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Review of Paul “Dr. Reluctant” Henebury’s review of Douglas Van Dorn’s book “Giants: Sons of the Gods”

I have already posted My review of Zachary Garris’ review of Douglas Van Dorn’s book “Giants Sons of the Gods” which served as a good double whammy since I could review Garris and Van Dorn silmultaneously. Well, I’m taking the same opportunity with Henebury herein due to his article A Review of “Giants: Sons of the Gods” by Douglas Van Dorn.

Henebury notes that he, “attended London Theological Seminary and Tyndale Theological Seminary (M.T.S., M.Div., Ph.D)…have been a Church-planter, pastor, and a professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics.  Also, I was editor of the Conservative Theological Journal. I am now the President of Telos Theological Ministries and its little school, Telos Biblical Institute…”

Now Van Dorn’s book title and Henebury opening paragraph’s reference to, “giants” begs these key questions—so we will have to see if they are answered along the way:

What’s the usage of the vague, generic, subjective, multi-usage and modern English word “giants” in English Bibles?

What’s their usage of the vague, generic, subjective, multi-usage and modern English word “giants”?

Do those two usages agree?

Henebury notes, “The book is dedicated to Michael Heiser…he was a good man who brought foreword some important truths about the supernatural realm in the teaching of Scripture. I do not endorse all of his ideas. I don’t agree with his ‘Divine Council’ views” and I too appreciate Dr. Heiser’s works and yet, his Nephilology wasn’t biblical, and he tended to create more problems than he solved—see these articles for examples:

Review of Amy Richter and Michael Heiser on four Enochian Watcher related women in Jesus’ genealogy

Rebuttal to Dr. Michael Heiser’s “All I Want for Christmas is Another Flawed Nephilim Rebuttal”

I also featured him in my book The Scholarly Academic Nephilim and Giants: What do Scholarly Academics Say About Nephilim Giants?

I also agree with Paul Henebury in that, “Van Dorn’s book begins with him considering and rightly rejecting the ‘Sethite’ [mis]understanding of Genesis 6” which is a late comer of a view based on myth, prejudice, and only creates more problems than it solves (so, more the zero).

The original, traditional, and majority view among the earliest Jewish and Christians commentators, starting in BC days, was the “Angel view” as I proved in 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.

It is noted that Van Dorn, “begins with an examination of ‘Pre-Flood Giants’” which refers to Nephilim specifically and exclusively, and he, “takes Genesis 3:15 as referring to actual descendants both of Eve and of Satan (44-47). Satan’s physical seed would be the giants (nephilim, gibborim).”

So, at this point we can confirm that by “giants” Henebury is referring to “nephilim, gibborim” which, by definition, means the mighty (gibborim) offspring of sons of God and daughters of men.

Now, as for, “actual descendants both of Eve and of Satan…Satan’s physical seed” there’s literally not a single word in the entire Bible about Eve—and Adam—having sex with Satan: see my five volume book series debunking that mere assertion of a historically essentially non-existent view, Cain As Serpent Seed of Satan.

Thereafter, “he goes to 1 Enoch” which is Bible contradicting folklore from centuries, if not millennia, after the Torah: see my book In Consideration of the Book(s) of Enoch. Paul Henebury notes, “Many writers in this area are guilty of placing far too much weight on extra-biblical works like the books of ‘Enoch’ and ‘Jasher,’ of circuitous and hyper-conjectural Bible interpretation, and of whacky theories about the pre-Adamic earth. Van Dorn always (or nearly always) let’s the reader know when he is speculating…” Note that Jasher is just a modern day hoaxed fraud: see my book The Apocryphal Nephilim and Giants: Encountering Nephilim and Giants in Extra-Biblical Texts.

Van Dorn, “fully acknowledges is not inspired but believes contains some truth…and was resorted to by Jude and 2 Peter” yet, much in the selfsame manner in which Paul resorted to Greek poets.

Paul Henebury notes, “Van Dorn…believes the giants may have reached up to 12 feet tall (e.g. Og of Bashan, 125-126). He puts Goliath’s height at the upper end of 9 1/2 ft” so this is very problematic.

Thus far, “giants” referred to Nephilim, now the implication is that Nephilim were of that height, and that Og and Goliath were Nephilim.

Yet, this seems to widen the range of usage of the word “giants,” we’ve no reliable physical description of Nephilim so even guessing at their height is a non-issue, and Og and Goliath were Rephaim, not Nephilim—nor could they have been since Nephilim lived strictly pre-flood but the utterly unrelated Rephaim lived exclusively post-flood.

Moreover, we’ve no physical description of Og (not until wild folklore from centuries, if not millennia, after the Torah) and Goliath was that height as per the Masoretic text yet, the earlier LXX and the earlier Dead Sea Scrolls and the earlier Flavius Josephus all have him at just shy of 7 ft.—compared to the average Israelite male who was 5.0-5.3 ft. in those days.

See my book The King, Og of Bashan, is Dead: The Man, the Myth, the Legend—of a Nephilim Giant? wherein I wrote extensively about Og and also Goliath for that matter. I supposed I’ve been around the block with these issues a few times when I’ve essentially written entire books about every aspect.

TO Henbury, “His argumentation looks sound and I have no problem believing these proportions. In fact, owing to the report of the spies in Numbers 13:33 that they ‘were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight’ I have think Van Dorn’s estimates are quite conservative.”

Note the vague nature of the reference to, “the spies” and the lack of interacting with the narrative but only providing us half of a verse. It was not, “the spies” so the question becomes how is it sound to rely, exclusively, on one single sentence form an, “evil report” by ten of the spies who were unreliable and were rebuked by God?

They just made up a fear-mongering scare-tactic tall-tale. We will have to see if Henebury elucidates just how it is that God meant to be rid of Nephilim via the flood but must have failed and the flood was much of a waste.

This is why I noted that we have no reliable physical description of them.

Next, Henebury notes, “the giants (nephilim, Rephaim, Anakim, etc.)” so now we are dealing with a category error since, again, Nephilim were strictly pre-flood hybrids but Rephaim were strictly post-flood 100% humans—and Anakim were a clan of the Rephaim tribe: and that only non-LXX versions have unreliable guys who were rebuked by God claiming an unelucidated relation between Anakim and Nephilim doesn’t change these facts.

So, herein after we need to attempt to track to what Paul Henebury is referring by “giants” due to his usage (or usages) of the term.

We’re told that, “Van Dorn pulls in not only stories from Genesis 14, Exodus 17, Numbers 13, and Deuteronomy 3” only one of which (unreliably) pertains to Nephilim, non of which have anything to do with heights any more unusual than 7.5ft—tops, “but he introduces data from the ancient world, including the Americas…” but it is at times such as those when a reader must be very discerning. We already had both committing category errors and so we must be very careful about going cross-cultural since it becomes too easy to water down terminology to (consciously or not) give the merely appearance of correlation when there’s no such thing, in reality.

And there are gigantically huge obstacles between biblical doctrine and what may be expressed in whatever terms were parochially employed by other cultures. This is especially the case due to the aforementioned issue of the Nephilim not making it past the flood in any way, shape, or form.

Paul Henebury notes, “I did not know that the ancient Christian writers are almost unanimous in their agreement of the existence of the giants” whatever anyone many have meant by that, “and in their belief that the spirits of the nephilim are the demons of today” which is based on folklore (namely Jubilees and 1 Enoch) from centuries, if not millennia, after the Torah: for a biblical view, please see my article, Demons Ex Machina: What are Demons?

In the end, we are told, “I gladly endorse the main ideas of Giants: Sons of the Gods…” but that’s just one of the huge problems: there’s literally zero indication that Rephaim were, “Sons of the Gods” and only one unreliable sentence about that Anakim were.

Now, I thought to delve in to Henebury’s comments section since interesting issues were raised.

One comment was by a certain Justin who noted:

…You write “Van Dorn takes Genesis 3:15 as referring to actual descendants both of Eve and of Satan (44-47).” Do you mean he thinks Eve and Satan mated?

I also have a question about stories from Genesis 14, Exodus 17, Numbers 13, and Deuteronomy 3. How do we account for the presence of Nephilim in the post-Flood world given that all life was destroyed in the Flood barring those on the Ark? Are we obliged to see a genetic link between the Nephilim in Gen 6 and these later post-Flood beings? Can we instead posit that there is no link but rather the same label was applied to creatures after the Flood because they too were giants?

Paul Henebury replied:

Van Dorn is not saying Eve had relations with the serpent. 

His view of post-deluge nephilim is that they came more than once. He mentions the Jewish legend that Og clung to the Ark, but rightly dismisses it as fabulous.

I left my point above as is since that’s the implication and just in case someone reads is that way and needs to follow up.

As for, “they came more than once” well, that’s simply biblically unjustifiable. And clearly, “the Jewish legend that Og clung to the Ark, but rightly dismisses it as fabulous” indeed, it dates from millennia after the Torah, is clearly folkloric, and it’s a category error since the Repha Og didn’t live until centuries post-flood.

Among other things, Justin replied:

You wrote: “His view of post-deluge nephilim is that they came more than once.” You mean that there was inter-breeding post Flood as well? Does that mean there have been people since (including now) who still carry Satan’s physical seed however distant?

Henebury didn’t reply to this so I will note that such is the logical conclusion (actually, il-logical, and il-theo-logical, and il-bio-logical) of post-flood Nephilology. It’s to the point that I had to write a chapter titled, “Nephil Kampf” in my book Nephilim and Giants as per Pop-Researchers: A Comprehensive Consideration of the claims of I.D.E. Thomas, Chuck Missler, Dante Fortson, Derek Gilbert, Brian Godawa, Patrick Heron, Thomas Horn, Ken Johnson, L.A. Marzulli, Josh Peck, CK Quarterman, Steve Quayle, Rob Skiba, Gary Wayne, Jim Wilhelmsen, et al.

That was because some post-flood Nephilologists actually claim that Christians will have to wipe out Nephilim and, oh, by the way, now-a-days the way to identify them is that they look just like regular humans. That’s just shockingly dangerously delusional.

A certain Jefferey Becker commented:

may I ask what Paul and everyone else thinks of Tim Chaffey’s book (“Fallen”)? Or of the two-volumes of Ryan Pitterson’s “Nephilim” series?

It’s simple: both Chaffey and Pitterson teach post-flood Nephilim so their Nephilology isn’t biblical (and my name appears favorably in Chaffey’s books since I assisted him with sources).

And I will leave this review at that.

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