Tag Archives: gap

What does the word “replenish” mean in Genesis?

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the Earth.” Gen 1:28 (KJV).

This verse in the King James Version is used to support the Gap Theory because it uses the word “replenish.”  We know that today the word “replenish” means to “fill up again.”  Most words starting with the prefix “re” mean to do something again.  But has this always been the case? 

 

Source: Answers in Genesis

 

Language does change over time.  Compare today’s English with Old English, and you will see a vast array of changes.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, between the years of 1300 and 1700 during which time the KJV was written (1611), the word “replenish” meant to “fill up” as in “to fill something up one time or for the first time.”  It wasn’t until centuries later that the prefix “re” began to mean “again.”  You can look up the Hebrew word male, which is translated to “replenish” in the Strong’s Concordance (#4390).  Replenish, at the time of the KJV, did not mean to fill up again, but to fill up for the first time.  Therefore, this word cannot be used to support the Gap Theory.

What is the Gap Theory?

During the Age of Enlightenment, a theory made popular by a Scottish theologian named Thomas Chalmers.  The Gap Theory was formed to help make sense of the supposed millions of years of Earth’s existence while also believing in the Bible.  The Gap Theory proposes that in between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 there are millions or billions of years of unrecorded history.  During this time, there was an event called “Lucifer’s Flood” where Satan and 1/3 of the angels fell from heaven after an act of rebellion.  During that flood, the waters caused catastrophic damage to the Earth thus resulting in the geological formations we see today. Also during this time, the dinosaurs were buried and fossilized in the sedimentary rock.

 

The Gap Theory forces millions of years in-between the first two verses (Source: Answers in Genesis)

 

This theory helps explain why the Earth looks like it is millions of years old, but there is no biblical basis for the theory.  Those who created it were adding to the Bible to accommodate for the leading old-earth paradigm at the time.  The Christians did not want to look foolish for ignoring scientific theories, so the Gap Theory and others like Theistic Evolution and Progressive Creationism were created to accommodate for the secular theories.  There are theological problems with believing in an old earth and death before sin.