The Gap Theory VI
Years ago, there was a commercial for The Gap clothing store that said “fall into the gap”. It occurs to me that people normally fall into the gap theory. It is never taught from the pulpit, at least I have never heard it preached. Which begs an amazing possibility; Does God lead people there? If you are never given information about something, yet it makes its way to you, what else can it be? There is normally a consensus when an idea is given and believed by everyone with no dispute. Well, maybe when the only dispute comes from the “fringe”. As with Queen Gertrude, what does it mean if everyone “doth protest too much”? Does that, in and of itself, make something right?
As an interesting side note, there are between 46,000 and 230,000 innocent people locked away in prison. This is according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. They list the following as reasons why:
Bad police work
Faulty eyewitness identification
As I looked at this list, it occurred to me. What is the one thing they all have in common? Bad information! Bad information can cause many things, including false imprisonment. Is there any difference in getting bad information and not doing the work for yourself to see if it is bad information? While no one has all the answers, all of us have some of the answers. God knows all the answers and distributes them joyfully so that the church can learn and grow together, not separately. Unfortunately, when bad information is given, instead of researching for themselves the masses believe. Knowing what is right and wrong should always be compared with the Word of God.
In Genesis 1:1, we see 10 words in the King James Version English translation and only 7 words in Hebrew. Most of the time, when dealing with the “gap theory”, scholars start with Genesis 1:2. However, I think it is important to fully understand the condition of the “heaven and the earth” before verse 2.
“In the beginning” (re’shiyth) God (‘elohiym) created (bara’) (‘eth) the heaven (shamayim) and (‘eth) the earth (‘erets). You see it in the English translation and Hebrew in the parenthesis. Breaking down this verse is not completely necessary. However, a couple of words make it important to review for the next verse. While beginning means first in order, time, or rank, and God is plural, the real key to this verse is two-fold. First, the word for created is bara which means to bring into existence out of nothing. This word lets you know that everything began here. The next time this word is used is on day 6 of the restoration. Second, the word for earth means dry land. While that may seem insignificant, in the very next verse the earth is submerged in water. Why would God create dry land to cover it with water and then not tell us that He covered it with water during the process only to remove the water to its rightful place?
With a brief summation of verse 1, everything that was made was made from nothing by at least two of the Trinity (I believe other scriptures prove all three were there). The earth was created as dry land and the Holy Spirit wanted us to know that. One last thing to look at before moving on to verse 2. The Holy Spirit gives us the perspective from the earth throughout the Bible. In Genesis 1:1, He gives us the creation of the earth and its atmosphere. It is assumed everything was created at this point. I have found no scripture to the contrary. However, the point here is He is focusing for our benefit, on the earth and its atmosphere alone.
The second verse then moves the observer into a completely different layout altogether. While most commentaries get tied up with the word was and it's Hebrew definition, we will make this very simple and to the point. While the word was is used twice in this verse, the second time used, it is italicized. By the way, I read from The King James Version. Not because I feel it is any better, but because I always have. All my study books are based on it. I say this because during the translation into English if the translator thought it needed extra wording to make it have a clearer message in the English, they would insert a word but italicize it to show that it was NOT in the original language. The beauty of the Hebrew language is its detail. While a word or phrase can be grammatically correct, as Dr. Steven Dill puts it, they can be informationally incorrect. Scholars have a tendency of translating a verse to what they believe it means. With a limited amount of information before verse 2, it is important for the reader to remember that God’s Word was NOT put in chronological order; on purpose. If studying allows you to see a greater context before verse 2, then you are ahead of the game. Obviously you would have had to have pulled scripture from other books of the Bible in order to gain that perspective, but nonetheless, it is there.
The word was is translated either was or became. Keep in mind that, again, the context before a word, according to scholars, says that it will help define the word if there are many definitions. In just The New American Standard version alone, there are at least 120 different definitions for hayah, the Hebrew word for was. With only one line of text before the use of hayah in verse 2, without going to the rest of the scriptures, it does not make sense to give it a clear definition. Because translating depends on two things, it is important to know where each translator stands. The first is the context of the information to that point where the word is used and the second is the preconceived idea of the translator. It is near impossible to separate one’s ideas from their work, no matter what their work is. It is interesting to note that a translator would bring their wording to the work being translated based on their information on the subject. Therefore, they may be grammatically correct, but informationally, off the mark. Keep in mind that if the translation is grammatically correct, but contradicts the rest of the Bible, there is no way it is correct. All of this is to say that how we define was, as used in Genesis 1:2, will require a lot more information than what is given to that point. At least more than was given in Genesis 1:1.
The crux of verse 2 is without form and void. A simple break-down of these two words shows something amazing. The word for form in Hebrew is tohuw and the word for void is bohuw. Beginning with tohuw, it means to lie waste, desolation, confusion, empty place. While there is much to point out here, the word confusion stands out. In 1 Corinthians 14:33, Paul makes it clear that God is NOT the author of confusion. The word for confusion here is the counterpart to the Hebrew word tohuw. What happens when combined with bohuw? In its very definition, bohuw means an undistinguishable ruin. So far we have a desolate, undistinguishable ruin that is full of confusion. Now, add in darkness. This word is very interesting; especially if God created it this way. The word for darkness in Hebrew is chosek. It means the dark, misery, destruction, death, sorrow, wickedness. Wickedness? Did God create wickedness? Did God create wickedness so He would have a plot to send in Detective Jesus later to fix? Ridiculous!
Now the picture becomes a little clearer. In Genesis 1:1, God created the heaven and the earth. By verse 2, it is a desolation, and undistinguishable ruin, full of confusion and wickedness. Using common sense, if God were to create something and then build on it, what sort of foundation would this be? It seems to contradict His own words in Matthews 7:24-27. The foundation must be solid. If you are still breathing, buckle up for the next section.