How Old is the Earth? How Long Were the Days of Creation? Gap Theory?

By COGwriter

Is the gap theory related to Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 a Christian doctrine or some type of a relatively new heresy according to some Protestants, some Sabbatarians, and some Catholics?

Could this have any bearing on the age of the planet?

In general, the scientific community contends the the universe is between 14 - 16 (some day 20) billion years old and the earth 4 -5 billion years old. Some misguided "creationists" insist that it cannot be more than 6,000 years old. (Here are links to two sermons: Genesis, 'Prehistoric man,' and the Gap theory and Genesis, 'Prehistoric man,' and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?)

Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Were the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Where in chronological sequence does the Bible really begin?

This article will attempt to answer those and other questions.

Genesis 1:1 Creation

The Bible teaches:

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1, NKJV throughout unless otherwise noted)

But the Bible does not say when that happened, other than it happened in "the beginning." Many (including this author) have added up ages of various biblical figures when they became fathers, combined with reigns of biblical kings and other scriptures, and concluded that from the time Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden to present, there has been a little less than 6,000 years (for details, please see the article Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).

But some (and not this author) have then concluded that Genesis 1:1 took place around 6,000 years ago. That, however, is an incorrect assumption.

Certain scientific evidence points to the Earth itself being much older than 6,000 years. Fossil evidence, carbon-dating, light patterns, and other dating systems suggest that the earth could be millions and probably billions of years old.

Some find this confusing. But this is also explainable from the Bible.

Genesis 1:2 Shows that there Was a Time Gap. What is the Gap Theory of Creation?

As it turns out, there was a gap of time between Gensis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.

This view is known by names such as the gap theory, gap creationism, ruin-restoration creationism, and restoration creationism.

Now nottice what the KJV translation of Genesis 1:2 states:

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2, KJV)

Because the NKJV also kept about the same translation, many have been confused about what Genesis 1:2 really teaches.

The following is the Hebrew transliterated into characters that non-Hebrew readers can recognize:

2 weh’ares haytah tohû wabohû wehošek 'al-penê tehôm werûha elohîm merapet 'al-penê hammayim.

(Genesis 1:2 from Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, edited by Karl Ellinger and Wilhelm Rudolph. Fifth Revised Edition, edited by Adrian Schenker. © 1977 and 1997 Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft Stuttgart. Used by permission. With certain letters in modern form by COGwriter as html would not display minimized certain characters properly)

Here is a somewhat literal translation of it:

2 the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness [is] on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2, Young's Literal Translation)

Here is a more understandable translation of it:

2 But the earth became waste and void, and with darkness on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moved upon on the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2, clarified literal translation)

Before going further, notice something else:

18 For thus says the Lord,
Who created the heavens,
Who is God,
Who formed the earth and made it,
Who has established it,
Who did not create it in vain,
Who formed it to be inhabited:
"I am the Lord, and there is no other (Isaiah 45:18)

Notice that the earth was NOT created in vain. The word translated as 'vain' above is the same Hebrew word (tohuw) translated as 'without form' in Genesis 1:2 (tohuw). Obviously, then, according to the Bible, something happened between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. It should be noted that this is NOT a gap between day 1 and day 2 as some anti-gap people have written, as day 1 began with Genesis 1:3.

"Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35) and Isaiah 45:18 is clearly in support of the gap-theory position that there must have been a second creation. So does, Psalm 104:30.

Notice the following from the late Herbert W. Armstrong:

"Thou sendest forth thy spirit [the Holy Spirit of God, now, is sent forth. And that is the power that God uses to do what He does], they are created [been created by the Spirit of God, you see] and thou renewest the face of the earth." (Psalm 104:30 {KJV}) God renewed the face of the earth! A lot of people don't know that's in the Bible — that the earth had become waste and decayed and God renewed the face of the earth for man! Now we go right back to the first chapter of Genesis again, and you find the earth, as Satan left it: "Darkness was on the face of the deep [It was all covered with water. And it was waste and empty]. And the spirit of God moved upon the water [now He sent forth His Spirit to begin to create, or renew the face of the earth]. And God said, Let there be light." (Genesis 1:2-3) (Armstrong HW. (The Meaning of Atonement. Sermon: September 20, 1980)

Notice that scripture says that God renewed the face of the earth. And that is what God did. While most translations say a version of the word renew or replenish for the second half of that verse, notice the following:

Contemporary English Version: You created all of them by your Spirit, and you give new life to the earth. (Psalm 104:30)

Good News Translation: But when you give them breath, they are created; you give new life to the earth. (Psalm 104:30)

And while I do not believe the above are strictly literal translations, the basic idea that God Gave NEW LIFE to the earth is correct.

Some Critics, Commentators, and Scriptures

Some have claimed tha the view that there was a major time gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 was a position taken to deal the items from evolutionists. Notice one such false claim from a Sabbath-keeping group:

Gap creationism (also known as Ruin-Restoration creationism, Restoration creationism, or "The Gap Theory"), is a form of OLD-EARTH creationism. It agrees that the six-day creation, as described in the Book of Genesis, involved literal 24-hour days, but supposes that there was a "GAP" of time between TWO DISTINCT CREATIONS in the first and the second verses of Genesis. The REASON this THEORY came into being was to reconcile the bible text with the THEORY that the age of the Earth is BILLIONS OF YEARS OLD. It posits that an EARLIER creation, complete with dinosaurs and pre-Adamic hominoids lived and died before the "Genesis days of creation." (Closing the Gap. co-written by Brian and Kenneth Hoeck for Truth On The Web Ministries. http://www.truthontheweb.org/gapclose.htm accessed 07/23/18) 

Yet, it should be noted that the 'gap theory' was known prior to the time of Charles Darwin or scientists claiming that the Earth was billions of years old. Hence, the above contains false assertions.

Notice a claim about a Protestant who popularized the gap theory in 1814:

It was definitely Thomas Chalmers, a divinity professor at the University of Edinburgh, who popularized the gap theory. He first lectured on it in 1814 and attributed it to Episcopius:

My own opinion, as published in 1814, is that it [Genesis 1:1] forms no part of the first day— but refers to a period of indefinite antiquity when God created the worlds out of nothing. The commencement of the first day's work I hold to be the moving of God's Spirit upon the face of the waters. We can allow geology the amplest time . . . without infringing even on the literalities of the Mosaic record. . . .

[Bixler, 1986, pp. 86-87]

(McIver T. Formless and Void: Gap Theory Creationism. Creation Evolution Journal (8)3, 1988: p. 6)

Episcopius was a 17th century Catholic bishop. Charles Darwin was born February 12, 1809 and had not written books on evolution by then. He started writing about natural selection in the 1830s, and his Origin of Species book did not come out until November 24, 1859.

Furthermore, not only did Thomas Chambers precede Darwinism, the gap view is much older than that.

Before going into some old quotes, it should be pointed out that in the Hebrew of the Masoretic text, there a pause/gap symbol between the first and second verses of Genesis.

Furthermore, in the Masoretic text in which Jewish scholars tried to incorporate enough "indicators" to guide the reader ... is one small mark which is technically known as Rebhia which is classified as a "disjunctive accent" intended to notify the reader that he should pause before proceeding to the next verse. Such a mark appears at the end of Genesis 1:1. This mark has been noticed by several scholars including Luther. It is one indication among others, that the waw (וּ‬) which introduces verse 2 should be rendered "but" rather than "and," a disjunctive rather than a conjunctive. (Custance AC. Without Form and Void. 1970, pp. 18-19)

This shows a gap, not a conjunctive connection, between verses one and two, therefore verse one therefore is NOT an explanation of verse two.

So we see that, anciently, there is an actual gap symbol between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis. And that instead of Genesis 1:2 beginning with "And" like the KJV and Douay Rheims have, it should begin with "But."

Now, one anti-Gap article asks, "WHY CAN'T WE JUST BELIEVE THE BIBLE?" It then refers to the biblical gap view as an "imagined theory" and claimed it was based on non-biblical evidence (Closing the Gap. co-written by Brian and Kenneth Hoeck for Truth On The Web Ministries. http://www.truthontheweb.org/gapclose.htm accessed 07/23/18), yet it failed to mention that there is an actual pause/gap in the Masoretic text of scripture.

And a correct translation of the Bible makes the point more apparent.

Let's now see two translations of something else in the Bible:

28 And God blessed them; and God said unto them: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.' (Genesis 1:28, Jewish Publication Society Tanakh 1917)

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:28, KJV)

The Original Douay OT (1610) also teaches to "replenish the earth, and subdue it" (though the version I checked uses old English spelling, like "fubdew it").

To replenish (Strong's word 4390, transliterated from Hebrew into uwmil°uw) means to "restore (a stock or supply of something) to the former level or condition." There would be no reason to "replenish" if there had not been a previous time when the Earth existed.

Furthermore, consider that this was the same command (with the same Strong's word 4390, transliterated from Hebrew into uwmil°uw) God gave Noah after the Great Flood:

1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them: 'Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. (Genesis 9:1, Jewish Publication Society Tanakh 1917)

1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. (Genesis 9:1, KJV)

Adam was told to replenish as Noah had.

Early Christian Writings Show that the Gap Doctrine is Not a New Idea

The idea that God replenished, or rearrangemed, the earth after many (apparently 1/3) of the angels messed up, is not new.

In the early second century, we have this from Papias, who claimed to know the Apostles:

Papias thus speaks, word for word: To some of them [angels] He gave dominion over the arrangement of the world, and He commissioned them to exercise their dominion well. And he says, immediately after this: but it happened that their arrangement came to nothing. (Papias. Fragments of Papias. From the Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord. Chapter VII. Antenicene Fathers)

Yes, the angelic realm and universe were created first, then many angels rebelled. This is what the Bible teaches.

In the 20th century, the late French Cardinal Jean-Guenole-Marie Danielou wrote something related to that:

Andrew of Caesrea tells us the Papius taught that God had conferred on certain angels the task of administering the Earth, and that they betrayed that trust. (Danielou, Cardinal Jean-Guenole-Marie. The Theology of Jewish Christianity. Translated by John A. Baker. The Westminister Press, 1964, p. 47).

This would be related to fragment VII, though Cardinal Danielou did not refer to it. Why is this of interest?

While the teaching about angels has been taught in certain Churches of God for some time, it is not a teaching that the Greco-Roman churches tend to hold to.

In the second century, Theophilus of Antioch, who we believe was in the Church of God, wrote:

This Eve, on account of her having been in the beginning deceived by the serpent, and become the author of sin, the wicked demon, who also is called Satan, who then spoke to her through the serpent, and who works even to this day in those men that are possessed by him, invokes as Eve. And he is called "demon" and "dragon," on account of his [ἀποδεδρακέναι] revolting from God. For at first he was an angel. And concerning his history there is a great deal to be said; wherefore I at present omit the relation of it, for I have also given an account of him in another place. Theophilus. To Autolycus, Book II, Chapter 28. Translated by Marcus Dods. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe.Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885)

While we do not have his history from "another place," what he wrote above in consistent with the view that the angels were created before the formation starting in Genesis 1:2.

Proof from Genesis 2?

Some of claimed that Genesis 2 seems to be different than the account in Genesis 1.

Furthermore, there is a view that parts of Genesis 2 have been overly affected by translation biases. Here is one view along those lines.

Genesis 2 verses 1 and 4 appear to contradict the theory that Genesis 1 is an account of GOD repairing the Earth.

Gen 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.

Gen 2:4 This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens...

Q: Don't these verses plainly discredit the notion that Genesis 1 is an account of GOD repairing the Earth after the War of the Angels? Verse 4 plainly states that Genenis 1 was a history of GOD creating the heavens and Earth, not repairing them.

A: It definitely appears to do so in English. But, the original text was written in Hebrew and was translated into English under the assumption that Genesis 1 was a description of a 7 day creation from nothing. Examining the original Hebrew in verse 1 actually confirms that this was a repair of the Earth after a war.

The word translated into English as HOST is tsaba' {tsaw-baw'}. According to the TWOT - Theological Word Book of the Old Testament the definition of TSABA is: that which goes forth, army, war, warfare, or host. This word is almost always translated elsewhere in the Old Testament in the context of war or warfare. But, because the translaters assumed the word was being used in the context of creating the entire universe the word host was used to indicate GOD created the entire Universe. What was actually being communicated was that the War was over because the Sky and Land had been brought back to its original state before the war. (The word translated as heaven can also mean sky or air).

The word translated in verse 4 as CREATED is the Hebrew word bara' {baw-raw'}, which is a verb. Once, again, the translators assumed that the heaveans and earth were created in seven days so other, more accurate, English words were not considered. The definition of BARA according to the Theological Word Book of the Old Testament is: to create, shape, or form. One of the alternate meaning listed is transformations. In other words, the translators could have said it was an account of when the sky and land was transformed. The word translated as HISTORY is towldah {to-led-aw'}, which also can be translated as results. And the word translated as MADE, is from the Hebrew word `asah {aw-saw'} which the Theological Word Book of the Old Testament defines as: to do, fashion, accomplish, or make.

Lets go back and see what the meaning would be if the translators had known of the War of the Angels and the fact that Genesis was an account of the land and air being transformed back to its state before the war.

1 Thus the war of the heavens and earth was brought to an end. . . . 4 This is the result of the heavens and of the earth being transformed, in the day that the LORD God accomplished it for the land and air.

According to the Theological Word Book of the Old Testament, the above translation is just as accurate from a technical perspective but, it makes a huge difference in the meaning and is consistent with GOD repairing the Earth after a war had destroyed it.

(Gap Theory and/or The Ruin-and-Reconstruction Theory of Genesis 1. Reluctant Messenger. https://reluctant-messenger.com/gap-theory.htm accesssed 09/04/18)

Now, I do NOT know if the translator above is sufficiently skilled in Hebrew to be sure of that. However, but there are some reasons to consider some possibilitities here.

First, let's see verse 1 from the Young's Literal Translation:

1 And the heavens and the earth are completed, and all their host; (Genesis 2:1, YLT)

The term 'host' in verse one could signify an army. And if the word order changed, which may be possible in Hebrew, this would suggest that the completion of the heavens and earth took place after perhaps a battle with Satan, or at least after Genesis 1:1.

It should be noted that Genesis 2:1, irrespective of the array or host or "war" translations, clearly teaches that the heavens and earth were completed or finished in many translations:

New International Version Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

New Living Translation So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed.

English Standard Version Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. Berean Study Bible Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

New American Standard Bible Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.

King James Bible Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. Christian Standard Bible So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed.

Good News Translation And so the whole universe was completed.

Holman Christian Standard Bible So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed.

International Standard Version With this the heavens and the earth were completed, including all of their vast array.

NET Bible The heavens and the earth were completed with everything that was in them.

New Heart English Bible Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their vast array. GOD'S WORD® Translation Heaven and earth and everything in them were finished.

JPS Tanakh 1917 And the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

New American Standard 1977 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.

Jubilee Bible 2000 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

King James 2000 Bible Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. American King James Version Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

American Standard Version And the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

Douay-Rheims Bible So the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the furniture of them.

Darby Bible Translation And the heavens and the earth and all their host were finished. English Revised Version And the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

Webster's Bible Translation Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. World English Bible The heavens and the earth were finished, and all their vast array.

Now notice Genesis 2:4 from Young's Literal Translation:

4 These [are] births of the heavens and of the earth in their being prepared, in the day of Jehovah God's making earth and heavens; (Genesis 2:1,4, YLT)

The expression "in their being prepared ... in the day" seem consistent with that as well. But, of itself, these passages in Genesis 2 are not necessarily conclusive proof of the gap doctrine, but also they are not opposed to it.

The ancient work known as The Book of Light or Sefer Hazzohar, sometimes simply Zohar was traditionally ascribed to one of Akida's disciples, a certain Simon ben Jochai. In this work ... there is a comment on Genesis 2:4-6, which, though difficult to follow, reads thus:

These are generations of heaven and earth. ... Now wherever there is the word 'these' the previous words are put aside. And these are the generations of the destruction which is signified in verse 2 of chapter 1. The earth was Tohu and Bohu. These indeed are the worlds of which it is said that the blessed God created them, and destroyed them, and, on that account, the earth was desolate and empty. (Custance, p. 20; see also Nurho de Manhar. Library of Alexandria. The Sepher Ha-Zohar, Or, The Book of Light: Bereshith to Lekh Lekha, Chapter VIII)

So, there is a Jewish work which supports a type of 'gap' understanding of Genesis 2.

Jewish Writings

Now, did any Jewish writings outside the Bible point to some type of gap?

Yes, as previously indicated.

Here is a slightly different version of what was shown before from the late first century/early second century:

"These (aleh) are the generations (children or races) of the heavens and the earth" (Gen. xi., 4). It has been stated that in every passage of Scripture that the word aleh occurs, there is no connection with what precedes it. This is the ease with the passage just quoted. Its logical reference and connection is with the words "tohu," and "bohu" (without form and void) in the second verse of Gen. i. There are those who say that the Holy One created worlds and then destroyed them. Why were they destroyed? Because, as the Scripture says, "the earth was tohu and bohu," indicating the state of former worlds before their destruction. (Nurho de Manhar. Library of Alexandria. The Sepher Ha-Zohar, Or, The Book of Light: Bereshith to Lekh Lekha. 1900-1914, pp. 127-128)

(Note that the above author meant Genesis 2:4, not 11:4 as an editor improperly added the 'x' instead of 'i' by accident as 'aleph' is not in Genesis 11:4, but is in 2:4.)

Thus, it should be clear that no later than the second century A.D. some version of the gap theory was documented.

As far as worlds go, while scripture does not teach that multiple worlds were destroyed (unless we are talking about what happened to the Earth after Satan and during the Great Flood, notice what the New Testament teaches:

3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:3)

More than one 'world,' more than one 'age' (the Greek is aioónas) was framed/repaired (the Greek is katartizo) by God).

The Onkelos Targum is a Jewish document, also dating from the late first or early second century (the Jewish Targums, essentially paraphrases usually in Arabic date from that period). Here is a report of is:

"Among the early Jewish writings there are a number of Aramaic paraphrases of the Old Testament. The oldest of these so-called Targums is that of Onkelos, which is confined to the Pentateuch. According to the Babylonian Talmud, Onkelos was a proselyte who was the son of a man named Calonicas, and was the composer of the Targum which bears his name, which he in turn had received from Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua, both of whom lived toward the end of the first and the beginning of the second century A.D. However, in the Jerusalem Talmud the very same thing is related by the same authorities (and almost in the same words) of the proselyte Aquila of Pontes, whose Greek version of the Bible was much used by the Greek-speaking Jews down to the time of Justinian; so it is sometimes argued that Onkelos is but another name for Aquila. Aquila Ponticus was a relative of the Emperor Hadrian, living in the second century A.D. Thus even if Onkelos is not an absolutely authentic figure, the works attributed to him must still be placed very early in the Christian era.

In dealing with the first chapter of Genesis, Onkelos gave the following Aramaic paraphrase of verse 2: W'are'ah hawath tsadh'ya In this passage, the composite verb form (tsadh'ya) means 'was destroyed,' being the Aramaic form of the verb to be (hawath) with the feminine passive participle of the verb tzadhah, which means 'to cut' or 'to lay waste.'" - Arthur C. Custance, The Doorway Papers, Vol. 6, Part 3, Ch. 3, p. 3 (as cited in Old Earth, Old View at http://www.dispensationalfriends.org/articles/envoldview.html accessed 08/02/18)

So, this is another early document supporting at least aspects of the gap theory.

Here are some comments from the later Babylonian Talmud:

'And the earth was without form and void.' There seems to be some reason for the earth's despondency, as though she was aware of her lot beforehand. (Genesis Rabba 2. p. 59 http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/tmm/tmm07.htm accessed 08/02/18)

"Other worlds were created and destroyed ere this present one was decided on as a permanent one." - Genesis Rabba 3 (as cited in Old Earth, Old View at http://www.dispensationalfriends.org/articles/envoldview.html accessed 08/02/18)

The idea that there was some type of a gap was NOT simply a modern idea to deal with evolutionists as various anti-gap writers have claimed.

Did Any of the Ancients Believe Any of This?

One question is did any of the ancients--outside Jewish or Christians writers--believe there were basically two creations, the original and a 're-creation'?

By ancients in this context, I am referring to people that MAY have been around BEFORE God had Moses even write the Book of Genesis.

Anyway, some certainly could have.

Back on November 4, 2015, I was forwarded a copy of something called the Kolbrin Bible. Here is some of what it says:

It is known, and the story comes down from ancient times, that there was not one creation but two, a creation and a re-creation. It is a fact known to the wise that the Earth was utterly destroyed once then reborn on a second wheel of creation. At the time of the great destruction of Earth, God caused a dragon from out of Heaven to come and encompass her about. (The Book of Creation, Chapter 3. Extracted From The Great Book Of The Sons of Fire. The Kolbrin Bible)

This is interesting because most who accept the 'gap theory,' believe that the second creation (the re-creation) came after Satan the dragon rebelled against God.

Here is a claim about the Kolbrin Bible:

Millennia ago, Egyptian and Celtic authors recorded prophetic warnings for the future and their harbinger signs are now converging on these times. 

These predications are contained in The Kolbrin Bible, a secular wisdom text studied in the days of Jesus and lovingly preserved by generations of Celtic mystics in Great Britain.

Nearly as big as the King James Bible, this 3600-year old text warns of an imminent, Armageddon-like conflict with radical Islam, but this is not the greatest threat. (The Kolbrin Bible. http://kolbrin.com/ accessed 11/05/15)

Whether or not it was written that long ago (there are a lot of doubts about the authenticity of the Kolbrin Bible), it claims that a 're-creation' was long known, and that may be.

Catholic and Orthodox Writers

There were writers associated with the Greco-Roman churches that clearly taught some version of the gap theory.

In the third century, Origen of Alexandria taught that there were two creations in Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 in his Homily on Genesis. Essentially, while Origen taught a gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, though he did not teach the gap theory as fully taught. In one place, he taught that the spiritual realm was first, then a physical realm (Origen. Homilies on Genesis and Exodus. Ronald E. Heine, translator. The Catholic University of America Press, 2002, pp. 47-48).

Elsewhere Origen wrote:

the world was made and took its beginning at a certain time, and is to be destroyed on account of its wickedness. But what existed before this world, or what will exist after it, has not become certainly known to the many (Origen. De Principliis, Chapter 7. Translated by Frederick Crombie. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 4. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885)

The Catholic saint and doctor Jerome wrote that Origen taught:

A world existed before this world of ours, and other in turn will exist after it, and another after that, and others in constant succession. (Ep. ad Avitum 4 as cited in Cavindi JC, editor, On First Principles. Ave Maria Press, 2013, p.30)

So, Jerome realized that Origen taught a succession of ages/worlds. And the first succession was Genesis 1:1 to 1:2 in his Homily.

Around Origen's time, Tertullian of Alexandria wrote:

But it will suffice to have thus called at the outset those points in which withal is recognised that primary principle of baptism — which was even then fore-noted by the very attitude assumed for a type of baptism — that the Spirit of God, who hovered over (the waters) from the beginning, would continue to linger over the waters of the baptized. But a holy thing, of course, hovered over a holy; or else, from that which hovered over that which was hovered over borrowed a holiness, since it is necessary that in every case an underlying material substance should catch the quality of that which overhangs it, most of all a corporeal of a spiritual, adapted (as the spiritual is) through the subtleness of its substance, both for penetrating and insinuating. Thus the nature of the waters, sanctified by the Holy One, itself conceived withal the power of sanctifying. (Tertullian. On Baptism, Chapter 4. Translated by S. Thelwall. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 3. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885)

Essentially, Tertullian is tying the purifying of the earth in Genesis 1:2 to baptism cleansing a human that sinned.

In the fifth century, Augustine of Hippo wrote:

For even before any day thou hadst already made a heaven, but that was the heaven of this heaven: for in the beginning thou hadst made heaven and earth.

But this earth itself which thou hadst made was unformed matter; it was invisible and unformed, and darkness was over the abyss. Out of this invisible and unformed earth, out of this formlessness which is almost nothing, thou didst then make all these things of which the changeable world consists-(AUGUSTINE: CONFESSIONS, BOOK TWELVE. CHAPTER VIII)

Like Origen, Augustine saw that there was a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. The idea of a gap is not a new one.

Later, the Catholic Flemish scholar Hugo St. Victor (1097-1141) wrote:

Perhaps enough has already been debated on these matters thus far, if we add only, "how long did the world remain in this disorder before the regular reordering of it was taken in hand." ... But how long it continued in this state of confusion. Scripture does not clearly show. (As cited by Custance, p. 28)

Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas (1226-1274) reiterated this view when he wrote his Summa Theologiae: "it seems better to maintain (the view) that the creation [of the “heaven and the earth”] was prior to any of the days (literally, before any day)." (as cited in Custance, p. 28)

16th century French Jesuit theologian Dionysius Petavius (1583-1652), wrote about the length of the gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1-2: "The question of 'How great an interval there was ', it is not possible except by inspiration to attain knowledge of." (as cited in Custance, p. 29)

Catholic philosopher Benedict Pereira/Pererius wrote:

Even though before the first day, the heavens and the elements were made subsequent to the substance (ie., basic essence of creative activity) nevertheless they were not perfected and completely furnished until the period of the six days: for then was given to them (their) furnishing, (their) fulfillment (filling up), and (their) completion. However, just how long that darkened state of the world lasted, ie., whether it lasted more than one day or less than one day, this is not clear to me, nor (I hold) is it clear to any other mortal man unless to one to whom it has been divinely made so. (as cited in Custance, p. 30)

Clearly, people saw a 'gap' between Genesis 1:1 and 1-2 before evolutionists put forth their views.

Former WCG

Here is an explanation of Genesis 1:2 by former WCG member Craig White:

Genesis 1:1. "In the beginning God." God was before all. The next word is "created." "God created." He created the heaven and the earth. But the very next verse says this: "The earth was without form and void." The Hebrew words for "without form and void" are tohu and bohu. Translated into English they mean chaotic, in confusion, waste, and empty. When God created the heaven and the earth, did He create this earth originally in a state of confusion? Did He create it all topsy-turvy and chaotic?

World NOT Created in Chaos

We read in I Corinthians 14:33 that God is NOT the author of confusion. God is the author of peace. God is the author of order and of law. Notice Job 38:4-9. God says there that the angels shouted for joy when He created the earth. It must then have been a perfect creation, not a creation that was in chaos and confusion! Why would He create it in disorder and then have to straighten it out? That doesn't make sense!

Dr. Bullinger, the Hebrew authority, says that the Hebrew word for "created," used in Genesis 1:1, " implies that the creation was a perfect work." That very word "created" implies a perfect and a beautiful order and system, not chaos or confusion! Then how did it become chaotic? In Genesis 19:26, the same Hebrew word is used which is translated "was" in Gen. 1:2. And there it is translated into the English word "became." In the first three chapters of the Bible, and many other places where you find the word "was," in almost every case it is denoting a condition that was different from a former condition. In other words, it "BECAME" or "was made" that way. It had not always been that way.

The Earth BECAME Chaotic

Plainly the word "was" has the meaning of "became." The Rotherham translation of Gen. 1:2, out of the original Hebrew language, is this: "Now the earth HAD BECOME waste and empty." It hadn't always been that way. In Jeremiah 4:23, in Isaiah 24:10, in Isaiah 34:11, and in other places in the Bible, you find the same words, toha and boha, meaning chaotic and in confusion. In every case that condition is a result of sin.

No Chaos Originally

Notice Isaiah 45:18. "Thus saith the Eternal that created the heavens, God himself that formed the earth and made it, He hath established it, He created it not in vain." "In vain" is an incorrect translation. In your Bible, if you have the marginal references, you will find in the margin the proper translation "waste." The original Hebrew word there is TOHU. This Hebrew word is the identical word used in Gen. 1:2, meaning confusion, or emptiness. or waste - a result of disorder, a result of violation of law.

In Isaiah 45:18 we have the plain statement that God created the earth not "toho," that is, not in confusion, not in disorder. But in Genesis 1:2, the earth was, or the earth BECAME - as it ought to he translated - chaotic and in confusion! Then it became that way after it was created.

Now, what could have caused that confusion? - that disorder? What sin could have wrecked the earth and brought it into the condition in which it was found in Gen. 1:2?

Life Before Adam?

Now, what was the sin then that caused this physical destruction to the earth? It was not a sin caused by humanity, because there had been no man on the earth until the sixth day of that re-creation or that re-making. So it was not a sin of man. Adam was the first man. We find over in I Corinthians 15:45 that Adam is called the first man on this earth. In Genesis Eve is called the mother of all living human beings. There was no other race prior to Adam and Eve. So the sin which brought chaos was not caused by man. And yet life must have populated the earth because a sin had occurred on the earth that brought it into a condition of chaos and confusion by breaking the laws of God. What kind of life could it have been? It wasn't human life.

What was it that populated this earth prior to the second verse of Genesis, the first chapter? In Genesis 1:28, speaking to the man whom He had created, God said this: ''Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth." What does that word replenish mean? To plenish is to populate. To replenish means to repopulate - to populate all over again. Those very words imply that the earth had been populated before! Immediately after the flood in Genesis 9:1, God spoke to Noah. He blessed Noah and his sons and said unto them: "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth." Identically the same words that He spoke to Adam! (White C. http://www.originofnations.org/HRP_Papers/Flood_Pre-Adamic.pdf)

The reality is that the Bible supports the idea of a "re-creation." And that is apparently what happened. The dinosaurs, various animals, including various hominids, existed prior to the re-creation.

Let me state thtat the Hebrew word the KJV/NKJV translates as "was" in Genesis 1:2 is actually translated as became 17 other places in that book, and 133 times in the Old Testament (Custance, p. 71).

Another View from the old Worldwide Church of God

The late Dr. Herman Hoeh made some observations about pre-Adamic creatures in 1977/1978 in one of more sermons:

THE PRE-ADAMIC WORLD

(Summary of various sermons given by Dr Hoeh in 1977/78)

We have taught that angels were on earth before Adam, being trained. What was their primary function? To rule trees and rocks and streams? What were they given experience in? More than merely ruling over each other. We should expand our former concepts and see that they were on earth to govern in a small way (as an opportunity to learn and to prove they could be trusted) before being sent out further into the universe. Their role on earth should be seen as equiping or qualifying them to rule in the universe. This means they were governing nature in great detail.

As God Himself is concerned for even a sparrow that falls, so God is concerned for the balance of nature. If God knows the hairs of our head, He is concerned over the intimate aspects of life of every creature. If He rules through angels, then they also would be likewise concerned with the minute aspects of nature. This is what they were asked to govern--not a barren world, but a world full of life forms throughout geologic history. The Church has a responsibility to teach the role of angels in the world before Adam. ...

We do not see a world of which we could say that God was ‘experimenting’--that term has overtones that could be misunderstood. I would prefer the concept that God was ‘developing’ a creation in which angels were being challenged and tested on how they would carry out God's government in guiding that nature, and in ruling over ever more complex forms of life...

The world that we see in the future though the eyes of the prophet Isaiah--the world in which a child can play on the hole of a poisonous snake without being poisoned because it is no longer poisonous, that the lamb and the leopard and the bear and the ox and the lion and the little child shall all be together--and they are not devouring one another. Now you all know how the Millennium has been pictured--the whole of nature will be subject to the government of God. Now this may sound very strange to our ears until it has taken root. The whole of nature is to be subject to the government of God, and instead of one creature devouring another for survival, we are going to have an entirely different system of nutrition and a different system of birthing because the two are interrelated.

The world today from nature is not a reflection of the kind of government God intended to be exercised by the angels throughout nature. It is in fact a reflection of the Devil's idea of competition, of devouring, and keeping in balance by each thing competing with something else. Now Mr Armstrong long ago conceived of the idea of competition as being the lifeblood both of our economy and business and society and government. He said this is, as far as he is concerned, the fundamental characteristic of the Devil's philosophy, whatever each individual may have been personally taught....

The angels had knowledge and could see the picture clearly as far as what they were going to do and who they were going to listen to. As God started out He said 'I want to make sure the creation reflects the spirit of love, and it's going to be a beautiful world. We are not going to have competition. Therefore the pattern of nutrition and the pattern of birth will not need to have competition to keep ever thing in that order we see it in.’ Can you imagine a World Tomorrow in which mice reproduce at the present rate with no cats to catch the mouse? I just have to question. What would happen in Africa if we took away competition and left the birth rate the same? We see the whole of nature is going to change, both in terms of terms of what an animal eats and in terms of the reproductive systens, because they are all tied together...

You can look at the whole of geology, and you will not find a single period, geologically speaking, that corresponds to a nature such as will be in the Millennium. It is all a nature such as we have it today--creatures were devouring in the Tertiary, they were devouring in the Cretaceous, they were devouring in the Mesozoic, they were devouring in the Archaeozoic and the Plaeozoic. And for all we know, in the earliest forms we can probably assume the same thing.

There is this competition because it goes hand in hand with the statement Jesus made that the Devil was a murderer from the beginning. That is, the spirit of competition such as we viewed it reflected itself in the spirit of murder... And indeed murder--the spirit of it--is the consequence of the philosophy of competition. And he said ‘I'll work to take the patterns that God has given and instead of exercising God's government I am going to design it in such a way that nature is in balance by competition, by devouring, by strife--the way of the survival of the fittest--the swiftest mouse getting away most of the time, the slowest cat doesn't survive.’

Now I think when we see that we will have a whole new view - that when we talk about the Devil's government we can in fact extend the Biblical account and we have looked at nature and we have to conclude that the WHOLE of the geologic history that we can uncover reflects a world that had gone astray, and therefore there was no reason anywhere along the line to view that there should not have been some catastrophe--local or of wider range--during this whole period.

The Devil may have gone so far with certin things, and he may have wanted to change certain things, but then God also may have said 'Well look, I want a change. I want certain new life forms to be produced. I will see what you will do with them.’ And so there is no reason to discount what you see when you travel down the walls of the Grand Canyon. One period after another that cannot be accounted for by anything we know of except for major periods of time - major only as (we) comprehend time. Now presumably not more than a third of the angels followed the Devil. The other two thirds profited by the experience and took no part in the spirit of competition as developed in the biological world...

It does take some time for some people to poison other peoples minds and it takes time, as Mr Armstrong said, for the Devil to pursuade angels, who were greater in knowledge by far than human beings. And the Devil was going back and forth, and he  kept arguing with God over the necessity of the creation being patterned after a different philosophy than God's. But God never listened, and the Devil always came back and told the angels that ‘God never listened’, just as ‘Mr Armstrong never listened’--you've heard that. Well God never listened to the Devil either...

Apparently all this time God allowed the Devil the chance to see whether after he had examined the nature that he was governing (or abusing--whatever term you want to use), whether he would change or whether he would not. They finally came to the point, as Mr Armstrong said, where spirits apparently do set their character, and you can go only so far in the realm of spirit until your attitude so poisons you that it can never be altered”.....

When Australopithecines appear in Africa (they have not been discovered elsewhere) "late" in the history of the world we have a creature that can make tools, but not according to a pre-conceived pattern. An outline of develcpment follows. First, we have a creature who looked somewhat like apes, who tended to walk somewhat upright, who made tools, but not enter a pre-conceived pattern--the form of the tool is after the natural characteristics of the rock.

Then we have a creature who walked upright called "Homo Erectus". He had the capacity to make a tool from a pre-conceived pattern, but did not have modern man's brain capacity so he was not classified as ‘Homo Sapiens’ because he did not think and reason as man reasons. At this level (of Java Man and Peking Man) the term ‘homo’ may be misleading because it is not ‘man’ as a son of Adam. It would be better to correct this misconception of modern evolutionary science to conform to the truth of the world we see. There was no developmental progress or advances in culture of these creatures though they existed for maybe hundreds of thousands of years. If you examine geology with radiometric dating you will have to conclude that there were steps in creation, with the presence of new forms of life at each step which continue for a very long time without variation (evolution).

Now after Homo Erectus we come to ... Neanderthal Man, where ‘man’ is again a misnomer. He made tools, a bed, a shelter--but so can other animals. He could make rather involved tools, but had no sense of art. Man is an artistic creature, but this doesn't mean all artistic creatures are men. But no art is ever associated with Homo Neanderthalensis. And there is also the question whether he could speak or just made sounds with his voice. Then 35 to 40 thousand years ago angels had the responsibility of governing a world that changed from creatures lead primarily by instinct to creatures less and less so. There is thus the indication that angels were being trained not just to utilise the natural world of plants and animals and to supervise the climate and all other aspects of nature, but to train creatures who had the capacity to begin to fashion something out of the nature in which they lived, and in more and more complex form....To our knowledge, ‘apemen’ do not now exist on earth though there are reports of ‘big-foot’ and the ‘abominable snowman’. ...

After Homo Neanderthalensis we come to Cro-Magnon, or Upper Paleolithic "man", who once again should not be called ‘man’ but it would be better to use a term like ‘hominid’ for him. At the close of the Ice Age or Arctic Climate this creature could make tools and houses and could communicate better than any former creature. He could draw--perform aesthetic operations. He could hunt, fish, and make weapons to find his food. Upper Paleolithic hominids are therefore unusual in that they have gone beyond former creatures in many keys such as art and an aesthetic sense, and in the capacity to communicate ideas. For 20 to 25 thousand years they lived on earth and hunted and fished--but they knew no agriculture, they domesticated no animals, they neither sowed nor reaped the fields. While they were here these ideas never penetrated their minds or brains, though they had the other advancements.

In the Bible, Adam and Eve were put in the Garden of Eden and told to ‘dress and keep it’. Adam is therefore of sufficient mentality to be a gardener and able to perceive the fundamentals of agriculture. He could also reason about such things as eternal life and death. Adam's older son Cain built a town and was an agriculturalist and tilled the field or used the plough. Adam's second son Abel kept sheep, and therefore may have kept other domestic animals--at least he was advanced enough of an agriculturalist to tend  domesticated stock.

Man has not been on earth more than 6000 years according to the Bible. He starts out capable of thinking of eternal matters, as well as the fundamentals of agriculture and town building. In Isaiah we are told that certain things were engraved with ‘the pen of Enoch’ or "the stylus of a man". There the implication of the Hebrew text is that Enoch, the son of Seth, invented the art of writing, because it was named after him. In Genesis we find ‘the book of the Generations of Adam’ which implies that in the lifetimes of Seth and Enoch, men had the capacity not only to write, but to convey, preserve, and perpetuate the written word, not necessarily in scroll or codex form.

We should have realized that Homo Erectus did not write, paint, or farm. Likewise Homo Neanderthalensis, Upper Paleolithic hominids (Cro-Magnon) etc. though they did paint and draw, did not domesticate animals, nor sow and reap, nor build cities, but only preyed on the environment like other animals. Modern man is just a refined and reduced Cro-Magnon man....Angels had been given responsibility to rule creatures who could clothe themselves with skins to keep warm in the cold, but could not think out agriculture. they were being introduced to gradually, more and more complex forms of life.

After Cro-Magnon we come to ‘Mesolithic man’ ... Mesolithic man is even more refined than Cro-Magnon. He used tools different from his predecessors, who used just stone. He used bone and wood and jewelry. He also reaped wild grains, though he did not sow, and he domesticated a few animals, but did not yet have pottery. He did live in groups, or tribes, or clans--whatever term we might like to apply from our perspective. Later we have development of the use of clay. There was just about 4000 years from the beginning of gathering (like berries, nuts, and wild grains) to the conclusion of the Pottery Neolithic period.

This was 4000 years in which hominids made the most rudimentary developments, slowly but surely. Angels were given charge for the first time over creatures that could think out new techniques of domestication, step by step the gradual making of pottery, the invention of a king of village or community--only this in 4000 years from about 8000 to 4000 B.C. do these stages occur. Compare this with the progress from Adam to Herod the Great. Humans in only 1700 years progressed to the point where God said "nothing shall be restrained from man that he has imagined to do". In the last pre-Adamic phase the hominids lived with little instinct and at a level not unlike the most primitive men live today. Apparently, they were not accountable to sin because God did not reveal certain things to them. Though they could not be distinguished skeletally from modern man, they obviously did not have the ‘spirit in man’ which gives him the capability to reach the moon in 6000 years of progress. Something was yet missing though they had incipient agriculture and village life.

Even if the angels had not rebelled, presumably the next step would have been the impartation of spirit in man--to create out of matter a form of life which the angels might originally have ruled over. Mr Armstrong has said that God must have always had in mind the possibility of an alternative. If angels would not do what God wanted done, then He would create creatures capable of doing it. And if spirit beings, the angels, would not do it and be obedient, then He would put His Spirit in matter and test that before it is made spirit.

Some one-third of the angels very early on decided to 'do their own thing’ and rebelled. Two-thirds apparently remained faithful to God. Following Satan, the disobedient angels abandoned this world as their inheritance. While on earth for a very long period of time, they introduced into nature a world subject to tragedies. But Romans 8 tells of a time when the sons of God in God's government will regulate nature in an entirely different fashion. ‘The creation will also be delivered from the bondage of corruption to the glorious liberty of the children of God. The whole creation (not just man) groans and travails together in pain till now.’ Mr Armstrong said this is a reflection of the mind (or brain from another point  of view of the Devil. What we are looking for is the "manifestation of the sons of God’.

In this we will not have a world that devours itself. Today there is no fish, plant or bird that is not subject to the  ‘law’ that reflects the mind of the Devil. We live in the same kind of world as the whole of geologic histrory. As far as our knowledge goes, the whole of the history of creation revealed in history shows that same suffering that Romans 8 speaks of, which is unlike the peaceful World Tomorrow.

The laws of reproduction have been woven together with the laws of food consumption so that it reflects the Devil's way of how he thinks nature should be controlled. Now if this were the way God intended it, then the description of the Millennium given by Isaiah would be wrong. But the evidence of geology indicates the Devil was already ‘doing his thing’. When he appeared before God, He didn't listen to him because God said it was wrong but God let Him go ahead. Then the Devil went back and argued and reasoned with the angels until a third of them agreed with him that ‘God doesn't listen’.

The final act of rebellion was a crisis in which the Devil and the angels perceived that the next step God had in mind was to terminate their experiment--I see no alternative-to intervene and create a creature like the hominids but one step higher, with the capacity to reason like the mind of God - higher than the creatures with a ‘brutish mentality’ that is not accountable for sin, but one that has capacity to govern himself and decide for himself apart from any instinct which way he shall go. When the angels perceived that this was likely the case, they decided to abandon this inheritance, to scale the heavens, and dethrone God so they could set up the universe with a nature in accordance with their ideas of competition and strife and keeping in balance by dividing and conquering and devouring--the ‘philosophy’ of nature today. But they were cast down, held in restraint.

When God created Adam, in whom the ‘spirit in man’ was added he had the capacity to reason and build without limit. Every former man-like creature had an upper limit beyond which he could not progress. Suddenly a creature was created who had no upper limit to his thinking in the natural world, no limit to his speculation. We can contemplate eternity and be held accountable for law and sin. God tested Adam at this point and you know that our first two parents failed the test in the Garden of Eden, and the world once again passed to the realm of Satan, and human civilization instead of being developed under God's law and nature under God's law--everything passed under a curse.

Notice in Genesis 3:14 addressed to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this you are cursed above all cattle and above every beast of the field. Upon your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of our life’. This can be symbolic, but it can also be literal. The implication is that the curse was not only on the serpent through whom the Devil spoke, but also on the cattle--one was cursed ‘above’ the other. The curse fell on all nature. The creature that was at one time ‘more subtile than any beast of the field (Genesis 3:1)’ was reduced to crawling on the ground. (And there is the symbolism of the Devil himself being cast to the earth in the past and the future.) Nature was cursed with the ‘philosophy" of the Devil--this is the way he wants to run the world. God put man in this world to see what it is like when run by the Devil's philosophy....

He said, ‘Cursed is the serpent ABOVE’' the rest of the beasts of the field’ with the indication immediately that the rest of nature was cursed because in the Garden of Eden we don't have this experience. Adam saw all these animals and there were no feelings in the Garden of Eden that he had to be careful of the lion who was getting hungry at nightfall. There was no fear that we sense in that account....Also He let a curse fall on man and woman. The ground brought forth thorns and thistles, climatic problems, toil and sweat.

This is the world of the last 6000 years. Man is now responsible for making choices in that world. God then called out a few patriarchs, prophets, apostles and us saints who will be the firstfruits resurrected out of the earth, and assigned (with Christ) the responsibility to restore the government of God on earth, a government which the angels failed to exercise for millions of years.” http://www.friendsofsabbath.org/ABC/Pre-Adamic%20World/The%20Pre-Adamic%20World_summary_Hoeh.doc

While the following is also dated, it had some interesting insights and was published by the old Worldwide Church of God:

   If you're like most people, you've probably heard about various fossils from creatures said to be our ancestors, but you don't really understand just where they're supposed to fit into man's evolution. That's not surprising, because few anthropologists agree on where they all fit in!
   In lining up the fossils, most anthropologists, or "bone men," usually start with something like Ramapithecus punjabicus (the ape or "pithecus" found in the Punjab Province of northern India). This apelike creature is said to be 14 million years old (by potassium-argon dating) and the ancestor of all true hominids, including man. The brain is only a few hundred cubic centimeters in capacity, and Ramapithecus is usually classified as a prehominid.
   Yet for the next 10 to 12 million years no "ancestors of man" are known! There is a complete blank in the record, even though one might expect hundreds of "missing links" if evolution had occurred. The distinguished evolutionist Dr. John Pfeiffer admits: "Practically nothing is known about his development during the period between fourteen million and about five million years ago, the biggest gap in the story of human evolution."
   The second type of fossil usually offered as Adam's distant relative is the Australopithecine.
   In 1924, Raymond Dart, professor of anatomy in Johannesburg, South Africa, found what he called Australopithecus africanus ("southern ape of Africa"). Dating methods placed it at three million years old and its brain size was about 500 cubic centimeters (about one-third the size of modern man's brain). Other Australopithecines seem to be four or five million years old. But there is no agreement among anthropologists as to whether they are really one of our ancestors.
   This is also true of the famous Zinjanthropus africanus skull, discovered by Mary D. Leakey, wife of the late Dr. Louis S. B. Leakey. Zinjanthropus, one of the Australopithecine type fossils, was a large "male" specimen, dated at 1.75 million years old. "Zinj" was first proclaimed a "missing link," but eventually Dr. Leakey himself disclaimed this. Instead, said Leakey, it had a common ancestor with man.
   The third type of fossil lined up in man's supposed evolutionary ancestry are the "ape men" called Homo erectus. The "Java man" and the "Peking man" are examples of these creatures, which are said to have lived 300 to 500 thousand years ago. Their average brain size is nearly 1000 cubic centimeters (about two-thirds the size of modern man's brain), which make them double the size of the Australopithecines. Actually, some of the Homo erectus skulls were nearly 1300 cc and thus were as large as many men living today!
   Neanderthal man, said to have lived from 100,000 to 35,000 years ago, is a fourth type of fossil cited by evolutionists. Neanderthal was robust and strong, and his brain, as explained before, was every bit as large as ours.
   Finally, we come to Cro-Magnon man ("modern man"), usually dated from 35,000 years ago to the present. Cro-Magnon man is often presented as a prime example of modern skull structure, with a brain capacity of about 1400 cc. Yet, strangely, no trace of Cro-Magnon has been found prior to his "recent" appearance on the world scene.

Lining Up the Evidence

   Arranging all these fossils in what seems to be an orderly progression, a lot of people can "see" how evolution might have happened. On the surface it looks almost believable — until one begins to ask some probing questions, sees the inexplicable gaps, and comes to realize that even anthropologists differ profoundly on just what the evidence means.
   One striking fact is the scarcity of the fossil evidence. Although popular reports give an impression to the contrary, the truth is that all the known bones of supposed fossil ancestors of man could be easily contained in a small closet!
   Actually there are about as many ways of arranging the "evidence" for man's evolution as there are archaeologists and anthropologists. Consider some of the "family trees" proposed for man's evolution.
   Sir W. Le Gros Clark, the famed British paleontologist, has Homo sapiens the end product of evolution, but with no known ancestors! All the Australopithecines, the Pithecanthropines (Homo erectus) and even Neanderthal man are "branches" which are not in the line of modern man! (See illustration in PDF.)
   At the other extreme is the family tree of a well-known American anthropologist, C. Loring Brace. His "tree" has "everything" as an ancestor to modern man — Ramapithecus, Australopithecus, Homo erectus and Neanderthal.
   Then there are those who keep some ancestors but reject others. South African anthropologist Philip J. Tobias starts his tree with an ancestor of Australopithecus, which evolves into Homo erectus, to Neanderthal, to modern man. The various kinds of Australopithecines (such as Zinjanthropus) are put off in side branches.
   The late Dr. L. S. B. Leaky reasoned it this way: Kenyapithecus evolved into Homo erect us, which evolved into modern man. Leakey put most of the Pithecanthropines and the Neanderthals in a side branch. He 'even placed his famous "Zinj" fossil in a side branch, removing it from man's line of descent.
   After looking at these conflicting family trees, it should be clear that the postulated evolution of man is just that — a postulate, not really even a theory. As anthropologist F. Clark Howell has stated: "Anyone who feels that we already have the problem solved is surely deluding himself."

Stone Age Men Today

   Of course, in any attempt to line up one creature or culture as being "later" than another, we must always remember that there are many "Stone-Age" men living today with other cultures in the "Space Age." The bushmen of South Africa and Australia are well-known examples.
   The Tasaday "Stone-Age" tribe (see photo on page 22 of PDF) on the Philippine island of Mindanao is still another example. Physiologically they are modern Homo sapiens! Yet their culture (their tools, life-styles, etc.) is earliest Stone Age!
   Today there are only a few dozen Tasaday left, and it is a wonder, say anthropologists, that they have managed to survive even this long. Their lack of development is almost unbelievable: They live without manmade shelter, with no clothing except for the occasional palm leaf. They grow no crops. Their only tools are a few roughly shaped pieces of stone, and their only food is wild berries, shrubs, a few grubs, and tadpoles from streams. Their language, although distinctly different, has a very limited vocabulary and almost no grammar — communication — is merely a few basic words haphazardly strung together. They have no art, no written language!
   The Tasaday could easily be mistaken for Homo erect us — supposedly one of our very distant ancestors!

Archaeological Bombshell

   In August 1972, Richard Leakey, son of the celebrated Dr. Louis S. B. Leakey, found an amazing skull near Lake Rudolph, Kenya. The skull was remarkably " modern" in appearance — yet it was dated (by the potassium argon method) at 2.8 million years old. This skull was a bombshell in archaeology. Skull 1470, as it was labeled, completely upset the whole evolutionary applecart for man's origins. Said Leakey: "It leaves in ruins the notion that all early fossils can be arranged in an orderly sequence of evolutionary change."
   Why was Leakey so concerned? Because the skull was a complete misfit! It is more modern in appearance than Homo erect us and has a large brain case-estimated at 800 cc. Yet it is so much older than Homo erect us that it just doesn't fit properly on the evolutionary chart.
   The evidence is that this man (or woman) lived contemporaneously with the primitive apelike creatures, the Australopithecines! Leakey said: "Either we toss out this skull or we toss out our theories of evolutionary change. It simply fits no previous models of human beginnings."

Ancestors from "Afar"?

   In early, 1979, physical anthropologist Dr. Carl Johanson announced a new family tree for man based on some fascinating fossil finds in the Afar region of Africa. Johanson claims he has identified a new species of ape-man which he dubs Australopithecus afarensis (Afar ape-man).
   According to Johanson, such creatures existed from three to four million years ago, walked erect on a humanlike body, but had primitive teeth and a small skull like an ape. Since the Afar ape was "intermediate of what one thinks of as human and as ape," Johanson contends that "we can definitely place it in the zoological family of man." Consequently, Johanson asserts that Australopithecus african us is not an ancestor of man but is part of a "dead-end" side branch of the evolutionary tree.
   Yet other anthropologists are reluctant to relegate the famous Australopithecus fossils to "evolutionary dead ends" and are challenging Johanson's claims. Mary Leakey disputes Johanson's pronouncements and labels his work "not very scientific."
   One problem is that the footprints of Johanson's primitive hominids are almost indistinguishable from modern man. "They are," says Johanson, "virtually identical to modern feet." So, at least in terms of feet, there has supposedly been no evolution for millions of years! "Man's evolutionary tree," admits Johanson, "is looking more like an evolutionary bush." But as for Mary Leakey, Johanson contends that she "really shows a poor appreciation of what evolution is all about."
   The conclusion should be obvious: Nobody knows where man came from. Nobody, that is, who limits himself to only the physical evidence,
   On the other hand, the Word of God does provide an answer. Genesis reveals that it was God, not evolution, that made the first true men. "So God created man in his own image... male and female created he them" (Gen. 1:27).
   Christians can accept the evidence that there are apes and monkeys that have certain resemblances to man. A variety of apelike creatures have undoubtedly lived that are now extinct. Indeed, the Bible allows for a world before Adam. But the evidence shows that ancient "apes" were not man's evolutionary ancestors; in fact, "primitive hominids" have never been shown to have evolved into anything!
   No, far from being the evolutionary progeny of primitive hominids, Adam and his descendants are the special creation of the Great God of the universe and have been placed on earth for a very special purpose. (Ginskey RA. IN SEARCH OF ADAM. Plain Truth, August 1979)

The humanoid type creatures, prior to the recreation, in our view did NOT have the 'spirit in man' (cf. Job 32:8; Romans 8:16). Adam was the first with that. It should also be noted that many of the conclusions about pre-Adamic humanoids by scientists are not correct. GOD's word says that Adam is the first man (1 Corinthians 15:45-47)--so whatever was prior to Adam was not 'man' in the biblical sense.The Bible also says that Eve was the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20)--so whatever was before her died out. Furthermore, there are problems with dating estimates--but not as many as the 6000 year crowd tends to think.

More on the 'Gap'

Some more secular critics of the gap doctrine claim because some species were the same over thousands or millions of years that there was not a 're-creation.'

Of course, God could have re-introduced formally extincted species. Now because many of the world's scientists accept evolution, they would not tend to admit that there ever could have been total extinction of life prior to the re-creation--but this is what scripture seems to suggest that God did.

Did most species slowly evolve like evolutionists have claimed for over a century?

No.

And a study published in 2018 realizes this:

Mark Stoeckle from The Rockefeller University in New York and David Thaler at the University of Basel in Switzerland … published findings … sure to jostle, if not overturn, more than one settled idea about how evolution unfolds. It is textbook biology, for example, that species with large, far-flung populations—think ants, rats, humans—will become more genetically diverse over time. But is that true? "The answer is no," said Stoeckle, lead author of the study, published in the journal Human Evolution. (Hood M. Sweeping gene survey… Physic.org, May 28, 2018)

The study referred to above also concluded that about 90% of species, including humans, arrived at about the same time. While there are dating issues, this basically proves that the explanation of species’ development as evolutionists have long claimed as fact, was false.

As far as flaws in evolution go, consider the free booklet: Is God’s Existence Logical?

Some (Christians and others) have wondered about time.

Consider that it was not until Genesis 1:14 that God made certain lights be for the purpose of marking off times like holy days:

14 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the sky to separate the day from the night. They will be signs and will mark religious festivals, days, and years. (Genesis 1:14, God’s Word Translation)

(Note: While many Bible translated the “religious festivals” as “seasons,” the Hebrew word this originally was, mowed’, means religious festival. More on God's holy days can be found in the free online booklet: Should You Keep God's Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?).

Because of that, it may well be that time prior to Genesis 1:3 was counted differently than afterwards.

But this is not so clear to us in scripture to be certain.

What About Sin?

Notice a theologian's claim as to why he will not accept the gap theory (bolding in the source):

Without a doubt, the foundation upon which our salvation and hope rests is the substitutionary death of Christ on the cross. God created a perfect, sinless earth and placed upon it a perfect, sinless man. This man, Adam, enjoyed close fellowship with his Creator until he sinned and broke the perfect relationship between God and man. Ever since that time, death and degradation have plagued God’s once-perfect creation, and man has been separated from God. However, the shedding of Christ’s innocent blood on the cross can restore man’s fellowship with God and provide him eternal life. Through Adam’s sin, death entered into the world; but through Christ’s sacrifice, salvation is made possible (Romans 5:19). Therein lies the gap theory’s greatest error, the placement of sin and death prior to the existence of Adam. If death existed prior to Adam’s sin, then how could it be the result of sin? (Hovind, Kent Dr. The Gap Theory Denies the Purpose of the Cross. Creation Today. http://creationtoday.org/the-gap-theory-denies-the-purpose-of-the-cross/ accessed 11/05/15)

Well, there was sin prior to Adam:

14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. (Ezekiel 28:14-15)

4... God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; (2 Peter 2:4)

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44)

Satan sinned before there were humans, which is part of why he tempted Adam and Eve.

We believe that God put life on the planet and had Lucifer and other angelic beings manage it PRIOR to the 're-creation.'

We believe that God intentionally started with 'lower' creatures for Lucifer and his angels to develop their managerial skills, amongst other reasons. God then introduced more complex 'higher beings.' Lucifer apparently saw the development towards 'higher level beings' and perhaps this part of why he also wanted to rebel (beyond his own vanity).

What About Angels?

Do any scriptures about angels support the view that there was a gap?

As even Theophis wrote, it appears so.

Notice what the New Testament show:

6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode (Jude 6)

The above indicates that angels came down prior to the time of Adam and Eve.

After I wrote the above, I came across something that the late Herbert Armstrong wrote about this:

It will come as news to most readers that angels were created before the earth and the physical universe were brought into existence. Job 38:1-7 shows the angels shouted for joy when God first created the earth. It is stated in both Genesis 1 and 2 that the earth was created at the same time as the entire physical universe. ...

Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning [of the physical universe] God created the heavens and the earth." These are material and physical.

As previously stated, in the Authorized Version will be found the word heaven in the singular. But this originally was written by Moses in Hebrew. And in the Hebrew the word is in the plural--heavens--thus including not only our earth, but the entire material UNIVERSE.

It is therefore indicated that at that time--after the creation of angels--the entire universe was brought into existence at the same time as the creation of our earth. I find strong indication of this in other biblical internal evidence, and also it is definitely stated in Genesis 2:4.

The Perfect Creation

The original Hebrew words (the words written by Moses) imply a perfect creation. God reveals himself as Creator of perfection, light and beauty. Every reference in the Bible describes the condition of any completed phase of God's creation as "very good"--perfect.

This first verse of the Bible actually speaks of the original PHYSICAL creation in its entirety--the universe--including the earth, perhaps millions of years ago--as a perfect creation, beautiful and perfect as far as its creation was a finished, completed work. God is a perfectionist!

In Job 38:4, 7, God is speaking specifically of the creation of this earth. He said all the angels (created "sons of God") shouted for joy at the creation of the earth. This reveals that angels were created before the creation of the earth--and probably before the material universe. The suns, planets and astral bodies are material substance.

Angels are individually created spirit beings, composed solely of spirit.

It will come as a surprise to many to learn that angels inhabited this earth BEFORE the creation of man. This passage from Job implies it.

Angels on Earth Sinned

Other passages place angels on earth prior to man.

Notice II Pet. 2:4-6. First in time order "angels that sinned." Next in time sequence, the antediluvian world beginning with Adam, carrying through to the Flood. After that, Sodom and Gomorrah. ...

Angels inhabited this earth before the creation of man.

 It is revealed in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, that God placed the archangel Lucifer, a cherub, on a throne on the earth. He was placed there as a ruler over the entire earth. God intended him to rule the earth by administering the government of God over the earth. And the government of God was administered on earth until the rebellion of the sinning angels.

How long these angels inhabited the earth before the creation of man is not revealed. It might have been millions--or even billions--of years. More on that later. But these angels sinned. Sin is the transgression of God's law (I John 3:4). ...

By this angelic sin, Lucifer became Satan the devil and his angels became demons.

 God is Creator, Preserver and Ruler.

 Satan is destroyer!

So, now we read in Jude 6-7: "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."

Now back to Genesis 1:1-2. Verse 1, as stated above, implies a perfect creation. God is the author of life, of beauty, of perfection. Satan has brought only darkness, ugliness, imperfection, violence. Verse 1 shows the creation of a perfect, if unfinished earth, glorious and beautiful. Verse 2 reveals the result of the sin of the angels.

 "And the earth was [became] without form, and void." The words "without form, and void" are translated from the Hebrew tohu and bohu. A better translation is "waste and empty" or "chaotic, in confusion and in a state of decay." The word was is elsewhere in Genesis also translated became, as in Genesis 19:26. In other words, the earth, originally created perfect and beautiful, had now become chaotic, waste and empty, like our moon, except earth's surface was covered with water.

David was inspired to reveal how God renewed the face of the earth: "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth" (Ps. 104:30).

A Surprising Truth

Now another surprise for most readers. Here is another bit of the missing dimension in knowledge, actually revealed in the Bible, but unrecognized by religion, by science and by higher education.

From verse 2 of Genesis 1 on, the remainder of this first chapter of the Bible is not describing the original creation of the earth. But it is describing a renewing of the face of the earth, after it had become waste and empty as a result of the sin of the angels.

What is described from verse 2 on, in the supposed creation chapter of the Bible, did occur, according to the Bible, approximately 6,000 years ago. But that could have been millions or trillions of years after the actual creation of the earth described in verse 1! ...

When God placed angels--apparently a third of all (Rev. 12:4)--on the newly created, perfect, beautiful and glorious earth, he set over them, on a throne, to administer the government of God, an archangel--the great cherub Lucifer. ...

What Caused the Angels' Sin?

What caused the angels on earth to sin, to turn to lawlessness? Certainly the ordinary angels did not persuade this great superbeing to turn traitor. No, it was in him that iniquity was found. But, after how long? We don't know. God does not reveal that! It could have been any number of years from one or less to millions times millions.

And then, even after Lucifer himself made the decision to rebel and try to invade God's heaven to take over the universe, it is not revealed how long it took him to persuade all of the angels under him to turn traitor and follow him.

I know well the method he used. He uses the same method still today in leading deceived humans into disloyalty, rebellion, and self-centered opposition against God's government. First, he turns one or two to envy, jealousy and resentment over an imagined injustice--then into disloyalty. Then he uses that one or two, like a rotten apple in a crate, to stir up resentment, feelings of self-pity, disloyalty and rebellion in others next to them. And, as each rotten apple rots those next to it until the whole crate is rotten, so Satan proceeds.

If, in the government of God on earth today, the "rotten apples" are not thrown out early enough, they would destroy the whole government. But, once thrown out of the crate, they cannot do any more damage to those in the crate.

But think how long it must have taken the soured and embittered Lucifer to turn millions of holy angels into resentment, bitterness, disloyalty, and finally open and vicious rebellion. It could have taken hundreds, thousands or millions of years. This was all before the first human was created.

All this happened after the original creation of the earth, described in verse 1 of Genesis 1. Verse 2 of this creation chapter describes a condition resulting from this sin of the angels. The events described in verse 2, therefore, may have occurred millions of years after the original creation of the earth.

The earth, therefore, may have been created millions of years ago. But continue this passage in Ezekiel 28: "By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as proface out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy [remove] thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground..." (verses 16-17). (Armstrong HW. Mystery of Angels and Evil Spirits part of Chapter 2 in Mystery of the Ages, 1985).

Scriptures about angels provide additional support for the 'gap' position.

Let me add that Satan and his demons have various power. Having studied apparitions, bleeding eucharistic hosts, crying statues, etc. there is evidence that they have some material abilities.

The Re-Creation of Genesis 1:3-2:3 Took Six Literal Days, Plus the Sabbath

How long were the days of creation, or more proper re-formation, in this case?

The Bible clearly teaches they were normal 24 hour days:

3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 Then God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters." 7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.

14 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

20 Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens." 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." 23 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 29 And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:3-31)

1 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. (Genesis 2:1-3)

How long did all that take? A week. Notice also, according to the Bible, that the physical re-formation took six literal days, followed by the Sabbath:

8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:8-11)

16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed. (Exodus 31:16-17)

The term translated as "made" 'aSaH, means to form out of something in the above. Notice the following:

Inferring the definition of “made” to that of “create.”  In the first twenty chapters of Genesis, I found well over fifteen references, where the underlying Hebrew word for made shows that whatever was made, came from pre-existing materials (Genesis 3:21; 6:14; 6:15; 6:16; 7:4; 8:6; 11:4; 11:6; 12:2; 12:5; 13:4; 18:6; 18:7; 18:8; 19:3; 20:5; etc.).  Thus, the six days were not a creation, but a making of what was already in existence from the original creation in Genesis 1:1 (excluding that which pertained to life).  I’m sure that many more references could easily be found to validate this.  This weighs heavily in favor of the Gap Theory.  Not one time in the Bible does the English pronouncement of the Hebrew word aw-saw, indicate a creation from nothing ...

The late and great Dr. Louis Talbot said,
The Bible does say that in six days the Lord “made” heaven and earth, but there is a difference between the words “made” and “created.”  To create is to bring into existence out of nothing.  To “make” is to take pre-existing matter and change its form.  The latter is what the Lord did in six days.[6]
Excerpt from Biblical Geology, by Daniel G. McCrillis, Th. D., Gateway International Publishing

http://gaptheorydefendingheavenssingularity.blogspot.com/

The Hebrew word behind our English word created is bara. It appears 54 times in the Hebrew text. In the Authorized Version it is primarily translated as “create” and “creator”. It is used exclusively for acts of God in creating something out of nothing.

The Hebrew word behind our English word made is asah. It occurs 2633 times in the Hebrew Bible and always carries the meaning of making something out of that which previously exists. The Holy Spirit was careful to make a distinction by employing two different words. We must recognize and accept this distinction.

https://nogreaterjoy.org/letters/gap-answered/

Anyway, the Bible is clear that the re-formation/re-creation took six literal days, and then God rested on the seventh-day, and He expects those who follow Him to work on six days and rest on the seventh-day.

Where in chronological sequence does the Bible really begin?

Since this article has had a lot of discussion about time, another question to deal with is, where in chronological sequence does the Bible really begin?

Perhaps it may be appropriate to look at how someone else answered that question:

If one should ask, where do you find the actual beginning of events in the Bible, most who possess even a slight knowledge of the world's "best seller" would say, "Why in Genesis chapter one verse one, of course." WRONG!

The real beginning, in order of time sequence, is found in the New Testament, in the first chapter of John, verse one. The events portrayed in Genesis occurred later - possibly even millions of years later. But the event recorded in John 1:1 reveals an existence perhaps long prior to the time God created the earth and the material universe. Note it: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God." It continues, "The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made." The term "all things" is translated in Hebrews 1:3, in the Moffatt translation, as "the UNIVERSE." The entire UNIVERSE was made by Him!

The fourteenth verse of John 1 says: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." The Personage called the Word was the one who ultimately-yet more than 1900 years ago-was born Jesus Christ. The name, "the Word," is translated from the original Greek text, and means, literally, just what is translated into English -"Spokesman." But He was not the Son of God "in the beginning." Yet the Scriptures reveal that He has always existed, and always will - "from eternity to eternity." He was "without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life . . ." (Heb. 7:3).

So think on this, if you will! Originally there existed only these two Spirit Personages, self-existent. They had creative powers - they had perfect supreme minds - they possessed perfect, holy and righteous CHARACTER.

But THERE WAS NONE ELSE - NOTHING ELSE! There was no matter - no material universe - YET! No other living being or thing. Only these two, equal in mind and powers, except that God was supreme in authority, and the Word in perfect harmony under that authority. They were of one mind, in absolute agreement.

But ALL THINGS - the universe and everything existing in it - was made by the Personage called the Word. Yet, as we read in Ephesians 3:9: "God. . . created ALL THINGS by Jesus Christ." And prior to becoming Jesus Christ, He was "the Word!" Also, in His human life Jesus said He spoke only as the Father directed. Yes. THINK!

In the eternity even prior to "prehistory" there were these two Supreme Beings. Alone! In the emptiness of space! No other life forms - no other living beings! Nothing else!...

Now another surprise for most readers. Here is another bit of the missing dimension in knowledge, actually revealed in the Bible, but unrecognized by religion, by science, and by higher education. From verse 2 of Genesis 1 on, the remainder of this first chapter of the Bible is not describing the original creation of the earth. But it is describing a renewing of the face of the earth, after it had become waste and empty as a result of the sin of the angels.

What is described from verse 2 on, in the supposed "Creation chapter" of the Bible, did occur, according to the Bible, approximately 6,000 years ago. But that could have been millions or trillions of years after the actual creation of the earth described in verse 1! I will comment later on the length of time it might have taken before all earth's angels turned to rebellion.

The earth had become waste and empty. God did not create it waste and empty, or in confusion. God is not the author of confusion (I Cor.14:33). This same Hebrew word - tohu - meaning waste and empty, was inspired in Isaiah 45:18, where it is translated "in vain." Using the original Hebrew word, as originally inspired, it reads: "For thus saith the [Eternal] that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain [tohu], he formed it to be inhabited."

Continue now with the remainder of verse 2 (Gen. 1) (the earth had become chaotic, waste, and empty): "And darkness was upon the face of the deep [the ocean or fluid surface of the earth]. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness" (verses 2-4).

Satan is the author of darkness. The rebellion of the angels had caused the darkness. God is the author of light and truth. Light displays and enhances beauty, and also exposes evil. Darkness hides both. The verses which follow in this first chapter of the Bible describe the renewing of the face of the earth, yielding beautiful lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, vegetation - then the creation of fish and fowl, animal life, and finally man. (Armstrong HW. Incredible Human Potential, 1978)

So, the chronological beginning was in John 1:1.

Criticism of the Gap Theory

Some have wondered if the gap doctrine somehow leaves God out of the creation.

Belief in the 'gap theory' is not godless, nor does it leave God out of the picture. The gap theory is consistent with the view that 1) God made everything and 2) He has a plan.
 
Science's 'big bang,' while not in all ways inconsistent with the gap theory, misses the point. Modern 'science' still leaves God out of the picture with its explanations. Modern science somehow thinks that nothing, without divine intervention, began something. That is not true--it took God to make everything. Details of several of these matters is in the free online booklet Is God’s Existence Logical?
 
Modern science also does not realize that God made Lucifer and gave the angels dominion over the earth for a time. Modern science does not accept that Lucifer rebelled and became Satan.
 
Modern science does not realize that by having spirit-beings created first, who then sinned, shows that even if all physical needs for humans were met, that humans would still be subject to sin.
 
Let me address now the five 'reasons' from one anti-gap theory critic with my responses in bold:
1 They cannot adequately explain dinosaur fossils and bones. So, the default to a logical if incorrect explanation that these things must be millions of years old, or else some pre-Adamic creation theory which is a very evil, demonic thing to believe! We explain dinosaur bones by accepting that they exist. Dinosaurs were not on the ark, and since God had two of all animals on the ark, the dinosaurs were long gone.
2.  Related: they take for granted radiometric isotope dating as completely accurate, and they do not understand how these things actually work, and why they are not only inaccurate but their several techniques and standards self-contradict. To illustrate just one aspect: it is like where one measuring tape sayd the piece of wood is 2 feet in length, while another equally trusted tape measure says that same piece of wood is 6 meters in length. These two numbers are completely incompatible. No we do not accept that isotopic dating is flawless. But we do understand that God has given humans a mind and that some of the dating that they do is correct.
3. They also take for granted the red shift effect as applies to travelling light without understanding its errors as applied to figuring the age of anything, certainly of the universe. No, this is not something I have done. And even if so, it does not seem to off by the magnitude that the anti-gap theory people must have to believe.
4. They do not realize the worldwide and time-proven effects of the great flood of Noah’s day. The great flood was far, far more than just a severe rain storm which flooded out the entire place.Yes, I recognize that there was a worldwide flood and some of what it did, which also could have impacted dating of fossils, etc. I have also watched 'documentaries' from those who do not believe the gap theory that try to claim that the universe was not began until about 6000 years ago--they were all flawed. The old Radio/Worldwide Church of God, which also endorsed the gap theory, also realized many of the ramifications of the flood on dating and I have some of its old literature on that.
5. They assume that science is without bias (except for evolution), and that science is completely empirical.  Therefore, they feel the need to harmonize something which is as exacting and as correct as scientific observation must be with the Holy Scriptures which are able to make one wise—the Word of God. No, as a published scientist I recognize full well that there are biases in science. Yet, we do not discount all science because of those biases, but attempt to look at truth consistent with the creation and the Bible.

Anyway, belief in the gap theory is not vital for salvation. But it is consistent with the Bible and true facts.

Here is some of what the old Radio Church of God taught about the world before Adam and the flood:

Stratigraphy PROVES the Bible True

In describing the famous earth strata in England called "The Old Red Sandstone," Hugh Miller says, "Some terrible catastrophe involved the SUDDEN destruction of the fish of an area at least a hundred miles from boundary to boundary ... The remains exhibit unequivocally the marks of VIOLENT death."

Fossil fishes are found in the highest state of PRESERVATION, indicating the SUDDENNESS of this pre-Adamic catastrophe! The rigid fins and open mouths of many of these fossil fishes show their STARK TERROR! And sharks five feet long are so interred that they are PRESSED FLAT TO THE THICKNESS OF ONLY ONE FOURTH INCH! The way they were buried shows clearly that they were trying to swim frantically in water heavily laden with sediment.

Concerning the depth of these fossils, Lhwayd states, "Marine fossils ... I have found buried (or enclosed) within solid marble on the face of broken sea-cliffs of the height of 200 fathoms." Water DESTRUCTION carried down TO AN ENORMOUS DEPTH — MUCH DEEPER THAN THE FLOOD OF NOAH'S TIME CAN ACCOUNT FOR! How deep the earth's surface is stratified is not really known. But deep mines and the sides of mountains indicate the earth may be stratified in some places to a DEPTH OF TWO MILES!

The action of the sediment-laden water of the pre-Adamic destruction produced most of the earth's strata as we see them today. Professor Woodward of Cambridge says, "The earth, all around the globe, appears, wherever it is laid open, to be wholly composed of strata lying on each other in the form of so many SEDIMENTS FALLEN DOWN SUCCESSIVELY IN WATER."

These sedimentary layers often hardened into rock. Some layers, while soft, bent. Others, after becoming hard, often cracked. "Water ripple marks" are extremely numerous in many kinds of stone. And in these strata are found our coal deposits, which are the COMPRESSED remains of lush pre-Adamic plant and animal life buried by this great catastrophe.

There is abundant, absolute proof of the RAPID succession in which the pre-Adamic strata were deposited — evidence which evolutionists REFUSE TO BELIEVE. A vast number of fossil trees and plants are found, in some cases, standing in an ERECT position, and in other cases in an oblique position — PIERCING THROUGH SUCCESSIVE BEDS OF STONE!

Horsetails, rushes and other plants are very delicate and easily broken. Yet these plants are often found IN THE HARDEST SANDSTONE, UNBROKEN AND INTACT! The accumulation, or deposition, of the water-carried sediment was SO RAPID, it prevented the decomposition of the outer layers of these plants! These strata were, in reality, formed in DAYS — NOT thousands, or millions of years!

The destruction of both sea and land life at the time of Lucifer's rebellion is clearly proved by the earth's strata. Geologists call those strata containing sea-life, "Paleozoic" and those containing primarily land life, "Mesozoic." All the strata composing these two kinds of life were laid down suddenly! They are usually much THICKER and HARDER than the deposits of Noah's Flood.

It is interesting to note that the pre-Adamic world has been appropriately called the "Age of Reptiles." Giant reptiles — some probably weighing up to 40 tons — not only roamed the land, but flew in the air, while yet others excelled the fishes in the sea! Gigantic insects filled the air. Huge tree ferns, horsetails, club mosses, cycads and conifers covered the face of the earth, creating vast forests unlike any we know today.

But in Genesis, chapter 1, we have a description of the wonderful creation God made for man and his needs. Mammals of all kinds suitable for food, work, and even pets were made for man (verses 24-25). Also the grains of the field, fruits and vegetables (verses 11-12).

Scientists admit they are puzzled at the SUDDEN appearance of these animals in the fossil record and the SUDDEN DISappearance of the life forms which characterized Lucifer's world. Listen to this admission:

"G.G. Simpson has said, that the most dramatic and in many respects 'the most puzzling event in the history of life on the earth, ... is the change from the Mesozoic Age of Reptiles, to the ... Age of Mammals. It is as if the curtain were rung down SUDDENLY on a stage where all the leading roles were taken by reptiles, especially dinosaurs, in great numbers and bewildering variety, and rose again IMMEDIATELY to reveal the same setting but an entirely new cast, a cast in which the dinosaurs do not appear at all. Other reptiles are mere supernumeraries and the leading parts are all played by mammals ...' " (Historic Geology, Carl O. Dunbar, page 426).

Certain REPRESENTATIVE TYPES of Lucifer's world have survived, but the great "Age of Reptiles" is forever gone!

The world is now man's to populate and govern (Gen. 1:26). But man corrupted his ways upon the earth and SINNED very greatly (Gen. 6:5, 12-13). About 1650 years after Adam and Eve's creation, God had to send a flood to destroy all breathing things, except Noah and all that was with him in the ark.

Noah's Flood DID Occur!

Evolutionists REJECT the biblical record of a universal Noachian Flood. But here is PROOF that Noah's Flood DID occur! ...

What, then, is the EVIDENCE of Noah's Flood? The waters that once covered the world in Noah's time left VISIBLE MARKS on the earth. The erosive powers of receding flood waters completed the gouging of the Grand Canyon of western United States. And the churning, powerful waters laden with sediment, buried billions of animals and plants! Their remains have been found AROUND THE WORLD — mute testimony of the great destruction brought on the earth because of man's sins.

One formation of rocks in Africa, for example, has been estimated to contain eight HUNDRED THOUSAND MILLION (800,000,000,000) SKELETONS of vertebrate animals! ("Journal of Paleontology", May 1959, p. 496.)

Geologists study and analyze this evidence every day, yet the plain meaning of these findings are ignored! Instead, the baseless Theory of Evolution would have one believe these creatures were gradually buried over millions of years! Yet any geologist must admit that an animal must be buried fairly quickly by sediment, or other means, or his SKELETON will not become a fossil. Millions of bison were killed on the Great Plains in the United States in the last century, yet NOT ONE became a fossil. A vivid example that a gigantic flood had to bury the billions of creatures scientists find entombed in the rocks!


PHOTO CAPTION: Petrified log in Petrified Forest National Monument, Arizona. Flood water erosion left log resting on natural earth pedestal.

All the flood deposits of Noah's time are THIN and scattered over the surface of the earth. Geologists call these deposits "Cenozoic."

"Science" MISINTERPRETS the Evidence

In Genesis, chapters 7 and 8, God reveals that the Flood of Noah's time progressed comparatively SLOWLY. It began with 40 days of rain. The flood waters reached their peak about the seventh month of the year and it took about the same period of time to recede.

But its water currents were NOT EVERYWHERE VIOLENT, for God watched over the ark (Gen. 8:1), and it weathered the Flood. Therefore, the deposits from the Flood of Noah were NOT as deep as those from the pre-Adamic world.

It is common knowledge today that large numbers of fossils are being dug up from RELATIVELY GREAT DEPTHS! Some represent sea life. Others are giant monsters of which we have no other record.

To what world did these creatures belong?

They are clearly a creation far too DIFFERENT — ANOTHER CREATION BURIED FAR TOO DEEP — TO HAVE BEEN A PART OF THE ADAMIC CREATION buried in Noah's day. Most denominations carelessly lump THIS DEEPLY BURIED CREATION with the creation of Adam's time.

What, then, does this deeply buried creation represent?

Why, the great catastrophe brought upon our originally perfect earth because of LUCIFER'S SIN, of course!! The PRE-ADAMIC DESTRUCTION!

How plain and simple everything becomes when we CAREFULLY examine the earth's strata. We find that the BIBLE HAS CONTAINED THE TRUTH ALL ALONG! ONLY "SCIENCE" HAS BEEN TOO STUBBORN — "WILLINGLY IGNORANT" — TO ACCEPT IT!

God has used ALL His Creation to PROVE to mankind that His Bible means EXACTLY what it says. FIRST God tells man plainly in Genesis what is true. THEN He tells man to prove His Word by ALL the things He has made — by His Creation: "The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are CLEARLY SEEN, being UNDERSTOOD by the things that are MADE [God's Creation], even His eternal power and Godhead; SO THAT THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE" (Rom. 1:20). (Lesson 11 - A Record in Stone. Ambassador College Correspondence Course. 1966)

Note: I have not attempted to scientifically verify the above--but this is what the old Radio Church of God used to teach based its research. And it does address some issues associated with the 'gap' theory as well as the flood.

Concluding Comments

Translations of Genesis 1:2 do support the view that the earth BECAME tohu and bohu. Since the Bible teaches that God not create the world that way (Isaiah 45:18), this is further scriptural proof of the 'gap-theory.' As is the renewal of the earth referred to in Psalm 104:30.

There was a 'gap' symbol in the Masoretic text, consistent with the view of the gap doctrine.

Some early Jewish writings of the first few centuries A.D. support the gap theory.

Church of God writings, starting no later than the second century, support the gap theory.

Various Greco-Roman and Protestant writers throughout history supported the gap theory.

Several of these writings from Jews and Christians and others were written over a millenium prior to the evolutionary model being hypothesized.

Critics who claim that the gap-theory did not exist until it became an argument against the views of geologists and evolutionists are flat-out in error.

There are writings from various ones that show that view was held centuries before evolutionists like Charles Darwin wrote their books.

As far as modern humans go, it is true that humankind as we know it has only existed for about 6,000 years (for biblical details, please see the article Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).

But what about the planet?

While dating methods are subject to criticism, it is likely that the earth is much older than 6,000 years. However, this is not in contradiction to scripture, though most whoe reject the gap teaching do not understand that.

Also, when God re-formed and put new life on the earth, this took six literal days, and was followed by a seventh-day of rest. This only took a literal week.

The gap theory is not a modern heresy, but an original Christia doctrine.

Here are links to two sermons: Genesis, 'Prehistoric man,' and the Gap theory and Genesis, 'Prehistoric man,' and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?

Thiel B. How old is the earth? How long were the days of creation? Gap theory? www.cogwriter.com/gap-theory-old-earth-long-days.htm 2012/2013/2014/2015/2016/2017/2018 0908

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