I appreciate his concept of grasping “the supernatural world obscured by our ‘enlightened” actually, en-dark-ened culture—capiche? That is part of why I have written so much about such issues, including my books What Does the Bible Say About Various Paranormal Entities?: A Styled Paranormology and The Paranormal in Early Jewish and Christian Commentaries: Over a Millennia’s Worth of Comments on Angels, Cherubim, Seraphim, Satan, the Devil, Demons, the Serpent and the Dragon.
Again, yes, “The cultural context of both the Scripture writer and his intended audience must never be overlooked” and “references to ancient Mesopotamian ideas, later rabbinical thought, classical Greek mythology and 2nd Temple Period Jewish literature” are for informational purposes only and his “Rest assured” claim is suspect.
He also notes:
The first section of the book is dedicated to an explanation of just what the Bible means when it talks about giants. We will set the scene by exploring what the Bible says about how they came to exist and what they were really like.
We will see something of their influence on the ancient world and what happened to them at the time of the Great Flood of Noah’s day.
This will lead us into a discussion in Section II about the mysterious reemergence of giants after the Flood, where we will weigh up some of the theories about how that came about. This section will certainly make for interesting (and sometimes humorous) reading.
Section III will explore some of the major themes about good and evil, and their literary origins, in order to see how they contributed to the shape of Biblical theology. We will start to recognize just how important it is that we are aware of what was going through the minds of Biblical authors. We will learn about both the good and evil forces at work invisibly behind the scenes. In so doing we will explore just how it could be possible that the giants were able to reappear after the Deluge and the purpose behind their activities.
In the fourth section, we will look at some Biblical history and how the giants after the Flood were dealt with. We will be examining various Biblical accounts and relevant literature from the wider ancient Near Eastern context.
This will draw out some of the more interesting and theologically significant messages that are regularly overlooked in your average church setting.
The first section of the book makes it clear that he is essentially taking a typical (and typically erroneous) view of “what the Bible means when it talks about giants” not only by employing that terms to mean many different things but by taking a typical a pop-post-flood-Nephilim view—even when he denied believing in post-flood Nephilim but then telling us there were post-flood Nephilim in the form of demons and in the form of Nephilim 2.0 as Rephaim.
For example, a more fundamental question than “How did the giants reappear after the Flood?” would have been “Did the giants reappear after the Flood?”
Yet, he insists on claiming a “mysterious reemergence of giants after the Flood” and, again, “how the giants after the Flood were dealt with” rather than “were there giants after the Flood to deal with?”
Note that it is exciting to claim to have uncovered “interesting and theologically significant messages that are regularly overlooked in your average church setting” but it may not be a case of having “overlooked” but rather, of having looked and realized that personages such as TJ Steadman are, au fond, not teaching biblical doctrine but a correlation of such with Pagan theology.
He also noted:
Presented here is what I believe to be possibly the most in-depth yet concise exposition of the Biblical giants, focusing particularly on their origins and also on the work of Christ in dealing with them, compiled from Biblical texts.
To demonstrate the sufficiency of canonical Scripture in these matters, as in all others, there is a multitude of quotes directly from your Bible.
See what I mean, this is good PR marketing but with statements such as “the work of Christ in dealing with them” we can instantly know that we are not in for an actual Bible study but something else.
Lastly, I wanted to quote him thusly:
The serpent watched as Cain and Abel offered sacrifices to God. He saw how Cain did what was right in his own eyes rather than obedience to what God required. And he figured that Cain was his man. So, he prompted Cain to kill [technically, murder] Abel. And that would be the end of the “seed of the woman.”
But Eve had another son, and the serpent realized he was going to have to rethink his strategy. There would always be more humans as long as they could reproduce – a thing that the angels (or sons of God) do not do in heaven. How then would the serpent have his way upon the earth?
But there is a distinction to be made before we go further. Whoever the “seed of the serpent” is, it isn’t human. Because the prophecy doesn’t say that one “seed of the woman” will be at enmity with another “seed of the woman.” It says that one is of Eve, and one is of the serpent. They cannot be the same kind because they do not share a common origin.
Perhaps I keyed in on this due to having written a five volume set of books contra the serpent seed of Satan theory but both Cain and Able were genetically of the seed of the woman yet, their actions showed that Cain was, in this case, functionally “of the wicked one” as John ends up putting it—and I am writing this portion just in case.
Thus, the “seed of the serpent” is, or rather are, human since the distinction is not genetic but based on actions.
It is about those who perform Godly actions versus those who do not: which is great biblical news since those who do not can always repent.
Ultimately, these seed are personified as Jesus and Satan.
My well gone through copy of Steadman’s book
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