Herein, I am considering that which TJ Steadman wrote about Tartarus in his book Answers to Giant Questions.
Before getting into that, and as a just in case, no, Tartarus is not that sauce that people eat with fish ;o)
The term Tartarus appears one time in the Bible thusly, “God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to” what some unfortunately tend to render as “hell” but is actually Tartarus, “and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment” (2 Peter 2:4).
TJ Steadman writes:
…the “sons of God” were “imprisoned” according to NT authors in “chains under darkness,” and therefore they cannot be seen as having access to the divine abode.
However…the chains are not physical, the Abyss is not physical either, and the chains being the restraining power of the Holy Spirit means that in effect the fallen sons of God are not limited by geography but they are limited in the scope of their power and freedom to act according to God’s sovereign will.
Hence the sons of God or lesser elohim are able to appear before God’s throne as required, whether good or evil; sec Job l-2, I Kings 22 etc.
But why claim “the chains are not physical” when, after all, Angels are physical, having a flesh of their own?
Sine “sons of God” contextually refers to Angels, then it is uncalled for to assert that Angels, as “lesser elohim” appear before God’s throne “whether good or evil” since in the Job l-2 (referring to chaps. 1-2) has “sons of God” coming before God with Satan being among them but Satan is not an Angel, he is a Cherub (whether we may categorize Cherubim as “lesser elohim” is another issue).
He appeals to 1 Kings 22 since it records that Micaiah stated, “I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left” which is one of the Divine Council texts, and “the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead?…And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.”
TJ Steadman further writes:
The Greeks described Tartarus as being under the earth, but that is not meant to be understood in terms of literal “flat earth” geography. As we saw with the “tower whose top reaches the heavens,” you can’t just dig a deep hole and go there.
What this means is that the fallen sons of God are not in some hole far away from the top side of the planet – they are simply unable to access our world as naturally embodied creatures anymore. It seems apparent that they were, however, able to release the disembodied Nephilim spirits to return and finish the work they started.
And the forces of evil appear to be empowered, as we shall later see, to bind or twist together the spirits of the dead Nephilim with the bodies of living men through an evil royal priesthood.
Actually, the Greeks described Tartarus as being under the Abyss which is within the Earth, it was supposedly the deepest part of the Abyss—which is odd considering that Abyss means bottom-less.
In any case, Peter seems to be speaking within the context of his audience’s language and culture to make his point.
I have no idea what any of this does, would, or could have to do with “‘flat earth’ geography.”
As for “tower whose top reaches the heavens,” which pertains to the Tower of Babel, I am unsure what that has to do with being unable to “dig a deep hole and go” to Tartarus.
Assuming that it is within the planet Earth, that still does not mean it is in any way accessible to humans—for various reasons.
So, perhaps “the fallen sons of God are not in some hole far away from the top side of the planet” but if they are then that is perfectly consistent with where fleshly/physical being would or could be kept.
As for “able to release the disembodied Nephilim spirits to return and finish the work they started” that is just theo-sci-fi, as is “bind or twist together the spirits of the dead Nephilim with the bodies of living men through an evil royal priesthood,” as I have demonstrated in my various articles about his assertions.
The last quote is wherein TJ Steadman writes:
The Abyss is no more a physical place than the earth is flat – it is a cosmological understanding, not a scientific one. The sons of God were restrained in terms of a loss of freedom or power, but there is no evidence of banishment to some other place. They still operate within the geography that they were assigned to.
The fact that the conceptual language of “sons of God” appears in Genesis 6 and Deuteronomy 32 is not coincidental. These powers still roam the earth even today (see Job 1 and 2), and their power is limited but still very real. While they do not reside in heaven, they can appear before God at His command.
I get the feeling he is un-contextually appealing to a flat Earth is flat view to embarrass anyone who may think that the Abyss and Tartarus are within the Earth.
The “evidence of banishment to some other place” is, as we already saw, that God, “cast them down to [Tartarus”, and delivered them into chains of darkness” and “the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” (Jude v. 6).
Now, as to that “They still operate within the geography that they were assigned to” I agree but with certain qualifiers in place.
My theory is that since the Angels’ sin was physical copulation with human women, they were physically incarcerated yet, their spirits roam the Earth as disembodies demons. Thus, they are, at once, incarcerated and also still operating.
I elucidate this view biblically (as opposed to the folkloric one to which TJ Steadman and virtually all other pop-researchers hold which is that demons are Nephilim spirits) in my book What Does the Bible Say About Demons? A Styled Demonology and summarized it in my article Demons Ex Machina: What Are Demons?.
When TJ Steadman states that sons of God “still roam the earth even today” we need to keep these distinctions in mind.
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