Genesis 1:1,2--How Much Time Between "The Beginning" and Day One?

Genesis 1:5,8,12,19,23,31--Twenty-Four Hour Days or Geological


Genesis 1:1,31; 2:2-4--What About "Create" and "Make"?

Genesis 1:3-5,14-19--Was There Light Before the Sun?

Genesis 1:6-8--What Is the Firmament?

Genesis 1:28--"Replenish"--Was the Earth Populated Before Adam?

Genesis 1:11--Are These Chapters Literal or Mythological?


Bert Thompson, Ph.D. and Gary Workman, M.A.



From earliest times, man has been interested in the question of

his origin. And, it seems that this keen interest, rather than

declining, is increasing as time marches on. The question of

origins is of no little importance. If anything today merits our

serious study and consideration, certainly the question of origins

does. The matter of origins is not a "peripheral issue" which can

be dealt with after all other issues have been settled. This would

truly be a case of the proverbial "cart before the horse." On

this--our conclusion relative to the matter of origins--all other

issues find their foundation. The matter of man's origin, if

followed to successful completion, is in essence the matter of God's

existence. The further one carries the matter of origins, the

closer one comes to the matter of God's existence. The querist will

logically be drawn to the conclusion that if there is no God, then

nothing matters at all; if there is a God, then nothing else really


To discuss the opening chapters of the book of Genesis, as we

shall here, is to discuss the matter of origins, since Genesis is,

as the name aptly suggests, the "book of beginnings." Yet a

discussion of this subject, and this book, evokes strong reactions

among many people, for to many this is the thorny, controversial

area where the battle of "science versus the Bible" is being waged.

Far too many people have come to believe that the Genesis account of

origins and modern science are somehow opposed to each other. Some

would say they are even mutually exclusive one of the other. Though

true science and true religion are never opposed to each other, the

false theories of some scientists and the false ideas of some

religionists often are, and it is here that the conflict has been

both fueled and fanned. Science has made such great strides in the

areas of both knowledge and technology that many have come to

believe if science doesn't first "prove" something true, judgment

must be suspended and anything with which the sacrosanct scientific

method cannot deal must be discarded, ignored, or belittled. This

has generated the false philosophy of scientism which is so

prevalent in our society today. Furthermore, the end result of such

thinking has been the proliferation among religious people of what

has been called the "Double Revelation Theory."1 This false

philosophy simply states that there is a revelation of God both in

"nature" and in the Bible, and that whenever the revelation given in

the Bible is in "conflict" with that discovered through the

scientific method, the theologian must find a way to readjust the

biblical revelation so that it is brought into harmony with the

scientists' consensus, since "the Bible is not a textbook on science

and these problems overlap the territory in which science alone must

give us the detailed and authoritative answers."2

Intimidation is the name of the game! The Bible-believer is so

intimidated by the scientist with his flowing white laboratory coat,

volumes of impressive data, technical methodology, and fancy

instruments that he capitulates, giving up inspired testimony for

today's theories (which may, in fact, turn out to be tomorrow's

superstitions). While we ought to be all the more holding

steadfastly to the inerrant, infallible, authoritative Word of God,

we are instead giving up inspired testimony for currently prevailing

"scientific theory."

One good example of such a happening has to do with the verses

from Genesis 1 and 2 with which this manuscript deals. In spite of

mountains of weighty biblical and scientific evidence to the

contrary, there are still many Bible-believers who subscribe to the

notion that the earth is billions of years old. Some even assert

that man is a "very recent newcomer to this planet,"3 the earth

having come into existence billions of years before man ever made

his appearance. Though some of these people may be unaware of it,

they have been influenced by the subtle pressures of evolutionary

geology and its advocates. The evolutionary scientists, who frankly

admit that they must have great expanses of time in order for

evolutionary theory to be true, have announced to the world

therefore that the universe is, in fact, very, very old.4 And, as a

result of evolutionary brainwashing, some religionists have adopted

the idea of the multi-billion year old earth and, accordingly, have

sought to press the Bible into an unholy alliance with current

pseudo-science. As Wayne Jackson has so well stated the matter:

"Undoubtedly the most popular argument advanced against

the credibility of the Mosaic narrative in Genesis is the

apparent conflict between the biblical record and the

claims of modern geology. The Bible clearly suggests that

the earth was created but a few thousand years ago, while

some scientists contend that it has been in existence for

some four and one-half to five billion years. The

solution to this problem has usually been either to simply

dismiss Gen-esis as an uninformed account of what ancient

men believed regarding the origin of things, or else, by

exegetical hocus-pocus Genesis is forced into harmony with

the assumptions of evolutionary geologists. Neither of

these methods gives satisfaction to the sincere inquirer

of truth."5

As sincere inquirers of truth, therefore, let us examine the

passages now before us in the light of true Bible teaching.


Genesis 1:1,2--How Much Time Between "The Beginning" and Day One?

In Genesis 1:1-2 we find the following statements: (1) "In the

beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (2) And the earth

was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and

the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." These verses,

and those that follow, discuss the creative activity of God. The

Bible-believer who desires, for whatever reasons (an attempt to

appear scientifically precocious?, an attempt to accept theistic

evolution?), to insert the millions or billions of years of geologic

time into the creation account must somehow fit this vast time into

Genesis 1. Since the first chapter of Genesis covers the creation

of all forms of life (including man), it is obvious even to the most

casual reader that the geological ages could not have occurred after

the creation week. Therefore, two alternatives are advanced by

those who seek to align evolutionary geology with the Genesis

record: insert the geological ages before the creation week, or

during it. In this section, we will deal with the attempt to insert

the ages before the creation week; the next section will deal with

the attempt to insert the ages during the week.

For over 100 years Bible-believers who were determined to

insert the geologic ages into the space before the creation week

studied Genesis 1 with the intent of doing just that. They came to

the conclusion that it is possible to place the geologic ages

between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. This has come to be known as the Gap

Theory (synonyms: Ruin and Reconstruction Theory, Ruination-Re-

creation Theory, Pre-Adamic Cataclysm Theory, Restitution Theory),

and was made popular by such men as G.H. Pember (Earth's Earliest

Ages) and Harry Rimmer (Modern Science and the Genesis Record). The

Scofield Reference Bible also helped popularize the theory in its

footnotes on Genesis 1. In more recent times, a strange twist has

been given to the theory by John N. Clayton, who has given us the

Modified Gap Theory.6 The Gap Theory states that a vast "gap" of

time exists between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, which may be accommodated

to the geological time scheme of modern theorists. During this

supposed gap, there lived successive generations of plants, animals,

and even pre-Adamic men. According to this view, God destroyed the

original creation because of a Satanic rebellion and so Genesis 1:2

is translated to suggest that "the earth became waste and void."

The Gap Theory has been advocated, in one form or another, by

denominationalists such as Arthur C. Custance and others. Several

among the churches of Christ have championed the Gap Theory or

modifications of it. George Klingman said, for example, "Between

Genesis 1:1 and the next verse there is room for hundreds of

millions of years of time and countless myriads of ages...."7

Robert Milligan, in his Scheme of Redemption,8 takes a similar

position, as does George W. DeHoff in his Why We Believe the Bible.9

It is sad indeed that men must stoop to such "exegetical hocus-

pocus" to pervert the plain teachings of the Bible so as to

accommodate evolutionary presuppositions. The Gap Theory (and

modifications of it) are false!

(1) Exodus 20:11 (cf. Exodus 31:17) plainly states, "for in six

days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them

is, and rested on the seventh day: wherefore Jehovah blessed the

sabbath day, and hallowed it" [emp. added]. Notice all the

statement includes. If everything was made in six days, then

nothing was created prior to those six days! The Bible is its own

best interpreter, as always. This one verse demolishes the Gap

Theory and all modifications of it. More will be said on this later

in the section on Genesis 1:1,31; 2:2-4.

(2) Adam (I Corinthians 15:45) is called "the first man." That

excludes any pre-Adamic race of men. Adam was the first!

(3) At the conclusion of the sixth day, God saw everything that

He had made, and behold it was "very good" (Genesis 1:31). If

Jehovah's original creation had become contaminated/destroyed

through Satan's rebellion--and thus the new creation rested on a

veritable graveyard of corruption--it is difficult indeed to see how

God could have surveyed the situation and then used the expression

"very good" to describe it.

(4) Gap theorists claim that the Hebrew word for "was"

(hayetha) should be translated "became" or "had become," indicating

a change of state from the original perfect creation to a chaotic

condition (v.2). Yet none of the scholarly translations of the

Bible so translate the verse. A few years ago, twenty leading

Hebrew scholars were polled to see if there was exegetical evidence

of a "gap" between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. They unanimously responded,

"NO!"10 In fact, noted Hebrew scholar J.W. Watts has even stated:

"In Genesis 1:2a the verb is perfect. It indicates a fixed and

completed state. In other words, original matter was in a state of

chaos when created; it came into being that way."11 Harold

Stigers, in his commentary on Genesis, states:

"The cataclysmic theory (also called the restitution

theory) respecting v.2 can have no place in a proper

translation. The construction of `became void,' etc., is

not justified by Hebrew syntax. When the verb `to be'

(hayah) is to be constructed as `became,' the addition of

the prepositional lamedh is required with the following

word to provide this meaning, and this preposition is

absent here."12

(5) We know the Gap Theory to be false because it infers death

and destruction in the world prior to Adam. This is in direct

contradiction to New Testament teaching (I Corinthians 15:21; Romans

8:20-22; Romans 5:12) which states that sin and death resulted from

Adam's sin. If the Gap Theory is true, Paul is a liar!

(6) Gap theorists assert that the phrase "without form and void" of

Genesis 1:2 (Hebrew tohu wabohu) can refer only to something once in a

state of repair but now ruined. To that Dr. John Whitcomb replies:

"Many Bible students, however, are puzzled with the

statement in Genesis 1:2 that the Earth was without form

and void. Does God create things that have no form and

are void? The answer, of course, depends on what those

words mean. `Without form and void' translate the Hebrew

expression tohu wabohu, which literally means `empty and

formless.' In other words, the Earth was not chaotic, not

under a curse of judgment. It was simply empty of living

things and without the features that it later possessed,

such as oceans and continents, hills and valleys--features

that would be essential for man's well-being. In other

words, it was not an appropriate home for man...." 13

With Gedney, we criticize the Gap Theory on these grounds:

"(i) it calls for an entire re-creation of the animal life

of the world in six days; (ii) it fails to explain the

orderly progression of the appearance of fossils; (iii) it

fails to offer any correlation between definite biblical

statements and geology, for the six days in the gap theory

refer solely to a creation of a few thousand years ago;

(iv) there is no geological evidence for the catastrophe

postulated; and (v) the Hebrew exegesis involved is

incapable of defence."14

Exodus 20:11 stands as God's own word on what He did--and how He did



Genesis 1:5,8,12,19,23,31--Twenty-Four Hour Days or Geological


Since evolutionary time cannot be placed before the creation,

and since it obviously does not fit after the creation, then some

advocates have suggested it occurred during the creation week, and

that the days of Genesis 1 aren't "days" at all, but rather

extensive eons of geologic time. This religious error has long been

popular with denominationalists. Bernard Ramm, for example, says

that people who believe in a six literal day creation are those who

accept the "naive literal view."16 Kenneth Taylor, paraphraser of

the Living Bible Paraphrased, in his popular book, Evolution and the

High School Student, advocates the "day-age" theory (as it has come

to be known). Wilbur M. Smith (Therefore Stand!) and Edward John

Carnell (The Case for Orthodox Theology) have both advocated the

false theory, as has Davis A. Young (Creation and the Flood), son of

the scholarly Edward J. Young. Jack Wood Sears of Harding

University's Biology Department has also been an outspoken advocate

of the day-age theory. Were the days of Genesis approximately 24-

hour days or eons or time? Make no mistake about it--they were days

just as we know them today. The day-age theory is false!

(1) Dr. Henry Morris remarks:

"If the reader asks himself this question: `Suppose the

writer of Genesis wished to teach his readers that all

things were created and made in six literal days, then

what words would he use to best convey this thought?' he

would have to answer that the writer would have used the

actual words of Genesis 1. If he wished to convey the

idea of long geological ages, however, he could surely

have done it far more clearly and effectively in other

words than in those which he selected. It was clearly his

intent to teach creation in six literal days.

"Therefore, the only proper way to interpret Genesis 1 is

not to `interpret' it at all. That is, we accept the fact

that it was meant to say exactly what it says. The `days'

are literal days and the events described happened in just

the way described...." 17

(2) We know the days of Genesis 1 are literal 24-hour days

because the Hebrew word yom, which is translated "day," is used and

defined in Genesis 1:5.

"As added proof, the word is clearly defined the first

time it is used. God defines His terms! `And God called

the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the

evening and the morning were the first day' (Genesis 1:5).

Yom is defined here as the light period in the regular

succession of light and darkness, which, as the earth

rotates on its axis, has continued ever since. This

definition obviously precludes any possible interpretation

as geologic age."18

And, amazingly, we discover when we begin to study the first chapter

of Genesis that we have a built-in scheme for interpreting the

length of each of these days, which proves beyond the shadow of a

doubt that these days were the same kind of days we know today.

Genesis 1:14 states that God created the lights to divide the day

from the night, and that they were to be for signs, for seasons, for

days, and for years. If the "days" are "ages," then what are the

years? If a day is an age, then what is a "night?" Marcus Dods,

writing in the Expositor's Bible, says: "If the word `day' in this

chapter does not mean a period of 24 hours, the interpretation of

Scripture is hopeless."19

(3) The day-age theory is false because whenever the Hebrew

word yom is preceded by a numeral, it always carries the meaning of

a 24-hour day. Yom occurs over 100 times in this fashion in the Old

Testament non-prophetical literature, and always the meaning of a

24-hour day is conveyed. Arthur Williams, writing in the Creation

Research Annual, says: We have failed to find a single example of

the use of the word `day' in the entire Scripture where it means

other than a period of twenty-four hours when modified by the use of

the numerical adjective."20

(4) In addition, whenever the Hebrew term yom occurs in the

plural (yamin), it always refers to a literal 24-hour day.

"When the word `days' appears in the plural (Hebrew yamin)

as it does over 700 times in the Old Testament, it always

refers to literal days. Thus, in Exodus 20:11, when the

Scripture says that `in six days the Lord made heaven and

earth, the sea, and all that in them is,' there can be no

doubt whatever that six literal days are meant."21

(5) The Hebrew phrase translated "evening and morning" is used

over 100 times in the Old Testament with the word yom. Each time it

refers to a literal 24-hour day. As Dr. Henry M. Morris states:

"The Hebrew words for `evening' and `morning' occur over 100 times

each in the Old Testament, and always in the literal sense."22 Dr.

Morris goes on to say:

"...The writer of Genesis was trying to guard in every way

possible against any of his readers deriving the notion of

nonliteral days from his record.

"In fact, it was necessary for him to be completely

explicit on this point, since all the pagan nations of

antiquity believed in some form of evolutionary cosmogony

which entailed vast aeons of time before man and other

living creatures developed from the primeval chaos. The

writer not only defined the term `day,' but emphasized

that it was terminated by a literal evening and morning

and that it was like every other day in the normal

sequence of days. In no ways can the term be legitimately

applied here to anything corresponding to a geological

period or any other such concept."23

(6) Had Moses wanted us to understand that these "days" of

Genesis were actually "long geological periods of time," he could

have so specified in a very exacting manner. Yet he did not. Moses

could have used the Hebrew word olam or the word d"r, both of which

would indicate indefinite periods of time. But he did not. He

could have modified the Hebrew word yom with the adjective rab (yom

rab--a "long" day), but again, he did not. And, as Larry Chouinard

points out, if God said He created everything in six days, but

really used six eons, wouldn't that make God a deceptive, tricky,

sneaky, deceitful God?24

(7) If the "days" of Genesis were not days at all, but long

geological periods, then a problem of no little consequence arises

in the field of botany. Guy N. Woods mentions this problem when he


"Botany, the field of plant-life, came into existence on

the third day. Those who allege that the days of Genesis

1 may have been long geological ages, must accept the

absurd hypothesis that plant-life survived in periods of

total darkness through half of each geologic age, running

into millions of years." 25

Indeed, if there were periods of "evening and morning"--as the text

so states--then how did the plant life live in extended periods of

total darkness?

(8) The days of Genesis 1 are plainly 24-hour days, because of

God's explicit command to the Israelites to observe the Sabbath.

God plainly told them not only what to do, but why to do it. The

Sabbath command in Exodus 20:8-11 can be adequately understood only

when the days of the week are considered to be 24-hour days. As Dr.

John Whitcomb observes:

"Genesis chapter one is explained by Exodus 20:9,11 when

God spoke to Israel and said, `Six days shalt thou labor,

and do all thy work.... For in six days the Lord made

heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.'

Obviously God was speaking in terms of literal days. No

Jew in his right mind would think that God meant `six

indefinite periods shalt thou labor and rest a seventh

indefinite period.' God, of course, could have created

the universe in one moment, but as a matter of fact, He

stretched it out over six whole days in order to serve as

a pattern for man's cycle of work and rest."26

Again, if the days of Genesis are not 24-hour days, the whole

interpretation of Scripture becomes hopeless!

(9) Perhaps the most damaging statements, as far as the day-age

theory is concerned, come from Jesus' own mouth. Speaking to the

Pharisees in Mark 10:6 (cf. Matthew 19:4), Jesus plainly stated:

"But from the beginning of the creation, male and female made he

them." In other words, God made man (male) and woman (female) "from

the beginning of the creation." Paul affirmed exactly that in I

Corinthians 15:45, calling Adam "the first man." He called Eve by

name in I Timothy 2:13. If Jesus is right, then man and woman have

been here "since the beginning of the creation." If Paul is right,

man and woman have been here "since the beginning of the creation"

when they were "perceiving the things that were made" (Romans 1:20).

But the day-age theory, on the other hand, places man at the end of

millions or billions of years of geologic time. Both cannot be

true. If the day-age theory is right, Jesus lied! However, since

Jesus told the truth, the day-age theory is false.


Genesis 1:1,31; 2:2-4--What About "Create" and "Make"?

Gap theorists (and Modified Gap theorists) assert, in order for

their theories to be true, that the two Hebrew words asah and bara

in the creation account (meaning to "create" or "make") must refer

to different things, and can never be used interchangeably. For

example, bara supposedly means "to create," whereas asah means "to

make, re-make, or make over again." The conclusion we are supposed

to draw is, of course, that the "original creation" was "created"

while the creation of the six days was "made" (viz: "made over"),

not "created," since the original creation was no longer existent.

This is patently false. The two words are used interchangeably.

(1) Henry Morris points out:

"The Hebrew words for `create' (bara) and for `make'

(asah) are very often used quite interchangeably in

Scripture, at least when God is the one referred to as

creating or making. Therefore, the fact that bara is used

only three times in Genesis 1 (vv. 1,21 and 27) certainly

does not imply that the other creative acts, in which

`made' or some similar expression is used, were really

only acts of restoration. For example, in Genesis 1:21,

God `created' the fishes and birds; in 1:25 He `made' the

animals and creeping things. In verse 26, God speaks of

`making' man in His own image. The next verse states tht

God `created' man in His own image. No scientific or

exegetical ground exists for distinction between the two

processes, except perhaps a matter of grammatical


"The natural reading of the whole account surely

conveys the understanding of real creation throughout,

with no intimation that the actual story is one of

reconstruction of a devastated world. Finally, the

summary verse (Genesis 2:3) clearly says that all of God's

works, both of `creating' and `making' were completed with

the six days, after which God `rested.'"27

"If anyone is impressed by the fact that `made'

(Hebrew asah) is used in Exodus 20:11 instead of `created'

(Hebrew bara), the phrase `all that in them is' should

make it plain that the whole earth structure--not just the

earth's surface--is included in the entities that were

`made' in the six days."28

(2) Weston W. Fields, in his excellent book, Unformed and

Unfilled, sounds the death knell to this alleged argument based on

the Hebrew words bara and asah through the use of several passages,

only one (Nehemiah 9:6) of which we will examine here. Nehemiah 9:6

states: "Thou alone are the Lord. Thou hast made the heavens, the

heavens of heavens with all their host, and the earth and all that

is on it, the seas and all that is in them" (emp. added). Dr.

Fields observes:

"While the passages in Genesis cited by one of the

lexicons...mention only the making of the firmament, sun,

moon, stars, and animals, it must be carefully marked by

the reader that in Nehemiah 9:6 the objects of God's

making (asa) include the heavens, the heaven of heavens,

and the earth, and everything contained in and on it, and

the seas and everything they contain, as well as the hosts

of heaven (probably angels).

"Now this is a very singular circumstance, for those

who have argued for the distinctive usage of asa

throughout Scripture must, in order to maintain any

semblance of consistency never admit that the same

creative acts can be referred to by both the verb bara and

the verb asa. Thus, since Genesis 1:1 says that God

created (bara) the heavens and the earth, and Exodus 20;11

and Nehemiah 9:6 contend that he made (asa) them, there

must be two distinct events in view here. In order to be

consistent and at the same time deal with the evidence,

gap theorists must postulate a time when God not only

"appointed" or "made to appear" the firmament, the sun,

the moon and stars, and the beasts, but there also must

have been a time when he only appointed the heavens, the

heaven of heavens, the angels (hosts), the earth,

everything on the earth, the sea, and everything in the


"So that, while asa is quite happily applied to the

firmament, sun, moon, stars, and the beasts, its further

application to everything else contained in the universe,

and, indeed, the universe itself (which the language in

both Exodus 20:11 and Nehemiah 9:6 is meant to convey)

creates a monstrosity of interpretation which should serve

as a reminder to those who try to fit Hebrew words into

English molds, that to strait-jacket these words is to

destroy the possibility of coherent interpretation

completely! Who, even among the most extreme gap

theorists, is willing to propose a ruin and restoration of

the entire universe and everything in it, including

angels? Yet, if asa can refer to recreation only, and not

to original creation, and if it must refer to working with

material previously created (as so many have maintained),

then it is just such an untenable position to which gap

theorists have pushed themselves."29

If gap theorists are consistent with their own usage of the two

Hebrew words, such consistency destroys their own false theory!

Such is the nature of error.


Genesis 1:3-5, 14-19--Was There Light Before the Sun?

In verses 3-5 of Genesis 1 we read that God created "light,"

divided it from the darkness, and called it "day." In verses 14-19

we read that God created "lights"--the sun, moon, and stars--"to

give light" and "to divide the day from the night." While it is

true infidelic scoffers would point to these passages as containing

absurdities and contraditions, it is also true that certain Bible

believers have attempted to solve the apparent discrepancy with

various untenable solutions.

Erroneous Views

It has been suggested that the sun, moon, and stars were all

created on day one as part of the "heavens" but could not be seen

because the watery earth was shrouded in the misty darkness of its

own vapors; then this darkness was partially dispelled when God

said, "Let there be light"; and finally the sun and the other

luminaries fully appeared when God removed the remaining cloud cover

on the fourth day.30

However, there could scarcely have been a dense blanket of

vapors hiding the sun because the waters were not lifted up from the

earth until the second day (vss. 6-8). Neither is there any

suggestion that the light created on the first day was anything less

than fully visible, for it removed the primal darkness for half of

each day. Also, if Moses had meant that on day four the heavenly

bodies were simply unveiled or brought to view, he could easily have

expressed that thought with the word "appeared," as in verse 9.

Moreover, the purpose of the creative activity on the fourth

day is stated in absolute terms--for heavenly bodies "to give light

upon the earth" (vss. 15,17), diffused or otherwise. Is the divine

activity of the fourth day reversed every time some clouds appear?

The obvious meaning of the language is that these luminaries did not

actually "give light" at all until the fourth day.

A variant idea is presented via the Gap Theory which claims

that the sun, moon, and stars were all created long ago in the

distant ages of a dateless past called "the beginning," but that the

original world was plunged into ruin and darkness because of the

fall of Satan and then reconstructed in the week of Genesis 1. An

early spokesman, G.H. Pember, said that "the very light of its sun

had been withdrawn; all the moisture of its atmosphere had sunk upon

its surface."31 This position has been maintained by notes in the

"old" and the New Scofield Reference Bible and was widely

popularized among fundamentalists by Harry Rimmer.32 This view has

been effectively dealt with elsewhere,33 but let it here be noted

that the Bible devastates the Gap Theory by telling us that the

entire creation was made in six days (Exodus 20:11) and that God

created darkness for the benefit of earth's life (Psalm 104:20-22).

Another view is that on day one God "created" the raw materials

out of which He "made" the heavenly bodies on the fourth day,34 or

that the sun, moon and stars were just not lighted until that day.35

These views are not destructive in themselves but tend to capitulate

to the untenable distinction between the verbs "create" and "make."

However, light apart from the sun would still be required on day


Analysis and Interpretation

"Let there be lights" (vs. 14) is identical in grammatical

construction with other statements of "Let there be..." in the

chapter. Therefore, the command can only mean that God spoke the

luminaries into existence on the fourth day just as He had created

the initial light on day one and the firmament on day two. Notice

also that God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of

heaven," an expression which could not have been used if they had

been there (though concealed) since day one. Then Moses records

that God "made" the lights (vs. 16) on day four, not that He just

made them shine or be visible. And then he said that God "set" them

in the firmament of heaven, which can only mean that they were not

there until that very day--created ex nihilo (Hebrews 11:3).

On the first day God said, "Let there be light" (Hebrew or)

whereas on the fourth day God said, "Let there be lights" (ma-or,

light-bearers).36 Therefore, God's first recorded statement created

independent light without a light-bearer. And since God instituted

the light-darkness cycle on that day, we must conclude that the

light came from a fixed direction and that the earth rotated on its

axis. In eternity there wil again be light without the sun

(Revelation 21:23).


Genesis 1:6-8--What Is the Firmament?

The word "firmament" in Genesis 1:6-8 has given rise to the

criticism that the Bible erroneously and naively pictures the sky

above the earth as consisting of a solid dome. And thus the Genesis

account of creation is accused of being unscientific.

Definitions and Translations

Actually, the word "firmament" is the unfortunate translation

of the Hebrew raqia which means an "expanse"37 or "something

stretched, spread or beaten out."38 Inaccurately, the Septuagint

translated raqia with the Greek word stereoma which connotes a

"solid structure."39 Those uninspired men probably chose that word

because it reflected the current astronomical conception. It thus

came into the Latin Vulgate as firmamentum (a strong or steadfast

support) and thence into our English word.40 Brown, Driver and

Briggs allowed a poetic statement from the uninspired Elihu (Job

37:18) to influence their lexical definition of the expanse as

"solid," yet the word itself carries no such meaning.41

The Bible equates "firmament" with the "heavens" (Psalm 19:1),

using even the compound "firmament of heaven" (Genesis 1:14,15,17).

The true definition of the word was given by God on the second day

of creation when He "called the firmament Heaven" (Genesis 1:8). It

is further described when Isaiah says that the Lord "stretcheth out

the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell

in" (Isaiah 40:22).

"Heavens" is always plural in the Hebrew and, in general,

refers to the "heights" above the earth. As such, there are three

particular applications of the word in Scripture. There are the

atmospheric heavens (Jeremiah 4:25), the sidereal heavens (outer

space) where the planetary bodies are (Isaiah 13:10), and the heaven

of God's own dwelling place (Hebrews 9:24). The word "firmament" is

used in reference to two of these. Birds fly in "the open firmament

of heaven" (Genesis 1:20). And yet, the sun, moon and stars are set

in "the firmament of heaven" (vs. 17). The latter is equivalent to

the "empty space" of Job 26:7. Into this empty space God placed the

"firmament" of Genesis 1:6-8, the atmospheric heavens.

Analysis and Interpretation

When God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the

waters" (Genesis 1:6) on the second day, it was therefore not only

the creation of the earth's atmosphere but also the vaporizing of

much of the earth's water. In contrast to clouds and mists which

are located very low in the atmosphere, this water was taken up

"above the firmament" (vs. 7).42 Apparently this was an

antediluvian vapor "canopy" which possibly extended into the high-

temperature ionosphere.43 Such a canopy of vapor would be invisible

yet shield the earth from much of the cosmic radiation it now

receives, possibly accounting for the extreme longevity of those who

lived before the flood.

When the flood came, "the windows of heaven were opened"

(Genesis 7:11) and the waters which were above the firmament

condensed and fell as rain to the earth. Such an event would not be

impossible since all present atmospheric humidity, if condensed,

could only produce an average depth of less than two inches of

rainfall.44 We still have the firmament of Genesis 1:6. But we

should never forget that whereas the ancient world was "amidst

water" until the flood, "the heavens that now are" and the earth are

reserved for a fiery destruction (II Peter 3:5-7).


Genesis 1:28--"Replenish"--Was the Earth Populated Before Adam?

God commanded Adam and Eve to "be fruitful and multiply, and

replenish the earth" (Genesis 1:28). The same command was given to

Noah and his family upon leaving the ark (Genesis 9:1). Because of

the word "replenish" and the fact that in Noah's case he was

commanded to refill a once-populated world, some have asserted that

the earth was also populated before Adam and Eve.

Erroneous Views

A recent defender of the Gap Theory is J. Sidlow Baxter who

speaks of "a cataclysmic change as the result of a divine judgment"

and "intimations which connect it with a previous testing and fall

of angels." He says that it is "easy to believe that in pre-human

eras Satan (as yet unfallen) may actually have been the rightful and

divinely-appointed prince of this earth, presiding over an anterior

species of beings."45 Baxter sees this "pre-Adamite rebellion and

judgment of Lucifer and associated angel-beings" as being given by

"veiled indications" in Isaiah 14:9-17, Jeremiah 4:23-27, and

Ezekiel 28:12-18.46

Most Gap theorists speak of pre-Adamic beings as Satan and his

angels. The theory's most prominent spokesman, Arthur Custance,

denied that Genesis 1:28 refers to any pre-Adamic race of men.47

Yet, as an earlier champion of the Gap Theory, G.H. Pember referred

to "a preadamite race" and "preadamite man" which also belonged to

that primeval world with its own "sin-stained history." He even

went so far as to identify these beings as the demons spoken of in

the New Testament (which he distinguished from Satan's angels),

saying: "May not these demons be the spirits of those who trod this

earth in the flesh before the ruin described in the second verse of


Pember concludes that those beings were disembodied in the

flood and consigned to an abyssal (Luke 8:31) depth of the seas,

from which place they have continually wanted to emerge and inhabit

the bodies of men. At the end of time they will supposedly be the

first to come forth and stand in judgment, and that is why "the sea"

will be the first to give up its dead before death and Hades give up

the bodies and souls of men (Revelation 20:13).

Analysis and Interpretation

Gap Theory advocates might have been spared a lot of needless

speculation and error if they had been more careful to determine the

exact meaning of "replenish" in Genesis 1:28. It is true that

Webster's Dictionary quotes this verse under its definition of

replenish as "to repeople," and we admit that the etymology of our

English word is from the Latin re (again) and plenus (full), thus

meaning "to fill again."49

However, the Hebrew word malah bears no such meaning. It

simply means "to fill."50 And it is the very same word rendered

"fill" in Genesis 1:22 where God commands the fish to "fill the

waters in the seas." Neither does it mean "refill" in Genesis 9:1

but rather is simply equivalent to "bring forth abundantly" (vs. 7).

Not even the New Scofield Reference Bible (which supports the Gap

Theory) made an argument for pre-Adamic men on the basis of Genesis

1:28, and even changed its basic KJV text at this point (and in

Genesis 9:1) by substituting "fill" for "replenish." Other recent

translations, such as the RSV, NASB, and NIV have done the same.

The Bible does not support the idea that Satan and/or his

angels inhabited this earth at the time of his fall. It is not only

reading between the lines, but writing between them as well, to use

sections of Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 for the origin and fall of

Satan. The devil (or Satan) is not referred to in either passage,

nor is Lucifer his name. Those passages denounce the kings of

Babylon and Tyre. Nor does Jeremiah 4:23-27 describe a primeval

destruction of the world but rather the prophetic overthrow of Judah

(II Kings 24:14). The whole idea of pre-Adamic beings, whether

Satan and his angels or a race of men or animals, living on earth

prior to the creation week of Genesis 1 and bringing death and

destruction is incorrect. The Bible says that Adam was the first

man (I Corinthians 15:45) and that death entered this world as a

result of his sin (Romans 5:12; 8:20-22; I Corinthians 15:21).


Genesis 1-11--Are These Chapters Literal or Mythological?

Throughout the Christian age there has been an inclination on

the part of some to regard portions of the Old Testament, and

Genesis 1-11 in particular, as something other than literal history.

For some, their reason for rejecting the Genesis records as actual

history is the extreme remoteness in time with which the accounts

deal. Others point to similarities in mythological literature of

the ancient Middle East. Some early Christians resorted to

allegorical interpretations in their fight against certain heresies.

Rationalistic refusal to believe in miracles has also accounted for

some rejection. The destructive work of Higher Criticism has led

many to consider much of Genesis as legend. The modern Neo-orthodox

school of thinking has influenced people to "demythologize" these

chapters and think of them only as parabolic. And then,

evolutionary presuppositions, geological concessions, and an

unwillingness to accept the Genesis chronology have caused non-

literal reinterpretation.

By way of a brief reply, we note the following: The legendary

accounts of creation among other nations, such as the Enuma Elish,

bear little resemblance to the Genesis record.51 And the fact that

there are myths or legends in existence does not mean that Genesis

is myth also. If Genesis 1-11 is historical, as it claims to be, it

is understandable that some trace of the creation story should have

been preserved in the literature of various nations. Neither are

the Genesis accounts said to be "like" anything so as to compare or

illustrate some spiritual truth in parabolic fashion, such as the

story of "The Good Samaritan." Also, it must be noticed that these

first eleven chapters of Genesis do not differ in literary style

from the rest of the book. All of it claims to be sober history.

The book of Genesis is the cornerstone of all true history and

was accepted as such by the inspired writers of the Bible, and our

Lord Himself. Notice the following:52 Adam is mentioned by name in

three Old Testament books (Deuteronomy, Job, I Chronicles), and Noah

is mentioned in three (I Chronicles, Isaiah, Ezekiel). There are

over 200 references to Genesis in the New Testament, over 100 of

which are from Genesis 1-11. In fact, each of these eleven chapters

is quoted or alluded to somewhere in the New Testament. And every

New Testament writer refers to this section of Genesis. Even Jesus

Himself referred to each of the first seven chapters of Genesis, and

neither He nor any New Testament writer viewed those narratives as

anything other than pure history.



If the account of the creation and the fall of man is rejected,

the whole Bible is undermined. If the first Adam is mythical, so

might be the "second" (I Corinthians 15:45,47). If man did not fall

into sin, why does he need a Savior? If evolution is the cause of

life, why should we look for a Judgment Day? If Genesis cannot be

believed, why should we believe Jesus or anyone else who accepted


In fact, however, these chapters of Genesis (and other biblical

references to them) are the only correct and satisfactory

information we have concerning "prehistoric" times. They do not

contain mythical suppositions, poetic fancies, parabolic

suggestions, or scant records leaving huge gaps in the actual lapse

of time. Rather, these chapters contain an accurate and

chronological account of the divine origin of all things.


1. For an excellent discussion of the Double-Revelation

Theory, see The Moon: Its Creation, Form & Significance.

J.C. Whitcomb & D.B. De Young. BMH Books, Winona Lake,

Indiana. 1978. pp 54-56.

2. Ibid. pp 54-55.

3. Clayton, John N. Does God Exist? Correspondence Course,

Lesson 8. South Bend, Indiana. No date.

4. Current guesses on the age of the universe, as voiced by

evolutionists, range from 4.3 billion to Sir Fred Hoyle's

"infinitely old." See: Christian News. March 19, 1979. p12

5. Jackson, Wayne. Fortify Your Faith In An Age of Doubt. 3906

E. Main St., Stockton, California, 95205. 1974. p 28.

6. See: The Source: Eternal Design or Infinite Accident? John

N. Clayton. South Bend, Indiana. 1978. pp 137-138.

7. Klingman, George. God Is. Gospel Advocate Co., Nashville,

Tennesse. 1929. p 128.

8. Milligan, Robert. Scheme of Redemption. Gospel Advocate

Co.,Nashville, Tennessee. 1972 printing. pp 23ff.

9. DeHoff, George W. Why We Believe the Bible. DeHoff

Publications, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 1974. p 27ff.

10. Henkel, M. "Fundamental Christianity & Evolution." IN:

Modern Science and the Christian Faith. Van Kampen Press,

Wheaton,Illinois. 1950. p 49. n 30.

11. Watts, J.W. A Survey of Old Testament Teaching. Broadman.

Nashville, Tennessee. 1947. I. p 16.

12. Stigers, Harold. A Commentary on Genesis. Zondervan. Grand

Rapids, Michigan. 1976.

13. Whitcomb, John C. "The Gap Theory." IN: And God Created

(Vol.II). K.L. Segraves, editor. Creation-Science Research

Center. San Diego, California. 1973. pp 69-70.

14. Gedney, E.K. "Geology and the Bible." IN: Modern Science

and the Christian Faith. Van Kampen Press. Wheaton,

Illinois. 1950. p 49. n 30.

15. An excellent and scholarly refutation of the Gap Theory is

to be found in Weston W. Fields' book, Unformed and

Unfilled, published by Baker Book House, Grand Rapids,

Michigan. 1976.

16. Ramm, Bernard. The Christian View of Science and Scripture.

Eerdmans. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1954. pp 120-121.

17. Morris, Henry M. The Genesis Record. Baker Book House.

Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1976. p 54.

18. Morris, Henry J. Scientific Creationism. Creation-Life

Publishers. San Diego, California. 1974. p 224.

19. Dods, Marcus. "Genesis." IN: The Expositor's Bible. W.R.

Nicoll, Editor. Vol. I. Eerdmans. Grand Rapids, Michigan.

1948. pp 4-5.

20. Williams, Arthur. IN: Creation Research Annual. Creation

Research Society. Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1965. p 10.

21. Morris, Henry M. Biblical Cosmology and Modern Science.

Baker Book House. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1970. p 59. Emp.

in orig.

22. Ibid. p 58. Emp. in orig.

23. Morris, Henry M. The Genesis Record. pp 55-56.

24. Chouinard, Larry. "A Review of the `Does God Exist?'

series. IN: Christian Courier. Wayne Jackson, Editor. 3906

E. Main St., Stockton, California. August, 1975. pp 2-3.

25. Woods, Guy N. Questions and Answers: Open Forum. Freed-

Hardeman College. Henderson, Tennessee. 1976. p 17.

26. Whitcomb, John C. "The Days of Creation." IN: And God

Created (Vol. II).

27. Morris, Henry M. Studies in the Bible and Science. Baker

Book House. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1966. p 32. Emp. in


28. Morris, Henry M. Scientific Creationism. pp 236-237.

29. Field, Weston W. Unformed and Unfilled. pp 61-62. Emp. in


30. This view is taken by Harold Stigers in his book, A

Commentary on Genesis.

31. Pember, G.H. Earth's Earliest Ages. Revell. New York. No

date. pp 26,33. The first edition of Pember's book was

issued in 1876 and later revised and enlarged. An edited

edition, with additions, is available from Kregel


32. See: Rimmer, Harry. Modern Science and the Genesis Record.

Eerdmans. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1937.

33. See: Thompson, Bert. Theistic Evolution. Lambert Book

House. Shreveport, Louisiana. 1977. An able refutation of

the Gap Theory was also given by Bernard Ramm in his book,

The Christian View of Science and Scripture. See also:

Morris, Henry M. Biblical Cosmology and Modern Science.

34. This position is taken by C.F. Keil in his collaborated

work with Franz Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old

Testament. Eerdmans. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1949.

35. This is the view of H.C. Leupold in his work, Exposition of

Genesis. Baker Book House. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1942.

36. Brown, Francis, S.R. Driver and Charles Briggs. A Hebrew

and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Clarendon Press.

Oxford. 1962. p 22.

37. Davidson, B. The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon.

Harper & Brothers. New York. 1963. p DCXCII.

38. Maunder, E.W. "Astronomy." IN: International Standard Bible

Encyclopedia. Eerdmans. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1939. p


39. Arndt, William and F.W. Gingrich. A Greek-English Lexicon

of the New Testament. University of Chicago Press. Chicago.

1967. p 774.

40. Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English

Language. Jean L. McKechinie, General Editor. Collins

World. 1978. p 691.

41. Brown, Driver, Briggs. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the

Old Testament. p 956.

42. Compare the phrase "above the heavens" in Psalm 148:4.

43. The mechanics of the "canopy" and "flood geology" are

expertly described by a hydrologist in The Genesis Flood by

John C. Whitcomb, Jr. and Henry M. Morris. Baker Book

House. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1961. p 59. See also:

Patten, Donald W. "The Pre-Flood Greenhouse Effect." IN: A

Symposium on Creation: II. Baker Book House. Grand Rapids,

Michigan. 1970.

44. Whitcomb & Morris. The Genesis Flood. p 121.

45. Baxter, J. Sidlow. Studies in Problem Texts. Zondervan.

Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1960. pp 189,190.

46. Baxter, J. Sidlow. Explore the Book. Zondervan. Grand

Rapids, Michigan. 1960. p 35.

47. Custance, Arthur C. Hidden Things of God's Revelation.

Zondervan. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1976. p 314. His major

work defending the Gap Theory is Without Form and Void,

privately published in Ontario, Canada in 1970.

48. Pember, G.H. Earth's Earliest Ages. pp 35,67-73.

49. Webster's. p 1534. Funk and Wagnalls Standard Desk

Dictionary. Funk and Wagnalls. New York. 1977. p 564.

50. Davidson, B. The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon. p

CCCCLXXXVIII. See also: Brown, Driver, Briggs. A Hebrew and

English Lexicon of the Old Testament. p 570.

51. See the "Introduction" in Leupold, Exposition of Genesis.

52. I am indebted to Henry M. Morris, in The Genesis Record,

for much of this material.


This file may be copied, but is distributed on the understanding that

it will not be modified or edited, and will not be used for commercial

purposes. Further, it may not be copied without due reference to the

original publication source, author, year, and name and address of the



Apologetics Press

230 Landmark Drive

Montgomery, AL 36117-2752


Index - Evolution or Creation

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90 | 91 | 92 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | 104 | 105 | 106 | 107 | 108 | 109 | 110 | 111 | 112 | 113 | 114 | 115 | 116 | 117 | 118 | 119 | 120 | 121 | 122 | 123 | 124 | 125 | 126 | 127 | 128 | 129 | 130 | 131 | 132 | 133 | 135 | 136 | 137 | 138 | 139 | 140 | 141 | 142 | 143 | 144 | 145 | 146 | 147 | 148 | 149 | 150 | 151 | 152 | 153 | 154 | 155 | 156 | 157 | 158 | 159 | 160 | 161 | 162 | 163 | 164 | 165 | 166 | 168 | 169 | 170 | 171 | 172 | 173 | 174 | 175 | 176 | 177 | 178 | 179 | 180 | 181 | 182 | 183 | 184 | 185 | 186 | 187 | 188 | 189 | 190 | 191 | 192 | 193 | 194 | 195 | 196 | 197 | 198 | 199 | 200 | 201 | 202 | 203 | 204 | 205 | 206 | 207 | 208 | 209 | 210 | 211 | 212 | 213 | 214 | 215 | 216 | 217 | 218 | 219 | 220 | 221 | 222 | 223 | 224 | 225 | 226 | 227 | 228 | 229 | 230 | 231