Gap Theory. The view by some commentators that there is an enormous gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. According to the theory, God created an original earth perhaps billions of years ago, but some great Divine cataclysm left the earth dark and covered with water. This was a judgment brought by God on the original earth because Satan and other angels fell and ruined the earth. Some proponents of the Gap Theory hold that a pre-Adamic race of humans existed on this initial earth. The earth's strata, the so-called "geologic ages," and the fossil record can be attributed to this gap. Thomas Chalmers, a Scottish theologian, revived this unfortunate theory in the early nineteenth century. Since he promoted it in 1814 and Darwin's Origin of Species first appeared in 1859, his purpose was to harmonize Scripture. The original Scofield Reference Bible, edited by C. I. Scofield, and published initially in 1909, and revised in 1917, however, unquestionably was trying to harmonize the Bible with the dogma of evolutionary science. Sadly, the Scofield Bible widely popularized this theory. Referring to the word "created" in Genesis 1:1, Note 2 in The Scofield Bible (1945 edition) states, "The first creative act refers to the dateless past, and gives scope for all the geologic ages." Commenting on the phrase "without form" in Genesis 1:2, Note 3 reads in its entirety as follows:
Jer. 4:23-26, Isa. 24:1 and 45:18 clearly indicate that the earth had undergone a cataclysmic change as the result of a divine judgment. The face of the earth bears everywhere the marks of such a catastrophe. There are not wanting intimations which connect it with a previous testing and fall of angels. See Ezek. 28:12-15 and Isa. 14:9-14, which certainly go beyond the kings of Tyre and Babylon.
Commenting on the phrase, "Let the earth bring forth grass" in Genesis 1:11, the Scofield Reference Bible Note 3 reads as follows:
It is by no means necessary to suppose that the life-germ of seeds perished in the catastrophic judgment which overthrew the primitive order. With the restoration of dry land and light the earth would "bring forth" as described. It was animal life which perished, the traces of which remain as fossils. Relegate fossils to the primitive creation, and no conflict of science with the Genesis cosmogony remains.
The New Scofield Reference Bible (copyright 1967) toned down the blatant accommodations with twentieth century evolution, but the seeds of the Gap Theory still exist in the notes. But the damage had already been done. Many otherwise sound Bible Colleges had spread the doctrine as truth.
Evaluation of the Gap Theory:
The Gap Theory demands that the Hebrew word "was" (hayata) in Gen. 1:2 be translated "became." This is lexically permissible, but not grammatically preferable in this context because the initial clause of Gen. 1:2 begins in Hebrew with a waw disjunctive, not a waw consecutive (Constable, p. 12).
There is no explicit information anywhere in Scripture that a pre-Adamic original creation of the earth in the dateless past ever existed. This is merely a theory which lacks solid evidence.
How can a world which has been ruined by Satan, filled with fossils of animals and man in any sense be called good? (See Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31).
The Scriptures explicitly state that by one man, not by one angel, sin entered the world and death by sin. That one man is Adam (Romans 5:12).
The doctrine of evolution is merely a theory, not an established fact. Evolution is an interpretation of the facts of science. The facts of science support special creation by the Creator, not a mindless, purposeless, accidental combination of molecules precipitated by a cosmic explosion. Explosions destroy. They never create. For more information about an accurate, Creationist view of origins, see How did our universe get here?
Genitive Case. In Koine Greek, in general terms the form of the noun (or adjective) that indicates possession. To give greater detail, the Genitive qualifies or limits another noun by showing its "kind" or "class." For example, Mark 14:47 speaks of "the slave of the high priest." The two Greek words "the" and "high priest" both appear in the Genitive case, indicating which slave -- the one that belongs to the high priest. (See Corey Keating's "Shorter Definition of Greek Nouns.")
More technically, there exists an "Attributive Genitive," in which the Genitive describes the head noun. An example is in Luke 18:6, which speaks literally of "the judge of the unrighteousness," and is translated, "the unrighteous judge," i.e., the judge characterized by unrighteousness. (In my view the classification Descriptive Genitive is essentially an Attributive Genitive.) We have already mentioned the "Possessive Genitive," showing ownership. See Heb. 11:25, "the people of God." There is a "Partitive Genitive," which designates the whole of which the head noun is the part (Rom. 15:26, "the poor among the saints"). There is a "Genitive of Apposition," in which the noun in the Genitive case refers to the same thing as the head noun (Rom. 4:11, "sign of circumcision," i.e., the sign which consists of circumcision).
There also exists a classification of Genitive with Nouns of Action. (1) Subjective Genitive, in which the noun in the genitive functions as the subject of another noun in tandem that carries a verbal idea. For example, to what does the "love of Christ" refer (Rom. 8:35)? Is it our love for Christ? (This would be an Objective Genitive.) Or is it speaking of Christ's love for us? (This would be a Subjective Genitive. Obviously, in the context (which is the determiner, Paul was speaking of Christ's love for us. This is a Subjective Genitive.
(2) Objective Genitive, in which the noun in the genitive case functions as the object of another noun in tandem which carries a verbal idea. For example, in Matt. 12:31, Jesus warned that the "blasphemy against the Spirit" (literally, "blasphemy of the Spirit" will not be forgiven. Was Jesus speaking of the Holy Spirit committing the blasphemy? (That would be a Subjective Genitive.) The idea is abhorrent. Obviously Jesus was speaking of a human committing blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. So the Greek word "Spirit," occurring in the Genitive case, is clearly an Objective Genitive.
(3) Plenary Genitive, in which a genitive with an action noun is both Subjective Genitive and Objective Genitive. It is possible that deliberate ambiguity is being conveyed. For example Paul stated in 2 Cor. 5:14 that "the love of Christ controls us." Did He mean Christ's love for us? Or did he mean our love for Christ? Why not both ideas?
(For a more detailed description, see Corey Keating's Summary .pdf. He is citing Daniel B. Wallace's "Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics".)
Gentiles. Non-Jewish nations of the world. In Hebrew the word is goy (1471) (singular) or goyim (1471) (plural). In Greek it is ethnos (1484) (singular) or ethnoi (1484) (plural). In both cases the word means "nation" or "nations." The term "Gentile" was borrowed from the Latin Vulgate translation. The KJV will more often use the word "Gentile(s)" than the NASB. The NASB seems to employ the term "Gentiles" when the article "the" appears in front of the noun (as in "the Gentiles"). When there is no article NASB seems more inclined to use the word "nation" or "nations." Usage, of course, is governed by contextt.
Israelis generally looked down upon the nations (or Gentiles) of the world. This was so because Israel rightly understood that God had chosen their nation out of all the nations of the world to be His very own, special people (Ex. 19:1-5). However, at Israel's founding as a nation, God explained that they were to be a kingdom of priests who were to draw the nations of the earth to the One true God (Ex. 19:6). In what might, to some, seem as contradictory revelation, Israelis were commanded to engage in ethnic cleansing when they conquered the land of Canaan (Gen. 15:18-21; Deut. 7:1-6; Num. 31:1-18). This was commanded to protect the Israelis from the idolatrous worship of the pagan Canaanites. But Israel tended to ignore their Divine design to be magnets for God (John 4:9; 18:28; Acts 10:28; Gal. 2:12).
Yet it was always God's plan to reach the nations of the world for Himself. From the beginning of God's relationship with Abram, He promised He would bless the nations of the world through Abram (Gen. 12:1-3). The book of Ruth demonstrates God's mercy on a Gentile Moabitess, drawing her to Himself. The book of Jonah reveals God's missionary heart to reach the Ninevites, who would eventually conquer Israel in 722 BC. God sent His only-begotten Son to die for the sins of the entire world, whom He loved (John 3:16). Our future home as believers in the Church age is New Jerusalem, the eternal capital city of redeemed Israel and the Church (Rev. 21:9-14). But redeemed Gentiles will inhabit New Earth, bringing their wealth and glory into the capital city (Rev. 21:23-27; 22:1-2).
Glorification. The state of sinless immortality promised to all those who place their faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:16-17, 18-23, 29-30). Believers in Jesus are promised forgiveness of sin and eternal life (Acts 13:38-39; John 3:16). They are promised a resurrection from the dead (John 11:23-27) with a body, soul, and spirit utterly devoid of sin and its degenerating effect of death (1 Cor. 15:50-55; Rev. 21:4; 22:3). Glorified bodies will be immortal, no longer able to sin nor subject to decay (1 Cor. 15:50-58; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). God will wipe all tears away (Rev. 21:4), and glorified mankind will exist eternally on the New Earth with access to New Jerusalem and eternal fellowship with God and Christ (Rev. 21:1-22:5).
Gloss. An addition to the original text of the manuscript. The word "gloss" appears to be related to our English word "glossary," which seeks to provide a fuller explanation of a word or term. In the NT copyists would sometimes add explanations to the text of the NT. Instead of making the notations in the margins they would actually incorporate them into the Biblical text itself. The reasons for these glosses are three-fold: (1) Copyists embedded marginal notes into the actual text of the NT. (2) They have supplemented the words of a gospel writer by adding the words of a parallel gospel passage. (3) They have completed the gospel writer's quotations of an OT writer. (These three reasons are sourced from here.) It is the task of a textual critic to determine the original text of (in this case) the New Testament.
Gnosticism: A heretical belief in superior knowledge. Gnosticism is an extra-biblical heresy that is supported only by non-canonical (non-authoritative) pseudo gospels. Gnosticism believes that the ultimate God is good and perfect, but unknowable. A lesser deity created the universe, but botched the job. The world we live in is filled with pain and misery. But this lesser god accidentally imbued man with the "spark" of the true God. So man is basically good, but trapped in an imperfect body. Indeed, all matter is evil. The Gnostic Jesus proclaims a message of self-redemption. He needs to examine his inner "spark" and find the knowledge to reach the true God and free himself from his material body. Gnostic writings include the spurious gospels of Thomas, Mary, Philip, and others. For articles from a trustworthy Christian source, see What is the Nag Hammadi Library? (NHL) and What is the definition of the term Gnostic? See also "What is the Gospel of Philip?"; "What is the Gospel of Thomas?"; "What is the Gospel of Judas?" (not found in the NHL); and "What is the Gospel of Mary (Magdalene)?" (also not part of the NHL). A quick sketch of the Nag Hammadi Library from a quasi-academic, secular view point can be found in Wikipedia.
God the Father. The First Person of the Divine Trinity, or Tri-Unity. God is the most complex being in the entire universe, He having created the universe and everything in it. The Scriptures reveal that God is One; yet He exists in three persons – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Son of God has eternally existed as the Divine Logos, or Word of God (John 1:1-3). God the Father had no wife or consort, and there was never a time when the Triune God did not exist as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, nor will there ever. Jesus repeatedly called God His Father. In the Jewish understanding, a son partakes of the same essence as his father. So Jesus partakes of the same essence as His Father. Just as God the Father is totally God, so His Son is totally God. There is emphatically only ONE GOD (Deut. 6:4). Yet that God, complex as He is, eternally exists in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:16-17; 28:19; Luke 3:21-22; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Pet. 1:2). See an index to a more extensive discussion of God. See a more extensive discussion of the Trinity.
Gomorrah. A city existing in the lifetime of Abraham forever linked with the vile city of Sodom (Gen. 13:10; 18:20; 19:24; Deut. 29:23; 32:32; Isa. 1:9, 10; 13:19; Jer. 23:14; 49:18; 50:40; Amos 4:11; Zeph. 2:9; Matt. 10:15; Rom. 9:29; 2 Pet. 2:6; Jude 1:7).. Both cities were targets of the fiery judgment of God (Gen. 19:24), and serve to remind us of the horrible fate of the the wicked, those whose names are not found in the book of life (2 Pet. 2:6; Jude 1:7; Rev. 20:11-15). According to archaeologist Bryant G. Wood, Gomorrah is most likely to be identified with the site of Numeira. Note the layer of ash at the site of Numeira.
Gospel. Good news. Specifically, the good news of the Bible, in many cases in the NT, is that God has purchased man’s redemption from slavery to sin and death by means of the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus the Messiah. Forgiveness and eternal life are offered to all, but accessed only by faith in Jesus.
The Greek noun usually translated "gospel" is euanggélion (2098). It would have been better if all instances of the noun had been translated, simply, "good news", as the NASB has so translated in Rom. 10:16. As it is, the word "gospel" is theological jargon that mystifies most Christians. The English verb "evangelize" comes across untranslated from the Greek verb euaggelídzō (2097), and means, literally, "to good-newsicize" about Jesus to others. "Announce the good news" would have been a better translation than "preach the gospel," as it is often translated in the NASB. A couple of good translations include Acts 8:12; 13:32. The content of the gospel is spelled out most clearly in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8. There, Paul detailed (1) that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; (2) that He was buried; (3) that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures; (4) and that he afterward appeared to many different people, including Paul himself.
Some specific references to the "gospel" in the NT: (1) Jesus repeatedly preached "the gospel of the kingdom" (Matt. 4:23; 9:35). He predicted that "the gospel of the kingdom" will be preached in the whole world (Matt. 26:13; 24:14). "The good news of the kingdom" (my translation) necessarily includes that Jesus is the ultimate King. One must have faith in Jesus as the King and submit to Him as the King. He must live as Jesus specified in Matt. 5:3-12. His kingdom originates from the heavens (Matt. 3:2; 4:17), not from the Earth. He will not begin His kingdom until He returns to earth. His kingdom will be world-wide (Isa. 11:9; Zech. 14:9), and will be characterized by peace and tranquility (Isa. 2:1-4). (2) Mark spoke of "the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God" (Mark 1:1; see also Rom. 1:9). (3) He stated that Jesus came preaching "the gospel of God" (Mark 1:14; see also Rom. 1:1). Subsequently, he referred simply to "the gospel" (Mark 1:15; 8:35; 10:29). (4) At other times in the NT, the following descriptions accompany "the gospel" – "the gospel of God" (e.g., Mark 1:14; Rom. 1:1); "the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24; Rom. 15:16); "the gospel of His Son" (Rom. 1:9); "the gospel of Christ" (e.g., Rom. 15:19; 1 Cor. 9:12); "the gospel of your salvation" (Eph. 1:13); "the gospel of peace" (Eph. 6:15). (5) In the future Tribulation an angel flying in midheaven will announce "an eternal gospel" (Rev. 14:6). (6) There will be a terrible penalty for failing to obey the gospel (1 Pet. 4:17).
See also "A Chart of the NASB Translations of the Term 'Gospel'".
Gospels. The four books of the New Testament that describe the Good News about Jesus – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These books are not really biographies, since they omit so many details of Jesus’ life. As a group, they focus on the birth, the ministry, and the death and resurrection of Jesus. The three gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are frequently identified as the "Synoptic" Gospels, because they share a similar view of Jesus. The word "synoptic" means, "see together." For example, "Nearly 90% of Mark's content is found in Matthew, and about 50% of Mark appears in Luke." On the other hand, John is the most distinct of the four gospels. 92% of the material found in John is unique to that gospel.
Grace. Unmerited favor. Grace is the extension of favor and blessing upon those who do not deserve it. A central passage on God’s grace is Ephesians 2:8-10. God extended His grace to all mankind by sending His righteous Son to become man, live a sinless life, and die a substitutionary, sacrificial death for the sins of all mankind. God was not obligated to do so. His magnanimous effort was motivated by His great love. God has further extended His grace to all mankind by offering to pardon them for their sins if they will but place their confidence and trust in His Son. The decision is left to each person as to whether he will accept this extension of God’s grace. The default position of each person is rejection. That is, if one does not positively accept God’s grace, by default he has rejected it (John 3:18). It is my urgent plea to each human being to accept God’s grace. There is no other means of salvation from God’s awful wrath against man’s sinful rebellion against Himself and His standards (Acts 4:12).
Great White Throne Judgment. The place of final judgment for the wicked dead of all ages. The Great White Throne Judgment is reserved for all those who take part in the second resurrection, a resurrection to eternal, conscious death and damnation. This judgment will take place after the destruction of the existing heavens and earth. All the wicked dead will be resurrected to appear at this judgment. The judge is none other than Jesus Christ, the Judge of all men. The dead will be judged according to their works. Those whose works are more evil will evidently be sentenced to more severe punishment. Those whose names are not found written in the Book of Life, apparently all of them, will be cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone. There they will suffer eternal torment apart from the presence of God and all that is good (Rev. 20:11-15). See a more extensive discussion of the Great White Throne Judgment.