Preface Introduction Chapters Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Appendices Appendix I Appendix II Appendix III Appendix IV Appendix V Appendix VI Appendix VII Appendix VIII Appendix IX Appendix X Appendix XI Appendix XII Appendix XIII Appendix XIV Appendix XV Appendix XVI Appendix XVII Appendix XVIII Appendix XIX Appendix XX Appendix XXI Indexes References Names Biblical References General Bibliography
Excerpts from Some Supporting Authors.
This Appendix contains extracts from the works of authors not
listed in Chapter 1, chiefly because they merely affirm what others
have said and, with two exceptions, did not publish their views until
the issue between the Bible and modern Geology had already become
a serious one. Most of them can only be quoted as being among
those who adopted the alternative rendering because they were im-
pressed by the geological evidence as then interpreted. Many of
them were recognized Hebrew scholars. Included among these
extracts are also a few cases where admissions are made in favour
of my thesis by scholars who nevertheless do not support it - for
example, a note from Snaith.
The names are listed chronologically according to the original
author of the quotation rather than the secondary author who happens
to have supplied us with it - for example, Gleig’s statement is listed
under his own name although my sole source of reference was from
Hoare and not from the author himself.
At the end we have included three lists of scholars who wrote in
favour of this alternative, of whom I have very little information but
thought it worthwhile to list with my source of reference, for the
sake of those who may be in a position to examine their works at
Episcopius, Simon (1583 - 1643) of Holland, according to the New
page 302, article by 0. Zockler, "Creation and Preservation") is said
to have been the first to render verse 2, "And the earth became waste
Rosenmuller, J. G., a German Lutheran, 1736- 1815, in his
Antiquissima Telluris Historia, published in Ulm in 1776, wrote
the first serious scientific defence of this view, according to the New
Schaff- Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. III, p.
Chalmers, Thomas, in his original Lecture in Edinburgh in 1814:
"The detailed history of creation in the first chapter of Genesis begins
at the middle of the second verse; and what precedes might be under-
stood as an introductory sentence, by which we are most appositely
told, both that God created all things at the first, and that, afterwards,
by what interval of time it is not specified, the earth lapsed into a
chaos, from the darkness and disorder of which the present system
or economy of things was made to arise. Between the initial act
and the details of Genesis, the world, for aught we know, might have
been the theatre of many revolutions, the traces of which geology may
still investigate". Quoted by Edward Hitchcock, The Religion of
Geology, Collins, Glasgow, 1851, p. 52.
Eadie, Dr. John, Professor of Theological and Biblical Literature
in Divinity Hall of the United Presbyterian Church, Glasgow, (quoted
by Dr. T. Fitzgerald in the Transactions of the Victoria Inst.,
Vol. LXX, 1938, p. 86): Dr. Eadie, writing in the early part of the
last century, observed: "The length of time that may have elapsed
between the events recorded in the first verse (of the first chapter of
Genesis) and the condition of the globe, as described in the second
verse, is absolutely indefinite. How long it was we know not; and
ample space is therefore given to all the requisitions of geology.
The second verse describes the condition of our globe when God
began to fit it up for the abode of man. The first day's work does
not be gin until the third verse.... This is no new theory. It was
held by Justin Martyr, Origen, Theodoret, and Augustine - men who
came to such a conclusion without any bias, and who certainly were
not driven to it by an geological difficulties".
Bush, George, Professor of Hebrew in New York City University,
in his Notes, Critical and Practical on the Book of Genesis,
some length. On page 27 he wrote: "As there is no distinction of
past, perfect, and pluperfect tenses in Hebrew, we are to be governed
solely by the exigency of the place in rendering any particular word
in one of these tenses or the other. 'Was', therefore, in this
instance, we hold to be more correctly translated by 'had been' or,
perhaps, 'had become' - ie., in consequence of changes to which it
had been subject in the lapse of ages long prior to the period now
"It has, indeed, been generally supposed that it describes the
rude and chaotic state which ensued immediately upon the creating
command; but this we think is contrary to the express declaration of
Jehovah himself, Isa.45.18: 'For thus saith the Lord that created the
heavens; God himself, that formed the earth and made it; he hath
established it, he created it not desolate (TOHU)' - ie., the action
described by the word 'created', did not result in the state denoted
by the word TOHU but the reverse - he formed it to be inhabited".
Smith, J. Pye, Lectures on the Bearing of Geological Science
upon Certain Parts of the Scriptural Narrative, London, 1839.
"A philological survey of the initial sections of the Bible, (Gen.
i, l, to ii, 3) brings out the results
1. "That the first sentence is a simple, independent, all-com-
prehending axiom, to this effect: that matter, elementary or com-
bined , aggregated only or organized, and dependent, sentient, and
intellectual beings have not existed from eternity, either in self-
continuity or succession, but had a beginning; that their beginning
took place by the all-powerful will of one Being, the self-existent,
independent, and infinite in all perfection; and that the date of that
beginning is not made known.
2. "That at a certain epoch, our planet was brought into a state
of disorganization, detritus, or ruin, (perhaps we have no perfectly
appropriate term) from a former condition.
3. "That it pleased the Almighty, wise and benevolent Supreme,
out of that state of ruin to adjust the surface of the earth to its now
existing condition, the whole extending through the period of six
"I am forming no hypothesis in geology; I only plead that the
ground is clear, and that the dictates of the Scripture interpose no
bar to observation and reasoning upon the mineralogical constitution
of the earth, and the remains of organized creatures which its strata
disclose. If those investigations should lead us to attribute to the
earth and to other planets and astral spheres an antiquity which
millions or ten thousand millions of years might fail to represent,
the divine records forbid not their deduction". From his Lect-
ures on Scripture and Geology, London, 4th ed. , p. 502, as quoted
by Edward Hitchcock in his The Religion of Geology, Collins, in
Harris, John, The PreAdamite Earths-Contributions to Theol-
ogical Science, Ward and Co., London, no date, p.354: "On the
whole, then, my firm persuasion is, that the first verse of Genesis
was designed, by the Divine Spirit, to announce the absolute origin-
ination of the material universe by the Almighty Creator; and that it
is so understood in other parts of Holy Writ: that, passing by an-
indefinite interval, the second verse describes the state of our planet
immediately prior to the Adamic creation; and that the third verse
begins the account of the six days' work.
"If I am reminded that I am in danger of being biased in favour of
these conclusions by the hope of harmonizing Scripture with Geology,
I might venture to suggest, in reply, that the danger is not all on one
side. Instances of adherence to traditional interpretations chiefly
because they are traditional and popular, though in the face of all
evidence of their faultiness. are by no means so rare as to render
warning unnecessary. The danger of confounding the infallibility of
our own interpretation with the infallibility of sacred text, is not
peculiar to a party.
"If, again, I am reminded, in a tone of animadversion, that I am
making science, in this instance, the interpreter of Scripture, my
reply is that I am simply making the works of God illustrate his word,
in a department in which they speak with a distinct and authoritative
voice, that 'it is all the same whether our geological or theological
investigations have been prior'; and that it might be deserving con-
sideration, whether or not the conduct of those is not open to just
animadversion, who first undertake to pronounce on the meaning of
a passage of Scripture irrespective of all the appropriate evidence,
and who then, when that evidence is explored and produced, insist
on their a priori interpretation as the only true one.
"But in making these remarks I have been conceding too much.
The views which I have exhibited are not of yesterday. It is
important and interesting to observe how the early fathers of the
Christian church should seem to have entertained precisely similar
views: for St. Gregory Nazianzen. after St. Justin Martyr, supposes
an indefinite period between the creation and the first ordering of
explicit. To these might be added Augustine, Theodoert, Episcop-
ius, and others, whose remarks imply the existence of a considerable
interval 'between the creation related in the first verse of Genesis,
and that of which an account is given in the third and following verses'.
In modern times, but long before geology became a science, the
independent character of the opening sentence of Genesis was affirm-
ed by such judicious and learned men as Calvin, Bishop Patrick, and
Dr. David Jennings. And 'in some old editions of the English
Bible, where there is no division into verses, and in Luther's Bible
(Wittenburg, 1557), you have in addition the figure 1 placed against
the third verse, as being the beginning of the account of the creation
of the first day'. Now these views were formed independently of all
geological considerations. In the entire absence of evidence from
this quarter - probably even in opposition to it, as some would
think - these conclusions were arrived at on biblical grounds alone.
Geology only illustrates and confirms them. The works of God
prove to be one with this preconceived meaning of his word. And
there is no ground to expect that this early interpretation will grad-
ually come to be universally accepted as the only correct one."
A footnote gives the references for the quotes in the above as being
from Dr. S. Davidson's Sacred Hermeneutics; Principal Wiseman's
Lectures on the Connexion Between Science and Revealed Rel-
igion; and Dr. J. Pye Smith's Scripture and Geology.
Gray, Rev. James, in his book, The Earth's Antiquity in Harm-
ony With the Mosaic Record of Creation (referred to by William
Hoare in a footnote on p. 145 of his book Veracity of the Book of
Genesis), stages the view (Chapter IV, p. 211, 2nd. edition) "that
the first verse in Genesis is not to be understood according to the
currently entertained notion, as merely giving a summary account
of the after-recorded work of the six days, but is an independent
proposition enunciating THE CREATION, primordial as to time, - the
reference being retrospective rather than prospective". In a
subsequent footnote on p. 151, Gray is again quoted (p. 120 and 144
of his work) on Gen. 1.2 as follows: "Such a disturbed condition of
terrestrial things is here narrated, as we should naturally conclude
would be found after the violent action of one or another of those
grand disturbing agents, either of fire, by earthquakes, or of water
by deluges, which we know to be Nature's ordinary mighty destroyers
and renovators on the earth..... a state following upon the last
catastrophe anterior to the period of its divinely recorded re-organ-
Hoare, Willam H., Veracity of the Book of Genesis, (Long-
man, Green, Longman, & Roberts, London, 1860), has this statement
in a footnote on p .143: "Episcopius and others thought that the creation
and fall of the bad angels took place in the interval he has spoken
of; and misplaced as such speculations are, still they seem to show
that it is natural to suppose that a considerable interval may have
taken place between the creation related in the first verse of Genesis
and that of which an account is given in the third and following verses".
Gleig, the Rt. Rev. George, Bishop of Brechin and Primus of the
Scots Episcopal Church (quoted by W. H. Hoare, Veracity of the
Book of Genesis, etc. p. 179); "Moses records the history of the
earth only in its present state. He affirms indeed, that it was
created, and that it was without form and void when the Spirit of God
began to move on the face of the fluid mass; but he does not say how
long that mass had been in a state of chaos, or whether it was or was
not the wreck of some former system which had been inhabited by liv-
ing creature sofa different kind from those that occupy the present.
"We read in various places of Scripture of a new heavens and a
new earth to succeed the present earth and visible heavens, after
they shall again be reduced to chaos by a general conflagration, and
there is nothing in the books of Moses positively affirming that there
was not an old earth and old heavens, or, in other words a former
"There is nothing in the sacred narrative forbidding us to suppose
that they are ruins of a former earth deposited in the chaotic mass
of which Moses informs us that God formed the present system. How
long it continued in such a chaotic state it is in vain to enquire...."
Jameison, R., Commentary: Critical and Expository: Genesis
- Deuteronomy, (Nisbet, London, 1871, p. 3); the author notes that
in many Hebrew manuscripts a mark indicating a pause occurs after
Gen. 1.1. "This break between Gen. 1.1 and 1.2 is observed even
where no verse division exists".
Browne, the Rt. Rev. E. Harold, Lord Bishop of Ely, Genesis:
Or the First Book of Moses (Scribner, New York, 1873, p. 32),
writes, under comment on Gen. 1.5: "Literally, 'and it was (or
became) evening, and it was (or became) morning, day one'", thereby
bearing out the more precise translation of the verb hayah. Under
primeval emptiness or "desolation and disorder succeeding to a
former state of life and harmony...." He feels the issue cannot
be settled conclusively but he does say that the two words tohu and
bohu "express devastation or desolation", listing several passages
in which the meaning of tohu is clearly this: viz.. Job 12.24; 26.7;
Isa.24.10; 34.11; and Jer.4.23.
Garland, G. V., Genesis With Notes (Rivingtons, London, 1878,
p. 3): With reference to Gen. 1.1 and 2: "The first of these verses
declares that the universe, and particularly that portion of it 'the
earth', of which the second verse specially treats, as being the future
habitation of man, was originally created by God. The second verse
then proceeds to describe the condition of the earth at the period when
God made (  , Gen. 2.), or framed, or readjusted it (
Heb. 11.3), out of the then existing materials for the use of man".
Reusch, Dr. Fr. H., Nature and the Bible: Lectures on the
Mosaic History of Creation In Its Relation to Natural Science,
(translated from the 4th edition by Kathleen Lyttelton, T. & T. Clark,
Edinburgh, Vol. 1, 1886, p. 120). He says: "Those who hold this
theory;- with its many individual modifications - are men of no little
authority, they are, among men of science and philosophers, Jacob
Bohme, Friedrich Schlegel, Julius Hamberger, Heinrich von Schu-
bert, Karl von Raumer, Andreas Wagner; among theologians, Kurtz,
Baumgarten, Dreschler, Delitzsch and others among Protestants;
Leopold Schmid, Mayrhofer, and Westermayer among the Roman
Catholics". In a footnote he adds this information: "Kurtz, Bible
and Astronomy, Delitzsch, Genesis; Dreschler on Delitzsch; and
Keerl, Schopfungsgesch; Raumer, Kreuzzuge; Hamberger in the
Jabrh. fur Deutsche Theol; Wolf, Die Bedeutung der Weltschopfung,
Mayrhofer, Das dreieine Leben; Westermayer, Das Alte Test",
Exell, J. S., Pulpit Commentary on Genesis, (Kegan Paul, Tren-
ch, Trubner, London, 1897, p. 4). Exell in commenting on verse 2
mentions Delitzsch's view of this verse as signifying "the ruin of a
previous cosmos" and adds that he attributed the ruin to the fall of
angels basing his view on Job 38.2 - 7). He gives as reference
Biblical Psychology, Section 1, p. 76, in Clark's Foreign Theol-
Edersheim, Alfred, The World Before the Flood and the His-
p. 18,19); "Some have imagined that the six days of creation repres-
ent as many periods, rather than literal days, chiefly on the ground
of the supposed high antiquity of our globe, and the various great
epochs or periods, each terminating in a grand revolution, through
which our earth seems to have passed before coming to its present
state, when it became a fit habitation for man. There is, however,
no need to resort to any such theory.
"The first verse in the Book of Genesis simply states the general
fact that 'in the beginning (whenever that may have been) God created
the heaven and the earth'. Then, in the second verse, we find the
earth described as it was at the close of the last great revolution
preceding the present state of things: 'and the earth was without
form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep'.
"An almost indefinite space of time and many changes may there-
fore have intervened between the creation of heaven and earth as
mentioned in verse 1, and the chaotic state of our earth as described
in verse 2."
Pember, G. H., Earth's Earliest Ages, which title is extended
to read as: and Their Connection with Modern Spiritualism and
Theosophy (Hodder and Stoughton, 1901, 9th ed., 494 pp.). The
author's thesis is that Gen. 1.2 pictures a world brought into ruin
as a result of the judgment of God against the rebellion of the Angels
who under Satan had been responsible for the government of the Old
World while it was being prepared for man, but had thought to become
independent of Him. Satan was cast out of heaven along with the
Angels who had followed him, and they have since tried in various
ways to bring God's reconstituted world order, including man, into a
like state of chaos. He believes these Angels to be, to a large
extent, still free to intrude into human affairs and to act upon man's
will - always with a view to making him disobedient to God..
Their increasing activity in the present age Pember believed to
be a sign of the nearness of the second great judgment to be brought
on the World, of which the Flood of Noah's time was the first.
Pember does not present his thesis as a Hebrew scholar, but
rather as a student of ancient and present day forms of spiritism
and demon worship.
Anstey, Martin, The Romance of Bible Chronology; (Marshall
Brothers, London, 1913, p. 62 and 63 - with his emphases): "The
opening verse of Genesis speaks of the Creation of the heavens and
the origin of the world but not the origin of man. For the second
verse tells of a catastrophe - the earth became a ruin and a desolation.
The Hebrew verb hayah ('to be') here translated 'was'), signifies not
only 'to be' but also 'to become', 'to take place', 'to come to pass'.
When a Hebrew writer makes a simple affirmation, or merely pre-
dicates the existence of anything, the verb hayah is never expressed.
Where it is expressed it must always be translated by our verb 'to
become', and never by the verb 'to be', if we desire to convey the
exact shade of meaning of the original.
"The words  ( tohu wa bohu) translated in the Authorized
Version 'without form and void' and in the Revised Version 'waste
and void' should be rendered 'a ruin; and a desolation'. They do not
represent the state of the heaven and the earth as they were created
by God. They represent only the state of the earth as it afterwards
became - a ruin and a desolation.... or better still 'had become', the
separation of the waw from the verb being the Hebrew method of
indicating the pluperfect tense....
"Gen. 1.2 does not describe a stage in the process of creation, but
a disaster which befell the created earth: the original creation of the
heaven and the earth is chronicled in Gen. 1.1. The next verse,
Gen. 1.2, is a statement of the disorder, the ruin, and the state of
desolation into which the earth subsequently fell. What follows in
Gen. 1.3-31 is the story of the restoration of a lost order by the
creative word of God".
Fitzgerald, Dr. Thomas (in The Transactions of the Victoria
Institute, London, Vol. LXX, 1938) lists the names "of several
scholars of high repute who can be cited in support of the translation
which Dr. Hart-Davies finds it impossible to accept. The whole
question has been very thoroughly argued in the works of John Harris,
D.D., The Pre-Adamite Earth and Primeval Man: The Principles
of Geology, by Rev. David King, LL.D. (2nd. edition, -enlarged and
revised): The Bible and Modem Thought, by Rev. T. R. Birks,
M.A.: Neology Not True, by Rev. Charles Herbert, M.A. (2nd
edition): Daniel the Prophet, Rev. E. B. Pusey, D. D., Regius
Professor of Hebrew, Oxford: and Jameison, Fausset and Brown's
Commentary - Genesis. There is also a valuable paper on the
subject by Rev. A. I. McCaul, M.A., Lecturer in Hebrew at King's
College, London, published in The Transactions of the Victoria
Institute, London, Vol. IX. On p.150 of that volume, the Rev,
A. I. McCaul states his belief that the Septuagint intended by its
"unfurnished" because its life had been destroyed.
Smith, Professor T. Jollie, in a Paper in The Transactions of
the Victoria Institute, Vol. LXXVIII, 1946, p. 29, wrote: "I think
that verse land verse 2 in Genesis 1 may be legitimately separated
.... Hayah does generally mean 'became' or 'came to pass'.. .. Its use as a mere copula is most extraordinary".
Snaith, Norman H., Notes on the Hebrew Text of Gen, I - VIII
(Epworth Press, London, 1947, p. 8 and 9), has the following against
Gen.1.2 and 3: "verse 2.  , 3 f. s. pl. qal. of  (verb 'to
be', though more often it means 'to become').
"Verse 3:  , 3 m s. jussive qal shortened from 3 m s. imperfect
qal (  ) of  (let there come to be, ie., become).
- Pronounce wa-ye-hi (with -e very short for shema). "And
there came to be (ie., there became). Thus he indicates the
admissability of rendering   as "became" or some equivalent in
Sauer, Erich, Dawn of World Redemption (Revell, New York,
1953) on p. 35 says: "About 1000 A.D. Edgar of England espoused
(the interpretation). In the 17th century it was especially emphas-
ized by Jacob Boehme, the mystic....
"Many German upholders of this teaching.... as for instance the
Professor of Geology Freiherr von Heune (Tubingen);.... from the
Catholic point of view there are Cardinal Wiseman and the philoso-
pher Freiderich von Schlegel".
Ramm, Bernard, in his Christian View of Science and Scrip-
ture (Eerdman's, Grand Rapids, 1954, p. 196) has a footnote in which
he gives the following information: "Dr. Anton Pearson sets forth
the history of the gap interpretation as follows: "It was first broached
in modern times by Episcopius (1583-1643), and received its first
scientific treatment by J. G. Rosenmuller (1736-1815) in his Antiq-
uissima Telluris Historica (1776). It was also used by theosophic
writers in connection with notions suggested by Bohme, e.g. F. von
Meyer and Baumgarten. It was picked up by such theologians as
Buckland, Chalmers, J. P. Smith and Murphy. (An Exegetical Study
of Gen. 1.1-3, Bethel Seminary Quarterly, 11.14-33, November,
"This theory was also defended by J. H. Kurtz, Bible and Astron-
is traced from Edgar, King of England in the tenth century to
modern scholars as Reichel, Stier. G. H. von Schubert, Knieival
Dreschler, Rudleback, Guericke, Baumgarten and Wagner".
Other men listed include Adam Sedgewick, Discourses on the
Studies of the Universe, Cambridge, President of the Geological
Society (England); and Pratt, Scripture and Science Not at Var-
* * *
Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved