Monday, March 12, 2012

The ‘sons of God’ and ‘daughters of men’, Marriage between (Genesis 6)

(Correspondence between Bro. D. Sudhakar and Sudhakar Mondithoka)

Mail 1 from D. Sudhakar (dsudhakarin@yahoo.com):
Bro. Sudhakar,
I don't know how many talk shows you have done/given on Rakshana TV. I missed them all. Only yesterday I got to see one episode. That was great. However, your take on Nephilim seems to be running against both Scriptural and Apocryphal data. Both Cainite and Sethite views have been demonstrated to be lacking evidence. Sometime ago I emailed to you a question on Gap theory. In reply you said it is unbiblical. I beg to differ with you on both issues, with deference. Both are interrelated. Thank you and hope to see some more shows.


Bye.
D. Sudhakar

My (Sudhakar Mondithoka) Response 1:

Thanks very much dear Sudhakar.

I have done some 10-12 so far (according to my convenience) and we have copies available in HITHA office (DVDs).

We will meet and discuss these things (I only gave a brief answer and I can explain that matter more clearly to you) and the other issue also we can discuss. Please send me what you have in terms of evidence for what you are saying first and then we can meet.

I sent you mails about the courses we are offering at HITHA and I hope you got the info about the recent course on "Biblical Archaeology and Apologetics"!


The Lord bless you.
In the Lord and His Mission,


Sudhakar

Mail 2:

Um…, regarding evidence for Fallen Angels view of the Nephilim origin….. You mean scientific evidence or textual evidence?


For Fallen Angels view there can be no scientific evidence. Because science cannot prove or disprove that an angelic being can embody himself and then have sexual union with human female. It is beyond its purview. Archeological finds of giant skeletal remains could be posited as one evidence for the past existence of giants, which of course proves the biblical statements about giants. But that is not the question. We both agree on this. The question is, could fallen angels embody themselves and did what they did that eventually produced giants?


This requires us to ask some right questions.


First, the text doesn’t say the sons of Seth came into the daughters of Cain. So why read into the text what it doesn’t say? The text clearly says ‘sons of God’ and ‘daughters of men’. The word study on ‘sons of God’ clarifies the conundrum.


This, secondly, brings us to the question: Can the angles procreate? Well, Bro. Sudhakar, your New Testament example of Jesus’ answer to the Sadducees question talks about angles in heaven but not fallen angels that rebelled and fell. Who can tell what havoc fallen angels and Satan can (are capable of) unleash(ing)?


Third, can normal human beings produce such giants? They were so big that Israelites were like grasshoppers before them. Why would the union of a believer and an unbeliever produce a genetically different monstrous giant? All of a sudden. So the union must be unnatural and the offspring is of a different gene. Jude’s language is noteworthy on this point. He uses the word ‘strange flesh’.


Fourth, can angels embody themselves and are capable of sexual mating? Remember, Sodom and Gomorrah. Gen 19. They ate. They were having rest. V. 5: all men from every part of the city came and surrounded the city, called Lot out and said “Where are the young men who came to you tonight? Bring them out so that we can have sex with them.” But Lot hid them inside. If they are not capable of having sex and by implication procreation in their embodied state, why would Lot hide them? But these were good angles that came as emissaries of God to tell Lot what was about to happen. By the way, why do angels need manna to eat, which God sent from heaven for Israelites? What kind of body angles possess? Jesus after resurrection ate. We agree that Jesus’ resurrection is physical bodily resurrection. Yet he passed through closed doors, etc.


Fifth, why did God ordered King Saul to kill all of Amalekites, men and animals and all the living things? (This was second large scale destruction of Nephilim race after the Noah’s flood, which King Saul, however, did not successfully execute). Because they were Nephilim. Num. 13:28-33.


Sixth, is there any other text that supports the Fallen Angles view? Besides enough Scriptural evidence noted in the foregoing, there is apocryphal evidence that speaks of the origin of the giants. For example, the Book of Enoch.


Seventh, (from http://www.mt.net/~watcher/enoch5.html), The Jewish Fathers, when interpreting this expression from Genesis 6:2, invariably interpreted it as "angels." No less an authority than W.F. Allbright tells us that: "The Israelites who heard this section (Genesis 6.2) recited unquestionably thought of intercourse between angels and women."



Philo of Alexandria, a deeply religious man, wrote a brief but beautiful treatise on this subject, called "Concerning The Giants." Basing his exposition on the Greek version of the Bible, he renders it as "Angels of God." Says Bamberger, "Had he found the phrase 'sons of God' in his text, he most certainly would have been inspired to comment on it."


Philo certainly took the Genesis passage as historical, explaining that just as the word "soul" applies both to good and evil beings, so does the word "angel." The bad angels, who followed Lucifer, at a later point in time failed to resist the lure of physical desire, and succumbed to it. He goes on to say that the story of the giants is not a myth, but it is there to teach us that some men are earth-born, while others are heaven- born, and the highest are God-born.


The Early Church Fathers believed the same way. Men like Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Athenagoras, Tertullian, Lactantius, Eusebius, Ambrose...all adopted this interpretation. In the words of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, the angels fell "into impure love of virgins, and were subjugated by the flesh...Of those lovers of virgins therefore, were begotten those who are called giants." And again, "...the angels transgressed, and were captivated by love of women and begat children."


Nowhere before the 5th century A.D. do we find any interpretation for "sons of God" other than that of angels. We cannot deny the Jewish Fathers knowledge of their own terminology! They invariably translated "sons of God" as "angels." The testimony of Josephus, that colorful cosmopolitan and historian, is also of paramount importance. In his monumental volume, "Antiquities of the Jews," he reveals his acquaintance with the tradition of the fallen angels consorting with women of Earth. He not only knew of the tradition but tells us how the children of such union possessed super human strength, and were known for their extreme wickedness. "For the tradition is that these men did what resembled the acts of those men the Grecians called giants." Josephus goes on to add that Noah remonstrated with these offspring of the angels for their villainy.


Perhaps the most conclusive argument for interpreting the expression as "angels" is the simplest one of all. If the writer of Genesis wanted to refer to the "sons of Seth" he would have just said so. If God had intended that meaning, then the verse would undoubtedly read, "the sons of Seth saw the daughters of Cain that they were fair..." But the Bible meant something far more sinister--the sexual union between angels from Hell and evil women from Earth. Because of the gravity of such a union, and its dire consequences for the human race, God moved to destroy the race before it could destroy itself--except for one family which had not been contaminated.


Thank you and your kind response will be appreciated.


Bye
D. Sudhakar

My Response 2:

Thanks dear Sudhakar for this information in support of your idea of how the Nephilim originated (through the activity of humans and fallen angels). Have the fallen angels ever been called 'sons of God'? This would be a good question for you to think about. I will read your account and we can either meet and talk or exchange mails.

I appreciate your interest and answer.

I will be back on the Rakshana TV Show - Live Apologetics Q&A Session: Asalaina Prashna-Sisalaina Jawaabu on the coming Saturday.

Please do pray.
Sudhakar

Mail 3:

Dear Bro.,


That's indeed a very good question that set me thinking.
You are a good apologist. (I'm being as candid as I can be. No, I'm not trying to push you up a
Drum stick tree – meaning, just flattering to make one fall). :-) :-) :-) [What is in the red is an editorial comment]
Even Prof. Craig was applauding to some of your answers. That was great.
A good apologist is the one who kindly puts a question back to the questioner that sets him thinking about his own question.
I don't know if I have the accurate answer - well, who can know anything about angels and/or demons accurately?
My quick answer to that is: No, but ......
But What? Well, angels are called the sons of God. (Job 1). Because God made them.
What if some of them have fallen? Whose sons will they be?
Lucifer's? No, Lucifer did not create them.
The difference is good angles will be in heaven and fallen angles will be in hell.
Oh! sons of God will be in hell? Yes, fallen ones.
All men are created in the image of God. Right? Why some of our race will be in hell?
Human beings created in the image of God will be in hell? Image whether corrupted or restored is the image.
My analogy may be far-fetched, I don't know. But that's the quick parallelism I can think of.
Furthermore, "early church fathers disputed Enoch's descriptions of two falls from Heaven - Lucifer and his followers as we know fell through pride but a second fall of a group of angels who were called Watchers
and who saw and lusted after the daughters of men on planet Earth. These Watchers came to earth, became dense matter and essentially incorporated as mankind."
The quote above is from
http://www.mgr.org.BookOfEnoch.html

According to this quote, the Watches did not fall along with Lucifer. Watchers fell when they fell for women. Watchers were sons of God until they fell. So perhaps this is the sense in which the phrase 'sons of God' in Gen 6:4 should be taken.


Your kind response will be appreciated.
I think email exchanges will be fruitful.


Thank you and best wishes to Sam, your son and Sis Shanti. By the way, how is her health now?

Bye.
D. Sudhakar.

My Response 3:

Hi Dear Brother Sudhakar,
Thanks for the follow up mail you have sent regarding the interpretation of the marriage between the sons of God and daughters of men (Gen. 6). I have thought about it and studied the issue some more, in view of our discussion. There are two possible explanations/interpretations:

1) The sons of God are fallen angels that took bodies and married the daughters of men (the position you are taking/preferring) and the Scriptures used to support are generally Jude 6, 7 and 2 Peter 2: 4 and the angels in the house of Lot – Gen. 19, although here there is no actual sexual activity between the angels in the form of men and the men of Sodom and Gomorrah)

2) The sons of God are the descendents of the godly line of Seth (and the daughters of men are the descendents of the ungodly line of /Cain) - the position that I am taking/preferring and this too has only indirect evidence from the Scriptures (three or four such evidences are there).

There is no sure way of saying which one is the best, because the Bible does not say anything explicitly on this. We have only got to infer from some indirect evidence from the Scriptures. So if you are convinced that position no. 1 is the best, you can take it. No problems at all. This is not a fundamental doctrinal issue (like the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, of Humanity and Divinity of Jesus Christ, etc). I have considered all the evidence that you have provided and I am not dismissing this evidence. It looks good/reasonable to me.

But I prefer the second alternative because of my view of angels as spiritual beings and at least the good angels (in heaven cannot have sexual relationships and Jesus says that men and women in heaven will be like them, without any sexual relationships - see Matt. 22: 23-33). Secondly, although in general the expression 'sons of God' in the OT is a reference to angels (not in the NT), it is not necessarily fallen angels, as we can see in the book of Job (1: 6; 2: 1; 38: 7) and other places (Dan.3: 25 . Thirdly, Jesus after his resurrection had body and he ate (there are indications of this) and God in the OT when he appeared in the form of angels/men, he ate, but he did not remain in that form for long (and so the fallen angels taking bodies and marrying women and being there for long in the husband and wife relationship does not seem to be the most acceptable alternative). And fourthly and finally, in Luke 3: 23-38 we have a genealogy of Jesus in which at the end we find that Adam is called 'the son of God' and Seth is mentioned before him and all the others (so all of them would come under the category of 'sons of God' as the descendents of the 'son of God' - Adam) and significantly Cain's name is missing from this list (and this is understandable - as he was cursed for his terrible sin) and Abel is missing because he was murdered and was no more.

So I leave the choice to you and we need not try to convince each other about any one of the two views. We need not go any further on this, as far as I am concerned.

I appreciate your feedback and we will keep in touch on any other important issues.

The Lord bless you and make you a might witness and bring many into the light of the gospel through your life and witnessing ministry.


Warmly in the Lord and His Mission,
Sudhakar


Mail 4 from D. Sudhakar:

Hi Dear Bro. Sudhakar,
Thank you very much for that wrap up of the issue we have been discussing.


Just one (or two) final point(s) about Adam's designation as son of God. In Gen 5:3 it says: "And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begot [a son] in his likeness, after his image, and called his name Seth."

In the NT genealogy the term son of God is used in perfect accordance with the Gen 5:3. As per this verse ie. Gen 5:3, Seth is not called son of God. Because, he is begotten in the image of Adam as much as even Cain. So Cain has the same status as Seth. Jesus Christ was not in lineage of Cain. May be that's why Cain's name is missing in that list. We are all in the image of Adam. However, remotely, we have the image of God in us because we are the image of the image. Our sonship is granted to us by grace through Jesus Christ.


Even I am not fully convinced about fallen angels becoming flesh and blood beings and remaining in that state irrevocably. May be because it all sounds so weird. I do not know.


Sethite view is the most widely accepted view and is now orthodoxy. I find even Sethite view even less convincing because normal human beings could not have produced such giants. Jude's 'strange flesh' is rather disturbing on this particular score.


Thank you very much.
Bye for now.
D. Sudhakar

My Response No. 4 (Final):

Thanks very much dear Sudhakar for the balanced way in which you have responded to my wrap up of the discussion we have been having following the TV Show (Asaliana Prashna Sisalaina Jawaabu on Rakshana TV) after which you had written to express your views on how we should understand the ‘sons of God’ in Genesis 6.

I have really enjoyed this interaction with you and it has been a learning experience of sorts for me also.

Just one final point: I agree with you that even though the ‘image of God’ in fallen humans is marred, it is still there. However, the point I want to make is that all humans are ultimately the creation of God (not just Adam – who was directly created and of course Eve as well who was directly created by God but through Adam) who was/were directly created by God. We see this truth being stated in Psalm 139 and Malachi 2: 10. When we apply this logic to our discussion, it should become obvious that all the descendents of Adam should be considered as ‘children – sons and daughters of God in a general sense of being created by God. However, although Cain was the first son of Adam and a ‘son of God’ in the general sense, he is not included in/allowed to come into the genealogy of Jesus Christ and not included under the category of the ‘sons of God’ by virtue of being the descendents of the ‘son of God’ Adam. This I believe is significant and we should take this seriously.


Well, this is just to clarify things a bit further. However, I do see your points regarding the giants that resulted from this marriage between the ‘sons of God’ and ‘daughters of men’. But I think it can be explained as a result of some genetic process where body size could be fixed in a lineage and there could have been something supernatural also that could have happened because of these marriages.


By the way, if you have no problem, I would like to put this up on our websites (www.mondithokas.com and www. hitha.org) for the benefit of many that visit our website and especially for those that might be interested in this issue and discussion. Please do let me know.


Warmly in the Lord and His Mission,
Sudhakar

Mail 5 from D. Sudhakar (dsudhakarin@yahoo.com)

Dear Bro. Sudhakar,
Sorry I could not come back quickly.
Thank you for the clarification you offered on the sons of God as far as your view goes.
But I am still not satisfied. So I will continue to work on this as I have been for nearly a year now.
Regarding posting our exchange on your web site. I have no problem.
My only apprehension is that we have raised more questions than answered.
Visitors to the site may ask questions on any of the views expressed.
We may have to answer them. How to post the answers?


Thank you for those kind words from your pen.

In Christ's Abiding Grace
D. Sudhakar

My Response No. 5 (final mail)

Thanks dear Sudhakar for your response and for agreeing in principle for the proposal I sent you (that we should put up our discussion on our website). .


What I can do (to address your concern) is to put your mail id down and those who want to check with you on something can contact you directly or even mark a copy to me if they wish (they will any way have my mail id on our website). But I think this exchange between you and me will help them to grapple with this issue and other such issues in a balanced way and with some rigor.

Sincerely in the Lord,
Sudhakar

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