In an attempt not to seem foolish in the eyes of the world, many Christians and Christian leaders have compromised on God’s Word by trying to squeeze millions of years or evolutionary ideas into the biblical text. Such thinking exalts man’s ideas above God’s authoritative and infallible Word.
One popular way of trying to fit millions of years into the biblical text is known as the “gap theory.” This is the idea that there is a gap of millions of years between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. During this gap of time, most gap theorists believe that there were millions of years of geologic time during which the fossil record was laid down. Many gap theorists also place the fall of Satan during this time and claim that the world was destroyed by a watery flood to judge his sin.
Now, the idea of the gap theory does not come from Scripture but was an idea imposed on Scripture to explain the supposed millions of years of Earth’s history that secular geologists insist must have happened.
Besides being an idea completely imposed on Scripture, the gap theory suffers from many other biblical problems. First of all, it puts death and suffering before sin. If the fossil record was laid down over millions of years, then there were millions of years of death and suffering before Adam and Eve sinned. Yet death is clearly the consequence for sin: “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17) and “therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). According to the Bible, death did not exist before sin, so you can’t have millions of years of death before sin!
In Genesis 1:31 we read, “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Would God call millions of death and suffering “very good?” No! God calls death "the last enemy" (1 Corinthians 15:26). Death is not “very good”; it is an intruder into creation that will someday be destroyed (Revelation 21:4). Also, if Satan’s rebellion did occur during this supposed gap of time then God would be calling Satan’s sin “very good,” but sin is not in any way good!
These are just some of the major problems with the idea of a gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. You can read a more in-depth study of the problems with the gap theory here.
We received an email from a supporter who used to believe in the gap theory but who has come to understand that it is a compromise position that was added to the biblical text. She writes,
Thank you for standing in the truth of God’s Word.
I was raised in a Baptist church, and was taught the “gap theory”. I was taught that between day 1 and 2, Satan and his fallen angels occupied the earth, having a sort of party of destruction. I did not question this, but on many levels felt uncomfortable with the theory.
When reading Ken Ham’s book “Six Days”, I had a revelation: If sin entered the world when Adam sinned, then there was no way that Satan and his fallen angels could have occupied the earth prior to Adam’s fall. If there was this gap, God would not have called it “good”.
I give thanks that Ken Ham, and all of you at Answers In Genesis stand firmly on the truth of God’s Word.
We are warned in Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:6, and Revelation 22:18-19, not to add to the Word of God. Thank you for showing me where there had been false additions to the Word.
I am thankful that God is using AiG resources to help others to stand firmly on the authority and truth of God’s Word from the very beginning. We need a generation that loves God’s Word and is dedicated to standing on its authority and boldly proclaiming truth to a world that needs to hear it!
You can order a copy of my book Six Days: The Age of the Earth and the Decline of the Church here.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.