Sunday, June 22, 2008

Greg Boyd writes some more about the Nephilim

Greg Boyd (my favorite Open Theist) wrote some more posts on the subject of the Nephilim:

Yahweh's War against the Nephilim

Heiser clarifies misunderstandings in my review

Boyd and Heiser dialogue on the Nephilim question


pecheur said...

How funny! Greg Boyd is my favorite Open Theist too.

Celestial Fundie said...

Do you agree with Open Theism?

I am currently writing a multi-post synopsis of Boyd's 'God at War' on Unashamed of Grace.

Thanks for visiting.

Teresita said...

Some say the "Sons of God" who had sexual intercourse with the "daughters of men" in Genesis 6 were angels, or demons. But loyal angels would never have sex with women, and fallen angels would never be called sons of God. Besides, angels are spirits, and they only obtain bodies for specific tasks, such as wrestling with Jacob. So we must conclude the "Sons of God" were merely the line of Seth, who pre-figured the Hebrews, who in turn pre-figured the Church. They preserved a reverence and awe of Yahweh and the ordinances of worship inaugurated by Abel. The "daughters of men" referred to everyone else, who had long been estranged from God and knew him not. When the Sons of God knew the daughters of men, this was simply members of the clan of Seth marrying outside of their clan and forsaking the original religion, producing the "Nephilim" who represented the unholy product of that union. This process continued until only Methuselah, Noah, and Noah's immediate family remained faithful among the Sons of God. Upon the death of Methuselah, God sent the flood, but saved eight persons, including Shem, whose line produced Abram. We can trace a continuous, blessed remnant from Adam to Christ.

Celestial Fundie said...

Teresita, thanks for commenting.

The Sethite view of the Sons of God has been popular historically among both Catholic and Protestant commentators. However, it has some severed difficulties, which I won't go into here. Greg Boyd raises some of them in his book 'God at War.' The Sethite view tends to find little favour with modern Old Testament scholars.

There are a couple of points I will make here.

"and fallen angels would never be called sons of God."

No? But you are saying that Sethites who forsook the original religion are being called Sons of God.

I don't think the angels in question had rebelled prior to this period with Satan. I think it is more natural to view their rebellion as beginning in Genesis 6.

"angels are spirits, and they only obtain bodies for specific tasks, such as wrestling with Jacob."

I disagree with your conclusion that angels do not have bodies.

The Early Church Fathers for the most part viewed angels as having ethereal bodies, a view that lost favour in the middle ages, when the Thomistic view of angels as bodiless spirits came to be dominant.

Your answer actually presupposes that angels do have bodies in order to perform specific tasks.

But why suppose these bodies are only assumed temporarily?

The idea of a being have a body sometimes and at other times not posessing a body is very strange. Where does the 'temporary body' come from?

It is true that angels are referred to as spirits. However, the word spirit has many different meanings in Scripture. In 1 Cor 15:45 the word spirit is applied to the risen Christ.

God Bless


Fish Gate Wailer said...

To Teresita: The beney elohim or "Sons of God" is a referent to all celestial beings that make up the divine council in the Scriptures. They are also referred to as "gods" several times throughout the scriptures as well.

Also, the term "sons of God" is never given to descendants of Seth.

So, while you might see a non-sequitur in having fallen celestial beings called "sons of God" - nevertheless - they are called by this name.

The Sethite view does not hold water at all. Does Genesis 4 every say that the only people who called on God's name were descendants of Seth?

Does any text say that Seth's offspring were somehow more "spiritual" than the rest of humanity?

If the intimacy spoken of in Genesis 6 is from human beings, then why did it produce giants?

Why doesn't the text simply call the women "daughters of Cain?"

The passage in Hebrew should read in English like this: When humankind began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw the daughters of humankind, that they were appealing...

The last point on this is that the text says that even after the flood there were giants on the earth. But we know that the sons of Seth don't survive the Flood - which also speaks to their "spiritual" pedigree or lack thereof as well. "Every intention of the thoughts of their hearts were only wicked continually..." - that does not bode well for the Sethite view. Noah is contrasted in the text by having God's favor.

Don't forget that you have to contend with 2 Peter 2 and is reference to this event in Genesis 6 - along with Jude 5-7.

I think you can lay the Sethite view to rest now.

I think our culture forces us to look for some alternative rather than accept the supernatural conclusion of Gen. 6.

Greg and Mike (Heiser) are simply trying to articulate to any reader that there really aren't any other options here. We have divine beings producing offspring through human women and the offspring are called "giants."

Celestial Fundie said...

Fish Gate, thanks for visiting.

I agree with you.