I recently had a “discussion” with someone who strongly asserted the creation gap theory and the existence of a race before Adam.
The creation gap theory is a popular theological explanation of how the Bible aligns with the evolutionary timeline. This is championed by many great theologians such as Scofield. I remember as a kid my dad recognized this theory, which was commonly accepted in Bible colleges.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
The creation gap theory sees a gap between the first verses of Genesis where the millions of years of evolution fit in.
Presuming this as fact, other verses can be interpreted as supporting this. Particularly those describing Satan’s fall.
The theory relates how God destroyed Noah’s generation, to extrapolate that, of the generation before Adam, there was not one potentially godly person. Therefore the earth was totally destroyed. The next verses therefore describe the recreation of the earth after this catastrophe. The creation of the Sun, Moon and stars on day four is the clearing of the clouds to reveal what had been obscured.
Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth…
Given this, KJV purists jump on “replenish” meaning to re-fill or re-stock.
When I requested biblical evidence for a pre-adamic race, I was presented with a verse from Isaiah about Satan deceiving the nations before he was cast out of heaven.
I confess I did not respond graciously in this “discussion”. I have written an apology that I hope to pass on if I see him again.
Hi, I wish to apologize for my reaction last week. Having recently released my book “Why I Believe the Bible is True” I took your objection to my teaching personally. This was the first opposition I’ve had since publishing and I was not prepared for this. I feel God is teaching me through this how to react gracefully to all people. This is an excellent failure for me to learn from 😉
I will make more effort to first remember that you are my brother in Christ, and one who like me has a deep passion for godliness and the truth of God’s word. Having received a teaching different to my own must always be secondary to this.
From our “discussion”, I have spent much time this week reconsidering the gap theory and the verse you presented from Isaiah.
I pray you would have the grace to forgive me.
Creation science denounces the gap theory as a compromise with the scientifically corrupt philosophy of evolutionism.
Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Since Satan is a created being and everything created was very good, then Satan had not yet fallen.
Arguments against this, point out that often the Bible generalizes e.g. “All life” was destroyed by Noah’s flood. However, this is a contraction to avoid repeating the stated exception every time. I am unaware of such a verse excepting Satan from everything being very good at the end of creation.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned
However is it right to point out that Satan had fallen before Adam’s sin. Gap theorists refine this verse to the death of humans only – a reasonable perspective.
In my book, I discussed Genesis 1:28’s “Replenish” in the KJV, which since 1604 has acquired its modern meaning – google “replenish etymology”. Other Bibles translate this as “Fill”. This is confirmed by Strong’s analysis of the original Hebrew word. This is one reason I do not recommend the KJV i.e. even if it were perfect, we misunderstand its antiquated English.
So there’s different points of view. I find it more useful to examine the origins and motivations behind these.
Both assert the Bible is true. The gap theorists don’t take things as literally as creationists and have some interesting ideas that are not so clear from a plain reading of scripture.
In our “discussion”, I pointed out that the pre-adamites are used to explain the origins of demons, however the Book of Enoch describes the origin of demons as being the souls of the offspring of
Genesis 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
The intent was to demonstrate that there are other explanations for the origin of demons.
However, my mention of an extra-biblical work was vehemently rejected as we should only look to scripture – the pure word of God. I respect this. When Jesus argued with the Sadducees, he only quoted from Moses, but with the Pharisees, he quoted from the entire Jewish Bible, which we call the Old Testament.
In my initial research, I found a creationist article that claimed the Gap theory was a recent invention to counter evolutionism. This grated against my experience with similar claims, which have proven false.
This drove me to
search further. I found https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Adamite
claims St Augustine dismissed pre-adamism as of pagan origin from the Greeks
and Egyptians. This got me reflecting on
my crude knowledge of Greek mythology. I
connected that before the first woman – Pandora, whom I equate with Eve, there
were many generations of men. When she
opened the box although forbidden, all manner of evils burst forth over the
I understand the Hindus teach of cycles of destruction and re-creation of the universe – just as people reincarnate, so does the universe.
So while the Bible does not clearly describe a race preceding Adam or the destruction thereof, other mythologies do teach this. There are other quotes of this teaching among Christians, but it certainly became a popular philosophical defence against the dominance of evolutionism.
I find creation science effectively demonstrates that evolutionism is scientifically corrupt at its roots. It presents a far more coherent fusion of the Biblical text, observational science, historic accounts, mythologies. The Bible can be read plainly without contradiction to science apart from where the text recognizes the miraculous.
Therefore we have no need to align plain reading of the Bible with evolution as is the motivation of the gap theory.
I searched for verses about Satan deceiving the nations and biblical support for the Gap theory.
Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Ezekiel 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.
I scrutinized that verse from Isaiah, searched several commentaries and found no suggestion of pre-adamism. They contextualized the judgement of Babylon and alluded to the prophetic pattern whereby the antichrist and his Babylon will be destroyed. I explicitly checked Scofield’s commentary, but found no support for the claim presented.
That word Lucifer seems an unclear transliteration of the Latin source for the KJV, which is otherwise translated like “morning star” https://biblehub.com/parallel/isaiah/14-12.htm
We must be very careful with prophetic passages as the future is often spoken of in past tense
Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
The verse in Ezekiel I read contrarily as proof that Lucifer was still perfect in Eden, which was created for Adam.
While it is admirable to focus purely on God’s revelation, we instinctively look to others for interpretation of God’s word. It is important that we collaborate a correct understanding. This is why I’m keen to discuss and blog about such things. I therefore deeply regret any break-down in relating with those who express different ideas.
I’ve come to value extra-biblical works, particularly those that are respected by Biblical reference. These provide additional details which help us to understand scripture. They must not be used to establish doctrine, but I consider them more valuable than modern theology, which might be swayed by modern philosophies – none of us have perfect revelation. Others depend more on other interpretations that are not necessarily so long held, and as in the case of pre-adamism may unknowingly be interpreting the Bible through pagan ideas.
The pre-Adamite hypothesis or pre-adamism is the theological belief that humans (or intelligent yet non-human creatures) existed before the biblical character Adam. Pre-adamism is therefore distinct from the conventional Judeo-Christian belief that Adam was the first human. Advocates of this hypothesis are known as “pre-Adamites”, along with the humans who they believe existed before Adam.
Gap creationism (also known as ruin-restoration creationism, restoration creationism, or “The Gap Theory“) is a form of old Earth creationism that posits that the six-yom 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 the second verses of Genesis, which the theory states explains many scientific observations, including the age of the Earth. It differs from day-age creationism, which posits that the ‘days’ of creation were much longer periods (of thousands or millions of years), and from young Earth creationism, which although it agrees concerning the six literal 24-hour days of creation, does not posit any gap of time.
All theistic evolutionists and many who invoke other strategies for harmonising Genesis 1–3 with the human fossil record hold to the concept of pre-Adamites, although they seldom use the term. However, throughout the human fossil record there is evidence of sin, violence, trauma, hardship, and premature physical death. Hence, the entire human fossil record must be placed after the Fall of the Biblical Adam, not before. Otherwise, the Genesis 3 Fall becomes theologically meaningless.
Though the Gap Theory attempts to solve the time problem and the fossil problem, it is beset with problems. First, something has to be read into the text that is not obviously there. There is not one verse in the Bible that explicitly teaches an earlier creation.
Also, the Gap Theory breaks the connection between the first two verses of the Bible where the text has no break. It builds our world on the ruins of a former world with no connection between the two. It leaves the original creation to just one verse. All of these problems make the theory highly suspect. Although those who hold to the Gap theory are well-meaning Bible believers, the facts, both biblical and scientific,do not justify this view. A better answer needs to be found.
The time of the creation of angels is something that the Bible does not specifically mention. Angelic existence dates back before the creation of humans. How far back no one knows. They seem to have been in existence when the earth was created. Scripture indicates the angels sang and shouted at God’s creation of the earth – possibly before any material thing was made. They were definitely created before humanity. Beyond this, there is not enough information to be more specific.