Gap Theory


According to the gap theory, there’s a very long gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. The world that existed during this gap was destroyed and God re-created in the six days described in Genesis. This idea fails because it lacks biblical support and puts death before sin when Scripture describes death as the consequence for sin.

Gap Theory Examined Biblically

This brief overview shows that the gap theory is not biblical. It is, in fact, a compromise of the truth of Genesis, which arose when Christian leaders tried to accommodate the millions of years claimed for fossil layers.

Hebrew Words and the Gap Theory

Many adherents of the gap theory claim that the grammar of Genesis 1:1–2 allows, and even requires, a time-gap between the events in verse 1 and the events in verse 2. Into this gap—believed by many to be billions of years—they want to place all the major geological phenomena that have shaped the world.

Variations of the Gap Theory

The “modified gap theory” or “precreation chaos gap theory,” which is the proposed “gap” between Genesis 1:2 and 1:3, is unscriptural, and ultimately unnecessary. In fact, several gap models have been proposed over the years for one reason—to add secular ideas of long ages to the Bible.

Articles About Gap Theory

  • June 2, 2013 from Answers Magazine

    Two centuries ago in an effort to explain “prehistoric” fossils, Christian leaders introduced the idea that a gap of time is missing between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.

  • Feedback Article
    Modified Gap Theory
    Nov. 5, 2010 from Feedback

    Why couldn't the earth and the heavens been created millions of years ago and remained null and void until God created the atmosphere, land and life?

  • Mind the Gap
    June 30, 2008, p. 40

    The gap theory is simply compromise. It is an attempt to harmonise the facts of Scripture with the ideas of fallen men.

  • Book Chapter
    What About the Gap & Ruin-Reconstruction Theories?
    Sept. 6, 2007 from The New Answers Book 1

    Because of the accepted teachings of evolution, many Christians have tried to place a gap of indeterminate time between the first two verses of Genesis 1.

  • Feedback Article
    Recollections of an Ex-Gap-Theorist
    Dec. 9, 2005 from Feedback

    Judie from Australia shares her past experiences with the Gap Theory, as a follow up to last week's feedback on the topic.

  • Feedback Article
    Does Scripture Allow for the Gap Theory?
    Dec. 2, 2005 from Feedback

    AiG speaker Bodie Hodge responds to comments about the gap theory

  • Does Scripture Allow for the Gap Theory?
    Nov. 28, 2005

    Bodie Hodge, AiG-US, responds to a letter which claims Genesis 1:2 supports the gap theory.

  • A Gap in Knowledge
    April 12, 2001

    A well-known US ‘televangelist’ (i.e. television preacher), who frequently appears on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), recently promoted the compromise view known as the ‘gap theory.’

  • Magazine Article
    The Gap Theory—an Idea with Holes?
    Dec. 1, 1987, pp. 35–37

    Many people assume there is a great gap in time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.

  • Magazine Article
    The Gap Theory (Part B)
    Aug. 1, 1980, pp. 33–34

    The interpretation of Genesis 1:1–2, as it applies to the Gap (Ruin-Reconstruction) Theory, revolves around four major points.

  • Magazine Article
    The Gap Theory (Part A)
    Aug. 1, 1980, pp. 11–12

    There have been many attempts to harmonize or combine the Genesis account of the creation with orthodox “modern” geology—e.g. theistic evolution and progressive creation.


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