What in the World Happened Between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?

What in the world happened between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2? Well, that’s the million dollar question. Arguments about this very question create a rift among some Christians in many cases, sadly too severe to bridge. Let’s talk about the three schools of thought: Gap Theory, Day Age Theory, and Young Earth Creationism. Now of course, among these three are several variations of beliefs; since I’m not trying to write a book here, we’ll be general. Disclaimer before we begin: I do have a very strong view on this particular topic which will be totally obvious, but for me this causes no rift between myself and those who hold to different opinions- I’m more of a “agree to disagree and move on” kind of girl.

First we’ll talk about Gap Theory. To be fair, I will use the same source for my definition of each theory- wikipedia. Wikipedia defines Gap Theory as the form of old earth creationism that posits the the six- yom (yom is the Hebrew word for day) creation period, as described in the book of Genesis, involved six literal 24 hour days (light being “day” and dark “night” as God specified), but that there was a gap of time between two distinct creations in the first and second verses of Genesis, which the theory states explains many scientific observations, including the age of the earth. This view holds that God created a fully functional earth with all animals, including the dinosaurs and other creatures we know only from the fossil record. Then, “something” happened to destroy the earth completely (some say the fall of Satan to earth) so that the planet became without form and void. At this point, God started all over again, recreating the earth in its paradise form as further described in Genesis.

The first question that comes to my mind is: why would we need to re- interpret these verses to mean anything other than what they literally seem to mean in the first place? Well, Gap Theory became popular near the end of the 18th and first half of the 19th century because of the then, newly established science of geology which had declared that, based on their findings, the only interpretation of the evidence pointed to an old earth- a very old earth. This meant that the earth was far older than the common interpretations of Genesis and the Bible-based flood theology allowed. So, some theologians of that time, in an effort to reconcile the Bible to the authority of science, introduced Gap Theory as a compromise so that the two could not contradict each other. Take this very telling quote from the Scofield Study Bible regarding why the gap theory is necessary, “Relegate fossils to the primitive creation, and no conflict of science with Genesis cosmogony remains.” The theory was popularized in 1814 by Thomas Chalmers, who was a very well respected professor of theology in Scotland. The theory really picked up steam when this “second creative act” (recreation of a previously existing destroyed earth) was discussed prominently in the reference notes for Genesis in the influential 1917 Scofield Reference Bible. In 1954, the evangelical theologian Bernard Ramm wrote in his book The Christian View of Science and Scripture, “The gap theory has become the standard interpretation throughout hyper-othodoxy, appearing in an endless stream of books, booklets, Bible studies, and periodical articles. In fact, it has become so sacrosanct with some that to question it is equivalent to tampering with Sacred Scripture or to manifest modernistic leanings.”

So we have the “why” of the compromise, now let’s discuss the “how”? How in the world did these theologians build a Biblical case for the Gap Theory? The arguments for Gap Theory revolve around compromises regarding the translation of Hebrew words such as: bara (to create vs creating), asah (making vs made over), hayetha (was vs became), and tohu wabohu (empty and formless vs something once in a state of repair, but now ruined). For an in depth explanation of these arguments along with rebuttals you can visit: http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=575 To sum it up succinctly, I’ll submit this information: In 1948, M. Henkel, a graduate student at the Winona Lake School of Theology, wrote a master’s thesis on “Fundamental Christianity and Evolution.” During the course of his research, he polled 20 leading Hebrew scholars in the United States, and asked each of them if there were any exegetical (a fancy word that means interpretation of religious text) evidence that would allow for a gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. They unanimously replied- No! (Henkel, 1950, p. 49, n. 30) Of course, there is still the glaring issue which is that the Gap Theory creates a gigantic theological problem regarding Romans 5:12 where it is made clear that death entered the world through sin and sin through Adam. Gap theory requires an entire primitive creation where death was rampant before the introduction of sin through Adam. Any effort to remedy this problem can only be addressed with non-Biblically supported speculation (from what I’ve seen).

On to the second argument- Day Age Theory. According to wikipedia, this theory holds that the six days referred to in the Genesis account of creation are not ordinary 24 hour days, but are much longer periods (of thousands or millions of years). In this way the Genesis account is reconciled with the scientifically accepted age of the earth. The arguments for this theory revolve around the meaning of the Hebrew word “yom”. Proponents of this theory point out that “yom” can have a number of meanings: 24 hour period, long age, etc. They often cite Psalm 90:4 and II Peter 3:8. To apply these verses as evidence would be out of context however, as both verses are clearly using simile to show that God is not constrained by the same time parameters as humans are. Back to “yom”, here is the breakdown:

      1. “yom” occurs 2,282 times outside of Genesis 1. It occurs 359 times with a number outside Genesis 1. In all 359 cases, the context clearly shows that a 24 hour day is being referenced.

      2. “yom” occurs 19 times outside of Genesis 1, together with the word “morning” or “evening”. In all 19 cases, a 24 hour day is clearly intended. The words “morning” and “evening” occur together, without “day” 38 times outside of Genesis 1. Each of these occurrences refers to a 24 hour day.

      3. “yom” occurs with the word “night” 53 times outside of Genesis 1. Each of these occurrences refers to a 24 hour day.

I love this quote from an article in Creation Day regarding this issue: “Given this immense contextual evidence, one is tempted to ask somewhat flippantly, ‘What could God have done to emphasize that the days of Genesis 1 are literal 24 hour days?’ Might I suggest that He could have used the Hebrew “yom” together with numbers, morning, evening or night? And that is exactly what He did!”

Here we are at the third, and my (obviously at this point) preferred argument- Young Earth Creationism. Wikipedia defines this theory as the view that the Universe, Earth and all life on Earth were created by direct acts of God less than 10,000 years ago. Its primary adherents are those Christians who subscribe to a literal interpretation of the creation narrative in the Genesis and believe that God created the Earth in six 24 hour literal days. Now that sounds fair enough, right? Pretty unbiased definition in line with the definitions of the other theories, right? IF wikipedia stopped there, but it doesn’t. Wikipedia continues with this jewel: “Since the mid-20th century, young earth creationists- starting with Henry Morris (1918-2006)- have devised and promoted a pseudoscientific explanation called “creation science” as a basis for a religious belief in a supernatural, geologically recent creation. Evidence from numerous scientific disciplines contradicts YEC, showing the age of the universe as 13.8 billion years, the formation of the earth as at least 4.5 billion years ago, and the first appearance of life on Earth as occurring at least 3.5 billion years ago…Young Earth creationism directly contradicts the scientific consensus of the scientific community…As such, young Earth creationism is dismissed by the academic and scientific communities.” Wow! Somebody REALLY does not like creation science! The bias is so extreme and so transparent as to be comical. Why does Young Earth creation science garner such hatred you might ask. Therein lies the transparency of the bias- TIME. It all comes down to time. The other Christian theories compromise by giving the scientific community what it wants and NEEDS in order for their theories (most importantly the theory of evolution) to prove true- time- billions of years of it. Without billions of years, the evolution narrative explodes in a gigantic “Big Bang”, so to speak. This is why the scientific community is willing to overlook obvious major issues with their dating systems and a plethora of other issues- because these flawed systems( proven to be flawed, not speculated to be flawed) provide them with the time necessary for their darling theory of evolution to work. This is why the bias of atheistic, secular science cannot be ignored. This is why they ignore evidence of a young earth and black ball the scientists brave enough to be whistleblowers. After all, without evolution- they might be forced to take a serious look at the Bible.

Here I would like to insert a poll conducted by Harris Interactive in 2009 that demonstrates just how confused we are as Christians when it comes to the Bible and the “infallible” science we’re taught in school. This poll found that 39% of Americans agreed with the statement that “God created the universe, the earth, the sun, moon, stars, plants, animals and the first two people within the past 10,000 years”, yet only 18% of the Americans polled agreed with the statement “The earth is less than 10,000 years old.” Wait, what?? It’s literally almost like we completely separate our Biblical beliefs from our scientific beliefs into two separate, non related boxes. This is not logical. Atheists/agnostics see that this is not logical. Ergo, atheists and agnostics think we’re crazy.

So, are Young Earth creationists loonies with no evidence? Far from it. There is literally SO. MUCH. EVIDENCE. I’m going to list just a few points, but at the bottom of the page I’ll post links to tons of evidence that you can study in depth if you’re interested. I won’t even broach the topic of the flawed dating systems that form the foundation for the billions of years interpretation because that will be a whole blog post to itself, so we’ll just stick with some other compelling arguments.

      1. Population statistics: One of the strongest arguments for a young Earth comes from the field of population kinetics. If evolutionary figures were entered into this formula, with man having lived on the Earth only 1 million years (some evolutionists suggest that man, in one form or another, has been on Earth 2-3 million years), there would be an Earth population of 1 x 105000. That number would be a 1 followed by 5,000 zeros. Using creationist figures, however, the current world population would be approximately 4.34 billion people. Which theory seems to be on target?

      2. Decay of the Earth’s Magnetic Field: It is now known that the Earth’s magnetic field is decaying faster than any other worldwide geophysical phenomenon. Knowledgeable scientists do not debate the fact of the rapid decrease in the Earth’s magnetic field. A comprehensive government report estimated, in fact, that the magnetic field would be gone by the year A.D. 3991. (I guess they’re going to address this as soon as we get climate change under control) Using complex mathematical equations to try to calculate backwards (employing a known value for the half-life decay rate of the field) presents a very serious problem in the time needed by evolutionists. The problem is that going backward for more than just a few thousand years produces an impossibly large value in the magnetic field, and of the electrically generated heat stored in the Earth’s core. In fact, Thomas G. Barnes, late professor emeritus of physics at the University of Texas at El Paso, calculated the upper limit of this time span to be 10,000 years. Going back any further than this, Barnes concluded, would cause the field to be at such huge values that the Earth could not sustain itself and would rupture and crack.

      3. Polystrate Fossils: To the “man on the street,” one of the most impressive arguments for an ancient Earth is the testimony of sedimentary-rock layers (many of which are thousands of feet thick) strewn around the planet. Scientists (and park rangers) subject us to examples like the Grand Canyon and present their spiel so effectively that—as we observe layer after layer of sedimentary rocks piled one on top of another—the only explanation seems to be that vast amounts of geologic time must have been involved. Each division of the rocks, we are told, represents a time long ago and an ancient world that long since has ceased to exist. Embedded in sedimentary rocks all over the globe are what are known as “polystrate” fossils. Polystrate means “many layers,” and refers to fossils that cut through at least two sedimentary-rock layers. Probably the most widely recognized of the polystrate fossils are tree trunks that extend vertically through two, three, or more sections of rock that supposedly were laid down in epochs covering millions of years. Thus, the entire length of these tree trunks must have been preserved quite quickly, which suggests, then, that the sedimentary layers surrounding them must have been deposited rapidly—possibly (and even likely) during a single catastrophe. As Paul Ackerman has suggested: “They constitute a sort of frozen time clock from the past, indicating that terrible things occurred—not over millions of years but very quickly” (1986, p. 84; see also Morris, 1994, pp. 100-102; Wilson, 1997, 1:37-38). Furthermore, tree trunks are not the only representatives of polystrate fossils. N.A. Rupke was the scientist who first coined the term “polystrate fossils.” After citing numerous examples of such fossils (1973, pp. 152-157), he wrote: “Nowadays, most geologists uphold a uniform process of sedimentation during the earth’s history; but their views are contradicted by plain facts” (p. 157, emp. added).

What it all comes down to in my opinion, is an argument between secular society and Bible believers in which the secular science community has duped Christians into believing that science is infallible (though interestingly and demonstrably ever changing). Christians, in an effort to not appear stupid to secular society, have created elaborate theories for the purpose of compromise by performing olympic level gymnastics in Bible interpretation. I’ll leave you with this quote by Marshall and Sandra Hall in their book, The Truth: God or Evolution?, “It is not easy to overthrow a belief, however absurd and harmful it may be, which your civilization has promulgated as the scientific truth for the better part of a century…Time, as poets and insurance salesmen remind us, is the enemy of life. But time has its friends, too. Without great, incomprehensible, immeasurable stretches of time to fall back on, the evolutionists would be sitting ducks for the barbed queries of even high school students. Time is the evolutionists’ refuge from the slings and arrows of logic, scientific evidence, common sense, and the multiplication table…. The proven uncertainties about scientific dating are a well-kept secret. The average person reading his newspaper or magazine gets the clear impression that dating is a science as exact as the addition of fractions…. Since no one can envision ten thousand years—much less a half-million or a million years—“scientists” can hide behind the two thousand millions of years that they say evolution took, and they can hide there in relative safety. They think.” (1974, pp. 74,69,71,75, emp. in orig.)

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gap_creationism

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c003.html

http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=575

http://www.icr.org/article/meaning-day-genesis/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day-age_creationism

http://creationtoday.org/the-hebrew-yom-taking-one-day-at-a-time/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Earth_creationism

https://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=308

Following are a list of links to check out if you are interested in further study:

http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/genesis/index.html

https://answersingenesis.org/

http://apologeticspress.org/

12 Replies to “What in the World Happened Between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?”

  1. Some are jacks of all trades and master of none. I suspect you are jackbof all trades and master of 98% of them.

    Nice.

    Indeed evolution is a creation.

    One thing I noticed is that it was a few days in before the celestial bodies themselves were available for counting literal 24 hours. I have thought the light first introduced was God Himself.

    1. The creation of light before the celestial bodies is indeed another huge issue for those who ascribe to gap and day age theories. Of course, they are able to do their mental gymnastics and get around it, but not without creating a glaring inconsistency in how they view the creation of man just a few verses later. Many who hold to the gap and day age theories reject the theory of evolution because there is no gymnastics you can perform to get evolution from the Bible. I’m ignoring the Theistic evolutionists here because it is, in my opinion the ultimate cop out. Why take the creation of man literally, but not the creation of the earth? Secular science claims their case for evolution is just as strong as their case for the age of the earth. The fact is, secular science believes you are crazy if you believe any part of the creation account. If you’re going to be considered a nut, you might as well be a consistent nut. Lol!

  2. I haven’t the time nor the desire to get into a time consuming discussion between the gap theory and the young earth theory, nor do I think it really matters other than on what makes the most sense.

    In my opinion the gap theory makes the most sense. Why? First, the bible in Is. 45:18 clearly says that God did not create the earth in vain, tohuw, yet Gen. 1:2 plainly says the earth was tohuw, or more likely “became” tohuw.

    You can call arguments about the Hebrew words create, bara, and made, asah gymnastics all that you want but there is a difference and a reason why the two different words were used.

    I hear so many young earth people saying that the bible says that God created the heavens and the earth in six days. The bible says no such thing. The bible says that the heavens and the earth were “made” asah, in six days.

    Rom. 5 seems to be the main argument for young earth people assuming it says more than it really does. All it says is that because of Adam’s sin death entered into the world, the world being the human race. Anyone who thinks there was no death prior to Adam’s sin need to explain what Adam ate prior to sinning. Or was the plant life not alive?

    When Adam picked an apple off of a tree and ate it, did the apple not die? Were apples back then not made up of living cells? Since Adam’s job was to dress and keep the garden, are we to assume the trees never needed pruning? If they did, once Adam cut a branch did it not die?

    Talk about theological gymnastics. Rom. 5 is merely talking about death within the human family because of Adam’s sin. Also, the assumption by many is that Adam was created immortal. That also falls into the theological gymnastics area. Adam did not have immortality, Adam had to eat of the tree of life in order to live forever.

    Our cells die daily, millions of our cells die daily. Do you think that natural process didn’t start until after Adam sinned? It takes theological gymnastics to read more into Rom. 5 than what is really there.

    Question, when did sin really enter into the creation? If it wasn’t until after Adam’s sin, then who was it that tempted Eve? Was it not the serpant? Had the serpent not sinned long before Adam? So Rom. 5 isn’t really talking about when sin entered into the world is it? For Satan sinned long before Adam did. Rom. 5 is merely talking about when sin entered the human family. So to claim that dinosaurs couldn’t have lived and died before Adam’s sin is theological gymnastics. To claim that prehistoric plant life couldn’t have died millions of years ago producing our oil fields because Adam hadn’t sinned yet is, theological gymnastics.

    It is great that you are thinking about these things, for most Christians don’t, they just believe what they are told, but it really takes thought and a lot of God given common sense, and understanding from the Holy Spirit to understand the bible.

    In reality it’s not meant for everyone to understand right now. Why did Jesus say that he spoke in parables?

    Mat 13:10
    And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

    Mat 13:11
    He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

    Mat 13:12
    For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

    Mat 13:13
    Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

    Mat 13:14
    And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

    Mat 13:15
    For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them

    Matt. 13 is a hard saying by Jesus, especially if you believe what evangelical Christianity teaches, that Jesus is trying to save the world now, but he’s not. He’s only calling firstfruits right now. Those in the first resurrection are called firstfruits.

    Jas 1:18
    Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

    Rev 14:4
    These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

    Most Christians don’t understand that there are more than one resurrection to eternal life. The first coming before the millennium:

    Rev 20:5
    But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

    Rev 20:6
    Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

    The second after the millenium:

    Rev 20:11
    And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

    Rev 20:12
    And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

    Many assume that this Great White Throne Judgement resurrection is the one where everyone who wasn’t saved are resurrected but what’s the point of the book of life being opened if it’s obvious that no one was written in it? For everyone written in it prior to the millennium had already been resurrected. It’s opened so that new names can be written in. What’s the point of having first fruits if there isn’t second fruits?

    I realize this is foreign to what you have been taught, so if you really want to learn what God is doing down here please read this book. You can read it online or you can buy a copy cheap on Amazon:

    http://www.protorah.com/the-thread-by-ronald-l-dart/

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1600470297/ref=mw_dp_olp?ie=UTF8&condition=all

    Kevin McMillen
    kljcmc@gmail.com

    1. Hi Kevin,

      I appreciate your comment.

      This is one of the first articles I wrote for my site and honestly one I have considered removing and rewriting completely. While I am still a YEC, I have done a lot of learning and growing in this area and feel I could address these topics much more fully and adequately than this article does.

      That being said, I know you indicated that you aren’t interested in the discussion about Hebrew words (i.e. bara, etc). However, I personally don’t think anyone can make a compelling case without addressing the topic. I’ll include a recent article by Dr. Jason Lisle that I think is very well explained: https://biblicalscienceinstitute.com/uncategorized/the-gap-theory/?fbclid=IwAR3VuH_UWxCOaMrzFWmsrRPj_awgROJxotyMRAr4TLbtwxO6CFViKXbmmpg

      Romans 5 is definitely an excellent argument for YEC, but I wouldn’t say it is the “main” one by a long shot. I’ve heard Dr. Hugh Ross’ attempt to circumvent the whole issue with the “people death not animal death” argument. However, I don’t find this argument compelling at all. And, with respect, plant death really doesn’t enter into the equation at all. Though, thorns and various plant diseases present in the fossil record do have bearing on the discussion. I’m also unaware of any YEC view that is opposed to plant death prior to the Fall, so I’m not sure where that line of reasoning comes from?

      I really have no comment on the view that Adam was created immortal. Currently, that is not a view that I take. It’s an area that I would have to put far more research into in order to be comfortable discussing it.

      I know that many like to enter into great speculation on Satan’s sin, potential time frames, etc. Unfortunately, the view of that which most hold comes directly from John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” rather than the Bible. Those type of speculations, while interesting, don’t really impact my thoughts on age of the earth, etc.

  3. I really don’t understand how anyone can differentiate between human death, animal death, or plant death. Death is death. If you’re going to take an approach on Rom. 5 that there was no death prior to Adam’s sin you can’t conveniently say, “oh, except plant death of course”. That makes no sense. Rom. 5 is not a strong case for a young earth, you may think it is but it’s not.

    As far as the Hebrew words bara and asah I didn’t mean to imply they weren’t important in the debate, they are very important and prove an old earth in my opinion. Ex. 20 says that God made, asah, the heavens and the earth in six days. It says nothing about creating, bara, them in six days.

    Bara implies a creation from nothing, while asah implies a forming of material already in existence.

    In six literal days God reformed the face of the earth 6000 years ago because it had been destroyed in Satan’s rebellion.

    Ezekiel seems to tell of a time long ago when Lucifer was in Eden the garden of God before he fell.

    Eze 28:13

    Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

    Eze 28:14

    Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

    Eze 28:15

    Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

    He was perfect when he was in Eden. This had to have been before he was in Eden as a serpent. Perfect until sin/iniquity was found in him.

    The gap theory works perfectly with all this and it fits with what science reveals. It really shouldn’t undermine anyones faith that the earth is billions of years old, became tohuw and bohuw some time in the past, and was reformed 6,000 years ago in six literal days.

    I fact it makes much more sense than thinking the sun and moon were created on the fourth day when the bible doesn’t say that at all. It says that God made, asah, two lights, it doesn’t say he created, bara, two lights. They were already up there, they just weren’t visible because of the destruction, tohuw, caused by Satan’s fall.

    As I said, it takes some cognitive dissonance to conclude there was no death prior to Adam’s sin, oh, except plant death that is.

    Kevin McMillen
    kljcmc@gmail.com

    1. Actually, the Bible itself differentiates between human or animal life and plant life in the use of the term “nephesh.” Unlike humans and some animals, plants, bacteria or fungi are never referred to as having nephesh.

      You state: “In six literal days God reformed the face of the earth 6000 years ago because it had been destroyed in Satan’s rebellion.” There is no statement in Scripture that makes any such declaration. The Ezekiel passages can be understood to be referring to Satan walking in Eden (although there are also other interpretations), however, no information is given at all regarding a particular placement in time.

      The gap theory actually doesn’t fit at all with what science reveals. If one is attempting to reconcile the Bible with current mainstream science, one would have to opt for the framework theory, rather than the gap theory, due to precisely the point you mention in your next paragraph. It is not merely the “age” of things that causes the Genesis account to differ from historical scientific assumptions, but the order. This is why merely adding a gap of time between verses 1 and 2 is of no benefit. This is one reason I mentioned above that I should re-write this article. I didn’t even discuss the framework theory at all.

      You state, “They were already up there, they just weren’t visible because of the destruction, tohuw, caused by Satan’s fall.” Again, while this is certainly a common theory, there is no Scripture to support it.

  4. Either there was death before Adam’s sin or there wasn’t, that includes plant death. Rom. 5 clearly is not saying that nothing died prior to Adam’s sin, so the theory of an old earth with plants and animals dying for millenia prior to Adam’s creation and sin does not contradict the bible.

    A good site answering this, though I disagree with their long day view of the creation week:

    http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/plants_do_not_die.html

    One major problem with the view that Adam was created immortal is the fact that God had to seal off the garden after Adam’s sin or else he’d have eaten of the tree of life and lived forever.

    So it wasn’t Adam’s body that was immortal. He would have only had immortality if he ate of the tree of life. His sin separated him from the tree of life, which is why he died. It wasn’t some kind of miraculous change in his nature or his body.

    God created Adam in a physical body that would die if he didn’t eat of the tree of life. That is fact or else God would not have had to seal off the tree of life.

    The teaching of the “fall of man” is a lie. Adam was created neither sinless nor sinful, he was created neutral. Babies are not born sinners, they are born in a neutral state to sin, but because of Adam’s sin we are cut off from the tree of life, so in our neutral physical state we will all eventually sin. We can’t blame Adam for being sinners, we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.

    The fall of Adam teaching is a cop out to our own failures.

    Kevin McMillen
    kljcmc@gmail.com

    1. I won’t belabor the plant death point since I have more than adequately addressed it in reply to your comments on other articles.

      I believe I have already stated that I have never attempted to argue that Adam was created immortal, so no need to rehash that here either.

      The teaching of the “fall of man” is certainly not a lie. In fact, it is an unavoidable truth throughout Scripture. However, it is possible (judging by your statement which follows that declaration) that you are ascribing a definition to the phrase “fall of man” that is different from what is generally intended by it. I agree that Adam’s state was neutral. After all- he did sin. I also agree that babies are not “born sinners” in the sense that, for example, a Calvinist would say that they are. Scripture is clear that children are not judged as guilty for the sins of their fathers. I reject the concept of Calvinistic determinism, total depravity, etc. (Frankly, on the topic of Calvinism, I reject TULIP as a whole.) We are, however, born with the propensity to sin by nature. That isn’t a cop out- it’s just a fact. You seem to agree on that point since you state that “we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.” This propensity by nature toward sin in no way lessens our responsibility.

  5. Where do you get idea that death wasn’t introduced to the world until Eve and Adam ate from the tree of knowledge? They were going to die before eating of the tree.

    “22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:”

    God removes them from the garden to insure they don’t eat of the tree of life and gain immortality. I’m just curious why you think not even animals died before they at of the tree of knowledge.

    1. Brian,

      Romans 5:12-14 is a good NT passage supporting the point. The following is from the ESV:

      “12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.”

  6. Tiff, I have a question. What if Adam and Eve didn’t eat of either tree, the tree of life nor the tree of knowledge of good and evil. What would have happened? Did God not create them in bodies where cells died every day? It was only through eating of the tree of life that there was no death. You are confused about what Rom. 5 means!

    Remember YEC argue against the gap theory because plants and animals die in that theory. You’ve already admitted that you have no problem with plants dying before Adam’s sin, why do you have a problem with animals dying? Did they also have to eat of the tree of life? YEC does not make any sense. As I said, the gap theory makes the most sense.

    Kevin

    1. Hi Kevin,

      I respectfully disagree that I am confused about what Romans 5 means. There are a number of reasons YECs (and other non-YEC Christians) argue against Gap Theory. Animal death prior to the Fall is merely one of many. Also, I personally have not heard any YECs argue that plant “death” prior to the Fall is an issue. Perhaps this is a semantics issue since most people don’t view plants as “alive” in the same way as humans and animals are.

      God Himself makes a distinction between animal death and plant death in Genesis in His prescriptive dietary commands in Genesis 1:29-30:

      29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

      From these verses, it appears that God’s initial creation was vegetarian. The first recorded death (an animal) comes as the consequence of sin- when God covered Adam and Eve with skins to replace the fig leaves coverings they had fashioned.

      While I certainly don’t agree with all of his conclusions, William Lane Craig’s Defender’s Series on Genesis is phenomenal in its critique of the various interpretations of Genesis. One can’t possibly confuse him with a supporter of YEC, but as he points out, Gap Theory is the absolute worst offender among all interpretations for bringing in creative ideas that are utterly foreign to the text. In his episode on the Gap Theory, he rightly summarizes:

      “The idea that there was a prior life world before God’s creative activity is utterly foreign to the text. The text, to all appearances, is describing God’s initial creation. The idea that this is all a repeat of something that has gone on before has absolutely no warrant in the text. There is nothing in the text to support a view like the Gap Theory. In fact, it is an example of concordism at its very worst. Under the pressure of the existence of pre-historic life and geological time and vast age of the universe, one reads things into the text, like a prior world and a gap, that were not at all intended by the author.”

      If your interested in viewing Craig’s episode on Gap Theory I have linked it below:

      I grew up in a group that even incorporated Gap Theory into their doctrine, so I sympathize with an emotional attachment to it. But, the fact is, the Biblical text doesn’t support it, so I cannot either. Whatever issues one may have with YEC, Gap Theory does nothing to solve them.

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