Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Bible's Most Mythical Story

Genesis 6:4 “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”

Christians don't all agree on what the Nephilim were. I will make the case that the Nephilim were a mighty race of the half-demon/half-human.

Unless you have something against the idea that at times the Bible is as implausible as a fantasy novel, this is the most natural reading of Genesis. “Sons of God” is contrasted with “daughters of men,” so one group comes from God and the other from men. Also, “sons of God” is also used in Job 1:6 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.” This further established that “sons of God” takes its natural meaning of angels/demons. This alone is enough to make my case.

If you accept the inspiration of the NT, the case is even stronger. The author of the book of Enoch agreed with me in 300-200 BC. Enoch 6:2-3a “And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: 'Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.'”

At first glance, Enoch is irrelevant to Genesis. Enoch is neither contemporary to Genesis nor canonical. However, no less than Tertullian, the man who first articulated the doctrine of the Trinity, accepted this book as canonical. One reason he accepted it is that Jude quotes from Enoch:

Jude 14b-15 “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

Enoch 1:9 “And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones
To execute judgement upon all,
And to destroy all the ungodly:
And to convict all flesh
Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed,
And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

While this is not a full endorsement of Enoch by Jude, it does suggest that Jude had the ideas of Enoch in mind in other parts of his letter, and these ideas should be considered when trying to determine what Jude meant. Jude 6-7 fairly clearly communicates that demons bred with women:

“And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh.”

Looking at the phrase “they in the same way as these indulged” it's clear from context that they = angels and these = Sodom and Gomorrah. Thus, Jude believed demons engaged in some kind of gross sexual sin. As this happened through the abandoning of their proper abode, the best conclusion is that they sinned sexually after leaving heaven and coming down to earth, thus with humans. Especially in light of Jude's connection to Enoch, the conclusion is inescapable. If you accept the Bible as the word of God, you should also believe the Bible's most mythical story.

I would like to pause and savor a few choice implications the Nephilim have upon our understanding of the world:

1. Demons are straight, so we should reconsider Paul's whole being-evil-makes-you-gay line of reasoning.
2. Due to the reproductive compatibility of demons and humans, demons should be referred to as homo sapiens minionus, as they are clearly at least a sub-species of homo sapiens.
3. If we found the right ancient remains, and if Jurassic Park were not so obviously fictitious, we could genetically engineer demons, or at least creatures whose might comes from their demon DNA.
4. Homo sapiens minionus have needs, too.
5. In the throughs of a nasty break-up or divorce, women occasionally wonder if the man for whom she fell is really a demon. This is a possibility that deserves more serious consideration than it typically receives.

The Bible is myth and superstition. Why is this a controversial statement?

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