Why couldn’t the planet earth and the heavens been created millions of years ago and remained null and void until God began 6000 years ago to create the atmosphere, land and life?
I don’t believe in the gap theory in that the original earth was destroyed. But why couldn’t the planet earth and the heavens been created millions of years ago and remained null and void until God began 6000 years ago to create the atmosphere, land and life?
Thank you for contacting Answers in Genesis. 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. Here are some of the various models:
This modified gap theory is inconsistent with God creating everything in six days, as Scripture states. The plain meaning of the text is that everything was created sequentially: the earth, light, plants, sun, moon, stars, birds and fish, beasts, and man. The modified gap suggests that Day One lasted for millions of years while the rest of the days were normal length.
Exodus 20:11 states, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Thus, the creation of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) and the sea and all that is in them (the rest of the creation) was completed in six days. Is there any room for an alternative interpretation that truly honors Scripture, based on this clear passage?
Since the sun, moon, and stars were not created until Day Four, the modified gap theorist has to either accept billions of years with nothing in space but a lush earth, or rearrange the order of the Genesis 1 creation account without any hermeneutical basis.
Using Scripture as our starting point, we can show that the physical evidence is consistent with an earth being a few thousand years in age.
Using Scripture as our starting point, we can show that the physical evidence is consistent with an earth being a few thousand years in age. There is significant evidence that can be discussed—the decay and rapid reversals of the earth’s magnetic field, the amount of salt in the oceans, the wind-up of spiral galaxies, helium in zircons, C-14 in diamonds, and much more.
The modified gap also calls into question the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Consider that He said in Mark 10:5–8 that mankind was made from the beginning of creation, not billions of years later:
And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and the two shall be one flesh: so then they are no more two, but one flesh.
The modified gap attempts to blend secular long ages with the Bible, but there is no need for a gap. The modified gap does not “bridge the gap” (pun intended) between biblical creation and long ages. Instead, it is an arbitrary attempt to compromise with secular interpretations of the age of the earth and universe.
It also opens up a major theological problem of death before sin. This results in the idea of death being “very good” (Genesis 1:31) and undermines the reason for Christ’s atonement to save us from sin and death. Death is the result of sin and did not occur millions of years before Adam. Please take some time to consider this with your Bible in hand.
With kindness and prayers that this helps. God bless,
Troy Lacey and Bodie Hodge