Brian Cole: Genesis 1:1-2 – A Gap In The Minds Of Men, Part 2
Last week we talked about the “gap theory” and what it means and implies. We left off with the question of just HOW someone could possibly come up with crazy theories like this? After a clear reading of Genesis and the rest of Scripture there’s absolutely no support for this idea at all, nor is it implied anywhere.
Just like the Jehovah’s Witnesses do to justify their position in doctrine, it all begins with changing words to fit one’s position. We can and do come up with all kinds of craziness when we start changing words, or say things like: “The Bible ‘contains’ the Word of God’ rather than the Bible IS the Word of God.
Many Bible translations since the time of the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament into Greek, have translated the first Hebrew verb in this verse as “was.” However, in an effort to explain the origins of evil and/or find Biblical evidence for an old earth, some Bible scholars have suggested that this verb should be translated “became.” This allows interpreters to suggest Satan’s rebellion marred God’s good creation. However, the construction of this sentence in the original Hebrew favors the tradition of “was” rather than “became.”
If you read the Bible without bias and your head filled with a bunch of presuppositions, we would read the first chapter of Genesis and believe, as millions of people do, that verse 1 and the rest of the chapter are talking about the same creation, in the same time. This verse is simply a statement of fact, which the following verses outline about the creation of man in chapter 2.
I take the stance here that most do: that in the first act of creation, God brought matter into being; but it was not yet formed into continents and seas, into plants and animals. It was “without form” and void. Creation was not yet finished.
Wayne Grudem, “Systematic Theology” in reference to Genesis 1:2 states: If God first formed the earther (vs. 1) and then later created light (vs. 3), then there would have been darkness over the earth in verse 2 – this indicates that creation is in progress, not that any evil is present. In addition, each day there is an “evening,” and there is “darkness” present during the 6 days of creation with no suggestion of evil or God’s disapproval (Psalms 104:20). As far as the phrase “without form and void,” the sense is just that it is not yet fit for habitation: God’s primary work has not yet been done.”
Wayne Grudem goes on to make the following points: “1. There is NO other Scripture in the Bible which supports the gap theory. 2. In Genesis 1:31, when God finished His work of creation, we read: ‘And God saw everything He made, and behold, it was very good.’”
But, according to the gap theory, God would be looking at an earth full of the results of rebellion, conflict, and divine judgment. He would also be looking at all the demonic beings, the hosts of Satan who had rebelled against Him, and yet be calling everything “very good.” It’s hard to believe that there was so much evil, death, and so many evidences of rebellion and judgment on the earth, and God could still say that creation was very good.
In a later description of God’s work of creation found in the 10 commandments, we read: “for in 6 days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exod. 20:11). Here, the creation of both heaven and earth, and the making of “all that is in them,” is attributed to God’s work in 6 days of creation. Whether we take these to be 24 hour days or longer periods of time, on either view