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Is The Gap Hypothesis Biblical?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/15/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 135 times Debate No: 93751
Debate Rounds (4)
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Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This debates concerns the Gap Hypothesis (GH), also known as the Gap Theory, which describes a ruin and restoration interpretation of Genesis 1. My opponent will be making a case for the Gap Hypothesis and I will be making a case against it. I expect an amicable and thoughtful debate which I hope will help other Christians to consider more carefully their interpretation of Genesis 1.


Gap Hypothesis - The gap theory postulates that an indefinite span of time exists between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. This time span is usually considered to be quite large (millions of years) and is also reputed to encompass the so-called “geologic ages.” Proponents of the gap theory also postulate that a cataclysmic judgment was pronounced upon the earth during this period as the result of the fall of Lucifer (Satan) and that the ensuing verses of Genesis chapter 1 describe a re-creation or reforming of the earth from a chaotic state and not an initial creative effort on the part of God (

Rules for The Debate

Round 1 - Acceptance

Round 2 - Opening Arguments (No Rebuttals)

Round 3 - Rebuttals (No Defense of Opening Arguments)

Round 4 - Defense of Opening Arguments (No New Arguments or Rebuttals)

Both parties agree to the inspiration and authority of scripture (the 66 books of the Bible) and to the truth of a six day creation either including or after Genesis 1:1&2.

Thank you for your time and interest in this debate.



I believe a debate on this topic to be an extremely important one. Regardless of what day and age we live in, nothing is more important when it comes to the study of scripture than getting it right. First allow me to outline my argument.
In Genesis 1:1 we are told that in the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. The term used for create here is bara.
In Genesis 1:2 we are told the earth was without form and void. The term used here is Tohu wa-bohu. It is the same term used elsewhere to describe a wasteland.
Bara is used in Genesis 1:1, 1:21, and 1:27 for the creation of the heavens and the earth, sea creatures and birds and man/woman.
The main question before us is if there is a distinction between verse 1 and 2, if so what does it mean and what are the implications?
So first and foremost we are told "in the beginning". This is a period which no one can accurately put a time stamp on. It could be millions of years or billions or even trillions. I do not think its plausible from a Christian perspective to put a timestamp on this. We know our God is eternal and has been around literally forever even before this earth or anything arrived on the scene. What was God up to before this? I don't personally think that knowledge is for us.
When its said He created we have the term bara which insinuates something out of nothing. This is applied to the beginning and to life, lastly to man. theres no doubt the bible absolutely does not teach evolution because life and man is created, bara.
We are told the earth was without form and void, darkness was on the face of the deep. And the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. There are grounds to think inbetween verses 1 and 2 some kind of catastrophe occured. Space is a pretty barren landscape. It truely resembles a wasteland of sorts. Yet we find evidences that life may have been out there be it from bacterium or water on mars and ice in space. Since this is a revelation to man, we are told about our earth comming to the state of being without form and void after it was already created in verse 1. Darkness on the face of the deep can be seen to mean it was without God. The bible generally associates darkness as being a state without God and light with God. In Isaiah 45:18 we are told the earth was tohu wa bohu. That God did not create this earth we know but that he "formed it to be inhabited". The entire verse gives us an excellent context in that it says: "For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited."
Interestingly enough we are told here our God created the heavens followed up by being told our earth was made and formed to be inhabited and that this same earth was not "created" in vain. Why would be told our earth was not created in vain if there was no plan for it after its creation and why go to this extent to make it clear it was "formed" to be inhabited? I think its clear that this is supporting the same manner Genesis describes the whole thing.
So what was here before the earth was formed? We dont 100% know but its often thought its wasted state and "darkness" (indicating God was absent with it) has something to do with the fall of Lucifer though even this does not have to be the case.
The point of all this is to show the 6 days are the rennovation of the earth. This is supported im exodus 20:11 where we are told that God made everything in the heavens and the earth in 6 days. Its important to note that nowhere here is a mention of anything being created but rather formed and made. The emphasis is that God is recreating out of things that were already created in Gen 1:1.

Id like to spend a bit of time on the age of man although this debate technically has nothing to do with that I think it too is an important thing to visit as I can pretty much assume anyone who is a YEC will use the genealogies to establish something in the way of a 6000 year old earth. Again a response to this isn't necessary but I have some room left and it does somewhat tie into the theme of this discussion.
As to the age of man we have to consider that the generations listed are not neccesarily understood in the same way then as they are today. There is very likely a geneology gap here for the sake of summarizing specific persons to be mentioned and certain ones left out. In the NT this occurs as the author clearly wants to fit it all in 3 blocks. On example I quoted from answersingenesis say this: "Matthew"s record of Christ"s genealogy is probably the most obvious. Matthew 1:8 states that Joram was the father of Uzziah, yet 1 Chronicles 3:11"14 reveals that Joram was actually the great-grandfather of Uzziah (a.k.a. Azariah)." its further explained that in hebrew a grandfather could be called father and grandson could be called son. The only point for the geneologies is to narrow down who came from what line. I would imagine this wouldnt even be problematic for a great grandfather great grandson relationship as we see Jesus being reffered to as the son of David. I think the point is simply of relevance and nothing more. We also dont have a summary of years listed in the geneology of genesis and so why should we jump out and make up our own summary?

To me the main thing to get around in this debate is what the difference between 1:1 and 1:2 is telling us. I have done some last minute research on the topic as I actually wasn't aware this position had a name but I find it telling that an argument actually used by some people is that you shouldn't have to have a degree or speak multiple languages to understand the bible. While I also believe this to be true, I don't think that anyone will make an argument the bible teaches one to be lazy about seeking the truth and knowing His word.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
That is all.
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Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by bigotry 3 months ago
sure. just if you want to skip a round or whatever type skip and send it or something so it doesn't take 3 days.
Posted by creationtruth 3 months ago
Sorry idk what happened. I can resend the debate challenge if you want.
Posted by bigotry 3 months ago
I will only respond in round 3, no issue
Posted by bigotry 3 months ago
yea go ahead. I don't have anything to add anyway, I was just saying it literally says this on my screen:

"Argument Due

We are waiting for creationtruth to post their argument for round #2."
Posted by creationtruth 3 months ago
I will give my opening argument in round 2 and you will skip it. And then in round three you will rebut my argument and I will rebut yours.
Posted by bigotry 3 months ago
It says your argument is due for round 2 though so I dont know.
Posted by bigotry 3 months ago
Ohhh ok yea thats all it was. It provided me a text so I just wrote lol. Ill skip it.
Posted by creationtruth 3 months ago
bigotry - was this your opening argument? If so, I would ask you to skip the next round as the first round was supposed to just be for acceptance (e.g. I accept the debate). So in your next round just explain that you are skipping the round since you already gave your opening argument, otherwise you will have one more round for debate than me since my round 1 was not my opening argument. Let me know if this makes sense to you.
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