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BABYLON RISING: And The First Shall Be The Last
As I sit here preparing to write this series of blogs, I am struck with the realization that I am sitting on the shoulders of giants – both figuratively and literally.
Literally in the sense that this work is going to deal with the issue of physical giants that existed since the days of Noah. In Matthew 24:37, Jesus said,
“As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
The one thing that differentiates the days of Noah from any other time in history is the the mixing of angel seed with that of the human race. According to Genesis 6, this created a race of creatures known as the "Nephilim."
Genesis 6:4 refers to giants (the Nephilim) in the land both before and after the Flood that “were of old, great men of renown.” I believe that statement refers to the many characters of Greek mythology and the mythologies of other cultures that all speak of demigod heroes and giants. This work will focus on the one who I believe is the most famous of them all.
As for the statement of “figurative” giants, by that I mean those scholars and researchers who have come before me. Much of what I know, I learned from them. I believe we should give credit where credit is due, so where ever I can recall the sources of my information, I will endeavor to make those sources known either in the body of text or with footnotes.
Over the nearly two decades that I have been studying the various topics in this work, the Holy Spirit has also been giving me revelation and new insights as well. Some of those insights build upon the works of others, and some (as far as I know) are insights that originate with me - given, I believe by God. Where ever I am giving my own interpretation of information and opinions, I will try to make that obvious and give my reasoning for such information.
I do not claim to have the corner on truth. I do confess to having strong and I consider well informed opinions. But that's all it is. So, please take what I write for whatever you feel it is worth. I encourage you to be a “good Berean” and study these things out for yourself. Pray about it and see if the Holy Spirit confirms what I am saying. I especially wanted to say that as sort of a disclaimer before what I am about to say next.
While I do believe that the Scriptures contained in the Holy Bible were indeed Divinely inspired and written by men, I do not necessarily hold to the idea that only the 66 books we now have in our (Protestant) bibles are the sole Divinely inspired books of antiquity.
There are more than a dozen books mentioned in the Bible [i] that are not in what we now call the “canon of Scripture.” Throughout history, people have either included or excluded various texts from our Bible. For instance, the original King James Version of the Bible (that so many in the Body of Christ cherish today) actually had 80 books,[ii] not 66. So, while I believe true Scripture is indeed Divinely inspired, I'm not prepared to accept that the acquisition and accumulation of these texts was always necessarily inspired by God.
To believe otherwise I think is the epitome of prejudicial bias. For Jesus and the Disciples clearly thought some of the books not found in our current Bible worthy of study and quotation. Our early Church Fathers had considered more than the current 66 to have been Divinely inspired. The Catholics, a few hundred years later appeared to think otherwise and began removing some of these texts from their so-called "canon." Then later, the Protestants came along and did the same thing! Therefore, to stall here and claim that "our" current (Protestant) Holy Bible represents the total collection of (only 66) Divinely inspired works, I think is extremely presumptuous and wholly in error.
Furthermore, as far as I can tell, God never told anyone to “create a Bible” in the first place. He told prophets, teachers, rabbis, poets and Apostles of Jesus Christ to record things to tell various individuals, churches and nations. They did and we now have the privilege of eavesdropping on their conversations. But I don't see God telling anyone to assemble a collection of these writings, cram them between two covers, slap a publisher's name on it (with a price tag) and then hold it up as the fourth person of the Trinity!
Scripture itself says (in numerous places) that God has written His Word on our hearts.[iii] Therefore, it seems more reasonable to assert that God's Word is not so much what's in print, but rather what is in the hearts of His people. Some of that just so happened to make its way into print from time to time. As such, I believe they are worthy of study.
Suffice it to say, I do not believe the Holy Bible is the Word of God. Now before you feel the need to copy and paste that sentence (out of context) to use against me (as others have been prone to do), please allow me to elaborate. I believe (as John1:1-14 says) Jesus is the Word made flesh who dwelt among us. Jesus Christ is the Word of God. The Holy Bible merely contains some of the stories, prophecies, poems, exhortations and commands that point to Him and proceeded from Him, written through the hands of men. In short, God is bigger than His book. And I might add that I also believe He still speaks to and through men and women who have His Word written on their hearts. The way to judge truth then is to "try the spirits to see whether they be of God" and to let the Holy Spirit guide us into all truth.
The Word of God will not contradict Himself. So, if we look for "truth" elsewhere - as in any other source apart from the Holy Bible - it can not contradict what is in the Holy Bible. Scripture never contradicts itself and Scripture always judges itself. Some may consider that "circular reasoning." I consider it a system of checks and balances. I was raised to interpret Scripture by Scripture. By that, I mean that if you see what appears to be a contradiction, keep looking! Because somewhere else there is a proof text that will elaborate, define and further explain the former text. This is why Paul could confidently instruct Timothy,
I hope you do not consider any of what I've just written in the last few paragraphs to be heresy. If you do, I would challenge you to provide proof text for a contrary view. At any rate, I felt the need to express these beliefs up front, because I am going to reference at least a couple of other books not currently found in what we call “The Holy Bible” as support text for my thesis here. As I said, I do believe our Holy Bible contains (some of) the Divinely inspired words of God, but I also believe that there is tremendous value to be gained from looking at some of the other books that many of the Biblical characters we all know and love knew about and read themselves.
Scripture says in numerous places that in the mouth of two or more witnesses, you can establish whether or not a thing is true.[iv] I believe this is "true" of at least two of the books to which I'm going to refer. I'm talking about the books of Enoch and Jasher. Let's talk about the latter first.
As far as I can tell, the Book of Jasher was never considered “scripture” by the Jews. JewishEncyclopedia.com says it is, "One of the latest works of the midrashic Haggadah." The word "Jasher" is not a name but a title meaning, “true, upright and/or just account.” In his book Fallen Angels, The Watchers and the Origins of Evil, Joseph Lumpkin says that the name could be taken to mean, “the upright book” or “the faithful record.”[v] Essentially, the way we view the works of Josephus as being a “true account” of ancient history as written in the 1st century, the Jews seem to have revered Jasher much the same way. Not Holy Scripture, but a true and accurate account of their history from the time of Creation up to the death of Joshua. But it is mentioned twice in what we call, Scripture: in Joshua 10:13 and in 2 Samuel 1:18. In both cases it would seem that God is Divinely inspiring the authors to reference that book as a source for credibility.
In the case of the story about Joshua causing the Sun to stand still, it is as though the Holy Spirit is saying, “Reference Jasher to give your statements here credibility.” That's a pretty extraordinary event that the author of Joshua is writing about, so by adding, “is it not written in the Book of Jasher?” to the dialogue, the writer is proving the point by referencing an external source – that apparently God Himself is endorsing. I believe that should count for something in our eyes as well.
We see further examples in Scripture of apparent endorsement of "extra-Biblical" text. For instance, in 2 Timothy 3:7-9, the Apostle Paul writes to his son in the faith Timothy about two individuals from the time of the Exodus. He references Jannes and Jambres as two people that Moses had to contend with. They are believed to be the two chief priests of Pharaoh who competed with Moses and Aaron when they performed some of the various "signs and wonders" before the king. Note that the referenced names were both known to Paul as well as to his audience. But those two names do not appear anywhere else in our "canon of Scripture." They come from Jewish midrash, the Talmud and Targums. In other words, they are not in the "Bible" but can be found in other writings such as the Book of Jasher [vi]. This sort of thing actually appears quite a lot in our current canon of Scripture. I've always been intrigued by that, and I can not help but wonder, if referencing such "extra-Biblical text" is OK for people like Paul, why shouldn't we (at least) have a little look-see for ourselves?
Now, having said that, I will still use what we do have as "canon" as the basis through which I will judge truth and the so-called "extra-Biblical sources" that I may quote from elsewhere. In other words, as a cautionary note, I would say these other sources are only believable so long as they do not contradict existing Scripture. If it does not contradict, but rather enhances or elaborates on existing, canonical text, then I will file it away as "good to know information" and present it here as nothing more. I'm not going to hang any doctrine on it, but I will consider it valuable as added knowledge in support of biblical narrative. It is in this sense, and in this sense alone that I present these other sources here in this work.
As for the Book of Enoch, the Jews certainly did seem to have considered it to be Scripture. Jesus, Peter, Paul and Jude all made references to it. In fact, there are more than a hundred statements in the New Testament alone that find precedence nowhere else but in that book. Our early Church Fathers referred to it as scripture and the Ethiopian Coptic Bible still retains it as Scripture to this day.[vii]
One of the things that really intrigues me about this particular book is that the book itself states that it was not written for that generation, but for a future generation.[viii] As you will soon see, I believe we are that future generation! And when you combine the books of Enoch, Jasher and the Holy Bible, a very interesting and detailed story develops. A story about the days of Noah and how it relates to these Last Days. It is a story about giants.
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