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Creation of mankind


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#41 Robert Hegwood

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 08:11 PM

I've heard this explanation before and I don't think there is a concensus among the saints that is indeed the correct interpretation. It doesn't make sense to me for two reasons. 1. the children of these unions were supposed to have been giants...or whatever nefelim were supposed to be...something not man or men in any conventional sense. The book of Enoch which is honored as Scripture among the Ethiopian Copts describes these beings in terms much like that of the great giants of Norse mythology...mountain sized creatures. If it was just one tribe of men with a holy tradition mingling with another tribe with a corrupt tradition, then while still spiritually tragic, it does not produce some other kind of being than men, for better or for worse.

2. This type of thing is supposed to have happened twice, once before and once after the flood. The "sons of God" as descendants of Seth would only be Noah and his family and even when Noah cursed Ham for his indiscretion there was no indication that humanity got suddenly subdivided in the same preflood dicotomies.....Ham and sons were still human as were Noah and the rest, and that lapse of one family into sinful ways does not explain the supposed descendants of this second occasion that we meet in the time of David, namely Goliath and his six brothers...six fingered giants.

The sons of God as children of Seth is certainly an old interpretation and it preexisted the Christian community and was held by certain groups of rabbis...but it raises at least as many questions as it answers, and it never seems to have ever gained much traction either before or after Christ, though it has never been eliminated or discounted either.

Right now I would rather say we don't know exactly who the sons of God were or where they were from than to reach for too fascile or too fantastic an explanation to have all the loose threads neatly bundled up.

#42 Eugenia P.

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 12:41 AM

Thank you for the responses, and please forgive me for my lack of knowledge. Your responses have triggered more questions though, and I beg your patience.

The difference between the lineages of Seth (sons of God) and Cain (daughters of men) is meant. I do not have a Patristic quote handy but this is a very common exegesis.

I notice that in Genesis IV with the birth of Cain, Eve says she has gained a man through God. Of course obviously Cain's murdering his brother occured after this, but the interesting part is that in Genesis V it says that Adam begat a son after his own form, and after his own image, and this of course was Seth. I'm not sure of the implications, especially with the explanation I've quoted. If it's too in-depth to get into here and someone can recommend a book, I'd be open to that. Normally I would just read right through these passages without a second thought, but since I found this thread I thought I could gain some understanding of it all.

#43 M. Partyka

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 02:37 AM

According to the New Testament book of Jude, the "sons of God" were indeed fallen angels who had sired giants by mortal women.

Jude 1:6-8 -- And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities....And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

The words that St. Jude attributes to Enoch come from the apochryphal Book of Enoch (Ethopian translation used here):

Enoch 2:1 -- Behold, he comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done, and committed against him.

It is from this apocryphal Book of Enoch that St. Jude also gets his example of "the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation" whom God "hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day":

Enoch 7:1-3,10-12 -- It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful. And when the angels, the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamoured of them, saying to each other, "Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children."...Then they took wives, each choosing for himself; whom they began to approach, and with whom they cohabited; teaching them sorcery, incantations, and the dividing of roots and trees. And the women conceiving brought forth giants, whose stature was each three hundred cubits.

Enoch 10:6-9,15-16 -- ...the Lord said to Raphael, "Bind Azazyel hand and foot; cast him into darkness; and opening the desert which is in Dudael, cast him in there. Throw upon him hurled and pointed stones, covering him with darkness; there shall he remain for ever; cover his face, that he may not see the light. And in the great day of judgment let him be cast into the fire."...To Michael likewise the Lord said,..."bind them for seventy generations underneath the earth, even to the day of judgment, and of consummation, until the judgment, the effect of which will last for ever, be completed. Then shall they be taken away into the lowest depths of the fire in torments; and in confinement shall they be shut up for ever.

Enoch 12:5-6;15:2 -- Then the Lord said to me: "Enoch, scribe of righteousness, go tell the Watchers of heaven, who have deserted the lofty sky, and their holy everlasting station, who have been polluted with women, and have done as the sons of men do, by taking to themselves wives, and who have been greatly corrupted on the earth....'Wherefore have you forsaken the lofty and holy heaven, which endures for ever, and have lain with women; have defiled yourselves with the daughters of men; have taken to yourselves wives; have acted like the sons of the earth, and have begotten an impious offspring?'"

Taking into account these quotes from the Book of Enoch, and looking back at the quote from St. Jude, note how the crime of the angels and the crime of Sodom and Gomorrah are similar: both the angels and the Sodomites "gave themselves over to fornication" and "went after strange flesh".

#44 Rick James York

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 01:16 AM

MODERATOR'S NOTICE: The following message has been posted by an account engaged in on-line identity fraud. The member 'Rick James York' is identical to members 'Rostislav' and 'John M.' The current post, made before discovery of this fact, is being retained in order to preserve the flow of threads; but readers should be aware of this case of multiple identity.

According to the New Testament book of Jude, the "sons of God" were indeed fallen angels who had sired giants by mortal women.

The words that St. Jude attributes to Enoch come from the apochryphal Book of Enoch (Ethopian translation used here):

It is from this apocryphal Book of Enoch that St. Jude also gets his example of "the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation" whom God "hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day":

Taking into account these quotes from the Book of Enoch, and looking back at the quote from St. Jude, note how the crime of the angels and the crime of Sodom and Gomorrah are similar: both the angels and the Sodomites "gave themselves over to fornication" and "went after strange flesh".

I can only find the quote of St (Jude 1:6-8) in my KJV Bible with Apochrypha. In it there is no book of Enoch, neither in the OT nor in the Apochrypha.

The quote from (Jude 1:6-8) refers to angels in chains. These are fallen angels, demons. But they also have no sons or daughters, childbirth being an impossible feat for them. The beings committing acts of fsexual imorality are the citizens of Sodom and Gomorah who are not angels or demons but only compared to fallen angels in their own fallen state of depravity and said to receive the same condemnation as the "fallen angels".

What version of the Bible did you use that tells of angels committing crimes, committing fornication (without bodies?) and siring giant babies? Giants are mentioned in the Bible for expressing two types of descriptions:

Actual physical giants like Goliath of Gath, his king and his fellow citizens.

And the word "giant" used figuratively as in "He was a giant to his people." Such as men of renoun who were called "great" and "giants". A giant of medicine, art, politics, education etc.

Angels, even fallen ones, cannot fornicate. Fallen angels (demons) can only participate in fornication by tempting humans to sin and being in contact with their souls so as to enjoy the pleasure through the human body's pleasures that filter into the soul.

Perhaps you have a Bible version which differs extremely from the KJV and the Orthodox version. I am interested in knowing its name.

I think that there must be a misinterpretation of scripture in that version, which is quite common with modern versions of the Bible that had no saints involved in their interpretation of text. Remember, the Septuagint was translated by 70 pious believers who prayed for divine assistance. Miraculously, all seventy translations were identical, word for word. That does not happen today with new versions of the Bible. Errors abound.

See (Luke 20:36) where both angels and children of God are mentioned. They are like angels but not sons of them.

I could not find the phrase "sons of heaven" in any concordance. Sons of God, yes. That is not to say that there does not exist one that has it, but not based on the KJV as far as I can see.

If we look back at post No. 39 in this thread, we can read,

The difference between the lineages of Seth (sons of God) and Cain (daughters of men) is meant. I do not have a Patristic quote handy but this is a very common exegesis.

This quote expresses my understanding of the Jude passage and that of the Orthodox theologians' works I have read.

Because Seth remained faithful and was the son of Adam who was also called the son of God (Luk. 3:38) whereas Cain was not faithful but the first physical murderer of all time. He was considered the son of man's fallen state even though Seth was also born after the fall but retained a faithfulness to God's will and obeyed Adam, his father. Hence, Cain, the son of man.

My KJV Apochrypha does not contain the quotes you posted nor a book of Enoch. There were many candidate books for the Bible's inclusion. Many were falsely attributed to Apostles other than those already included as evangelists and Epistle authors. Some attributed to St mary Magdalene and Judas Ischariot. But the books of the Apochrypha were considered more likely to be genuine (though not always absolutely accepted as such) yet not included in the Bible for economy of pages and a lessening degree of importance. An economy observed in the NT also as St John the beloved of Christ stated, (John 21:25).


Towards the Resurection day of our Lord, James

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#45 Father David Moser

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 02:28 AM

My KJV Apochrypha does not contain the quotes you posted nor a book of Enoch.


The book of Enoch is a relatively well known and easily obtained book. It is part of the pseudopigrapha (not part of the "deuterocanonical" books that make up what we frequently refer to as the "apocrypha" and which are actually the difference between the Masoretic and Septuagint texts). Here is a quote that describes the origin of the pseudopigraphal books.

For centuries among the Jews writers sought to shelter themselves behind the names of the great dead. In this they were guilty of no fraud. They imagined what Solomon or Enoch would say, or sing, upon a particular theme under given circumstances. It was not really they themselves, but their Solomon, their Enoch, Solomon or Enoch in them, who utter the new prophesies or temple praises.

Thus arose that body of literature, called by modern scholars, "Pseudopigrapha," that is, writings erroneously, unhistorically, and yet sincerely, ascribed to heroic figures ...

taken from the introduction to The Forgotten Books of Eden


These pseudopigraphal writings served in a way as scripture commentaries or as a way of giving voice to the various ideals brought to life by the reading of the scripture. These writings were just as integral to the societal and religious structure of the Jews in the time of Christ as the actual scriptures themselves. If you want to read these books, the above cited volume is fairly easily obtained (at least it used to be). I have had a couple of copies over the years and have seen it in various used book stores as well as some of the larger book sellers.

Fr David Moser

#46 Rick James York

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 02:40 AM

MODERATOR'S NOTICE: The following message has been posted by an account engaged in on-line identity fraud. The member 'Rick James York' is identical to members 'Rostislav' and 'John M.' The current post, made before discovery of this fact, is being retained in order to preserve the flow of threads; but readers should be aware of this case of multiple identity.

The book of Enoch is a relatively well known and easily obtained book. It is part of the pseudopigrapha (not part of the "deuterocanonical" books that make up what we frequently refer to as the "apocrypha" and which are actually the difference between the Masoretic and Septuagint texts). Here is a quote that describes the origin of the pseudopigraphal books.



These pseudopigraphal writings served in a way as scripture commentaries or as a way of giving voice to the various ideals brought to life by the reading of the scripture. These writings were just as integral to the societal and religious structure of the Jews in the time of Christ as the actual scriptures themselves. If you want to read these books, the above cited volume is fairly easily obtained (at least it used to be). I have had a couple of copies over the years and have seen it in various used book stores as well as some of the larger book sellers.

Fr David Moser

Thank Fr David, for this speedy reply to my request.

I will search the web for passages from this reference of interest you have given to me and the forum. It is my good fortune that both you and Mr. Partyka have a similar reading list.

In Christ the Provider, James

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#47 Rick James York

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 02:52 AM

MODERATOR'S NOTICE: The following message has been posted by an account engaged in on-line identity fraud. The member 'Rick James York' is identical to members 'Rostislav' and 'John M.' The current post, made before discovery of this fact, is being retained in order to preserve the flow of threads; but readers should be aware of this case of multiple identity.

Thank Fr David, for this speedy reply to my request.

I will search the web for passages from this reference of interest you have given to me and the forum. It is my good fortune that both you and Mr. Partyka have a similar reading list.

In Christ the Provider, James

Greetings to all.

I have just performed a quick Google search and this is a popular website which has the url below.

http://instructor.pr...p/NonCanon.html

For those interested, it gives a concise overview of the good and bad in these books. Once again thanks to M. Partyka/Fr. David Moser.

James

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#48 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 12:30 AM

The book of Enoch is of course very well known to anyone who reads the early fathers seriously, since it was known to many of them, and they read it and many quoted from it, and offered points of commentary drawn from it. Its comments on the angelic rebellion in particlar, form part of the commentaries of many fathers.

I would caution againts reacting in an empassioned way about aspects of a subject with which one is not familiar.

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#49 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 12:35 AM

As to the specific question that has been asked above, regarding angels fornicating with humans and producing 'giants' as the offspring of these illicit unions (nephalim) -- though I cannot quite tell if the question was posed in a genuine desire to learn, or simply as an argumentative challenge -- this view is explicitly stated by, for example, St Irenaios.

#50 Kosta

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 03:06 AM

Many see a reference to cavemen and other neanderthals in the quote about the Nephilim, "...the same became mighty men, which were of old, men of renown." (Gen 6.4).

While all men are descended from Adam and Eve, there is a 'bottleneck' within human creation. All men are descended after the flood thru the lineage of Noahs sons'.

Its unlikely , pretty much impossible, that the sons of God were angels who basically fell in love with human women.
First off, angels cannot incarnate into flesh, They only 'appear' to take on various forms.
Secondly even if they could take on human features there offspring would not be able to procreate, as scripture says, the coupling of animated life forms are "after their own kind"(gen 6.20, 7.14). Likewise when you mate a donkey with a horse , the mule can no longer procreate.
Thirdly Christ said, "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven." This contradicts Gen 6.2 if one interprets the sons of God as angels marrying human women. One would even have to conclude that all men were not descended from Adam but are hybrids from spiritual beings.

The most logical conclusion is that either they were the the descendants of Seth mating with the offspring of Cain.
Or the sons of God, are a reference to a primitive royal lineage of kings and princes (in ancient times royal persons were considered either as gods or anointed by them) who took as many wives as they wanted, introducing polygamy and bearing many illegitimate children which lead to extreme poverty among these bastard offspring.

#51 Rick James York

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 07:04 AM

MODERATOR'S NOTICE: The following message has been posted by an account engaged in on-line identity fraud. The member 'Rick James York' is identical to members 'Rostislav' and 'John M.' The current post, made before discovery of this fact, is being retained in order to preserve the flow of threads; but readers should be aware of this case of multiple identity.

As to the specific question that has been asked above, regarding angels fornicating with humans and producing 'giants' as the offspring of these illicit unions (nephalim) -- though I cannot quite tell if the question was posed in a genuine desire to learn, or simply as an argumentative challenge -- this view is explicitly stated by, for example, St Irenaios.

The question -"What version of the Bible did you use that tells of angels committing crimes, committing fornication (without bodies?) and siring giant babies?" was posed regarding post 43. Fr David already answered it.

I would like to say, however, that the Holy Spirit is the best guide for spiritual reading. He guides those who love Him to the books written according to His will.

Remember the head demon who described his tactics to the abbot succeeder of St Paisius Velichkovsy? He said, "I write books too. Why don't they read my books?"

By the way, Kosta. I like your post. No less than 4 Biblical quotes help get the spiritual message across very well.

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#52 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 01:31 PM

Dear Kosta and others,

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I agree with your sentiments: talk of angels consorting with humans challenges the incarnational notion of human existence, and indeed (in addition to the points you raised) presents great troubles in Christological confession - in engaging with the unique mystery of the becoming-human of the eternal Son. It has clearly never been the widespread teaching of the Church. However, it is interesting to note that a number of the fathers do speak expressly about it, particularly in the earlier period, which shows the dynamic of interpretation of this mysterious passage in the scriptures. Partly because the book of Enoch (together with a few others) were in widespread circulation, and for a great deal of time held of high authority by most of the Church, its speculations on various aspects of cosmic beginnings formed part of the scriptural matrix of the early fathers. Response to some of these views formed part of the refinements of the fifth-seventh centuries.

INXC, Dcn Matthew




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