Is there a Gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?
Dr. Van Impe believes that there is a definite time lapse between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Verse two states that the earth was “without form and void.” Isaiah 45:18 states that God created not the earth in “vain” (the Hebrew word is void). We see from this that the earth was not created void. According to Genesis 1:2, it became void through a judgment of a pre-Noahic flood that occurred, causing the Spirit of God to move upon the face of the waters. Hence, verse one of Genesis one is the original creation and later came the restructuring of the original creation. This could account for thousands or millions of years between verses one and two wherein the prehistoric animals, created in verse one, cease to exist because of the earlier flood. Some scholars even believe that there was a race before Adam, now buried in the sea, which was originally land. These are purported to be the souls mentioned in Revelation 20:13 when “…the sea (gives) up the dead which (are) in it.” Since God must have had a reason to mention this special group, it must mean more than just a few sailors who died in oceanic or wartime disturbances.
The “Gap Theory” has been carefully studied, and taught by some of the most solid and sincere Christian scholars of our day. Almost all good, Godly men who have done a sincere study of this subject based their views not upon a vision or tradition, but upon a thorough exegesis of the Scripture.
This does not preclude that other good, Godly men will differ in this study.
We appreciate your concern over this particular matter and the freedom you have taken in writing to our ministry. Dr. Van Impe has spent years in an intense study of Scripture. I trust that his study on the “Gap Theory” will prove adequate in formulating a Scriptural basis for this opinion.