Reviewing that which TJ Steadman wrote about Nephilim is somewhat challenging since he thinks that they did but also did not make it past the flood and also that Nephilim 2.0 are known as Rephaim plus, he also calls them “giants” and so it will take a few articles to cover all of that ground.
Hereinafter, I will review that which he writes in specific terms to the term “Nephilim.”
In his book Answers to Giant Questions, he notes, “These angels produced giant offspring with human women, and the giants were known as Nephilim.” This is an unsubstantiated and one that cannot be substantiated for, at least, two reasons: TJ Steadman employs the English term “giants” to means various things and generally does not tell us what he means by it in any given usage and also, we have no reliable physical description of Nephilim. Thus, “giant offspring…giants were known as Nephilim” is not only a question begging statement but is also backward, as if Genesis 6 is written in English and was translated into Hebrew. A non-anachronistic and accurate statement would be that Angels produced offspring with human women, and the offspring were known as Nephilim which is a term some modern day versions have a the undefined, generic, vague, and subjective term giants.
TJ Steadman also wrote:
The Nephilim have always been significant figures throughout human history, whether you have heard of them or you think you haven’t.
But if you were in any doubt, consider that most planets of our solar system and some of our constellations are named after them, usually using their Greco-Roman mythological names.
So are the days of our week, and half of the months of our calendar year. You literally can’t go a single day or even look up at the night sky without being reminded of the Nephilim.
I would rephrase the first statement as that The Nephilim may have always been significant figures throughout human history, whether they were alive at the time or were being referred to via what was once history which came to be called myth and legend.
By that planets are named after them, he is taking the Biblical concept of Nephilim, cross-culturally reading them into Greco-Roman myths, and telling us that he thusly knows their names.
I am not altogether discounting a possibility of this but am simply urging caution in going cross-culture since that only complicates the issue of maintain context and tends towards watering things down in order to make them fit.
Many know by now that my view is that many of ancient cultures’ tales share things in common since what was once commonly known and shared history eventually came to be called myth and legend when it was dispersed around the Earth after the Tower of Babel dispersion.
TJ Steadman also asked “Who Were the Nephilim?” and replied:
Depending on your Bible version, in this passage, you may find the word “Nephilim”, or the word “Giants.”
“Nephilim” is transliterated without explanation from the Hebrew, whereas “Giants” comes both from the translation of the Greek Septuagint (also known as the LXX) where it says Gigantes, and from the direct translation of the Hebrew text.
Well, that is moving a bit too fast. Yes, leaving the term as “Nephilim” would be a transliteration.
However, “Giants” is not a translation but merely a rendering.
Since Nephilim does not mean nor imply anything about unusual height, which is what TJ Steadman is implying at this point, then it cannot be the case that “Giants” if “from the direct translation of the Hebrew text.”
Now, “Gigantes” means “earth-born” and so also implies nothing about height—usual or unusual.
Moreover, the LXX has “gigantes” for “Nephilim” and also “gibborim” and also “Rephaim” and there is no way that those three very different words mean the same thing. It is a terrible idea to render more than one word with just one word and the LXX caused a lot of problems by doing that.
TJ Steadman further elucidates:
The following short passage tells us something of the kind of destruction that the Nephilim wrought on the earth. Violent, grotesque and profane beasts had multiplied all over the land, having spawned from several angels (remembering “sons of God” is a plural term) all over the land.
They were not the only abominable creatures created by the fallen angels, because the text states “all flesh,” which includes animals as well:
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Humankind was in enough trouble as it was with their escalating sin and depravity, but when you consider the mutated animals, massive giants and angelic beings bent on destruction, things were really in a horrific and chaotic state.
I can see how he derives the concept of that what he terms “profane beasts…abominable creatures” includes animals and it may not be a big deal but I am unsure the text is to be understood as such—besides the fact that we are told how Nephilim came about but nothing about how any such profanely-abominable-mutated-beast-creature-animals.
Yes, “all flesh had corrupted their way” which brought about “The end of all flesh” and/but that destruction also included well, any living thing including plants, trees, insects, etc.
The question is whether “all flesh” includes animal flesh.
One thing is certain, there is no reliable biblical indication that any such a thing as “massive giants” ever existed (granting that both “massive” and “giants” are subjective terms).
The text has it that “men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them” and that “the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose” after which we are told, “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years” so that the usage of “flesh” in v. 12 would refer us back to “men…daughters” thus, human flesh.
But perhaps it did refer to all as in any and every kind of flesh. Still, profane and abominable may be a bit too far, and mutated certainly is (that is the stuff of which theo-sci-fi is made) since the corruption is described in terms of that “GOD saw that the wickedness of man” not animals, “was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his” man’s not animals, “heart was only evil continually” which leads to the declaration, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth” yet moreover, “both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air” but this is about destruction, not a description that they were mutated or some such thing and then God tells us that it was because, “it repenteth me that I have made them.”
TJ Steadman further wrote:
Passages in Genesis 9, Psalm 27 and Numbers 13 indicate that the giants were cannibals, eating human victims alive and drinking their blood:
Genesis 9:3-6 “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”
This bloodshed and consumption of blood were not outlawed without reason. There must have been a precedent that necessitated the rule, and the precedent was undoubtedly pre-Flood.
Psalm 27:1-2 [A psalm of David.] The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.”
David recalled his battles with Philistine giants and their appetite for human flesh. Undoubtedly this terrifying behavior was well-known earlier than David’s time. When Moses sent the spies into Canaan, they observed first-hand this gruesome phenomenon:
And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.
“There we saw the giants [Nephilim] (the descendants of Anak came from the giants [Nephilim]); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
The fact that the spies associated the name “Nephilim” with the devouring of the land’s inhabitants shows that this practice was known to them from traditions going back to Noah’s time. We have now seen evidence from both sides of the Flood event, that there were unspeakable violence and cannibalism being perpetrated by giants.
The spread of this violence, depravity and destruction was so severe that in a roughly 1200-year timeframe, the giants had dominated the earth and nearly eradicated humankind. And yet they had so altered the culture of the world in that day that it seemed normal to them.
Firstly, note that he previously referred to Nephilim as “giants” but now to well, apparently what he thinks are, post-flood, Nephilim—excepts he thinks that there were not but also were Nephilim post-flood—and/or Rephaim which he mistakenly thinks that Rephaim are Nephilim 2.0 via some unbiblical means.
In any case, he seems to think that a commandment against not consuming blood implies that “giants” did so but no one imagined any such thing for millennia: not until that which I term Gigorexia Nervosa began spreading—the incessant desire to see “giants” everywhere, even where they are not, and so generally end up inventing them.
TJ Steadman notes, “This bloodshed and consumption of blood were not outlawed without reason. There must have been a precedent that necessitated the rule, and the precedent was undoubtedly pre-Flood.”
Yet, the biblical reason is actually undoubtedly post-flood. He was quoting Gen 9 which records events shortly after the flood. Post-flood was when God allowed the consuming of animals. Thus, He bequeathed commandments about how to do so—and how not to do so.
In the case of the Psalm, the gigorexic (mis) interpretation is to take “wicked…enemies…foes” to mean Nephilim 2.0 but there is no indication that David was dealing with anyone but 100% human Rephaim: not unless you want to see it therein and take statements such as “eat up my flesh” to mean more than overwhelm me, defeat me, murder me, put an end to my flesh, etc.
In fact, the only biblical reference to cannibalism is 2 Kings 6 during one instance when the king of Syria was making war against Israel and caused the Israelites to suffer severe starvation so two women consumed a baby—and other statements foreseeing such terrible circumstances that apparently did not actually come about.
Biblically, the only “Philistine giants,” so singular actually is Goliath which the preponderance of the early manuscripts (the LXX, Dead Sea Scrolls and also Flavius Josephus) have a just shy of 7 ft. Also, Biblically, “Philistine giants” means Philistine Rephaim which is accurate since Philistine are an Anakim subgroup who are a Rephaim subgroup.
But, again, there is no biblical indication that Philistines had an “appetite for human flesh” no, not even when it is recorded that God’s promise land “is a land that devours its inhabitants”: note that the land somehow does not, not the people.
I reviewed Num 13 for my opening statement during my debate with TJ Steadman so you can listed to that here for the sake of details.
Even just that the land devours its inhabitants is problematic since it is the statement of unfaithful disloyal spies whom God rebukes. They were contradicting the original report that was that the land was flowing with milk and honey, etc.—note that even TJ Steadman quoted it as that “they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land” which was after the reliable and faithful spies gave a good report.
He reads this as that the “land” does that “associated the name ‘Nephilim’” so that he can pour into that a “practice” known via “traditions going back to Noah’s time” for which there is zero evidence.
Weaving tall tales is problematic: it is always based on partial info that is watered down and peppered with assertions that result in existing yet, unbiblical tales.
Now, if “eat up my flesh” and “a land that devours its inhabitants” means cannibalism by “giant” then it may be that Israelites where also cannibals—and were cannibals whilst loyal to God.
How lovely are your tents, O Jacob! Your dwellings, O Israel!…
God brings him out of Egypt; he has strength like a wild ox; he shall consume the nations, his enemies; he shall break their bones and pierce them with his arrows (Numbers 24:5, 8).
Lastly, TJ Steadman writes this about a supposed “roughly 1200-year timeframe” that “so altered the culture:
In fact, Jesus states:
For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
In this form and within this context, that is the most abused, misused, misunderstood, and misapplied texts amongst pop-post-flood Nephilim teachers.
Jesus’ reference to the days of Noah is clearly just about people going about as business as usual while being unaware of coming judgement.
And you can know that by reading the whole statement Jesus made and also the one He made in Luke 17 about how:
…it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
In short, we learn more about TJ Steadman’s isogesis than about biblical Nephilim.
See my various books on Nephilim related issues.
My well gone through copy of TJ Steadman’s book
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