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Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers VI

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Question #1:  

Hello--I hope it is okay if I ask you a few questions about Genesis 1 and 2. There is a Mormon on CARM who insists that Genesis 2 is a completely different creation story than Genesis 1. I and others on the board have said otherwise--that Genesis 2 isn't meant to be a chronological retelling of creation, but rather, takes some elements from Genesis 1 and focuses on those--like about plants, the creation of Adam and Eve, and the relationship of them to the animals, to set the stage for Genesis 3 and what happens there.

The problem is with the following verses:

Genesis 2 English Standard Version (ESV)
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. 4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. 5 When no bush of the field[a] was yet in the land[b] and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist[c]was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— 7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

He says that the chronology is different here than in Genesis 2--that in Genesis 2, God created man before He created plants. He says that is what Genesis 2:5-7 is about. JD, the Anglican priest, says that in the original Hebrew, there is no "then" at the beginning of vs. 7, and no "when" at the beginning of vs. 5. He said the KJV actually was more accurate. Most translations--like the ESV above--have "when" and "then." The ASV, Young's Literal Translation, and the NET Bible all leave off the "then." I don't know about the "when." I didn't check that.

He says the "grammar" in the Hebrew "demands" the "then." My friend disagrees. I can read the verse without it, and it is perfectly understandable.

He also thinks that Genesis 1 "implies" a heavenly mother, probably from the "in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them". But I think one has to look at those verses through Mormon eyeglasses to see that implied. And Mormonism teaches that there is a "heavenly mother" with whom "heavenly father" procreated (they never say HOW but are cagey about that) our pre-mortal, spirit selves. This idea is obviously shot through with holes by Genesis 2--where it shows us exactly HOW God actually created Adam and Eve--and no "mother" heavenly or otherwise, was involved. Hence, he's trying to show that the Bible is supposedly as inconsistent as the Book of Mormon is, and the rest of the Mormon "Scriptures".  He is a great admirer of Dr. Michael Heiser, who studied under the late, great Bruce Metzger, though I think they disagreed over some things, near the end of Metzger's life. He says Heiser explains the Hebrew and grammar in this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcqfiOFuazc

I know very little about Hebrew and Hebrew syntax and grammar. So I am not sitting through over an hour of this, about something I know little about. I just put it here for reference.  Anyway, can you look at the Hebrew in Genesis 2 and see if it warrants the addition of "then" in that verse? He insists it is another, different, contradictory creation story. All to justify, I think, the inconsistencies in Mormonism. But I have read this account in the Bible since I was a little girl and never thought Genesis 2 was different--I always thought it was simply focusing on a few elements from Genesis 1, and Genesis 2 was not meant to be Chronological at all.

Thanks for any help you can give me. I know you are busy. God bless you.

Response #1: 

Good to hear from you as always.

As to the description in Genesis chapter two, this is a noted crux of problematic translation based upon a misunderstanding of the issue. Your friend is on the right track. Genesis 2:4 begins a re-telling of the story of re-creation to include more details, and the Hebrew of that verse makes it very clear, even if many of the versions do not. My translation:

These [looking forward not backward] are the generations of the heavens and the earth in their creation (i.e., from the beginning), throughout the entire period that the Lord God fashioned (i.e., all later developments) earth and heavens.
Genesis 2:4

A couple of points (explained in detail at the link): 1) the reversal of "the heavens and earth" to "earth and heavens" in the verse above is a significant signal that we have moved from looking at the big picture (from heaven) to the events on the earth (where "heavens", now indefinite, means only the earth's sky and atmosphere); 2) "fashioned" is 'asah not "created", which would be bar'ah (which is used of/in the six days); 3) the word "generations" (toledhoth, תולדות), tells us that we are going to be looking forward now to what results from the period which follows the seventh day. So Genesis 2:4 IS a summary, but it is a FORWARD looking summary, not, as is often assumed, a backward looking one. Following this forward looking summary, Moses goes back into the story of Adam and Eve providing more detail, and in doing so he does start with the sixth day and then moves on to the period after the seven days.

So this is not a new or different chronology, but – as Genesis 2:4 tells us – a more detailed telling, going back to the time just prior to Adam and Eve's creation to provide those important details, and then to take the narrative forward through the fall.

This is a very natural way to tell any story or to relate any history, namely, to give an overview or "strategic assessment", then double back to focus in on the details. In biblical terms, we have the re-creation narrative from the divine point of view in chapter one, and then we double back to get the details about Adam and Eve – where the former "heavenly picture" would have been obscured by trying to jam the chapter two information into the sixth day of chapter one. I know of no literature ancient or modern which does not do such things. This is only "confusing" for those who are misreading or misinterpreting what Genesis 2:4 actually has to say.

Versions such as ESV which make the summary look backwards AND also ignore the disjunctive construction at the beginning of verse 5 – translating "when" incorrectly so as to try wrongly to paste verses 4 and 5 together – do confuse the issue. The disjunctive clause at the beginning of verse 5 also makes it clear that we are here beginning the more detailed treatment:

Now [all] this was before any wild foliage existed on the earth and before any wild herbage had sprouted, for the Lord had not yet caused rain to fall upon the earth, and Man did not exist to till the soil.
Genesis 2:5

As to events of Genesis 2:7-9 and the issue of "then/when", what we have in this passage is a typical Hebrew narrative sequence with a series of "waw connectives" which mean, essentially, "and", and these may be variously translated according to one's understanding of the context (including "then"). Yes, according to the sequence, the planting of the garden of Eden happens after the Lord creates Adam . . . but that does not mean that there were no plants created before the garden was planted and furnished with its special trees. Eden was a special place but not the only place on earth as we see very clearly when Adam and Eve are expelled from it.

As mentioned above, this second narrative gives the details primarily of what happened after the seven days (though it starts on the sixth day), and the planting of the garden does follow the creation of Adam (either right away on day six or sometime afterwards – that we are not told). But there is certainly nothing contradictory between the narratives – unless someone wants to suggest that having created vegetation all over the earth on day three God is thereby forestalled from planting a localized garden and makings special trees grow in it on day six and/or thereafter. That would be patently ridiculous.

It is very telling that Mormons are so willing to find the Bible "wrong" – the logic of this objection since if there are two chronologies which are at odds then one of them must be wrong.

Since they don't believe the Bible, how can they defend using it affirmatively in support of their weird teachings?

Here is a link which will lead to others:

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers V

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2:  

Wow, that was fast! Thanks! Did you by any chance glance at Heiser's video? I know it is over an hour long. Just wondering if he agrees or disagrees with your analysis. Have you heard of him or read any of his stuff? I know he is in a different area of scholarship than you are, though you both know Hebrew. By the way, why did you stop teaching Hebrew, if you do not mind my asking?

And Mormons believe the parts of the Bible they want to believe, while rejecting other parts, or saying they are only symbolic. Like this Mormon guy says God creating Adam out of dust is clearly symbolic, but he will not say why--just because he says so, I guess. But I told him it cannot be, because after the Fall, God told Adam that he came from dust and after death, he would return to dust. I said on the boards that when unembalmed dead bodies are buried in the earth, they DO decay and become part of the earth, do they not? Ergo, the creation of Adam from soil of the earth cannot be figurative or symbolic.

Thanks again. God bless you.

Response #2: 

You caught me at a good time!

On Heiser, yes, I've seen this guy's materials before. He believes / teaches all manner of wacky stuff so I have adopted a "fruit of the poison tree" attitude – so I'll answer specific questions about specific teachings of his (no, there were no "gods" before God), but am not willing to waste time considering his materials as if they were valuable.

As to symbolism, if you have two chronologies which differ, one must be wrong. How can symbolism explain that? They merely have no respect for the Bible, so we ought not to entertain any arguments they want to make based on the Bible as if we were operating on a common playing field of respect for the Word of God – which is clearly not the case.

On teaching Hebrew, I have my hands MORE than full here at the university teaching Latin and Greek.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:  

Okay, thanks. Hard to believe that Heiser was a protege of Metzger's.

Response #3: 

You're most welcome.

Metzger WAS a great scholar. Don't remember ever seeing anything that suggested to me that he was a believer though. We'll find out about that on the other side – bound to be a great many surprised there on that score.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:   

Hi--I think Metzger was a believer. Have you ever read THE CASE FOR CHRIST by Lee Strobel? In it, the author interviews all sorts of professionals to comment on stuff about Jesus Christ and His life, death, resurrection, etc. In one chapter, he interviewed Metzger about the canon of the NT. And Metzger certainly came across as a Believer.

Just an FYI. So far, the Mormon has not commented on what you told me, that I put on the boards. I would not be surprised if he tries to contact Heiser and give him what you wrote to me and ask for his comments about it and if he disagrees with you, well, then, that would be between you and Heiser I guess. I certainly could not comment, not knowing Hebrew .

I know your doctorate is in the Classics, and I think Heiser's is in OT studies or something similar. So I wonder who would know Hebrew better....?

Response #4: 

Good to know about Metzger. I guess that just shows the inherent deadness of scholastic biblical studies.

You can share my correspondence with whomever. I have been reading Hebrew daily more or less since I started studying it academically and got my M.A.B.S. in it thirty five years ago. It certainly doesn't meant that I know everything, but I'm very comfortable with what I've written and happy to defend it. The issues in this set of questions are more interpretive than linguistic – the Hebrew is very straightforward. Still, it's amazing how many supposed experts seem challenged to understand the language itself.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5: 

Greetings doctor

Kindly review the attachment for me.


1) My concern is the genesis gap and science is it an attempt to harmonize geology and the Bible?

2) How does secular scholarly knowledge marry biblical eschatology and primacy? Occasionally you seem to use science to support certain biblical tenants could there be a rational explanation.

3) How do you relate between the so called classical gap theory and soft gap

Response #5: 

Being totally swamped at present, I can't delve deeply into the two attachments, but I will try to answer your questions here and do feel free to pose specific questions about anything in the two articles you attached (I noticed that Weston Field's book was featured in one – that book is not only "rot" but very dated, old "rot").

1) I always point out in my discussion of this subject that I believe that there is a gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 because there is a gap right there in the text between those two verses – and then I go on to explain how and why any other way of looking at the issue is dead wrong and dangerous. I always also try to make clear that I believe what I believe because the Bible clearly teaches it – not because of any apologetic purpose. Is there apologetic value in seeing a long stretch of time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2? Perhaps. But the gap is there whatever one thinks about other issues. Apologetics and attempting to answer "science" has no part in my analysis or purpose or ministry.

2) I'm a bit flummoxed by your statement, "Occasionally you seem to use science to support certain biblical tenants"; I can only infer that the "seemed" indicates that I have not so stated. I study and interpret and teach the Bible, and it matters not a whit to me if what I teach as a result of the Spirit's guidance and a lot of hard and detailed work agrees with science (sometimes it does) or completely contradicts it (that is more often the case).

By faith we understand that the ages have been constructed by the Word of God, so that what we see (i.e., the material world) has not come into being from the things presently visible.
Hebrews 11:3

3) I don't know the difference, but what I teach is not a "theory". What I teach is what Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 plainly state: God created everything (v.1); but now (v.2) everything had been blacked out and ruined. Anti-gappers have to pervert either verse one (as not being original creation) or verse two (as somehow being "process creation"), and all of them have to pervert the Hebrew of verse two, both the fact of the adversative clause (a strong but . . .) and what the text says (e.g., W. Fields' "unfilled and unformed" process-creation abomination as a tainted substitute for what the Hebrew tohu vebhohu really means).

Here are some links where all these matters are discussed:

The Genesis Gap (SR 2)

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers V

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers IV

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers III: Creationism, Neanderthals, Fossil Record

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers II

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers.

Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap.

Happy also answer specific queries about any of the points brought up in the articles attached.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #6:  

Dr. Luginbill,

I just came across your web site and have enjoyed reading your material. I was wondering whether you were aware of Dr. Michael Heiser's work. He is scholar in residence at Logos Bible Software and a Semitic scholar. I am just introducing myself to learning Hebrew with "Basics of Biblical Hewbrew" by Van Pelt. Tough stuff for an old vet (but fun)!! Thank you.


Response #6: 

Dear Col.,

Thanks so much for your encouraging email. It's greatly appreciated. And congrats to you for your efforts in learning Hebrew – not an easy thing at any age, especially through self study.

I've not met Dr. Heiser, but have fielded some questions from readers about some of his research in the past. Let's just say he's not my cup of tea.  Do feel free to forward on any specific Q's you might have, however.

Great to make your acquaintance, and thank you for your service.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob Luginbill

Question #7: 

Dr Luginbill,

I've attached the article that prompted my query. It differs from your assessment. I would love to know your assessment. Thanks.

[Genesis 1 and creation by Heiser in Bible folder]


Response #7:

I read in this article "I believe the Bible is the product (equally) of both God and human beings". What are we to make of a statement like this except that "inspiration is qualified"? Which means, in effect, "we are free to accept what we wish and discard what we wish".

I also read something about a "gap theory". I only know that there is a dramatic difference in the text between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, with God creating a perfect creation in verse one, then verse two beginning with a strong "but" (in Hebrew), and a devastated creation being described thereafter. This is not a "theory"; this is what the text clearly says. "Theories" are involved in trying to reconcile these differences in other than the clear biblical way of doing so, namely, understanding the satanic rebellion and judgment thereon to have taken place in between the two verse – call it a gap or whatever one wishes.

I'm a little swamped at present, so may I ask you to delimit the question a bit? I'm happy to respond to any particular questions about this article you may have. Here are a list of links at Ichthys where the subject is discussed at great length (and these will lead to even more links):

The Genesis Gap (SR 2)

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers V

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers IV

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers III: Creationism, Neanderthals, Fossil Record

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers II

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers.

Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap.

In Jesus Christ our Lord,

Bob L.

Question #8: 

Dear Teacher

It has been a few days since I last emailed. Thank you for the answers that you gave me. They were very very helpful. Also, I have some conversations I would like very much for you to look at.

ME: I think that it is extremely dangerous to faith for Christians to call the Bible into question for any reason, least of all because of the evidence of the natural senses. We are warned that we walk by faith and not by sight. Our generation today is probably the most sense-oriented one ever to exist. What we cannot experience sensually today is considered questionable, if not manifestly untrue. There has never been a greater threat to faith than such an attitude. Our God is well able to produce irrefutable evidence of His existence and power right now in our current state of existence, that is, in the flesh. But it is according to His inscrutable wisdom that we should have to trust in evidence beyond our senses in order to be justified before Him. For this reason, when Christians state that the Bible must conform to reality, at the very least, they must explain what reality it is to which the Word of God must bow. At most, they should tremble at such a thought in their own minds. This is not to say that everything that people claim to say on the authority of the Bible must be accepted without question. The Bible itself warns us that there are many who pretend to authority in interpreting the Scriptures who instead twist them to their own ends. So, it warns us to test every spirit and every doctrine and receive nothing but what is good. The Bible presents itself as the standard against which everything including interpretations of its own teachings must be tested. It offers no other standard and certainly does not endorse the seeking of any standard external to itself. As a matter of fact, such a pursuit is termed idolatry. If there is anything to which God must be made to conform, then that thing has been made into a god for us as well. As for the question of evolution, perhaps another time someone will explain to us what it is that believers in Christ Jesus can find believable about it in the face of the testimony of the Bible itself. I cannot exhaust all that I know or can say about it at this moment but I personally know that at least one of the most famous theologians and Christians that I know who embraced this theory necessarily called into question the inspiration of Genesis and by extension the Pentateuch in order for such a belief to stand in his mind. That is not at all strange. It is hard to believe that the world came into being through the Big Bang and progressed into its current state through eons of evolution and also believe that Genesis either means what it says or is truly inspired by God an is thus worthy of all belief. Personally, I too struggled at a point with the issue. For a few years, a theologian I revered who held to the idea that Genesis does not quite mean what it says affected significantly my position on the matter. Not to mention the ubiquity of the power of science and technology in the world today. As someone said, rather than our experience in exploring nature to humble us as to how little we understand this marvelously complex creation that God made, we have become so arrogant as to dictate to God what He must and must not say and what He must and must not mean. The same person noted quite interestingly the ease with which science changes everyday. Much that we knew has been revised. Much that we are learning today will further be revised. Our methods and tools for studying nature are necessarily imperfect since their source - us - is necessarily imperfect as well. But we find that far more bearable than a few translational errors in different translations of the Bible, translations that can easily by circumvented by studying the original Bible or by listening to properly equipped and gifted believers who know their way around the Maze of the Bible. There is more to say for the arrogance of man in this desire to be up-to-date with modern science and technology in the constant attack on the veracity of the Scriptures by believers than there is to say for any true desire for truth. After all, why are we any more confident in the product of the scientific process than we are in God's inspiration? What is the source of any reality which must serve as the yardstick for determining truth if not the same God Whom we learn of and come to know in the Bible? It is a self-defeating argument to hold the Bible as truth and still demand that it demonstrate it's truthfulness by aligning with some external reality. Either it is itself Truth, God's Truth, and thus THE YARDSTICK against which all other claims are measured or it is not. Now, the Bible teaches that God created a perfect universe populated by angels. This creation was completely devoid of all corruption and evil. There was nothing in it that was wanting or imperfect in any way. But that universe came to be ruined by the sentient beings that were made to populate it and run it. One angel, an exceptional one, rebelled against the God of the universe and took others with him in his rebellion. They ruined the earth which had been given into their charge. And God responded with universal judgment. This is the gist behind Genesis 1:2. We don't know how long that universe lasted before it was destroyed in that judgment that God visited upon it. What we do know is that God remade the universe so that He could create a new race of sentient beings through whom He would demonstrate His wisdom, love and power to the angels. And these beings would also replace those ones who had rebelled and eventually perfect the Family of God once more. Thus Man was made. In seven days, God recreated the universe. He could have done it at once. Or He could have done it over millennia or even eons. But we are taught on His Own Authority that He did it in seven days. "And there was evening and there was morning, one day". There is no serious question whether this is the normal 24-hour day that we are used to. It is hard to describe evening and morning in terms that last for longer than a normal day. What God authorised Moses to write, He did for a reason. It is not wise to call that into question because we insist that scientific experiments suggest anything at all. Since the creation of Man, time has passed. Some scientists insist that that time has been in tens of thousands of years. Some insist that it has been in hundreds of thousands of years. Some insist that it has been millions of years even since the falsely so-called evolutionary ancestors of man began to evolve. Scriptures teach rather that it has not been more than six thousand years in fact. That number was reached by tracing through the chronological information provided in the Bible and comparing it with known and undoubted history. Within the first two millennia of man's existence, however, there has been at least one event that can affect much of that agitation about how long the earth has been around. The Bible speaks of one global flood - a flood, this time, that covered the entire earth unlike the first deluge that covered all the universe before man was created. Even to the non-scientist with some common sense, that sort of thing should cause some serious disruptions in the earth itself as a planet. We already see how much difference some rain can make in any given place. How much more a global flood of such dramatic dimensions and origins as those described in Genesis. These two events - the Genesis Gap and the Flood - together affect the question of the origins and ages of the universe and the earth. Understood properly, they explain quite well why we see what we see. It is wholly possible that much of the fossil record stretches back into the era of the earlier creation before God judged it. It was a material creation after all, so there must have been all kinds of physical phenomena both flora and fauna. Then again, judging by Scripture's teachings about Satan and his angels, it is quite possible that some of the fossils are due to his own rebellious tinkering with God's creation. In addition to all this, it is a fact that we don't have all of creature history in the Bible. There is much that God has deemed it best not to tell us yet since it is not pertinent to our task to grow in His Truth and attain to the full maturity of Christ so that we give our whole allegiance to Him. But we have a sure promise that on that Day when our Lord returns we will "know as we ourselves are known". We can afford to be patient because our God is true and does not break any of His promises. It is a very subtle but potent temptation to decide that the Bible may not be complete or completely correct. What we have in it is all that is necessary for "life and godliness". And it obviously cannot afford to be wrong because then we would be adrift on the ocean of life with no compass to chart any sort of meaningful course. When we have testimonies from science that appear to challenge the Bible, it is wise that we be suspicious and at least a little hesitant about it rather than of the Bible. Granted that we don't have and will not possess perfect understanding of the Bible until our Lord returns, it is better that we seek better understanding and hold on to what understanding we do have until the Bible itself corrects us than that we should hold on to the doubtful surmises of men. The first we can defend better than the other before the Lord. If we seek to know truth and continue to follow good teachings of the Bible as we read it ourselves, the Lord has committed Himself to correcting us thereby. If we insist on knowing Truth supposing that it may be found outside the Bible, we have a terrible Day to look forward to before the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Response #8: 

Sorry to hear that your life is (temporarily, we hope) more complicated. I hope (and pray) you can get back to your preparation and ministry in good time.

This is really wonderful work, my friend! I'm thrilled to read such a staunch, well-reasoned, and deep defense of the truth. I would like permission to post most of it (without names / addresses of course) the next time the topics of science/evolution/Genesis gap come up.

You have quite a way with words. What you are doing is certainly "ministry". The Lord is more than capable of leading you into the proper development of that ministry as He intends and has in mind. I will continue to keep you in prayer on that.

Keep fighting the fight, my friend. You are a good warrior for Jesus Christ. Take pains to continue to hone your battle-skills and stay on guard at all times.

"Your our brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ" (Rev.1:9 NKJV),

Bob L.

Question #9:  

Dr. Luginbill:

I have been reading your sight for probably six months now and find the wealth of analysis and exposition wonderful. I have read and understand your arguments as they relate to the age of the earth and must say I find them quite compelling. There is one argument I have heard put forth by "young earth" creationists however that I have not seen you address and wonder how you would reconcile with the Gap Theory:

The argument is that in the Genesis account of the creation week, after each day God announces things to be "good" and prior to resting he announces his creation to be "very good".

Now, the argument is: things were pronounced good and very good by God because death had not entered the world and his re-creation would not have been good or very good if death was already in the world.

I would be most grateful to get your thoughts on that matter.

In Christ,

Response #9: 

Good to make your acquaintance – and thanks much for the positive comments!

As to the "good / very good" argument, I will say a few things (and please feel free to write back):

1) Notice first that this is an entirely derivative argument. That is to say, the Bible doesn't say anything like "if death is in the world there can't be anything good" – or anything of the sort. God is good – even though death is all around us. And everything God does is good – in spite of the fact that we are all going to die (absent surviving the Tribulation and making it to the resurrection). So in the first place the premise is not one that is biblically supported.

2) Death doesn't enter the world until Adam and Eve eat of the tree of knowing good and evil:

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
Romans 5:12 NKJV

So even if we did accept the premise, it wouldn't apply until after the fall.

3) The only valid deduction I can see from this observation of "good / very good" is that it would seem to support the correct interpretation of Genesis 1:2 describing the after effects of judgment. After all, why wasn't what was present "good" already, if this was merely a phase in God's creation? The only reason something has to be made "good" is it wasn't such before. Admittedly, this is also a deductive argument (and there is no need to make it inasmuch as the evidence from Genesis 1:2 is absolutely clear to anyone analyzing the Hebrew correctly), but I include it here to show that the "good / very good" observation actually cuts the other way entirely from what those who don't want to accept what Genesis 1:2 actually says want it to mean.

As I say, do feel free to write back about this.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10: 

How do you reconcile the gap theory with what is talked about in Genesis 13?  Please see this link https://creation.com/genesis-13-undermines-gap-theory

Response #10: 

Genesis 13:2 does not in fact a grammatical parallel because it contains no finite verb; Genesis 1:2 does contain a conjugated, perfect verb form, so that there is no doubt about the "but" in Genesis 1:2, and the other passage doesn't apply as a way to remove that "but" for those who find it inconvenient.

Here is a prior response on the same issue:

Author of the piece you link to attempts to say that because he finds the grammar of Genesis 13:1 vs. Genesis 13:2 similar to that of the situation in Genesis chapter one, he feels justified in alternatively explain the passage in question. Now no one is saying there aren't explanatory noun clauses elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible. But not all of them are "disjunctive" – meaning some of them are additive (as in Genesis 13:2, translate "now Abraham [was]"), while some of them express contrast (as in Genesis 1:2, translate "but the earth had become . . . "). How do we tell the difference? In a disjunctive "but" type noun clause, if there is a verb in the clause, it will not come first; rather some other element, often the subject as at Genesis 1:2, will come first. The problem for Author is that there is no verb present at all in the clause he suggests as a parallel. No doubt Author will say that we have the verb chabhebh, but really what we have is the adjective chabhebh. Were this the verb, to have the meaning we need in context it would probably have to be in the niphal. That, at least, is what the best BH lexicon, BDB, suggests. If this were the qal form of that verb and meant "was wealthy", then what we would have here is a meaning of the verb which would be unique in the corpus of Biblical Hebrew (and there is no evidence for that). So the answer to "why isn't the verb first if this is not a disjunctive clause too" is that "there is no verb in this clause to put first".

Language, moreover, means what it means. Even if like Author we were mistaken in our impression of the grammar at Genesis 13:2, it wouldn't provide a good parallel for Genesis 1:2 for the following reason: there is no contrast between the Abraham of v.1 and v.2; v.2 merely adds information. But in Genesis 1:2, there would be a contrast even without this strong grammatical signal. For even if there were no grammatical sign of contrast here, we would still have a description of a ruined earth and a universe submerged in darkness and under the tehom. Is that how God makes things? Dark, ruined, restrained? And then He has to "fix" it after the fact? And a whole lot of "fixing" was necessary in days 1-6 if verse two is supposed to represent original creation. That is one of the biggest problem for these folks and this "no-gap-theory", and replacing "but" in v.2 (which is a correct appreciation of the grammar) with "and" (which misses the contrast in the grammar based on a false parallel) really doesn't do very much to alleviate the other fatal flaws in their alternative theory.

For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place (tohu – which is what the earth is actually said to be in Gen.1:2), but formed it to be inhabited (which it could not yet be in Gen.1:2 and so required the six days of re-construction).
Isaiah 45:18a NASB

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #11:  

Hello Bob,

I've noticed that more and more bible teachers are beginning to teach that the bible says that the Earth is flat. They will cite passages such as Revelation 20:9, where it reads: "And they went up on the breadth of the earth"; and they will cite this verse to prove that the Earth is flat. I did some research and some guy on the internet "refuted" over 200 bible passages supposedly teaching that the Earth is flat, when it isn't. He said that the word "Earth" here refers to "land", and NOT to the actual planet.

"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on THE BREADTH OF THE EARTH, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:7-10)"

The reason why I did some research was that some guy on youtube was talking garbage to me when I used one of your email replies to me about God sitting on the "circle of the earth"; and how you said that this could not refer to God sitting on a pair of compasses when I emailed you about someone who interpreted it that way. He really did not provide a refutation; but got upset and began calling me all sorts of negative names. So I just left the conversation.

Is his interpretation of Revelation 20:9 correct when he renders the word "earth" as referring to "land", and not the actual planet?

God Bless,

Response #11: 

Yes, it seems that proliferation of wrong, false and weird theories knows no limit in our late Laodicean age. For that and many other reasons it does stand to reason that the world cannot go on like it is much longer. So much is that true that we would no doubt be expecting the Tribulation soon even if we did not already except it soon from what the Bible tells us on that point.

No, the earth is not flat. More to the point, the Bible never even suggests it. I find it disturbing that false theories and false teachers are being "refuted" by other false teachers and false theories – but also instructive. The devil likes to have stock in both camps like a bookie who hedges his bets by wagering on both teams. That way, an immature Christian who is not too interested in the truth will, if not sucked into the obviously false theory, be attracted by the equally flawed teaching that refutes it.

The fact that Revelation 20:9 says "And they went up to the plains of the land [of Israel]" neither means that the earth is flat, nor that CMI is correct about everything. They are a "Young Earth" organization, and therefore virulently attack the truth of the gap – which any ten year old can see – between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. As with all false doctrines, this rejection and subsequently claiming of the seven Genesis days as original creation has many negative consequences which a person might not immediately realize. For one thing, since then God would be working with material already in place, this gives great credence to the materialism of unbelievers whom they think to oppose – but original creation is ex nihilo though this would be refuted by rejecting the gap; secondly, without many eons before original creation, the importance of the creation of mankind as a counterpoint to the devil's rebellion and the centrality of that rebellion to the divine chronology and plan of God is going to be missed in large part or in small. Lastly, as is common with such movements, this is a "hobby horse" approach to the Bible. These types know a lot about extra-biblical details that have no actual value for spiritual growth, and they pursue these matters to the disregard of the whole set of truths the Bible contains which are crucial for spiritual growth.

Here are some links:

Round earth

Round earth 2

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #12:  

Professor, one more question as I'm writing to defend the Genesis Gap (although I may be getting to a stage with our friend when further attempts will make no sense). There is one argument that is still not clear to me. You wrote:

5. 1) The presence of the heavens and earth in place at Genesis 1:3 shows this is re-creation: As God begins to work on the earth in Genesis 1:3, earth (and the heavens in which it exists) is already in place, an impossibility unless this is a re-creation (for if it describes the original creation, where then did the earth come from?).

I asked about this before, but still can't understand this. Someone who doesn't accept the Genesis Gap teaching can just say that the earth and the heavens were created in verse one and in verse 3 God starts to work on them. I don't know how your points supports the Gap.

Response #12: 

The vast majority of people who reject the gap say that verse one is a summary and that verse three is speaking of initial creation. The part you ask about proves that this is cannot be the case. And if verse three is not initial creation, then the world has been around for a while before the actions described in verse three where the earth clearly present and ready to be restored.  And before that in verse two we have a description of devastation but of earth being in existence. So we have to assume, if a person takes the unusual tack you are wrestling with, that God created something terribly imperfect for one thing, but on the other hand such a take admits that there is a gap by the logic of what you suggest; they many only want to say that it is not important or not long or whatever. So according to this ridiculous view, it would not be a case of a re-creation, but of God fixing what He was (God forbid!) not able to get right in the first place. So this alternative view (which I have seldom heard) has to admit to a gap, and has to interpret the need for the seven days in an indefensible way.

Question #13:  

Hello Professor,

As for the Genesis 1:3 (Genesis Gap and his refutation of your Gap teaching is the main theme of the last response), please let me know if my understanding is correct.

1) This point is directed primarily at those who falsely claim that we have a summary statement in Genesis 1:1. The falsehood of this concept is shown by the fact that in day one God separates light from darkness and both need to exist within some sort of space. So since this space is not created in day one, but the light is separated from the darkness within some already existing space, this proves that this is not the first day of creation, but the beginning of re-creation.

2) This argument, however, can still be used to refute the interpretation that I'm dealing with through my friend - that God created chaos and started to arrange it and that verses 1-3 proceed in chronological order.

The reason is that according to this view, verses 1-3 would entail one day - and that is nonsense. We have no chronological information, but verses 1 and 2 - particularly verse 2 - assume a longer period of time, rather than God creating the universe (00:00), the Holy Spirit hovering over the deep for a few hours (?!) and then God moves on with His creative work. And I am not here even referring to all the other problems of this interpretation.

This is how I understand your point at the moment, let me know if this is correct.

In the grace of our Lord,

Response #13: 

This is a great point, my friend. I've seen and thought something along the same lines myself, though I don't think I've every put it on paper. It's a hard point to make. You do it better than I have seen (or had pondered doing). Good for you – but I do think it could be made stronger by expanding and illustrating the points. Clearly, all that precedes verse three is very significant and had to be lengthy.

I'm keeping your friend in my prayers too.

Your friend in Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #14:   

Hi Bob and family,

I don’t know if this article on the Genesis Gap reached your in-box or it got lost in the ether, hence my sending it again. t could also be that you are still looking over it for amendments and if that’s the case please disregard this and I’ll be a bit more patient.

Thank you for your courtesy Bob.

Response #14: 

I didn't get any attachments, but I got the link and read from Hubpages.


Very nice!

Have linked it to Ichthys.

One objection only: the gap is right there in the Hebrew and can be seen clearly enough in any English version for anyone who is taking the Bible to mean what it says. So it's not "a theory"; YEC (young earth creation) is a theory (a wrong one); evolution is a theory (a wrong one); original creation - rebellion - judgment - re-creation is what the Bible teaches.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season (we've just started it here in the states with Thanksgiving yesterday).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #15: 

Hi Bob,

Young-earth creationists have been inspiring doubt for me on this particular teaching (Genesis gap). Do you believe that Jesus Christ while he was engaged in his earthly ministry for us believed in the Genesis gap?


Response #15: 

Our Lord was and is God. As a man, He learned as we must learn, but He learned all of the truth available for a human being to learn, and He learned it perfectly very early on (Is.50:4; Lk.2:42-52), not just as knowledge but as deeply understood and believed truth (epignosis).

So since there actually is an obvious gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, we can be sure that our Lord knew and understood that better than we do (as He understood all of the OT perfectly).

The way you have posed this question leads me to believe that the real "problem" is with the term "Genesis gap". I do use this term for purposes of simplification, but I did not invent it. Allow me to point out that but for the likes of young-earth creationist who are enamored of the idea of Adam and Eve riding around on dinosaurs and other such cockamamie nonsense, we would not need the term "Genesis gap" at all. Except for people who apparently either cannot read Hebrew – or who are such partisans of false doctrine that they are willing to twist scripture to agree with their misguided ideas – everyone would just read the passage and have no doubt about the fact that God created everything perfect as He always does (in v.1) but that something had happened by the next verse because now everything is far from perfect and bathed in darkness (which is always a sign of judgment: e.g., Is.45:7).

The earth exists in verse 2. That means it was created in verse 1. But it is ruined in verse 2, and the Hebrew presents this as a contrast – translate "but the earth was / had become . . .". There's no wiggle room on the truth here for anyone who accepts the authority of scripture.


The Genesis Gap (SR 2)

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers V

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers IV

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers III: Creationism, Neanderthals, Fossil Record

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers II

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers.

Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #16:  

You said, "Allow me to point out that but for the likes of young-earth creationist who are enamored of the idea of Adam and Eve riding around on dinosaurs and other such cockamamie nonsense, we would not need the term "Genesis gap" at all. "

Please do not mock by generating a ridiculous cartoon image. Mocking is a way our wills convince our minds to be closed...instead of being open.

And Gesenius, Gibbs, Keil & Dielitzsch (sp?) couldn't find this strong disjunction in Genesis 1:1-2. Shouldn't that be a large red flag?

This is an extremely serious question, because Genesis is the source of the teaching that all people of human parents are infinitely valuable. How do you know whether or not the "gap" is just the touch Satan needs to corrupt the soul into transforming a sheep of Christ into a satanic killer?

"Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." Please ask Jesus Christ tonight whether you are interpreting Genesis correctly.

Response #16: 

On mockery: if people say something ridiculous and you repeat it without embellishment, pointing out that it is in fact nonsense to anyone with a lick of common sense, that is not mocking. Just go to the "Creation Museum" – they really do believe and teach exactly this sort of tripe.

On Gesenius, Gibbs, and Keil and Delitzsch, this reminds me of the old German joke, "Bach is dead, Beethoven is dead, and I myself am feeling unwell". Gesenius I've heard of, and Keil and Delitzsch, but Gibbs I had to look up. Apparently he is a Baptist preacher with opinions (who knew?), but without anything approaching the authority of the others you've mentioned. Or as the demon said, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?". Gesenius was prolific, but as far as I am aware never wrote a commentary on Genesis. Source? Keil and Delitzsch did not cooperate per se; they wrote commentaries on different books. Delitzsch' work is valuable (though suffering from a lack of understanding of the authority of scripture); Keil's is much less so, and he did the Pentateuch for the series. K doesn't have near the philological ability or authority of his collaborator. Sadly, both accepted the documentary hypothesis – which means that anything even Delitzsch has to say about the theology is suspect. D is fair on grammar; K is pretty useless. D did write a commentary on Genesis apart from the KD series. Quoting briefly re: his comments on Gen.1:2 we find it to mean devastation as I have affirmed: "the earth in its substratum was a desolate and dead mass, in a world of chaos"; not much help for YCs here. D elsewhere makes it clear that in his view this is all an adaptation of pagan mythology about the world arising from an ungoverned mass/mess. I.e., his view is inconsistent with ex nihilo creation. Not much help for dino-riders there. In short, while you can find 19th / early 20th century scholars who are short on accepting the scripture as the Word of God and who see the Bible as an evolution of documents (which thus cannot be inspired in the way we mean it) and who also don't find a strong break between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, I have only ever found virulent disagreement with the obvious and straightforward reading of the Hebrew from those who have been hooked into "young earth" for whatever reason.

So here is our situation. Those who don't believe in the Bible don't worry themselves over what it actually says because it's just ancient literature; those who say they do believe the Bible don't take it seriously enough to allow it to say what it says so as to change their errant views (ala Gibbs, whoever he may be). A nice summation of the Laodicean era.

On, "how do you know? etc.": What I most assuredly do know is that the devil opposes the truth because only the truth can combat his lies. This particular passage is fundamental to understanding the satanic rebellion now going on, and therefore critical to gaining a true grasp of the adversary we face, his past history, organization, purpose and plans. So when the devil gets believers to put their preconceived ideas ahead of what the Bible actually says here, he has won a great victory. And not only in terms of this issue. These individuals who believe their fairy-tale substitutes over what the Bible actually says in one important place are now more and more willing to do so everywhere else. That is why there is such fanatical support for the false doctrine of the pre-Trib "rapture", for "once saved, always saved", for water baptism, for tithing, for life in the womb (one could go on all night). Laodicea again. A complete disinterest in all things actually biblical while paying lip-service to the Bible.

"These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules."
Matthew 15:8-9

On "please ask Jesus Christ tonight", etc. in my youth I gave up a good career that I loved to go back to school and prepare for ministry (otherwise I would have been retired on a full pension over twenty years ago). I gave up a guaranteed berth with support in graduate school to go to seminary (otherwise I would have had tenure at a much better school much earlier). I have spent much time and effort on preparation (fifteen years of higher education), and much time and effort on developing myself and this ministry, time and effort and resources that could have gone to other things (family, career, personal wealth – of which I have surprisingly little in material terms). I did not stint in my formal qualifications, and one reason for that was that so that I might have something to show to people who doubted I knew what I was talking about; and I did not stint in the hard work of laboring in the Word thereafter – so that I might present myself to the Lord a workman who needs not to be ashamed on account of rightly handling the Word of truth (2Tim.2:15). And for you and whoever else has ever questioned me on this or any other topic, I have always attempted to patiently explain in whatever detail was necessary precisely why I have taught what I have taught – because I found it in the scriptures with the help of the Spirit – explaining all of the whys and wherefores.

I gave you many links on this teaching when I replied to you at 6:09 PM. Did you read them all? Before you sent this reply at 8:56 PM? Did you have the courtesy to read any of them?

These young-earthers who have stricken your conscience, have you tested them on other points of doctrine or on their qualifications or ability to answer hard questions? You certainly have me, over many years.

Have they answered all of your questions about the Bible day and night? I know I have.

Have they encouraged you when you were down, guided you when you were going astray, strengthened you when you were weak? I have done my best to do so.

Have they prayed for you – for years on end? I certainly have.

You are certainly free to listen to whomever you wish to listen to and to believe whatever you choose to believe. But herein we have the problem, in my estimate of the situation. You can read your Bible. You can surf the internet. You can engage with atheists, unbelievers and other believers. You can ask me questions galore. But I really cannot teach you one question at a time. Sooner or later, to grow, you have to really dig into a good, genuine teaching ministry. For Ichthys, that means reading and rereading the major studies and other postings, accepting the truth therein presented as best you can, trying to put aside disagreements (or asking honest questions) until you have a framework in the heart to accept it all, and attempting to walk closer to Jesus Christ through the truth day by day.

One thing I tell my students the first day of class is that while I feel I'm a pretty good teacher, I don't have the magical ability to teach them if they don't come to class.

I can't teach you anything if you're not willing to read what I've written or accept what I write to you when you ask me doctrinal questions.

I can't teach you anything if you're not here.

You have a lot of potential, my friend.

Keeping you in my prayers day by day, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17: 

Your prayers are deeply appreciated. I pray every day for myself that the Lord dispel my confusion and replace it with the whole counsel of God. Given that young-earth creationism is a mass-movement for that artificial kind of "unity" that isn't unity at all, it seems to me more likely that the minority viewpoint (Genesis gap) is the truth. Yes, they talk about how all the church fathers and every theologian prior to modern geology was a YEC, although I am not sure whether that is revisionist history like the Roman Catholic Church making Peter the first "pope" or creating an artificial genealogy from Peter to Linus, etc.... But early theologians often got things wrong. Almost every early theologian believed that Mary was a "perpetual" virgin. Almost every Byzantine theologian believed that Jesus Christ had two wills. Theological consensus is a fallacy much like scientific consensus.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13) In light of the promise made in the prophet Jeremiah, I will read and study your links to dispel my doubts. This could be the means of God's grace to grant me the faith I desire.

I have been under assault by atheists and [details omitted]

My greatest fear is this: "there is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that." (1 John 5:16) I never want to come to the point where the heart is so hardened that God will ignore any prayers (possibly also from me incessantly pleading on my own behalf) to grant me eyes that can see and ears that can hear and understand. I can only beg for God's mercy and grace. Then again, we are told never to stop incessantly praying for our case because of the Parable of the Unjust Judge. Eventually the judge gives the widow what she wants only because she refused to stop asking... even if the judge did not want to grant her the needed faith she was looking for.

May God grant me eyes that can see and ears that can hear. May God grant me saving faith.

Response #17:

You believe in Jesus Christ. You are a believer. And all believers are saved!

I'm sorry to hear of your troubles, my friend, I will most definitely be praying for you.

Thank you for your godly response.

I'm sure that the pressures of dealing with these people in your attempts to minister to them are severe. Please take care of yourself, my friend.

Keeping you in prayer today as always.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18: 

Hi Bob,

I am wondering why there is so much debate regarding the days of Creation. Christian evolutionist's believe that each day mentioned in Genesis are not literal days. and that the Hebrew word for "day" has several meanings. I heard one "Christian" evolutionist say that the "evening" in the "evening and the morning" was not considered ONE DAY; and that the ancient Jews did not interpret it that way. I don't see how much clearer can the bible get. It says evening and the morning is one day. Then there is a parallel in Exodus when God commands us to remember the Sabbath and rest on the 7th day as God did. I believe it uses the SAME Hebrew word for day. Therefore it would make no sense for God to consider a day a long period of time (i.e., millions of years). That would imply that man is supposed to rest on day seven which was in reality millions of years? That makes no sense.

I heard this one guy named Hugh Ross who said that the flood was NOT worldwide, but was local. And that didn't make any sense either. He also said that the world is 4.6 billion years old and that there were other sub-human species before Adam. Where is this found in the bible? Thanks!

God Bless.

Response #18: 

Why so much debate over things which are (or should be) clear from scripture? Short answer: the devil is keeping busy. Longer answer: this is the era of Laodicea wherein most Christians are too lazy to grow spiritually and most of the teachers have false motives and were too lazy to prepare diligently.

The days in Genesis are literal. But of course they are not "creation"; they are RE-creation. The world was created in Genesis chapter one verse one in an instant of time and from nothing (ex nihilo); but in verse two – following the word "BUT" – the heavens and the earth are in existence already, and the earth is seen to have been devastated. In between is the Genesis gap as it is usually called (see the link). The length of the gap was no doubt very long indeed. We know that within it Satan grew arrogant, sinned, managed to draw a third of the angels into a rebellion, and then set up shop on the original earth. At some point (perhaps after eons) God judged the whole degenerate business (the origin of darkness and the devastated state of the universe), and later (we don't know how much later) He restored the earth in seven days and created mankind to demonstrate His mercy and goodness (refuting the devil's lies) and thus resolve the conflict forever – this is the subject of the entire Satanic Rebellion series (at the link).

You are absolutely correct when you say "I don't see how much clearer can the bible get." Indeed!

The flood was worldwide. Genesis 7:20 says "The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits." There is no other way to understand this verse – except to say that the Bible is merely mythology. No believer would think to do that (not one who is following Jesus, at any rate).

Adam and Eve, the first parents of the human race, and we, their progeny, are the only creatures apart from the angels endued with the image of God. Whatever experiments the devil and company conducted on earth during the time of the gap, these creatures are in no way to be compared to human beings.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:  

Hi Bob,

A question came to my mind regarding the new heavens and new earth. Revelation 21 states that there is a new creation after Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire along with all unbelievers. How much time will elapse after the final judgment to the new creations? Is it immediately? Will it take days? Because I know that in Genesis, it took 6 days to create the universe. Will it be the same in the recreation of the universe? And there has been so many debates on how old the earth is. I tend to believe just what the bible simply says, that it was literally 6 days. I believe this because God tells man to rest on the 7th day, and if one day represented a long time span, then that would make no sense in context. That would mean that man would work 6 days and on the 7th day rest (which would be millions of years.) And it the earth really 6,000 years old as most creationists believe? And how do they come up with that many years?

God Bless,

Response #19: 

Revelation presents the new heavens and the new earth being created immediately after the last judgment.

(15) And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (1) Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
Revelation 20:15 - 21:1 NKJV

It is important to remember that chapter divisions in the English Bible are only a few centuries old and were never envisioned as such by the original writers of the Word.

As to the age of the earth, the six days are RE-creation, not creation. The world was created in Genesis 1:1, but Genesis 1:2 presents a devastated earth. God creates perfection only. In between Genesis 1:1 - 1:2, aka "the Genesis gap", Satan rebelled. How long it took for the devil to sin, how long for him to coax a third of the angels to join him in rebellion, how long it was before the Lord devastated the universe in judgment for this rebellion, and how long after that the Lord delayed before launching re-creation, scripture does not say. Angels do not grow old, so it may have been unknown eons of time. The refurbished earth we see today, however, has only been so for ca. six thousand years. More on all this in part two of the Satanic Rebellion: the Genesis Gap (at the link).

The reason for using six days to refurbish the heavens and the earth is symbolic (as the prior link will explain); God could have done this in the blink of an eye just as He created the universe instantaneously. So I don't think the six days bears on the issue of the new heavens and the new earth. They would seem to be instantaneous creations as well.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20: 

Hi Bob,

I've never heard of the Genesis Gap before. I wasn't sure what it meant when you wrote it so I did some research on it. I understood it to mean that since God told Adam to "replenish" the earth, it must have had life on it. And in Genesis 1:2 states that the Earth was filled with darkness. But then I read an article that completely went against the Genesis Gap and explained why. The way these theologians write in Hebrew and using the KJV bible somewhat confuses me. Can you take a look at the article and I want to know where they're incorrect on it.

God Bless

Response #20: 

I've written voluminously about this issue. The link that you include is typical of those who want to reject what scripture has to say and who choose to attack truths they don't like by focusing on what they deem to be weak points in some arguments adduced even as they completely overlook and ignore passages which clearly teach the truth. This is debating technique of the type engaged in by people who use the Bible for their own ends rather than going to the Bible to seek out the truth. This person has not even bothered to scratch the surface of the issue. Your own observation – a very good one – is light years ahead of the article linked.

(1) Before all else, God created the heavens and the earth. (2) But the earth came to be ruined and despoiled – darkness lay upon the face of the abyss while God's Spirit brooded over the surface of its waters. (3) Then God said, "Let light be!", and there was light.
Genesis 1:1-3

A five year old ought to be able to see the distinction and the change here. Creation happens in verse one; the earth (and thus the heavens) are not created later because they are present in verse two. But though created in verse one, they are devastated in verse two – and God does not create in ruin and catastrophe. So something happened in between – which is why the Bible says, "but the earth was/became . . . "

If you have specific questions about the article linked or similar articles, I'm happy to address them, but I have to apologize for not having the time to go through every line of every blog/article of false teaching on the internet with a fine tooth comb.

Here are some other links to where this is discussed at Ichthys:

The Genesis Gap (SR 2)

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers V

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers IV

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers III: Creationism, Neanderthals, Fossil Record

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers II

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers.

Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #21:  

Hi Dr. Luginbill,

I wanted to bring something to your attention. It is in regards to our discussion with the topic of creation in 7 24 hour days.

Let me state that I do not want to re-hash this discussion. If I am not mistaken, You said that one day and one evening were clear evidence of a 24 hour day. I wish to bring to your attention that there places on Earth that experience more than 24 hours of direct sunlight and direct nighttime.


My main point is that God determines time. I think when we try to confine God to our concepts of things like days and nights, we limit our understanding of His awesome power.

You may be and probably are correct in this matter. I only want to show that God's command over how and when the Sun sets is still in motion today.

Have a blessed day!

Response #21: 

Well, for me, regardless of scientific speculation about phenomena past or present, when I read this . . .

God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
Genesis 1:5 NASB

. . . I assume that "one day" means "one day".

Speaking of God's total control, it's only following the great flood that the phenomena of the equinox to solstice variations are present, because prior to the flood the earth was not tipped on its axis as is now the case (see the link: "the Origin of the Seasons").

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:  

Your one day could be a literal day, or it could be "like a thousand years".

Also, your link doesn't state much more than conjecture the creation of seasons. The scripture in Genesis would indicate that the seasons were around since the creation of "Days and Nights" because they are mentioned in the same breath with no contradictory words signaling otherwise.

Response #22: 

There is no mention or occurrence of seasons in the Bible until Genesis chapter eight, after the flood.

"Like" is a comparative particle, introducing a comparison. Without that, we don't assume a comparison when reading or interpreting. If we did that, were you to say "I am a man", I could take that as the same as "I am like a man" and conclude that you are not a man at all.

Deductive reasoning which is based upon scriptural information is more than "conjecture". You are free to present arguments against the arguments made. Dismissing them as "conjecture" isn't any kind of an argument – not one that's going to convince me, in any case.

Question #23:  

You do not apply your logic of first time mentioning evenly. You believe in Satan rebelling before Adam's creation. However, Satan's fall is not mentioned until Ezekiel 28.

Additionally, you do assume that the meaning day differs from Genesis 1 and Joel 2:1-2

Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the LORD is coming; Surely it is near,

Or perhaps I am confused. How can we know for certain that a day in Genesis is different in time from the day of the Lord in Joel? Am I wrong in assuming that the day of the Lord is longer than 24 hrs?

Response #23: 

I don't follow what you mean by "your logic of first time mentioning". I never said anything like that because "day one" was "a first time mention" it meant one thing as opposed to what it might mean if this were not "a first time mention". I assume you are confusing Ichthys with something else you may have read. This is not a valid hermeneutic principle in any cases. Words mean what they actually mean in the context in which they actually occur, and there is no magic formula allowing us to alter them if we don't like what they say.

In terms of the question, there are definite textual indications which distinguish absolutely between the two examples:

Genesis 1:5 says "one day" which describes and "evening" and a "morning" put together. First, it is hard for me to see what else Moses could have said to get readers to see that one literal 24-hour day was meant. How else could he have put it that would satisfy you?

Secondly, "one day" is generic. "THE day of the Lord" is both specific ("the", definite article) and also specifically defined: not just any day, but THE day . . . of the Lord. In interpreting prophecy, we would be negligent not to look through the scriptures to see what they mean elsewhere by "the day of the Lord". And if we do due diligence, we will see that it is a major prophetic event wherein one literal day is anticipated by major events (the Tribulation) and followed up by a millennial "day" wherein the fruits of the literal "day", which is a "unique day" (Zech.14:7), are realized.

If interested, see the link: "The Day of the Lord" (in CT 1)

Question #24:   

Well , Moses could have mentioned that it was 24 hours. The Bible gives specific numbers. Why not here?

Also, I have demonstrated that the rising and setting of the sun does not always equal 24 hours.

Why do you think that the season we're not created before the great flood?

Response #24: 

You sent me a link. But we all know that the earth rotates on its axis once every twenty-four hours no matter where on the globe a person is located. There may be more or less light (note that this axis has been tilted at the time of the great flood), but it's one planet with one rotation none the less.

You won't find the word "hour" or "hours" in the Old Testament. That is because the dividing of the day into 12 hours and the night likewise is not prescribed by the Law. This is an ancient Egyptian custom and not universal in the ancient world (there is no evidence that the ancient Hebrews used it). The Greeks and Romans did use the 12/12 system, but their hours were variable in length, depending on the season, and only equal at the exact point of the equinoxes. In any case, the important point is that the earth rotates at a fixed rate, and how human beings have decided to define and divide that rate is something we have done, not a universal truth. We could have had ten or twenty or any number of divisions, and some civilizations (in India in particular) did do things differently. So if he had followed your advice, Moses would have been introducing an idea that would likely have been unintelligible to his contemporary readers (and also to the Jewish people as a whole until many centuries later), even if WE today take it for granted that "this is the way it's always been" (it hasn't). The name of this interpretive fallacy is "anachronism".

There are a number of persuasive pieces of evidence for there being no seasons before the flood: the end of the mist which watered the earth and the coming of rain instead, the sharp decrease in life-spans as a result, the change in microbial action (as evidenced by fermentation – which caught Noah completely by surprise); and this hypothesis also explains a good many things about the world today versus the world prior to second millennium B.C. (such as radio-carbon dating and magnetic shift anomalies); but most of these things are discussed at the link given. See also: "Science and the Bible" in SR 5.

Question #25: 

I found some areas of concern in your link of science and the Bible. Your wording gives me the impression that they are of the Thesis / antithesis relationship. I believe they actually help one another in the synthesis form. I admit my own bias to wanting to restore a more collaborative relationship between the two.

"a highly imperfect attempt at that, yielding but a dim and incomplete comprehension of the boundless universe which God has wrought"

I think that we could describe our understanding of the Bible in this quote as well. You seem very confident in predicting the very year our Lord is returning. Be careful with that. Please, see this link. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+3%3A5-6&version=NIV

"God is not material."

But he does use the material to prove his existence. See this link. https://www.biblestudytools.com/romans/1-20.html

Your words on your site and your emails give me the impression that you think that your theories are not up for critiques. Please heed your own words as they pertain to yourself as well as any science that tries to disprove God.

"Where there is any conflict, by definition, either science or our interpretation is at least partially wrong."

"It is ironic, for example, that though for several centuries science has caused many to waver in faith, almost all that science once proclaimed has been "modified" – indeed, is being modified every day." This would not be due science. It perhaps could be due to not fully being convicted in the Holy Spirit.
Please see this link. https://biblia.com/bible/nkjv/John16.8

"For as imperfect human beings, our knowledge and understanding of almost anything is incomplete and imperfect, and it is gross error to assume that very small gaps in knowledge and understanding may not result in critical differences in the way things are perceived. This is certainly true in regard to the chronological data which the Bible contains."

I feel this would also apply to yourself in your study of Eschatology. See this last link in contrast to the Gap theory. I believe it plays a large role in your theories. I hope it can help better your understanding of this part if the Bible as well as your trying to predict the year of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ returning.

Response #25: 

As to:  "I think that we could describe our understanding of the Bible in this quote as well"

The Bible is meant and was written to be understood; the material world may be understood to some degree, but that is not its purpose. I have devoted my life to understanding scripture. I don't claim to understand it all. But I could not disagree with your sentiment more. Thesis/antithesis/synthesis is Hegelian philosophy. The Bible is not philosophy. The Bible is the truth.

As to: "Be careful with that"

If you had read the whole section (wherever you read this), you would see that I have always called this what it is: an interpretation; and further, that I always include a list of caveats which point out the assumptions of interpretation (which I do believe are correct) upon which the interpretation is based (see, e.g., the link). Your citation of Proverbs 3:4-5 is typical. People always cite this verse when they disagree with an interpretation. But if it meant that, it would mean that we cannot ever know anything about the Bible for certain. I can tell you that only the actual truth (things genuinely from the true meaning of scripture) which is actually believed (becoming thereby epignosis in the believer's heart, converted by the Spirit to usable truth), can produce spiritual growth. Those who wish to spend their Christian lives being referees who stand in judgment over the teaching of others will find that in the end although they may know much they believe nothing and are doomed thereby to spiritual infancy.

As to: "But he does use the material to prove his existence."

Whoever said He didn't? See the link: "Natural Revelation".

As to: "This would not be due science."

You are missing the point entirely. The point is that science is "evolving" as its knowledge increases. Contemporary science behaves much as a religion, but it has to change its tenets daily as they are modified by better or different understanding of the material world it is seeking to describe. Yet the rest of us are supposed to accept "what is TODAY known" as the unalterable truth, even though it is destined to be altered tomorrow. Science, therefore, will "ever be learning, but never able to come to the full knowledge (epignosis) of the truth" (2Tim.3:7). One critical reason for this is that by definition science today eschews the existence of the immaterial, spiritual realm. But we Christians know that the spiritual realm is FAR more important than the material is. Quite a handicap. In fact, an insurmountable one. This is why the devil is able to get so much out of manipulating the propaganda of the world based on "science". So there is no "synthesis" to be had.

Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 23:28 NIV

What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
2nd Corinthians 6:17 NIV

So I'm afraid that it is you who need to be careful, my friend. If you dance with the world, you are going to become more and more like it and of it with each passing day. Many exegetes of weak faith have tried to reconcile science and Bible. In such case science always wins – in their hearts – even though the Bible and what it says are the truth.

The gap in the text between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 is not a theory. It is a grammatical reality (I will give you those links again). I have seen many such discourses before. No doubt many Christians are embarrassed by the truth when it makes their secular acquaintances uncomfortable or causes ridicule. But Christians have to make a choice. Do we stand up for the truth, or do we try to make it palatable to unbelievers? The latter is one and the same with rejecting it – in fact it's probably worse.

“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Matthew 8:38 NKJV

Here are those links:

The Genesis Gap (SR 2)

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers V

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers IV

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers III: Creationism, Neanderthals, Fossil Record

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers II

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers.

Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap.

Question #26:  

You wrote: "The gap in the text between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 is not a theory."

I disagree. I believe if it were that important God would state it's events in detail. For example, we were told of our Messiah's coming in detail long before his arrival in the book of Isaiah. Please see this link and subsequent links as more refutation.


You wrote: "The Bible is not philosophy."

I never said it was.

You wrote: "Your citation of Proverbs 3:4-5 is typical. People always cite this verse when they disagree with an interpretation. But if it meant that, it would mean that we cannot ever know anything about the Bible for certain."

Yes. That's why it's called FAITH. I believe Jesus said something along the lines of "blessed are those who have not seen yet believe." If you require absolute truth in your relationship with God, that is between you and Him. However, I would not go espousing that belief to others in their relationship with him. If the Lord didn't require us to have this kind of faith, he would always remain in our presence and allow there to be no dispute to even non-believers as to his existence.

Response #26: 

1) On the gap: Maybe after you've learned Hebrew a bit better you'll see what I mean. The people at your link obviously know nothing at all about Hebrew (anonymous Ken Ham associates with no claimed credentials whatsoever). I've been reading Hebrew for almost forty years, and have learned a thing or two by diligently working away at it, believe it or not (for credentials, see the link: Current CV). And there is more than sufficient proof in scripture for what the gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 means and states (in Isaiah too, for example: Is.45:18). I did give you numerous links which provide the details. If you really are open to being instructed on this point, I would suggest you read them (you came to me as a teacher, after all, not the other way around).

2) On thesis/antithesis/synthesis: that IS philosophy . . . of the Hegelian, Platonic, Marxist kind; it's nothing to do with the Bible.

3) On faith: yes, but faith in what? People love to say, "I have faith!" But faith, true faith, is not independent; it always has an object. The object we have been given to believe in is Jesus Christ, the Word of God. Jesus is called "the Word of God" for a reason (Jn.1:1ff.; Rev.19:). To know anything about Him you have to go to the Bible – and you'd better be right about what the Bible has to say and believe it. People who "know things" apart from the Bible are precisely the ones who are "leaning on their own understanding" instead of on the truth God has given us. The gift of the Bible is no accident, and that truth is what He means us to focus on and believe in once we are saved.

. . . for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
Psalm 138:2 KJV

If we have proven one thing here, it is that you have no respect for my authority as a teacher. That is between you and the Lord. But – no offense meant – I can't teach you anything if you don't have enough humility to learn anything from me.

If you find someone better (or at least better for you), the same principle will apply. Only the truth of the Bible can lead to spiritual growth (so the person better be teaching the actual truth), and then it will only benefit you if you believe it – not if you have an intellectual understanding of it but refuse to let it into your heart by faith for some reason (like a desire to be judge and jury on every single thing you are taught because it strokes your ego).

There's that biblical faith again – faith in the truth. That's the only way to grow. Hear the truth. Believe the truth. That is the truth.

In Jesus Christ who is the very truth.

Bob L.

Question #27: 

Let's go our separate ways.

Response #27:


Apologies if I was a little hard on you.

I do sincerely hope you find a good teacher, and please do know that you are welcome to the Ichthys materials any time (it's all available anonymously).

I also promise to keep you in my prayers.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #28: 

Dr. Luginbill,

I apologise. I am wrong. You are right. You are right about everything. I shouldn't challenge you wisdom. I won't do it again.

Response #28: 

I appreciate you, brother.

Please don't feel bad. We are all here for the Lord, not for ourselves. He's the One we are supposed to please.

For believers, that means growing spiritually day by day, becoming mature enough to pass the tests that demonstrate our faith, and in time coming into the ministries He has for us to help others do likewise. This ministry is dedicated to helping with that process, and, as I said, you are very welcome here any time, my friend.

Whatever good this ministry provides, whatever wisdom may found herein, it's only through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the Name of Jesus Christ. It's not about me – not at all.

It is true, however, as I've also said, that to grow, a believer needs to feed his/her heart the truth and believe that truth. That does mean that he/she has to find a ministry he she is able to trust.

I certainly hope I'll be able to earn your trust – so that you may grow and produce to the glory of the One who died for us.

Do feel free to write me any time.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.


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