“Who Are the Nephilim?” Dr. Michael L. Brown

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6 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 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.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

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*Possibly means “fallen ones”; traditionally, “giants”; Nm 13:31-33

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Dr. Brown begins: “Isn’t it interesting that one of the most obscure verses in the Bible is the subject of so much conversation and speculation?”

And Dr. Brown ends: “Let’s not try to read too much into it.” youtube video here

In between, Dr. Brown makes clear that “We do not know.” Except for half of one sentence in the almost 3 minute video (which will not be even be noticed by most of his fans), we would not know that there are other explanations other than that of the far-fetched offspring of “fallen angels.”

Dr. Michael Brown is dealing with the nut-case fringe which speculates about aliens, space ships, and Nephilim today–this is the kind of stuff that sells books for a certain segment of evangelicals. Most who listen to him on facebook will never open a Bible and read Genesis in context.

The above text is Chapter 6. Chapter 5 gives us the line of Seth. And Chapter 4 gives us the line of Cain, preceded by the account of the offspring of Adam and Eve.

The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (NICOT) gives us three views of “the sons of God” in verse 2. One is that this is the standard reference to “angels” and equates their progeny with the Nephilim, as “fallen ones,” of verse 4. [It should be noted that this is the first reference to “sons of God” in the Bible.]

The masterful G. Ch. Aalders (BSC) states, “This view is, in our judgment, untenable….it [sons of God] refers exclusively [here in Genesis Six] to the world of human beings.”

“There are, moreover, other places in the Old Testament where people are referred to as ‘sons of God.’ In Deuteronomy 32:5 and Hosea 1:10 the Israelites are so designated.” [The Israelites, God’s chosen people who replaced God’s original chosen ones of Adam.]

Another view, related to the flow of the text (chapters 4 and 5) given above, is that the “sons of God” were the descendants of Seth, and the “daughters of men” are the descendants of Cain. The sin is that of intermarriage between believer and unbeliever.

And a third view is that the “sons of God” were early royal aristocrats and “daughters of men” were “the royal harems of these despots.”

“The sin, then, is polygamy, along the lines of Lamech, who also “took wives”(4:19).” [cf. 6:2, above, “took as their wives.”]

The text gives us no grounds for equating the Nephilim with the offspring of fallen angels, I.e. “the sons of God.” NICOT: “…the text establishes no causal connection…the giants were present at the same time [emphasis mine] as the marriages between ‘the sons of God’ and the ‘daughters of men.’” [Read that bold type again and make it clear in your mind.]

“The reference to the presence of giants is, thus, no more than a designation of time. This is indicated by the word ‘then’ or ‘at that time.’”

G. Ch. Aalders: “The writer speaks of the giants….a historical phenomenon that was familiar to his readers. Thus it was a meaningful designation of a specific period of history.”

“Genesis 6:1-4 should be approached as a straightforward description of the conditions that prevailed among the human race [the race of Adam] before the Deluge.”

Despite what we do not know about the Nephilim, we do know the context. And context is king. The one reason to study these verses is to be equipped to exhort those who carelessly use them to focus on Christ and His Kingdom that they may be found faithful stewards who do not need to be ashamed when He returns. Marana tha

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Evangelical NT Scholars You Should Know: Leon Morris

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By Thomas Schreiner, prof. of NT

Leon Lamb Morris (1914–2006) stood out in his generation as one of the great evangelical scholars. He wrote 50 books and traveled extensively, speaking all around the world. His book The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross, which has sold more than 50,000 copies, was his signature achievement. He wrote often about the cross, and his more popular treatments were also well-received. Morris stubbornly attended to the biblical text and closely sifted what it said, showing that penal substitution and the satisfaction of God’s wrath could not be expunged from our theological vocabulary. His massive NICNT commentary on the Gospel of John should probably be mentioned second in terms of its influence and scholarship. The effect of his writings is staggering. He wrote two commentaries (Tyndale and NICNT) on the Thessalonian epistles, and they sold more than 250,000 copies. His Tyndale commentary on 1 Corinthians, which appeared in two editions, also sold more than 250,000 copies.

Continued

Love One Another and Herding Cats

love_one_another_1 John 4

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

These days, trying to help Christians think straight and to take the text of Scripture seriously is akin to herding cats.

As always, the above text, “love one another,” refers specifically to our fellow Christians, not to our unbelieving neighbors or to anyone else outside the Church.

This is the special commandment which Jesus gave to his disciples. It is the sign by which Jesus said others would know that we are HIS.

 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”–John 13

Yes, Jesus also taught us to love our neighbor  (The Second Great Commandment). As E. J. Carnell wrote, “The responsibility to love all human beings is repeatedly set forth with such solemnity in Scripture that an unloving Christian is a manifest contradiction in terms.” (What we today call an oxymoron.)

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But when Jesus and John said, “love one another,” they were referring to that unique fellowship we have with all those who believe in Him.

Dispensationalism & the rapture

Dr. Ben Witherington is professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. This is an excellent synopsis of where “Left Behind” came from, and it is NOT the Bible. For the exegesis of the supposed ‘Rapture’ passage in 1 Thessalonians see: https://textsincontext.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/second-coming-rapture-vs-scripture-christian/

Coffee with the King

See this excellent 7-minute video discussing the origins of Dispensationalism and the idea of a secret rapture, from NT Professor Ben Witherington III.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/bibleandculture/2014/10/08/the-rapture-uncaged/

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I want to be LEFT BEHIND

I want to be Left Behind, by James Michael Jones–reblogged below this text and my comments.

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,[e] but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour[f] your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.  Matthew 24

[Text highlighted to show the parallel: …took…taken…]

Yes, some scholars see the “taken” as being “to judgment.”  Robert H. Mounce (New International Biblical Commentary), sees this as parallel with the ‘”taken away” by the flood’ (v. 39). Others think it is ‘left for judgment (e.g. NICNT). But the two differing views do not detract from the key point–“The coming of Jesus marks a complete and permanent division” (Leon Morris) “. . . the decisive moment.” “The sayings emphasize the completely unexpected nature of the Man’s coming” (AB).
THIS is the Parousia, the Second Advent, the final judgment, (vv. 27, 29-31, 44), not some secret “beam me up Scotty!” fiction. This context leaves “Left Behind” out in the cold. [The enigmatic saying about the vultures receives a variety of educated guesses.] And the context of the primary passage which is distorted to fit the modern “Rapture” doctrine also leaves the fiction behind. https://textsincontext.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/second-coming-rapture-vs-scripture-christian/

Forgiveness Factor

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Left Behind will be released in theaters soon. One of the verses used to describe the Rapture is Matthew 24:40. It states: “Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left.” According to supporters of the Left Behind series of books and films, no one wants to be ‘left behind’.

If you read Tim LaHaye’s book “Left behind” and watch the first “Left Behind” film, you do NOT want to be left behind. However, did Jesus believe the ones left behind had it bad? Read Jesus’ remarks in Luke 17:34-37 and you tell me. “‘I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.’ And they said to Him, ‘Where, Lord?’ He said to them, ‘Where the corpse…

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