Recently I preached a message from the King James bible and someone pointed out to me that they were thrown off because part of a particular phrase from a verse I highlighted didn’t exist at all in their version. That’s actually why I use the KJV, that and because it is astoundingly well translated in the word-for-word style – personally I don’t think you can get any better than word-for-word in bible translation.
I pointed out to the gentleman that 1 John 5:7 was probably non-existent in his translation as well; the clearest plain-statement in scripture about the Godhead is totally omitted from most contemporary English translations (1 John 5:7 – For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.) Check out your favorite translation, I’ll bet you find that this verse is non-existent, but that it skips straight to verse 8.
Anyhow, as I was pointing this out to a gentleman that I preferred the KJV for those and a couple other reasons, I was asked by another gentleman what I thought about the book of Enoch.
The gentleman who asked is unaware of my own personal history, and that I had once been convinced that the book of Enoch was legitimate scripture. I had become involved with a certain group of Christians, and a minister among them (who was counted to be a prophet) made some very convincing arguments about the Book of Enoch, and included that the only reason the book was not canonized is because of its hyper-spiritual nature – “you know kind of like they almost didn’t include the book of Revelation for the same reason.” Only, that’s not historically true; the book of Enoch was not canonized because the doctrine derived from it is clearly heretical, not because its a super-revelatory book.
This became astoundingly evident to me only years later, when I read some of this same prophet’s teaching about eschatology. He claimed that the last days will not come until the entire human race was corrupted by DEMONIC DNA. Literally – he taught that. Outright. And the belief is obviously derived from the book of Enoch. The reason that God put man to death in the days of Noah, he said, was because they were all part demon, and only Noah – being the great-grandson of Enoch was genetically pure without Nephilim blood. I’m not making this up, that’s literally what he was teaching. I questioned his theology, and was ostracized, and everyone involved in the little Facebook discussion was on his side (there were quite a few, he was fairly big in his circle)… about DEMONIC DNA.
First I’ll point out that demons are spirits, and DNA is flesh. Spirits don’t have DNA because… they’re spirits. Second, even if they did have flesh (DNA) it wouldn’t matter in terms of corrupting man because Jesus said ‘the flesh profiteth nothing,’ (John 6:63) and more importantly He said:
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
He also said plainly that angels neither marry nor are given in marriage (Matt 22:30), which complies with the statement of John 3:6 that flesh can only give birth to flesh, AND only the Spirit of God can give birth to a spirit. Notice that? An angel is a spirit; it is quite unlikely that an angel could even cause birth of another spirit, being asexual (and not the Creator) as Christ declared in Matt 22:30. But even if an angel could pass on seed, it could not be flesh because an angel is a spirit.
The third MAJOR problem that I had with this gentleman’s teaching (which I can see is what the teaching of the Nephilim doctrine expressly leads to) is that this teaching engenders racism. If the human race will be corrupted by so called ‘demonic DNA‘ (the term, itself, being an oxymora), then our enemy IS an enemy of FLESH AND BLOOD.
That’s interesting because it seems like one of the Apostles expressly said we wrestle NOT against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12) – and furthermore that he was speaking in the context of spiritual warfare… you know, with demons, or as he put it: ‘…principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’
Spiritual wickedness in high places? Wait Paul, don’t you mean demonic DNA? Surely this Nephilim stuff isn’t heresy, and you actually meant angelic-human hybrids, right? I mean, Paul was a Pharisee before his conversion, brought up in the school of Gamaliel, surely he was aware of the book of Enoch, and that a contingency of Jews believed it, right? Yet Even though the book of Enoch existed no new testament writer states, or implies demonic-human halfbreeds even in their warnings about the last days. Seems like that would would be important to mention if it’s going to happen. Paul DOES warn us not to give heed to Jewish FABLES (Titus 1:14), perhaps the book of Enoch is part of what he meant by that? (It is more likely than thinking Paul believed Enoch as he clearly contradicts the teaching of Enoch in the quoted verse.)
Forgive me if I smack of sarcasm, I’ve no doubt that many reading this have been taught – as I was – about the Nephilim but its a lie from the pit of hell.
Where was I? – RACISM: if the belief is true, and angels bred with man, and will do so again in the last days, then we have a very legitimate concern about people with demonic DNA; well… how do we recognize the ones corrupted by demonic DNA? Are they darker, or lighter skinned than we are? Do they have slanted eyes? Obviously, I am picking on the concept, but frankly those are real thoughts that you would have to come to terms with, and develop a belief about if there was such a thing as demonic DNA. What does it look like, how do we avoid marrying someone who’s part
goblin, orc, klingon demon? The teaching intrinsically contains the seed of racism. It is obviously erroneous – this is why the book of Enoch was historically excluded from cannon; the church fathers actually thought it through and realized it was heresy (that and the books’ and writer are not verified – and the fact that it lends to heresy is pretty clear evidence that Enoch did not actually write it). It was not excluded because it was too ‘spiritual’ it was excluded as a fable.
BUT – the book of Enoch fills out some ambiguous teaching from the bible, doesn’t it? It tells us about the events that led to the flood, which Moses only gave ‘little’ information about when he wrote Genesis, right?
Biblically the concept of the origin story of the Nephilim (and the basis for the book of Enoch (actually bookS of Enoch, plural)) is taken from Genesis 6:1-4. So, again: According to the book of Enoch, angels came down and bred with women in the days before the flood; their offspring were genetic half-breeds of man and angel called ‘Nephilim.’
Let’s look at the passage of the bible which gives us place to consider the book of Enoch:
1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
So, the concept is taken out of the above passage. I have inconveniently quoted this passage from the King James Version, which does not use the word ‘Nephilim,’ in KJV the word is TRANSLATED, rather than TRANSLITERATED. The word ‘Nephilim’ really just means ‘giants’ but because some bible translators don’t translate it as ‘giants’ but transliterate instead – that is, they used the original Hebrew word but spelt it phonetically in English rather than translating it into an English word – it creates confusion for modern readers.
Now, there might be a legitimate reason that a word was transliterated rather than translated, and in this case, it is (supposedly) because of the 1) confusion about the conjugation (as it is a rarely used Hebrew word) and 2) (probably more heavily for this second reason) the historical ‘confusion’ over the word. The translators of the KJV either referenced this word with its only other usage in scripture (Numbers 13:33), OR had a fuller academic understanding of Hebrew, in either case they chose to actually translate the word rather than to sloppily transliterate it. (It seems to be popular to transliterate it in modern translations and add a reference to the book of Enoch in the commentary, and/or also include interpretation on the text rather than translating it word for word.)
The context of the other usage of the word Nephilim in scripture – Numbers 13:33, is clearly referencing ‘giants’ which is verified by the fact that another Hebrew word for ‘giants’ is used of the same race of people in Deuteronomy 2:11. (Both Numbers 13:33, and Deuteronomy 2:11 are contextually speaking of the stature of the ‘sons of Anak’ or the ‘Anakims’ who were giants.)
The concept of ‘giants’ certainly does not imply automatically that angels bred with men, or that any supernatural event took place at all, but merely that there were tribes of very large people; some of whom still existed even years after the Jews conquered Canaan, wherefore David was able to slay a giant named Goliath. Men of large stature appear to have been quite common in the area of Canaan at least according to Moses in the book of Deuteronomy who references several tribes of people from surrounding regions as being giants (Deut. 2:11, 20; 3:11, 13) as does the book of Joshua, also (Josh 12:4; 13:12; 15:8; 17:15; 18:16) – but those races of men were considered by the conquering Hebrews to be races who were dying out by the time they arrived – races of great antiquity.
Ah, but what of the rest of the context? Doesn’t the passage refer to the ‘sons of God coming down’? No, it doesn’t say anything about ‘coming down,’ it says that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
But the ‘sons of God’ must refer to angels? Sure, it does in some contexts, but let’s look at the context of Genesis 6, shall we?
Verse1 – MEN began to multiply on the face of the earth, and many daughters were born t them.
Verse 2 – the sons of God married as many of them as they chose.
Verse 3 – God says ‘My spirit shall not always strive with MAN…’ Wait… if the root of the problem is that angels are marrying women… why is God angry with MAN? That seems a little unfair that God’s angry at man for the crimes of angels, don’t you think? Nah forget it, let’s go on:
Verse 4 – there were giants in those days when the sons of God went unto the daughters of men, and they bare the same – mighty men.
Verse 5 – God saw that the wickedness of MAN was great in the earth, and they thought only evil continually. Now wait a minute, now God is angry with MEN again… why is God so mad at MEN if the ANGELS are fornicating with women?
Verse 6 – It grieved God that He had made MAN on the earth. Now wait a minute, this is unfair God; angels are marrying women and creating an abominable half-breed, an you’re mad at MAN? That hardly seems fair! Not only so, but angels are ministering spirits sent to minister to those who will be heirs of salvation (Heb. 1:14); if THEY are doing wrong, why does God seem so little concerned with their wrongdoing? Why is God going to punish man for what angels are doing?
How about this question: Why did God first punish the serpent in the garden for MAN’s sin, but is now punishing MAN for the sins of angels?
Why? I think the context makes very clear that there were no angels fornicating with humans. God does not once mention angels – or even specifically the ‘giants’ as targets of His wrath, but is grieved that He made MAN on the earth.
I think that the context supports that the ‘sons of God’ in this case are a righteous people who were falling into transgression, and also happened to be of very large stature.
Consider verse two again: 2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
Could it be that the human race had become so wicked that EVEN THE RIGHTOUS PEOPLE OF GOD became polygamists? Its interesting to note that immediately before the story of the birth of Seth in Genesis 4:25 & 26 is the story of Lamech – the first historical account of polygamy. Cain was a murderer; Lamech was a polygamist and a murderer.
But Adam had another son named Seth – in the days of Seth’s son Enos, men began (unlike in the days of Cain) to call on the name of the Lord. The CONTEXT supports that God was angry with MAN (Gen 6:5, 6 & 7) because he was FLESH (Gen 6:3). (The word ‘flesh’ there is also used as an euphemism for the sexual organs) Which implies that even the righteous people who were good and valiant (and also quite large), had also become corrupted by the sin of Lamech the polygamist; Cain’s offspring was still in the earth, and growing worse and worse, now even the most righteous people on the planet had also learned not to restrain their sexual lust, and became polygamists as the sons of Cain.
Whatever the case, this is a perfect example to point out that deriving a DOCTRINE (teaching) out of ambiguous language in the bible is a dangerous thing to do. Yes, there is an old book called ‘The Book of Enoch,’ (I own a copy of it) which was allegedly written by Enoch. But angel-human half breeds that is a fable better suited to Greek paganism, or a science fiction film than bible-doctrine. (For a biblical consideration of the origin of Satan see: Who is the Devil? (Revelation 12 pt.1))
2 Tim 4:3-4
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.