"Judgment of the Nephilim" Re-frames Old Testament - TribPapers

“Judgment of the Nephilim” Re-frames Old Testament

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Asheville – The Bible tells the story of good versus evil in a number of stories contained within its pages. It also describes the story of redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and his resurrection. For many, the Old Testament is a collection of books to be avoided. From the controversial book of Genesis, which some consider to be nothing more than an allegory, to the last book of Malachi, there are troubling traces of incest, adultery, murder, giants, and genocide. 

What if there was a book that put those stories, especially the stories of giants and genocide, into perspective? And then they tied it to the coming of Jesus Christ in the New Testament? Well, there is such a book. “Judgement of the Nephilim” is by Ryan Pitterson, a Bible researcher and writer with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Rochester and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.
In his 2017, nearly 450-page book, Pitterson details the Bible’s first prophecy from Genesis 3:15. After Eve is deceived by Satan and Adam follows, God pronounces his curses on all for their disobedience and then makes the Bible’s first prophecy. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

“…Her seed…” is understood to be Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, but who is Satan’s seed? Pitterson takes a deep dive into what he believes is Satan’s seed using the Bible and commentaries as his basis to prove his interesting thesis.

The Hebrew word “Nephilim,” where Pitterson takes the title of his book, first appears in Genesis chapter 6 and verse 4 which reads, “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men that were of old, men of renown.” The English word “giants” is the word used for “Nephilim.”

Most pastors, preachers, and other religious scholars avoid this passage and the passages that precede it, which reads, ” And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose 3 and the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”

Pitterson argues convincingly that these “sons of God,” who are only mentioned five times in the Old Testament-twice in Genesis and three times in the book of Job-the oldest book of the Bible. The Job references are clear to angelic beings. In the case of the “sons of God” in Genesis 6, they were the angels who, according to Jude, “kept not their first estate” or position, according to Pitterson. 

This relationship between the “…sons of God and the daughters of men…” produced children known as giants or “Nephilims.” Immediately after this, God assigns Noah and his family to be the only ones to survive an upcoming flood. A flood that is meant, Pitterson explains, to destroy the hybrid race of Nephims and restore the human race to a point where the Messiah can come. Because Pitterson says this intrusion by the “sons of God” was an attempt by Satan to corrupt the human race and stop the Messiah from coming. 

When the flood fails to end Satan’s corrupt seed, this sets up Pitterson’s journey through the Old Testament not as a reliving of the genocide that the Israelites perpetrated on other humans, but as God’s effort with the help of the Israelites to rid the earth of the remaining corrupt seed. Even then, Satan has one more trick up his sleeve. The book is filled with verses from the Bible and commentary quotes that Pitterson uses to support his hypothesis. For Bible researchers and readers, the book is a reframing of what many see as just boring old books from the Bible’s Old Testament.