0

I have stumbled on this essay (The Genesis Gap) on the site ichthys from which I am quoting a passage:

....5. The Timing of the Satanic Rebellion: Finally, it should be mentioned that, in addition to the compelling reasons listed above for placing Satan's rebellion within the time frame of the Genesis Gap (that is, between original creation and the eventual re-creation of the earth – a period of unspecified length), there is, in fact, no other period in which it can reasonably be located. After the angels sing for joy with obvious relief at earth's re-creation (and the sea's restriction: Job 38:4-11), the temptation of Adam and Eve by Satan follows their creation in apparently rapid succession, leaving scant time for Satan's own fall and seduction of a large portion of angelic kind (Genesis 1-3; see Part 1 of this series).

III. Creation and Re-Creation: Before all else, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

Genesis 1:1 describes the original creation of the heavens and the earth.

The author , who seems extremely competent and well-informed, holds up the idea that there have been 2 separate creation of the world, the original one of Eden, followed by the revolt of the angel(s) which caused the revolt of man , and a second, the actual earth and universe, after the first had been destroyed

.....As we have seen, however, the second verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:2, is split grammatically from verse one with an abrupt, adversative construction. Verse two propels us untold eons forward in time from the original, awesome act of creation, and moves us to the other side of the Genesis Gap, describing for us the state of the universe as it existed before God re-created the earth:

But the earth came to be ruined and despoiled – darkness lay upon the face of the abyss while God's Spirit brooded over the surface of its waters. Genesis 1:2

Original creation had been marred by Satan's revolt, and cast into darkness by God's judgment upon the rebellious angels. In order to make the universe habitable once more for creatures with physical bodies (the attempted possession of which was a major issue in Satan's pre-fall propaganda, it will be remembered from Part 1 of our study), a re-creation of the earth was essential. Genesis 1:3 - 2:3, the account of the seven days, is a description of this renewal of the heavens and the earth. The objective behind this process of the seven days is also quite clear: the creation of Man. Everything God accomplishes within the period of re-creation is specifically designed to make life supportable for this His second category of creature possessing free will:

  1. The Seven Days of Re-Creation....

the essay consists of four extended articles which make an easy and interesting reading. I have never heard of this hypothesis, and ask you expert to give an assessment of the reliability of the quotations but most of all ond the validity of the theory.

It makes a lot of sense, and surely solves a lot of problems arising from the usual interpretation of the Bible description, in which the presence of satan in the garden is inexplicable, unjustifiable, unbelievably illogical and totally absurd.

But the main problem is that a second re-creation is absolutely necessary because it is literally impossible that this material world with decaying matter and inert mass etc, can possibly have been the location of Eden. Has this idea ever gained currency? what are its weak points ?

  • It's called the Gap Theory, and it's very poorly regarded now. – curiousdannii Jul 28 '18 at 8:28
  • 1
    @curiousdannii, can you write an answer and explain what are its weak points? Is there anyone, btw, who can really think that Eden was just a green oasis in Africa or anyway in this world?What is the mainstream view, Eden was somewhere on the earth and around it was barren land? – user157860 Jul 28 '18 at 8:41
  • Maybe if I get the time. And no, why would you think the rest of the world was barren? – curiousdannii Jul 28 '18 at 10:53
  • @curiousdannii, I hope you do, what is interesting is to know if there are any misquotations, or if the idea clashes with other passages of the Bible. The point of the gap is not relevant, either Genesis 1,1 or other, the point is that if ouside Eden was the same, what is the point in chasing them out? But the most important point is their body, how could it me made of flesh, of corrupted matter? Has anyone ver noted this? – user157860 Jul 28 '18 at 11:24
  • Please note that SE is not a discussion forum, which makes this question difficult here. There will be diverging opinions and no single, best answer. What the passages in Genesis may mean will differ considerably between denominations. Can you write your question to be one-specific-question leading to one-best-answer? – JBH Jul 28 '18 at 22:37
3

This theory of Genesis Gap and Recreation would be fascinating if you read it from the site of ichthys.

The focus is only on two verse Genesis1:1 and Genesis1:2

Your question is asking for three things:

1."I have never heard of this hypothesis, and ask you expert to give an assessment of the reliability of the quotations but most of all ond the validity of the theory."

From the premise of your last statement springs two more questions;

"But the main problem is that a second re-creation is absolutely necessary because it is literally impossible that this material world with decaying matter and inert mass etc, can possibly have been the location of Eden."

  1. Has this idea ever gained currency? 3.what are its weak points ?

To answer your question if the theory is acceptable and believable. I think it would be difficult to believe the narration of the interpretation just basing it in the Hebrew word "Tohu wa-bohu (תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ)" that appears in Genesis1:2.

From wikipidia this is the explanation of that theory;

Tohu wa-bohu (תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ), is a Biblical Hebrew phrase found in the Genesis creation narrative (Genesis 1:2) that describes the condition of the earth (eretz) immediately before the creation of light in Genesis 1:3.

Numerous interpretations of this phrase are made by various theological sources. The KJV translation of the phrase is "without form, and void", corresponding to LXX ἀόρατος καὶ ἀκατασκεύαστος, "unseen and unformed".

Text וְהָאָ֗רֶץ הָיְתָ֥ה תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ וְחֹ֖שֶׁךְ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י תְהֹ֑ום וְר֣וּחַ אֱלֹהִ֔ים מְרַחֶ֖פֶת עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הַמָּֽיִם‬ Genesis 1:2, (Westminster Leningrad Codex)[1]

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Genesis 1:2, English translation (New International Version)[2]

"The words tohu and bohu also occur in parallel in Isaiah 34:11, where King James Version translates with the words "confusion" and "emptiness".(Genesis1:2)

The two Hebrew words are properly segolates, spelled tohuw and bohuw.[3] Hebrew tohuw translates to "wasteness, that which is laid waste, desert; emptiness, vanity; nothing".[4] tohuw is frequently used in Isaiah in the sense of "vanity", but bohuw occurs nowhere else in the Hebrew Bible (outside of Genesis 1:2, the passage in Isaiah 34:11 mentioned above,[5] and in Jeremiah 4:23, which is a reference to Genesis 1:2), its use alongide tohu being mere paronomasia, and is given the equivalent translation of "emptiness, voidness".[3]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tohu_wa-bohu

Strong's Concordance tohu: formlessness, confusion, unreality, emptiness Original Word: תֹּ֫הוּ Part of Speech: Noun Masculine Transliteration: tohu Phonetic Spelling: (to'-hoo) Short Definition: waste

Englishman's Concordance Strong's Hebrew 8414 Genesis 1:2 HEB: וְהָאָ֗רֶץ הָיְתָ֥ה תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ וְחֹ֖שֶׁךְ NAS: The earth was formless and void, KJV: was without form, and void; INT: the earth was was formless and void and darkness

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/8414.htm

Now from the definition is seems to be acceptable as Genesis 1:2 mentioned "the earth was formless and void".But the difficulty of acceptance is from the theory itself that God created a formless earth and void and then it was destroyed by the angels revolt.As nowhere in Genesis1:2 mentioned an angels revolt or the angels were already created in that particular passage.

This theory is hard to believe as it contradicts the Apostolic and Church Father's Teaching the famous one is St.Augustine. And ofcourse for 2000 years the Traditional explanation of a "seven days creation" never mentioned this theory of Genesis gap and Re-creation.

Genesis1:1 can be best understood in Hebrew Tetragammaton in the word "In the Beginning" or "Bereshit"

which has a hidden meaning when the Hebrew aplhabet symbols is translated:

The word "Bereshit" hidden meaning is:

"The Son of Almighty God offered His Life on the Cross and pour out His graces towards the Sea"

Link video of John Kostik:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmnUkNT55gU

From the Hebrew word "Bereshit" we can see clearly that Genesis1:1 is the Divine Plan of Man's Salvation before everything was created it is the "blueprint".

The next verse which is the basis of the theory in question Genesis1:2

"Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters."(Genesis1:2)

I found on CSE a good answer relating this verse at the Annunciation in Luke1:35;

New American Standard 1977

And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.(Luke1:35)

This is a much biblically accepted interpretation before Genesis1:3 the Day of Creation starts.

Why?

It coincides with Gospel of John firmly that nothing was created or existed until God Divine thought forms the Annunciation Plan in eternity.

Genesis 1:2 is speaking of the Holy Spirit forming the Logos in the waters of Womb of Mary.

John 1:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.(John1:1-3)

And John1:1-3 is supported by Collosians1:16

Colossians 1:16 New International Version (NIV)

"For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him."

In closing, to answer your question if this theory is valid, can be accepted or had gained a wide acceptance already and to add to your inquiry what are the weakness. From biblical standpoint and basing from Church Historical traditional widely accepted teaching on "Seven Days Creation" both from Catholic and Christian faith this theory will be hard to accept, on one major consideration only the question of "Teaching Authority". As Jesus only given the Teaching Authority to Apostles and gave the Key to the Kingdom only to Peter.

Besides the Genesis gap & Re-creation Theory will have difficulty contradicting 1Timothy3:15 when it comes to the Truth in matters of Faith and Divine Revelation.

1 Timothy 3:15 (Douay-Rheims)

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Godbless!

5

There is a reason this guy sounds like he is privy to some other revelation about two creations we all don't know about: what he is saying is nowhere actually taught in the text. Of course any number of theories can be read into Genesis' ambiguous statements all too easily.

Let's look at what he says, highlighting everywhere he assumes what he's trying to prove:

The Timing of the Satanic Rebellion: Finally, it should be mentioned that, in addition to the compelling reasons listed above for placing Satan's rebellion within the time frame of the Genesis Gap (that is, between original creation and the eventual re-creation of the earth – a period of unspecified length), there is, in fact, no other period in which it can reasonably be located. After the angels sing for joy with obvious relief at earth's re-creation (and the sea's restriction: Job 38:4-11), the temptation of Adam and Eve by Satan follows their creation in apparently rapid succession, leaving scant time for Satan's own fall and seduction of a large portion of angelic kind (Genesis 1-3; see Part 1 of this series).

III. Creation and Re-Creation: Before all else, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

Genesis 1:1 describes the original creation of the heavens and the earth.

.....As we have seen, however, the second verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:2, is split grammatically from verse one with an abrupt, adversative construction. Verse two propels us untold eons forward in time [ha!] from the original, awesome act of creation, and moves us to the other side of the Genesis Gap, describing for us the state of the universe as it existed before God re-created the earth:

But the earth came to be ruined and despoiled – darkness lay upon the face of the abyss while God's Spirit brooded over the surface of its waters. Genesis 1:2

Original creation had been marred by Satan's revolt, and cast into darkness by God's judgment upon the rebellious angels. In order to make the universe habitable once more for creatures with physical bodies (the attempted possession of which was a major issue in Satan's pre-fall propaganda, it will be remembered from Part 1 of our study), a re-creation of the earth was essential. Genesis 1:3 - 2:3, the account of the seven days, is a description of this renewal of the heavens and the earth. The objective behind this process of the seven days is also quite clear: the creation of Man. Everything God accomplishes within the period of re-creation is specifically designed to make life supportable for this His second category of creature possessing free will:

The Seven Days of Re-Creation....

(brackets mine)

That's pretty embarrassing. As you can see, he is just coming to Genesis with a doctrine of two creations, and then reading it into the maleable first chapter. There is nothing to refute—if you already accept his doctrine, Genesis has to be read in light of it; if not, you'll not actually find two creations in Genesis anywhere.

A key mark of heretics is peculiar translations of particular verses ("In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god" comes to mind).

Notice how he translates Genesis 1:2 to suit his doctrine: "But the earth came to be ruined and despoiled."

This is laughable. For starters, תהו and בהו don't mean 'ruined and despoiled.' He needs them to mean that for his doctrine of a former world having been destroyed by evil or something. Particularly heinous/laughable is translating one of these words 'despoiled.' Despoiled, according to Merriam-Webster, means:

to strip of belongings, possessions, or value

Needless to say, this well exceeds the basic meaning of the word, and implies some agent which brought such desolation about, but which is nowhere actually indicated in the text.

But more greviously, he claims verse 2 is " split grammatically from verse one with an abrupt, adversative." This is, to put it lightly, complete garbage. For a start, in Hebrew ו wa (and/but) can be either adversative or copulative—and most of the time it is copulative (and; even, in the case of an appositive usage). Whether to translate/understand this as and or but is purely based on context, and how you understand the passage in light of it. So to beg the question and translate this as 'but' because (he has assured us) there is an extreme 'adversative, abrupt' part of the story to be told, is nonsense.

He claims this desolate state was, not before God has formed things in it, but it had 'come to be' this way—something nowhere stated in the text. Here he translates יהתה ([she] was—referring to the feminine noun ארץ meaning earth) as 'she became.' While this word can mean this in other contexts, there is no contextual reason when one reads the text to infer a previously 'un-desolate' earth! It's clear with the 'in the beginning' we are getting the run down of the creation: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." What isn't clear is that between this sentence and the next, this had been ruined by evil and so had 'become' this way. As you read the next few verses it becomes evident that this is just its state before He marked out seas and the land and created trees and animals on it.

I call this 'concordance translating,' where someone picks up a nice little concordance and fancies themselves a translator, and begins to assure us of new meanings of already understood texts—not so coincidentally coinciding with their new theology, which is on offer. If you want this showcased in an entire translation of the Bible, read the NWT. It is the most wooden, stick your foot in the door of every 'well its possible to translate it this way,' theologically driven, non-translations out there.

  • 1
    Place what gap? – Sola Gratia Jul 28 '18 at 14:13
  • 1
    This is a good answer aside from the off-topic diversion to trash talk the NWT. Now I don't support that translation, but your language seems out of proportion to its faults, and none of it is relevant to this question – curiousdannii Jul 28 '18 at 14:33
  • 1
    I think it's relevant in that the translation is purely theologically driven, wooden, and based off of 'possible' translations, chosen only to prove preconcieved theologies and doctrines, of which I think the NWT is a prime example. I reserve the right to criticize what I consider poor translations of the Bible ;) – Sola Gratia Jul 28 '18 at 15:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.