"And the earth was without form, and void: and darkness moved upon the face of the deep" (Genesis 1:2).
In verse two of the Book of Genesis, we are given by God details about the early moments of creation. The earth that had been created is now described. God says that it was without form, and void. The Hebrew words here are "tohuw" and "bohuwand" and Strong's Greek and Hebrew Dictionary gives several concepts for the definition. It denotes the idea of a worthless thing, an empty place, confusion, a desolation, to lie waste, and an indistinguishable ruin. The King James translation of something without form and empty is a good and accurate rendering of the original words from everything I can read.
The reason that this is such an important point is the fact that this is a verse where some in the world and even in the church turn to support their ideas. They go here to provide time for events that the scientific community says had to happen for the earth to form. When one looks at the earth, it appears to be old. It is said coal takes millions of years to form; the fossils of fish, plants, dinosaurs and other life forms make it look like the earth is of vast age. These facts and others are interpretated as being proof of a vast age for the earth. There are some who want to believe that the Bible account is true and that God did create the world, but they also do not want to disagree with the scientific opinions popular today. So, they go to the Bible and try to find a possible place to have these events occur.
It is felt that in verse one the earth described here is a fully functional one with plants, animals and natural processes occurring that were to prepare the world for man's habitation. Those who hold this view believe that a great undetermined period of time passed, millions if not even billions of years before verse two occurs. It is here that those who hold this view must take liberties with the original words, for they need to have the word "was" in verse two to be "became." They need the world to be destroyed in some fashion, which causes the need for a re-creation. This they say allows time for gas, oil and coal formation, the formation of fossils and the reign of dinosaurs among other things. This is just speculation on the part of those who hold this view and a desire to bend the inspired Word of God to the interpretations and opinions of worldly scientists.
If we carefully read Genesis verses one and two, we can see that there does not appear to be any amount of time that passes. It reads as if the events of verse one happen and then immediately more details are given of the need to fashion and form an unfinished product in verse two. The final phrase in that verse gives more clues to that original earth: and darkness was upon the face of the deep. The early earth of verses one and two of Genesis was not a place where the animals and plants that God created could exist, so he continued to mold and shape the earth for our use. It was a dark, formless structure void of anything other that the most fundamental of frameworks and God proceeds to make those changes to it all in day one of the creation week! We cannot add millions and billions of years to the inspired Scripture by playing word games with the passages in Genesis 1:1-2!