The Genesis Gap Sidetrack

Preface & Introduction


The "Genesis Gap" is a belief your author has been familiar with for over 40 years. Even before he was saved he would see Clarence Larkin charts that showed a destruction of the earth before Genesis 1:2 and a "re-creation" starting with Genesis 1:3. During this time Lucifer is said to have rebelled against heaven and as punishment the Lord destroyed the whole earth (and even the heavens) with water and expelled Lucifer and like-minded "angels." At the time your author deemed this claim as "interesting," but never thought much more about it until he became a Christian in 1980. After receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior your author became much more interested in "Bible things" and read all he could find on scriptural topics. Since he was a new believer, he did not have the discernment he has today as to what is sound doctrine and fit to read, but the Lord got him through.

Larkin Gap

After a couple years of wading through the mire of Charismatic goofiness and Methodist deadness (he was raised a Methodist), your author obtained a Scofield Reference Bible and also Clarence Larkin's book Dispensational Truth. With these books he was exposed to the Genesis Gap again. Both authors treated it as fact. A couple years later your author was introduced to Peter Ruckman and "lo and behold" he promoted it, too. By this time your author had been saved a few years and was able to study things for himself somewhat and he looked into this Genesis Gap idea, but to his dismay he could never reconcile it with the Scriptures. To him it looked like the "Gapper's" ideas were being read into the text instead of being taken from it. He thought to himself, "These notable Bible teachers who are right on so many other things believe and promote this doctrine, so there must be something to it I'm missing," and let it go for a while.

Over the subsequent years your author looked into the Genesis Gap with fresh eyes more than once, then in the last 10 years or so he saw where some Gap Proponents were now calling their theory the "Gap Fact." "Hum..." he thought, "maybe they can prove it now?" So over the last couple years he looked into it again. He is quite a bit older now, hopefully a little wiser and more knowledgeable of the Bible, human nature, and the peculiar manner of some Bible Believing brethren, and he diligently examined their "proof" to see if they actually can prove it...and found they can "prove" nothing. Their claim is either intentional deception (not likely) or a failure to understand what actually constitutes facts and proof (most likely). In spite of all their high-sounding rhetoric and lofty claims, your author is no more convinced there is any kind of "Gap" between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 than he was 35 years ago. Below he will detail why.

Where Is It?

Your author has never read from or talked to any individual who admitted to discovering the Genesis Gap himself while reading the Bible. He is not saying it is impossible, but he has yet to find someone who has done it. All those he has encountered were introduced to the idea from someone else who usually referred to Scofield or Larkin. This in itself is significant. If this doctrine is so hidden and esoteric that it cannot be found apart from detailed "explanation" from others who deem themselves "more informed," it must not be a very important doctrine...if a sound Bible doctrine at all.

Furthermore, your author found out early on there are certain "political" ramifications among some Bible Believers and Fundamentalists depending on their position on the Genesis Gap. Some of the Bible Believing brethren see believing the Gap as a sort of "right of passage" into being a "true Bible Believer." They insinuate only those who "really believe the KJB" can see it, while all the doubters are "blinded" by unbelief or ignorance.

If you want to see this type of "brow beating" in action just read a page or two of The Gap Fact by Perry Demopoulos. He is constantly berating the reader for not seeing "the truth" or "fact" as he sees it. The barrage of bombastic rhetoric is so constant and tiring, and his arguments so contrived, that his book is hard to finish. Nevertheless, your author read it twice.

As we mentioned, Dr. Peter Ruckman is a major promoter of the Genesis Gap. Although he rails on "Gap Deniers" in other places, in his commentary on the General Epistles, he candidly states that the Genesis Gap is an "inferred" doctrine that is not explained in the initial verses of Genesis 1,

"Now, all of this has to do with what is known as the “gap theory.” The “gap theory” is the teaching that something took place between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 that is not explained there but can be inferred from other places in the Scriptures such as Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28." (Ruckman General Epistles Vol. 1, 1Pe 3:5)

To "infer" means, "deduce or conclude (information) from evidence and reasoning rather than from explicit statements." So according to one of its most notable recent proponents, the Genesis Gap idea can only be developed piecemeal from various passages in the Bible. It is not explicitly stated. Interesting. How many other significant Bible doctrines like that come to mind?

Some may try to claim the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and similar doctrines are in the same category, but that is not correct. That there is a rapture at some time is easily seen in the Bible (1Th 4). The dispute is when it occurs. With the Genesis Gap there is not even a clear passage that states a gap even exists.

Where Did It Come From?

The first person to ever really promote a gap in Genesis was a fellow named Thomas Chalmers of Edinburg University. The idea of a gap was pretty much unknown to Christianity until Chalmers conjured it up nearly 1800 years after Christ. One can find no mention of it in the older commentaries or writings of the early Christians.

Some will claim certain "Early Church Fathers" did speak of it but they hardly ever produce an actual quote...and when they do, the quote is often as vague as one of Nostradamus's "prophecies."

Why did Chalmers propose a gap was there? As another said,

"[Chalmers] felt that he could make room for the vast expanse of time which the geologists of his day were demanding, and at the same time maintain a literal interpretation of the creation account. His views were further elaborated by George H. Pember (Earth's Earliest Ages) in 1876, and enormously popularized by a footnote in the Scofield Reference Bible (first edition, 1917)."

Chalmers had a problem dealing with the newly proposed "geologic ages" science was (and still is) touting at the time and devised the Genesis Gap to deal with it. Although some Bible Believing proponents of the Genesis Gap today deny it is necessary to reconcile the Bible with geologic ages, there are still many Gap proponents who yet appeal to it for that reason. Finis Dake in his reference Bible being one,

"When men finally agree on the age of the Earth, then place the many years (over the historical 6,000) between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, there will be no conflict between the Book of Genesis and science."

Bible Believing Gap proponents today for the most part don't use the Gap as an explanation for the geologic ages but instead use it as a fanciful way to explain the creation and fall of Satan and the existence of the "Sons of God" before the earth's "re-creation." To get away from the charge of compromising with science by adhering to a Genesis Gap, some now claim the gap may have only been a few thousand (or even hundred) years long.

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