and if the Bible does not support the same, then it is not so!
The idea of a creative gap is not a doctrine of the Bible, and Believers should not break fellowship with one another over such. We ought to be able to disagree and not be disagreeable in our spirit.
This, of course, is predicated on the fact that whether one believes in a “gap” or not, the 24-hour creative days are not altered. I do not believe any mortal living knows the age of the earth, and whether it is 15,000 years old or 150 million years old is of no consequence to me. However, when we begin to place an age on man, then we have a different proposition altogether. I do not believe that Adam lived for millions of years in the garden alone before Eve was created; therefore, we may rightly assume man has been on Earth for some six to ten thousand years.
Verses like Exodus 20:11, 31:17, etc. must be taken in the scope of the Scriptures if one adheres to the “gap.” They state that in six days God made the heaven and the earth. Kept in proper context, these verses state that God’s creative acts began in Genesis 1:3. Also, in Exodus 10:15 the term “whole earth” refers only to Egypt. We know this because of context. I realize there are good men of God who do not believe in a gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 – take care not to throw stones over such a “matter.”