Nephilim & Giants: how neo-pop-researchers are giving the Bible a bad name

skeleton.jpg

Having written 4-6 books (depending on how you could them) on issue relating to Nephilim and “giants”—from what the Bible states, to what extra biblical texts state, to what scholars state, to what pop-researchers state—I have attempted to critique that which is claimed up and against that which the actual sources actually state.


Having written 4-6 books (depending on how you could them) on issue relating to Nephilim and “giants”—from what the Bible states, to what extra biblical texts state, to what scholars state, to what pop-researchers state—I have attempted to critique that which is claimed up and against that which the actual sources actually state.

I have also noted that many researchers, not just the pop ones but even some scholars, are really teaching that which I term “theo-sci-fi”—why thinkest thou that many such researchers also end up writing fictional tales? It is because that which they teach as fact, as theology, is essentially already fiction and so the transition is seamless.

Consider a something noted by Marco Romano (Sapienza University of Rome) and Marco Avanzini (Museo delle Scienze, Trento, Italy” in their paper “The skeletons of Cyclops and Lestrigons: misinterpretation of Quaternary vertebrates as remains of the mythological giants”[fn]https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08912963.2017.1342640?scroll=top&needAccess=true&journalCode=ghbi20&[/fn]

The myth of giants as first inhabitants of countries is a common legend shared by different cultures.
In this paper, we highlight that one of the determining factors of the origination of the myth was the discovery of large vertebrate bones (largely Cenozoic), initially interpreted as the remains of giant humans.
Thus, huge skeletons were interpreted by authoritative writers such as Strabo, Philostratus and Pliny (just to name a few) as the bodies of the mythological giant Antaeus, Ilio son of Hercules, Orestes, Cyclops and many others.
As for the myth of the Great Flood, also the hypothesis of the giants found a convenient literal confirmation in the Sacred Scriptures.

I have considered such issues in my book “What Does the Bible Say About Giants and Nephilim? A Styled Giantology and Nephilology.”

Yet, the point of note besides the misidentification of bones is “the hypothesis of the giants found a convenient literal confirmation in the Sacred Scriptures.” Now, by “Sacred Scripture” they could be referring to many text but I will critique the statement from the point of view of the Bible.

We need first know what they mean by “giants” (I can think of 5-6 definitions). But let us take the, utterly and demonstrably false, pop-research claim that the Bible refers to “giants” that range from one to various body lengths taller than average (note something that most pop-researchers do not bother noting: “taller” and “average” are subjective terms) with the contextual average being that of Hebrews/Israelites males of whom averaged 5.5-5.3 ft.

With the view of a “hypothesis of the giants found a convenient literal confirmation in the” Bible: it is not accurate to state that such is found in the Bible, or even read into it, via a “literal” reading since such a thing simply does not exist in the Bible—not literally nor even wildly figuratively unless, that is, one actually believes the unfaithful, disloyal, self-contradictory, rebuked spies who also embellished their original report, make three claims about which the rest of the whole Bible knows nothing, and also contradict Caleb, Joshua, Moses, God and the rest of the Bible as recorded in Numbers 13:32-33.

An article titled, “Fact check: Online post showing giant human skeletons is an old hoax” considers “The claim: Giant human skeletons were ‘found by the thousands’ and destroyed by the Smithsonian.”[fn]https://archive.archaeology.org/online/features/hoaxes/calaveras.html[/fn]

It notes “belief in a narrative about the discovery of giant skeleton remains” are “significantly associated with greater anti-scientific attitudes, stronger New Age orientation, greater religiosity, stronger superstitious beliefs, lower Openness to Experience scores, and higher Neuroticism scores.”

And here comes the academic, Ulrich Lehner (Warren Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame) who “said the problem arises when one understands the book of Genesis as a history book with ‘literal’ information” so that “‘It is a book of stories conveying a theological message and mistaking the category of the text leads to a complete misunderstanding,’ Lehner said in an email to USA TODAY.”

Moreover, “‘The Catholic way of reading Scripture never clashes with science and reason, while the fundamentalist reading of Scripture demands sacrifice of reason. For us Catholics however, reason and faith are always in harmony,’ Lehner said. ‘A Catholic therefore has no problem with either evolution or seeing the story about the ‘giants’ as a myth integrated into the Bible to emphasize fall and sin, but not as a historical account.’”

Did you note the glaringly missing piece of this puzzle?

Having heard and read a ridiculous amount of such teachings from scholars and pop-researchers alike, the charge of “higher Neuroticism scores” seems just about right.

But the missing ingredient is where, exactly, does the Warren Professor of Theology see “giants” in Genesis?

He also goes on about literal readings but he never bothered stating, nor was he asked by USA TODAY, to quote or cite any text.

This is not about someone who is, oh, so very neurotic as to understand the book of Genesis as a history book with literal information.

The one and only thing the Warren Professor of Theology could possibly say is that the word (this is key) “giants” appears in Genesis.
Yet, this will only be in some versions and only in some English versions and the deeper problem is, as above, what is meant by “giant” along with the fact that the word appears in some English version but a physical description is not. Thus, he could only possibly say that he has subjectively decided to read his preconceived notion of what “giant” means into a text which elucidates nothing about how to interpret that term.

His is such a very low level of argumentation that it is below low hanging fruit, it is fruit that has fallen to the ground and is rotting away.

He is involved in a textbook classic case of eisegesis: he is reading into the Bible, specifically Genesis.
He is also involved in polemics in favor of Catholicism since “The Catholic way of reading Scripture never clashes with science and reason” because whenever the Bible (seems to) clash with whatever he may mean by the utterly generic broom painted terms science and reason, he merely sacrifices the Bible on the altar of science and reason.

But that “the fundamentalist reading of Scripture demands sacrifice of reason” is embarrassingly prejudicial and premised upon his fundamental level misunderstanding and thus, miscomprehension about this issue.

So, again, if there is a “story about the ‘giants’” literally or “as a myth integrated into the Bible” then, pray tell, whereabouts is it therein?

When scholars are so very sloppy with such stuff it seems that we cannot really expect pop-researchers to do any better—and most do not.

I will leave you with this image:

skeleton.jpg

The image designer, who goes by the pseudonym “IronKite,” took an aerial photo of a mastodon excavation in 2000 in Hyde Park, New York and overlaid a human skeleton atop it.
IronKite stated:

I laugh myself silly when some guy claims to know someone who was there, or even goes so far as to claim that he or she was there when they found the skeleton and took the picture.

Now, whether the “some guy” was neurotic, a liar, or what—perhaps a combo of such traits—the fact is that sloppy scholarship leads to sloppy pop-research leads to deception and/or utter delusion: what a tangled web we weave when first we practice claiming that theo-sci-fi tall tales are divinely inspired.

For some related info, see my books on which I am offering a money saving deal).

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