GAP Theory

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Salty, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,131
    Likes Received:
    221
    In another thread about Andrew Wommack the Young Earth subject came up.

    Does the Bible scripturally allow for the possibility of the Gap theory - specifically between Gen 1:1 and 1:2

    Hmmmm
     
  2. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    12
    The gap theory is just another heresy
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. TCassidy

    TCassidy
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    12,235
    Likes Received:
    1,321
    The first three verses of Genesis 1 are little understood by most Christians.

    Verse 1 is the title of the book of Genesis. It basically tells us what the story following is all about.

    1. In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.

    - Here is what we are going to talk about.

    2. The earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the deep and God’s Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters.

    - This verse is what is known as a circumstantial clause. It relates the circumstances at the beginning of the story.

    It is similar to "A man was walking down the street and turned into a pharmacy." The circumstantial clause is that "a man was walking down the street." That tells us what was going on (the circumstances) when our story starts.

    The circumstances outlined in verse 2 is that the Earth was unformed (tohu) and unfilled (bohu). Darkness reigned and God's Spirit was present.

    Verse 2 begins with what is called a waw disjunctive. The waw disjunctive can be identified by the attaching of a waw to a noun. In this case waw·ha·’a·res (And the Earth). When a waw is used with a noun the waw disjunctive results.

    The disjunctive disconnects verse 1 from verse 2. There is no logical or chronological connection between verse 1 and verse 2.

    So, the bible does not tell us when verse 1 occurred. Only that it already existed when the story starts in verse 3. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

    Now note that the waw that begins verse 3 is attached to the verb. "Said God" (waw·yo·mer e·lo·him). When the waw is attached to a verb it means verse 3 follows both logically and chronologically immediately after verse 2. This is called a waw consecutive.

    So, is there room for a gap? Yes. But such a gap is meaningless as far as the narrative is concerned. Nothing other than the unformed and unfilled ball of dirt in perpetual darkness existed until God, in verse 3, began to form the unformed and fill the unfilled.

    No life of any sort was possible as the penalty for sin, death, had not yet been passed on creation.

    So, the bible does not tell us how long ago verse 1 happened. As God has not chosen to reveal that information to us, I will not speculate. If God wanted me to know He would have told me.

    But the idea of the gap theory is idiotic. It ignores both the grammar of the Hebrew and the theology of the narrative itself.

    From verse 3 until the ended of chapter 1 every verse save one starts with a waw attached to a verb making each verse follow, logically and chronologically, the verse before it.

    So,

    Verse 1: Here is what we are going to talk about.

    Verse 2: Here are the circumstances when our story starts.

    Verses 3 and following: Here is how God formed the unformed and filled the unfilled.

    :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. TCassidy

    TCassidy
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    12,235
    Likes Received:
    1,321
    And how, exactly, did you come to that conclusion?
     
  5. Sapper Woody

    Sapper Woody
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    2,112
    Likes Received:
    105
    Similar to what TC said, there could have been 14billion years between the verses. But it doesn't matter. Nothing was formed or 'evolved' during that time.

    Sent from my QTAQZ3 using Tapatalk
     
  6. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,973
    Likes Received:
    129
    It wasn't too long ago that scientists began to recognize that the age of the earth (and universe) was greater than was accountable by a strictly literal interpretation of the Bible.

    The Gap Theory was an early attempt to reconcile the vast ages with the biblical account. It did a poor job with both the scientific evidence and with biblical account.
    The "gap" between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 isn't recognized by Hebrew scholars.
    The "Gap Theory" was made popular in the Schofield Bible notes and still is popular today in some circles.

    I was reminded about the Gap Theory a few years back when reading John Sailhamer's book, Genesis Unbound. He proposed a theory he calls, Historical Creationism, which divorces the time element from the biblical reading, providing a much smoother way to incorporate
    the long time proposed by science.
    Just one Theory among many.

    Rob
     
  7. TCassidy

    TCassidy
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    12,235
    Likes Received:
    1,321
    But a very weak theory without much biblical support whereas the contrary is the normative in the Hebrew narrative.

    Sailhamer also argues that the erets ( translated earth in verse 2) refers to the Eden/the Promised Land (pp. 48–49) and not to the whole planet. None of the Talmudic writers understood Genesis 1 in this way, and they could hardly be accused of being ignorant of the theme and purpose of the Pentateuch!

    Not to mention that Genesis 1:2 and 1:9 make it clear that there was no dry ground at all until Day 3.

    Sailhamer’s interpretation involves other rather fanciful ideas, such as a belief that the sky was still empty of life on Day 2 (p. 122). But how could that be if birds and other flying creatures had been flying around for millions of years as he claimed previously.

    Well, back to the OP. Did you read my post above and what do you think of my exegesis?
     
  8. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,383
    Likes Received:
    790
    Oh you mean the one's who are antiGod
     
  9. TCassidy

    TCassidy
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    12,235
    Likes Received:
    1,321
    And what scientific indicators of age do you believe contradict a literal understanding of Genesis 1-3?
     
  10. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,973
    Likes Received:
    129
    Myriads of books have been written about this topic; with some points I agree with you, with others I don't.
    It's important to recognize that much of this is conjecture or as you say, "exegesis".

    Well, no Rev,
    Many of the scientists of the early 19th century were solid Christians. They recognized that it was very difficult to reconcile geological and biological theory with a young earth.
    They wrestled with the text and developed a number of ways to understanding it.

    Rob
     
  11. TCassidy

    TCassidy
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    12,235
    Likes Received:
    1,321
    Uh, I am not sure how you equate exegesis with conjecture. What points of Hebrew word use and grammar do you consider "conjecture?"

    And I thought I went out of my way to point out when God does not tell us something we ought not engage in conjecture. Did I not articulate that point in an understandable manner?
     
  12. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,383
    Likes Received:
    790
    Any science, involving the earth's age, divorced from proper theology is anti-God. We cannot interpret scripture through the lens of man made science. We must do the exact opposite.
     
  13. Calminian

    Calminian
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    19
    No, no possibility of a gap. The ancient reader would have never come to that conclusion. It's an effort to separate the creation of the universe with the creation of the earth or recreation of the earth. The problem is sandwich creation statements immediately before the six days (Gen. 1:1) and immediately after (Gen. 2:1).
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The term, creation of the heavens and earth is a sort of merism which sums up the creation of everything. By placing this merism at both ends of the 6 days, the author left no room for a gap. The 6 days is the account of the creation of the universe and the creation of the universe is the account of the 6 days.

    You have a similar summary statement in Exodus 20:11.

    Ex. 20:11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them...

    Again, absolutely NO distinction between the creation of the Universe and the 6 days. They are the same thing. Moses (The author/compiler of the Genesis accounts) emphatically treats the 6 days as the creation of the entire universe.

    The theory was an attempt to marry scripture with long ages and separate the long history with animal death with a more recent creation of humans. It doesn't work textually.
     
    #13 Calminian, Nov 19, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
  14. Calminian

    Calminian
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    19
    Indeed. I would challenge you, you are one of them. There are several errors below. I'll get them one by one.

    Not so much a title as perhaps a topic sentence. But what you miss is this same statement used at the conclusion of the 6 days, effectively marrying to the 6 days to this statement.

    Yes, which also effectively ties it to the prior verse. The waw consecutive is a good indication of narrative, and connects sentences sequentially (either logically or chronologically). In the beginning God created.. and the earth, at the time of creation was unformed and unfilled. It's inescapable. What the waw consecutive does is establish a connection between verse 1 and 2, not obliterate as you claim.

    Oh my goodness no, just the opposite. The six days are a running description of the statement "In the beginning" that occurs before the six days and after the six days.

    Now I understand the attractiveness of this. By separating the creation of humans with the creation of the universe, you now can accept millions of years. And if you just leave all life out of it until recently, you've solved the death before sin problem. But you, unfortunately, still have a textual problem. The six days are indicated as the creation of the universe by the author.

    Not only this, you have a disagreement with Jesus. He said,

    Mark 10:5 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation, God “made them male and female.’ ....”

    Jesus, just like Moses, also believed humans (Adam and Eve) were from the beginning of creation. He did not see them as latecomers after the universe was created millions/billions of years earlier. That alone destroys the gap theory.
     
    #14 Calminian, Nov 19, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,114
    Likes Received:
    52
    Nope, jut was made popular by Scofield Bible, and was n attempt to bridge between Evolution long ages and what tey thought Bible taught!
     
  16. Calminian

    Calminian
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    19
    Sailhamer's Historical Creationism suffers the same problems the gap theory does. In fact, it's much worse. See: A Closer Look at Historical Creationism. Sailhamer actually believes the 6 day account in Genesis is the creation of Eden, which he believes is the land of Israel. He theorizes about a conspiracy theory where hellenized jews corrupted the Bible we have today. It is off the deep end weird. The only thing keeping it afloat is Sailhamer's credentials. He couches his arguments in much scholarly rhetoric, but the logic of his argument is easily dismantled.
     
  17. Calminian

    Calminian
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    19
    Indeed. Science, at the very minimum, is anti-supernatural. It must accept the absence of non-uniform causes in order to logically do the scientific method. This is not a problem the vast majority of the time, but in the case of origins, God specifically tells us of supernatural non-uniform causes (the six days).
     
  18. TCassidy

    TCassidy
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    12,235
    Likes Received:
    1,321
    Really? And at what seminary did you teach Hebrew for 25 years?

    As I clearly stated I was exegeting verses 1-3 it is understandable I did not "miss" anything after verse 3.

    Now you have demonstrated your lack the knowledge of Hebrew to discern the difference between a waw-disjunctive and a waw-connective. With a waw-connective the waw is affixed to a verb. With a waw-disjunctive the waw is affixed to a noun. Anyone who can read Hebrew knows that ha·’a·res is a noun and yo·mer is a verb. Therefore waw-ha·’a·res is a disjunctive, not a connective, and waw-yo·mer is a connective not a disjunctive. And those who have even a basic understanding of grammar know that a disjunctive separates the one from the other both logically and chronologically.

    Except verse 2 begins with a waw-disjunctive, not a waw-consecutive. "The earth." The waw is affixed to a noun (earth) making it a disjunctive not a consecutive.

    And your error is the inability to distinguish between a waw-disjunctive and a waw-consecutive.

    Oh my goodness, please learn some Hebrew!

    Exactly. Verse 1 is "Here is what we are going to talk about." Verse 2 is "Here are the circumstances as we begin our narrative." Verse 3 -> is "a description of God's forming the unformed and filling the unfilled."

    No, of the two of us I am the one who knows the difference between a waw-disjunctive and a waw-consecutive.

    The six days are a narrative of God's forming the unformed and filling the unfilled circumstances of the earth, described in verse 2, which was created in verse 1.

    Yes. I know. What is your point?

    Who said He did?

    Did you understand anything I posted?
     
  19. Calminian

    Calminian
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    19
    None. I'm a Hebrew neophyte. And I did mistake those two bits of grammar. Indeed I'll defer to your knowledge on those subjects.

    touche.


    Now deal with the bulk of my argument. "In the beginning" is both a topic sentence (1:1) and a summary sentence (2:1) that sandwiches the six day account, making the six days effectively an account of the creation of not just of life, not just of Adam and Eve but of the entire universe—the heavens and the earth.

    Also, explain Christ's very straightforward statement that Adam and Eve are not merely johnycomelatelies, but form the beginning of Creation.

    Also explain Moses statement in Exodus 20:11. See if your vast Hebrew knowledge can rescue you from a simple logical argument. :)
     
  20. Calminian

    Calminian
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    19
    BTW, from Dr. Barrack at TMU. Very interesting.
    • Verse 2 begins with a waw-disjunctive (the conjunction waw + non-verb) indicating a disjunctive clause. Such a clause has two major functions: contrast and background information (cf. Putnam, Hebrew Bible Insert, §3.2.2). Since contrast does not appear to be the intent of the narrator (e.g., the earth is not purposely being contrasted with the heavens), the obvious choice is background information (normally parenthetical when inserted within a narrative in this fashion). Anaphora is employed here by beginning this sentence just as the last one ended (with ha’arets, “the earth”). That acts as a hinge to focus attention on the primary topic for the rest of the section through 2:3.
    • It is best to treat verse 2, therefore, as a parenthesis providing background information regarding the earth, which is the major topic of the section.
    So I do believe your waw-disjunctive argument is not an argument in and of itself. You have to show the author to be making a contract between the heavens and earth for your gap theory to take hold. I believe my arguments above make that quite difficult.
     

Share This Page

Loading...