The Sons Of God
[Some of my entries do not draw a conclusion. Rather, they present two sides of a (usually minor) debate among Christians. And the debate can usually remain friendly, because the world does not care about the matter. Since the intended audience of On Beyond Sunday School is people whose entire theology is the Sunday School class, I suspect that many of the people on Reddit/TheArk have already given such matters some serious thought. The intended purpose of presenting them is that a more mature Christian who has never been exposed to the issue can meditate on the passage, and prayerfully reach a conclusion. Then test it out in discussion groups to see whether he can defend it. Whether he chooses rightly or wrongly, the student can be assured that there are plenty of Godly men and women who are studied on the matter who have already taken your side.]
Bible scholars are divided on who the “sons of God” are in Genesis 6:2. They hold strong in their position, though this is not really an angry division. Any one of you who wishes to practice his biblical interpretation skills might want to consider tackling the question, “Who are the Sons of God in Genesis 6:2?” The risk is low. Either side you select has many good supporters. And the battle is not fought fiercely. The books of 2 Peter and Jude play a big role in the discussion.
Some see the Sons of God as fallen angels. These angels previously had fallen, and later seduced the “daughters of men,” thereby creating a super-order of humanity1 through the children created through that union. God’s response to this was two-fold. First, the participating demons, already having been cast out of Heaven, were further chained in order to make a repeat offense impossible2. Second, God had to remove the super-order of part-angelic/part-human from the world and discontinue that pseudo-order. And He accomplished that end through the flood.
But many disagree. They find the whole notion unthinkable. Their arguments are largely defensive because if it weren’t for the silly (as critics perceive it) idea that the Sons of God are angels and can procreate, then this wouldn’t even be a discussion.
The evidence put forward goes as follows.
Angels are sometimes called “Sons of God (Job 2:1, Job 38:7).” Response: The Bible uses the term “Son of God” to describe beings who are obedient to God.
Angels often appear in human form, and always as males. Response: Righteous angels appear in human form. Fallen angels appear as beasts. Besides, Matthew 22:30 says angels do not marry.
2 Peter 2:4-5 and Jude 6 describe a class of angels already committed to chains and they will stay chained up until the day of judgment. Response: 2 Peter and Jude do not make a case that there are two classes of fallen angels.
The resulting children became Nephilim, which is traditionally translated “giants (Numbers 13:32-33),” but is more literally “fallen beings.” Response: Genesis 1 states 10 different times that beings can reproduce only after their own kind.
Noah was “blameless in his generation (Genesis 6:9)” means that Noah was one of the few men on earth whose heritage was completely untouched by angelic ancestry. Response: What set Noah apart was not genetics, but his faith.
Study and meditate. The internet is full of information on it. Account in some manner for all the biblical data. Let me know what you conclude. I won’t say there is no wrong answer. But I will say that there will be very well-known Bible scholars who would support you.
1 “Nephilim,” the Hebrew was not translated in ESV. It could be translated either as “giants”
or as “people from fallen beings.”
2 2 Peter 2:4-5 and Jude 6 are generally used as support texts for this setting. The Peter text
places the setting of the chains squarely onto the days of Noah.