Herein begins a series considering that which TJ Steadman wrote about the flood and Rephaim as Nephilim 2.0.
You can find all of my articles regarding TJ Steadman here.
In his book Answers to Giant Questions, he claims “Now, while the Canaanites venerated El as head of the pantheon, we know as Christians that their god is not, in reality, the top dog” indeed, and that “Only Yahweh has the power to animate the spirits of the Rephaim.”
Now, this is because he takes a particular, and peculiar, view of Rephaim as Nephilim 2.0 which Nimrod somehow manufactured via occult means—see my article TJ Steadman on the rise and fall and rise of Nimrod aka Enmerkar, Giant, Nephil, Repha, Assyrian, Rahab, Leviathan.
Biblically, the root word repha is used to reference healing, the dead, a people group (the Rephaim), etc. so that, as always, context is king since context always determines meaning.
TJ Steadman continues thusly, “Only He can command Leviathan to release His ‘treasures of darkness’ upon the earth” whatever that means.
He then refers to “the hidden purpose of the Flood” and asks, “What could God have been doing with a world filled with giants” Nephilim, actually, “knowing that their spirits would not perish in the Flood?” but who said so or, who said not?
He is getting that idea from pseudepigraphical texts from millennia after the Torah was written, two of which claim that demons are Nephilim spirits (Jubilees and Ethiopic Enoch)—for my biblical view of who/what demons are, see the article Demons Ex Machina: What Are Demons?
Now, it is true that spirits would not perish due to the bodies they inhabited being covered by water but that does not mean that they became demons.
TJ Steadman asks, “Could those spirits have escaped judgment for so long, having been reserved for a time such as this?” there is zero biblical indication of any such thing.
He noted, “While the Canaanites falsely attributed this power to their usurping deity who was really a fallen son of God, the truth is that there was nobody in Canaanite religion who had the power to set the demons loose, so people who believe that they might be able to summon the Rephaim on their own are sorely mistaken,” good to know.
He states, “We can become so fixated on the idea of the Flood being a global event that was survived by nobody except Noah’s family” let us pause: Bible believers are “so fixated” because that is what we are so very clearly told.
Setting aside the issue of global vs. local flood for now, note that regarding who survived: it was Noah, his wife, their three sons, the three sons’ wives, and some animals (Gen 6 and 1 Peter 3:20).
He is, in part, stating that because, as he continues directly from where I paused quoting, “that we flatly refuse to think about the fact that the Scripture states that the giants that came after the Flood came from those that existed before it.”
This ranges from misguided to vague to wrong.
It is not enough to make statements such as “the Scripture states” because that is a reification fallacy: the Scriptures is not a person and so states nothing. Rather, God inspired words written in Scripture including many that we should not believe such as those statements made by Satan, the father of lies, that are recorded in Scripture.
Thus, “the Scripture states” or “the Bible says” or “it’s in the Bible” or “God inspired…” or “Moses wrote” or any such things are vague.
More accurately, “the Scripture” record a claim that “states that the giants” Nephilim, “that came after the Flood came from those that existed before it.”
So, the key questions are who said it, in what context was it said, was is accurate, how was it received, what was the reply, etc.?
TJ Steadman claims and also denies post-flood Nephilim and builds his entire case upon one single verse, as all post-flood Nephilim believers are forced to do, which then becomes a worldview hermeneutic via which they then misread and misinterpret other verses.
He is actually telling us that “the Scripture states” that but that was stated by unfaithful, disloyal, contradictory, embellishing, rebuked spies who made four claims about which the whole rest of the Bible knows nothing within an “evil report” and were rebuked for it by God Himself.
For my detailed interaction with the relevant portion of Num 13, which is to what he is referring, see the opening statement I made in my debate with TJ Steadman, here.
Since the one and also post-flood Nephilim text is utterly unreliable—for many reasons—then the logical and theological conclusion is that the last of the Nephilim died in the flood, did not return, and never will in any way, shape or form.
So now, contextual to Nephilim discussion: whether the flood was global or local matters not. If global then the Nephilim died in the flood since only eight people and some animals survived. If local then the Nephilim were living in the locality that was flooded since there is no such thing as post-flood Nephilim.
TJ Steadman further writes, “Naturally, this will result in the text being forced to fit concepts that it plainly doesn’t support, to defend certain theological systems. This is the point at which for many, the literalism dissolves, and words like ‘giant’ are explained as being references to power, royalty, influence or pride.”
Ironically, it is he who is expecting us to take his preferred late-comer English word “giant” to mean something unspecific about unusual height literally.
Biblically, the English term “giant” is not a “references to power, royalty, influence or pride” but is used to render (no, not even translate) either “Nephilim” or “Rephaim.”
He offers this:
A common example is the interpretation of the Numbers 13 account which draws particular attention to the phrase “we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight,” which is taken to mean that the spies considered themselves diminutive compared to their supposedly normally-proportioned enemies. It might read well as a moral lesson on selfesteem, but the direct mention of giants (” … and there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants”) throws that idea out – unless you transliterate, and then you are left with “Nephilim” left happily unexplained and unquestioned.
Note that it was not “the spies” who said that since there were twelves spies who were all “the spies.” Rather, that was stated by the unfaithful, disloyal, rebuked ones who concocted that tall tale.
Thus, it was not “a moral lesson on selfesteem” nor a “direct mention of giants,” Nephilim actually, and since “Nephilim” does not mean what TJ Steadman sometimes thinks of when he uses the term “giants” then it also has nothing to do with a “happily unexplained and unquestioned.”
I have dealt with this issue in every book I have written about Nephilim related issues
We will pick it up from here in the next segment.
Check out my Nephilim related books.
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