Battle over the Nephilim

"Seemingly out of nowhere, the expression 'giants on the earth' crops up in Genesis 6:4. Who were these giants? Where did they come from? Interpreters have debated their identity for nearly two thousand years." - AiG

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JD Miller's picture

I take a variation of the Sethite/Cainite view.  I do not think it is helpful to suggest that those following God were descended from Seth and those who were not were descended from Cain.  Cain may have had faithful descendants and Seth my have had descendants that rejected God.  Just look at the kings of Judah.  Also look to Ezekiel 18 and how the sons are not judged for the sins of the fathers nor can they lean on their father's righteousness.  I believe it is simpler to just suggest that the sons of God are believers and the daughters of men are unbelievers and when a believer marries an unbeliever it has an effect on the offspring and soon we have a world filled with unbelievers- especially when many of those unbelievers are large and powerful and thus have a lot of influence (giants).

TylerR's picture

Editor

The whole thing is stupid. People have a drive to fixate on foolish and outlandish ideas. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

T Howard's picture

I'm constantly amazed when Christians think they're getting into the "deeper things" of Scripture by reading and studying this stuff.

I actually had one couple in my life group complain that we were spending too much time learning how to apply Scripture and needed to spend more time in life group getting into the "deeper things" of Scripture like end times prophecy and similar silliness as Pitterson's book.

TylerR's picture

Editor

Why don't Christians (not scholars) ever get obsessed with the doctrine of God, or the Christological controversies, and self-publish books about those topics? That's worth getting obsessed over!

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Darrell Post's picture

The study of end times is silly? Go back and read the New Testament cover to cover and mark with a yellow highlighter every time the text mentions Christ's appearing, the end of the age, coming judgment, Christ's return, the promise of the future hope, and any such verse that calls the reader's attention to what lies ahead for the redeemed as well as for the condemned. You will find that a good chunk of the New Testament is silly and that New Testament era believers were silly for living their Christian lives from an eschatological perspective. 

I don't think its an either/or. You can spend time applying Scripture and you can spend time studying Scripture. 

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

While I would hardly find study of eschatology silly, it does seem that many "Bible" studies of the end times that descend into trying to match up every description, symbol, and event in Daniel and Revelation to a particular thing, incident, date, etc. can certainly get into silliness rather quickly.

Since the Nephilim were mentioned in scripture, then by 2 Tim. 3:16-17, they're clearly no more unprofitable than genealogies or other things scripture mentions, but it should be obvious that they are not a topic to be "battled over" any more than those "baptized for the dead" in Corinthians.  Personally, I would only find a really in-depth study focusing on the Nephilim as a major topic to be warranted if Jesus had said something like "find and understand the Nephilim to better understand your salvation."

Dave Barnhart

G. N. Barkman's picture

In 1973, I was invited to candidate as pastor of an Independent Baptist Church in a small Arizona town.  I flew out from SC, and spent a week getting acquainted with the situation.  It turned out that there was a second Independent Baptist Church in the same town, the result of a split from the first church.  It seems that the former pastor and the teacher of the adult SS class had heatedly disagreed about the interpretation of sons of God in Genesis 6:4.  The result was that there was now, in essence, the "Fallen Angels Baptist Church," and the "Sons of Seth Baptist Church."  Although a call was extended, somehow, I didn't feel led to accept.

G. N. Barkman

JD Miller's picture

For those of you who are teachers of God's word, I sure hope you do not respond to people who have questions with the response, "well that was stupid silly to ask about."  The response of, "I don't know is much more acceptable."  Obviously there are things we will never know, but there are also things we can study and find answers concerning.  My job as a pastor is to study so I am better equipped to answer questions even if I am not able to answer them all.  In doing that, I want to be careful not to spend too much time on less meaty issues.  As far as the issue of the baptism for the dead, that is an important issue to study, since it has led to some heretical interpretations.

 1Co 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

  The answer to this verse is quite simple once we look at the context of I Cor. 15.  The chapter starts out with testimony about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and continues with the importance of the resurrection- both of Christ and of believers.  Paul even points out that if Christ had not raised from the dead, then our faith is in vain.  The point is that the resurrection of the dead is a vital part of our faith.  Verse 29 fits perfectly into this context.  He is saying that it makes no sense to be baptized for Christ if Christ is still dead.  It fits perfectly with his pointed statement in verses 13-14

1Co 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
 (KJV)

 

T Howard's picture

Darrell Post wrote:
The study of end times is silly?

Not at all. But, when you approach the study already convinced that the "Left Behind" series = biblical truth, the study gets silly real quick. I don't find trying to flush out the nitty gritty details in a group setting all that profitable, because like a study on the nephilim, a lot of time is spent on conjecture (i.e. trying to match up every description, symbol, and event in Daniel and Revelation to a particular thing, incident, date, etc.) and very little on the actual text of Scripture.

Darrell Post's picture

T. Howard, Ok, so what you are saying is a misguided Bible study or a poorly done Bible study should be avoided, but a well-done study of end times prophecy is appropriate.

Just because some have abused the study of Biblical prophecy does not mean it should be avoided any more than just because some have abused Christology, it does not mean we should avoid Christology.