Ask Pastor Jason: Time Gaps and Neanderthals

AskPastorJasonPaperGreetings all,

This post took me two weeks because I wanted to study this out a bit before I answered the question. I want to thank Joshua Lococo for his insights and help in studying this out.

Now on to this week’s question:

Pastor Jason, I have a question for your blog. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I even heard about the term “Gap Theory”. Can you explain this and do you think this is where Neanderthals come from? We have science proving there was a Neanderthal type human, but I know that we are made in God’s image and I do not believe this is what Adam and Eve looked like. Can you please explain this?

First, let’s explore what the “gap theory” is all about. There are actually two “gap theories” and a “gap law.”

The first “gap” is a time gap between scripture events that is believed to be found in Genesis 1 between verses 1 and 2. This is also known as “Ruin Restoration.” Basically this theory is that there is a large time gap between these two verses. This brings up the question, “why is there a need for a time gap here?”

Well, the first problem behind the “gap theory” is that a lot of people are trying to make the Bible fit modern science, instead of letting science fit the Bible. Science‐first theorists, who want the Bible to fit modern science, want this theorized large time gap to represent the time that the evolutionary process took place.

I want to stop here and make a statement. I believe that when God created the world, it was finished. I believe He just spoke it into existence. When God said, “Let there be a tree,” there was a tree.

I do understand that there is a process of adapting to things over time but this does not change that we are a different person than when we started. This “gap” to me has no biblical backing and I believe fits into the “gap law.” This tongue‐in‐cheek law states that if the Bible does not say something about (fill in the blank), then we insert what we want to understand or we believe to be true in the “gap” to try to prove a point.

The second “gap theory” is found between Genesis chapter 1 and Chapter 2. This theory states that God created human beings before Adam and Eve. These humans are the ones that pointed out the tree of the knowledge of good and evil causing the fall. This theory also states that there was a morality before Adam and Eve and that the tree of life was the antidote to this morality.

I believe the second theory has more validity that the first, but this theory is one of those things that isn’t proven true or false in the Bible. This theory isn’t really a soul jeopardizing issue if someone believes it or doesn’t believe it.

Now to address the question of Neanderthals.

I do not believe that either the first or second “gap theory” can prove that the Neanderthals existed during that time or any other time. I personally believe what the scientific world calls Neanderthal is just another biped, ape‐like species.

While I do believe that humans are an extremely adaptable species, I do not believe we change so much that we become something completely different. You can look at the DNA of gorillas and you will find that their DNA is similar to humans, yet no one has been able to definitively connect humans to any transitional form of man or ape past or present. We are and have always been the way God created us ‐ human.

Is it possible that there are other biped, ape‐like species that have not been discovered? Yes absolutely, but I do not think that these theories prove or give us a definitive answer to the question of neanderthals.

In His Grip,
Pastor Jason