More on Early Genesis; Now We’re Getting Somewhere

The sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive… Genesis 6

Pauljrsdad and I have been commenting back and forth at an earlier post of mine called “The Day God Created Man: or Don’t Shoot the Messenger“, or is it “Questioning Faith”? This is great since that’s the reason I posted those and kept them short in the first place.  The whole reason for posting information like that is to generate discussion.  That’s the internet and blogging at its best, that fee flow of information and opinion.

So, pauljsdad and I have zeroed in on a particular topic.  It concerns the “sons of God” that are mentioned in Genesis 6… It’s his contention that this is a reference to Lucifer and his fallen angels who, having been cast out of heaven came to earth and corrupted humankind.

He quoted Jude 6:  “6 And the angels who 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.”

And followed this up by saying, “These angels gave rise to the giants and were worshiped as gods before the flood.”

I had previously commented that I thought he was referencing that passage and when he did quote it, I mistakenly thought he had produced an obscure paraphrasing of the Gensis passage:

 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.   (Genesis 6:1-4 ESV)

There are, as I see it, a couple textual problems with that.  The first is that, if they are in chnains, how could they have come to earth?  My other issue is that the Gensis text doesn’t say angels (fallen or other wise).  Nor does it mention them or their offspring being worshipped.  I’m doing my best to make a textual argument in all of this.  It’s fringe enough at this point without outside conjecture. The text references “sons of God” and “mighty men of old, men of  renown.”

It’s a common belief in antiquity that gods did this kind of thing all the time.  Read Greek mythology and a biography of Alexander the Great for instance.  And there it is in the Bible.

One of my contentions in these prehistorical chapters of Gensis (pre-flood) is that in the beginning, we have two creation stories, not two creations, mind you, but two distinct stories.  Both of these stories tell us two different things.  The party line is that the first one gives us an outline of creation and then the second one zeroes in on just the first humans.  This is just not so.  If this were so, we would be able to lay the two stories side by side and their events would match up chronologically.  But when we do just that, we find that this is not the case.  Furthermore, if one desires to be faithful to the text and desires to accept its ultimate validity (take it at its word)  one cannot argue that the second story places Adam’s creation on the third day and Eve’s after everything else had been created.  I like to think that Eve was created on the seventh day as God’s finishing touch before He rested. But that’s just me, though it can be argued using my two story argument.

While I’m on the topic of Genesis 6 though, this one paragraph variarion in the narrative seems so out of place that it suggests that it is a remnat of a sepearate story.  What story though?  The initial creation story…  Try it.  Read Chapter 1 and then skip forward to Chapter 6.  It fits together nicely.

This is what I think happened.  As the two great creation stories of the longstanding oral tradition were being compiled into one written text, one story was written and then then next and their endings (at the flood) were tied together.  That’s just complete genius on the compiler’s part.

It does add a wrinkle to earth’s history before the fall.  It suggests that the earth was populated by spiritual beings of some sort as well as human beings.

Questions and comments, as always are welcome and desired.

God Bless,

Christopher

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16 thoughts on “More on Early Genesis; Now We’re Getting Somewhere

  1. lol…..kinda makes things a bit more fun,…as well as “sensible” doesn’t it!!!?????…..

    you had brought up that one “could argue?????”,….good lord,…we could and can argue all day long!!!!!! lol!!!!! and,….we do!!! lol,………..even with a fence post!

    i try to reason through to be able to more easily and “sanely” accept,….you know what i mean?????……it’s much because neglect of these “overlooked” biblical facts,……as pertaining to the scriptures themselves,……that some “christians” (????) turn off atheists and agnostics immediately!!!!…….this is a fact,……it is written right there in he bible in black and white,…..correct?????

    if and when a “christian” denies what is written in the bible, a s a “reason” to argue with an atheist to “convince” him/her to believe what they do….then,…..they “must accept” (to be able to convey) the facts of cromagnon etc,………or,…..an atheist can be the one to point out their denial and neglect……..period…………more soon

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    • Fun? Yea. The implications are huge and theee possibilities are nearly endless since there is an undefined and almost limitless amount of time to speculate with. Pretty exciting. Where’s an author like Robert E Howard or Edgar Rice Boroughs when you need one, right?

      And as far as discussing things with atheists and other nonbelievers..I think you’re absolutely right. Like I said before thinking in this way pretty much does an end run around all that stuff.

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      • you know,….to me,…everything fits,….period. but,…as christians, believers, followers, scientists, construction workers,…or the gardener,….when we don’t take the time to look around for where and how it fits,….then,…by “not doing so”,…it is “impossible” for the one doing the neglecting………..if i stare at the doorbell only,…yet neglect the existence of the door, as well as,…the “doorknob”….then,….i ain’t gonna get it. you see what i mean????

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  2. Going back to my university days I did a course in Biblical Criticism and I seem to remember that multiple authorship in Genesis is one possible explanation for different strands and nuances in the early books of the bible. I think I remember the J strand and the E strand were dominant. Sorry I don’t have time to comment further at the moment because I have to run and catch a plane. However I will follow your blog and will hopefully be able to comment further later on.

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    • Yes. Scholars have long realized that there are different voices within Scripture and all have their origin in the Creator. When we ignore such textual nuances, we miss out on all God is revealing to us in His self revelation, the Bible. That’s what I think anyway.

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        • They also made too much of the historic purposes of the voices which took them away from the purpose of the text. My only point in referencing them at all is to point out that there is precedence and also in response to another commentor.

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          • BTW – I do like that you are wrestling with the difficult portions of the text. I have no problem holding to inerrancy, but that doesn’t mean it is a blind, easy acceptance. It is also why a lifelong study of the Scriptures is so rewarding!

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      • Obviously I am not a Christian so my views on the bible are different and I personally don’t see it as the only or necessarily the best revelation of God. However in essence I agree with the point you are making. When I was at university I was slightly saddened by the fact that my attempts to come to a greater understanding of the bible by studying what scholars had discovered and said were criticised as being anti-Christian. For me the study of biblical literature brings all kinds of new depth and meaning to the text.

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        • Cassie,

          There is nothing antiChristian about asking good and intelligent questions. Only by asking questions is the Truth revealed. In my opinion, any belief that is worth holding on to can withstand the light of honest discourse, whether it is Christian or otherwise. You and anyone else are welcome anytime to drop by and comment or ask questions or even to just say hi. You can even offer dissenting views as well.

          Christopherr

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  3. Man needs his mysteries, yes. But he also needs to realize
    he’s making History while he’s playing this game of hide-and-seek.,
    For he needs to play as well as toil, if he claims to be a free man with a Life.

    It’s the intellect toying with Genesis. But it has doubts concerning the Gospel.
    My heart wood tell me to pay more attention to my emotions
    for only they can feel the truth with all 5 senses.

    God bless you, Christopher!
    Peace and luvz, UT

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