Tag Archives: Greek

Alexis Tsipras Spearheads Drive To Open First Mosque In Athens Since The Ottoman Empire In 1833

A century in the making, Athens set for first mosque since Ottoman times

Athens’s half a million Muslims are set to get their first official mosque in more than a century.

The city has not had a formal mosque since it drove out occupying Ottomans in 1833, and Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Amanantidis told parliament last year that it was the only European capital “to be deprived of such a religious space”.

For years Muslims have resorted to praying in hundreds of makeshift sites, in crowded basements or dark warehouses targeted by racist attackers.

In May, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared building a mosque long overdue. The government, he said, would push ahead “out of respect for the Muslim residents in our capital, but also because we are obliged to actively defend our values.”

The new mosque – a 1,000 square meter building without a minaret, split over two levels – is expected to be ready in April in an old naval base in an industrial, rundown part of Athens.

“We need the mosque for our new generation, for our youth … to feel equal in law, equal in society,” said Greece’s Muslim Association spokeswoman Anna Stamou, a Greek who converted to Islam.

Friday prayers in the underground garage where she and her family went were recited in Arabic and Greek. Men knelt down to pray on its humid crimson carpet, ventilation pipes barely above their heads.

Plans to build a mosque began in 1890 with an act of parliament, but all fell through, including one timed for the 2004 Olympics. The latest effort split the ruling coalition and Tsipras’s right-wing partners voted against a bill to speed up construction.

Critics say Athens, kept afloat by international funds since 2010, cannot spare the 800,000 euros to build it.

Golden Dawn, the ultranationalist party third in popularity in polls, says migrants are burdening state resources at a time of crisis. Others still associate mosques with Turkey, its Muslim neighbor and longstanding rival.

For months last year a dozen Greek nationalists occupied the mosque site and set up a homeless center, calling it “a hot spot for Greeks” drawing a contrast with centers on Greek islands for mainly Muslim refugees and migrants arriving from Turkey.

Messages still on the compound’s boarded up gate are stark: “No mosque,” graffiti reads. “Muslims out.”

A poster plastered on a wall depicts a minaret in a circle with a line through it. Muslims “are enemies of Christ, Orthodoxy and our country,” it says. “They should go back from where they came.”

First Mosque Since Ottoman TimesGolden Dawn says it will step up its protests.

“We have done many protests and of course we will do much more,” lawmaker Ilias Panagiotaros said at a rally in January.

Around him, a few hundred supporters raised flaming torches and waved the Greek flag alongside the party’s red-and-black flag featuring its swastika-like emblem.

“With the help of God – I repeat that – this mosque will not have a good end,” he said.

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Intertestamental Period

The time between the last writings of the Old Testament and the appearance of Christ is known as the “intertestamental” (or “between the testaments”) period. Because there was no prophetic word from God during this period, some refer to it as the “400 silent years.” The political, religious, and social atmosphere of Palestine changed significantly during this period. Much of what happened was predicted by the prophet Daniel. (See Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8, and 11 and compare to historical events.)

Israel was under the control of the Persian Empire from about 532-332 B.C. The Persians allowed the Jews to practice their religion with little interference. They were even allowed to rebuild and worship at the temple (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4). This period included the last 100 years of the Old Testament period and about the first 100 years of the intertestamental period. This time of relative peace and contentment was just the calm before the storm.

Alexander the Great defeated Darius of Persia, bringing Greek rule to the world. Alexander was a student of Aristotle and was well educated in Greek philosophy and politics. He required that Greek culture be promoted in every land that he conquered. As a result, the Hebrew Old Testament was translated into Greek, becoming the translation known as the Septuagint. Most of the New Testament references to Old Testament Scripture use the Septuagint phrasing. Alexander did allow religious freedom for the Jews, though he still strongly promoted Greek lifestyles. This was not a good turn of events for Israel since the Greek culture was very worldly, humanistic, and ungodly.

After Alexander died, Judea was ruled by a series of successors, culminating in Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus did far more than refuse religious freedom to the Jews. Around 167 B.C., he overthrew the rightful line of the priesthood and desecrated the temple, defiling it with unclean animals and a pagan altar (see Mark 13:14). This was the religious equivalent of rape. Eventually, Jewish resistance to Antiochus (Maccabees, The members or followers of the family of the Jewish leader Judas Maccabaeus.
four books of Jewish history and theology, of which the first and second are in the Apocrypha and feature Judas Maccabaeus.) restored the rightful priests and rescued the temple. The period that followed was one of war, violence, and infighting.

Around 63 B.C., Pompey of Rome conquered Palestine, putting all of Judea under control of the Caesars. This eventually led to Herod being made king of Judea by the Roman emperor and senate. This would be the nation that taxed and controlled the Jews, and eventually executed the Messiah on a Roman cross. Roman, Greek, and Hebrew cultures were now mixed together in Judea.

During the span of the Greek and Roman occupations, two important political/religious groups emerged in Palestine. The Pharisees added to the Law of Moses through oral tradition and eventually considered their own laws more important than God’s (see Mark 7:1-23). While Christ’s teachings often agreed with the Pharisees, He railed against their hollow legalism and lack of compassion. The Sadducees represented the aristocrats and the wealthy. The Sadducees, who wielded power through the Sanhedrin, rejected all but the Mosaic books of the Old Testament. They refused to believe in resurrection and were generally shadows of the Greeks, whom they greatly admired.

Romans 15:13This rush of events that set the stage for Christ had a profound impact on the Jewish people. Both Jews and pagans from other nations were becoming dissatisfied with religion. The pagans were beginning to question the validity of polytheism. Romans and Greeks were drawn from their mythologies towards Hebrew Scriptures, now easily readable in Greek or Latin. The Jews, however, were despondent. Once again, they were conquered, oppressed, and polluted. Hope was running low; faith was even lower. They were convinced that now the only thing that could save them and their faith was the appearance of the Messiah.

The New Testament tells the story of how hope came, not only for the Jews, but for the entire world. Christ’s fulfillment of prophecy was anticipated and recognized by many who sought Him out. The stories of the Roman centurion, the wise men, and the Pharisee Nicodemus show how Jesus was recognized as the Messiah by those who lived in His day. The “400 years of silence” were broken by “the greatest story ever told” the gospel of Jesus Christ!

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Who were the 12 disciples?

The 12 disciples/apostles of Jesus were the foundation stones of His church, several even wrote portions of the Bible. In Revelation 21:14 we are told that the twelve foundations of the wall of the New Jerusalem will have in them the names of the twelve disciples/apostles. It is evident, therefore, that God attaches great importance to these 12 men.

  1. Andrew
  2. Bartholomew or Nathanael
  3. James, the Elder
  4. James, the Lesser or Younger
  5. John
  6. Judas
  7. Jude or Thaddeus
  8. Matthew or Levi
  9. Peter or Simon Peter
  10. Philip
  11. Simon the Zealot
  12. Thomas

As we study these courageous first-century lives, and what discipleship meant in the time of Jesus, we may expect to be aided in developing a Spirit-directed twenty-first century discipleship as Christ must have meant it to be.

The following biographical information about the 12 original disciples of Jesus uses the New Testament accounts along with the most respected legends and traditions. We do not mean to infer, that legend and tradition constitute historical fact. We do feel, however, that they do have value in the study of the lives of these men who “…turned the world upside down…”

Who replaced Judas Iscariot?

Matthias was selected to replace Judas as recorded in Acts 1:15-26. The other man who was also in consideration was named Joseph or Barsabas, and surnamed Justus. Lots were cast and eventually Matthias was chosen. Acts 1:24-26 records the following, “And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” The Bible is sparse on additional details relating to Matthias, but it does say that Matthias was with Jesus since His baptism until his resurrection. Besides the book of Acts, Matthias isn’t mentioned anywhere else in the Bible. According to historical sources Matthias lived til 80 A.D. and spread the gospel on the shores of the Caspian and Cappadocia.

Andrew

Andrew was the brother of Peter, and a son of Jonas. He lived in Bethsaida and Capernaum and was a fisherman before Jesus called him. Originally he was a disciple of John the Baptist (Mark 1:16-18). Andrew brought his brother, Peter, to Jesus (John 1:40). He is the first to have the title of Home and Foreign Missionary. He is claimed by three countries as their Patron Saint-Russia, Scotland and Greece. Many scholars say that he preached in Scythia, Greece and Asia Minor.

Andrew introduced others to Jesus. Although circumstances placed him in a position where it would have been easy for him to become jealous and resentful, he was optimistic and well content in second place. His main purpose in life was to bring others to the master.

According to tradition, it was in Achaia, Greece, in the town of Patra that Andrew died a martyr. When Governor Aepeas’ wife was healed and converted to the Christian faith, and shortly after that the Governor’s brother became a Christian. Aepeas was enraged. He arrested Andrew and condemned him to die on the cross. Andrew, feeling unworthy to be crucified on the same-shaped cross as his Master, begged that his be different. So, he was crucified on an X-shaped cross, which is still called Saint Andrew’s cross and which is one of his apostolic symbols. A symbol of two crossed fish has also been applied to Andrew, because he was formerly a fisherman.

Bartholomew or Nathanael

Bartholomew Nathanael, son of Talmai, lived in Cana of Galilee. His apostolic symbol is three parallel knives. Tradition says he was a missionary in Armenia. A number of scholars believe that he was the only one of the 12 disciples who came from royal blood, or noble birth. His name means Son of Tolmai or Talmai (2 Samuel 3:3). Talmai was king of Geshur whose daughter, Maacah, was the wife of David, mother of Absolom.

Bartholomew’s name appears with every list of the disciples (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13). This was not a first name, however; it was his second name. His first name probably was Nathanael, whom Jesus called “An Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile” (John 1:47).

The New Testament gives us very little information about him. Tradition indicates he was a great searcher of the Scripture and a scholar in the law and the prophets. He developed into a man of complete surrender to the Carpenter of Nazareth, and one of the Church’s most adventurous missionaries. He is said to have preached with Philip in Phrygia and Hierapolis; also in Armenia. The Armenian Church claims him as its founder and martyr. However, tradition says that he preached in India, and his death seems to have taken place there. He died as a martyr for his Lord. He was flayed alive with knives.

James the Elder

James, the Elder, Boanerges, son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of John the Apostle; a fisherman who lived in Bethsaida, Capernaum and Jerusalem. He preached in Jerusalem and Judea and was beheaded by Herod, AD 44 (Acts 12:1,2). He was a member of the Inner Circle, so called because they were accorded special privileges. The New Testament tells us very little about James. His name never appears apart from that of his brother, John. They were an inseparable pair (Mark 1:19-20; Matthew 4:21; Luke 5:1-11).

He was a man of courage and forgiveness, a man without jealousy, living in the shadow of John, a man of extraordinary faith. He was the first of the twelve to become a martyr. His symbol is three shells, the sign of his pilgrimage by the sea.

James the Lesser or the Younger

James, the Lesser or Younger, son of Alpheus, or Cleophas and Mary, lived in Galilee. He was the brother of the Apostle Jude.

According to tradition he wrote the Epistle of James, preached in Palestine and Egypt and was crucified in Egypt. James was one of the little-known disciples. Some scholars believe he was the brother of Matthew, the tax collector. James was a man of strong character and one of the most fiery type. Tradition tells us that he also died as a martyr and his body was sawed in pieces. The saw became his apostolic symbol.

John

John Boanerges, son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of James, the Apostle. he was known as the Beloved Disciple. A fisherman who lived in Bethsaida, Capernaum and Jerusalem, he was a member of the Inner Circle. He wrote the Gospel of John, I John, II John, III John and Revelation. He preached among the churches of Asia Minor. Banished to the isle of Patmos, he was later freed and died a natural death. John was one of the prominent Apostles. He is mentioned in many places in the New Testament. He was a man of action; he was very ambitious; and a man with an explosive temper and an intolerant heart. His second name was Boanerges, which means son of Thunder. He and his brother, James, came from a more well-to-do family than the rest of the 12 Apostles. Since his father had hired servants in his fishing business (Mark 1:20) he may have felt himself above the rest. He was close to Peter. They were acting together in the ministry. Peter, however, was always the spokesman for the band.

John mellowed with time. At the latter part of his life, he had forgotten everything, including his ambition and explosive temper, except his Lord’s command of love.

It is said that an attempt was made on his life by giving him a chalice of poison from which God spared him. He died of natural causes. A chalice with a snake in it is his symbol.

Judas

Judas Iscariot, the traitor, was the son of Simon who lived in Kerioth of Judah. He betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver and afterwards hanged himself (Matthew 26:14,16).

Judas, the man who became the traitor, is the supreme enigma of the New Testament because it is so hard to see how anyone who was so close to Jesus, who saw so many miracles and heard so much of the Master’s teaching could ever betray him into the hands of his enemies.

His name appears in three lists of the 12 Apostles (Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:19; Luke 6:19). It is said that Judas came from Judah near Jericho. He was a Judean and the rest of the disciples were Galileans. He was the treasurer of the band and among the outspoken leaders.

It is said that Judas was a violent Jewish Nationalist who had followed Jesus in hope that through Him his nationalistic flame and dreams might be realized. No one can deny that Judas was a covetous man and at times he used his position as treasurer of the band to pilfer from the common purse. There is no certain reason as to why Judas betrayed his master; but it is not his betrayal that put Jesus on the cross, it was our sins. His apostolic symbol is a hangman’s noose, or a money purse with pieces of silver falling from it.

Jude or Thaddeus

Jude, Thaddeus, or Lebbeus, son of Alpheus or Cleophas and Mary. He was a brother of James the Younger. He was one of the very little-known Apostles and lived in Galilee. Tradition says he preached in Assyria and Persia and died a martyr in Persia.

Jerome called Jude “Trinomious” which means “a man with three names.” In Mark 3:18 he is called Thaddeus. In Matthew 10:3 he is called Lebbeus. His surname was Thaddeus. In Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13 he is called Judas the brother of James. Judas Thaddeus also was called Judas the Zealot.

By character he was an intense and violent Nationalist with the dream of world power and domination by the Chosen People. In the New Testament records (John 14:22 NIV) he asked Jesus at the Last Supper, “But Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” Judas Thaddeus was interested in making Christ known to the world. Not as a suffering Saviour, however, but as ruling King. We can see plainly from the answer Jesus gave him, that the way of power can never be substituted for the way of love.

It is said that Jude went to preach the gospel in Edessa near the Euphrates River. There he healed many and many believed in the name of the Master. Jude went from there to preach the Gospel in other places. He was killed with arrows at Ararat. The chosen symbol for him is the ship because he was a missionary thought to be a fisherman.

Matthew or Levi

Matthew, or Levi, son of Alpheus, lived in Capernaum. He was a publican or tax collector. He wrote the Gospel that bears his name. He died a martyr in Ethiopia.

The call of Matthew to the apostolic band is mentioned in Mark 2:14, Matthew 9:9; and Luke 5:27-28. From these passages, we learn that Matthew also was called Levi. It was a common custom in the Middle East at the time of Christ for men to have two names. Matthew’s names mean “a gift of God.” The name Levi could have been given to him by Jesus. It is likely that James the lesser, who was one of the twelve Apostles, was Matthew’s brother, also the son of Alpheus. Although we know little about Matthew personally, the outstanding fact about him is that he was a tax collector. The King James Version calls him a publican, which in Latin is Publicanus, meaning engaged in public service, a man who handled public money, or a tax gatherer.

Of all the nations in the world, the Jews were the most vigorous haters of tax gatherers. To the devout Jew, God was the only one to whom it was right to pay tribute in taxes. To pay it to anyone else was to infringe on the rights of God. The tax collectors were hated not on religious grounds only but because most of them were notoriously unjust.

In the minds of many honest, Jewish men, these tax collectors were regarded as criminals. In New Testament times they were classified with harlots, Gentiles and sinners (Matthew 18:17; Matthew 21:31, 33; Matthew 9;10; Mark 2:15,16; Luke 5:30). Tax collectors had been known to assess duty payable at impossible sums and then offer to lend the money to travelers at a high rate of interest. Such was Matthew. Yet, Jesus chose a man all men hated and made him one of His men. It took Jesus Christ to see the potential in the tax collector of Capernaum.

Matthew was unlike the other 12 Apostles, who were all fishermen. He could use a pen, and by his pen he became the first man to present to the world, in the Hebrew language, an account of the teaching of Jesus. It is clearly impossible to estimate the debt that Christianity owes to this despised tax gatherer. The average man would have thought it impossible to reform Matthew, but to God all things are possible. Matthew became the first man to write down the teachings of Jesus. He was a missionary of the Gospel, who laid down his life for the faith of his Master. The apostolic symbol of Matthew is three money bags which reminds us that he was a tax collector before Jesus called him.

I Have A Plan for You...Do You Trust MePeter

Simon Peter, son of Jonas, was a fisherman who lived in Bethsaida and Capernaum. He did evangelistic and missionary work among the Jews, going as far as Babylon. He was a member of the Inner Circle and authored the two New Testament epistles which bear his name. Tradition says he was crucified, head downward, in Rome.

In every apostolic list, the name Peter is mentioned first. However, Peter had other names. At the time of Christ, the common language was Greek and the family language was Hebrew. So his Greek name was Simon (Mark 1:16; John 1:40, 41). His Hebrew name was Cephas (1 Corinthians 1:12; 3:22; 9:5 and Galatians 2:9). The Greek meaning of Simon is rock. The Arabic meaning of Cephas is also rock.

By trade, Peter was a fisherman. He was a married man (1Corinthians 9:5) and his home was Capernaum. Jesus probably made His headquarters there when He visited Capernaum. Peter was also a Galilean as was typical of many of the other disciples. Josephus described the Galileans this way, “They were ever fond of innovation and by nature disposed to change and delighted in sedition. They were ever ready to follow the leader and to begin an insurrection. They were quick in temper and given to quarreling and they were very chivalrous men.” The Talmud says this of the Galileans, “They were more anxious for honor than for gain, quick-tempered, impulsive, emotional, easily aroused by an appeal to adventure, loyal to the end.” Peter was a typical Galilean. Among the twelve, Peter was the leader. He stands out as a spokesman for all the twleve Apostles. It is he who asked the meaning of the difficult saying in Matthew 15:15. It is he who asked how often he must forgive. It is he who inquired about the reward for all of those who follow Jesus. It is he who first confessed Jesus and declared Him as the Son of the Living God. It is he who was at the Mount of Transfiguration. It is he who saw Jairus’ daughter raised to life. Yet, it is he who denied Christ before a maiden. He was an Apostle and a missionary who laid down his life for his Lord. It is true, Peter had many faults, but he had always the saving grace of the loving heart. No matter how many times he had fallen and failed, he always recovered his courage and integrity.

Peter was martyred on a cross. Peter requested that he might be crucified head downward for he was not worthy to die as his Lord had died. His apostolic symbol is a cross upside down with crossed keys.

Philip

Tradition says that disciple Philip preached in Phrygia and died a martyr at Hierapolis. Philip came from Bethsaida, the town from which Peter and Andrew came (John 1:44). The likelihood is that he, too, was a fisherman. Although the first three Gospels record his name (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13), it is in the Gospel of John that Philip becomes a living personality.

Scholars disagree on Philip. In Acts 6:5, we have Philip as one of the seven ordained deacons. Some say this is a different Philip. Some believe this is the Apostle. If this is the same Philip, then his personality came more to life because he had a successful campaign in Samaria. He led the Ethiopian eunuch to Christ (Acts 8:26). He also stayed with Paul in Ceasarea (Acts 21:8) and was one of the major figures in the missionary enterprise of the early church.

The Gospel of John shows Philip as one of the first of many to whom Jesus addressed the words, “Follow Me.” When Philip met Christ, he immediately found Nathanael and told him that “we have found him, of whom Moses … and the prophets, did write.” Nathanael was skeptical. But Philip did not argue with him; he simply answered, “Come and see.” This story tells us two important things about Philip. First, it shows his right approach to the skeptic and his simple faith in Christ. Second, it shows that he had a missionary instinct.

Philip was a man with a warm heart and a pessimistic head. He was one who would very much like to do something for others, but who did not see how it could be done. Yet, this simple Galilean gave all he had. In return God used him. It is said that he died by hanging. While he was dying, he requested that his body be wrapped not in linen but in papyrus for he was not worthy that even his dead body should be treated as the body of Jesus had been treated. The symbol of Philip is a basket, because of his part in feeding of the five thousand. It is he that stressed the cross as a sign of Christianity and victory.

Simon the Zealot

Simon, the Zealot, one of the little-known followers called the Canaanite or Zelotes, lived in Galilee. Tradition says he was crucified.

In two places in the King James Version he is called a Canaanite (Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:18). However in the other two places he is called Simon Zelotes (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13).

The New Testament gives us practically nothing on him personally except that it says he was a Zealot. The Zealots were fanatical Jewish Nationalists who had heroic disregard for the suffering involved and the struggle for what they regarded as the purity of their faith. The Zealots were crazed with hatred for the Romans. It was this hate for Rome that destroyed the city of Jerusalem. Josephus says the Zealots were reckless persons, zealous in good practices and extravagant and reckless in the worst kind of actions.

From this background, we see that Simon was a fanatical Nationalist, a man devoted to the Law, a man with bitter hatred for anyone who dared to compromise with Rome. Yet, Simon clearly emerged as a man of faith. He abandoned all his hatred for the faith that he showed toward his Master and the love that he was willing to share with the rest of the disciples and especially Matthew, the Roman tax collector.

Simon, the Zealot, the man who once would have killed in loyalty to Israel, became the man who saw that God will have no forced service. Tradition says he died as a martyr. His apostolic symbol is a fish lying on a Bible, which indicates he was a former fisherman who became a fisher of men through preaching.

Thomas Didymus

Thomas Didymus lived in Galilee. Tradition says he labored in Parthia, Persia, and India, suffering martyrdom near Madras, at Mt. St. Thomas, India.

Thomas was his Hebrew name and Didymus was his Greek name. At times he was called Judas. Matthew, Mark and Luke tell us nothing about Thomas except his name. However, John defines him more clearly in his Gospel. Thomas appeared in the raising of Lazarus (John 11:2-16), in the Upper Room (John 14:1-6) where he wanted to know how to know the way where Jesus was going. In John 20:25, we see him saying unless he sees the nailprints in Jesus’ hand and the gash of the spear in His side he will not believe. That’s why Thomas became known as Doubting Thomas.

Thomas became certain by doubting. By nature, he was a pessimist. He was a bewildered man. Yet, he was a man of courage. He was a man who could not believe until he had seen. He was a man of devotion and of faith. When Jesus rose, he came back and invited Thomas to put his finger in the nail prints in his hands and in his side. Here, we see Thomas making the greatest confession of faith, “My Lord and my God.” Thomas’ doubts were transformed into faith. Thomas was always like a little child. His first reaction was not to do what he was told to do and not to believe what he was asked to believe. The good news to him was always too good to be true. By this very fact Thomas’ faith became great, intense and convincing. It is said that he was commissioned to build a palace for the king of India, and he was killed with a spear as a martyr for his Lord. His symbol is a group of spears, stones and arrows.

How did the 12 disiples die?

  1. Andrew = Crucified on an X-shaped cross
  2. Bartholomew or Nathanael = Flayed alive with knives
  3. James the elder = First apostle martyred
  4. James the lesser = Sawn in pieces
  5. John = Died of natural causes on the isle of Patmos
  6. Judas Iscariot = Hung himself
  7. Jude or Thaddeus = Killed with arrows
  8. Matthew or Levi = Martyred in Ethiopia
  9. Peter = Crucified upside-down on a cross
  10. Philip = Died by hanging
  11. Simon the Zealot = Died a martyrs death
  12. Thomas = Killed with a spear

Where did the disciples die?

A map of locations of where the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ died, according to tradition. Blue markers represent commonly accepted death locations while yellow markers represent disputed locations. Updated: Now with Saint Matthis (Judas’ replacement)

Saint James the Lesser
Saint Jude
Saint Simon the Zealot
Saint Thomas
Saint Bartholomew
Saint Philip
Saint James the Lesser
Saint James the Greater
Saint Andrew
Saint Peter
Judas Iscariot
Saint John
Saint Simon the Zealot
Saint Matthew
Saint Matthias

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Rhema Word

New Testament Greek is one of the most abused areas of Christian theology. Often with little more than an interlinear Greek New Testament, concordance and personal subjective emotional experiences, people come up with strange doctrines they believe is supported by God.

There are two primary Greek words that describe Scripture which are translated “word” in the New Testament. The first, logos, refers principally to the total inspired Word of God and to Jesus, who is the living Word. Logos is found in John 1:1; Luke 8:11; Philippians 2:16; Hebrews 4:12; and other verses. The second Greek word translated “word” is rhema, which refers to the spoken word. Rhema literally means an utterance (individually, collectively or specifically). Examples are found in Luke 1:38; 3:2; 5:5; and Acts 11:16.

BlueCharismatic and non-charismatic Christians have different views regarding rhema and how it should be understood. Some charismatics view rhema as the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to them at the present moment. They believe they should be guided by the Holy Spirit through inner feelings, impressions and experiences. Some believe that the direct words of God to the individual can also be imparted through the words of others, such as a preacher in a worship service or a friend who counsels them. Through these avenues, the Christian experiences God’s direct leading. There is also the belief that the spoken word has more power than the written word, but there is no biblical basis for such a belief.

Evangelical Christians, however, have a much different understanding of rhema, believing that it is essentially synonymous with logos. In other words, the specific guidance we receive from the Holy Spirit at any given time can only be discerned by the general principles laid down in the Bible. Where the Bible is silent on specifics-such as where a young person should go to college-then the Christian applies biblical principles (good stewardship of God-given resources, protecting one’s heart and mind from godless influences, etc.) to the situation and thereby arrives at a decision.

The test of the authenticity of a rhema from God is how it compares to the whole of Scripture. Orthodoxy says that God will not speak a word that contradicts His written Word, the Scriptures, so there is a built-in safeguard to prevent misinterpretation. The obvious danger is that one who is not familiar with the logos can misinterpret or misunderstand what he or she perceives to be a rhema.

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Should all pronouns referring to God be capitalized?

Many people struggle with this question. Some, believing it shows reverence for God, capitalize all pronouns that refer to God. Others, believing the “rules” of English style should be followed, do not capitalize the deity pronouns. So, who is right? The answer is neither. It is neither right nor wrong to capitalize or not capitalize pronouns that refer to God. It is a matter of personal conviction, preference, and context. Some Bible translations capitalize pronouns referring to God, while others do not.

Ain't God So GoodIn the original languages of the Bible, capitalizing pronouns referring to God was not an issue. In Hebrew, there was no such thing as upper-case and lower-case letters. There was simply an alphabet, no capital letters at all. In Greek, there were capital (upper-case) letters and lower-case letters. However, in all of the earliest copies of the Greek New Testament, the text is written in all capital letters. When God inspired the human authors of Scripture to write His Word, He did not lead them to give any special attention to pronouns that refer to Him. With that in mind, it follows that God is not offended if we do not capitalize pronouns that refer to Him.

If you capitalize pronouns that refer to God to show reverence for His name, fantastic! Continue doing so. If you capitalize pronouns that refer to God to make it more clear who is being referred to, great! Continue doing so. If you are not capitalizing pronouns that refer to God because you believe proper English grammar/syntax/style should be followed, wonderful! Continue following your conviction. Again, this is not a right vs. wrong issue. Each of us must follow his/her own conviction and each of us should refrain from judging those who take a different viewpoint.

The main thing is that ‘God’, whether being referred to by noun, pronoun or otherwise, be ‘capitalized’ in our hearts!

Amen?

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Christian do if he/she lives in an area where there is no church to attend

The Lord said if only 2 or 3 are gathered in His name He will be there also. If we are alone the spirit will guide us and keep us.

There are many areas of the world, such as China, where many restrictions are placed on Christians in regard to when, where and how they may worship. In some countries, Christian worship in any form is not permitted, and some repressive governments arrest and kill Christians simply for declaring or exercising their faith. For Christians who live in such areas, considerable effort must be expended to ensure they will continue to grow and mature in the faith while away from any kind of church atmosphere and in a country hostile to God.

For the Christian in a country that allows possession of a Bible or studies on various books or topics of the Bible, diligent daily study of the Word is essential, especially if fellowship with other Christians isn’t possible. It’s essential for those Christians to carve out time each day to study God’s Word and spend time in prayer with God, asking Him to reveal to them what He wants them to learn and the strength to apply it each day. Prayer is a most crucial component in the Christian life in situations like this and should not be neglected, not even for a day. For those in countries where Bibles are outlawed, but who have open internet access, numerous websites that contain whole word-for-word versions of the Bible are invaluable. There are even online fellowship groups for believers to meet and encourage one another.

Finding other believers in the area can lead to starting a quiet, underground home group where believers get together weekly to study God’s Word and pray with and for one another. The home church movement in China produced a strong and vibrant community of Christian faith in an atmosphere of the worst repression and persecution. Those who have started underground home groups in Middle Eastern countries have found a tremendous hunger for God’s Word among English-speaking, foreign workers living in their area. These faithful believers rotate the meetings each week, keep it to word-of-mouth only, and grow tremendously in their faith during these difficult times.

fish-whatshotnThe Greek word for fish is “ichthys.” As early as the first century, Christians made an acrostic from this word: Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter, i.e. Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. The fish has plenty of other theological overtones as well, for Christ fed the 5,000 with 2 fishes and 5 loaves (a meal recapitulated in Christian love-feasts) and called his disciples “fishers of men.” Water baptism, practiced by immersion in the early church, created a parallel between fish and converts. Second-century theologian Tertullian put it this way: “we, little fishes, after the image of our Ichthys, Jesus Christ, are born in the water.”

Greeks, Romans, and many other pagans used the fish symbol before Christians. Hence the fish, unlike, say, the cross, attracted little suspicion, making it a perfect secret symbol for persecuted believers. When threatened by Romans in the first centuries after Christ, Christians used the fish mark meeting places and tombs, or to distinguish friends from foes. According to one ancient story, when a Christian met a stranger in the road, the Christian sometimes drew one arc of the simple fish outline in the dirt. If the stranger drew the other arc, both believers knew they were in good company. Current bumper-sticker and business-card uses of the fish hearken back to this practice.

However a Christian chooses to maintain a close relationship with the Lord while in isolation from other believers, God will encourage him or her and give His strength. Believers have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit who resides within us (Ephesians 1:13-14) for exactly these types of situations. The history of Christianity is filled with stories of believers who maintained strong faith under the worst persecution and isolation imaginable. The power of the Holy Spirit within the hearts of believers is never to be underestimated.

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We Need to Rely on the Power of God

We often hear about the power of God, of His greatness and how we can rely on it to get us through difficult trials such as a job loss, a sticky divorce, bankruptcy, hateful persecutions, sufferings through a debilitating illness or loss of a loved one. So, we ask, just how powerful and great is God? And, more importantly, how can we rely on the power of God? The apostle Paul gives us a glimpse of this power in his letter to the Ephesians:

“And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:19-20, NASB). The Greek word translated “greatness” is megethos which means “strong” or “great,” and it appears only here in the New Testament. This word obviously wasn’t sufficient for Paul to express God’s great power, so he adds the word “surpassing” or huperballo, which in the Greek literally means to “throw beyond the usual mark” or to “excel or surpass.” So, the full idea of the expression huperballo megethos is a power that is beyond measure, superabounding or surpassing power, power that is “more than enough.”

FlowerGreek authorities tell us that because this term megethos is found only here in all the New Testament, this reflects the outreach of Paul’s mind when he sought to describe this power of God, his attempt at “stretching at the seams” as he tries to pour more meaning into these words. What Paul is really telling us is that God’s power exceeds or surpasses everything. The God who not only spoke the universe into existence, but who raised Jesus from the dead, and who “put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:22, NASB), has power far beyond any possibility of being measured. Paul simply could not say enough about the greatness and majesty of God, and even using language as exact as Greek, he still had difficulty finding the words to express his thoughts.

So, how can we rely on such enormous power of God? First of all, the resurrection of Jesus is the great hope of all believers. Because He lives, we will live also (John 14:19). Peter said we have been “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away” (1 Peter 1:3-4, NASB). We and what we have are protected by God’s power (verse 5). No matter how weak or ill-equipped we may at times feel, we have the assurance that God “is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Ephesians 3:20, NASB). Most importantly, we have the faith He has given us (Ephesians 2:8-9) to strive according to that power (Colossians 1:29), and we do so with the confidence that ultimately God will accomplish His good in our lives. We have this powerful affirmation from Paul: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, NASB).

Finally, we remember the promises of Christ Himself in regard to the incredible power of prayer: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8, NASB).

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Joy and Happiness

A dictionary definition of happiness is “a state of well-being, a pleasurable or satisfying experience.” The definition of the word “rejoice,” from which our word “joy” comes, is “to feel great delight, to welcome or to be glad.” Depending on the translation, the Bible uses the words “happy” and “happiness” about 30 times, while “joy” and “rejoice” appear over 300 times. If we look at some verses it will help us understand why joy is different from happiness.

Genesis 30:1-13 tells the story of two sisters, Rachel and Leah, and their rivalry over their husband, Jacob. Each woman tries to have more male children in order to please him, even using their handmaidens to conceive more offspring. Leah’s handmaiden, Zilpah, bore Jacob a second son, and verse 13 says, “Then Leah said, ‘Happy am I! For women have called me happy.’ So she named him Asher.” Thus the word “happy” comes from the Hebrew root word ashar and means “to set right or be blessed.” We also find the word “happiness” in Deuteronomy 24:5, which says, “When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken.” The word “joy” comes from the Greek root word chara and means “to be exceedingly glad.” James 1:2 says, “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials.”

DreamiesHow could we ever consider going through difficulties and trials a reason to feel joy? James 1:3-4 gives us a clue when it says, “Knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” The deep, abiding joy comes as we persevere through trials, with God’s help, and our faith matures and is strengthened. So happiness tends to be fleeting and depends upon temporal factors like circumstances or other people. Joy, on the other hand, is true contentment that comes from internal factors like our faith in the Lord. True joy is everlasting and not dependent upon circumstances.

The book of Philippians is a great study in the difference between joy and happiness. Written by the Apostle Paul while imprisoned in Rome, this book uses the words “joy,” “rejoice,” and “joyful” 16 times and teaches us how to have true contentment in Jesus Christ, despite our circumstances. In chains and aware that his life was coming to an end, Paul talks about his faith and trust in Christ and how it had changed his whole perspective on suffering. In Philippians 1:12-24, Paul says that because of his two-year imprisonment (Acts 28:30), the whole Roman guard heard the gospel from him, and it had even spread throughout all of Rome. In verse 18 Paul says, “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice, yes, and I will rejoice.” Paul goes on to encourage others to have peace knowing that God strengthens us (Philippians 4:13) and “supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

So the Bible teaches that happiness is fleeting because it often depends on things outside of ourselves, but true joy is eternal because it is based on our relationship with Jesus Christ, which is itself an everlasting source of joy.

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The Biblical Method of Evangelism

The Apostle Paul is often called the greatest evangelist. That said, Paul’s method of evangelism can be considered the “Biblical” method as recorded throughout the book of Acts. In all cases except one, Paul would go to a new city to the synagogue and begin preaching the gospel. He started this way because his audience would be Jews who had a strong Old Testament background. That saved him a lot of time. He could build on their foundation and lead them into the New Testament understanding without needing to go back through all of the prophecies etc. After some time, Paul would be required to move out of the synagogue because of the resistance of the Jews, at which time he would move his preaching to a local house, taking with him whatever converts he had from the Jews. This local house now became the local “Christian” church, open and inviting to all, Gentiles and Jews alike. Paul usually stayed for several months, and visited them as often as he could. He commissioned and trained other preachers. He wrote letters to instruct and encourage the new congregations and their pastors. The only time Paul deviated from this method of evangelism was in Athens (Acts 17:16). That time he was called by the Greek philosophers to the Aeropagus to defend himself on the charge of “proclaiming foreign gods.” This charge carried the death penalty for those convicted. Now, having an audience of Greeks who had no Jewish background or understanding, Paul brilliantly started with what they did understand – “The Unknown God.” He was acquitted and allowed to leave. He also took with him some converts, even from that situation.

When trying to decide how to share Christ with someone, the starting point should be the same as that of John the Baptist and Jesus Himself. Matthew 3:2 tells us that John began his ministry with the words “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Repentance refers to a “change of mind,” which implies sorrow for past offences (2 Corinthians 7:10), a deep sense of the evil of sin as committed against God (Psalm 51:4), and a conscious decision to turn from sin to God. The first words Jesus spoke when He began His public ministry were identical to John’s (Matthew 4:17).

Biblical evangelism – The good news and the bad news
The word “gospel” means “good news.” While many well-meaning Christians begin their evangelistic efforts with the good news of God’s love for mankind, that message is lost on unbelievers who must first come to grips with the extent of the bad news. First, man is separated from a holy, righteous God by sin. Second, God hates sin and is “angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11). Third, death and judgment are inevitable (Hebrews 9:27). Fourth, man is wholly incapable of doing anything about the situation. Until the full extent of this bad news is presented, the good news cannot be effectively communicated.

LightBiblical evangelism – The holiness of God
What is missing from much modern evangelism is the holiness of God. In Isaiah’s vision of heaven, God’s holiness is being extolled by the seraphim around the throne. Of all the attributes of God they could have praised, it was His holiness-not His love-of which they sang. “And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory'” (Isaiah 6:3). When we understand just how holy God is, we can begin to understand His hatred of sin and His righteous wrath against sinners. Zechariah 8:16-17 and Proverbs 6:16-19 outline the sins God hates-pride, lying, murder, false witness, those who stir up trouble, and those with evil in their hearts. We cringe at the idea of God actually hating, because we are more comfortable with Him as a God of love, which He certainly is. But His hatred is real and it burns against evil (Isaiah 5:25; Hosea 8:5; Zechariah 10:3).

The unsaved person stands in mortal peril of the wrath of holy God, as Hebrews 10:31 reminds us: “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” An unbeliever is separated from God by his sin, which God hates, and there is nothing he can do about it. His nature is corrupt and fallen and he is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) with no hope of redeeming himself. He cannot save himself, in spite of good intentions or good works (Romans 3:20). Every good work that man thinks he can do is as “filthy rags” in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6). No amount of good living will make us acceptable in God’s eyes because the standard is holiness, without which no one will see God (Hebrews 12:14).

Biblical evangelism – Salvation through Jesus Christ
But now comes the good news. What man could not do to save himself, God accomplished on the cross. Jesus exchanged His righteous, holy nature for our sinful nature so that we can stand before God completely clean and pure, new creations with the old sin nature gone forever (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). God provided the perfect sacrifice for our sin, not because we deserved it or earned it, but because of His love and grace and mercy (Ephesians 2:8-9). Only those whose natures have been changed can escape the wrath of God and live in the light of His love and mercy. If we believe these things and commit our lives to following Christ by faith, we will live eternally with Him in the bliss and glory of heaven. This is good news indeed.

Biblical evangelism begins with prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in witnessing, open doors of opportunity, and a clear understanding of the bad news of sin and wrath and the good news of love, grace, mercy and faith.

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Bloodlines of the Nephilim

In our original article on the Nephilim, we detailed the Biblical origin of the half-angelic, half-human hybrid giants, known as Nephilim, who were the product of illicit relations between evil fallen angels and human women in the time before the Flood and Noah’s Ark. The flood wiped out the giants but shortly after the flood they returned and spread all throughout the Promised Land. As this article will show, not only did the giants return after the flood, they were major enemies of God and His chosen nation, Israel for centuries. This article will show that for a time Nephilim were all over the ancient Middle East wreaking havoc, attacking God’s people and creating spiritual practices to lure humanity in worshiping Satan and his angels.

Genesis 6: The Origin of the Nephilim

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,  That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 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.  There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. — Genesis 6:1-5.

This brief passage tells a very important origin story. A group of the “sons of God”, the Biblical name for angels, in rebellion against The Lord, came to Earth and took human women as wives to have illicit relations. And their children, half-human, half-angelic hybrids, were the Nephilim giants. The idea of angels sleeping with women and having kids is not something that all Christians agree upon, know about or even comfortable with. However, the truth of Christianity is based upon one source: God’s Word as revealed in the Holy Bible. And from a study of Scripture it becomes clear that this event did indeed happen.

Were the “Sons of God” Angels?

This question is often raised initially as an objection to the idea that Nephilim giants ever even existed. the Hebrew words for the “sons of God” is B’nai Ha Elohim, which would means these are Heavenly beings, giving credence to them being offspring of fallen angels (the term Elohim is literally the plural of ‘god’). And then we see the children of these sons of God and daughters of men were “mighty men” and of “renown.” They were also “giants.” Something in their genetics made them super-sized people. And it was their fallen angelic parentage.

But again, we must keep searching the Bible to make certain of meaning. The Bible is self-confirming and one passage of Scripture can always be confirmed by another. We see the term “sons of God” next used in the book of Job. Job chapter 1 reads:  “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.   And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” (Job 1:6-7)

The scene being described, where God is literally meeting with the sons of God, took place in Heaven. This is a Divine Council that God holds where He chooses to meet with both good and evil angels to discuss affairs of the world (for more examples of these assemblies see 1 Kings 22 and Psalm 82).

Another Divine Council is called in Job Chapter 2. Verse 1 states: “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.”

So again from the clear reading of the text, the “sons of God” are not human men but are in fact angels, who are meeting in Heaven with The Lord. And the Hebrew term is b’nai ha Elohim. The third reference to the sons of God in the Old Testament is again in Job, but this time in chapter 38. God who in this is posing questions to Job about the creation of the universe (to show Job how little understanding and knowledge he has compared to The Lord) says:

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.  Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?  Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;  When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? — Job 38:4-7

So again, not only were the sons of God again with God, they existed even before the Earth itself was created. Every use of the term b’nai ha elohim in the Old Testament is a reference to angelic beings. In the Septuagint, the oldest form of the Old Testament today (and the version most quoted by Jesus and His disciples in the New Testament) the term ‘sons of God’ is not even used in these passages in Job, it just reads “the angels of God.” Thus it can be concluded with certainty that the sons of God in Genesis 6 were in fact, angels.

Did Angels Have Sexual Relations With Human Women?

Job, the oldest book of the Bible, was written by the patriarch Job who lived close to the time of the flood, thus the references to angels reflect this. There is passage not often cited in scripture that states directly that certain angels were indeed involved in illicit relations with human women. It occurs when Eliphas, one of Job’s friends who is consoling him over the loss of his family in a Satanically empowered hurricane, shares a Divine vision he had:

Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof.  In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,  Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.  Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:  It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,  Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?  Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: – Job 4:13-18.

The word “folly” in the Old Testament is used to describe sexual sin. Once again, we use Scripture to interpret Scripture. Here are several examples:

And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her… And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter: which thing ought not to be done. – Genesis 34:1-2, 7.

Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you. – Deuteronomy 22:21.

And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.  And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do anything to her… And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister.  And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly. – 2 Samuel 13:1-2. 11-12.

So here we see that certain untrustworthy angels were charged with the sin of “folly” for sinful sexual acts. In the Septuagint the verse from Job says: “he perceives perverseness in his angels” giving even more confirmation that there were sinful sexual acts committed by angels.

The books of 2 Peter and Jude detail the punishment of the angels who committed these sins:

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.  Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.  Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. – Jude 1:6-8.

Here we see a reference to angels who left their “habitation” and are reserved in chains until Judgment Day. This was the punishment for those angels who left their habitation of he spirit world to “go after strange flesh”, namely human women. Also note there is a reference to Sodom and Gomorrah, cities so steeped in sexual corruption that when two Godly angels cam to visit the home of Lot to usher he and his family out of the city, the men and boys came to Lot’s home demanding that the angels be brought out so that they could “know them.”

Nephilim Giant Offspring

By the measurements in Scripture, the original Nephilim offspring were quite larger than the average human.

By the measurements in Scripture, the original Nephilim offspring were quite larger than the average human.

The offspring from this illicit union between angels and human women were giants who “became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6) The fact that they were giants, is also proof in and of itself that their parentage was superhuman. But these giants were evil. Having been born of corrupted, Satanic angels they dominated the Earth and filled it with violence. It is also interesting to note that the Bible calls them “men of renown.” The Hebrew word here, shem, refers to being famous and legendary. It is as if the Bible is indicating that when the reader hears of legends of “demigods”, titans or legendary heroes who were part god, that this is who those “myths” were referring to. These were ‘men’ of superhuman ability and strength. In addition to causing violence and sin in the world, the Nephilim were also corrupting the human bloodline.

 

Why Would Satan Do This?

As it will be in the end times, much of the conflict centers around human DNA.

As it will be in the end times, much of the conflict centers around human DNA.

After the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden God pronounced a judgment on Satan:

And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:  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. – Genesis 3:14-15.

This pronouncement was historic. God proclaimed that the means by which Satan would ultimately punished and destroyed would be through the seed of the woman. (It must be remembered at this point that our enemy, Satan is a far older, and vastly more powerful and evil being, so this prophecy was a serious pronouncement). A human woman would give birth to a male child who would one day destroy the Devil. This was the first prophecy of the coming Messiah, Jesus Chris. Satan was put on notice. From then on he set out to corrupt or destroy an God-fearing child as that could potentially be the prophesied Redeemer. To no surprise the first Godly child born, Abel, was killed by his wicked brother Cain. Cain was banished and Adam and Eve bore another son Seth. At his birth Eve declared: “For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.” – (Genesis 4:25).

As more God-fearing sons began to populate the Earth, Satan instituted his Nephilim plan into action. By corrupting the seed of the woman, Satan could prevent the birth of the Messiah, who of course, had to be human and not part fallen angel. Satan wants the Word of God to fail but he knew that in addition to the woman, God prophesied that Satan too would have a “seed” (v. 15). Thus the Nephilim were an attempt to thwart God’s plan of salvation for humanity. At every step, the Nephilim giants, via their evil angelic parentage, sought to undermine or undo what God had set out for humanity to be reconciled to Him. In their dominance of the Earth, they reproduced so rapidly, God proclaimed that all flesh on the Earth had become corrupted. They dominated the Earth with war, bloodshed and their pagan religion (which will be covered in this series).

The Nephilim giants spread violence and sin that: “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Humanity was on the verge of being wiped out with no hope of being saved from sin if every person born became part fallen angel. Thus God judged the Earth with the flood.

The Purpose of the Flood in Noah’s Day

Rather than being an act of cruelty, the Flood was God’s way of saving the last of humanity from complete destruction.

Rather than being an act of cruelty, the Flood was God’s way of saving the last of humanity from complete destruction.

Many pastors, Bible scholars and Bible skeptics alike view the flood as God’s way of dealing with humanity after humanity just sinning too much. However, with all due respect, this is a very simplistic way of looking at the flood. After all, today’s society is just as corrupt and depraved, if not far worse than any era before (more people have been killed in war in the past century than in the prior 900 years). So why would such a global judgment only happen in Noah’s day? The answer is that there were far more complex issues going on in the days of Noah then just humans sinning.
The flood served 3 chief purposes: 1) To destroy the Nephilim giants. 2) To punish the angels who committed the illicit relations with women and make an example of them so that no other angels would ever attempt this again and 3) to save humanity from certain destruction.

Much more than the “over-reaction by an angry God” as skeptics like to paint it, the flood was God’s way of preserving the human race and its bloodline, before it became completely corrupted by the Nephilim giants. This is an important point: many people today point to the flood as “proof” that God is cruel and angry with humanity all the time, and willing to just kill millions of people in genocide on a whim. However the Biblical truth was that God sent the flood to preserve humanity and to make sure we could still receive the promised Redeemer who could save our souls. Without Jesus Christ, there is no hope. There is no future. There is no forgiveness. Meaning every person would spend eternity in hell. The flood was God’s way to keep that hope for all people.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

Noah was chosen to carry on and re-start humanity after the flood because he was a believer in God. Additionally he was “perfect in his generations” which meant that his genetic bloodline and ancestry was 100% human. Noah had not been a part of the Nephilim hybridization that was plaguing humanity. The Hebrew word for “perfect” in that verse is tamiym, which means “complete, whole” with reference to health and physical condition. This is the same word used to describe the condition of animal sacrifices to the Lord:

And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein. – Leviticus 22:21.

Thus Noah, his three sons and their wives were able to survive the flood and re-start humanity. But unfortunately, the Nephilim giants returned.

Nephilim Giants After The Flood

Noah Ham Shem Japheth after the flood | Nephilim Giants Genesis 6

Noah and his family survived the flood. But the Nephilim gene came with them.

“ There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that…” — Genesis 6:4

The verse above makes it clear that Nephilim giants returned after the flood. Now nowhere in scripture is it again written that angels ever cohabited and/or had relations with human women after the flood. Genesis 6 was the only instance of this. So how did the Nephilim return? How could this have happened? The Bible holds the answer:

And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.  And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. –Genesis 7:6-7.

While Noah and his sons were 100% human, we are not told the same about the wives of his 3 sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. What is clear is that one or more of these women were carrying the Nephilim gene. This is the source of the post-flood Nephilim. Nowhere in the Bible is it ever stated that angels once again cohabited with human women.

The first time Nephilim giants are mentioned by name after the flood is in Numbers 13 after the Exodus in which Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt to go to God’s designated Promised Land. Moses sent 12 spies to scout out the land in advance. 2 of the spies, Caleb and Joshua spoke of the land in glowing terms and urged the Israelites to enter and rightfully claim the land God had promised them. But the other 10 spies had a different opinion:

And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.  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.  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. – Numbers 13:31-33.

We will discuss this extremely important passage in much more detail below but a few things should be noted. First off the giants living there were descendants of specific person named Anak.  This description, where a Nephilim is referred to as “[name] who was born of the giant..”  shows that the Nephilim hybrids after the flood were the offspring of other giants and not angels (this will be explained in greater detail in later).  And in Numbers 13, the giants the spies saw were the sons of the Nephilim giant Anak.

And they were so large that the Israelites spies were like insects to them. Additionally, these giants had special agricultural knowledge that they knew how to grow grapes so large that it took two Israelite men using poles to carry a cluster! So how did the giants return and how was it that they knew to be in the exact place that God was going to send His chosen people to, namely the land of Canaan? The answer starts with the lineage after the flood.

The Bloodlines of the Nephilim

The Bible provides a specific geneology and bloodline of the Nephilim giants after the flood that can be traced back to Noah’s own sons. What seems to be consistent with the presence of the Nephilim gene was an affinity for evil, due to their fallen angelic parentage. And among Noah’s sons, Ham was by far the most wicked.

Ham

“And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.” – Genesis 9:18.

From the first time Ham is introduced, he is described as “the father of Canaan.” Notice none of his brothers get any similar distinction. Whenever special descriptions are included in a genealogy in Scripture it is the Bible’s way of saying something significant happened with this particular event. And the student of the Bible should search the Scriptures to find out what that event could be. In this case, it is clear that Canaan carried the Nephilim gene. This could only happen through his mother, Ham’s wife, having the Nephilim gene herself, since we know Noah in all his generations was 100% human. If Ham were wicked and not a follower of God, the odds of him taking a wife who was a part of the Nephilim hybrid pagan culture was much higher (WHATSHOTN: also note that throughout Scripture, men who fell into sin often ended up marrying wives who worshiped false gods; for example, Solomon or King Ahab). And from what the Bible details, Ham was no follower of God. In fact, he was involved in an inappropriate incident with Noah that led to a curse:

And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. — Genesis 9:20-26.

The details of this incident are somewhat vague but going by Scripture alone, it can be concluded that Ham, out of evil intent, looked at his father’s nakedness and then made it public. The Hebrew term for “without”, chwuts, means “outside, in the street.” But the evil of this sexually immoral act is again repeated by the Lord as a general principle for all to follow:

Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!  Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD’s right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory. –Habukkuk 2:15-16.

Shem and Japeth, righteous children of Noah, show a contrast as they seek to respect their father’s dignity by not looking upon, him and carefully covering him. Ham’s sin was so severe that it resulted in his youngest son Canaan becoming the second person in the Bible record to be cursed (the first being Cain, the wicked son of Adam and Eve).

That Ham was wicked (there is no record of him ever repenting for this sin) would make it more likely that he would marry a woman from a pagan family who would be carrying the Nephilim gene.

Why Would God Allow Nephilim DNA to Make It Through the Flood?

If it were not already clear, the reason why God permitted the Nephilim gene to make it on to the ark is because of human sin. We can never forget the role we play in human affairs. If humans sin, they will be judged. If they do not follow God’s ways, they invite sin and its inevitable destructive force.  Ham was not a follower of God and he was judged for his sinful rebellion via his wife. The Nephilim nations after the flood are at various times used by God as judgment against the Israelites for their disobedience. We are all responsible before God.

There were giants walking around the Earth warring with nations, angels openly being revealed and being worshiped as gods and all sorts of supernatural activity taking place.  The pre-flood world was a very unique place. Noah’s family was well aware of this and that it’s root was satanic, hence Noah being a “preacher of righteousness.” Ham rejected God’s righteousness and God’s ways to forge his own. This was solely Ham’s fault. James chapter 1 outlines the process of sin in one’s heart:

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. – James 1:12-15.

Ham was drawn by his own lusts to the pagan, sinful world. He knew the right way to live because the Bible states that  Noah was a “preacher of righteousness.”  Noah and his family were completely aware of the Nephilim hybridization taking place and Noah clearly made efforts to live separate from this.  Despite having the most Holy man on the planet (literally) as is his father, Ham had no faith in God.   This always brings in sin to a person’s life. We can never forget that when looking at any Biblical account. God could have certainly killed Ham’s wife or told Ham “she’s corrupted” but it is this author’s thinking that Ham did not care about what God had to say because Ham was not a follower of God. Ham had a choice. And he chose to reject God.

There are  many examples of this in scripture. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and right up to the Promised Land but could not enter. Why not? Because of his sin. King David brought the ark to Jerusalem where it was supposed to be all along but could not build the temple for it. Why not? Sin. King Solomon had the most prosperous reign in all of Israel and yet led to the nation dividing and ultimately being conquered. Why? Sin. Sin provides the backdoor for Satan to enter and execute his next move in the chess match between he and God. Let this be a lesson to the reader: Satan is relentless in his quest to corrupt and destroy you. And if he cannot get to you, he will happily enter your life through a child or family member.   Ephesians 4 states:

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness…Neither give place to the devil.” – Ephesians 4:22-27.

We are renewed in the spirit when we have salvation in Jesus Christ. And we are not to leave any space in our lives for Satan to enter.  Satan entered the space of the ark because Ham invited him.

The Curse of Canaan

What is interesting is that Cannan of Ham’s three sons, was the one cursed. Why? Why is Ham distinguished as “the father of Canaan”? Is it possible that Canaan was already showing the appearance of being part Nephilim? This is not stated in scripture, but we will see a similar distinction made for another infamous hybrid being below. What we can know with certainty that it is from the line of Ham that we find the resurgence of the Nephilim giants.

By comparing Scripture with Scripture, the lineage of the post-flood giants can be traced specifically to three of Ham’s sons, Cush, Mizraim and Canaan. The Bible is full of lineages and the Bible student should take note that they hold significance in bettering our understanding of Scripture. The first grandson of Ham who receives special designation in Genesis 10 is King Nimrod.

Nimrod

Nimrod Nephilim Tower of Babel | Nephilim Giants Complete Biblical Study.

Nimrod led the tower of Babel rebellion. Was he a Nephilim giant?

And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan. And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.  He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.  Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,  And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city. – Genesis 10:6-12.

Just as Canaan received a special distinction in his genealogy, Nimrod gets several extra verses! Clearly this is someone of special significance. Nimrod was the first murderer and conqueror in the post-flood world. He was the founder of the city of Babylon which became a center of pagan, satanic idolatry, much of it with various versions of Nimrod himself being worshiped as a god. His name, which means “to rebel” or “let us rebel” indicates his disposition. He was an enemy of God and at the time was Satan’s main servant on Earth. He is credited for leading the effort to build the tower of Babel, a religious temple used to access the angelic realm through pagan ritual. The Tower of Babel was also the first attempt at a global government, led by Nimrod and an attempt for man to reach the spiritual realm and “godhood” without The Lord (to which God swiftly responded by destroying the tower, confusing the languages of all the people of the world and scattering them all over the Earth). Was this grandson of Ham possibly a Nephilim?
It is interesting to note is that the verse 9 states that Nimrod “began to be a mighty one in the earth.” The term for “mighty one”, gibborim, is the same Hebrew phrase used to describe the Nephilim giants in Chapter 6 of Genesis who were “mighty men”. It is also the same term used to describe the giant Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:51. Was Nimrod a Nephilim? In mythology, Nimrod is known by many names, among them Gilgamesh and Osiris, who were worshiped as gods. In Sumerian texts he is described as “2/3 god, 1/3 man.” The Hebrew word for “began” in the verse is chalal, which means, “to profane, desecrate or pollute oneself, begin, ritually or sexually”.

Matthew Henry’s Bible commentary on this passage states:

That which is observable and improvable in these verses is the account here given of Nimrod, v. 8-10. He is here represented as a great man in his day: He began to be a mighty one in the earth, that is, whereas those that went before him were content to stand upon the same level with their neighbours, and though every man bore rule in his own house yet no man pretended any further, Nimrod’s aspiring mind could not rest here; he was resolved to tower above his neighbours, not only to be eminent among them, but to lord it over them. The same spirit that actuated the giants before the flood (who became mighty men, and men of renown, ch. 6:4), now revived in him, so soon was that tremendous judgment which the pride and tyranny of those mighty men brought upon the world forgotten.

The final piece of evidence to consider is that in the Septuagint, the oldest version of the Old Testament, the same verse from Genesis reads:

And [Cush] begot [Nimrod]: he began to be a giant upon the earth. He was a giant hunter before the Lord God; therefore they say, As [Nimrod] the giant hunter before the Lord. – Genesis 10:8,9 (LXX)

So from just the text of scripture it appears that through some form of defilement and/or occult ritual, Nimrod. the grandson of Ham, was transformed into a giant. This would not be the only time a human king was transformed into a different creature. Please note that in Daniel 4, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, was literally transformed into a “beast” and lived as an animal for seven years. And this was at the pronouncement of “watchers” and “holy ones” (the same type of angels that are named as being involved in the Genesis 6 illicit relations in extra-biblical texts like the Book of Enoch). (WHATSHOTN: There is much more to write on Nimrod and his role in Bible scripture that will be covered in a forthcoming article. In the meantime, we strongly encourage the reader to research and explore this figure).

Casluhim and Capthor

And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,  And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim. – Genesis 10:13-14.

Ham’s son Mizaraim also contributed to the Nephilim lineage. In verse 14 we have the first mention of the Phillistines (whose forefather was Phillistim), the nation of the giant Goliath. Calshuhim was the father of Phillistim and his family later resided in Capthor in the Promised Land. So we see the direct origins of the Philistines, one of the most heated enemies of the Israelites, who also carried the Nephilim gene.
In fact, as will be shown, the Philistine nation was the final “hideout” for the remnant of the Nephilim giants. And they can be traced back to Casluhim, the son of Mizraim and grandson of the evil Ham.
Canaan

The name of Canaan should be the most familiar as it was the land that bore his name that was the Promised Land that The Lord reserved for the Israelites after they escaped out of Egypt thanks to God miracles and the leadership of Moses. The fact that they were in the Promised Land the Israelites were supposed to inhabit was no coincidence! The Philistines were worshipers of demons, fallen angels and Satan. And the Nephilim giants among them were working to attack God’s chosen people. Canaan’s line contains many of the enemies of God:

And Mizraim begat Ludim,  And Canaan begat Sidon his first born, and Heth,  And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, — Genesis 10:14-16.

The Jebusites, the Amorites and Gegusites, all cousins of Nimrod, are mentioned time and time again with reference to the Israelites capturing the Promised Land. These families were usurpers in the Promised Land and carried lots of the Nephilim gene. This is once again why God had to deal mercilessly with these nations. It cannot be stressed enough that the Nephilim threatened not only the existence of the human race itself but the ability of an all-human Messiah to eventually be born as well. Note God’s instructions to Moses on how to battle against these children of the cursed Canaan:

When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:  Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. — Deuteronomy 7:1-3.

Notice that God describes these nations as “greater and mightier than thou” to the Israelites. The physical and military advantage was clearly on the side of the enemies of God – the nations that were home to the Nephilim giants. But what gave the Israelites the ultimate edge was that The Lord Himself was going to supernaturally intervene early on in the conflict to deliver the enemies of Israel so they could be defeated. This point is not discussed enough: God fought against and defeated the early post-flood Nephilim.  This shows the severity of the matter. The Lord was no longer allowing these superhuman, powerful hybrids to dominate humanity. Thus He not only says to wipe out these nations, but makes a specific point of prohibiting any marriage between them. God was bringing the spread of the Nephilim genes to an end.
Lord willing, at this point it is clear that giants did indeed exist in the Bible and in large number. Satan, who has constantly sought to stop God’s plans and destroy the souls of humanity, used a select group of angels to interbreed with human women and try to corrupt human DNA. By altering humanity from being no longer fully human, Satan could ensure that a pure human Messiah would never be born. To counter Satan’s offensive, God sent the global flood judgment to punish those angels who committed folly, destroy the Nephilim and save the existence of the human race. The flood ensured the Messianic bloodline was preserved so that we could have a chance to go to Heaven. It was as an act of love of mercy on God’s part to save a people that had rejected him to follow Satan’s minions and their God-given powers.

Bloodlines-of-the-Nephilim-and-Man-WHATSHOTNThe bloodline of the Nephilim after the flood can be clearly traced to Ham, Noah’s evil son who brought a curse upon his own child, Canaan.  But this is just the beginning. In parts we will continue to examine the post-flood Nephilim lineage from the perspective of the righteous men of God who fought against them throughout the Old Testament in the continuing chess match between God and Satan and the Sons of God against the seed of the Serpent. The articles will also look that as the number of Nephilim giants on the Earth decreased, they soon became smaller in size. And we will reveal a modern occult mystery so secret even Wikipedia states it do not have the answer for it! These and other revelations will be detailed, all of this from the pages of Holy Scripture.

A question I receive about this topic is, the verse in Genesis refers to the same people as mentioned in Jude 1:4-16. The ones who are blessed because of Exodus 20:6 but as Jude says “ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

And I believe the enemy is attempting to insert his fantasies into our faith! He wants this to become reality. Because of research into genetics and quantum computing I believe this will be accomplished in the antichrist, but it also will only come on the Lord’s terms. Remember who is in charge and pray for everyone who may be deceived.

Jude in the passage is comparing two groups: false prophets and the angels who sinned.

4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. 5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 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. 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

Clearly, two distinct groups are being compared here. And the angels who sinned, in context are “as Sodom and Gomorrha”, who committed illicit sexual unions. Jude states this quite clearly.

Additionally, your question does not provide the proper translation of the word “nephilim” (it is not from the Hebrew root na-phal, other wise it would be spelled “nophelim”, not nephilim). It means giants. Which is precisely why the Septuagint translators used the greek word gigantes for them in Genesis 6 and again used gignates in Numbers 13 among other passages. Your questions tries to cast the nephilim as “warriors who inspire fear.” If that were the case why would the Septuagint translators use the term gignates? There are words for “fear inspiring warriors” in Greek and yet they used the word for giants in translating the text from Paleo-Hebrew. I do not think your question adequately addresses this. It also doesn’t explain the context of Numbers 13: The Israelites had just crossed the Red Sea and saw God destroy Pharaoh and the mightiest army on Earth at that time. Why would “well-trained warriors” in the land of Canaan suddenly inspire so much fear? And why would they specifically use their enemies size as a reason for fear, and not their weapons or military ability? It’s because these people, specifically, the sons of Anak, were giants.

Just something to consider. Thanks again for sharing your questions. God bless.

 

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