The straightforward meaning of Genesis chapter 1 is simple, God states He created the heaven and the earth in the beginning and then gives some details of how he did it. The Gap Theorists will moan and howl with this statement yelling, "Verse 2 is different from the others. It is not part of the narrative." So what? Can a pause for a comment not be placed within the scope of a narrative? Of course, it can. People do it all the time. Consider this modern analogy,
This analogy has an introductory statement (#1), a comment (#2), details of the actions taken (#3-4), then a closing statement (#5). It matches the creation account perfectly.
As for the inserted comment, there are other examples similar to this in the Scriptures. Look at Jonah 3:3-4,
3a, So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD.
3b, Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.
4, And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey....
See how verse 3a is an introduction of what is happening? It says Jonah went unto Nineveh, but he didn't actually go in until verse 4. Verse 3b is a comment inserted into the narrative. For other examples see Genesis 2:11-12 where a comment is inserted about "gold" in the narrative and Gen 13:2 where a comment is placed there about Abraham. Thus, the structure of Gen 1:2 does not require any kind of "gap" at all.
The creation week narrative is simple and straightforward. Any grade school student can understand it as it stands without a Gapist trying to cloud the matter with their contentions.
Above we addressed practically every argument the Gap Theorists present in support of their claims. We showed,
As we stated at the start, the Gap Theory was born out of a desperate need of some to reconcile the Bible with "modern geology." Certainly they felt they were defending the Bible by trying to keep it relevant in this new "scientific world." The theory was picked up with a little modification by some of the more conservative and fundamental brethren such as George Pember, C. I. Scofield, and Clarence Larkin. These brethren still used it to explain the apparent old age of the earth as well as the expulsion of Lucifer and existence of "devils," but in recent years many of the Fundamentalists and/or Bible Believers have abandoned using it to explain the "vast ages." Thus the obvious question arises, "Why do they even need a gap at all?"
We have referred the reader to several Bible passages in this treatise, but there are three simple, easy to comprehend verses that will reveal the true nature of the Genesis Gap Theory more than any other. The verses are so simple in their expression and clear in their meaning that any Bible reader without an agenda would have no problem understanding them at all. Consider,
For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is... (Exo 20:11)
But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. (Mar 10:6)And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (Rev 21:1)
As clear as these verses are, the Gap Theorists cannot accept them as they stand. These are not tricky passages with dispensational overtones, but simple, universal statements. With the first they must "clarify" that it is a mistake to think that God actually created everything in six days, then they start "explaining" how "made" is not "create" and God was really re-making the heaven and earth.... The second verse fares no better. With it they must explain how "the beginning of the creation" is not really that at all but only the beginning of man's creation during the re-creation long after the initial "beginning" of creation.... And the third verse is likewise "interpreted." They must explain that the earth we are presently on now is not really the "first earth" it is actually the second.
If there is any doubt as to the meaning of a Bible passage such as Genesis 1:2, the Scriptural way to understand it is to look for other Bible passages dealing with the same subject. The above three verses answer any question Genesis 1:2 may raise concerning an alleged Gap. Ironically, Bible Believers will truthfully and routinely preach that one should understand obscure verses in the light of more clear verses...except when it comes to the Genesis Gap. Amazing!
When an alleged Bible doctrine cannot exist without mangling simple and clear Bible passages such as these three and others, then that doctrine must be highly suspect. To establish it as scriptural or "sound" there must be significant scriptural proof to show that the doctrine is indeed biblical. On the contrary the Genesis Gap Theorists cannot prove ANY of its key tenets from Scripture. That fatal weakness speaks volumes.
The simple fact is every one of the passages the Gapists use to supposedly "prove" the Gap can easily be shown to have more relevant and meaningful application elsewhere. All their passages have to be "massaged" and viewed through their Genesis Gap Goggles to see a Gap in them. They read very much into their "proof" passages. Take heed, brethren, take heed.
The burden of proof to establish a Genesis Gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 is on the Genesis Gap Theorists. It is not on those who don't believe it to disprove it. Other understandings of all the passages the Gapists use to promote their doctrine have been around and accepted for centuries. The Gapists are the ones trying to change the passages from their straight-forward meaning, thus they need to conclusively prove their claims to be considered. The contention of your author and many others is they have not done so.
Furthermore, the Gap Theorists have failed to show a legitimate reason why a Gap is even needed or what purpose it serves, especially those who now claim it was only a few hundred or thousand years long. As we have seen they interject Lucifer's rise and fall into this period to try and give it credence, but that actually will more easily fit in Genesis 2. If they want people to abandon the common sense, straight-forward meaning of a passage then they need to provide sound and solid reasons why it must be done. "If I'm standing in the sunshine, you better have some overwhelming proof to convince me the sun is not shining."
Whether there is a Genesis Gap or not is pretty insignificant. Even if true, since it is pretty much hidden in the Scriptures and most Bible readers cannot find it, at best is a third-rate doctrine. Unlike important Bible doctrines about the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ and similar matters, it doesn't make any difference at all to one's walk and service to the Lord if one believes there is a Gap or not. It is superfluous. If it is true and a believer fails to believe it, he is not really missing anything practical in his Christian life (consider all the saints who lived before 1814 AD); however, if it is not true and one still believes it, he is forcing the Scriptures to say more than they actually do and is also being gullible to the errant teachings of others.
The insinuation by some of the brethren that belief in the Genesis Gap is necessary for one to be a true King James Bible Believer is nonsense. It is BY NO MEANS an essential Bible Believing doctrine. Claiming it is, is just another tactic of the insecure. Some have found that subtle belittlement and ridicule are effective methods of keeping "rebellious" brethren in line, so they try to brand the Gap as a distinguishing characteristic of the Bible Believing movement to keep them reigned in. Nevertheless, more and more Bible Believers are abandoning consideration of the Gap Theory because they realize under examination it simply doesn't make the grade of "sound words" (2Ti 1:13) and "sound doctrine" (2Ti 4:3). For something to be sound it must have a firm foundation, but the Genesis Gap's foundation is made of spider webs and cotton balls. If it was a boat it wouldn't be sound enough to go out past waist deep water.