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Sons of God and daughters of men

Sons of God and daughters of men

Postby Theophilus » 05 Jun 2009, 14:43

"The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were attractive and they took as their wives any they chose."
Genesis 6:2

One interpretation of this passage is that these sons of God were fallen angels. But how could an angel possibly be so attracted to a human woman that he would want to marry her? After all, angels and humans are totally different from each other.

I have thought of one possible explanation for this. The angels were created to serve and worship God and their natures were such that carrying out this purpose was also a source of pleasure to them. It is likely that after the angels rebelled against God they still had this innate desire but had to find a new outlet for it. Humans were created in the image of God. Perhaps some of the angels hoped they could satisfy this longing for God by joining with something which was made like him.
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Re: Sons of God and daughters of men

Postby friendofbill » 05 Jun 2009, 16:11

I suppose it's as good a guess as any, since no one really knows what this passage means. The explanation we got in seminary is that the "sons of God" were simply a race of very powerfulabd awe-inspiring people dwelling in the area, considered "giants" by others, and thus called "sons of God." The word "God" here does not necessarily mean "Yahweh," the God if Israel -- especially since there was no Israel at the time and the name "Yahweh" was not yet known. It is unlikely, in fact, that monotheism had arisen at the time. "Sons of God" could refer to any god.

And it is equally likely that this is a local legend that made its way into the growing literature that would eventually become the Torah.
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Re: Sons of God and daughters of men

Postby Theophilus » 06 Jun 2009, 14:30

There are two other possible explanations that I am aware of. One is the the sons of God are the descenents of Seth, called this because they continued to worship God, while the daughters of men are the descendants of Cain. According to this theory intermarriage between the two groups led to Seth's descendants being led away from obeying God.

Another theory is that "Sons of God" was a title used by rulers and this passage meant that they began the practice of having more than one wife.
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Re: Sons of God and daughters of men

Postby cyranorox » 17 Jun 2009, 18:53

T'philus, you are looking for contradictions.
You seem to take OT passages literally, or ask that your problems be solved on that basis. Why? Are you attached to the Prot. solas? On what basis? otherwise, your thought seems free-ranging. Most of the problems you pose dissolve with any other understanding of the passages you quote.

RC philosophical dicta about God also give you problems, which again dissolve against an OC understanding - just a touch of apophaticism explodes a lot of scholasticism.

I'm curious to know where you actually stand.
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Re: Sons of God and daughters of men

Postby Theophilus » 20 Jun 2009, 15:20

cyranorox wrote:RC philosophical dicta about God also give you problems, which again dissolve against an OC understanding - just a touch of apophaticism explodes a lot of scholasticism.

I'm curious to know where you actually stand.


I don't understand that first paragraph at all.

I am a Christian. I believe that the Bible is inspired by God and is the only authoritative source of information about God and how we should live if we want to serve him. God has inspired human teachers to help us understand the Bible, but we must carefully check any human teaching to make sure it is in agreement with the Bible. According to Acts 17:11 God commended the Bereans because the examined the scriptures to make sure what Paul was teaching was true.
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Re: Sons of God and daughters of men

Postby Bluegoat » 21 Jun 2009, 12:47

cyranorox wrote:
RC philosophical dicta about God also give you problems, which again dissolve against an OC understanding - just a touch of apophaticism explodes a lot of scholasticism.

I'm curious to know where you actually stand.


I'd be interested in what you mean by this, in relation to this passage - it's quite obscure as you've put it.
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Re: Sons of God and daughters of men

Postby cyranorox » 22 Jun 2009, 19:27

I meant that T'philus has presented problems or apparent contradictions, based either on a literal reading of a passage [the 'solas', perhaps, or just literal exegesis], which is typically Protestant, or on philosophical abstrations about God [the 'omnis'] which I think of as typically RC. Since both of these are alien to an OC view, the problems proposed don't arise, from here. So, I want to know T'ph's principles of exegesis, or hermaneutic principles, his epistemology, and his basic theology/soteriology.
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Re: Sons of God and daughters of men

Postby wondawomen » 22 Jun 2009, 19:35

Would you please explain that entire statement to a little Baptist girl??? :rolleyes:
We love, because He first loved us.1John4:19 NASB
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Courtesy Dialogue

Postby Jesse Hove » 22 Jun 2009, 21:53

Perhaps you should present your own perspective before questioning another persons way of struggling with scripture. Far more ecumenical I think.
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Re: Sons of God and daughters of men

Postby Theophilus » 23 Jun 2009, 15:19

cyranorox wrote:I meant that T'philus has presented problems or apparent contradictions, based either on a literal reading of a passage [the 'solas', perhaps, or just literal exegesis], which is typically Protestant, or on philosophical abstrations about God [the 'omnis'] which I think of as typically RC. Since both of these are alien to an OC view, the problems proposed don't arise, from here. So, I want to know T'ph's principles of exegesis, or hermaneutic principles, his epistemology, and his basic theology/soteriology.


I don't believe there is any problem or contradiction in the passage. The meaning appears prefectly clear to me. I was merely speculating about the motivation of the Sons of God for doing what they did.

I believe the Bible should be interpreted literally unless the context shows that the author of a particular passage meant for it to be understood in some other way.
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Re: Sons of God and daughters of men

Postby Bluegoat » 25 Jun 2009, 12:23

cyranorox wrote:I meant that T'philus has presented problems or apparent contradictions, based either on a literal reading of a passage [the 'solas', perhaps, or just literal exegesis], which is typically Protestant, or on philosophical abstrations about God [the 'omnis'] which I think of as typically RC. Since both of these are alien to an OC view, the problems proposed don't arise, from here. So, I want to know T'ph's principles of exegesis, or hermaneutic principles, his epistemology, and his basic theology/soteriology.


Well, I won't speak for him, since he's spoken for himself. But I am not sure that this is a fair comment. I don't think it's ever wrong to consider the different ways a passage might be meant, including a literal or historical interpretation, even though at first glance it might seem to give rise to a strange or difficult problem. Sometimes spending a bit of time thinking about the problem can pay great dividends, while at other times the idea will have to be abandoned. Often, Biblical passages work on more than one level and probably meant to - other times something of their meaning seems to be lost in history. Certainly, this particular passage, like much in that part of the Bible, does not seem to be obviously meant to be interpreted as theology or historical narrative. I have always tended to interpret much of the Genesis material theologically, but the Church Fathers, both in the West and the East, seem to vary in their conclusions.

I would never have said that the Eastern Church didn't participate in philosophical abstractions about God, although their character may be different - I am not convinced that that actually means they are saying radically different things about God though, I find people seem to want to create more distance between the two positions than perhaps really exists. I'm not sure if this relates to a lack of charity or intellectual pride or what.

But it would undoubtedly be more useful for you to share your insights than to tear down someone else's - perhaps you might convince people that your method has some merit.
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