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Catholic Answers Explaining the Nephilim of Genesis

Undergoing consideration is Catholic AnswersQ&A with Tom Nash titled Explaining the “Nephilim” of Genesis.

The question was, “Where in Scripture does it talk about demons having sex with women and having offspring?”

The reply includes, “I think you’re referring to a passage in Genesis 6” which is quoted as referring to “sons of God,” “daughters of men,” and “Nephilim…mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.”

Tom Nash notes, “The Church has no official teaching on this passage, although some ancient writers,” to which I will add that this includes every early church leader that commented on it, “have speculated that the ‘sons of God’ may have been fallen angels.”

Well, there’s no may have about it actually, since such is the original, traditional, and majority view among the earliest Jews and Christians alike for many centuries: see my book On the Genesis 6 Affair’s Sons of God: Angels or Not?  A Survey of Early Jewish and Christian Commentaries Including Notes on Giants and the Nephilim.

Now, Tom Nash decided to elucidate by merely asserting, “angels do not have bodies” which is an unbiblical assertion since whenever Angels are described, they are said to look just like human males and without any indication whatsoever that such is not their ontology, that they morph/shape-shift, take on bodies, etc.

Thus, when he follows that faulty asserted premise with, “which are needed for the procreation of human children,” a line of erroneous dominos has begun to fall.

He continued by noting, “in heaven human beings live like angels and thus do not get married (Matt. 22:30),” but that verse states no such thing.

What Jesus stated there is (note the specificity of His qualifying terms), “the Angles of God in heaven” don’t marry. He spoke of the loyal ones, which is why the ones who did marry are considered sinners, having “left their first estate,” as Jude put it.

Nash then merely asserts, “the identity of the ‘sons of God’ points to mere humans” but then, pray tell, who are the sons of God in Job 38:7 who witnessed the creation of the Earth?

He follows this by asserting, “The early Church Fathers generally understood the ‘sons of God’ to be the offspring of Seth, the righteous son of Adam, whereas ‘daughters of men’ are understood be the offspring of Cain, the immoral son of Adam.” By “early,” he means centuries after the time of Jesus since such a view was virtually invented and certainly promulgated by the popularity of Augustine (354-430 AD).

My armchair psychologizing of Augustine concludes that he rejected the normative view since he came into Christianity from the Gnostic Manichean sect and sought to divest himself of all things taught by Mani—and Mani did hold to the traditional view.

Note the oddity that Nash jumped from, “Seth, the righteous son of Adam” and “the offspring of Cain, the immoral son of Adam,” a reference to two individuals and their characteristics, to “corrupt Cainite culture” which he merely asserts: he appears to condemn an entire genealogy due to Cain himself being immoral—see my article Are there a godly line of Seth and a wicked line of Cain?

Tom Nash then appeals to Scott Hahn who in his book A Father Who Keeps His Promises, noted, “‘the sons of God,’ that is, the Sethite men, were seduced by the beauty of ‘the daughters of men,’ that is, the Cainite women” but why, BTW, exclusively male Sethies and exclusively female Cainites? And why did marriages between humans become part of the premise for the flood?

The Angel view elucidates both: exclusively male sons of God since, again, Angels look just like human males and so they needed to marry exclusively female humans.

Hahn also promulgates the Sethite and Cainite view and myth with Cainites being, “the wicked” and Sethites being “the righteous” (who turned out to not be so righteous after all), “ungodly Cainite…the line of Seth, the covenant family of God.”

Due to this, Hahn asserts, “violent men were born”: whatever sense that makes.

Lastly, recall that the question asked about demons: well, now we would be dealing with entities who “do not have bodies” which is why the demon view is not the original, traditional, and majority one.

My biblical theory about what demons are is that they are fallen Angels but that there’s a mechanism whereby fallen Angels became demons—which they did after the sinned, see my article Demons Ex Machina: What Are Demons?

I reached out to Catholic Answers to see if Nash or whoever fact-checked his answer would discuss it and will update this if anyone replies.

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