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The Mysterious Unnamed Supporting Cast of Pre-Flood Genesis

Updated on January 20, 2017
'God Created Evolution' is a project consisting of multiple articles that evaluate the first 11 books of Genesis in the context of known history and modern science.
'God Created Evolution' is a project consisting of multiple articles that evaluate the first 11 books of Genesis in the context of known history and modern science.

Genesis 6:1 - When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them,

Genesis 6:2 - the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.

Genesis 6:3 - Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

Genesis 6:4 - The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

Some of the most debated mysteries in all the bible are found in the first few chapters of Genesis. There are these mysterious peripheral characters that are alluded to casually, then rarely mentioned again, if ever. Characters made mysterious because they existed in that short span between Adam and Noah.

Most believers use the bible strictly for spiritual guidance and don’t feel compelled to give these passages any more than a passing thought, content to count them among the numerous unknowable details only to be learned beyond the veil of death. God created us, He has a plan, the details about how exactly He put it all together are irrelevant. If asked, these mysterious characters get fairly generalized, vague explanations that don’t hold up to scrutiny.

For many, however, it’s hard to be content with simply dismissing these mysterious verses. On the atheist side of the fence, these serve as examples of biblical inconsistencies and fallacies, invalidating the bible as a whole. On the theist front, theories attempting to explain these passages are as diverse as religion itself. Some dissect the ancient source texts to find clues that could have been lost in translation, or turn to alternate writings long ago deemed not worthy of inclusion in the bible. In many cases, people who are otherwise perfectly rational human beings seem all too willing to abandon logic and reason in formulating an explanation.

In this write-up I will discuss these mysterious figures, some of the more prominent theories floating around about them, and why none of these theories quite fly. Then, I'll cast a different light on these characters built on the idea that science is teaching us new things never before known and has illustrated some errors in some long-held/largely uncontested beliefs. I’ll attempt to show how just one single, simple answer supplied by the context of modern knowledge can yield much more rational and much less elaborate explanations, while making it all seem much less mysterious.

The Uncredited Supporting Cast of Pre-flood Genesis

Not counting the creation account, five and a quarter chapters, or 117 verses, are all Genesis offers about the world before the flood. Adam and Eve have their first child in chapter 4, then the flood comes in chapter 7. Between those two events lies the following cast of characters…


The 'Others'

Genesis 4: 13-14 - Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”


The passage from Genesis 6 at the beginning of this hub that speaks of 'sons of God', 'daughters of humans', and a group known as the 'Nephilim', comes just after the list of nine generations of Adam in Genesis 5, each of whom it says had many children, so there's some potential candidates to maybe account for who these various factions of individuals were. But here in Genesis 4, these events are said to have taken place within the first 130 years of Adam's existence (Gen4:25/Gen5:3). The only specifically named individuals up to this point in the story are Adam, Eve, Abel, who is dead by this point, and Cain. Instead of nine generations, there's just two. So, who were these 'others'?

Genesis 4:15 - But the Lord said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.

It could simply be Cain's fear of the unknown, except for the fact that in the very next verse God validated that Cain's concern was warranted by placing a mark on him that somehow protected him from harm. In the traditional context, these 'others' that Cain feared are thought to be the only 'others' possible; unnamed family members. Perhaps other sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, or perhaps even children of Abel.

There are a couple of issues with this. The first being that Cain was leaving. He was being banished from the land where his family lived. Of course it's not out of the question that Cain could potentially encounter a vengeful brother/sister/nephew/niece while wondering the land of 'Nod', but this brings us to the second issue. Why the mark? For one thing, Adam, Eve, and Cain had all proven capable of behaving contrary to God's will, so marking him wouldn't exactly guarantee his safety. Second, if an unnamed family member were to exact their vengeance on him for slaying his brother, then they already know who he is and what he did. Marking him in that regard would be pointless.


Daniel Chester French, "The Sons of God Saw the Daughters of Men that They were Fair", modelled by 1918, carned 1923
Daniel Chester French, "The Sons of God Saw the Daughters of Men that They were Fair", modelled by 1918, carned 1923

The 'sons of God'

Genesis 6:2 - the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.


These first few verses of Genesis 6 are arguably the most mysterious in all the bible. They come just before the explanation for why the flood was necessary. Explanations as to who these 'sons of God' were can get pretty imaginative.

There are two primary explanations you will generally hear. The first being that the 'sons of God' are members of Seth's family line, and the 'daughters of humans' are those of Cain's line. Technically, this is possible. But given the following verse where it explains that 'daughters of humans' are mortal and only live 120 years, as opposed to the centuries-long lifespans given for Seth's line in Genesis 5, this would mean that Cain, and everyone born of him, did not inherit his family's longevity. Or it could mean that Cain's transgression somehow doomed him and all subsequent offspring to a 'mortal' lifespan. If that's the case, then why did the same not happen to Adam and Eve?

The second explanation is that the 'sons of God' were spiteful angels who were jealous of humanity and who decided to act out by impregnating human women. This explanation appears to have originated with books long ago deemed to be outside of the canon of the bible, the book of Enoch and the book of Jubilees. Written roughly 300 BC, both books directly claim that the 'sons of God' were in fact angels who rebelled by mating with human women. And there are many believers who, if you ask them today, will tell you the same, whether or not they know where this story originates.

There are two issues with this. The first being, why would angels have or need the ability to procreate? Humans have genitalia for mating and breeding because we are of this earth. Flesh. But what about angels? Are there momma angels and baby angels? Why would angels have genitalia? Or belly buttons for that matter? Obviously, eternal beings procreating would quickly get out of hand. According to Jesus in Luke 20, neither humans nor angels die in the afterlife. And they don't marry. So they don't pair up to mate. To have children. The perpetuation of life is only necessary because of death.

While my first issue may border on juvenile, my second is more... biblical. The bible never refers to angels as 'sons of God'. In fact, throughout the old testament it was always the Israelites who were referred to as God's sons, both as a collective (Exodus 4:22-23), or as an individual, like Solomon (2 Samuel 7:13-14). Many claim the 'sons of God' depicted in the beginning of Job are angels, and some translations of the bible go so far as to replace 'sons of God' with 'angels', but they're never specifically said to be angels.

In the New Testament, before Jesus' death and resurrection, Luke 3 says that everyone from Joseph to David to Abraham to Noah to Enoch to Seth to Adam was a 'son of God'. After Jesus' death/resurrection, Gentile believers are then included in the 'sons of God' club (John 1:12, Romans 8:14, 1 John 3:1).

Then, there's this ....

Hebrews 1:5 – For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my son”?

The Nephilim

Genesis 6:4 - The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

Numbers 13: 32-33 - And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

The Nephilim are perhaps the most mysterious and intriguing of all. The above two passages are the only mention of them in all the bible. While vague, these two short passages give some pretty significant and incredibly fascinating tidbits of information about these beings. The verse in Genesis tells us that they were the 'heroes of old, men of renown'. Someone who the author seems to assume the intended audience would already be familiar with. And if you look at the direct Hebrew translation of this verse at the top of the page you'll notice the Hebrew word that 'Nephilim' is derived from is translated there as 'the ones distinguished'. Their mention in the book of Numbers gives us another interesting bit of insight by explaining that these people they encountered were very large, and apparently immediately distinguishable to the Israelite spies who saw them as descendants of the Nephilim. And when you take into consideration that the first verse is pre-flood, and the second is during Moses' time which is long after the flood, these two verses together also inform us that these people had an unbroken line of descent that goes right through the year of the flood, meaning there were at least some survivors beyond Noah and his family.

In the traditional view, there's really no explanation other than that they are thought to be the giants. In fact, there are some bible translations that just replace the word 'Nephilim' with the word 'giants'. Giants, who, presumably, were descended from Adam and Eve as well. Any further explanation beyond that usually comes in the form of a shrug. For those who buy into the idea that the 'sons of God' are angels, the 'giant' Nephilim are generally considered to be the resulting off-spring that came from the intermingling between angels and human women. In fact, this is the direct claim of the books of Enoch and Jubilees.

Elsewhere in the books of the Old Testament, there are a handful of references to 'Anakites', who are said to be the descendants of Anak, who Numbers 13 says was a descendant of the Nephilim. And in nearly every case, they're described as being large ...

Deuteronomy 1:28 - Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’”

Deuteronomy 2:10 - The Emites used to live there—a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites.

Deuteronomy 2:21 - They were a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites. The Lord destroyed them from before the Ammonites, who drove them out and settled in their place.

Deuteronomy 9:2 - The people are strong and tall—Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: “Who can stand up against the Anakites?”


Clearly, by the way in which they're spoken about, the Nephilim of old, Anak, and his descendants the Anakites, were very well known as being large in stature, strong, and formidable. They're often used as the standard to compare other groups to. The Nephilim were 'the ones distinguished', the 'heroes of old, men of renown'. They were legends in that age who's descendants ultimately played a rather significant role in the story of the Isaelites, yet they're a complete mystery to us.

Establishing the Setting of Pre-Flood Genesis

Though pre-flood Genesis is vague in many respects as far as the setting is concerned, it does provide just enough information as to the approximate geographic location in which these stories take place as well as a rough timeline. For example, Genesis 2 specifies Mesopotamia as being the location of the Garden of Eden. And considering the ages given in the genealogical lists of Genesis 5 and 11 (Abraham was born 1950 years after Adam's creation), combined with the fact that Abraham interacted with the Egyptians in Genesis 12, these stories could not have taken place any earlier than about 5500 BC.

It's clear today that human ancestry predates this time frame by tens of thousands of years. Though there are still numerous unanswered questions about the region and age where the stories of Genesis are said to have taken place, there is quite a bit that is known, now. And unlike fallible human interpretations of a vague ancient text with no discernible context beyond what pure imagination manufactures, modern scientific discovery offers a glimpse of history as it really took place. For the first time in many thousands of years, we have a rough idea of the actual setting and context that the stories of pre-flood Genesis were set against. And when read in that light, a much less ambiguous narrative begins to emerge that makes it apparent that not only is the proper context of pre-flood Genesis an already populated world, but that this population actually plays an integral role in the overall story.


What We Do and Do Not Know About the Setting

There are four rivers specifically named in the Genesis 2 description of the Garden of Eden; The Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates. The Tigris and Euphrates are of course well known as being the two rivers that run north/south through modern day Turkey and Iraq, giving the region it's Greek-based name, Mesopotamia (between the rivers), and emptying into the Persian Gulf. Where exactly the other two rivers are located is unknown, as is the location of the Garden itself. Some believe it may have existed in northern Mesopotamia, or modern day Turkey, others believe it existed in the portion of southern Mesopotamia that now lies beneath the built-up sediment that makes up the coast of the Persian Gulf.

Beyond those rivers, all Genesis gives as to the location of pre-flood events is in its tale of Adam and Eve's banishment from the garden, and in Cain's banishment from the land in which they lived afterwards. In the case of Adam and Eve, it is first said that God created the garden 'to the East' after creating Adam, then later it says God returned Adam to the land from which he was formed, presumably to the west of the garden. And it is from there, again presumably, where Cain is banished and sets out for the 'land of Nod' east of Eden.

Climate

The climate of this region, specifically southern Mesopotamia, was tumultuous to say the least. Just during the approximate time frame of pre-flood Genesis there was a dramatic swing in climate that transformed the Sahara desert into green/wet lands, then back to desert. The Neolithic Subpluvial, or the Holocene Wet Phase, was an extended period (from about 7500–7000 BCE to about 3500–3000 BCE) of wet and rainy conditions in the climate history of northern Africa and the Middle East. It was book-ended on either side by much drier periods, ending with an aridification event known as the 5.9 kiloyear event that transformed the Sahara into a desert where it has remained unchanged since.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolithic_Subpluvial#Date_ranges

Societies of the Region

Northern and southern Mesopotamia are tales of two very different places. For example, agriculture began in northern Mesopotamia roughly 3000+ years before it began in southern Mesopotamia as the climate and conditions of the region to the north were much more conducive to agricultural practices. The Pre-Pottery Neolithic A period (10,000–8700 BC) saw the introduction of agriculture in the foothill zones of the Taurus and Zagros Mountains and the upper reaches of the Tigris and Euphrates valleys in the northern regions of Mesopotamia. This is, in fact, the earliest known adoption of agriculture anywhere in the world, and is the beginning of the human transition from migrating hunter-gatherer lifestyles to settled communities.Throughout the course of thousands of years between roughly 7500 and 4500 BC there were multiple rather large settled communities that came and went in northern Mesopotamia with populations sometimes in the thousands.

Southern Mesopotamia was a much more dry and arid region, which required the use of complicated irrigation systems to establish agriculture. The first of these came with the establishment of the first human city-state, Eridu, first founded around 5300 BC.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Mesopotamia#Prehistory

Unlike the settled communities to the north where labor was communal and shared evenly by all inhabitants, Eridu is classified as the first city-state because it was an organized society where a ruling class who inhabited a temple at the center of the city orchestrated and organized the labor that a working class carried out. The culture of this period and region is referred to as the Ubaid period (5300-4000 BC). This period is known as being a period of increasingly polarized social stratification and decreasing egalitarianism, behaviors that set it apart from other settlements that came before. The archaeological record shows that the Ubaid culture came to an abrupt end around 4000 BC, an end often attributed to the dramatic shift to a more arid, dry climate as noted above.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubaid_period#Timeline

Beginning with the establishment of the city-state of Uruk, slightly north of the region where the Ubaid culture first began, came the Uruk culture (4000 to 3100 BC). The city-state of Uruk was the main hub of this burgeoning culture best known for its role in the rapid urbanization of the region, ultimately culminating in the first human civilization of Sumer. It was also during the end of this period when the earliest known form of writing was first established, cuneiform.

While the Sumerians are well known as being the inventors of civilization, the discoverers of mathematics and astronomy, and the first to come up with everything from the wheel to sailboats to the game of checkers, in the archaeological world, what is not known about them can best be summed up under the header the 'Sumerian Problem'. The key unanswered questions regarding the origin of the Sumerians, humanity's most prolific inventors, being ...

1. a. From what period on are Sumerians present in Southern Mesopotamia?
b. Are they the original settlers or did they enter an already populated land?
c. If they are not the original population, which society or societies preceded them?

2. From what period on are Sumerians in close contact with Semitic-speaking groups?

3. Are the genetic affiliations of the Sumerian language identifiable?

4. Until when was Sumerian spoken as the living language of a society?
http://www.academia.edu/1869564/The_Sumerian_Question_-_Reviewing_the_Issues

Source


What the People of That Age Had to Say

Writing was first invented by the Sumerians roughly 3200 BC, but actual literature, once writing had become eloquent enough to convey a narrative, happened much later. The oldest known written narrative is a Sumerian story known as the 'Epic of Gilgamesh', with the first poems being written around 2200 BC. So there's a long stretch of time between the events of the Ubaid and Uruk cultures and the advent of writing. A good thousand years or more.

As a result of the above mentioned 'Sumerian problem', Archaeologists currently count the Ubaid and Uruk periods as two different cultures, despite their similarities, particularly in the layout of their city-states. According to Sumerian texts, their history encompasses all of the Uruk and Ubaid periods straight back to Eridu. Eridu, according to the Sumerian King's List, was the first of five pre-flood city-states, and was the place where the 'kingship' first descended from heaven.

In the age when these already ancient legends were committed to written form, the descendents of these pioneers of civilization didn't give credit to their ancestors for their ingenuity. According to the Sumerian legends, it was a god called Enki who established Eridu. Enki was the patron god of Eridu and lived in the temple at the center. It's said that through Enki humanity was given the 'gifts of civilization'. From there other city-states were built, with each for a time being the residence of the kingship, before the great flood. The story then picks back up with one of the first post-flood Sumerian cities to hold the kingship being Uruk.

There are literally hundreds of Sumerian gods, with An, the god of heaven and king of the gods, and Enki being among the oldest. Many generations of gods followed. And much like the gods of Greek and Roman mythology, these gods were human in form, male and female. The Sumerian gods lived amongst the Sumerians on the earth, in the cities. According to the Sumerians, they were created by these gods to serve them. To do the labor, work the fields, and provide for their patron gods. And also like the Greek and Roman gods, these gods too are said to have bred with human women, making demi-gods. Gilgamesh, for example, the titular character from the above mentioned Sumerian story, was said to be a demi-god.

Even after the fall of the Sumerian empire, the Akkadians, and then later the Babylonians, adopted the Sumerian mythology as their religion. And Sumerian gods, like Enki in particular, even had influence in later Mesopotamian cultures familiar as players in the bible, like the Hittites and the Canaanites. Even after they were long gone, the Sumerians had an impact on the civilizations to follow. Beyond adopting their religion, the Akkadians and Babylonians also made use of Sumerian mathematics, astronomy, and science. And much like latin is still used in the modern world today, though the Akkadians and Babylonians had their own languages and systems of writing, they continued to use the Sumerian language for religious ceremonies and scientific studies.


Casting a Different Light on the Mysterious Pre-Flood Supporting Cast

As the graph above illustrates, using the ages given in Genesis 11, you can see that by the time Abraham died there were very few long-living ancestors left. Three of Abraham's ancestors actually outlived him, but not by much. Salah by only 3 years, Eber by 64 years, and Abraham's great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather Shem outlived him by 35 years. Even Noah lived until Abraham was 56 years of age. So, what this would seem to indicate is that the age in which Abraham lived was the end of the era of the 'immortals'. For nearly 2000 years, according to the story, there existed numerous beings in this region of the world who each lived lives that spanned multiple 'mortal' human generations. Most of whom presumably died in the flood, with the rest dying around the time of Abraham, long before Moses and the Israelites. This is an element of the story that isn't often addressed or even acknowledged, but is, as you can probably imagine, a pretty significant detail in the overall story.

In a populated world, with the humans who eventually became the Sumerians being that population, this would seem to fall right in line with the stories they were telling. They too spoke of a large flood survived by one who was warned ahead of time and built a boat. And they too spoke of a time when a once universal language was confused into many. The biggest difference, it would seem, is that in the Sumerian tales there were numerous immortal male and female gods who played a part in these happenings. In fact, much like history and archaeology shows, belief in numerous mythological gods was very common throughout the region. And in the bible as well, during the time of Abraham, it speaks of the gods who the people of Abraham's father's home worshiped. Abraham's father being from Ur, a Sumerian city. What if these gods weren't mentioned as such in Genesis because the cast of Genesis were themselves the gods of those Sumerian stories? If there's any literal truth to the ages given, that would seem at least a very possible scenario.

So, in conclusion, in this context, all of those 'mysterious' pre-flood characters aren't so hard to explain. The others in Genesis 4 would of course be the humans who already populated the region. The sons of God, just as Luke 3 confirms, were the descendants of Adam and Eve, and the Nephilim, the ones distinguished, the heroes of old and men of renown, would be the offspring result of the intermingling between the long-living 'sons of God' and the "mortal" 'daughters of humans'. The demi-gods of Sumerian/Greek/Roman mythology.

Genesis 5 and 11

Patriarch
Born
Died
Age
Begat
Adam
0
930
930
130
Seth
130
1042
912
105
Enosh
235
1140
905
90
Kenan
325
1235
910
70
Mahalalel
395
1290
895
65
Jared
460
1422
962
162
Enoch
622
987
365
65
Methuselah
687
1656
969
187
Lamech
874
1651
777
182
Noah
1056
2006
950
500
Shem
1560
2160
600
100
Arphaxad
1660
2098
438
35
Salah
1695
2128
433
30
Eber
1725
2189
464
34
Peleg
1759
1998
239
30
Reu
1789
2028
239
32
Serug
1821
2051
239
30
Nahor
1851
1999
148
29
Terah
1880
2085
205
70
Abraham
1950
2125
175
100
Years given in 'Born' and 'Died' columns are years after Adam's creation. If you look at the 'Died' column, you'll notice only two of the Genesis 11 Patriarchs listed outlived Abraham; Salah and Eber.

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    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 3 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Bookmarked for further study as you have packed a whole lot of facts into this, and I only came across it hub hopping, but I will return.

      Thank you for producing a very interesting hub.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Hey aguasilver, glad to hear this was a point of interest along your hub hopping excursion. Come back by anytime.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      We are ALL apart of this thing called GOD, yada-yada; it is all about the experience, end of story, KMA! ...And then there awakens a great new retard, only to slow the progress of mankind via cosmic confusion... LOL!

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      I know, IM, and I agree that it's all about the experience. In fact, that's the ultimate truth I'm working towards in these hubs. I'm trying to show how the story the bible is describing not only really happened, but that once seen in that light it makes the whole purpose to everything clear. And that purpose has everything to do with the spiritual side of matters. This story, when you combine the scientific explanation with the biblical stories, makes it apparent that the physical world was created first, then came us spiritual beings with free will. First the environment, then the spirit. It is all about the experience, and the physical environment we find ourselves in plays a major role in that experience. We have a totally independent free will and this physical world is the perfect environment for us spiritual beings to learn how to wield it.

    • AmbitiousMarketer profile image

      Mark Johnson 3 years ago from England

      So now Christians believe in evolution? Why didn't they accept it 200 years ago when Darwin came back from Galapagos?

      Further proof that religion adapts to new culture. We can't kill gays, witches and atheists now god damn it. Oh how I wish I lived in medieval Europe

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 3 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Don't think believers have ever had a problem with an evolving world, just with the concept that evolution in any way did away with need for the Creator.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      AmbitiousMarketer, it's not just 'now' that Christians accept or believe in evolution. The line between believers and modern science is not as black and white as it might seem. It's just that it tends to be the most vocal in any given group who generally sets the expectations for, and the impressions of, the group as a whole. Everyone adapts to new culture and everyone (or most everyone) re-evaluates in the face of new knowledge and reassesses what they thought they knew.

      As for the atrocities of religion's past, that's humanity. Humans will find all kinds of ways to justify doing what they want to do. You and I wouldn't be here as we are today if that weren't the case because you and I are living on land that was taken from the indigenous inhabitants who came before. The entirety of our history is the same story repeating over and over again for differing reasons. Religion was only the justification for some of that. Humanity is the common thread. It's our 'us/them' mentality and our tendency to split apart those who we perceive as different, when in actuality we're all the same.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 3 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      A very interesting hub. In the bible there are 2 stories of the creation of humans. The first is in Genesis 1:27 Where God created man and woman, however in this verse God did not put man or woman into the Garden of Eden. Then in Genesis 2:7 God created man out of the dust of the ground and blew into his nostrils. That gave the man a living soul. Then God placed the man into the Garden of Eden.

      So, it is possible for people to be living outside the Garden of Eden. That may be the reason Cain was afraid.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Thank you, Michele, for reading and for the feedback. I totally agree. In my mind, the most significant detail that sets apart the humans of Genesis 1 and Adam/Eve of Genesis 2 is their behavior. The humans in Gen1 were created, like you said, male and female. They were then told to 'be fruitful and multiply, fill/subdue the earth, and establish dominance in the animal kingdom'. Commands that would take numerous generations to carry out. Then, at the end, it says God looked on 'all' He had made and deemed it 'good'. Adam and Eve, on the other hand, they weren't commanded what to do. They were just given one thing to not do, and they did it anyway. That's what I think was so significant about Adam. Not that he was the first human, but that he was the first creation of God's capable of behaving contrary to God's will. I think the story of Adam and Eve is actually describing God introducing free will into an already formed, and populated, world.

    • GreyFoXX4 profile image

      GreyFoXX4 2 years ago from Richlands, North Carolina

      Think the theory about the Sons of God being angels is the one that ties in so much other info.

      Speaking of Angels (sons of God)

      Job 1

      6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord , and Satan came also among them.

      Jude

      6 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.

      2 Peter

      4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

      Revelation 9

      14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

      15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

      1 Corinthians 11

      9 * Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

      JUBILEES --5:1 And it came to pass when the children of men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born unto them, that the angels of God saw them on a certain year of this jubilee, that they were beautiful to look upon; and they took themselves wives of all whom they 2 chose, and they bare unto them sons and they were giants. And lawlessness increased on the earth and all flesh corrupted its way, alike men and cattle and beasts and birds and everything that walks on the earth – all of them corrupted their ways and their orders, and they began to devour each other, and lawlessness increased on the earth and every imagination of the thoughts of all men 3 (was) thus evil continually . . . (From The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, translated by R.H. Charles)

      From Josephus

      Now this posterity of Seth continued to esteem God as the Lord of the universe, and to have an entire regard to virtue, for seven generations; but in process of time they were perverted, and forsook the practices of their forefathers, and did neither pay those honors to God which were appointed to them, nor had they any concern to do justice towards men. But for what degree of zeal they had formerly shown for virtue, they now showed by their actions a double degree of wickedness; whereby they made God to be their enemy, for many angels* of God accompanied with women and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength; for the tradition is, that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians called giants. But Noah was very uneasy at what they did; and, being displeased at their conduct, persuaded them to change their dispositions and their acts for the better; but, seeing that they did not yield to him, but were slaves to their wicked pleasures, he was afraid they would kill him, together with his wife and children, and those they had married; so he departed out of that land. (p. 32, bk. 1, ch. 3, §§72-74, The Antiquities of the Jews, translated by William Whitson)

      * This notion, that the fallen angels were, in some sense the fathers of the old giants, was the constant opinion of antiquity.

      The story of gods having relations among the women is found throughout the world and cultures. When there is smoke there prolly is fire.

      And the giants seed got on to the Ark as well which continued some of their genetic code for after the flood. Seems like it may have been possibly Noahs wife Lamah and through Shem or Ham may have been both of their wives as well need to check for sure. But the blood lines is very crucial. Reading Cains line for the first time and then readings Seth's I fell like I had fallen into the Twight Light zone.

      Now with this blood line around which wasn't intended during Gods creation and how it was corrupting everything genetically. Sheds some light on Sodom Gomarrah and tribes such as canaanites, akelites and so forth. And reason why God dealt with those tribes and cities as he did possibly.

      And if that wets your lips then crack open the Book of Enoch.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      GreyFoXX4,

      Thank you for this. Very interesting information. To tell you the truth I'm not sure what to make of the book of Jubilees or the book of Enoch. Both were written way later, like 300 BC. From what I can tell the books of Moses were ancient and pretty much a mystery, even to the Jewish people of that time. So those books to me read like someone trying to make sense of some of the more intriguing bits of Genesis. Centering on Enoch, who was the one who it says walked with God and God took him, and those first few verses of Genesis 6. So I take what they have to say with a grain of salt. I was not aware of Josephus writing on the topic. But it's interesting in that it seems to be insights into what the Jewish people of that time believed.

      The sons of God being angels doesn't make sense for a few reasons. For one, angels would have to have free will to rebel. Two, they'd have to be capable of procreation, which should only be necessary for those born of flesh. Plus, Hebrews 1:5 pretty much says that no angels were ever deemed 'sons of God'. If you read those same bits in the context that Adam/Eve's descendants were actually the sons of God then it make a lot more sense. According to Luke 3, in the mind of the Jewish people, all of their descendants all the way back to Adam were 'sons of God'. Not angels. If Adam/Eve did in fact live as long as stated, and if the world was already populated by 'mortal humans' whose days only numbered 120 years (Gen6), then Adam's descendants would seem god-like to them. This lines up with all the various stories in the region that say that immortal gods interacted with, and sometimes bred with, mortal humans. Like you said, where there's smoke there is probably fire.

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      GreyFoXX4 2 years ago from Richlands, North Carolina

      HeadlyvonNoggin,

      Things I've looked up has Enoch being written anywhere from 1300BC to like you said 300BC. Both of which is older than either

      2 Peter

      4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

      or

      Jude

      6 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.

      which both are talking about what is said in the Book of Enoch. Then throw in that Jesus went and preached to spirits in prison.

      1Peter 3

      19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

      Also its said that the oldest book in the Bible is Job. Which researching it looks more and more like the Old Testament called the angels as such. While the New Testament refers more to Christians becoming sons of God.

      Job 1

      6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord , and Satan came also among them.

      Job 2

      1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord , and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord .

      Job 38

      7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

      The offspring of the sons of God is mentioned in Numbers. Verse 33 says the sons of Anak are descendants of the Giants and clearly talks of their size. Also talks about the land being ate up. Book of Enoch also talks about how the biggest of the giants were eating and drinking the blood of everything and everyone, including themselves.

      Numbers 13

      31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.

      32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.

      33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

      In Mathew Jesus is answering who would a women be married to after death and once in Heaven. Nowhere does it say what they could or couldn't do on earth, but only in Heaven. And if you think about the history of when the Angels were sent to bring Lot out of Sodom, well anyway seems those people thought the angels were able to participate in more.

      Mathew 22

      30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

      Genesis 19

      5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

      The verse in Hebrews is just really pointing out that God has only BEGOTTEN 1 Son. Another words earthly son or offspring. All directly created beings such as angels and Adam are sons of God. Jesus is the creator and the only Begotten Son of God. And now after looking at this more, that ONLY Begotten Son of God tends to give a little more info as well in this light.

      Hebrews 1

      5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

      And as far as angels having free will. We are created with free will no different than they are. Hence Satan's rebellion against God.

      Think about in the Book of Daniel when the angel Gabriel was held up.

      Daniel 10

      12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

      13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

      Gabriel was in a situation and Michael shows up to help him. I think we need to start looking at the Heavenly world in more of a physical reality than what most do. I know since thinking that way its really been a blessing. Think most people think so mystical about it all it tends to fade into a myth realm, and that doesn't do any one any good. Might as well be the tooth fairy.

      God Bless

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      The fact that 2 Peter basically quotes the book of Enoch directly, and from what I understand the book of Jude directly quotes from 2 Peter, they're both from the same source. A source I see as suspect. The book of Enoch is written from the viewpoint that this is Enoch telling the stories of his adventures, but the writing of it was long after Enoch's time.

      The mention of the sons of God in Job makes me think these are the descendants of Noah. Most assume these are angels, with the inclusion of Satan, but what I don't get is where exactly this story was to have taken place for it to have been witnessed and written about. Genesis speaks of God walking and talking with Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Enoch, etc. So I don't see anything there that means these must be angels.

      The line from Matthew 22 is part of what makes me wonder. It doesn't sound like angels pair up to mate and have children. So it doesn't make sense to me that they'd be made capable of procreation. There's no need for it. Adam and Eve weren't even meant to procreate until after the fall.

      I don't think Satan had free will. This is why he had to have God's permission to mess with Job. And I'm not totally convinced that Satan rebelled as the traditional story is told. Those lines about the morning star were generally talking about the stars you can see in the sky during the morning. Personally, I think Satan gets a bad wrap. I think he served a particular purpose much more in line with how he's spoken of in the OT, like he's a kind of prosecutor in the trial of man, or he's God's "devil's advocate" in debates regarding free will.

      The reason I think the 'sons of God' were Adam and their descendants is because reading the story that way actually lines up quite nicely with known history of the region. if Adam/Eve were the introduction of free will into an already populated world, then that makes sense of a lot of what we know about that region of the world and timeframe. That could have actually happened. And that would explain all the civilizations that sprang up in that region all talking about immortal gods who interacted with them in their ancient past.

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      GreyFoXX4 2 years ago from Richlands, North Carolina

      Ok so can't use 2 Peter, Jude, Job and I guess Numbers since it directly says that anaknites were descendants of the Giants, heck under your idea all of the Israelites should have been called descendants of the Giants. And who created the daughters of men, if they were just marrying the Seth lineage that are called the sons of God?

      Mathew 22 is about being in heaven and not being given to marriage. Marriage was created by God for a Man and a Women to be as one and to procreate. Once in heaven no reason to marry or procreate, we will be as the angels and have eternal life. But once again it does not say they can't once on earth. Where does it say Adam and Eve weren't to procreate until after the fall? God told Eve her pain would would be multiplied, that means there had to be an existing pain.

      Genesis 3

      16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

      And I showed verses where the men of Sodom wanted the men/angels that were with Lot in order to have sex with them. So they looked perfectly normal to them, so I would assume manly attributes.

      Adams descendants would have been earthly born from Adam and Eve so they would have been Adams descendants or sons, not sons of God. Yes Adam was a son of God hence

      Luke 3

      38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

      And here reference to angels being compared to the Lord

      Psalm 89

      6 For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord ? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord ?

      And the Job verse describes as the stars sang the angels shouted for Joy. God was scolding Job about where was he during the creation in that chapter.

      Job 38

      7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

      And why would large beings be made just because of reproducing with the lineage of Adam? Most Jews aren't that big. haha And the 120 years that God numbered them was the amount of time Noah had to try to get those to turn back to God, or God would send the Flood.

      But anyway hope you find your answers and may the Lord guide you to all you seek.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Oh no, I think the bit in Numbers is relevant. Think about it like this. Consider the decrease in lifespans that happened from one generation to the next. By the time Abraham comes along he only lives 175. He's about 20 generations later. If you take the ages of those long-living ancestors, with their lifespans decreasing each generation, and chart them out, you'll find that it was during Abraham's lifetime that the last of the long living descendants were dying off. This was 400 years before Moses and the Israelites going to Hebron and seeing Anak's descendants. So by that time they all lived mortal lives.

      What other reason would the lifespans decrease so sharply, other than this intermingling between the 'sons of God' and the 'daughters of humans' who only live 120 years?

      Gen6:3 - Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

      It's always assumed that the creation of humans during the 'day 6' portion of creation and the creation of Adam are two tellings of the same event. But this doesn't make sense for a couple of reasons. For one, the humans created on 'day 6' were commanded to be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, and establish dominance in the animal kingdom. These are commands that would take numerous generations to carry out. Adam, Eve, and Cain all proved capable of not obeying God's commands, so how could they be expected to accomplish these tasks? Also, at the end of the creation account, God looks on all He had made and deemed it 'good'. If that included Adam/Eve, could He have deemed them 'good' as well? If these are read to be two different events, then the whole thing makes way more sense.

      The 'sons of God' are those of Adam/Eve, the 'daughters of humans' are those naturally evolved homo sapiens that already populated the planet by the time Adam/Eve were created. This is why Cain feared 'others' when he was being banished. They were the 'others'.

      That's what I think was significant about Anak and his descendants. The flood was meant for them. Anak, as it says in Numbers, was a descendant of the Nephilim. The way the author of Genesis speaks of these, and the way the spies of Israel describe Anak's sons, it makes it apparent that the Nephilim were well known, even legendary, in that time. The author can safely assume the intended audience would be familiar with who they were. And the spies of Israel were able to recognize them by mere site in Hebron. They were large and immediately recognizable as descendants of the Nephilim. That's why I think one of the very first tasks given to Moses and the Israelites were to take them out. They're finishing the job that the flood was intended to. But someone these descendants of the Nephilim survived the flood.

      As for angels, I don't doubt they looked human, based on how the people of Sodom responded to them. But because there's no need for procreation in their realm, why would they be capable? Only those of us 'of flesh' need the capability. And for angels to be able to procreate with humans is an even bigger thing. Not only would angels need the capability to procreate, but to procreate with humans. It just doesn't make sense.

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      GreyFoXX4 2 years ago from Richlands, North Carolina

      P.s. concerning angels free will.

      1 Corinthians 2:8 KJV

      Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

      1 Peter 5:8 KJV

      Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

      Psalms 103:20 KJV

      Bless the Lord , ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

      Matthew 25:41 KJV

      Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

      Just food for thought.

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      Joseph Ray 2 years ago

      I am going to have to agree with GreyFoXX4 here on the entire issue of fallen angels and Satan being a fallen Angel. He has given quite a few good verse reference to this end. I will personally be using the ESV and not the KJV translation.

      First I would like to direct your attention to Revelation 12:7-9

      Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

      Here we are given a view of a war in Heaven. Now, there are theological debates based on the verse that follows when exactly this takes place, but it is not important for the establishment of the fact that there is apparently angelic beings who opposed God. Michael in the Bible is shown as the defender of God's people. His name means Who is like God?. The first instance that we see of him in the Bible is Daniel 10, which has already been pointed out. In the rest of Revelation, we see the Dragon , who is identified as Satan and the devil, opposing God at every turn. He even sets up his own fake trinity. He works his own miracles.

      All of this said, I myself am not fully convinced that it is angels in view in the entire happenings between the sons of God and the daughters of men. I would lean more towards it being Sons of the line of Seth intermarrying with the daughters of the line of Cain. There may be something demonic behind this as well though. I don't know. In the end though, I am willing to accept that I don't know what is going on there.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Hey Anate,

      I know this isn't typical of most believers, but I find it difficult to take literally what the book of Revelation says. Given the situation the authors were in, they had to be cryptic in their writings. Many seem to think the book of revelation isn't really talking about what it seems to be on the surface, like those bits that have to do with end time prophecy, but rather were actually about events within the contemporary time frame of when the book was written.

      In verse 10 the devil is referred to as the 'accuser', which was the role he was cast in in the OT. He served a particular purpose. There's a debate going on between him and God about people with free will. The devil's role is to test and tempt them, to see if he can make them act in contrast to God's will. If you notice, all throughout the OT, God is testing His creation. He tests Adam and Eve by placing them in an environment where only one rule exists. He then chooses specific people based on favorable traits they show. He chooses to carry on through Noah's line because Noah found favor with God. God tests Abraham, then when he passes, promises to make his descendants many. Again, He's testing and is looking for specific favorable traits to then perpetuate and breed. And in each of these cases, with Eve, with Job, with Jesus, the devil plays the same role. As tempter.

      As far as it seems to me, when reading the verses that GreyFoXX4 referenced, these do not appear to conflict. The one from Psalms, for example, says "his angels....that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word". The line in 1 Peter again only seems to continue the trend seen elsewhere, where the devil is serving a key purpose. The line from 1 Corinthians doesn't even seem to be speaking about angels, but of the 'princes of this world'. And I'm not sure the line from Matthew necessarily means the eternal flame was prepared for the devil to be tossed in, or if this eternal flame has been prepared for those tripped up by him. Again, speaking of the purpose he's been assigned.

      I know I tend to read the story of the bible a bit differently than others, and much of how I read and interpret these are based heavily on that interpretation. I see a God whose gone out of His way to give us free will. A capability that is a volatile and unpredictable thing. So I see the devil serving an important role to that end.

    • Anate profile image

      Joseph Ray 2 years ago

      I am just wanting to make sure that I'm clear on this you are saying that Satan is tempting people at God's command? Because there is a verse in James, James 1:13 which says:

      Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.

      Now, in the view of most ancient societies when a servant carries out his master's will then it is as though the master himself is doing it. I agree that Satan fulfills an important role in God's plan for the world. I do not believe that anything has ever gone against God's will for the world, but it does not mean that Satan did not rebel. I am also curious as to why you think that angels do not have free will. Where is this at all stated in the Bible?

      Also I do not view Revelation as one hundred percent literal either. I believe that the letters at the beginning are literal letters written to literal churches, but the rest of the book is prophetic literature in keeping with the prophetic literature of The Old Testament. That said I do believe its using symbolic language to speak of literal events. Whether it is one particular event or a series of events or a cycle of events, I don't know. I lean to cycle leading up to the return of Christ myself. I do believe that it is dangerous to use Revelation to try to determine a date when Christ will return since Christ himself says:

      But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

      -Matthew 24:36

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      I see Revelation much the same way. I do think it's talking about literal events, but events that happened within the timeframe of its writing. Not of events that still are yet to come. I think its cryptic style would most likely be understood by those living in that time.

      Like the line in James says, "....He himself tempts no one." I believe this is because temptation of sin is to tempt someone to do something outside of God's will. But God cannot tempt someone to do something outside of His own will, for then it would be His will. This is why He would need an agent to do so.

      I'm not entirely decided on whether or not angels have a free will. Perhaps they have a free will, but being of heaven and not of flesh, lack the sinful nature innate in humanity, but are still free to choose, just never choose to sin. If they are allowed to live in heaven then they cannot have sin.

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      Joseph Ray 2 years ago

      Well, I will admit that I perhaps have a little more complicated view of the will of God. I view him as having both a "hidden will" and a "revealed will" I would use passages in Exodus to back this up and Romans. This would mainly be having to do with the person of Pharaoh. God's revealed will to Pharaoh is that he let God's people go into the desert so that they can worship God. Moses tells him this frequently. Yet it is interesting how the Bible words things. Take for instance Exodus 9:12

      But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had spoken to Moses.

      The LORD seems to be involved in hardening the heart of Pharaoh so that Pharaoh does not follow God's revealed. This is because it is God's will to make an example of Pharaoh. Now, it is also stated that Pharaoh hardens his own heart, so he is clearly responsible himself as well. My point here is that the "revealed will" would be God's moral law whereas the "secret will" is what actually happens.

      How this all relates to Satan is in this. Yes, God needs someone to tempt us and test us. Satan is that person, but in tempting and testing us Satan goes against the moral law of God, which is a reflection of God's character. Since God does not tempt, it is sinful to tempt. Therefore if Satan tempts, he cannot be a servant of God. Like all of Creation though Satan exists to bring glory to God as God will display his justice in judging Satan.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      That's a good example. I too think God hardened Pharaoh's heart to then make an example of him. Basically, God was about to lead hundreds of thousands of free-willed people into the desert. These are the descendants of Abraham who God promised He would make many. Because they had free will God could not control them. He needed them to trust and obey Him to accomplish what needed to be accomplished. So the plagues I think were a show of power for this end.

      Your thoughts on Satan not being a servant of God are interesting. Something to consider. I guess I should also make clear my views on hell and the eternal fire. Because we are each not here by our own choice, but through the will of our parents whose actions resulted in us, I think the eternal fire is a means to make a spiritual being cease to exist. I don't believe in eternal damnation. I think it is merely the fire itself that is eternal. John 3:16 states that those who believe "shall not perish". Burning eternally is not perishing. If one were to not choose to conform to God's will then the other option is to cease to exist, which is what we were before the actions of others brought us here. Perhaps in the interest of fostering free will Satan is a necessity that must necessarily cease as well once his purpose has been served.

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      Joseph Ray 2 years ago

      While I will agree we are not here by our own choice, it is our choice to sin. I would argue that it is eternal burning and eternal death. One of the issues there is trying to understand what is meant by death and perishing for instance Adam and Eve do not physically die on the day that they eat of the tree of the knowledge, even though God says in Genesis 2:17

      but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die

      He says that in the day they eat of it, they shall surely die. They die spiritually. Hell is a place of spiritual perishing and death. Spiritual death is separation from all but the wrathful presence of God. Also I would argue that it is deserved and just because of the sinfulness of sin. Sin is not primarily an offense against another human being. It is an offense against God. As King David says in Psalm 51:4

      Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.

      The crime of sin then is a crime against an eternal God. I would compare this to something on earth. When a dog is killed, there might be an investigation but not a major and the punishment will not be even life imprisonment much less the death penalty. However, when a human is killed, there will be an investigation, and the punishment could easily end up being life imprisonment or the death penalty. It is therefore held that same crime committed against a man is of more importance than the crime committed against an animal. I would compare this to the situation. Since the offense is against an eternal being, the punishment must also be eternal.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      I think of it like this. Sin is behavior outside of God's will. Because we each have a free will, a will apart from his, we are then capable of sin. I think of sin as an unnatural act. All of nature adheres to God's will exactly. Much like the creation account, all of creation, animate or inanimate, conformed and behaved exactly as God willed it. The Adam/Eve story perfectly illustrates what made them significant. They were the first beings actually capable of behavior contrary to God's will. This is unnatural. This would be the equivalent of matter deciding not to conform to natural law if it were capable. Like cells in a body. A body is a complex organism made up of trillions of individual parts that adhere to a single code, the DNA, so that all of these individual components behave as one single entity. The universe, like the body, works as a single entity made up of trillions of individual parts because it all adheres to God's single will. But we, being capable of behaving of our own will, are like a cancer, or a virus in the body. We're living cells as well, part of the system we live within, but our behavior is not in the interest of serving the system/body's needs, but our own. This is what makes a virus dangerous. It's a living organism within our body acting, not on behalf of the good of the body, but for its own good. So sin, or being capable of behaving contrary to God's will, makes us like a cancer. It makes us unnatural. Free will makes us, in a sense, creators. We are able to create and add to this universe things that are not 'of God', but are 'of us'. We our beings capable of behaving outside of God's will. For eternal life to be possible, all must accept God as the authority and agree to conform to his will. Because our will is free, we must freely choose of our own will to do that which all the rest of the natural world does inherently. If we do not we cannot exist in heaven. We're like cells in a body that must first willfully choose to adhere to the DNA code of the body so that we are not a detriment.

      That's how I think of it anyway. This is why I think the eternal fire is to make us cease to exist. Because we are eternal beings. But we cannot exist eternally if we do not willfully choose to conform. If we do not willfully accept the terms necessary, we cease to exist.

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      Joseph Ray 2 years ago

      First off, we are not unnatural. We were part of the Creation and therefore are utterly natural just as everything in the world is. God created us with a freewill. I also do not like to refer to us as creators. Perhaps, I would use Tolkien's term "sub-creators". Creation to me is by its nature ex nihilo from nothing. We cannot do that. We can make things out of what God has already made. According to the Bible nature while created to be in conformance to God's will is no longer in conformance to God's will. Take Romans 8:19-22

      For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

      Nothing is in accordance with the created order anymore. In Genesis, we were given dominion over the earth. I also know that your entire argument here is based on the idea that evolution is in accordance with Bible, which I do disagree with. The main reason that I disagree with it is because of the factor of death. Death is not natural. Death enters the world through the sin of one man. 1 Corinthians 15:21

      For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

      Here, he uses Adam bring death into the world to show that a man namely Christ must have brought Resurrection of the dead. Paul also makes a similar argument in Romans 5:17

      For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

      Now, you might I've answered all of this in another hub, but this is why I cannot personally macro evolution (one type of animal becoming another type of animal) with the Bible.

      Everything fell when Adam fell, and the mission of Christ was to restore not just man but Creation itself.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      I think Adam's actions meant he would die. Meaning Adam and Eve both were originally supposed to live forever. This is why part of the conditions of the fall was that Eve would have to deal with the pains of childbirth. Before the fall, they were to live forever, therefore there's no need for procreation. But because of the fall, because they were then fated to die, they then had to procreate to perpetuate life.

      Creation speaks of life being compelled by God to "be fruitful and multiply". If this were the case then death had to exist. For God to compel life to just be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth, without death this would quickly become a problem in a finite existence. I think the decay of this place is how it was intended. God created an optimal environment to then create free will. Nothing here lasts forever. This is the perfect environment to bring about something as volatile as a free will because everything is temporary. There's only so much damage that can be done. Death and decay means our decisions matter. Death makes life, and every moment of life, matter. This is the perfect environment to foster a free will. Decisions and actions can and do have consequences. Harm can be done.

      God deemed all he made "good". Including the humans created on day 6. These humans were given very specific commands that would take numerous generations to carry out. If these humans were as capable of behaving contrary to God's will as Adam/Eve proved to be, they could never be expected to carry out these commands that would take numerous generations; be fruitful/multiply, fill the earth, establish dominance in the animal kingdom. This is exactly what homo sapiens did. Then came Adam and Eve. And right from the beginning they were capable of behaving contrary. I think this is what the creation account is illustrating. How all the natural world adheres exactly to God's will, to the point that he deems it all "good". Then, to show the contrast, it tells the story of Adam and Eve. What made them significant was their ability to behave of their own will.

      If you think about it, what we create is, in a sense, ex nihilo. Our will comes from our minds. Ideas and desires out of thin air practically. Non-physical thoughts and wants that then become physical reality through our actions. We create. Like the island-size pile of trash floating out in the ocean. Or the hole in the ozone. Or the trash floating around in space that we launched up there. Chemicals and materials that we made that don't break down naturally. We create things, of our own wills, that are unnatural. We even make the distinction inherently between that which is "natural" and that which is "man-made".

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      Joseph Ray 2 years ago

      The first issue, I have with argument is that it does not fit with the way that God presents himself in all of the rest of the Bible, and by this I mean how the rest of the Bible is written. In none of the other historical texts, which Genesis clearly is, is God that obtuse about what is going on. The Bible was written to be understandable. Now, I have heard some people put forth an argument that the people of that time period did not have the necessary background to understand it. I would have to respectfully disagree. In fact, I view it as arrogant. They may not have had all of our scientific knowledge, but they were still intelligent rational beings. There were several myths already about men becoming animals and animals becoming men. Io in Greek mythology for instance. Zeus turns her into a cow. He could have explained it in terms that they could have understood, but he doesn't.

      So my question here becomes, why would God make true understanding of the first section of his word dependent on the scientific theory of a fallible man, who had rejected God. It does not make sense. God is a God of reason. He does nothing like this anywhere else in the Scripture. No other part of the Scripture, do we require science, which is fallible as history has proven time and time again, to decode. So why would we need it here.

      Instead, I believe that is far more reasonable to believe that Genesis like every other historical account in the Bible can be understood by the people who first read it. Therefore either science, which is of man and therefore fallible, is wrong, or the Bible is wrong. I'm going go with science being wrong because its been wrong before. For instance scientist once thought that sun orbited the earth. It was scientist that believed this. They were wrong. Some scientist once believed that spontaneous generation life happened. They were wrong. Science has been wrong for millennia before. It is height of human arrogance to somehow to think that it is impossible for our modern science to be wrong.

      As for the us as creators bit. I understand what you are saying, but I would argue that we still do not create ex nihilo. We did not create our wills or our minds. And whenever we make things we require already made materials with which to make them. This is not creation ex nihilo. Now, there is a difference between which is raw and that which is man-made, but all we are doing is thinking God's thoughts after him.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Sin has to be created ex nihilio, right? It didn't come from anything of God's making. We make sin. Sin only exists because of us. We create sin and pump it into the universe. Because we are made of the same elements of this universe, a true product of this universe, we affect the universe around us with what we do and how we behave. We are the only things here whose actions and decisions are in no way governed by laws or rules. And because of that we create sin.

      I don't think about it as either science being wrong or the bible. I see it as that there is only one truth. I fully expect there to be no contradiction between the two. Of course people have had it wrong in the past. But we now know they were wrong because we actually do know the truth now. Those truths are truths because the natural laws are laws. Because of the consistency of the behavior of matter and energy, we really can reach real truth about the history of the earth.

      The bible is fallible. It is man-made. It shows the signs of being man-made and fallible, but that doesn't mean it's all wrong. I'm sure the same series of events didn't happen to both Abraham and Lot in Genesis 14 and 20 I think it is. Look up the wife-sister narrative. But I think the parts that make up the whole really are ancient documents where actual interactions between and actual God and humans were recorded. Science is truth. And there is truth in the bible. Like Augustine said, "Interpretation of biblical passages must be informed by the current state of demonstrable knowledge". It's the only way to know what's what. To put the text in the proper context to better understand. Wouldn't it be interesting that the very thing, science, that so many use to say God doesn't exist, for that to be the thing to show us He actually does and those stories recorded in the bible really did happen?

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      Joseph Ray 2 years ago

      No. Sin is not creation at all. Sin is either perversion of or destruction of what God has created. Even if it were Creation to do sin, we still require the mind, which God created, to conceive it, and the body, which God created, to do it.

      I'm going to have to argue that we only think that we know the truth. I know scientist, some of whom do believe evolution, will point out that there is so much we don't know about how something like the human body operates that we could be completely wrong on quite a few things. Medieval by the way would have also claimed the exact same thing that you just claimed it. They turned out to be wrong. There is enough that we don't know that we cannot be sure that we know the truth. Now, I approve of science. I think that God created us to be scientist. The first act that he has Adam do is classify the animals. King Solomon was a scientist as well. However, we fell. Now, our science is muddled by humans wanting to disprove God, by humans wanting to advance.

      I find this difficult to believe. Because Paul says in I Timothy 3:16,17

      All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

      As for the accounts that you are speaking of in Genesis, it was first off not Abraham and Lot. It was Abraham and Isaac or perhaps you are talking about Abraham and Abraham. Lot never has a story like that. It shows Abraham the same mistake twice, and heathen kings taking what they want. As someone, who has often repeated making the same mistake, I can identify with and believe that. Heathen kings also often acted like that, so did the "Christian" kings of the Middle Ages. In the Isaac example, the king ends up realizing that they are married before anything happens. Yet again, I have often seen myself repeat some of the mistakes of my parents. So it is believable. The three passages in question are Genesis 12, 20, 26.

      Now, I understand that the people, who actually wrote the Bible, were men. This is obvious. I believe that the Holy Spirit came upon them and inspired them. This is how the Bible is of God as it claims to be. As for the Augustine quote, Augustine can be wrong. I'm not sure what he means there apart from the context of the quote, but I'm protestant, and I think Martin Luther, John Calvin, and all the reformers can and are wrong at times. I also disagree with Augustine on his Just War theory.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      But don't you see. You're creating because you're 'making' a decision or an action that didn't exist before. We, being a part of this universe, create ripples in the universe around us created by the actions we take. Like every time you move while in a pool. Every little movement creates waves that then carry on and affect other things. The things we do create ripples. They change things.

      True, God created the mind. And ultimately, He is the creator of evil and sin because He did indeed create us. If He had not created us sin and evil would not exist. Just like it says in Isaiah 45:7 ...

      "I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things."

      But with free will God really did create a boulder so large that even He can't move it. He created a will that creates things that are not 'of Him'. Just look at how it says in Genesis 6 that God "regretted" putting humans on the earth. How could an all-knowing/all-powerful God 'regret' anything? Free will. It says this just after explaining that the 'sons of God' found the 'daughters of humans' beautiful and began to interbreed with them. It says this made the thoughts of humans "wicked". It then says God 'regretted putting humans on the earth. He had, after all, created humans in the same 'image' and 'likeness' as the 'sons of God'. They then, of their own free will, began to willfully choose to be with these 'daughters of humans' they found beautiful. Which introduced free will into humanity, making them capable of being 'wicked'. This God regretted putting humans on the earth. Until God introduced free will through Adam/Eve, He actually didn't for-see this. Not until He introduced free will. Being God He sees time all at once, so He immediately sees the effect. But until free will was added, all time and all events played out the only way they could. According to His will. But with free will came events not 'of His will' but 'of ours'. Sin.

      Much like how God actually had to test Abraham. Even being able to see the future, until God created the situation that made Abraham have to make a decision, the decision didn't exist for God to see. So, He actually had to test him. Even Adam, the first God did after creating Adam is He brought the animals to Adam "to see what he'd call them". Even something as simple as creating a name is creation. You're creating something that didn't previously exist. Adam's mind, being free and independent of God's, created names that then existed, but were not 'of God'. This is why the garden story is so significant. Because Adam and Eve were the first in all of God's creation capable of behaving contrary to God. They were the first capable of creating an outcome not intended or willed by God, but by them. Then these beings intermingled with the humans God had already created and populated the planet with and things went bad. Warranting a flood. Something that made God 'regret'. That's powerful. Free will is a powerful gift that must be wielded responsibly. We create ripples in the pool. Sin creates ripples that aren't 'natural'. That are damaging and detrimental. Existence only works, as does any complex system with a single unitary code. Like DNA, or a government, or the management of a company, or the queen of an anthill. There must be an authority. A single mission. That allows multiple individual components to work together towards a common end. To work as a single unit. Like the cells of a body. But free will is like each individual cell in your body having the willful choice whether or not to adhere to your DNA code, or just do what it wants. It would be chaos, and the body would not function correctly. Because it is our will that is free, all must willfully choose to acknowledge God as that singular authority. That's the whole point. Even something as simple as believing was dead for three days, then rose, means you acknowledge God and His authority because you believe that really happened. I think it's really that simple.

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      Joseph Ray 2 years ago

      And I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you here. Because that is never how the Bible portrays it. Here are a few verses.

      Romans 8:29

      For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

      Acts 2:23

      this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

      Ephesians 1:3-5

      Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

      God knew every single person before he even created the earth. Now, just think how many free will actions it takes to produce human being, and God according to the Bible knew every single human being who is going to go to heaven. He also knew exactly what men were going to choose of their own free will to do to Christ. He also knew that Pharaoh of his own free will was going to harden his heart. He also knew that Adam and Eve were going to eat of the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge Good and Evil.

      Therefore when God tests us, he is not testing us so that he can find out some knowledge that he didn't already have about us. The test of Abraham was not so God would whether Abraham was willing or not, but it was to teach Abraham and us a lesson. Yet again there is a substitutionary offering. It is also a prefiguring of what God is going to do with Christ on the Cross.

      We are not in some plan b that God made because Adam surprised him. We are in God's one and only plan. It is the plan where he glorifies himself by revealing his character to us.

      Now, some people here will say, "What about free will?" What about it? It is still there. This is the tension at the heart of at all, but I would stand with Spurgeon when he spoke of God's Sovereignty and man's responsibility, which is based up on man's free will. He said, "I do not try to reconcile friends." It is a tension to be sure, but they are not contradictory. I believe that there is the old saying, man plans, but God disposes. There is also many examples of it in the Bible, but I would give you the case of Joseph and his brothers. You undoubtedly know the story of how Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery, and he came the second most powerful man in Egypt. His brothers grow fearful at one point after their father dies that Joseph will take vengeance on them, and they come to Joseph. Joseph says to them:

      As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

      -Genesis 50:20

      How many free will actions did it take to get Joseph into the position of second most powerful man in all of Egypt. His brothers had to sell him into slavery. Potiphar's wife had to lust after him, try to seduce him, and then falsely accuse him. The cupbearer and the butler had to be thrown into jail. They had to be willing to inform Joseph of their dreams. The cup bearer had to forget until the Pharaoh dream in order for Joseph to be brought out of prison at the moment that he could save Egypt. Pharaoh had to willing to listen to Joseph, a slave who had become seemingly a criminal's, interpretation of his dream. Yet somehow God knew this was how they were going to act.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Yes, of course, once things are set in motion God can see all time all at once. Its only in those moments where He, from outside of the timeline, makes a change, does it alter what He sees in the future. Like creating the situation that made Abraham have to make a decision. Or introducing free will. Once He does something, He can see the outcome immediately. All laid out, everything that happened, everything everyone did after that point. But in those instances where He interferes, it changes what He sees. Until that change is made, it doesn't exist for Him to see it. This doesn't conflict.

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      Joseph Ray 2 years ago

      It still conflicts with the verse that he before he created the world, he knew us. Romans 8:29 and Ephesians 1:3-5. Before he created the world is before he has taken any action whatsoever. Therefore once he takes an action like creating the world things would change.

      The testing or trying that God uses on us is for us. It is to refine us as gold is refined. It is to purify us and make us ready for Heaven. It is as James says in his book of the Bible. James 1:2-4

      Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

      This is what God is doing with Abraham. He is testing Abraham's faith to refine Abraham. He is not testing Abraham so that he can know what Abraham would do.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Yes, exactly. Free will was the intention from the beginning. From the moment Adam behaved contrary free will existed. Meaning things that behaved outside of God's will existed. Immediately making necessary Jesus. God did predestine this. As soon as Adam/Eve ate the fruit it was going to be necessary. All throughout the OT God is interacting with humans He can't control, giving them rules and such that ultimately bred Jesus. All the interacting God did with humanity throughout the OT was to this end. Everything He does. Freeing the Israelites, guiding them through the wilderness. Separating them from other blood lines. Giving them very specific rules about who to breed with and what to eat/not to eat. The very same things a breeder would do. He then picks specimen, tests them, verifies there are favorable traits, like Noah and Abraham, then continues to breed from these favorable specimen. God 'created' Jesus in an environment not totally within His control.

      Yes, this environment where things decay and die, where there is pain and suffering, is the perfect place to hone something like free will. We are forged and taught. Free will has to be willed responsibly. It requires wisdom. We learn that our actions have effects on those around us. That there are repercussions to our actions. Death and evil and all the bad things that can happen is because our will is truly free. And that's what prepares us. That's what strengthens us and teaches us. The entirety of human history serving as just the kind of knowledge base beings would need to wield free will responsibly and knowingly. I do think it's about preparation. I think this is what's required to make free will possible. We have to experience this existence, where God isn't visibly watching over, we encounter trials and we're tested. We're put in every conceivable circumstance. To learn. To see what happens, what free will and sin can do. We have to experience this life to experience free will, and to be given the capability to willfully accept the terms necessary to exist eternally with free will. We have to willfully acknowledge God as the authority. It's the only way it can work.

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      Joseph Ray 2 years ago

      That is not what the passage says God predestined.

      For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

      In the verse, he is predestining us the individuals, who are saved. In other words, he is choosing who is save and who isn't. This is the glorious tension between God's Sovereignty and Man's Free Will. We choose God freely, but only because God has already chosen us. This is because as sinners we are incapable of choosing without an act of God first. As Paul says in Ephesians 2:1-7

      And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

      We are dead. Dead men can do nothing for themselves. Are will is not truly free. It is in bondage. As the Psalms say about man. Psalm 53:1-3

      The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

      They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;

      there is none who does good.

      God looks down from heaven

      on the children of man

      to see if there are any who understand,

      who seek after God.

      They have all fallen away;

      together they have become corrupt;

      there is none who does good,

      not even one.

      Our will is in bondage to sin. We are incapable of doing anything truly good. Therefore without something changing our will we cannot seek God.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      How can God choose who is saved and who isn't? Is that not our choice and up to us? Isn't that the whole point? The image of Jesus is what all humans should be, but can't be. Through Jesus many others are saved. As the NT speaks of it, those who believe are then included in the 'sons of God' club ...

      John 1:12 - But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to those who believe in His name,

      Romans 8:14 - For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

      1 John 3:1 - Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God! Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.

      Jesus is the son of God. And according to Luke 3, everyone from Adam to Noah to David to Jesus was a 'son of God'. Then, once Jesus was crucified/resurrected, believers were then included as 'sons of God'.

      How could God justly judge others if it's not really up to them? If it was never really their choice? It's not really their fault that they were chosen and predestined by God. So how could God hold them in judgement?

      It's all about free will, and because the will is free, must freely choose for ourselves. It cannot be chosen for us or we are not really free. If we are not really free then there is no need for commandments or judgement.

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      Joseph Ray 2 years ago

      God can justly judge because God does not need to save anyone. He has no responsibility to save us. However, he chooses to save some. Now, many good Christians do not agree with me on this, and I know that.

      This would be the argument, I would make. We can only do what is in our will. Our will is free, but there are other outside forces that control our will. For instance, I was born in The United States in 1987, therefore I am able to do things that somebody born in Britain in 800 was not able to do. I have more options. With The Fall, our will became corrupted. The options that it had became limited. From that point on while our will was free, it was also in bondage to its own sin. We were dead. Now, God, who is under no obligation to save anyone from his just judgment, chooses out of his mercy to save some by changing their wills so that they can choose.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      I'm sorry, but I can't agree with that. God's judgement can't be righteous if it's not even within our capability to choose. It's one thing for God to create free will knowing that there will ultimately be those who do not choose Him. But to choose favorites Himself, and for that choice to be out of our hands, doesn't jive with righteous judgement. That would mean many are doomed and can do nothing about it. It says that God "loved all the world". The whole thing about Jesus meant His mercy was extended to gentiles as well. The OT makes it seem as though He's chosen favorites because of His focus on one group, but that's the group Jesus was ultimately born of. Once Jesus was born, that hands-on approach stopped. God is described as a righteous judge. That just doesn't mesh with what you're saying.

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      Joseph Ray 2 years ago

      I would argue that is more akin to what Paul speaks about happening in Romans 1:18-25

      The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

      For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

      Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

      We willfully choose to do what is describe, and then God willfully chooses to hand us over to our choice. However, God also willfully chooses to not turn some over to this choice. The fact of the matter is that we choose to not honor God. Then God chooses not to save us. This is so that he can make known both his mercy and his justice. As Paul also says in Romans 9:22-24

      What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

      Therefore, we still make a choice to not glorify God as God despite him being revealed to us in Creation. Then God makes the choice not to save some from their own wickedness and to save others from their own wickedness. Like he does with Pharoah, who both hardens his own heart and has his heart hardened by God.

      This is most likely going to be my last post, so I will let you have the last word. You are an intelligent person, and if I ever came across in any of my posts is thinking that you were an idiot, I apologize. I know that I sometimes do that when I debate. It has been a pleasure talking to you in this way though, and I do respect you. Thank you for being willing to listen to and talk to me.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Yes, God can willfully choose to hand us over to our choice, but only after our choice has been made. Not predetermined by God, but determined by our own willful choices. But you're right and I agree, "God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made". That's what science is. Understanding from what has been made. And that understanding shows us God's invisible qualities in that "what has been made" is consistent with what has been described.

      I appreciate the discussion as well, and never got the impression that you thought I was an idiot. Though I know what you mean. I can sometimes give others that impression as well, so I get that. It's always a pleasure to stand these ideas up against someone knowledgeable of the bible who disagrees. I appreciate the insights you've provided me. I'm interested in Paulinean concepts mainly because of the way he spoke about Adam being the 'first Adam' and Jesus being the 'last Adam'. That, to me, tells me Paul had a pretty clear understanding. Because that's an apt way to put it.

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      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      That was a whole lot of information in this hub and will have to come back and re-read it to get the full subject matter. I agree that things do not add up. It is my understanding that God made the Angels and they were ONLY to be messengers for him. I don't think there is anything in that that stipulates that they could have children let alone sex. Then you have archangel Gabriel that told of Mary conceiving....did Gabriel have sex with her to make her conceive? Lots of unanswered question that believers only believe because they are told not to ask about things like this. I ask and tell all the time and I am riduculed and slandered for what I have to say.

      Keep on keeping on telling the truth and bringing things to light!

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Hi Lady Guinevere,

      Matthew 22:29-30 - Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

      Yes, I know there's a lot of info here. Please take your time. I look forward to reading your thoughts. The whole idea of angels procreating with humans never made much sense to me. We humans were made flesh, like the animals, and therefore have a need to procreate. It's death that makes procreation necessary. But angels are eternal, and are not made in the flesh of this world. There's no need for them to be capable of procreation, and even if they were they were not made in the same genetic line as the humans and animals of this planet, so it does not make sense that they would be compatible with humans, even if they were capable.

      Personally, I think the immaculate conception is a misinterpretation. Richard Dawkins, in his book the Selfish Gene, makes the point that the word often translated as 'virgin' when speaking of Mary actually only means 'young woman'. I think Jesus was the son of Joseph and Mary. What I think made Jesus significant is that he was born of the chosen line. The line of Abraham. God's interactions with the Israelites throughout the OT, His focus was clearly on controlled breeding. Ensuring this line did not mix with other tribes, dictating who they mated with, what they ate, etc. It speaks of not diluting the "holy seed".

      Ezra 9:2 - For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, so that the holy seed is mixed with the peoples of those lands.

      I think Jesus was the 'son of God' not physically/literally, but because he was the product of God creating Him in an environment not in His control. The Jews had free will, which God does not control, so His interactions, the rules He gave them, were meant to realize Jesus. I'm still a Christian in that I believe Jesus still serves the purpose Christianity says He's meant to. I just don't think God impregnated Mary to accomplish this.

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      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      and so we are all the sons and daughters of God. We did not fall from anything and no one is greater than another. We do reincarnate and Jesus did speak of that.

      Controlled breeding? I think not for we have learned lots since then about breeding ..... replenish the earth and we have...many times over.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Yes, we are all 'sons and daughters of God'. Anyone who believes in Jesus. In fact, I cover that a bit in this hub here ... "In the New Testament, before Jesus' death and resurrection, Luke 3 says that everyone from Joseph to David to Abraham to Noah to Enoch to Seth to Adam was a 'son of God'. After Jesus' death/resurrection, Gentile believers are then included in the 'sons of God' club (John 1:12, Romans 8:14, 1 John 3:1)."

      For most of the bible the 'sons of God' are anyone of that line from Adam to Jesus. After Jesus anyone who believes in Jesus is included as a 'son (or daughter) of God'.

      By controlled breeding I don't mean for anyone beyond the Israelites. What I'm saying is that all of those rules given to the Israelites in the OT were specific to them, and not meant to be applied to anyone and everyone. They were only intended to apply specifically to the Israelites in that specific situation in order to breed Jesus.

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      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      I do not want to start an argument here but Jesus told us that all the laws he did put in man's heads and hearts and he did not say anything about believing anymore. .

      I do understand about the OT, but Jesus was very much against any kind of prejudice to any people or nationality or race or creed.

      It does not make sense to breed Jesus as they state in church. In the bible it did not say specifically the man they called Jesus. There were a couple of other men that fit that.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      By all means, Lady Guinevere, if you've got relevant thoughts and information I want to hear it. I'm not concerned with arguments. I want truth. If something I think is right is overridden by something you have, I will accept that. I have no position to stand on if it doesn't match up with what we know. My position on this subject is already well to the left of the majority. I'm already drifting out on my own where few dare to meet me. If you have information that shows something I think is wrong, and that I need to come back, I want to know it.

      Here's why I think what I do. If you've read any of my other hubs then you're probably aware that my stance is that Adam/Eve were not the first humans on the planet. The planet was already populated by the humans created in Gen1 by the time they were created. They were the first created by God capable of behaving contrary to God's will. As soon as Adam/Eve did something that was outside of God's will that separated them from God. That made them, in a sense, unnatural. It was this action that then made Jesus necessary. This is why they were then told at that point that Eve would have to bare the pains of childbirth. Before this they were to live forever, with no need to procreate. But now they would die and they would have to propagate through procreation.

      Later God chooses specific individuals to breed from. First He chooses Noah, then Abraham. He tests Abraham to see if Abraham's will will override God's will and it does not. So He then promises Abraham's many descendants. I believe God was looking for those who have favorable traits. Adam was created directly by God, with the breath of life breathed into him, unlike naturally evolved humans. This I believe is the "holy seed" its speaking about in Ezra. God is looking to breed that, to bring it about in flesh. To engender the flesh of man with God's holy seed. Something He realized in Jesus. This I believe reconnected us to God. Made it possible for us to reconnect what was severed by Adam/Eve.

      It wasn't a prejudice of any kind. It had to do with keeping pure that seed of God that was first breathed into Adam. To not dilute it. To keep it within a single blood line. Because the other humans on earth were born of evolved life, it could not become too diluted. It had to stay strong, as both Mary and Joseph were born of that same bloodline. They kept it "in the family" without keeping it too close. But were careful not to venture out too far, into other tribes and such.

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      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      Oh I see, so God is not Within us like Jesus states? We are not Gods, as Jesus states several times and this is all seeming to be playing all the blame game and that is also not what Jesus states.

      Tell me can you or anyone these days plan out what sex a child is going to be and what they are going to create through progeny? Adam and Eve did not do anyting bad. They just saw the light and the truth. They did not die that day. We are reincarnate and so we only have the one death with our first lifetime.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Lady Guinevere,

      No, we are Gods in that we all have the free will that was passed onto us. We are all capable of seeing both good and evil. Everyone 'of Eve' gained this capability. Which is all the world with the exception of indigenous cultures.

      Adam and Eve did exactly what was expected of them I think, but that still separated them (and us) from God. Everything in the natural world, according to the creation account, animate or inanimate, followed God's will without fail. I believe God placed Adam/Eve in that environment with that one rule and that one forbidden tree because He knew what they would do. They were made to have their own minds and their own wills. It's not that they did something "bad". It's that anything in God's creation that doesn't work behave according to God's will, is separated from God. Is "unnatural". I think all went according to plan. They did not die that day, but they began to die. They were no longer going to live forever. As their bloodline and natural human bloodlines continued to mix the lifespans got gradually shorter. But what was retained in that bloodline eventually got passed to all the nations of the world through Noah's descendants.

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      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      If that be true that we all stem from Noah then how do you explain the different cultures of the world? God also said that he would never leave us because he is Within us.

      God does not have a religion. Man does. God is the essense of electricity and energy and that is all. It is what holds everyting together. It does not control, people do. It only does according to the thought and emotions a person puts forth. It is all cause and effect.

      I don't buy the forbidden tree thing anymore because why would something that loves you set up up to fail and know that you would in the first place. THAT is NOT LOVE...that is DECEIT.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      The different cultures and different features that make up the people of this world was established through the homo sapiens of Gen1 populating the earth as they were commanded to do. The descendants of Noah were then dispersed into an already populated world, mixing with those other cultures, bringing with them free will and introducing it into each of these cultures.

      I don't think the tree of knowledge was God being deceitful. The whole purpose to all of this is free will. He wants us to have our own minds and own wills. But that is an enherently dangerous thing. God, in a sense, made a boulder so large even He can't move it. He gave us a will so free of His that even He cannot anticipate what we will do. Because it's a free will then we have to willfully acknowledge God as the authority the way the natural world does inherently. This isn't God playing any games or being deceitful or anything like that. This is simply what's necessary. That is love. God doesn't override our free will decisions. He lets us have our say and our impact on the world. And He works within that.

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      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      Riiight, whatever.

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      Writer Fox 2 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      There are several inaccuracies here. I'll point out just a few. The Elohim are a different species of beings and are not descendants of Adam and Eve. They are not humans.

      The words 'bnei Elohim' means 'children of Elohim.' It can mean just sons, but it is most often used to represent males and females. The Elohim consist of males and females, and there are many references in the Hebrew Bible to female Elohim and many of their names are given.

      יהוה, the Elohe of Israel, gave the commandment that the Elohim should not mate with humans. The offspring of such unions were condemned by יהוה and time and again He gave the commandments to annihilate them. They were all destroyed in the flood in the days of Noah. After the flood, many Elohim were disobedient again, and new offspring were produced. יהוה gave specific commandments to the Tribes of Israel to destroy these offspring. Eventually, they were all eradicated from the earth during the days of King David, about 1,000 years after Abraham's time. I live in Emek Rephaim in Jerusalem, the ancient Valley of Rephaim, and I can assure you that they aren't here anymore.

      יהוה, the Elohe of Israel, did not even allow two different kinds of cattle to be bred together, let alone different species (Leviticus 19:19). The practice was abhorrent to Him. And, the Elohe of Israel does not nor will not violate His own commandments. "For I, יהוה do not change." (Malachi 3:6).

      The offspring of Elohim and humans had grotesque deformities, one of which was giantism. Og, king of Bashan was one of these offspring. His bed was thirteen feet long and six feet wide (Deuteronomy 3:11). They had several other common attributes, cruelty and stupidity among them. They had no greater lifespan than human beings. They had genetic defects, like mules. Donkeys and horses don't even have the same number of chromosomes.

      And there is not a "pure bloodline" in the Tribes of Israel. King David's great-grandmother was a Moabitess and his Son, Solomon, was born of a Hittite woman. Converts have always been accepted and there is no such thing as a "pure bloodline" within the Tribes of Israel.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Thank you for this. This is the single most interesting response I've ever gotten to these hubs. I'd love to hear more, specifically about the Elohim. I've never heard anyone, besides myself, speak of there being two different species that weren't supposed to mix spoken about in the books of Moses.

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      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      Unless there are divine conspiracy theories involved here, isn't 'Elohim' just another word for God or Gods? If so, the comment from Writer Fox is simply representing the redundant ancient mythology featuring lots of mating between gods and mortal humanoids that ultimately created freaky demi-gods - or something to that insane effect.

      As for the failed inbreeding and grotesque deformities from such things . . . ha! There is plenty of that in the southern parts of the U.S., by what I hear and have seen. LOL!

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      John Hansen 22 months ago from Queensland Australia

      A very interesting and well researched hub Headly. Riveting stuff. Voted up and sharing.

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      Jeremy Christian 22 months ago from Texas

      Thank you Jodah.

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      Lawrence Hebb 15 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Headley

      I just read this hub and it was fascinating! I'd agree with much of what you write here (and I think I've also covered some of the material in hubs) though I've been hesistant to deal with the Nephilim (mainly because I don't really know enough about them and what I do know doesn't totally add up yet!

      From what I remember the phrrase used (the argument goes) is only ever used of spirit beings hence they could (usually the Bible teachers argue for 'are') be spirits or fallen Angels!

      With regard to what you say about the pre flood characters being the 'gods; of the ancient world that can actually be demonstrated with some of them in that years ago when researching this stuff I remember reading that 'Iepetus' the Titan and brother of 'Chronos' can be traced back through both Greek Mythology and ancient Jewish writings to Japheth though I haven't explored the connection myself.

      I'm definatly going to be looking at more of this series

      Blessings

      Lawrence.

      By the way did you know that 15,000 years ago the Persian Gulf was dry land with a mountain range across the strait of Hormuz, apparently a major earthquake around then caused a collapse of the land and the water flooded in, the same thing happened to the Med and the Black sea 10,000 and 5,000 years ago (respectively).

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      Jeremy Christian 15 months ago from Texas

      Hey Lawrence,

      I appreciate the feedback. I'm most intrigued by this connection you speak of to Lepetus. I'll have to look into that.

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      Mklow1 13 months ago

      What's up Jeremy? This Hub is well thought out and nicely written!

      I also noticed that you were having some trouble with some anti-theists in the Q & A. Don't let them get you down. You were being very polite and also very open minded, but that does not matter to them. They have hate in their blood and nothing can quench it. I am not talking about atheists in general, just those that have a hatred for believers. People like them have this hate because they were mistreated by someone that happened to be a believer, so they take it out on all religions (especially Christianity. Have you noticed that? lol). These are people who can't come to grips with their own emotions, so they are on a crusade to end religion, even though they claim to be open minded. I find it very funny that they think they have a good reason to end religion, yet they chastise people who believe in a religion and try to spread the word.

      The best thing you can do is to call them out on the facts that they try to construe and also report them as much as possible. Austin is an easy one because she always asks questions that ask for an opinion, which violates the terms of service. She also asks questions that help her troll for arguments. For a long time, I had her banned from the Q & A because almost every question she asked was an opinion, but now I do it so much, I think the moderators just ignore me. If you do report her, they will have to respond. I have a feeling that one more time and she is gone, either by her own will or by the moderators.

      In my time, I have ran off:

      The Righteous Atheist

      Thomas Swan

      Link10103 (for a little while)

      Adagio4639

      Catherine Giordano (for a little while)

      Tess Schlesinger (for a little while)

      Austinstar (for a little while)

      and some others I can't remember

      With people like them, it is only a matter of time before they screw up, so keep your eyes open. Good Luck and happy hunting!

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      Jeremy Christian 13 months ago from Texas

      Thanks Mklow1. I don't blame them. I understand. Religion has played a heavy hand in the past, and many have had members of their families or other imposing figures in their past who have used religion and threats of religious retribution to try to control behavior. It's only natural to rebel against this. To lash out.

      And you can't really blame anyone for seeing religion as being a destructive force. It doesn't have the best track record. Whatever the case, to continue the dialogue is the best course of action. Understanding needs to be achieved on both sides of the coin.

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