From Cosmos to Chaos, and Cosmos Again
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Yahweh to Job, Job 38:4-7
The Gap Theory, as known among and designated by Bible teachers, students and some scholars, proposes that an indeterminate period of real time, constituted of millions, if not billions of years, existed between Genesis 1 verse 1, and Genesis 1 verse 2. Many Bible-believing Christians have held to this theory of the Genesis creation account. As paleontological science began to assert itself upon the understanding of human origins during the early 1800s, a science that proposed millions, if not billions, of years for the development of life on this planet, Christian scholars and teachers began to propose different ways of looking at the Genesis account. First, they offered the idea of progressive creation; that is, that one day in the Genesis account equaled an age of millions of years. Such a theory, and those like it, is obviously at odds with the plain language of Genesis’ opening chapter (i.e., days one, two, three, etc., solar days after the fourth day, and the Sabbath day). But second, other fundamental Christians, in order to reconcile the presumably immense periods of time inferred from earth’s geological strata and the death indicated by the fossil record, suggested the novel idea that between the Bible’s two opening verses a unspecified period of time existed, a “gap” that could accommodate the fossil and geological evidence.
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