Did they discover a giant skeleton in Greece (or Egypt or Saudi Arabia or Wisconsin?). Well, no…

Don’t believe everything you read. When it comes to spams, the rule of thumb is, reject it unless you have credible proof (a second spam is not credible proof). To put in another way, an e-mail that has obviously been circulating for a while with the header THIS IS REALLY COOL is probably not the best source for reliable information.

I keep receiving spams in Spanish and in English, claiming that they have discovered skeletons of giants. This is said to prove the truth of Genesis 6:4, that there were giants in the land. The spam offers pictures, which, of course, have supposedly been suppressed.

In fact, the “giant” picture was an entrant in a photo-editing contest by the group “Word 1000” by a guy using software. Someone found it, assumed it was genuine, and passed it around. It’s a complete hoax. There are plenty of second, third and fourth-hand rumors: watch for telltale signs such as “the evidence has mysteriously disappeared” or “so-and-so said he saw them but the photos didn’t come out right” or the old standby, “the mainstream media do not want you to see this!” or “The Smithsonian is involved in a massive cover-up!”

See http://www.snopes.com/photos/odd/giantman.asp

Now somebody has found a way to connect these “skeletons” with Bible prophecy. Google “Nephilim” and “prophecy” and you will encounter a wave of interest in the idea that the Nephilim will appear on earth before the Second Coming.

The logical error is that if the End Times will be like the days of Noah in one way (sudden, unexpected destruction of the wicked), then they must be like Noah’s days in every way.

They are thought to be genetically-enhanced humans, extraterrestrials, UFO creatures, angels and all sorts of other options. As in many pop-prophecy theories, they are tied in with the New World Order, the book of First Enoch (a Jewish apocalypse that has mythical ideas but no connection with Enoch – we read it in one of my courses), the Mayans, the Masons, President Obama, and who knows what else. None of these notions has any basis in the Bible.

Here is other supposed proof of giants: Only giants could have used this staircase! But in fact, this is Ollantaytambo, an Incan ruin in Peru, an example of using terracing for stepped agriculture. It’s a prime example of seeking the simplest solution to a problem, not the most outrageous. In medicine it’s called, “When you hear hoofbeats, look for horses, not zebras.”

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And of course, there are plenty of people who link “alternative history” with UFOs “research” and who knows what.

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Enjoy your Bible…use common sense…reject hoaxes.

“Did they discover a giant skeleton?” by Gary Shogren, PhD, Seminario ESEPA, San José, Costa Rica

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  1. […] Did They Discover a Giant Skeleton? Well, No. […]

  2. […] Did They Discover a Giant Skeleton? Well, No. […]

  3. Gary,
    Have you read Horatius Bonar’s commentary on the “Son’s of God”?
    This commentary is on page 369 onwards, in his book titled “Earth’s Morning”.
    I have an original hardback copy of this book (1875).
    It can, however be read online, there is a site called “American Libraries”, I am sure that there are others.
    I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on this subject, as there would appear to be much speculation by many in evangelical circles on this topic.
    Many blessings.

    • I haven’t read it but will look around.

      The Jews of the Second Temple were fascinated by the topic, Christians less so – it barely rates a brief, cryptic mention in 2 Peter and Jude.

  4. Gary,
    How on earth can the so-called “fallen angel” theory be true? Doesn’t the Bible teach that throughout the 6th of Genesis that it was “man’s sin” that was so great in the earth? It was on account of “man’s sin” that the deluge came?
    If this fallen angel theory be true then how would these fallen angel/half human hybrids stand in relation to Christ as regards salvation? Being semi-man and semi demon, could they believe on Him according to Hebrews 2.16?
    You know that the “Sons of God” applies to the Sethites?

    • Hi Colin, blessings!

      Yes, humankind was punished in the Flood for its sin. But we also see in 2 Peter 2:4, just before he speaks of Noah, that “God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment.”

      The Bible gives almost no details about this angelic apostasy. The Jews consistently interpreted Gen 6 as referring to the fall of angels into sin.

      I have heard of the Sons of God = Sethite viewpoint, but see no proof for it. “Sons of God” in the Hebrew Scriptures are exclusively angels.

      • Gary,
        I have been studying this particular subject at length.
        Do YOU believe the gap theory?

        • Not as such, but I am an Old Earth Creationist. That is, I think it certain that the universe is close to 14 billion years old, the earth 4.5 billion years, and the human race perhaps 100,000 years old. That is, I do not believe in evolution, but in the creation by God, as portrayed in Gen 1-2.

          I see little evidence that Genesis wants to offer an overarching chronological scheme of the universe.

      • Gary,
        But are the “sons of God” exclusively angels in the Hebrew Scriptures?
        Perhaps in that exact phraseology, it may be so. I will quote this extract attributed to Keil and Delitzsch;
        “Keil and Delitzsch reject the linguistic viewpoint based upon apparent pagan parallels because it does not accord with the Scriptural usage. They draw attention to the fact that the terms ‘sons of Elohim’, and ‘sons of Elim are applied not only to angels but also to godly men. They cite the following examples: (1) Psalm 73.15 where Elohim is being addressed but the godly are called ‘the generation of Thy sons’, that is sons of Elohim. (2) Deuteronomy 32.5. In this verse the Israelites are called His sons, that is sons of God. (3) Hosea 1.10. In this verse the Israelites are called ‘sons of the living God’. (4) Psalm 80.17. In this verse Israel is spoken of as the son that Elohim has made strong. These commentators conclude that the expression ‘sons of God’ cannot be interpreted philologically but must be interpreted theologically. Thus when the wider Scriptural evidence is taken into consideration it can be seen that there is no constraining need to interpret ‘the sons of God’ as angels because the Nephilim of Numbers 13.33 are ‘men of great stature’, and therefore must be nothing but men in Genesis 6.4.”
        The author goes on; “a mechanical approach to the meaning of expressions is not a safe guide and the safe rule for interpreting Scripture is to take each word in its context and according to the analogy of Scripture. The analogy of Scripture includes taking into consideration similar expressions as these often shed light upon the way in which Scripture uses expressions. Thus a useful comparison is Psalm 82.6-7a: “I have said, Ye are gods (Hebrew elohim); and all of you are children (or literally ‘sons’ Hebrew bene) of the most High (Hebrew elyon), But ye shall die like men…’Thus men are referred to as gods and ‘sons of God Most High’. It is in reference to this verse that Jesus defended His right to be called ‘the Son of God’ because God’s people to whom the Word of God came are called ‘gods’.
        I could say more, but I would be very interested to know your thoughts on the above, as I consider it to be a very important topic.
        May God bless your studies.

        • Hi Colin, in fact, the unqualified or “absolute” use of the phrase “sons of God” IS exclusively a reference to angels. This does not prove it always must be, but it does indicate that that is the idiom the Hebrews knew and used.

          Keil and Delitzsch make some interesting points. However, the heart of their argument is a “reductio”, that is, they try to define the phrase by defining the sum of its parts and then adding them together. You can see how this might run into interpretive distortions if one were to do the same with phrases such as the Day of Yahweh, or Son of Man or the Latter Days.

          You quote the author who says, “a mechanical approach to the meaning of expressions is not a safe guide and the safe rule for interpreting Scripture is to take each word in its context and according to the analogy of Scripture.” But it is in fact K & D who are guilty of mechanistic interpretation.

          The other problem is, of course, how “daughters of men” could be made to refer to Cainite women.

          I do agree that the Nephilim are presented as humans, but also abominations.

          Here is a quote from the WBC commentary by Bauckham (pp 50-51), which I find weighty:

          Jude 6 refers to “the angels (known as the Watchers) who, according to Jewish tradition, descended from heaven to marry human wives and corrupt the human race in the period before the Flood. This was how the account of the “sons of God” in Gen 6:1–4 was universally understood (so far as our evidence goes) until the mid-second century A.D. (1 Enoch 6–19; 21; 86–88; 106:13–15, 17; Jub. 4:15, 22; 5:1; CD 2:17–19; 1QapGen 2:1; Tg. Ps.-J. Gen. 6:1–4; T. Reub. 5:6–7; T. Napht. 3:5; 2 Apoc. Bar. 56:10–14), though the tradition took several varying forms. From the time of R. Simeon b. Yohai in the mid-second century A.D., the traditional exegesis was replaced in Judaism by an insistence that the “sons of God” were not angels but men. In Christianity, however, the traditional exegesis had a longer life, questioned only in the third century and disappearing in the fifth century.”

          1 Enoch 6-7 says:

          6 1* In those days, when the children of man had multiplied, it happened that there were born unto them handsome and beautiful daughters. 2 And the angels, the children of heaven, saw them and desired them; and they said to one another, “Come, let us choose wives for ourselves from among the daughters of man and beget us children.” 3 And Semyaz, being their leader, said unto them, “I fear that perhaps you will not consent that this deed should be done, and I alone will become (responsible)d for this great sin.” 4 But they all responded to him, “Let us all swear an oath and bind everyone among us by a curse not to abandon this suggestion but to do the deed.” 5 Then they all swore together and bound one another by (the curse). 6 And they were altogether two hundred; and they descended into ʾArdos, which is the summit of Hermon. And they called the mount Armon, for they swore and bound one another by a curse. 7 And their names are as follows: Semyaz, the leader of Arakeb, Rameʾel, Tamʾel, Ramʾel, Danʾel, Ezeqel, Baraqyal, Asʾel, Armaros, Batarʾel, Ananʾel, Zaqeʾel, Sasomaspeweʾel, Kestarʾel, Turʾel, Yamayol, and Arazyal. 8 These are their chiefs of tens and of all the others with them.

          7 1* And they took wives unto themselves, and everyone (respectively) chose one woman for himself, and they began to go unto them. And they taught them magical medicine, incantations, the cutting of roots, and taught them (about) plants. 2 And the women became pregnant and gave birth to great giants whose heights were three hundred cubits. 3 These (giants) consumed the produce of all the people until the people detested feeding them. 4* So the giants turned against (the people) in order to eat them. 5 And they began to sin against birds, wild beasts, reptiles, and fish. And their flesh was devoured the one by the other, and they drank blood. 6 And then the earth brought an accusation against the oppressors.

          While it is not inspired, 1 Enoch represents the universal viewpoint in the 1st century.

  5. My impression from Scripture is that the “giants” were just freakishly tall men, not something on the order of 75′ or so as we might conjecture from the photo! Did anyone actually believe that photo was real?!


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